Christine Garvin Dance+Transform Wed, 21 Mar 2018 16:31:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Christine Garvin 32 32 Lessons I Learned At 38 Mon, 25 Dec 2017 17:17:23 +0000

Photo by Scott Sturdy.

1. Speak Your Truth Early And Often

Ask your real questions or tell your truth real early because it will get you to where you want to go a WHOLE LOT FASTER.

It’s friggin’ HARD to be vulnerable. I’m a Capricorn Sun with Scorpio Moon and Venus, Virgo Rising and North Node, and Mars in Capricorn. For those of you who don’t know what that means, I HOLD MY CARDS CLOSE TO MY CHEST.

But, I’ve fought against my nature several times over in my life and tried to spill the beans “too early” because somehow, someway I knew it was my medicine. This year, I learned so damn thoroughly both personally and professionally that being upfront early on is what cuts through the shit.

People will tell you all day to give it time (and in certain instances, this is true), but for the most part, we all know what we want right off the bat. So if you are honest at the get go, you either get in and out or get to it. No limbo (and limbo sucks, in case you were wondering).

2. Magic

Magic is real. But you have to look for it. Again and again and again. Everyday.

3. Ambivalence

I release men that are ambivalent about me. In fact, I release anyone from my inner circle who is ambivalent about me. It’s taken me years (and years, and years), but I finally realized that I attract men who are ambivalent about me (*please note for anyone who has been in a relationship with me: not 100% of the time, not 100% of my relationships*) because of core family wounding in this area. This has sometimes shown up in friendships, too.

~I realize that the tables have been turned, and that I’ve also practiced ambivalence in many relationships. I take full responsibility and ownership of this.~

I release this worn, outdated pattern that no longer serves because I see it for what it is. Thank you for the lessons learned over the years, VS, EB, DG, SV, and for the breakthrough I had this year in making the connection.

4. Deepen Compassion

We all know everyone is going through some shit at any given time. But it’s REALLY HARD to feel compassion for them when they are triggering or hurting us in the process. Boundaries are good, but I found a deepening space this year for practicing compassion while setting boundaries. I like this space. It’s a whole lot less black and white, and it’s a whole lot more loving to others as well as myself. I hope to practice it on even more profound level in 2018.

5. Cry, Cry, Cry

Let the tears well up in your eyes. Let the sobs rack your body. Let people witness it. Cry for the pain, cry for the joy, cry for the gratitude of being here now, alive and feeling what you are feeling.

I cried more often and more profoundly this year than I had in a while, and while all the cries were good, my favorite came in the form of reflection from others. I had a chance to see myself more clearly through other people’s eyes this year than I think I ever have had before. Which leads me to the last lesson from my year of 38:

6. Allow It In

I’m not really a flower person. I don’t tend to care much about physical gifts. But every time a person tells me that I’ve helped them to see themselves differently, or that they dived into what makes them tick because of me, or that they felt more courage to be authentic in their life because of something I said or did, I feel like I’ve been given the Palace in the Stars.

Because I know what it means to feel so much pain and not even know why, because I know what it means to hate the body you have been given, because I know what it means to think you can’t be that person that you want to be, because I know what it means to feel so damn stuck, and because I know that ALL OF THAT CAN CHANGE and you can love the shit out of your light, shadow, strength, questionable moments, selfishness, compassion, need for attention, giving nature, and that it is the ULTIMATE work of a life well-lived (thanks, Matt Kahn), my soul feels full of gold and my heart experiences something that I’ll never be able to explain and I just have to bawl my eyes out again and again with the intensity, passion, connection, and overwhelming emotion of it all.

So thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Stepping Into Your Sensual Birthright Wed, 20 Sep 2017 01:28:02 +0000


Photo: Michelle Grasty-Colont

Gathered in a circle, I asked the women my favorite question, “what is your deepest, darkest secret?”

(What can I say, I like to get to the heart of things.)

Answers varied – and I wouldn’t dare share any of them with the outside world, these conversations we held in circle on a recent retreat. But I will say that so much of what it comes back to for women are the basics: love, purpose, honesty, sex, feeling empowered, health, autonomy nuzzled up against being in relationship, and being truly seen.

