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Mar

4

Movement For The Mind®—Dance That Awakens Healing, Inspiration & Wisdom

By Francoise Netter

In anticipation of the publishing and release of my paperback book, Movement For The Mind, I want to invite you, your friends and family to my book signing release party on April 5, 2013 at 4:30PM. Contact me at fenetter@yahoo.com for the location in Boulder, CO. This book is a unique resource for integrating the body, mind and spirit and discovering who you are creatively. It is also an invitation to embrace your inner wisdom, discover the innate joy within you and express it in a manner that can practically be applied to positively change any area of your life!!!!

I want to share the forward from the book written by a friend, mentor and brilliant author, professor and business luminary. Enjoy and I look forward to personally signing a copy of the book for you which is available on my website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and through other major bookstores. Always appreciate your comments and referrals.

Delightfully in the Dance,
Françoise

Foreword

For twenty-five years others and I taught the Personal Creativity in Business course at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. And then and ever since it has been offered by a growing group of teachers not only at Stanford but at other schools, in corporations and for nonprofit groups and individuals who need this kind of awakening and support of their inherent creativity to deal with the challenges and opportunities of their lives. For much of that time, Françoise Netter and her dance and movement work have been an integral part of this effort. Why? Because you cannot be consistently creative and lead life to the fullest without engaging not just the mind, but also the heart, the spirit and the body. The last aspect, body, is tricky, yet essential to unlocking the rest for all of us on various times on our journey if it is to be a creative one.

Françoise is a master at what she does. Gifted and a professional. Unique. Like only a few of the visitors and contributors to our class, she sat in it as a participant in order to make sure that what she was doing was of maximum impact to our students. She engaged their bodies in dance and movement in a way that led to breakthroughs and tools that stayed with people. And now she has translated that brilliance and care to this book for you to use and grow in ways you can’t imagine.

When Françoise came for a class it was always a little exciting, maybe even scary for some of the students. We were going to dance in a graduate business class? To keep them guessing and make it light, I would sometimes play a recording of the song, “Dancing Cheek to Cheek,” as they entered the room. But Françoise changed the mood step by step. First we (I always participated) were guided to an awareness of our body. Then we explored movement and what it meant in terms of who we are at our core and what our life purpose is. We were transformed during one session. Students spoke with a sort of wonder about what just happened. They followed up by integrating that experience with the other more traditional work they were getting in the class.

This book gives you a chance to have that same kind of experience but to have it in a sustained way in various parts of your life and to meet almost any challenge. In our Stanford class we were focusing on awakening the body-mind-heart-spirit connection for leading a creative life, making your life itself a work of art. This book goes beyond and deeper, however, in the sense that Françoise guides you through her work with stress, psychotherapy and physical healing as well as creativity. You may have worked with each one of these life challenges in many different ways and successfully. But try engaging your body-mind connection with the exercises and approaches in this book and you might be surprised at the new levels you will achieve—breakthroughs instead of stress, support for healing, awakened creative energy, and new understanding and control of your personality based on your highest self.

You can read this book straight through and get something from the stories Françoise tells and the new perspective she offers. But you’ll get an order of magnitude more from it if you engage with the exercises, if you bring this kind of movement into your life. It takes effort at first. But once you get the basic exercise down, you have a tool that you can use in other parts of the book and whenever you need it.

So I suggest that you get the basic exercise first and then go to the chapter that represents a major challenge for you, be it stress, creativity, mental issues, or healing. Do the movement work in every chapter. See what happens. Pay attention. Keep at it with what works for you. Use this book as a guide to a full, rich life from every aspect of your being.

 —Michael Ray, John G. McCoy-Banc One Professor of Creativity and Innovation (Emeritus) Stanford Business School and Author, Creativity in Business and The Highest Goal

 

Dec

21

Happy Winter Solstice and Beginning Of A New Era

By Francoise Netter

It’s days before Christmas and “all through the night” there’s much talk about the “end of the world” and the end of the Mayan calendar and more so an awareness (in Boulder and many other parts of the world) about the shift in consciousness available to each of us at this time. Many of my classes teach this shifting of awareness from inside out and prompt you to personalize this state of awakening and then apply it to the educational and professional environment. As we tune in to the positive, we also are aware of the negative and the fears that are still so prevalent in our society. However, change is in the air and you are each a part of it. So, as you get ready for the holiday season and the New Year, contemplate your intentions and dreams for 2013 both personally and for the good of those around you and seize each moment by making it better than the last.

