I met Janice Rous 12 years ago. I was co-leading a workshop in Florida at which she was a participant. I was taking a break, sitting outside by myself near a pond, across from which was a beautiful white Heron. She asked if she could sit with me a bit, she also on break. Yes. Janice was easy to connect with.
In that moment, Janice, who would become a dear friend, offered an observation about stretching my shoulders. Mine were very tight and angled forward. “You are protecting your heart.” Wait, what?
Janice wasn’t forceful. She was just seeing what she could see, and offering that. For me she brought forward an emotional awareness expressed in the physical that I was not aware of.
Janice and I have stayed friends. She offers a unique kind of work and presence in the world (see her website, Body Dialogue). She is keen on naming how the body knows things that the mind can’t.
Janice recently created this three minute video above (with Katie Teague) that describes for her how breath brings us to our expansive and creative selves, in the midst of all that life is compiling and even imposing on most of us. Her message is an invitation to be with life. Janice is the one who taught me that though most of us humans feel we know how to breathe (and don’t really think about it), it turns out, that most of us don’t. Our breath is shallow, and often only from the neck up.
I love the simplicity in this. I love her vibrancy. I love the wisdom in this little film that starts with the breath.