Word Dancing.  Writing from my soul feels and looks like this!

I write from the inside out. Literally. I’m searching for a word and my hands start groping the air. Or I find myself wiggling in my seat or sometimes even standing up with my fingers still on the key board.

dancing for words Nelson GudaWords are important to me.  Even though I skipped out of school beginning with Kindergarten, the written word was my sanctuary.  Libraries and churches were my ‘safe space’.  Libraries were always walking distance or running distance if I were fleeing from domestic chaos. Quiet, orderly, and well lit spaces allowed me to sink into my body and then astro-project myself from inside a book.  Before yoga, the book taught me to tune in and then tune out.  Words enchanted me.  Then I projected my own personal movie reel in my head that came with custom surround sound.

Now as an adult, words continue to enchant me.   Words are a way for me to touch another being-transcending time and space. My desire to connect is insatiable. Connecting with others feeds my heart.  Touching Publications was my first writing venture. Just like poetry’s gotta be heard, and art has to be seen, I gotta touch another human to feel like I’ve contributed to the world.  Ecstatic dancing’s been my major food group. Even though there are folks who show up to dance solo or ‘trance out’, I thrive from moving my body in the midst of hearts thumping and lungs pumping around me. Vicarious proximity nourishes me. How does this relate to word dancing?

How can I share the inner, non-verbal dance experience with others without using words?  I began with images. That’s where my Sacred Dance Cards came from-my Art Therapy groping for words.  Then poetry poured, sometimes gushed, sometimes trickled out of me to articulate an interior emotional landscape.  Words seem to be the most intimate reflection.  Words linger longer than images and sounds.  Words really do come from the bottom of my belly or sometimes squirm from the base of my spine, sometimes under my rib cage. Words come from my coreBut by the time they come from my fingers, they’ve traveled through my bones, tissues, blood and through the pores of my skin, hair, and nails and mixed with my saliva and sweat. Words mix with my insides more than images. And words represent my core more than anything else I can share.

 

Baubo is the Goddess who speaks from between her legs.  In one of my favorite stories of Goddesses Demeter and Persephone, Baubo’s the heroine who saves Demeter from depression. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her book Women Who Run with the Wolves, tells the story of feminine raunchy humor as medicine for our soul.  My Mom personified Baubo when I was a child and I was ashamed of her shamelessness.  Since she’s passed away, I continue to appreciate her sense of humor and gift of audacity.

Baubo’s the Crone in the story.  I remember a Shaman at my first Wild Woman Gathering told me during a Sweat Lodge, “Carola, when you eat your anger, chew it with your guts, poop it out clean like, then you’ll finally have a sense of humor.”  Demeter meets Baubo after she’s gone through fear, anger and total exhaustion.  She’s lost her youth.  She’s lost her hormonal driven sexuality.  Now her radiance comes from her Self.  Virgin is an independent feminist who refuses to kowtow to patriarchal norms of femininity, attractiveness, or sexuality.

Georgia O'Keefe Vagina PopsNooks and crannies, tightly tucked safe spaces hold precious words. Much like it’s the journey, not the destination for true happiness, it’s the grope and fondle that conjures just the right word. Tongue is cheek. Here’s a real sucker to wrap your lips around!

 

Carola Marashi M.A. Intuition CounselorCarola Marashi M.A. Published Author, Therapist, Writing Coach
30 years of professional experience.

I have a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Psychology and published author of 2 books-Sensual Eating, 1992; and Sacred Dance and 22 Card divination deck of my original art, 2010 2nd Edition.

As a writing coach, I listen with soft ears- to breath, pauses, rhythm of speech and the words chosen. Our ears go straight to our heart. My purpose is to help others follow their heart, trust their intuition and walk their path.

Sessions can be on the phone or skype. Currently I live in Beaverton Oregon west of Portland with my beloved and 2 cats.

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Holding On to Letting Go. Again.

SHEDDING SKIN WRITING PRACTICE:

Honor my Mother.

GeorgAnna Musgrove-SmithA dear Girlfriend suggested I Honor the woman who brought me into this world. “For you to receive the abundance that is your birth right, Carola, you have to Honor the woman who brought you here. Then you can receive love from your Sisters, and from Mother Earth.” 

Acknowledging my Mother is like looking in the mirror and accepting what I see. Now at age 53, I’m looking more like my Mom. My laugh is sounding more like hers too.

Currently, I’m teaching a writing workshop called SHEDDING SKIN.  For Writing Practice I decided to write my Mom a letter.

Before Now…

I tolerated her. I didn’t accept her.

I didn’t accept her alcoholism, smoking, obesity, bigotry, height, smell.

I tolerated that she brought me here.