For me personally and for many of my clients, the past two years have been challenging and intense. These times I believe are summoning each one of us into courage. We are being asked to not only face our fears and the shadow parts of ourselves, but to also release the limitations that they symbolize so that we can free ourselves into the creative and joyous beings that we are. Each of our journeys and challenges are personal and idiosyncratic. For some it is the facing of the fear of intimacy, for others it is facing disease or the loss of a loved one. For others it is financial distress or the manner in which we deal with stressors and emotional hardships. Whatever it is that is your challenge, look at how you can face it differently and in that awareness believe that transforming it is not only possible, but is your reality. We have been so used to avoiding or medicating our problems or indulging our problems by blaming others that we have forgotten that everything that appears external to us is manageable first by looking within. As we attend to our thoughts, emotions and beliefs everything in our external world can and must transform.

So in these days before 2013, make time to contemplate what you’d like to see happen for yourself and the world and then gently merge deeply within to that place of peace, joy and love and watch as your life begins to magically transform.

Happy New Year!

Oct

15

Fostering Resilience – Part Three

By Francoise Netter

The subject of Resilience, I believe is one of the most relevant qualities that we can develop, nurture and sustain. It is a quality that we too often ignore in this fast paced, technological whiz of a life. In the next few blogs and articles, I will be addressing various ways that you can think about resilience and apply it to your life both personally and professionally.

Part Three

Those of you who’ve read my last two articles on Fostering Resilience, know that it is something I feel passionately about both personally and professionally. If we dive deep into the human spirit, we converge and meet in a similar place. All of us ultimately seek joy, ease, love, safety and peace. We may seek it in diverse ways and call it by different names but those desires are universal and at the foundation of most philosophies and religions. So if we seek all that is fun, joyous and easy why do we need to foster resilience?

Resilience is the key to not only achieving these goals, but also one of the key ingredients to sustaining them. Let’s take a closer look. If life is supposed to be easy, fun, joyous and all the things we want, then why does it so often feel challenging, chaotic and downright difficult? The answer is simple and yet complex.

Growing up in the West, many of us are taught to fill our baskets of desires by going after the things we want externally. We are taught by example that if we are able to accumulate, achieve and control certain outer conditions than our lives will look the way we want and we can achieve the joy that we are seeking. However, for most of us striving, grabbing and controlling outer conditions keep us jumping at best and stressed out and frustrated the rest of the time.

What is so true and yet understated in the story, Carrots, Egg and Coffee, is that the ability to turn adverse conditions into coffee beans invites us to shift our attitude. We don’t coerce the beans to make it happen. The beans simply blend with the water and are transformed. So often we find ourselves struggling against outer conditions that we can’t seem to change, when the change we seek is actually right under our noses. We are so accustomed to looking externally for solutions that we seldom look at our own internal state, attitudes, thoughts and beliefs.

I remember many years ago taking a three day personal growth seminar and when we came back as a group one week later, one of the participants excitedly shared, ” When I got home from this seminar the most amazing happened. Everyone in my family changed for the better!” We all smiled quietly and nodded to each other. We knew because of the work he had done and the deep inner personal changes and insights he had undergone, his perception of others (including his family) had also changed.

In our western society, we often put emphasis on how things look externally. Through that approach, we have forgotten our own inner wellspring of knowledge. Yoga and many other philosophies remind us that we may have it a bit backwards. The control we are seeking is within us, not external to us. Fostering resilience summons us to that place internally where we can reflect and shift our perception and beliefs. Then, ease, joy, true change and what we desire can occur. Through the act of shifting our thoughts and beliefs we can act from a conscious place and resolve the challenges that show up whether we are prepared for them or when they blindside us.

In my own personal experience, the more I identify with what’s wrong with my life, the more life seems to corroborate that belief and visa versa. For the next few weeks, take a few minutes daily to reflect on both your desires and your attitudes. Look within to see if you can shift a negative thought or belief and see where cultivating your resilience can assist you. Then watch as your life begins to transform like the coffee beans slowly but surely.  I always welcome your comments and observations.

On this delightful path,
Françoise

Aug

15

Fostering Resilience – Part Two

By Francoise Netter

The subject of Resilience, I believe is one of the most relevant qualities that we can develop, nurture and sustain. It is a quality that we too often ignore in this fast paced, technological whiz of a life. In the next few blogs and articles, I will be addressing various ways that you can think about resilience and apply it to your life both personally and professionally.

