We Belong Together

We Belong Together

Greetings Dear Friends,

We belong together. Every one of us is being tested in extreme and unprecedented ways. We have a network that can help us serve and support each other. Now is the time.

As we prepare for our next worldwide community dance, please pause with me. Let’s pause to pray and extend our love right now. So many of our people are on the front lines of this struggle. Fevers. Few supplies. Family members in highly compromised situations. Fear overcoming faith. Lack of access to finances of any kind. Addictions creeping in. No access to water, literally no water. And many folks are still working out in the world on the daily.

Thank you to all noble souls for serving on hotlines and on the front lines.

So many of us are experiencing the truth of how thin the veils are right now. Loving and healing spiritual energies are pouring towards us, seen and unseen. We can open to that truth. We are in this together. We know this terrain. When in the midst of an initiatory rite of passage, we keep breathing in the spiritual support while orienting towards life. As we respect the presence of death, every moment offers us the opportunity to make life-giving choices.

We discipline our minds. Keep our hearts wide open. Continue to unwind the activation in our bodies so that we can keep returning to the safe and sacred ground within. We make conscious choices all day long. That is real. We show up, speak up, and serve generously when we have extra. And, we grow silent when it is time to reset. That is the golden way. We reach across time and space growing healing bridges of peace, inside and out.

We know that the time to share like never before is upon us.

So here is what we are doing right now from the Golden Bridge center to the world.

  • We are raising and sharing financial resources to support our beloved community members who need the very basics, water, soap, a meal. If you can help us raise money, please do. As I mentioned above, we have students in very high need. You know some of these mighty souls from our summertime Movement Mass dances or from our Creative Liberation performances. We can accept PayPal or credit card donations via our Movement Mass Online webpage. 100% of your tax-deductible dollars will go to the Golden Bridge young leaders in need around the world.
  • We are offering ongoing online healing and educational gatherings for the SomaSource and Golden Girls Global communities around the world. We will expand these to the wider community in April.
  • We also hope to share some additional online courses that have been in the queue, readying to emerge. Stay tuned for more on this soon as well.
  • And of course, we will continue to offer Movement Mass online. Below are the details about how to join us for these weekly times of deep movement, a collective reset.

Movement Mass this coming Sunday, March 29th, we are going to shift our platform so that we can connect more fully. We want to move from the inside out in ways that nourish our hunger for healthy social connection. Therefore, Zoom will be our path forward.

On Sunday at 11 am MST, sign up on our Movement Mass Online webpage to receive a Zoom link to dance with us live. A video of the dance will be posted on YouTube Sunday afternoon.

Dear friends, let’s keep mobilizing and resting, allowing all the ways that we are being moved to wake us up.

Together.
In life.
And love.
?
Melissa

“THERE IS NO PLACE THE SPIRITS CANNOT TRAVEL. THERE IS NOWHERE YOUR LOVE CANNOT BE FELT – JUST FOCUS IT LIKE A LASER BEAM OF WONDROUS SPIRIT LIGHT. IT LIVES INSIDE YOU, ALL THE TIME, READY TO EMERGE!”

Blessings, Mitakuye Oyasin,(Mitakuye Oyasin)
Dr. Maria Michael
www.drmariamichael.com

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Let’s Take Care of Each Other

Let’s Take Care of Each Other

Hello Dear Dancers,

For many of us, conscious movement is one of our enduring allies during this time of rigorous initiation. In fact, it feels like a lifeline for some of us, a way to get down into the struggle and give it a place to express and transform, along with being a way to move beyond the story into the courage and Grace that is here to help us along.

We are thus committed to offering our Sunday Morning Movement Mass journeys every week for the long haul. Our Golden Bridge community has been gathering for over thirty years, consciously moving through rugged thresholds of many kinds: floods and fires, births and deaths, youth rites of passage journeys, cancer, generations of people coming home to themselves, despite and because of it all.

Please join us again this Sunday for our online Movement Mass. Last weekend’s event seemed to deeply nourish. Release and relief, settling the nervous systems of many. We were grateful to offer this to the global community as a resource. (If you missed last week’s dance, you can watch it here: Online Movement Mass, March 15th, 2020)

Let’s keep taking care of each other in this ancient and enduring way.

This Sunday, March 22nd, we will gather again via live-stream on YouTube. This dance is open to all and easy to share with beloved ones around the world. We may shift our platform overtime. For now, this is what is happening. Please, join us on the journey!

In the spirit of taking good care of each other, please consider how you can also support this experience. We welcome your contributions, your social networking, even your open-source music. We would love for this work to be available to any and all who want to join in on this movement.

