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Yoga Teacher Training
art | beauty | excellence | freedom | friends | gratitude | hard work | healing | vulnerability | wholeness | writing | yoga

Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga Teacher Training

A few months ago, a long time friend came for dinner. She’s an American living elsewhere. She’s brilliant and amazing and full of knowledge, an expert in her field.

But she has forgotten how to listen.

She talked over my husband and me and couldn’t hear any of our ideas or opinions. Now, this lovely lady is a wonderful person in a thousand ways. She’s a repository of information about the fascinating field of the esoteric, because she has studied metaphysics for decades. Her whole life, really. But there was this thing missing from the way she related to us and it was receptiveness. Her vast knowledge has become a bulwark through which no one else’s thoughts and experiences could penetrate.

That dinner made a big impression on me. I don’t want to be like that: ossified behind my own learning. I want to be open and flexible and receptive. I want to hear other modes of thought, other people, even when I have education and experience that contradicts what they think. Even when it’s hard to listen, which it can be, because I’m an opinionated person with a great deal of education.

I thought of this dinner when I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training at Three Sisters Yoga; as the body goes, so goes the mind. A flexible, open body will yield a flexible, open mind. I was also thinking of the next three decades of my life. I don’t want to teach yoga but I do want to invest in the training to nourish my body and to create flexibility, strength, and stamina for the next thirty years.

The program at Three Sisters Yoga is meticulously thought out and the teachers are terrific: warm, engaged, present. But already I have encountered opposition to my own internalized systems of thought. Because Yoga considers itself a Science, and I studied and used a different system that also considers itself a science. I studied Healing Science for 4 years at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing (BBSH). I had a practice as a healer and saw clients for a decade.

The BBSH was a pivotal, seminal experience for me. It is integral to who I am as a human being and to my writing. Most of my characters are healers in one way or another.

This thing about wholeness haunts me.

I seldom speak of the BBSH now. When I was at the school and for years after I graduated, I went around talking about it a lot. It was amazing: there existed other people like me who were attuned to the subtle worlds! Who perceived the subtle worlds! I was newly out of the closet as an energy sensitive and exulting in the liberation.

But I got tired of head-blind non-healers projecting weirdness onto me–as if it isn’t our birthright as souls taking on flesh to see, hear, feel those other, primary realms.

Also, there’s a lot of acting out at the school. The BBSH doesn’t always act in integrity. Graduates and teachers of the BBSH don’t always act in integrity. It was upsetting to me that when someone questioned the school, the school’s response was to squash that person and to decree, “You’re in resistance.” Translation: you’re bad.

There was a point at which almost all of the teachers with open hearts were either fired or chased out of the school. I did not respect that.

The founder of the school Barbara Brennan sued people over her healing techniques, an action which lacked integrity. In the field of science, scientists throughout history have built upon one another–that’s what leads to progress, to the slow and meticulous accumulation of scientific knowledge. Newton didn’t try to own gravity. But Barbara wanted to own her healing techniques, some of which had been developed by other people. She had a paranoid streak which she never owned but which was clearly visible to anyone not submerged in the cult of her personality.

Nor has the BBSH been open and honest about what’s going on now with Barbara: she’s institutionalized with Alzheimer’s. Students and graduates deserve to know this. Barbara Brennan isn’t just a private figure; she’s also a public figure. She put herself on the world stage with schools in Europe and Japan. She has forfeited some of her right to secrecy.

I had a lot of problems with the conduct of Barbara and the BBSH. Nonetheless, I remain grateful to both. Barbara’s vision was extraordinary, both her high sense perception and her larger sense of the possibilities for healing techniques in the world. The BBSH was a left brain mystery school. It was a gift and a blessing for someone like me, who has a good working intellect as well as access to the subtle realms.

Barbara herself was extraordinary as a human being. Before enrolling in the school, I attended a lecture she gave. I walked up to her to have her sign my program, and as I approached her, my energy bumped up. She had that affect on me. She smiled at me and her eyes got dreamy as she gazed at me. She wrote, “Traci, Keep letting out your love, beauty, and sweetness.”

In my sophomore year at her school, Barbara read my field in front of the class. She said, “One day everyone will know that you have a secret, private inner world full of butterflies.”

As someone who has spent a lifetime with a secret, private inner world full of butterflies, I was shaken, startled, and freed to have her see me and validate me.

I owe Barbara a debt of gratitude. Also, I used BBSH healing techniques effectively in my practice.

This circles back to Yoga Teacher Training and my desire to remain open and flexible because already some of the Yoga precepts that are taken as “true science” butt up against my training and experience as a healer.