I tolerated that she was trying to be healthy and educate herself during her last years of life.

My Mom died at age 62 from Congestive Heart Failure. She had Diabetes and 4 Cardiac Bypass Surgeries. My Dad’s alive, probably 84 years old, and still working his Business selling Spy Equipment.

It’s pissing me off right now. The woman who had the courage to love my Father, her crazy kids, herself….dies of Congestive Heart Failure. The man who fears loving his kids and grand-kids, and loathes his second wife, survives.

Dammit! My father’s still on top! He’s still the ‘stronger’ one. And he runs more fear through his veins than I would think is humanly possible. Shouldn’t he have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Liver Cancer? God forgive me for thinking that.

Weird, l feel my Mom and Dad dancing Flow and Staccato rhythms in my body.

Liquid love elastic heart beats steady in my chest. A slow strong pulse calms me.

I catch my breath. My breath feels thrown out of my mouth from my diaphragm. 

Right Now- I’m pissed off and feel compassion run through my veins.

How odd to have anger and love run through me side by side.

It’s like I’m Inhaling Love and Exhaling Anger. 

Ahhhh…Purr and Growl. So so familiar.

Even while I’m invigorated by Anger, I’m some how calmer than I’ve been in ages. Yeah. I’m angry that my Father Lives and my Mother is Dead.

How do I honor my Mother?

How do I give thanks for her love?

Here goes…Dear Mom.

GeorgAnna Musgrove-Lambert 1992
GeorgAnna Musgrove-Lambert 1992

Thank you Mother for saying Yes to birthing me. Your last child. Even though your marriage was already shaking apart, you said yes to bringing me here. And the story goes, I was born feet first, vaginally, instead of cesarian. That must have hurt like hell. And you stayed alive through the birth and gave me life.

Thank you Mother for letting me go, when I asked to live else where. It took Big Love to Release me. First at age 7 to my Father and then again at age 16 you gave me up to the State of Texas so I could be a foster child and finish High School.

Thank you for becoming sober. For going to school to wake up and sharpen your tools to share yourself with the world.

Thank you for researching your ancestry and writing down your memories to share with your grandchildren and with me.

Thank you Mom for being honest and real.

Thank you Mom for all your laughter, anger and confusion.

You have taught me how to be a real woman and a real person, with out compromise.

You laughed with your whole body. You looked me straight into my eyes. You didn’t give into society’s norm of what woman is. You appeared shameless and bold. 

Thank you for only saying good things about my Father, when you could have said the horrible-like him not paying child support, or abandoning you, me, and his sons. You chose to be silent rather than be the victim.

I am just now realizing you were not the victim.

That you did land on your feet, you were on top.

Mostly landing in Integrity. Landing in Love. Self-Love.

Before now, I’ve felt Misogyny run through my veins. I’ve felt arrogance fortify my stone wall. Before now I thought my strength came from hiding. Now seeing you with fresh eyes, I see your strength was in being vulnerable, real, and damn honest.

Reverend Carola Marashi Officiating Garry & Ruthie's Wedding
Reverend Carola Marashi Showing her Curves.

Okay Mom. I am woman born from woman.

I am a Sister respecting Sisterhood.

I choose to remember Woman is Strong and Soft.

I am learning Silence is Discerning.

I can imagine that I can Accept (instead of Tolerate)

my Real Woman Curves, Dimples, Ripples, and Vericose Veins 

as I Accept and Honor you Mom.

The Courage to Love is Fresh Oxygen Pumping Through My Heart.

Your Courage Ignites my Courage Mom.

Thank You.

Your Daughter,

Carola

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Carola Marashi M.A. Intuition Counselor

Believe In The Power Of Love.

Love keeps Flowing, Changing, and Serving.

Love doesn’t Stop, Quit or Break.

Carola Marashi M.A. has a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Psychology and is an Ordained Minister. Her 30 years of Professional Practice serve Intuition and Compassion. Author of 2 Published Books, Sensual Eating, and Sacred Dance Tarot, emphasizing communion with Body, Mind and Soul. She offers Intuitive Counseling, Couples Counseling and Officiates Weddings. Currently she lives simply and close to the earth in Talent Oregon on a permaculture sanctuary. 

What others say about my services:

“Carola’s sweet and loving energy is only surpassed by her ability to tune into a higher channel and by doing so guide you in finding your highest good. She helped me reaffirm a huge life change and especially my purpose for it. It was a confirmation AND an expansion. It was empowering. Knowing this woman will fatten your soul! Thank you x 3! -Aloha”

“Carola’s intuition ability is excellent! Through her fine-tuned listening, she helped me unearth core areas in my personal life that had been unexamined; she supported me to become more empowered and clear.”

