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

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!