Creating Waves with Melissa Michaels and Friends
Creating Waves Newsletter ~ Melissa's Greeting
Issue No. 1 ~ Winter 2010

Melissa's Greeting
Navigating the Edge from Center
Surfers Sharing
Alumni Feature
Elder Honoring
Parent's Perspectives
Somasource® in The World
Alumni Updates
Our Edge
The Horizon

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2010 Events
Wild Life Productions
Golden Bridge
About Melissa

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~ Melissa's Greeting ~

Dear Friends,

            Welcome to Creating Waves.

            I sit at my desk, weeping… again! It is such a blessed day when the phone rings and a twenty-five year old young person who has struggled for more than half of his life calls to let me know that he got a job and that his co-workers have told him how much they value his hard work. Oh, if they only knew how hard this one has worked to climb out of his life of addiction, crime, promiscuity, and other self-destructive behaviors. We have created a world that is really hard work for our children to grow up in. And I weep.

            I also weep at the good work so many of us are doing to create something beautiful and righteous for these young ones to rise up within.

            I weep at the cost on all of us whose sleep is interrupted night after night with phone calls from young people in the midst of a fight, who lie wide awake in fear, or who are flying high and lost from some substance or another. I weep for the mothers who will not see their children rise up into adulthood because social toxins of violence killed them. I weep for the young ones whose parents will not be there to meet their grandchildren when they are born, because environmental toxins claimed their adult lives too early.

           We live in times where life is fragile… and we are mighty people with unbound potential. Out of my tears, I rejoice. I am so honored to be a part of helping to develop and deliver a body of work that is dedicated to the liberation of the glorious life force and creative intelligence that is available to every one of us.

Youth Dancing           In this first newsletter, we pause to reflect and celebrate what has been created over the past two and a half decades of this work’s development. We call this body of work SomaSource®. It is the map and foundation for all of the processes that we use to guide people through our Surfing The Creative® programs. Last summer marked the 14th time that the SomaSource® process was fully actualized. We have offered it as an after-school program for high school students; as a one-year process for youth and adults together; and as summer camps for the past nine years. At the closure of this past summer, we turned the wheel, devoting this next cycle to creating more sustainable and accessible ways to offer this work to the world. My writing and our upcoming documentary film will be integral to that aspiration.

           In this newsletter, we aim to begin the process of sharing the magic and methodology of our somatic educational and transformational work with youth and the adults who serve them; a body of work that has been directly created out of the interface of our own adolescent wounds and our unique gifts for the world.

           We are naming this newsletter Creating Waves due to the fact that as our young people move from pain into potency, from addiction into action, they are indeed creating waves. Individual positive visions are being actualized. Small groups of creative souls are gathering together to build momentum and help uplift humanity in these times of both deconstruction and renewal. Individual and collective dreams are now becoming concrete deeds in service to life. As we describe below…

Our young people are stepping into leadership in diverse ways
helping to change the tides in these times.

Steve Cannon           As with many places around the world, our local community has seen waves of destruction wash upon our personal shores over the past years. In fact, six yars ago today, our beloved friend Steve Cannon made his final voyage in this world out at sea. His death taught us about the power of transforming shock and loss into great collective love. We cherish Steve’s presence with us now from That world.

           We also notice that swelling out at sea in our collective story are movements that are otherwise creative and likely to change the very nature of our shores in life-giving ways. Our young people are part of this wave of positive change on the planet. We look forward to sharing some of their specific stories with you over time.

           And of course, Gabrielle Roth’s beautiful 5Rhythms™ dance practice is also known as The Wave. Gabrielle, one of my great teachers, developed a body of work that serves as a foundational piece in our community’s work. Gabrielle’s map is rooted in diverse rhythms that join together to create a full Wave, just like the ones at sea. Thus, here is another reason for our newsletter’s name!

           So, welcome to our first edition of Creating Waves.

           We begin in the Spirit of celebrating and acknowledging what has been. In the pages that follow, please find a variety of sections that begin to share our story. Images of our work are woven throughout offering a small glimpse into our multi-faceted community journeys.

Thutuka, Balu, Mau at FarmCreating Waves Content Overview

           Our opening section, Navigating the Edge from Center, offers a brief overview of one stage of development within our whole process. Each forthcoming newsletter will feature another phase in more detail. The next section, Surfers Sharing, offers quotes and writings from our students that help open a different window into our journey together. From there, we will offer an Alumni Feature, sharing in detail one seasoned surfer’s story of hope, from struggle to service. This will be followed by our Elder Honoring, a place to listen to the voices of leaders who are elders in our community of practice. Parent’s Perspectives will then offer a view of how the work with young people touches their families. I am often asked how this work can be extended out to a wider circle. This next section, SomaSource® In the World will provide examples of how individuals are translating these practices into remedies for all kinds of people in diverse settings. We will also include Alumni Updates, a glimpse into the personal and professional developments of our youth becoming adults. Our Edge will provide a picture of some of the deep questions we consider, and some of the challenges we face as we grow this work in the world. And our final section, The Horizon, will offer a view into what is unfolding in the future via classes, trainings, camps, etc. Over time, we will also introduce you to kindred people and programs that we respect and work with. In this newsletter, we will offer you a few profoundly inspired links, sharing global magic happening through the arts. Our aim is to provide a place where conversations can deepen in the field between us all.


Celebration           In closing to this welcome, I would like to deeply honor and thank the many people who have worked closely together to create and launch this first newsletter. First and foremost, I bow to all of the people, youth and seasoned, whose words and images are included. This is the manna of our work together. In our office, Tara King, Taliza Mizrahi, and Ramon Parish have navigated all kinds of terrain with me as we gathered everyone’s updates and sorted through them. Our photographers, Kat Shea, Britt Basel, Hagen Caldwell, Sarkis Renjilian-Burgy, Rei Dishon, and Yair Wahle all have helped bring beauty to all of these words. It is such a joy to work collaboratively with so many inspired souls. Thanks team!

           And thank you, community of readers. We deeply appreciate your interest in and enthusiasm for this work. We are dedicated to our cultural renewal through the liberation of the creative spirit, one dancing soul at a time!



As we launch this newsletter, our beloved elder, mentor, and friend, Rachael Kessler, is in deep preparations for her final passage from this world. She is comfy and surrounded by wonderful care. Please feel free to join us in our ongoing prayer vigil. She knows that many of her diverse communities will come together in prayer to be focused with her in total love. Let us help to amplify the Grace that is with her and is her. Thank you.




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Creating Waves with Melissa Michaels and Friends

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