There is a prescription for women depending on our age: girl to be protected until age 12 or 13; teenager from 13-18 who somehow is supposed to have the wherewithal to fend off boys and or/men’s advances or be deemed a slut/whore/promiscuous instigator; 18-29 she must be in her sexual and beauty prime, having the time of her life and hopefully finding the love of her life and getting married somewhere towards the end of that era; 30-35, it’s time to have those babies if she hasn’t already, and get the last ‘hurrah’ out of her looks and love life because it’s about to start going downhill; 35-45 is ‘transition’ time, with some luster still left but fading quickly; 45-60 into and over menopause and therefore no longer a sexually viable creature by the end of that era; 60 and above, the crone.

On all of these prescriptions, I call bullshit.

*  *  *  *  *

I’ll use myself as an example.

I was a dorky kid, with glasses and stringy hair who sweat A LOT; my teenage years were full of acne and fast food and big clothes (early 90s style) and some boys but ones who were mostly good and respectful; college was a wasteland, and my 20s was about testing the waters of all different types of men, but also contending with illness, disordered eating, and the worst body image of my life. I never wanted children, so no drive to make that happen between 30-35, and now here I am, at almost 39. And it’s just gotten a HELL of a lot better.

This is the secret (aka “it gets better”).

There is a multi-cultural desire to diminish women as we age, as we get out of our child-bearing years (whether we wanted any kids or not) and supposedly out of our tight little bodies (how many women ever live up to this ridiculous ideal?).

And yet aging provides our power. We understand our minds, our bodies, our selves to a degree that would blow our 24-year-old minds. We pull inside and check our internal compass a trillion times more than we did before age 30. More and more, we see our bodies for the amazing sacred machines that they are, and treat them with the respect that they deserve (sometimes, we just need a bit of tweaking). Ever year that goes by, we give less of a shit of what other people think of us, and more of a shit about going after what we want. This is the time to connect to your soul purpose if you haven’t up to this point. This is the time to say, “I deserve it all, too.”*

I know this isn’t the case for every woman over age 35. I know plenty have kids, jobs, face institutional racism and sexism, feel their bodies are getting out of control, and/or feel the sting of lost youth. My message to you is that I believe everything I wrote in the previous paragraph can be true for you, too, despite all of these things. But the first step is you have to find that place inside of you that believes it. And do everything you can to keep connecting to and coming back to this place.

Figuring this out for myself, while understanding that not every woman is in the same place, is what inspired me to create my SensualMagic: A Guide for Women 35-45 program**. It’s an introductory holistic program that begins you on the journey of recognizing your beauty, your power, your absolute radiance and supreme worthiness.

Because you have it all in you; you just need to figure out how to access it.


*None of this is intended to diminish the experience of being under 35. What an amazing experience it is to be a woman of any age, and we always have the option to believe we deserve it all, too – no matter the age.
**Much of this program applies to women over the age of 45, as the principles are really universal. I chose the 35-45 range ONLY because of the nutritional/hormonal component, which is specific to this time of life.

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Resiliency in the Time of Chaos Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:54:59 +0000

Resiliency is keeping your heart open even when it wants to shut down completely.

It’s damn painful to look at the news everyday and see so much hate, and then it’s compounded 20-fold when something as striking and jarring as Charlottesville happens (though lets continue to remind ourselves, white people, that POC have dealt with this pain on a daily basis for all of their lives).

How do we keep our heart open when it seems like the world is doing its best to rip it from our body?

Focus on the people in your life you can give more love to. Be kinder to the people you know are suffering. Let that person go in front of you in traffic even when you are running late. Make your hugs last longer. Put away your phone and really listen to the person sitting in front of you. Think of someone who has hurt you, and wish for their well-being.

Resiliency is about strategically looking back – not getting caught in a past-downward-spiral – to all the times you’ve survived, whether this time feels better or worse.