Below, you can find information about how Movement Mass has supported emerging leaders around the world. They need our alliance now more than ever. Thank you for serving the wider community with us.

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 11am MST. You can join the live-stream on our YouTube channel or our Online Movement Mass Page.

Thank you dear friends.

I’ll see you on Sunday in the dance.
In faith and fierce devotion to life.
?
Melissa

A note about Movement Mass proceeds:


At this time, we are choosing to offer this event on a donation basis. Please simply make a donation for any amount you are able. Movement Mass has not changed its suggested donation range for over 10 years. Your $12-18 means the world to the world!!!

If you are unable to contribute financially, please share your energy for this work. You are welcome, no matter your circumstances.

And if you are able to contribute more, even in these rocky times, we would be grateful. Golden Bridge is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Every penny goes directly to the young leaders ready to show up and serve in these times.

For decades, the proceeds from Movement Mass have significantly helped us tend to hundreds of emerging leaders around the world, many of whom live in financially under-resourced communities. Their day-to-day lives are extremely challenging. They are leaders for all of us, brilliant and resilient. Together, our work is rippling out through many of these embodied global leaders, everywhere from Pine Ridge to South India, from the Congo to Rocinha in Brazil, from Baltimore to borders in the Middle East. Many of you know these lightworkers. We remain dedicated to working in alliance with these beloved students/colleagues, near and far. The resources from Movement Mass help make that possible.

Above all, come. Let’s be together in the dance!

And if you are inspired, please share this work with your friends and family. Invite them to meet us online at GoldenBridge.org. Share the dance links with others who might benefit from a little positive shaky-shake. Share your photos of yourself dancing around the world on our Facebook page. Or simply, take good care of your precious selves.

“Amidst the storms of change and tragedy that increasingly characterize modern life, places of refuge are needed. One place to look for refuge is deep inside oneself. When we catch the mostly invisible, but often audible thread of calling the soul awakens to its genuine dream of life. If we follow this subtle thread of soul we move closer to the places of deep resonance and harmony that are part of our inner nature and secretly part of great nature as well. Amidst the cacophony of a world gone wrong we can still find the music and rhythm of the body and the song set within the soul.”

–Michael Meade. 4/29/15

Originally sent to our MailChimp list ~ please join us to keep in the loop and get notices like this in your inbox.
Movement Mass is Moving Online

Movement Mass is Moving Online

Dear Dancing Community,

With respect for our individual and community health, we are choosing to pause our in-person Movement Mass events. We will be moving together online every Sunday for the next many weeks.

We are in process of designing a sustainable way of offering a regular Movement Mass dance experience online. In the meantime, we are called to offer everyone a one-time mini-Movement Mass this Sunday with Melissa Michaels. Dancing feels more essential now than ever. This week’s movement experience will be shared via email, free and available to all.

Please join us.

Of course, dancing from our living room is different than being on the dance floor together, but this is what our practice is all about.

We dance through everything!

This Sunday, we look forward to coming home to our resilient selves, our still center, and the Spirit moving us. This dance experience aims to still be potent and of course, different!

Sunday, March 15th. We will send an email to all on this list-serve with a link to a video. Look for the message around 11am. Let’s keep our regular Movement Mass date.

Through rhythm and breath, we will explore body-centered pathways that support our movement through these dynamic times with ever more consciousness, collective care, calm.

And love.
?
Melissa

p.s. If you’d like to invite a friend to join our first online Movement Masshere is the link for them to sign up.

Hafiz says:
“Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I’d like to see you in better living conditions.”

A brilliant perspective on these times.
Let’s breathe and bend together.

angleofvision.org/2020/03/03/resilience-coronavirus
— Deep respect and gratitude to author Michael Olmstead

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Looking Back (2019 in Review)

Looking Back (2019 in Review)

Dear Friends,

We hope you have had a regenerative holiday season.

Hello 2020!

We have lots to share with you. As you will see from the below, we were busy in 2019. And, we’ve been full-on working together to create positive portals for the year to come.

Portals. Gateways. Mystical Doorways.
Spaces where the miraculous can be invoked and manifest.

Looking back and looking forward, we recognize that this is what we are up to. Golden Bridge.

Connecting this world and That.
Connecting inside and out.
Connecting soul with the call of the world.
Connecting seemingly unrelated people.

All through ancient and contemporary ways of learning, leading, being, mobilizing.
The dance!

Our Golden Bridge community around the world is blessed to have the dance as a portal through which we can wake up praying. In the dance, we can not only place our humble requests on the altar of the Beloved, but in the dance, we can hear the whispers. As our bodies move and our souls ignite, the mind quiets. Our hearts, burning in the truth of what is, create the soft ground for the sacred news to be received. Who to call. How to respond to the call, the undeniable stirring of our innermost beings.

