Yes, healing movement is all about moving, but I mean this literally! We are relocating over to the big bad city Vancouver in April.

When the opportunity first came up “no way!” was my first response. Vancouver is too large, has too much traffic and too many people. Then I said I would be willing to move if we can live in the West End and walk everywhere.  (English Bay + Stanley Park + downtown Vancouver = West End). The only problem with this is it means lowering the standard to which we have become accustomed – a.k.a. downsize.

It’s been an interesting process, sorting out what is most important to us. We aren’t strangers to downsizing, having gone from a large rural home on an acreage to an RV.  Approximately 9 years ago when we moved out of the RV into an apartment we began accumulating ‘stuff’ to kit out a 2 bedroom condo and now we are reducing again to a much smaller condo. Like the first big move, it has been all about defining our priorities.

Walking is number one – or as importantly, avoiding a daily, lengthy commute. Statistically people who don’t commute are happier and have better relationships.  People can walk pretty much anywhere of course, and when we first moved to our current location I walked quite a bit because we are close to some pretty fantastic shopping centres. Somewhere along the way that got old and I found that even if I didn’t have anything pressing to do, I didn’t feel like walking on our busy streets. When we want to go for a walk we drive to Ogden Point or Butchart Gardens, or somewhere equally gorgeous, but it meant walking was a special excursion, not a daily everyday event.

So the bottom line is I am willing to live in a Tiny Space if it means living in a place that will inspire me to get more natural movement more often. It is also an opportunity to reconsider our living space. As my awareness grows (mostly through the Restorative Exercise Institute™) I am more aware that the old way I did things isn’t working. I think of the early years of moving to Victoria as my writing years: books and a series of courses. I’ll never regret that but the practice of sitting and being sedentary just isn’t great and it needs to be balanced out. In our new space we are going to have standing work stations and no dining room, at least not one that will be purposed for eating. Besides the standing workstation thing (possibly a bar height patio table) I want an open area to dance and move. For eating at a table we have a folding table and chairs ready to go. I’ve coined a new term for this: moveable spaces.

As for Nia classes: I have a very exciting Vancouver downtown lead for May but I’m playing it cool. I’ll need some time to get my bearings and figure out the neighbourhoods so stay tuned in you are a Vancouver reader.

To my Victoria students: a heartfelt thank you to everyone I’ve danced with over the past few years. It has truly been a gift for me.

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Source: Michel P. Lalonde

p.s. This photo comes up on my Bing screen saver. I had no idea it was in Stanley Park, minutes from my new home!

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