“She has a special ability to listen in a way that allows you to connect with your true self. She is a steady, insightful and a supportive guide. Through her skillful leadership I developed confidence in my ability to connect with myself more deeply.”

“Most importantly, I learned how to “follow the energy”, to listen for what resonates within me.  I feel lucky to have found her and I am more attuned and authentic as a result of our work together.” 

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In Gratitude,

Carola 512-925-0625

Believing the power of Love!

Believing the power of Love!

 

 

To live long enough to feel the pain of time pass.

Carola Marashi M.A. Intuition Counselor

To live long enough to feel the pain of time pass. 

People come and go.
Born and then die.

Right now as I grieve the loss of a dancing brother…
I wonder.
I’ve left behind Austin-my family, my dance, my community.
I moved 2000 miles away.
I see their pictures on FB.
Babies born show how time moves.
Do I move forward?

Shifting sand washes over my toes as I stand on the beach.

I feel a tug on the bottoms of my feet as the water goes back into the ocean.
I stand firm, digging my toes into the sand.
I make a stand.

What moves forward?
What is left behind?
The tide ebbs and flows.
The moon waxes and wanes.

Leave behind.
What does that mean?
It’s what I do, moment to moment.
Leave behind hopes, unmet dreams.
I leave lovers behind.

Dammit. Under my breath.  Regret.
Future didn’t go where I imagined.

What did I vision?
Happily ever after.
And happily ever after didn’t happen.

Mom and Dad didn’t stay together.

I didn’t watch my brothers grow up.
I didn’t become a teacher in a university.

Robert LeachHappily ever after
Didn’t happen with my Austin Ecstatic dance community (Body Choir).
I wanted my dance community to dance under one roof.
I thought I’d live in Austin until I died.

I moved away.
Did I move forward?

A dear friend said to me…
“It takes a decade…Carola, for dreams to come alive.”
I didn’t listen…
I left behind dreams that did not come alive…
Oops. I didn’t have patience to wait a decade.

Moving forward is looking through the BIG windshield.

Not through the small review mirror. 

Big Al

My First Ecstatic Dance
Bicycling to My first Ecstatic DanceOff I go bicycling downhill all the way to downtown Houston Texas. Mmmm, my favorite part, the museum district next to Hermann park on this balmy spring morning. I’m at home here cruising these densely urban narrow streets on Sunday morning. Old trees, old houses, run down apartment districts with screaming kids running around like ‘wild Indians’. Yeah, just like downtown San Antonio where you can actually smell the old wood from the houses as you ride by real slow on your bike. Where in the daytime you go “oh how sweet this neighborhood is…” and then at night the hood is crawling with people in altered states of consciousness. Like as if they were rodents scurrying about and then it doesn’t seem so sweet.
Ecstatic DanceI arrive 11 am on Sunday morning. Sweat Your Prayers. I’ve heard about it for probably a year now from my eating disorder clients who felt moved, more than traditional therapy did for them. They compared it to dance therapy, psychodrama, and art therapy all mixed in one.

They just did a workshop called ‘God, Sex, and the Body’. Anyone who puts those three words in one name, I gotta check this out!

We dance in an old building. It’s made out of concrete, with one round wall full of square blocks of glass. To enter, I climb wide concrete steps turning charcoal gray from years of Houston’s air pollution. Walking through the doors, it’s like I’ve imagined dance studios- rough wood floors, tall ceilings, tight little corridors with black drapes for changing clothes. There’s wall posters plastered everywhere about dance: ballet, modern, ecstatic, African.
I enter the large room toward the right of the entrance with a circular glass wall. It’s bright this Sunday morning. There’s twenty-ish people. Some are stretching and talking. Some are alone and quiet. The dance attire ranges from running tights to dance leotards. One girl’s wearing hot pink ‘butt floss’ and pale pink leotards with cloth ballet shoes. Some people (like me) are wearing running shorts, running shoes, and a baggy t-shirt. (E’hm…it’s 1988.)
A ‘cool’ looking woman wearing a gathered flowery skirt, tights, t-shirt, and bandana across her forehead asks us to huddle up. She describes what we’re doing today. She quickly lists the archetypes that she borrows from her mentor Gabrielle Roth:  Mother, Father, and Maiden. “Archetypes” she says, “we all have inside us.” How does this relate to dancing? I’m curious. Some of the archetypes I balk at like Holy Spirit- Hmph! Way too new agey.

She says “Today we’re dancing the archeytype Wild Boy.” Okay. Now we’re on to something I can relate to. WOOO HOO! We’re dancing Wild Boy!

