a tale of two cities

it is the dead of winter in los angeles (yeah I know, high 72 degrees-low 59) and 16 month old jaylan is toddling around in our front yard… naked.   a nondescript car drives by, slows and backs up. a window rolls down and a woman leans over from the passenger seat and bellows, “that is disgusting, indecent and obscene…” (I will edit the rest and not even mention her calling the police).   fast forward to a summer day in portland (yeah, high 72…) and a now 2 ½ year old jaylan is toddling around in our front yard… naked. a woman walks by stops, smiles and says, “that is the most beautiful outfit I have ever seen”. need I say more about knowing we have found our home.

it was though a chaotic transition. after enduring several escrow bumps and bruises along the path of transplantation from los angeles to portland and being homeless for over 2 weeks (special thanks to dear friends heather ehlers and anna marti for opening their homes to us) we landed on somewhat solid ground, were up to our neck in boxes and ‘gasp’ were without the lifeline of the internet . it is astonishing to me how untethered, aimless and listless i became without the solidity of a home combined with the loss of teaching 4 classes a week. and even with all the chaos it felt so right because anneli is on one side of me and jaylan is on the other. nothing ever feels wrong when i am touching and being touched by them.

I am filled with immense gratitude for the life I am leaving. the soil of the los angeles community has been rich and fertile, a blessing in ways seen and unseen. we have been held and supported by an intimate circle of extraordinary men and women who hold the high watch for jaylan as his godparents. a wider circle of women channeled the primal feminine through prayer and ritual as anneli labored through love to give birth to our little king. we have been challenged and cherished by men’s groups and women’s groups to consciously dig into the dark places of our wounds because that is where our true gifts are to be found. and each and every one of you who has passed through the door of one of our class offerings in los angeles has touched and moved us in ways that continually stirs our souls and sings in our hearts. each of you has allowed us to live our ‘high dream’ and it is you, living in our heart, which gives us the courage to step across this threshold into the mystery of the unknown to begin again in portland.

I am filled with immense gratitude for the life I am entering. i have the great fortune to now call portland my home. I am reveling in the hallowed ground where the extraordinary dance artist vinn arjuna marti birthed, honed and continues to breathe life into the shaping of the movement artistry lovingly and commonly known as soul motion. as I humbly begin again teaching this work in portland I feel myself being pulled along by a strong undertow of the current began by arjuna so many years ago in his studio body moves. I am honored to be standing on the shoulders of this man I call my teacher and am constantly striving to live up to and live in to the platforms and points of view of soul motion both on and off of the dance floor. as I make my way into this thriving and flourishing movement community I can see and feel the echo of arjuna on every movement floor; from the intimate and sacred offerings of soul motion teachers winky wheeler and paula byrne to the ecstatic dance floors of the sacred circle dance. all owe a great depth of gratitude to the man I heard gabrielle roth once whisper about, “he could be the reincarnation of nijinsky”.   I publicly and privately thank arjuna for the tilling of the soil here in portland and the fruits of that labor which I now reap. and thank you to the every day citizens of portland who have so open heartedly welcomed, embraced and nurtured us as a new family and to john william johnson for anchoring me when I felt ungrounded.   thank you to portland itself for constantly being in the top 10 for greenest places in the world to live, for being a forest masquerading as a city, for being a place where you are not shunned for walking and for being a place where bicycles are respected and regarded on the road.   thank you anneli and jaylan for being the temple I am blessed to be able to pray in and play with.


and finally I would be remiss if I did not mention I have yet to meet anyone here in portland who watches (or will admit to watching) portlandia.


blessings in the current,




Anneli & Michael

michael and anneli are living their dream inspiring people to re-disover and settle into their entire self through conscious movement. they meet life and people with a passion and vulnerability that offers permission to embrace our nature and personal truths. they truly, madly, deeply love life.