Going through a break-up that has your heart feeling a bit too tender? Did something you created and put your soul into not become successful? Do you have a chronic illness that seemed in remission, and now it’s flaring up again? All of these situations can easily take a lot of us down, particularly if we are prone to anxiety and/or depression. But I personally think that one of the best things about getting older is that I can look back and see what I’ve survived – and what made me a stronger person because of that survival.

Use this. Use the lessons you’ve learned. Become a “watcher” of yourself – you can be both the person who is feeling your feelings AND the one who holds the space for yourself, understanding this is a small moment in a big life. Allow those feelings to truly come up without trying to cut them off so that they can actually cycle through you, not get stuck. Trust that they won’t take you down because you’ve survived before, and you will survive this time, too.

Resiliency is about understanding yourself – your patterns, your reactions, your trappings – so that you can begin to make different decisions, even when your immediate reaction is to do what you’ve always done.

Though I never was the girl who dreamed about marriage or having children, I pined for the one who would love my whole heart and soul as far back as I can remember. I pined for them to appreciate and accept all of me, to wipe my hurts away, to save me. I pined for this at age 7, and still did at age 27.

It’s a tough existence to lead, to believe only someone else can save you. That romantic love will be the only worthwhile thing in your life. I was always lucky enough to have an innate drive for something more (for you astrology buffs, my sun conjunct mars demands this) competing with this losing strategy around love. But it still held entirely too much sway for too long, and the only thing that truly got me out of it was some deep digging.

It began with a therapist mentioning the Enneagram to me in one of our first sessions when I was 23. Over the next several years, I nose-dived deep into all manner of getting to know myself – I became vegan, I learned my Ayurvedic type, I learned meditation and visualization, I saw intuitives, I began to learn about Astrology, I read runes, and the list goes on and on. Since then, I’ve continued to add more knowledge into my arsenal, learning about the complexities of introversion, coming to understand my attachment style, reading up on Gene Keys. All of this is to say, I began to see clearly what my blocks were – why I so desperately wanted a savior, what personality traits were inherent and what I got from family, and most importantly, how to begin to make different choices, even when my body and mind seemed to want to keep me trapped in old ways.

I believe that understanding your own motivations allows you to be truthful with yourself and “catch yourself in the act” so that you no longer continue to make unconscious decisions. It’s not always easy, but it is completely possible (this is why we spend so much time in the Metamorphosis program diving into these different areas of self-exploration – I want for you to be able to make different choices, too). To me, this is resiliency hard at work.

Resiliency is about reaching out to others and honestly expressing what you are going through.

Whew, this one has been the hardest one for me, by far. My naturally introverted personality, coupled with my Individualist nature (4 on the Enneagram), alongside my Moon in Scorpio (how I process my feelings internally, and Scorpios feel things so deeply, it’s almost scary at times) has made it hard for me to reach out to others, and then when I did, I often felt let-down, misunderstood, or rejected in the end. It was easier to hold my cards close to my chest.

But I missed out on so many healing possibilities by not saying what I was truly feeling. This is not a simple concept – I do believe it’s important to be discerning in who you speak your truth to, while at the same time also working on letting go off how others react to your truth, because their reaction is really none of your business. Yet my own resiliency has grown leaps and bounds by understanding that I need others to lean on, and that I must reach out for this at times (it’s not up to anyone else to somehow innately know I’m having an issue).

Don’t be afraid you’ll say the wrong thing, that your emotions will take over, that you’ll be “too much”. You will learn by doing how to get better at expressing yourself. In the meantime, you are owning your truth, which accounts for so much of what human beings are looking for in this life.

Resiliency is about doing the work, then letting go. Sometimes, it’s about doing the work to let go.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about how hard it can be to let go of something you truly wanted, you truly believed in. She confided it seemed that other people could do it so easily, while she just couldn’t seem to release stuff. Oh, it’s so damn painful, I know! But our views of what an outcome of a situation should be often doesn’t line up with the reality of what it is – we have lessons to learn in this life, and if everything simply turned out exactly how our brains wanted it, we’d never learn anything!

