Mermaid Blog



Mermaid Blog


Talent…maybe she was born with it?

In moving forward with my full time dance journey, I often contemplated what makes someone successful in their craft. In my 15 years of on and off study,  I’ve often thought, she is such a great performer…. maybe she was born with it? How can I ever possibly be as good as her?  But what really may be the question to ask is what makes someone successful in their craft? 

Ganesha

Whether it’s sports. dance, starting a business, being a mom and raising a family, the question still remains, how do we develop our talents and skills to our greatest potential? Is it being really organized? Having good DNA and coming from a long line of talent? Or is someone just smarter than others? 

NO!!!

Talent comes from taking ACTION and repeating those steps every day until it becomes second nature and begins to transform us. Whew!…and I thought that I was crazy for a minute to give up everything and study dance, especially at this point in my life. I thought my fairy godmother gifted me all her talent for dance at my baptism so that was all I had to do?

WRONG!!!

It takes blood, sweat, and tears to dance and dance well. You spend a tremendous amount of hours, months, and even years of practice to get even a few minutes on stage, time well spent on visualizations, repetition, counting beats in musicality, rhythm and memorization; it’s using so many parts of your brain. So why do we do this? What is the driving force for this kind of behavior? 

No one can really understand why someone practices an art, it's up to them to see what ignites their passions. Who or what ignites your passion? For me, it’s the dance teachers I study with now, it’s the catharsis I receive when watching them perform. Catharsis comes from Greek (κάθαρσις) “katharsis" meaning purification or cleansing. This comes from receiving a purification and purgation of emotions, through art. 

This powerful process has been known to heal the impossible. That’s why we practice our art, because it heals and transforms us…..

FullSizeRender-6


Mermaid Blog


Making dances, … How are you maneuvering through life?….

As I continue on my dance journey, I am noticing the synchronicity of life through dance. After all, isn’t life just a dance? Are you one of those people who just goes through all the motions, methodically, mechanically, and without any direction? Or are you in the flow, moving like water, allowing your creativity and emotions guide you? I have some questions you might what to ask yourself:

18274722 1863272057032417 5947172521754070336 n

How are you maneuvering through life? Are you just going through the motions? 

Maybe one way you can look at your life is to see if you feel bored, or stuck in a rut. Are you truly happy with where you are right now? At times, we all can feel stuck, but if we are following our hearts and living to our greatest potential, then there is no way to really fail. 

Are you allowing your passions, emotions, and spirit to drive you?

The creative process can be challenging, we get pushed past our comfort zones and it makes us uncomfortable. This is why I study dance, it’s not easy for me and it takes me to places where I feel uncomfortable, like being in a hip hop tribal choreo! This is definitely reflected in my own life with other projects that I am working on because that’s how we grow. What do you do to push yourself past the familiar? 

Dance is an art and not to be taken lightly, it takes diligent study and practice. Life can been seen the same way, accomplishing our goals, taking care of our loved ones, and being consistent in our health practices, all take work. Dancers work very hard on their choreography, making each movement look effortless, and just like anything in life, repetition is the mother of all skill. Are you struggling on the path? Trying to control every detail? The main concept to learn is to let go, and be in the flow….to be free. 

 Do you make your life look effortless? 

18268644 1873386329354323 4412322683018627387 n

 

Mermaid Blog...


Happy May Day…10 things to do...

18193757 1858443144181975 7030056102756054361 n

10 things to do on May Day! Every culture celebrates their own way, here are some thing to do for this May Day!!!

1. Pick your flowers and create a wreath to hang on the door...

2. Make Flower head pieces...

3. Dance around the Maypole...

4. Make a Altar, Homage to  Goddess Maia, a Greek and Roman goddess of fertility...


5. Donate money to a cause like Nature Conservancy, or any other that helps our plants and flowers grow...

6. Visit a Garden, Park or Forrest...

7. Celebrate International Workers Day….take the day off.

8. May a flower lei...

9. Take pictures of flowers….

10. At last but not least, consummate in the gardens!!!!…(teehee)


th


Mermaid Blog


Living in the Zone...

Are you living in the zone? What does this mean exactly? It means are you doing what you really want to be doing, each day…consciously. For me it’s getting into that dance studio and working on my craft each day. 