Part Two

My brother, Patrick, recently sent me an article titled: “Carrots, Eggs & Coffee”. I’ll reprint excerpts of the article here and then expound on the lessons and messages it conveys:

“A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’ Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. ‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?’–Author Unknown

The interesting dynamic in adversity is that some people are like carrots and appear strong externally, but when they experience loss or difficulty, they wilt and lose their strength and resiliency. Others, who appear fragile like an egg, become hardened and defensive and armor their vulnerability. Some rare individuals are able to create something lucid, new and extraordinary from pain and hardship. Alice Summers, the oldest living holocaust survivor at 108, is such an individual. She was a well-known musician in Poland when World War II broke out.  The Nazis arrested her and her five-year-old son and sent them to a concentration camp but allowed her to play piano for the SS because they were afraid of the propaganda that her death might create for them. She and her son survived on the “food” of her music and not only did they live through the horrific conditions, but both Alice and her son became world-class musicians after the war. Her interview on YouTube is nothing short of inspirational.

This ability to turn adversity into “coffee beans” is what the ancients have always labeled as alchemy. It is the stuff that creates resiliency and greatness on every level. Unfortunately with the apparent ease of technology, we are under the illusion that everything can be handled with the flick of a finger. Children growing up today are given a false sense of security and so many New Age philosophies propagate the illusion that life “should” be easy. It is not our desires for joy, ease, beauty and fun that we must curtail, but rather how and where we look for them.

Fostering resiliency allows us to strengthen our core so that when circumstances appear out of our control or blind side us we are not only able to survive, but in the process we transform ourselves and life itself. We learn in very personal ways that our state of joy, ease, strength and love is not dependent on things external to us. We may still seek certain external forms, but our resiliency is not grounded in them.

Contemplate this analogy of “carrots, egg and coffee” and just notice without judging yourself what your level of resiliency is when things are going “wrong” in your life. For some of us it’s the little annoyances that we’re less resilient to and for some it’s the “big” ones. I teach in all of my seminars that awareness and understanding are the first two steps in taking action and making changes. For the next couple of weeks, observe your reactions to life and notice what fosters your resilience. In the next article, we’ll explore techniques to increase resiliency and the ability to thrive in all circumstances. Please feel free to comment on this article and email me your questions and experiences.

Dancing on the spiraling path of resiliency,
Françoise

Jun

11

Fostering Resilience – Part One

By Francoise Netter

The subject of Resilience, I believe is one of the most relevant qualities that we can develop, nurture and sustain. It is a quality that we too often ignore in this fast paced, technological whiz of a life. In the next few blogs and articles, I will be addressing various ways that you can think about resilience and apply it to your life both personally and professionally.

Part One

Isn’t it amazing that on the day you think you have it down, meaning you are centered and acting from a place of being grounded and calm, a myriad of circumstances can enter your world to shake you from your stance? It is especially humbling when you feel you have graduated from a certain level of reactivity and think that you are no longer vulnerable to spouts of reactive anger, stress, sadness, fear or grief. So what do you do when circumstances arise that dismantle you?

I, like most of us, have an over developed inner critic, so I’m going to suggest the following steps that you can apply personally or professionally and individualize:

  1. Refrain from judging your “fall” and instead embrace a stance of loving compassion for “losing it.”
  2. Pause as soon as you become conscious to do so, breathe and become reflective. Is this new or a trigger from the past? What do I have control over? What can I do? What can I change? What do I need to let go of?
  3. This may take 5 minutes or it might go on for weeks or longer. Journal, pray, meditate or speak with a trusted friend or counselor.
  4. From this place of inner reflection, create an action step. It may be to simply breathe and move on or there may be various outer actions that need to happen.
  5. Know that life is very much like flying a plane. Pilots are rarely on course in their flight plan. They arrive at their destination by constantly correcting their course.
  6. Keep your vision clear and always make room for adjustments.

In the process of compassionately fostering resilience,
Françoise

Mar

12

Actualizing Your Yoga and Renew, Rejuvenate and Retreat in Spain

By Francoise Netter

After five years of contemplation, we finally have a trip to Spain planned in June.  In the last blog I spoke about slowing down and doing something different. Traveling with purpose can be the positive jolt we need. Why Spain? Why 2012?

Since I was a child, I’ve observed, sometimes much to my chagrin, that I am not only “The Princess and The Pea” in terms of sensitivity but I often act as a conduit for trends happening in my cultural environs. The Barcelona area and the coast of Spain have been calling me energetically for years. Is it the Catalonian culture or is there something powerful and transformational that this environment holds? The sea, to me is not only a place of comfort and rejuvenation; it also holds a mysterious element that speaks to our souls. Every time I’ve been to the Mediterranean, I have been awestruck by the turquoise balmy waters and by the beauty of the landscape infused with a combination of ruggedness and paradise-like charm. To be able to travel as a group to play, learn, grow and shift on foreign soil, not only seems timely, but insistent.

