Go There! Embracing change …

When Nia student ‘Cosima’ experienced a sudden change in circumstances, her first response was panic. But thanks to Nia’s practice of listening to the body’s voice, she found a way to embrace the change. “The beauty, the simplicity of it was uplifting”


“The beauty, the simplicity of it

was uplifting”



I adore that moment when a sudden realisation grips your body; a form of kinetic paralysis where your visible body stops. But your interior self is alive with possibilities and apprehension can turn to comprehension in a nanosecond. Sometimes they are only small realisations – like a new understanding so that something starts to make sense. And sometimes, just a very few times, it’s a tantalising invitation to let go of everything you thought you knew, everything you thought was important to you.

That happened to me just over two and a half years ago. It happened in a Nia class when Sophie Marsh was relating a story as part of introducing the routine. It happened at a time when I was struggling with a challenging change in my life that was thrust upon me by others.  It was their call but I had to wear it. I was restless and bitterly resentful.

Before I tell you what Sophie said, and what I heard, a few words about “the change”.


My husband and I experienced sudden dual unemployment, that took effect the same month, and with no prospect of new jobs! We were successful mid-50s research professionals (CSIRO & university) with 9 university degrees between us and 2 children.

Our income plummetted from a most enjoyable $280K to zero, but a soft landing on husband’s redundancy that will last a little while.

Panic and worry were wife’s response but husband was relaxed and said “that’s it, I’m done, and I’m going to retire”. Wife: “you can’t be serious, you’re 56 and we have an 11 and 14 year-old”.

Wife grasps at her deep well of catastrophising and struggles to organise a heroic, but ultimately impossible, rescue. It seems sort of humourous now, but it wasn’t at the time.


I didn’t “hear” it through my ears.

I heard it through my body and



Sophie talked about change and when things happen that we aren’t expecting. What I “heard” when I turned those seemingly innocuous words inwards, was a bright pathway to a new future.

I didn’t “hear” it through my ears. I heard it through my body and heart. It rushed into and over me like I’d accidently stepped off the pool deck into the shock of wintery cold water, except that it turned out to be warm, soothing water.

What I “heard” was this. ‘When things happen that you don’t want to happen, you have to go there as if you had chosen to go there’.


Go there as if you had chosen to

go there


The beauty, the simplicity of it was uplifting. I raced home to husband and announced my discovery. ‘We are going into dual unemployment and retirement as if we had chosen to do it and everything, everything is going to be fine.”

And it is.


Cosima has done no Nia Belts, but has been devoted to Nia for the past 6 years, usually dancing and listening 4-6 times a week.


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