FullSizeRender-6

It means being surrounded by people and things that make you happy. What makes you smile?...Forget about all your worries, and just live in the moment?

As a sensitive empathic person, being surrounded by music, art, and dance is very healing. I’ve been building my stamina, and it has taken a very long time to get here. Sometimes, life’s distractions seem to be getting my way, but I always come back to my center, to my flow. 

Sound healing is so important, certain vibrations can put us into dance mode, healing mode, or simply get us out of our heads and into the present moment. Yoga, body movements, chanting, and meditation, all are tools we can use to get there. I find that resting also gives us the time and space to see if we truly are where we want to be. It’s been an intense coupe of weeks, so much that I have been in rest mode in between practice. In that time, in deep contemplation, and even in dreamtime, we can co-create what it is we need. We can remind ourselves what we really want…..A life completely in the zone. A place where time doesn’t really exists, and hours can feel like minutes to us because we are doing what we really love. Are you in that space? Do you live in the zone? What do you need to do to get there? Can you dream it? 

IMG 6247-2

Don’t forget that we don’t necessarily need to be on achieving mode all of the time. Our bodies and our minds really need a break sometimes. So this retrograde period, why not give yourself the time and space to do so? Enjoy creating what you want in your dreams……


Mermaid Blog


Earth Day is Coming! How will you Celebrate?

It’s here!!…My favorite day of the year, a day to celebrate our planet and all of the elements. Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate this day:

1. Take pictures of nature and share them with others.

2. Daydream in the garden…my favorite!, plant and tend to your fairy garden.

3. Feed natures animals, Play with your animals, or adopt a new one.

4. Swim in the Ocean…and in your favorite mermaid tail! #water elements

11990550 1218820738144222 3365796527366870107 n

5. Plan a day at the park, picnic, camping, or hiking…#earth elements 

6. Clean up the beach, pick up trash, recycle!! Environmentalism.

leaf

7. Donate to your favorite charity like, Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, Humane Society, or any of the many other charities that are out there. 

8. Do your yoga practice outside! Exercise outside, running, biking, swimming, tennis, etc.

9. Work with crystals to heal the earth, make crystal grids, and teach others how to use them.

10. Switch to chemical free products for your home, your personal care, and your environment. 


There are so many ways we all can help make this planet cleaner and more green! How do you contribute?

DSC01119


Mermaid Blog


Good Friday….Happy Easter 2017…Greek Style!

candle

One thing about being 100% Greek are all the festive holidays. I respect all religions and celebrate when I can, but for us, this is a really HOLY WEEK. So I have been trying to do less, eat less, and stay off the computer so much. But here is a taste of the traditions my big fat Greek family celebrates. 

Orthodox Easter is often thought to be one of the most important holidays included in the Grecian calendar, our calendar is  based on a modified Julian calendar (while the Western world uses the Gregorian calendar), but this year it falls on the same day of Western Easter. 

FullSizeRender-3

It’s a pivotal week filled with an entire week of festivities, with Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday being celebrated as public holidays.

On Holy Thursday we dye red eggs that are symbolic of Easter and which were prepared traditionally from Mother Mary,  who dyed eggs this color to celebrated the Resurrection of Christ and to celebrate life. The women in Greek families are busy baking “koulourakia" (butter twist cookies) and “tsoureki" ( traditional sweet bread) for the Easter feast. As a gluten free person, sadly, I don’t get to eat this anymore.

Good Friday is considered to be a sacred day in Greece, the women decorate  a “epitaph” of Christ’s funeral bier with flowers, and everyone fasts this day. 

mothermary
Tinos

Easter Saturday is known as the The Resurrection or “Anastasis”. Preparations for cooking of the "maghiritsa” soup.( this soup, is NOT my favorite and I am passing on letting you know what is exactly in it!) Before midnight, the lights of the churches are put out in symbolism of the darkness that Christ had to endure as he passed through the underworld, as members go to church before 11 p.m., carrying large white candles. The at midnight chant, “christos anesti”, meaning Christ has risen. The candle light is then taken back to one’s home and is burned over the doorway  for protection with the sacred light. 

After that, a traditional dinner is served where the family and friends that gathered for dinner will crack the red eggs. The game symbolizes resurrection and new life. Easter eggs are dyed red to exemplify the blood of the Christ. 