Can I stay open and flexible and allow divergent schools of thought to live in me simultaneously? It will be a challenge. Of course, it’s only fun if it’s a challenge–and I love to have fun.

Yoga Teacher Training

 

IA&T is Back with Director Malcom Carter
5 star review | art | blogtalkradio | excellence | freedom | friends | gratitude | movies | seasons greetings | wholeness

IA&T is Back with Director Malcom Carter

Malcom Carter on IA&T

BlogTalkRadio show Independent Artists & Thinkers is BACK! On November 23, 2016 we will host Director/Producer/Writer Malcom Carter.

Are all things in the Universe really connected? How can we learn to see things differently? Join us as director, writer, and producer Malcom Carter talks about his new film THE CONNECTED UNIVERSE.

THE CONNECTED UNIVERSE is a fascinating and visually poetic journey of exploration of the connection of all things in the Universe. The film is Narrated by the legendary Sir Patrick Stewart.  It explores many intriguing ideas and features the science of Nassim Haramein and his search to understand the mechanism of connection of all things in the Universe.

The Connected Universe has a global message, and it’s the highest crowd funded documentary in Indiegogo history!  In its first two weeks of release it has been purchased by people in 104 countries  – over half of the countries in the world!

This film will INSPIRE YOU to CONNECT TO YOUR POTENTIAL… the potential of WHO YOU ARE and WHO YOU CAN BECOME.

Malcom Carter is an Award winning Filmmaker and director. Over the last 20 years his work has appeared on 544 television networks, in 155 countries, and reached a combined global audience of over 2 billion viewers. Malcom is passionate about using the power of film to make a difference in the world by communicating messages that matter. He has extensive expertise in creating compelling communications with global impact. He is also known for being able to work with visionary thought leaders and advanced thinkers to translate and synthesize their ideas in an understandable way to a wide audience.

This has lead to work with NASA think tanks, and with global humanitarian organizations.

Malcom is also known for creating cinematic, engaging, and emotionally compelling films. Films that touch the heart. Films that inspire and inform the mind. Focused on global messaging – Malcom is part of a global network of top film makers in over 40 countries that shares communication strategies, film techniques, and local contacts to truly enhance the ability to film affordably around the globe.

Malcom currently lives in Vancouver, Canada and was the Director of the Asian Winter Games for the International Olympic Committee of Asia (2011), he also is an advoccate for mental health and worked with Kaiser Foundation Films. Malcom is a member of the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers, Billion Minds Foundation Board of Governors, and various think tanks (NASA AMES, Colorado School of Mines, Talberg Forum).

Selected Awards: 25 motion picture award nominations (Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Promotional Film, Best Public Service Film, Best Music Video, Best Educational Film, Best Program Reflecting Cultural Diversity, Walter Klein Award, FREDDIE).

Malcom Carter on IA&T

 

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Enchantment Overlooking Magic Mountain
beauty | friends | gratitude | happiness | kindness | wholeness

Enchantment Overlooking Magic Mountain

Enchantment Overlooking Magic Mountain

Some lovely and generous-hearted friends invited us to stay in their beautiful Vermont home while they were elsewhere. So Sabin and I drove up and found ourselves in a sumptuous and homey palace. There’s a view over the rolling green hills and trees onto Magic Mountain, and a private pond with lights for night time swimming.

I find myself so relaxed that my adrenal glands are pulsing with let-down. My creative angst is nearly replaced with languor. Sabin has set himself up in the dining room to draw the relief panel for the WW1 Memorial.

Our labs Molly and Gabriel are ecstatic. I took them to the pond yesterday and Molly, our chocolate lab, ate some little green frogs before swimming around to look for ducks. Gabriel joined her. Then they ran out of the water to jump on me and I had to laugh even as their enthusiasm ensured that I was wet and smelly.

There are a zillion of these little green frogs, and when do you ever see frogs anymore?

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James Cooper’s Article in American Arts Quarterly noting Sabin Howard & Traci L. Slatton
5 star review | art | book promotion | excellence | friends | gratitude | Sabin Howard | Sabin Howard sculpture

James Cooper’s Article in American Arts Quarterly noting Sabin Howard & Traci L. Slatton

My husband classical figurative sculptor Sabin Howard and I have been acquainted with Jim Cooper for many years. Jim is the editor and publisher of American Arts Quarterly, a quarterly arts magazine published by the Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center. The magazine has published several articles about Sabin through the years, my favorite of which is “Recovering Beauty in Bronze,” in which Jim writes,

Howard’s sculptures have content as well as exquisite form. All art is about art, even with a recognizable subject, and Howard clearly states the importance of Michelangelo to him. Each of the bronze sculptures in his studio has a theme; many are inspired by Greco-Roman mythology. Others are intense psychological portraits. He subscribes to the literal translation of psyche logos, which means the study of the soul, psyche and anima.