Together, we focus our laser vision on waking up and paying attention to what is going on, so that we can also hear the whispers of how to proceed and with whom.

These are some of the ways our Golden Bridge community is moving with that call.

 

Looking back and looking forward!

Teamwork


First and foremost, I want to thank my brilliant young colleagues who help me make this work happen in the world. Golden Bridge is blessed to be woven together mostly by the very same people who have come of age in our work. On and off the dance floor, we are graced with open and loving souls who are somatically savvy and ready to help us all upshift our game in the world. We have a core team and diverse leaders that join us for special programs, all mighty artists, healers, and teachers!

There is one person who I sing with joy to be working with at this time. My beloved firstborn daughter, Mariah, is now working diligently with us to help grow our community in grounded and sustainable ways. Not only does she have the bravery to call me out, but she has the practical training and compassionate heart to help us all grow forward in new ways. After a very spicy mother/daughter dance through Mariah’s adolescence, it is truly a miracle that we are able to align and serve together. In fact, we just offered our first Mother/Daughter podcast together! Sex. Soul. And Service.

With the rest of our gifted and devoted team, Maren, Sarita, Abigail, and Ariana on the daily, the following good news is made possible! Enjoy.

South America Dancing. 2019. 2020.


Altar at Espaco Aberto dance studio in Rocinha
Our Golden Bridge team received a warm, actually hot, welcome in Brazil and Argentina last February. We found a deep current of flow with our students and colleagues there. Dancing with the sea and through a hurricane, we sure felt the power of the waters, the free moving ones, and the torrential ones.

As our apartment windows blew in and water poured into our rooms through the night, we understood more deeply what it is to live on the edge in these times of climate chaos. Our beloved student/colleagues living in the favela nearby were hit by the storm in a way that most of us cannot fathom. Some homes were literally washed away.

A small team of us will return to Brazil this coming February to continue the moving conversation with these fine soul friends. We are woven by our devotion to the many generations to come, using dance to help heal and catalyze liberation. While there, we will create a film sharing the stories of our shared work, celebrating how SomaSource is soaring in many places around the world. This film will serve as a way to inspire support for our friends living in Rocinha. In the spirit of learning about each other, if you don’t know what Rocinha is, please take the time to do some research about the home of some of our beloved colleagues.

Social Justice. Always. All ways.


Sign Language Performance by Golden Bridge community during Creative Liberation

Learning about and considering how best to align with people whose lives are different than our own is a foundation of Golden Bridge. We focus on how our work serves to build bridges across divides of all kinds and how we can create pathways for healing the impacts of oppression on the people we love.

In Golden Bridge, we respect that the contemporary rite of passage initiatory experience is unfolding in the spaces between us. Learning how to bring the spirit of transformation, healing, reconciliation, and reparations into our meetings with one another is critical to the sustainability of all life. This collective waking up is initiatory and mandatory. Learning about one another’s socio-cultural locations is essential. Considering our impacts on one another must become a way of life. Cultivating pathways for healthy expression of truth and the courage to do so is imperative. Recognizing how our privileges impact the oppressive realities of our beloved community members is an ongoing responsibility. Providing access to opportunities for learning and leading to the multitude of under-resourced people, people who need to be honored in just and equitable ways is a mandate.

“The plea is simple – look at it.”
– James Baldwin
 

In our Golden Bridge community work, we aim to “look at it” and to be humbled by our blind spots as they reveal themselves. In our highly diverse community, we courageously embrace the rugged terrain of learning to love one another through the day-to-day struggles, on and off the dance floor. We respect that we are on a dancing path together that reaches far beyond the dance hall. How we use our language, our money, our time, all of our resources are reflections of how we embody this strong intention to be a just and inclusive community. We are always learning.

Within Golden Bridge, we have been consciously considering our work through a social justice lens for decades. This includes deep inquiry into vast and complex issues related to race, class, gender, ability, religion, culture, language, and age, for a few. We are learning how to share what we know and discover what we do not know. We have been initiated again and again through community breakdown and breakthrough. We look forward to growing with you through this sacred and essential work. Let’s keep looking at it together.

Our private online courses for SomaSource students will be released to the public in 2020. Let us know if you are interested in being in the conversation with us: office@goldenbridge.org. We look forward to sharing more with you about our social justice lens, our team, our writings, and our courses when we launch our website later this month.

Through it all, we respect that “The work is never done.”

May we all daily deepen our ongoing social justice awakenings, through study, listening, and in how we show up every-moment as devoted students of the equity, justice, and peace.