The most celebrated day of the Holy Week is of course, Easter Sunday,  where  a huge feast with food, dancing, and celebrations are commemorating not only the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, but also to mark the passing of winter to spring.

How does your family celebrate?

Happy Easter Everyone!

Lilies


Mermaid Blog


Reflections of India ..Part two...

Oh India!!!!….the temples...the spirituality….and the people. The best part I felt were the most amazing people who lived in India. The small town of Pushkar housed many beautiful souls and Brahman priests. The air is filled with rose oil and incense, in dedication to many Indian spiritual practices and temple worship. 

DSC01381










The community is filled with traditional practices, with sari clad women with chai on every street corner. The cows are fed in the early am and the street markets filled with vendors and people after temple. India is known for sounds of bells ringing at sunrise, bright colored fabrics, and beautifully dressed women.

16265207 1191680537553644 5573954680712561594 n

Not to mention our dance teacher, Colleena Shakti. She has her Oddissi Dance school in Pushkar for many, many years and at the Rag Nath temple. It’s where we danced our prayers, sweated out blood and tears, and purified many lifetimes of karma. 

We had our Shakti Saturdays, filled with dedicated dancers performing in the temple to Jagganath, with wide-eyed audiences filled with joy at the amazing performances. The temple echoed to the sound of Indian music and slapping bare feet of classical dancers who poured their hearts onto the stage. We had some amazing times, with hard working teachers like Sudabai, who had been dancing Oddissi since childhood. Just to be in his presence was a honor, as he started our day with puja and prasad.

We also had Sonos, the local flower mala maker, he and his wife grow the most beautiful flowers that are only used in the temples for puja, males, and holidays. He had the brightest smile I have ever seen and he used it every single day. I would rise extra early before yoga to go see him and get my malas before the temple. 

screenshotIMG 5337










The narrow streets were filled with so many colors, tourists, locals, cows, dogs, and motorbikes, it’s amazing anyone can get anywhere as it can get crowded during season time. But as the crowds disappeared, you really got a taste of the local vibe and energy of the town. One of my favorite shops was Ram’s shop, he has been in Pushkar for a long time and is a local artist.

DSC01488

He teaches the local children how to draw and paint, as this is part of his caste lineage. He also is an amazing healer and helped me out so much while I was there. I had my days in his shop sipping tea (no, I couldn’t drink chai) and him telling me stories of his life and India. 

screen shot2

I treasure those moments so very much as he was one of the most gentle souls I have ever met. He gave me a very special crystal mala which is one of my favorites for practice and has great energy.

I met some amazing people with Ram at his shop, filled with art and healing crystals. He had the brightest eyes that pierced into your soul, and was very mesmerizing. He was so wise and loved crystals, the most beautiful pendulums were sold there. I loved spending time with him and sharing his knowledge. 

All of the locals wanted to spend time with you, sitting and having chai was customary and almost an insult if you were rushing as we do so well here in the U.S. What ever happened to just spending time with people and just being? It’s almost a lost art in our culture. This is something I am learning to incorporate in my life everyday. We are always in a hurry and moving on to the next thing. Indian culture is about slowing down and appreciating the present moment and taking time for yourself and others. Sit and have that chai, and enjoy that sunset!!

DSC01335


Mermaid Blog


Reflections of India ….Part one...

17342528 1814885455204411 8186924676022748316 n

India is a place I never thought I would be able to travel to. As a practitioner of yoga and yogic philosophy for over 20 years, I always wanted to visit this land as it’s the birthplace of yoga. Unfortunately, it’s also a place of extreme poverty and pollution. But the balance is the amazing culture and art, which is considered the highest priority in India. The spiritual practices and brahman temples are very high. This also depends upon which parts of India you visit. I was in the Rajasthan areas, the focus is mostly on art and culture. 

Being able to attend Shakti School of Dance really was dream come true. It took a very special teacher to make me want to go to another 3rd world country. I didn’t want to miss my chance at this, even though I knew it would be a bumpy ride for me. I don’t regret going, I definitely learned a lot on this trip, about myself and especially about India. 