I’ve noticed that as much as we are extreme in this country—I’m either feasting or on a diet, I’m either spending or spend-thrift—I’m either single or passionately in love–I’m either busy and have no time or I have plenty of time and no money—we need a new model of living that it begins with balance. Traveling with purpose (fun and knowledge) affords us that possibility. When we change things up like traveling to a foreign country and combine that with a theme, Renewal Retreat, we not only shift our daily habits, but we also infuse our consciousness with new possibilities that we could never have conceived of in our ordinary lives. Sometimes we are forced to make these changes by circumstances that occur over which we seem to have no control. How much more empowering to make these small changes ourselves before our personal world imposes them by shaking things up.

This trip to Spain has the promise and intent to create the next steps in your life. It will engage you to make a difference in the most positive and life generating way. I invite you to join us on this journey. It can happen. It is happening.  For more information go to www.bodyminddynamics.org/retreat.

Feb

7

Salary Enhancement Courses For Educators and Their Students

By Francoise Netter

Education is my passion. Having taught some form of the arts since I was twenty, I have worked in every type of private and public institution. I’ve juggled a myriad of part time jobs. I have worked with pre-school to older adults and every population in between including in Universities, Colleges, Elementary, Middle Schools and High Schools. I have been a consultant and an artist-in-residence. But nowhere was I more challenged, then when I became a full time teacher in Colorado. I also never exceeded $35,000.00 in salary and that was 7 years ago. Now I work with the educators themselves with the intention of changing one classroom at a time.

I can sincerely state from personal experience that educators are some of the most under-appreciated, underpaid and over-worked professionals in this country and yet they have probably the most challenging and important roles. They wear more hats than most people could ever fathom and are responsible literally for the future of our society through the educating and often raising of our children.

In so many ways, I am blessed to be able to teach educators what I have studied and practiced for most of my adult life. And now, more than ever, it appears to be urgently relevant to integrate these principles into every aspect of learning and education. Creativity, body/mind wellness, kinesthetic learning, balance and integration need to be incorporated into the academic curriculum. I watch as my teachers are forced to comply with standards that have nothing to do with their students’ needs or learning skills. When they incorporate breathing, movement and creativity development into the academic curriculum, the students respond with enthusiasm and the results are both exceptional and multi-faceted.

For right now, it is a win-win. Educators are able to increase their earnings and satisfy continued education credits while incorporating life-changing ideas, lesson plans and practical applications that can make a difference in their students’ lives and their academic achievements. But what if we could overhaul the system with a more integrated approach that allowed both the teachers and the students to excel, be self-responsible and love learning?

Just imagine what education might be like. Imagine what contributions our future generations would make if they loved attending school and being part of an extraordinary system of learning that satisfied individual needs as well as the needs of the community. And finally imagine a world where educators were valued and paid the way we treat celebrities and top athletes.

To find out more about Educator courses, related seminars, in-service courses at your district and the retreat in Spain, please go to: www.bodyminddynamics.org or contact us at: fenetter@yahoo.com.

Oct

20

Review of INATS and Sharing Your Unique Gifts

By Francoise Netter

The following article was originally published in my column, “Actualizing Your Yoga” in 2011. I hope you enjoy it. – FEN

Review of International New Age Tradeshow and Sharing Your Unique Gifts

In this month’s column, I’m going to stray off the traditional subject of Yoga and report on a memorable tradeshow and related topics that deal with today’s current issues. In the process, we’ll bring it back to “Actualizing Your Yoga”.

In late June, I attended the INATS (International New Age Tradeshow) in Denver where leading Metaphysical and New Age publishers, authors, entrepreneurs and other vendors gathered to advertise and sell their products to retail buyers and metaphysical bookstores. There were a wonderful array of jewelry vendors and a wide variety of everything you might need for meditation, calling in your angels or exploring other divination tools as well as books, calendars, statues and crystals.

What I found surprising was the amount of new quality products being marketed by the creators, authors and entrepreneurs themselves. Self-publishing seems to be the new route for many talented New Age authors and artisans. Although Hay House, Llewellyn, and other recognized publishers were justifiably profiled, it was the lesser known authors and artists that I found most impressive. For example, Roth Taylor who created The Circle and Robin and Frederico of Xterling who created the Mayan Oracle jewelry and cards had not just extraordinary products that were well designed, but they carried a signature message of hope, humility and transformation.

