Jane Arie Baldwin

Personal Tools and Techniques for Unwinding

Category: Femininity

When Your Superpower is Movement Life’s A Dance


In the first of a series of profiles on women living at the highest levels of health I sat down with Jule Aguirre, mind-body psychotherapist and Nia Trainer. Jule exudes an infectious combination of nurturing energy, raw power and sensuality. Jule’s superpower is movement. As a dance instructor she has a keen sense of how to move the energy in a room, to keep the emotions flowing and the mind clear.

JANE: Your website describes you as: “Your personal ‘guru’ to move”. How did your wisdom of movement develop?

 JULE: I have been a mover my whole life, excelling in sports was my thing. After high school I didn’t want a job, job. I wanted to have fun. So I got a job at a women’s only fitness place called Figure World. It was 1985 in the small east Texas town of Lufkin. The first couple of weeks I showed women how to use the vibrating belts and rollers, the workout equipment of the day. Then the owner gave me a record album with Jane Fonda’s workout. I learned to teach my first class using that album. It was leg warmers and headbands and “feel the burn!” – all of that. Kick butt – that was my reputation in the fitness world. “If you want to kick butt, go to Jule’s class.”

JANE: How has movement helped you believe in yourself?

JULE: I was busy teaching my own fitness classes and had just gotten my first professional job in hospice when I met another social worker who taught Nia. She kept saying, “You should come to my class!” And I kept saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah – someday.”

To be honest, when I looked in the window at her class. I thought, “You can’t do this. You’re not a dancer.” Lots of judgment and zero self love.

Then my body began to hurt. I was 27 or 28, the stress of my job had finally caught up with me. My personality said, “I can handle this. I can take care of it. I can do it all, all the time.” I had no idea the work load I had taken on until one day my jaw, neck and shoulder hurt so bad that I couldn’t even pull on my blazer over my shoulders. That’s when I knew I needed to do something different.

The next morning I woke up early to go to the 6am Nia class, early so no one would see how ridiculous I looked dancing. Ten minutes later I had forgotten I cared what people thought. I was overcome with the sensation of, Ahhhh…I’m dancing!

JANE: When did you realize that teaching movement for you meant not only moving the body but also moving the emotions?

 JULE: It was in that very first class. It happened almost instantly. The movement and music gave me a way to discharge the emotion and stress that had been building up inside. It was like an awakening. I recall feeling grief, this feeling of “Where have I been? I have not been in my body. I’ve been in my head. My body’s been a tool for me to achieve and excel and kick butt.” And then I literally said to myself, “Body I am sorry. I am sorry that I haven’t been here.” At that moment I knew I would never go back. I had found the heart and soul of my practice.

JANE: You spend many hours a day leading people in movement. How do you manage to go in and do your thing on the dance floor and help others move emotion at times when you’re not up for it?

 JULE: The most important thing is self-love, being where I’m at in each moment.

I’ve been through tough times when I’ve been teaching a Nia class and feel like I want to cry and wonder how am I going to do it. Then I think, “Am I going to put on a happy face and pretend to be the happy Nia teacher?” — “No! I just show up raw with everything, physically moving with joy, and emotionally I move it out.”

When I’m in a challenging position, real and raw in the moment and the students sense it, that’s an amazing moment. I love this work because it’s best when I’m just being authentic and thank goodness because I’m really terrible at faking it!

Find out more about Jule at juleinthelotus.com

Head & Heart Together at Last

Baby monarch caterpillar in my garden this morning. The ultimate symbol of transformation.

Baby monarch caterpillar in my garden this morning (with a few friendly aphids). The ultimate symbol of transformation.

We are living in a time when the head and the heart are learning to work as one unit. No longer is “I think therefore I am” the truth. Now days, the saying “I love therefore I am” holds just as much weight. It’s a great time to be alive because now the masculine (thinking head) and the feminine (loving heart) are coming into alignment. We are more and more considering both when we make choices thus improving our quality of life and our health.

This blog, first posted in 2009, illustrates succinctly this point.

Healing the Illusion of Separation
A few days ago my friend and Vedic astrologer, Marga Laub, mentioned in her newsletter that Friday night’s full moon was about, “Healing the illusion of separation.” I did not brace for any big lessons to show up on Friday night. I drove from Mineral Wells to Austin for a weekend breath circle and girl time. When I parked my car in front of my girlfriend’s house in East Austin I skipped a step in my usual process – forgetting to lock my car. The next day after the breathing circle, the morning rain clouds had passed, the sun shone bright and my eyes squinted. I reached into my console for my sunglasses. They were not there.

Where could I have put them. I pulled over and looked under the seat. I KNEW I had left them there. I felt an uncomfortable sensation throughout my body, one that felt like I had no support, a feeling of loss, a feeling that I had done something wrong.

They had to be stolen. Then I remembered I also had my ipod in the console. If the ipod was gone then definitely someone had been in my car and taken my things. I felt nervous and violated as I pondered the concept of loss and the emptiness that accompanies loss. For a moment I steeped in this place and then wondered, “How can I get out of this funky place?” The first thought that came to my head was to do the opposite of what I was currently doing.

Gratitude. That’s when I started to think about the positives. Well, my windows had not been broken, my purse had not been stolen, my car had not been hijacked. It wasn’t a violent break in. As break ins go it was very benign. It was not a confrontational robbery. I thought about having to hand those material possessions over to someone and I would have gladly done that with gratitude in exchange for my life. That’s when the magnification of the loss of these items began to shrink to the size of a pea and I could really feel grateful in my heart.

I pictured someone else with my things and had to laugh at the first feelings that surfaced which were very reminiscent of a breakup – imagining a lover loving another sort of feeling. I had to laugh, “It’s a pair of friggin’ sunglasses and a thingy I put songs and games on.”

Then something else happened. The thought of someone else enjoying these items made me happy. I thought, “Wow! If those sunglasses or that ipod can brighten someone’s day, more power to ’em.” I was able to feel love for these people instead of violation, grateful to them for reminding me that stuff is just stuff is just stuff. Who knows, whoever gets hold of that ipod may end up listening to some of the wonderful books that I downloaded (David Elliott’s – Healing and Relutant Healer, Ken Wilbur’s – A Brief History of Everything, A Course in Miracles) or some of the great music selections (Jimmy Baldwin’s – Vivador).

The next evening I ate dinner with a couple of friends at an outdoor cafe on East 7th. We watched the moon rise through the ancient twisted oak trees at the State Cemetery across the street. When I saw the moon I remembered…”this moon is about healing the illusion of separation,” and I felt the oneness all around.

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