What a year!

So low. So high.

This year has revealed to us all both the majesty of the human spirit and the most-base capacities we humans have to dishonor life.

Within our Golden Bridge community, we aim to assist in the healing, the repair, and the birthing of inclusive and just ways so that we can create a sustainable and beautiful future. And we are tested in real life, just like everyone else.

This past year, we welcomed into life precious and resilient babies, too many that significantly struggled as they entered the world, all who are now thriving.

We said goodbye to a beloved young surfer whose departure from this world has our community on our knees. Together we grieve. We pray and send gratitude, songs, poetry, all love to our sweetest of sisters who crossed the threshold WAY too soon. We will hold a light for you always, dear Amira Kiass.

May the memory of your unwavering loving kindness forever teach us about how to graciously be with one another.

Through it all, we keep orienting towards life.

We see how our fertile capacities are limitless, be it in the making of babies or projects for the world. This past year we made felt wombs, learning together to harness the power of our creativity despite any lack of access to sanitation and proper medical care. All of our international female leaders received gynecological care this year, most for the first time!

We wrote searing poems, created innovative theatre, together inviting humanity to see in personal ways the impacts of oppression on one another. We looked honestly into the collective mirror, ultimately uplifting each other into outrageous joy as we learned each other’s dances of liberation from around the world.

Please join us for a moment of reflection as we more specifically look back. We share this to celebrate and to educate. At our recent Fundraiser at Movement Mass, a woman came up to me and said, “I had no idea that you all did more than Movement Mass.” I smiled. “We sure do!”

Below are just a few specific images and stories of what we do year round and how our community’s work unfolded during the past year. Please check it out.

And for those of you wanting to join us going forward, many of our upcoming events are mentioned at the bottom. We will also be sending you our 2019 looking forward email next week with more details.

Dear friends, thank you all for a profoundly creative and inspired year.

The work is never done.

So we will just have to keep dancing!

With love,
Melissa

Golden Bridge in 2018

2018 began with two projects on the East Coast of the United States.

Raising my arms to the Divine, I Dj’d for Matthew Fox’s Cosmic Mass at the Washington National Cathedral. What a glorious space to open into!

In 2018, our gender offerings continued to deepen. We focused a great deal on the healing and liberation of the healthy feminine in every body, including in our gender queer and men’s spaces.

Shakti Sisters gathered to journey through the life cycles, deepening through our process of soul retrieval and developmental repair and initiation. This year, so many inspiring rising artists blessed us with their brilliant feminine creative wisdom. Shakti Sisters took to the stage, surprising us all as we shined our lights together.

This year we also hosted Adam Barley for Standing Up, a mighty weekend serving the evolution of the masculine. In connection, we offered a fall gathering for the feminine. Circling Up grounded us in spacious ways of being together in expanding respect and love. Summer of 2019, we will offer concurrent women’s, queer, and men’s gatherings! We continue to grow together within these sacred spaces. In fact, our Summer Institute will close with a performance called: Off the Spectrum.

Every summer, we host a learning institute, welcoming students from around the world for three body-centered weeks of study, creativity, and global peacemaking. Each summer’s curriculum builds upon the previous ones along with offering our rites of passage portal for new and seasoned students.

Last summer, we carried the gender work into our SomaSource summer institute with our international sisters. We studied the nature of our female fertility cycles and prepared to teach this material in our home communities around the world, in Kenya, China, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Europe, Uganda, India, Ecuador, Argentina, for a few. We deconstructed how systemic oppression has impacted the often unsafe and disempowering realities for women around the world as they begin their menstrual flow. We committed to helping to shift this reality, from how we care for our own bodies to how we educate ourselves to help change policy.

Claudine Migisha received and digested this information and immediately went to work. In a refugee camp in Zimbabwe, she used body-centered curriculum she developed to begin to teach the young women in her community about their changing bodies, hearts, and souls. This is one of the numerous profoundly grounded and inspired projects that are rising up around the world rooted in our SomaSource work, integrating the arts of body, heart, and soul into educational environments of many kinds.

This year we also had the honor of graduating the first formal class of SomaSource Practitioners. Most of these mighty leaders are familiar to you. They lead with me in many Golden Bridge environments: Movement MassSurfing The Creative, essentially in most everything we do. However, they each also have their own powerful ministries in the world, bringing their own flavor of our work to the frontiers of public schools, peace initiatives, the independent film world, the music industry, astrology, environmental education, college campuses, and many other inspiring scenes. Their detailed stories will be shared more fully this Spring. For now, please celebrate this group of GOLDEN leaders! Arisa Lafond, Abigail Lubahn, Johannah Reimer, Gabriel Cannon, Renee Sills, Jeremy Roske, Blythe Massey, Darren Silver, Meagan Chandler, Taliza Peterson-Mizrahi, Ramon Gabriellof-Parish, Sarita Rivard, Dayna Seraye, Jonathan Davis, Jennie Gershater-Lopez, Tara King, Hannah Loewenthal, Alyzabeth Anath, Jennifer Cain, Rafael Martinez, Rachael Bonaiuto, Catherine Douglas, Lalita Henderson, and Livia Cohen-Shapiro! It has been my honor to mentor these mighty souls for decades, each of them now standing by my side as trusted colleagues and allies.