15025102 10153929979767073 2517304875997628870 o
Odissi 2

We had a very vigorous schedule, I was in the first intensive which was four weeks. I chose to stay in india for 6 weeks so I would be well adjusted for the program. I didn't have much time to plan as I only had less than month to prepare.I had my 10 year visa approved and I was ready to go. I traveled with friends on the way up and had a wonderful group of women to have this experience with. We were all hand picked by Colleena, a true honor in itself as the waiting list is quite long. How did I get chosen? I am not sure, maybe she saw the dedication and yearning in my eyes and in my soul, a least that’s what I projected out. 

Our daily schedule started early with meditation, our homage to Jagganath, prasad, and yoga. Colleena’s lineage is Krama Yoga techniques from the Himalaya mountains. I enjoy this practice as It’s more about stretching all the joints, breath leads movement, pranayama, and energetic work. All necessary for a dancer that is more restorative than a vigorous vinyasa practice. I do this everyday with a few more of my own practices. 

Maybe by now some of you may ask…why dance? Well, for me, I don’t have many choices for maintaining my health and wellness, it’s either constantly move, or not be able to move. You see dance is not only for my spirit, but also for my survival. Dealing with chronic Autoimmune conditions forces me to constantly drain my lymphatic system and detox. What better way than to sweat it out! So I just keep it moving. Without yoga, my body wouldn’t be able to do very much either. So my sadhana practices are lengthy, as any investment in maintaining your health is. It’s full focus and constant daily practice. 

16729030 1442730562412350 2869149527763534551 n

Dancing is for my spirit as well, nothing brings me more joy than this, it helps me release all the stress in my life and keeps me in a positive state. Oddissi dance gives me much strength and power, allows me to channel my energy and make it grow. Belly dance provides undulating spinal movements and keeps my digestive and spinal system in tact. Both practices seem to be vital for my heath and wellness and I enjoy them both. This is what I do for my creativity. What do you do for your creative practices? I know for me, it’s dance…...Thank you Shakti Sisters! 

16711875 10212054730502004 7244132714900328953 n


Blog


10 ways to help Save a Life…Adopt a Pet...

FullSizeRender

For those of you who live in South Florida, their are many facilities who need your support to help keep animals alive and from euthanasia, you can support by donating, being foster care services, finding homes, or adopting a pet for you and your family.

Here are only a small percentage of organizations where you can make a difference in an animals life. Volunteering your time is also an amazing way to give back, and these organizations thrive on our support. Please look in your area.

Adopt. Give. Donate. Support.


1. Humane Society of Broward County
https://www.facebook.com/browardhumane/
Mission: The Humane Society of Broward County provides shelter, aid and responsible adoptions to animals entrusted to our care, and educates the community about respect and kindness to all animals

2. Paws For You
http://www.paws4you.org
Mission:Our top priority is to save dogs from euthanasia at Miami-Dade Animal Services, where more than 27,000 unwanted pets show up each year.

3. Good Karma Pet Rescue
http://www.facebook.com/GKPetRescue
Mission:To rescue dogs and cats in need in South Florida and beyond, offering them shelter, care, and love until their forever homes find them. To help curb pet overpopulation and suffering by supporting spay/neuter programs. To maintain responsible rescue practices.


4. Sivan's Rabbit Rescue South Florida
https://www.facebook.com/flrabbitrescue/
Mission: We are committed to a world where "everybunny" gets to have a loving home. We enhance house rabbits' quality of life by providing extensive education on how to care for house rabbits.

17492801 1329401740436017 6787907611056741413 o

5. TLP Pit Bull Rescue
https://www.facebook.com/tenderlovenpits/
Mission: TLP is a non-profit corporation that's here to help change the fate of the pit bull breed. We exist to help provide permanent homes for unwanted and abused pit bulls. We also hope to provide owners with help and support in caring for their animal(s). To keep TLP operational we rely solely on the love and support of our community through volunteering and donations.

6.. Animal Rescue of South Florida 
https://www.facebook.com/Animalrescueofsouthflorida/
Mission: Animal Rescue of South Florida is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing overpopulation and the unnecessary euthanization of adoptable dogs & cats

7. South Florida Animal rescue Network
https://www.facebook.com/pg/sfarninc/about/?ref=page_internal
Mission: South Florida Animal Rescue Network (SFARN) is a 501(c)(3) rescue established to network, rescue and re-home dogs and horses in need.

