TRANSITIONS are on my mind…the big ones reshape us...who we are, what we do and think, and how we see the world, like that first day in school, and then graduations—at every level, leaving home, our first real job, entering a committed relationship, becoming a parent, divorce, losing a close loved one, changing jobs/occupations, achieving a major goal after intense effort. With each we find ourselves in a “new life” to some extent.

There are also the small transitions when we examine our lives and find things that are not working, deciding to consciously change through new habits and focus. This year…2012…is supposed to be the beginning of a new world, filled with change, according to the Mayan calendar. Whatever your beliefs, accepting change and looking for the positive possibilities at hand can bring out the best of any transition. For every door closing there are always new ones waiting to open.

In the life of my family, May transitions included two graduations for granddaughters. Kira completed her BA at San Diego State in International Security and Conflict Resolution (Magna Cum Laude!) and Krista is heading off to high school. Oh what memories these moments bring back!

My friend Marie Beswick-Arthur made one of those “leap off the cliff” type transitions…all or nothing, working long, long hours with nearly manic determination. At the end of each step, she barely stops to breathe before heading for the next target. I know you want to know what she is doing, but I’m sworn to secrecy. As soon as the wraps come off, I’ll fill you in. I only share this item as a reminder that we can override any blocks and difficulties when we really commit to something.

My tango buddy Nanette has begun a gradual transition by spending the past eight months in Puerto Vallarta, creating a new life and pursuing her tango goals…building the community here and other exciting projects. She has brought amazing teachers who have pushed us to new places in our dances. December ‘11 with Laura Pellegrino and Tomás Corbalán followed by Jaimes Friedgen and Christa Rodriguez in March ‘12. Jaimes and Christa will be back in March ’13…I think they liked it here. And on Sundays, Nanette presents her Sunday Sunset Milonga and Latin Dance Party at the Hotel Rosita on the Malcon in Centro (the first hotel in Vallarta). All the tango news for PV is on our new Facebook page.

With all of these opportunities, my changing tango life includes dancing the lead, and I love it. I still follow and enjoy the experience as much as ever, but leading lets me move with the music as my body feels it. And Buenos Aires is once again in my plans. After four years of working on house and garden in La Cruz, I am off to visit one of my favorite big cities.

What is the passion that drives you to do more than check off a list of errands and jobs? The thing that makes time disappear as you stalk an inspiration, a solution, the concept, the idea. The thing that makes your eyes sparkle, when you start to tell someone what you are up to. If it has been awhile since you had a burning passion, perhaps it’s time to dig out an old list of “things to do someday before it is all over”…like the bucket list…and dive right in.

The psychologist Erik Erikson established a well-known model of the eight stages of life. Each possessing its own set of challenges, which shape our relationship to ourselves and the world around us. It begins as we learn from our mothers to trust or mistrust the world and ourselves. In the next 16.5 years we pass quickly through five more phases! Then things slow down, and somewhere around 55 or 65 we arrive at the last phase.
"Erikson felt that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and the last stage is recovering from it."
(© Copyright 2002, Revised 2012, Arlene F Harder, MA, MFT).
Many of us would agree with that, I’m sure. But it is also a time for looking back and deciding if we have done what we set out to do and if we have left a contribution.

I’m still tweaking the package…always looking for new ideas to explore and ways to expand my experience of life and move to deeper levels. The ever-changing pile of books…by my chair, my breakfast table, my bed…will attest to that. Some interesting titles from this winter and spring included: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie, and Taming Your Gremlin: A Guide to Enjoying Yourself by Richard Carson. I also discovered Access Bars through my friend Crystal Ra Laksmi. Access Bars work is a bit like defragging your brain!! Getting rid of all the “junk” that is no longer useful and getting in our way. The day after Crystal Ra did a session with me, I felt like I had lost 40 pounds! I think it is a bit too soon to look back; I’m still in forward gear!

Not being short on passionate projects, I can get too spread out. This year I finally had to slim down the list and focus. My choice…expanding Organic Stretching® with more workshops and soon teacher training seminars. Knowing what the system has done for me and students in my classes fires my excitement to move it on to a bigger stage. The next workshop is scheduled for July 20 – 22 in Bloomington, IL, at Main Street Yoga. If you’re going to be in the area or have friends who are, check it out!
I’d love to see you!

Have a great summer and keep cool,


Kira the graduate


Jaimes and Christa

Puerto Vallarta Tango

Dancing while the sun sets

Sunday Milongas

My friend Crystal Ra

Organic Stretching® my passionate work



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