We are aware that there are many others of you out there who could have been in this group. Great news! We are in the midst of weaving together our second cohort of SomaSource Practitioners. To join this group of leaders in training, there is a process of sorting out how your workshops and trainings with us from the past along with your professional skills interface with the required competencies for this certification. If you are a seasoned student of this work and are called to learn more, please reach out to Maren at the office@goldenbridge.org.

Speaking of Maren! This past year, we also made a massive collective shift into a new season of leadership within Golden Bridge. Last Spring our beloved friend, Martha Maloney, and I knew that change was upon us. Martha gifted us with years of practical and positive presence. She has now gone on to work in other inspiring spaces, staying close in heart always. Our new team is strong and happening after a few months of reshuffling. Maren Gauldin co-runs the Golden Bridge office, our growing school, and many things related to the meta vision of our work. Sarita Rivard and Taliza Mizrahi-Peterson continue to help mentor the young leaders. Abigail Lubahn will be supporting this layer of our work ever more too as the need expands. Mariah Tuffy is working with Sarita to produce our events around the world. Ariana Saraha works closely with us to create the beautiful images and pictorial storytelling of our work, always offering her finely tuned social media skills. And Leah D’Abate is brilliantly by my sidetracking the subtle needs of our maturing community weekly, seasonally, gracefully. Every day, we thank these special beings for sharing their love and focus with our community.

I also finally released Youth On Fire: Birthing A Generation of Embodied Global Leaders fully into the world. It had a few sputters along the way, but it is free and soaring into rites of passage, youth development, and somatic communities now. We offered a training this summer, based on the book for students from many parts of the world and many sectors of society. Our trainings for youth and adults alike are all rooted in the medicine shared in Youth On Fire. Writing that book was a labor of love. Please check it out if you are moved to learn how to deeply embody, unwind trauma through the dance, express your love more fully, open the wild untamed doors to your creativity, work with peoples of all genders, welcome in Elders, STOP oppression, build bridges of peace through the arts, and come home to yourself and the Earth through body-centered rites of passage. This is the work that Ancestor, Steve Cannon, once said “would change the world!” We sure hope it does! One nervous system at a time. One young person. One community at a time. Thank you for taking interest in this process and joining us as you are called. The book loves being read.

And next summer, we will host a full Surfing The Creative. There will be a remix of this work, a REUNION for dancers who have surfed in the past, a grounding for our community. The EARTH is urgently calling us to wake up into fierce and focused collective action. Together, we will galvanize.

In that spirit, our community has always tried to connect beyond our own borders.

This year we began to develop a very intimate relationship with our colleagues in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at the All Nations Gathering Center. We will be deepening into practical collaboration with these honorable friends in the years to come. A creative arts center is being visioned for the land there. The team is in the process of launching a dance school for the children and women on the reservation.

If you are inclined to support this work and kindred work around the world, please join us. You can donate online and earmark your donation for Pine Ridge. We will be donating some of the proceeds from the last of our 2018 Movement Mass proceeds to help launch this program with All Nations and Yolanda who came to Boulder last month to dance with us during Circling Up. So many of our children have abundant opportunities to study the arts. Let’s share.

We danced together for the past two decades every Sunday during Movement Mass. Hundreds of people gather, some who’ve come every week for years, others who come to visit our community from out of town. Janet Sentovich has stepped up to hold this piece with such grace and excellence. We are grateful to have such a potent community to gather with as we continue to deepen into our intimate relationship with the Spirit moving all of life.

And of course, we want to thank our donors. In early December, we had a successful annual fundraiser at Movement Mass, and we had many individuals and granting agencies donate throughout the year. Thank you to all of our donors and sponsors who gave generously this year! We couldn’t do this work without you.

Please join us for one final look back. We want to gift you with a very special treasure, a glimpse into our summer institute’s Creative Liberation performance. Please enjoy this potent snippet of the work done together deconstructing colonization and growing bridges of peace across culture, class, race, gender, religion, and ability. This full-length show is part of a series we are doing to generate peace. Through a process of collective creation of truthful and artful reflections of the ways things are around the world and the way they can become, we focus our gaze on healing and reconciliation.

Thank you for reflecting on some highlights from this past year with us. Some of this work is complete now. Some will continue forward. 

“…it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.”
~ Wendell Berry

Free Gift!

One wave from our double CD IGNITE: Music to accompany the journey through the SomaSource rite of passage process and your dances.

Embodying Life’s Rhythms is music to move get your body moving! This is a 13 minute full wave through all 5Rhythms® orchestrated by the Golden Bridge Rhythm Keepers. Sacred instruments woven into a layered tapestry of inspired sound. A daily warm up. A ceremonial doorway. A chance to simply dance!

Thank you for joining the dance!