Trilogy Gender Dances


Shakti Sisterhood. Divine Siblinghood. Benevolent Brotherhood.

Performance by Third Gender community leaders during Creative Liberation

Looking back, our trilogy work with three genders truly came of age this past year. Dancing in three separate spaces, Shakti Sisterhood, Divine Siblinghood, and Benevolent Brotherhood unfolded concurrently. Each group returned empowered and beyond delighted to be in a group where there was such spacious gender resonance.

Remixing our process, we will reopen this portal in community this summer, 2020. Save the dates: Gender Trilogy 2020. July 24th & 25th. Details to come.

In the meantime, we will also host Circling Up events for women in 2020. The next one is in Boulder, February 29th, a potent time to reconnect with the deep feminine current of life moving through us, individually and as sisters. (Save the date for October 25th, NYC)

In celebration of all genders, please enjoy this film short of some of the men sharing their reflections on the work of Benevolent Brotherhood during our annual Creative Liberation Show. Masculine magic! ↓

A film by John March and Aloc Media (www.alocmedia.com)

Refugees. Resilience. Rising.


Some of the young people who are coming of age in our community have faced genocide and dislocation in unfathomable ways. Their resilience is inspiring. Their nobility of spirit stunning. Their graciousness a gift.

As we witness so much inhospitableness towards immigrants and refugees in our country, our Golden Bridge team is doing whatever we can to become the antidote to these social toxins, a phrase Elder Paul Hill offered to us all. For the past many years, a small group of us have been leading Moms On the Move, a group for refugee single moms resettled in the Denver area. Their lives are not easy. Having a place to gather, create, converse, and dream has been moving medicine for all.

We have also been blessed to form creative alliances with some of our beloved friends from the DRC. Our shared work includes creating performance pieces bringing light to the challenges faced, launching and mentoring youth initiatives for resettled refugee young people, creating arts-based empowerment circles, along with creating warm and safe ways for families to settle and launch in this new land. Please join us in this work if you are moved. Each season, the needs of these soul friends are different. We will share the stories of their inspired lives and work here in the future.

For now, we are so excited to share more with you all about our coming of age work with girls as it ripples from Boulder back to the DRC. And please join us on July 22nd when we launch Golden Girls Global, films and conversation sharing the stories of our work with girls around the world.

SomaSource Summer Institute: 2019. 2020.


Our SomaSource Summer Institute is always epic, students joining us from around the world for three weeks of intensive study, healing, and community creativity. One of my favorite moments this past summer was our SomaSource in the World day. We began to hear how our student/ colleagues are carrying this body-centered work out into the world in innovative ways, from the creation of an indigenous arts school for Tamil children in South India, to our embodied menstrual health teachings unfolding in China, Brazil, South Africa, The Congo, Zimbabwe, India, and across the US.

Our new website, launching January 2020, will share more about these abundant leaders working on the ground around the world.

And again, from 4-6pm on July 22nd, 2020, we will launch Golden Girls Global, our initiative weaving together the diverse young women doing the coming of age work with girls. Our work runs four generations deep in some communities around the world. We are so excited to share more with you about this. Save the date!

Did you know that many of our students/colleagues from around the world arrive at our SomaSource Summer Institute in need of basic health care? We are able to provide many with gynecological and sexual health care when they come to Boulder. Our beloved midwives, Jen Dossett, Lorrain Fairmont, Jenn Barr, and Lo Kawulok, offer their time and good care to support the basic health of our students. What a gift!!! Golden Bridge then raises the funds to pay for all of the tests needed. Sometimes, our students also arrive never having been to the dentist. Naturally, in the abundance of Boulder, we help them get teeth cleaned, cavities filled, teeth pulled. For so many of us, these are the basics. Yet around the world, for so many, this kind of basic care is a luxury.

You are always welcome to help support these mighty leaders. Their initiatives often need financial support. And, they truly welcome help with their basic health care. If you feel called to support our leaders’ projects financially or with direct health care during our Summer Institute, please contact our office at office@goldenbridge.org.

Of course, so much of our healing work together happens on the dance floor. Our hallmark rites of passage program, Surfing The Creative, was potent last summer. We were joined by dear old friends, some who we have not seen for over a decade. We love this ritual. If you want to learn more about this rite of passage part of our work, please check out Youth On Fire: Birthing a Generation of Embodied Global Leaders. Or, join us for our upcoming online course rooted in this work. Look for that in 2020. Our next on the ground full Surfing The Creative will be in Boulder, summer 2021.

