00:00 You’re listening to the live happier, longer podcast, episode eight.
00:15 Welcome to the Live Happier, Longer Podcast. We’re your hosts, Molly Watts, and Angela McDade. We are here to help you build the habits of the happier, longer life. Starting NOW.
00:28 So, Angela, have you ever tried belly dancing? Not on purpose. What are you talking about not on purpose. Well, I suppose you could say after four babies there was a certain amount of belly dancing going on. Well between all eight kids, I think our bellies have danced a few times, right? Yes, yes. They’ve moved! We bring it up because today’s podcast guest is Paulette Rees-Denis, and the words she used was our belly for women is like our power center. Like it’s where we create our energy as women. And, she has a pretty interesting life to share with us. Yeah. She’s, she’s just such a fun, fresh outlook in life and she incorporates belly dancing into her coaching and it’s just, it’s so cool. Well, she’s been a trained dancer for, for basically all of her life. She’s a transformation coach. She says she’s a magic maker and a movement and motivator. Yeah. Which is just fantastic. We love movement and you always need motivated. Yeah, but we love the fact that this moving is so different than just, you know, your usual gym workout. Yeah, exactly. And she says that really anyone can do it. She works with people right up into their eighties and we love that. Here’s Paulette Rees-Denis.
01:59 Hey Paulette.
02:02 Great to have you. You’re on that live happier longer. We’re just excited to talk with you today and learn a little bit more about your really, fun journey, I think is a good way of putting it. Do you, do you feel like you’ve had a lot of fun?
02:18 It’s amazing. It’s Super Fun and super adventurous and very expanding and awesome.
02:26 Excellent. Awesome. We know we’ve talked a little bit about the fact that you’re a transformation coach. You, you consider yourself a magic maker and we love the idea that, our favorite part of your title is a movement motivator. That’s fabulous.
02:43 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
02:45 So tell us a little bit about your journey and what you’ve, you know, where you’ve been in and kind of what makes you a great transformation coach and, and a little bit more about that movement motivator.
03:55 So I have had a very long and gorgeous career. Uh, I’m, I’ve just turned 61 and I’ve been a dancer and an artist and a writer all my life, like from, you know, from little. So I really have danced around the world. I’ve written for centuries and, movement, I think movement is so important. So as a dancer, of course, dance as a self expression but also as a connector, and in my line of dance, Gypsy Caravan Tribal Belly Dancing. It really is about the connection. Um, and what’s so beautiful about it is it’s ageless. So it’s for every woman and man, but I would say predominantly women, no matter your age, no matter size, no matter culture, no matter background. And because it’s a feminine based dance, it is so life affirming and so it’s incredibly healthy, and the whole concept of Gypsy caravan is about a wellness lifestyle so that we do a age with grace and strength and empowerment and beauty each in our own individualistic way, but also is a tribe as a connection.
04:23 How did you get started or how did you get so interested in tribal dance in that, in that aspect of your dance?
04:29 Well, I actually invented this particular style.
04:34 Twenty seven years ago or so. Twenty eight. I lost count, but I studied, I was, I was in another dance performance group in the bay area in San Francisco in the eighties, and always, like I said, I’ve always been a dancer, so I was trained classically ballet, jazz, tap, and then I became a modern major for a while, and in between I played music, I played guitar, I played piano, I wrote, and then I was a photographer for. I’ve had many,
05:03 Worn many hats!
05:05 Like a cat of many lives. Right. Which is just so full of life. And that’s just how I’ve always lived. So the tribal dance, I’ve studied different cultures of dance. Do you know from the Flamenco from Spanish to African, Indian and just the ancient ancient traditions and rituals to contemporary dance, but I don’t think that with this style, you don’t have to be a professional dancer. I mean it really is for every woman and you can dance in your living room or you can put it on stage or you can just come to dance class once a week and feel really good in your body. It’s about being present. It’s a moving meditation.
05:46 That’s awesome. Moving meditation. I think the idea that it is for everybody, that’s the best part of it.