Ecstatic Dance-Wild BoyMoving through the center of the circle, she demonstrates the ‘rhythms’ we’ll dance through-flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness. She moves fluidly, boldly and makes body sounds like wild percussive breath, drooling slobbery sounds, sing song like, and hush shush. I’m entranced. She’s so graceful. I feel welcomed by her risking to expose herself so freely. I look around the room and everyone’s quiet and still, intently watching her too. The dancers age range from mid twenty’s to forty-fifty-ish.
She quickly breaks everyone up into groups telling us we’re now in ‘gangs’.  My heart is pounding. I’m alive. I’m glad I rode my bike. I’m pumped up ready to go! There’s five of us in our gang and there’s four gangs total. Our gang gets the group leader’s bandana and tosses it around to each other. I’m especially attracted to a tall red head woman in our gang as she leaps and lunges across the floor with full force. Her movements and vocal sounds keep me playing hard to keep up with her. We harass and tease the other gangs. Yay! We’re the best! I’m so completely caught up in the activity. I’m in. I’m needed. I’m good. I’m accepted.
I give my gang all I got to keep the the dance leader’s bandana. Then the dance leader stops the music, retrieves her bandana and puts it back on her forehead. Pulling us all together to one side of the room, she sets an imaginary stage. It’s the huge open space on the other side of the room against the glass block wall. She asks each group to create a human sculpture expressing their gang. Each person connecting with another to make one statue. Ugh! I’m shaking. Can I participate in this and have these strange people see me? My jaws tense up, I’m holding my breath.
Wild Boy Ecstatic Dance SculptureMy gang goes into the center of the room first. One by one, they leap onto the stage. The tall red head immediately sprawls belly up to the ceiling- horizontal, long and lithe. She pauses regally while each gang member comes out to join her, touching some part of her body. They slowly make one formation. One unit. One gang expression. I’m last. Gulp! I’m stinging from head to toe. I run toward my gang sculpture and position myself at what feels like the helm of our human sculpture. I stretch out my right fore arm shooting my middle finger-giving the sign-what I do best. Screaming silently “F-CK YOU! DON’T F-CK WITH ME!” and then, Eek! Gads! My heart thumps. I sink into my feet. My head goes light. My shooting finger shrinks back, curls up, disappears into a fist. Bam! Slam! I’m back into the room.  I’m suddenly aware that I’m in the Dance studio. Downtown Houston. I’m a professional. I’m a therapist. Burning red hot, full of shame, I ask myself “Did I offend anyone? What do they think of me?”

After each gang takes their turn, we circle up to share our experiences. I’m mute. I’m wanting to be invisible. I wiggle around sitting nervous, listening to ‘them’ share connections between the dance, their relationships, their work, their life. Sighing heavily and dropping my shoulders, I slip further down to the floor…I get it that there are massage therapists, psychotherapists, artists, all sorts of professional people around me. I feel this softness between us, as I listen to my fellow ‘gang’ members speak from their hearts. Intimate sharing like “I wish I could be that aggressive with my boyfriend.” “I always envied kids in school that were bold like I was today.” “I can’t believe you got us to play in gangs.”

Closing Circle Ecstatic DanceWe share our names going around the circle and the dance is over.
I ride my bike back home. Now it’s up hill all the way. I’m exhausted. All I can do is drag my bike into the garage and flop on the couch. I feel heavy like concrete. I just want to close my eyes and sleep as I recall the dance and judge myself for flipping the sign at everyone. GAWD! At my first dance!

26 years later…I’ve been dancing this path between inside and outside, movement and stillness, violence and prayer. Sweat Your Prayers is my dance of opposites. Dancing tears down the walls between public and private, Self and Other, Human and Spirit. Stone by stone, I rebuild a dance path that leads me to my Wild Spirit, the Heart Whisperer. I thank God and Goddess for Gabrielle Roth and her 5 Rhythms that she brought to Houston Texas in the late 80’s. I now have a form of ‘worship’ I share with others.

I’ve established Ecstatic Dance Communities from Austin Texas (1994), Sante Fe New Mexico (2000), Houston Texas (2003), Ashland Oregon (2005), Medford Oregon (2007), Beaverton (2015) and inspired Ecstatic Dances from the Big Island to San Francisco California.

Carola Marashi M.A. Author, Ecstatic Dance Facilitator Trainer

Carola Marashi M.A. Intuition CounselorAbout Me-Carola Marashi M.A.

I have a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Psychology and author of 2 books-Sensual Eating, 1992; and Sacred Dance and 22 Deck of Oracle Cards, 2010 2nd Edition Sacred Dance Oracle Guide with Deck of Original Art.

I seduce the subtle. I enchant the awkward. I listen to the heart whisper.

512-925-0625

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