This coming summer, 2020, we will focus on the deep work of preparing to graduate the second cohort of SomaSource practitioners. Warriors of the highest order! Meet some of them here! ↓

A film by John March and Aloc Media (www.alocmedia.com)

The Dance. Ongoing. Special Events.


Our work continues weekly year-round on Sundays in Boulder. I am so delighted to be joined by the next generation leaders when I am not in town. They are gifted and inspired. Please join us in the basic practice of showing up and finding our ground, moving through our grit, and opening into Grace. Movement Mass 2020.

It will be my great joy to dive deeply into the dance with seasoned students of this work for a three-week pop-up class this March. This is my root and my favorite way of being in the work. Open space. Full bodies. New edges. Join me if you would like more one-on-one witnessing and conscious discovery, together. DEPTH. March 3, 10, 17, evenings.

And finally, as we look back, we remember REVIVAL, a sweet time of reunion and celebration. Springtime. Dear old friends. New friends joining us on the dance floor to welcome all that is budding. We will do it again this year. What a gift it will be to gather together to honor the miracle of new life, especially in these times. The return from the winter. Let’s keep tending that good soil, sowing seeds of hope together. Please plan to join us again this year for this one evening gathering of dancing souls in ceremony. April 10th in the evening.

2020 will bring many more dances to our communities near and far.

Portals.

We remain dedicated to liberating and mobilizing
bodies, hearts, and souls in service to life and the Spirit moving us all.

Hope.


In closing, I would like to introduce you to the young woman on the header of this newsletter. Antonia. I met Antonia on a random street in Namibia. She was selling beautiful beaded hearts, my very favorite craft in the world. We began to talk.

She begins, Are you from the United States? Yes, I am. I say. I am going to college there next year. Really, where? Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh? That is where I am from. What school?

I paused when I heard what school. I think to myself, that is not the right place for this young woman. I ask her what she wants to study. Antonia tells me that she is valedictorian of her high school. She wants to be a social entrepreneur to help her mama work with youth in the slums. Her mom comes out of the small makeshift shop to meet me.

We hug as if we are long lost sisters. Tears well up in both of us. We sense that something significant is afoot. Within half an hour of meeting, Antonia is signed up to come to dance with us in Boulder for Surfing The Creative. And, we are in agreement that I will help her find the right school for her very important studies. I leave Namibia the next day.

Upon landing in the US, when I reached out to the admissions director of Watson University at Lynn (a school focused on social entrepreneurship), I serendipitously learned that she would be on my final flight back into Denver the next day. Of course, you know the rest of the story. Within days, Antonia applied and was accepted on a potent scholarship for a three-year undergraduate degree. Bam! A soul date is kept, and hope is strengthened for every one of us in this process.

Deep breath!

Friends, we must still believe. There is so much grace and goodness in the world. Together, we can and must build new pathways for healthy connection.

Magic happens.

Join me there.
It takes courage, day to day outrageousness, and pure love … in action.

In 2019, we had a world-wide wake-up call. Let’s keep our 2020 vision in focus as we continue to deconstruct what is not working, use our privileges to create what can work, while continuing to mobilize to support the best outcomes for the most.

With fierce courage and faith.
Let’s go!
Melissa

Awaken into this new year. Let every breath be a prayer.
An offering. An invocation. A way of being. Mobilize friends.
It is time to WAKE UP PRAYING

Wake Up Praying

Wake Up Praying

Wake Up Praying!

Before we open our eyes each blessed day. Before we start the to do list. Before we look in the eyes of our beloved or drink in the golden rays of the sun rising. Before we look at our cell phones, OMG. Before we jump out of bed to tend to children or work responsibilities. Let us PRAY.

This is a time to wake up praying.

Dear G-d, help us heed your call to action, waking up in the face of so much disaster and disconnection.

Gracious Spirit, show us the way. Help each of us become the way.

Pray on the toilet, in the trenches, on the subway, while cooking eggs, while rushing out the door, while trembling in terror, while talking to a recording on the other end of the phone. Pray for the miraculous.

Why not make it all a prayer!

Goddex, please keep a close eye on the little children crying through the night hungry and far away from home. Lord, guide us to take action in ways that keeps the earth’s breath alive. Mother, help us find our faith. Father, protect this boy becoming man as he transforms the disease in his body.

Awaken, letting every breath be a prayer.

2019 has sure been a WAKE UP CALL. So for our last Movement Mass of the year, let’s digest and reset, preparing the way by praying together with every blessed breath.

An offering. An invocation. A way of being.

Mobilize friends. It is time to WAKE UP PRAYING.

I’ll see you on the dance floor for our last Golden Bridge dance of 2019!

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