The more I learn, the more I recognize letting go is an art form, a muscle, a strategic act to be done over and over again. You don’t let go once and everything is good from there on out, just like you don’t go to the gym and lift weights once and expect your biceps to be perfect Wonder Woman replicas. It’s a practice that you build up over time. Use your tools.

Do what your soul calls you to do, then let go of where it’ll go.

Go after love, then let it go if it isn’t that.

Eat the foods/do the workouts to craft your ideal body, and then laugh at what you imagined the ideal would be.

Trust that people are good and kind, but let go of them if they prove otherwise.

Be authentic, and let go of what anyone else has to say about it.



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Sometimes (In Praise of Your Full Emotional Spectrum) Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:40:50 +0000

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Helen Garvin’s necklace.


Sometimes, your body’s gotta eat just as much as it wants to, which is a whole shitload more than it “should”.

Sometimes, you have to say no in order to get the yes you really want.

Sometimes, you realize you have many soulmates, and they surround you on a daily basis.

Sometimes, you get to that place where as a woman, when you are told you are too much, too often, you say, “damn right I am”.

Sometimes, you appreciate the love you are given in lessons learned.

Sometimes, you take that nap instead of doing the work you are supposed to do.

Sometimes, you look back and say, there, under the tree on that bench with that person leaning out of their car window, it was a love that will never be reached again, and that’s okay.

Sometimes, you create a world that is only yours, that is safe, and validates everything you feel deep inside. Sometimes, you recognize this is self-love.

Sometimes, you look at them and think, what worlds are hidden underneath their gaze?

Sometimes, the memory of their death makes your stomach churn to the point you are afraid you’ll leave your insides on the floor right there for everyone to see.

Sometimes, you want to shake your friend free of what they are trapped inside of.

Sometimes, your cat makes you giggle incessantly. Okay, many times.

Sometimes, you look around and wonder how you’ve come this far, that you can feel this much joy, even when the pain arises, because you’ve come to understand the beauty in it all. So you let it rise.

Sometimes, you get the text that makes it all better because those women in your life are so damn incredible.

Sometimes, you wonder what their heart would look like open, but you are proud you made the choice not to wait around and figure it out.

Sometimes, it’s all okay.

Sometimes, none of its okay.

Let it rise.

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Work, then flow Sun, 18 Jun 2017 12:03:37 +0000

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Work, then flow. It’s my new mantra.

Let me back up a moment. I find myself – my proclivities – to fall somewhere in between the grounded and woo. It’s been the course of my life; if you are at all interested and understanding of the woo, my south node of Pisces and north node of Virgo, along with my sun in Capricorn and moon in Scorpio, tells the story well. Plus my creative fire Enneagram Type 4 goes to the perfectionist, down-to-earth Type 1 when I ground those ideas that float in from the ether.

If you put together all the clues, decode all of the structures developed over millenia to dive into our personal path, my large lessons in life come in the form of finding a balance in all things (please note, this does not mean finding the elusive point at which all things are equal. This, in fact, does not exist). This is not true for everyone, so please don’t take this as me saying it’s your path.

The lesson I want to share about balance that may be helpful to you has to do with achieving what you want in your life, whether that goal be about an external desire like a primo job or an internal need to find more joy and less pain.

You can’t just sit and wait for things to ‘flow’, no matter how hard you work to believe it is so.

You can’t just do the hard work and force things to happen with your will.

Mindset is essential.

Letting go is essential.

You have to do the work in order to achieve the flow.

You find the flow within the work.

Do not pay someone, or buy a program, that tells you if you simply change your mindset, the money will come. First of all, changing your mindset is hard work, and you need to be ready to do the work to really change it. Second, you still need to do the work of the thing that will bring you money. Mindset helps with how fast it can come in, the amount (if you believe you are worth more, you’ll get more) and many important factors, but it will not come without the work.

But the magic of the flow comes inside of the work, when you find the meditation in what you are doing, when you connect to the passion that comes back around even if you think you have lost it, from the perseverance of making it through the tough part and finding that sweet spot.

Absolutely nothing has been created in all of time without the work. Absolutely nothing has flourished without the flow. Find the balance.

Work, then flow.

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