Jim Cooper is an art critic who holds my husband in high esteem, for which I am grateful. To be candid, I think Sabin deserves it. In my opinion, Sabin is the finest figurative sculptor in centuries. I believe in Sabin and so I have supported him in his work, building his websites, providing tech support for his webinars, and writing books with him; Sabin and I have a partnership. I am grateful to say that Jim respects this partnership and, moreover, he’s willing to acknowledge it. Cooper wrote in that same article, “He [Sabin] credits his wife, writer Traci Slatton, for giving him the language and ideas to understand the deeper implications of his art: “She gave me a vocabulary to be able to talk about issues of closed energy systems, which is basically a modernist system, and an open energy system.””

So Jim and I keep in touch. A few months ago, I emailed to tell Jim about how Facebook wouldn’t let Sabin ‘boost’ an advertisement about our sculpture book, The Art of Life, because of the nudity on the cover of the book. Jim was intrigued and we exchange emails and a phone call. Our discussion resulted in Jim’s splendid new article, “The Classical Nude, Pornography and the New Philistines.”

Check out the Spring 2016 issue of American Arts Quarterly, Jim’s article is beautifully written and thought-provoking. I especially appreciate the nod Jim gives to me, calling our book “superb” and later on, noting that “Traci is a historian, a graduate of Columbia and Yale, and has written several novels, while covering cultural issues for The Huffington Post.” This business of making art and of being married to an artist in today’s world is fraught, and I’m grateful when an art critic of Jim’s standing honors the work we do.

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Recent Independent Artists & Thinkers BTR shows I enjoyed
blogtalkradio | friends | interview | life model | music | radio

Recent Independent Artists & Thinkers BTR shows I enjoyed

I enjoy hosting unconventional, out-of-the-box thinkers on my weekly BlogTalkRadio Show, Independent Artists & Thinkers. BTR offers great flexibility for me to invite these fascinating folks on for a thought-provoking discussion. The show usually airs on Thursdays at 1 NY time, but sometimes the day or the hour changes to accommodate the guest.

All of the shows have been great. Here are some from the last few weeks:

Today I hosted musician David Sklar, which was great fun as he is a friend. He had thoughtful things to say about the journey of the musician and the state of music today.

David Sklar

[sc_embed_player_template1 fileurl=”http://www.independentartiststhinkers.com/show_davidsklar.mp3″]

If the audio player doesn’t show or work for you, access the show here.

Last week racy novelist L.V. Lewis talked about writing steamy multi-cultural romances. She started off as a fan fiction writer. I read her book Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever and found it to be smart and frisky with crisp, well-developed characters and a strong voice.

LV Lewis
[sc_embed_player_template1 fileurl=”http://www.independentartiststhinkers.com/show_lvlewis.mp3″]
Or access the show here.

The week before, Bosnian Serb and Muay Thai Champion Ognjen Topic spoke of his journey of becoming a world champion. He was engaging and unexpectedly wise as he talked about mastering and using fear and devoting oneself completely to one’s goals.

Ognjen Topic
[sc_embed_player_template1 fileurl=”http://www.independentartiststhinkers.com/show_ognjen.mp3″] Or access the show here.

Listen in, these shows were kinda cool!

BTR show

Birthday Fun
5 star review | birthdays | friends | gratitude | kindness | love | marriage | real friends | wholeness

Birthday Fun

My husband Sabin spoiled me on my birthday. Some of my friends did, too. It was a delicious experience.

We started celebrating early because we had to make a trip to New Hampshire. So we went out for dinner on my birthday eve. The restaurant was The Fig and Olive, which I love. I’ve never had a bad meal there. The chicken tagine was fantastic! I love their fun drinks, also.

On the day of the anniversary of my birth, we drove to New Hampshire. We crowned the day from a small peak.

Then we found a charming American tapas restaurant called Tavern 27, which served the most delicious appetizer type foods. Sabin and I both ordered steak, though I got a small one. The meat was buttery soft and delectable, falling off the knife in luscious little bites of the tenderest flesh. Our kind, attentive waiter explained that it was organic meat from a nearby farm, in honor of New Hampshire’s state tradition of healthful food.

My friend Micki put together a beautiful image for FB, acknowledging me with much love. Don sent me flowers. Lots of emails and phone calls.

It was too much fun.

Birthday

 

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