8. Animal Rescue Force of South Florida, Inc
https://www.facebook.com/arfsouthflorida/
Mission: We are a non-profit 501 (c) 3 animal rescue group who takes in abandoned dogs and cats, places them in foster homes, and finds them "forever" homes. All animals are spayed and neutered, have their shots and are microchipped before they're adopted.

9. Golden Rescue South Florida
https://www.facebook.com/Golden-Rescue-South-Florida-94723065452/
Mission: Golden Rescue South Florida (GRSF) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that was  founded in 1998 due to the large amount of unwanted dogs. Our mission is to help decrease the increasingly high rate of euthanasia at south Florida animal shelters. 

10. St. Francis Animal Rescue, Venice FL
https://www.facebook.com/St-Francis-Animal-Rescue-Venice-FL-194477903406/
Mission:St. Francis Animal Rescue is a no-kill shelter whose objective is to rescue abandoned and unwanted cats and kittens in our community and to provide them with shelter, food, medical care and love until we can find them responsible, loving homes through adoption or for their entire lives if they remain at the shelter. We support local spay/neuter programs and want to help educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

Help save a life! You can help make a difference.

17522652 1333025753406949 5268765901481806034 n


Mermaid Blog


Doggie Love....Volunteer….Please Adopt…Please Share….

I was contemplating where I wanted to volunteer my time for so long now, I wondered if I would have any energy left to give to a cause. When I looked at what gives me joy and energy,  I knew it would be something that had to do with nature or animals. 

IMG 5167

By now, most of you know that I am a huge animal lover, after having my dog Kayla now for 10 years, and as my therapy dog, I am so grateful for her and the joy she brings me every single day. 

I wanted to share with you my experience at volunteering at a dog shelter. I have been volunteering my time at the Broward County Humane Society since September 2016. For my birthday, I went to the Humane Society of Broward County to apply for a volunteer position. To may surprise, I saw that there were so many positions to choose from. They had positions such as: Dog walking, working at the boutique, helping with adoptions, DogPal, CatPal, Foster Care, Service animal work, taking photos of the animals, and many more. I knew I wanted to be with the animals directly, so I went for the DogPal program. The photos you see here, are only a fraction of the dogs I have already been privileged enough to spend time with. 

IMG 5092

At first, it was really challenging for me to see dogs in confinement. Kayla has never been able to be caged, even through dog training. She is an extremely sensitive soul and suffered greatly if I even put her near a cage. She had even been trained by a top professional dog trainer and she said that this specific dog could never be contained as it would break her spirit. No being should ever be contained, it would break anyone’s spirt. 

IMG 6037

So I really had a tough time making this decision. When I visited the facility, it was super clean, highly maintained, and the animals were so well taken care of. Plus the doors in the very large kennels were made from glass. This made me breathe a bit easier,  but I still wished their was a better way for these innocent souls to be taken care of as they found their new homes. The good news is that the turn around time for most of them are really short, except for the larger dogs and the pitbulll breeds. I don’t understand why everyones fears pitfalls? The ones here are the sweetest most loving dogs of all, even more than the smaller ones! 

IMG 4826

I will tell you, as an empathic person, I feel all of their pain, of being abandoned by their owners,  and when the puppies are taken away from their mothers, it’s not easy….I hug and console all of them, and give them all my love and attention when I am there. I send prayers and healing energy to each of them. I know my time there makes a difference, as the dogs are so happy to see me. Everyone, including animals, deserve to be in a loving home and environment. 

If you really want to experience unconditional love, PLEASE ADOPT! You will have a friend for life, a companion, and a being that will love you until the end of time. These animals all need a home. Dogs are so amazing for kids, the elderly, for consoling you, as therapy, and especially for anyone who lives alone. They are healing in every way possible.

Yes, they are a huge responsibility, taking care of any living being is. But they are so very worth it. The love and joy these beings of light bring is worth any responsibility it takes. Kayla teaches me to be present, be happy no matter what, and gets me to go outside and exercise everyday. The most important lesson of all, is that she reminds me to play everyday and to not take life so seriously. So I invite you to take a chance on a shelter animal, there are plenty waiting to give you so much love and need a home. I love visiting and spending time with every single one of these fur babies!

Please Adopt. Please Share. Volunteer.

IMG 5952


"Holistic living and wellness from the inside out."