Dancing with Melissa Michaels & Friends

Another Year of Dancing

Another Year of Dancing

Greetings dear Dancing community,

As we bring this life changing year to a close, so many of our hearts burn with outrage and awe.

Reflecting on the past months, we continue to grieve for all of the young people in our country and around the planet whose lives have been stolen by recent out of control violence, from Cleveland to Pakistan. We join together to honor each and every life lost, those bombed in the Middle East, those kidnapped from schools in Nigeria, those massacred in Mexico, those shot down in our city streets, those sold into slavery all around the world. Our tender hearts can barely hold all of this. But we must … the truths, the need to rise up in protection, repair, and care for all of our children.There is no human excuse for the kind of disrespect we have seen in the past days, months, year. Bless these precious lives lost for no good reason. And, please join me in prayers and contemplation about how each of us can show up to help bring sanity, justice and peace to all.

Now to the awe part! As we turn the corner into a new year, I am filled with such gratitude for our community’s growth through our trials and opportunities. What a mighty group of human beings have gathered around this work. What an honor it is to be in this timely dance with you. Your steadfast devotion to truth in action quickens our work together at every turn. Reflecting upon our last year, I am deeply moved by our movement.

This year, we have been reminded of the massive privilege in our community and the moral imperative we have to keep finding real pathways for the redistribution of resources and for the creation of more redemptive and collaborative paths for peacemaking. Please check out a few of the overt things we at Golden Bridge have accomplished together in 2014.

  • We guided 90 young people through our Surfing the Creative® Rites of Passage process.

  • We followed up and mentored this group in diverse ways over the past half year, including offering small group sessions and one on one coaching and therapy as needed.

  • We trained another 70 folks in soul based arts for working with teens. Together, we began to adapt our curriculum to serve young people seeking to transform and rise, becoming forces for positive change in many communities around the world. We addressed the specific needs of highly privileged youth in the Western world; young people coming out of slavery; diverse youth in urban settings; young people who had been child soldiers; and youth with terminal illnesses, for a few.

  • We mentored teen girls groups around the world, including Aboriginal girls in Australia, Latina girls in Puerto Rico, girls from the townships South Africa, urban youth in Canada, village girls in South India, suburban girls in England, and numerous school environments in the United States. All of these groups are using some version of our maps for their curriculum!

  • Golden Bridge has been deeply engaged in the conversation about racism, privilege, structural inequality, gender, and sexual identity. We are humbly engaged, deconstructing our biases and upgrading our behaviors, inwardly as a community and outwardly on these front lines with our youth and their communities.  We have established new collective protocol for ever more respectful bridging and community building moving forward. Please take in this powerful piece by one of our mighty youth leaders rising. Tosha Jay.

 

  • Our leadership has presented in numerous rich environments from Naropa University …  to Fielding’s Insititute for Social Innovation … to the United Nations … to the interface of Hutu and Tutsi youth building a peace movement.

  • We continue to grow in our skills of non-violence through the ongoing study of compassionate communication and Dynamic Governance. This past Autumn, 25 of our leaders were trained in  the foundations of the practices of sociocracy.

  • We welcomed children, ages 1 – 12 years, from many diverse countries and communities, for a week long Small World Children’s camp. This annual children’s camp  ran concurrently with our Dance of Adolescence training for international somatic, educational, rites of passage, and therapeutic practitioners.
  • We worked with women from many diverse communities around the world. Together, we are quietly building a movement of women mobilizing across borders to create new pathways for peace … from the dance into action.

  • We hosted a large scale intergenerational dialogue focused on the topics of class, racism, gender, sexual identity, our environment, and our collective future.

And …. we have much to be proud of and much work ahead.

In the year to come, we at Golden Bridge aim to deepen into these conversations and take concrete life giving actions to further support our emerging leaders and their communities, near and far. Our dances are but a small ripple in a large sea of change facing all of us at this time. Let’s keep working together to help move things onto a positive and steady course. The time is now.

We hope to see many of you at Embodying Our Intentions, our New Years Day Dance here in Boulder or in the months to follow.

In the meantime …  Be the Peace.

With great love.

Melissa

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