In this time of financial, ecological and global uncertainty, not only do we need the courage to market new products but we are also being called to create products that are actually going to help others through the present stresses, uncertainties and doubts that many are facing today. What some are heralding as the end of the Mayan calendar, others profess this time as a turning point in consciousness for all of humanity.

In this years INATS, it was the “unknowns” non-celebrities sharing their creativity and wisdom that stood out for me. It is not just the Entertainment or Sports industry that idolizes celebrities, but the Business world and what we call the New Age markets that tend to glamorize certain individuals. It feels timely to take the fame and fortune out of wisdom and emphasize the knowledge and practical applications that many are coming forward to share.

I remember when I was living in Southern California for the first three months of 2011, I heard Michael Beckwith share that we each are being called to not only be our ”best selves” but to share our unique gifts with the world. That might mean sharing with our neighbor, our family or to share our insights in a public way. I do believe something unique is happening globally. Part of it may be due to the access of technology, but I believe it is much more.

What are you being called to discover and share? What are the changes that you are feeling internally and how can you express those changes positively and dynamically? How can you contribute more of who you are in areas of your life you may never have imagined possible?

This month instead of just practicing the physical Asanas (poses) see how you can take the next steps to becoming more of who you are, to sharing that uniqueness and to contributing in new and more expansive ways. Let courage and commitment be part of your internal ”mantra “ and enjoy this path of “Actualizing Your Yoga”.

Namaste on this dynamic path,
Françoise

© 2011,  Françoise E. Netter, M.A.

May

30

Reflections on Sex And The City 2 as Actualizing Your Yoga

By Francoise Netter

After a much-anticipated wait, I finally saw Sex And The City 2 last night. I am a Sex And The City aficionado and follower. Although I did not start watching until after the show ended on HBO and was on my local channel as reruns, I saw every episode at least 5 times and loved the first movie. OK, for those of you following my blog and column, Actualizing Your Yoga, you may wonder what this article has to do with Yoga or spirituality. Let me explain.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story line of Sex And The City, it is about the lives of 4 thirty-fifty something women living in NYC and the very real and sometimes not so real dramas that these women go through. It started as a story line of 4 modern single women and then follows and documents how their lives transform over a 12-year period of time to the present.

In Sex And The City 2, we encounter these women at the peak of their lives. All of them, to a large part, are living their dream lives. Carrie is married to Mr. Big, the love of her life, is a successful author and is living in a dream apartment in NYC with all the amenities anyone could hope for. Charlotte has the husband and two children she has pined for all of her life. Miranda is a successful attorney and has a great home life and Samantha is as successful, beautiful, sexy and happily single as ever.

Although, Sex And The City 2, in my opinion, unlike its predecessors, was filled with unnecessary subterfuge and fillers, it nonetheless, addresses an ageless theme that we humans have been dealing with forever: the subject of “more”. The Yogis base much of this conundrum on their science and philosophy. Although all 4 ladies seemingly have everything they ever wanted, they are either unhappy, bored, frustrated or plainly defiant. Most of us still live under the assumption that if we are able to fulfill our deepest desires, we will be happy. Even New Age proselytizers coach us on how to manifest our desires and create our reality through focusing our thoughts and minds.

Yet, the Yogis remind us that our minds are constantly changing like monkeys jumping from limb to limb searching for the next best banana. Just like monkeys, no matter what we receive, achieve or accumulate we (our minds) always want “more”.  It does not seem to matter whether we are materialistic or spiritually focused; without attentiveness towards this tendency, we all can fall victim to the” more “ syndrome, thereby circumventing satisfaction and ultimate contentment.

The Yogis tell us chasing things external to ourselves will never fully satisfy us and that our human nature will always want “more”. So what are we to do besides to want nothing?

Interestingly, if not subtly, the girls in Sex And The City 2 personally begin to address this very issue. They speak truthfully, adjust their attitudes and embrace an attitude of gratitude. If we are aware of this tendency that we can never be fully satisfied with outer conditions, we can still create goals and take action while remembering to mind our tendency to want “more” and like anything unruly and repetitive in our lives, reign it in and readjust our attitudes.

So, as you embrace your next steps in life and goals to create your dreams and desires, remember to stay connected to the journey rather then the end result. There will always be “more” so as the Yogis say, enjoy the now.

In peaceful pursuit,
Françoise

Dec

31

Welcome to the Body/Mind Dynamics Blog

By Francoise Netter

Welcome to the Body/Mind Dynamics blog.

Stop back frequently to check new blog posts – or click the link to subscribe via RSS.