05:53 Oh absolutely. And the tribe, I mean it does the families together, even though maybe the men don’t dance or maybe they do or maybe they play music or whatever, but it really is a connection and it’s about the connection. It’s about the connection between each of the dancers and again, it really brings in that moving meditation because it is so about being present because it’s based on an improvisational language so it’s not choreographed. So you learn a language, you learn the steps and then you put them together improvisationally in the moment. So there’s a leader and there’s a follower.
06:29 Oh, that’s really cool!
06:29 Just like in any tribe.
06:35 So is it like in Polynesian, tribal dance. It’s kind of, it tells a story a lot of times?
06:40 Not so much. Not so much. I mean you can, there’s certain aspects in certain props you can use a baskets and pretend that you’re going to the market or whatever, but not so much. It’s really just about the movement and the moment. But I also incorporate a lot. I studied yoga all my life and other forms of dance. So even outside of that specific dance world, like with my coaching clients, it’s about movement. It’s about being present in your body.
07:08 So that’s really great, and I appreciate that, and I appreciate you talking about that in terms of how you use both your dance experience and continuing to dance all your life, but also how you are using it when you’re coaching people. One of the things that you know that we talk about or we hear often, a lot of people right now have are getting into a very sedentary lifestyle and they know that they need to do something, but it’s scary. It’s challenging. They don’t feel confident and even though you’ve had a lifetime of dance experience and training, how do you communicate to your clients that you can do this? Anybody can do it. Yeah. You don’t need the lifetime of experience.
07:52 Absolutely. You know, again, it depends. And so I actually have an offshoot of the, the Gypsy caravan tribal belly dance called tribal groups, which is akin to a Zoomba, uh, but with belly dance. So I really bring in the divine feminine because we as women, we have hips, we have bellies, we birth things, you know, whether they
08:19 Hopefully babies!
08:20 Physical babies come out , but we are creative women is what I’m mean.
08:29 Ha! Sorry, you’re talking to two moms of four. So we’ve had things.
08:38 Well, you know what I mean. I mean we are, our womb is our creative center. Our belly is our creative zone. It’s our power. So to stay connected to that part of our body, I think in like you were saying, a lot of us have been, have been getting sedentary and I say this a lot and in fact I remember in one of my classes and a woman said, wow, I haven’t danced like that since I wasn’t in college. And it’s like because you’ve gotten afraid to move your body, you’ve been sitting on the couch or behind the desk and you don’t know, you don’t know how to move any more. You’re afraid you’re embarrassed or you might be
09:16 That’s what I was going to say, people, people get so self conscious just like “don’t look at me.”
09:22 Right, right. And so in the tribal groups class, it’s not about learning the techniques, you don’t have to make it perfect or anything. It’s just about feeling your feminine divine, Feeling your spirit, feeling the music and the rhythm and dancing.
09:38 Yeah. What is your, what is your age range, across the board?
09:44 I mean, I’ve got women in their eighties.
09:49 Which is awesome. Which is fantastic. I mean, that’s one of the things that we really emphasize. I mean, I, we talked with you about it briefly, but daily action number one is move for a reason because one of the things that people fear most as they age is a loss of mobility and it’s highly, as you know, highly preventable.
10:08 If you keep moving!
10:10 But that’s the whole thing. It’s got to be a habit that you create and that you do and I think one of the things that you’re really a witness to, not that you know, at 61 you’re not, you’re just starting your aging process really. I mean, you know, as you’re moving into the later aging is you got to find something that you love, right? You’ve got to find something that you really like to do and you should really explore different things because who knew tribal belly dancing? That could be, it could be your thing. And I love the fact that you say you’ve got a wide range in women, you know, I think one of the things that we want to encourage people is it’s never too late to try something new. You’re not too old. You know, 70 is not too old, 50 is not too old sixty is not too old, you know, just get out there and don’t worry about it and go give it a try. This might be your thing.
11:07 And along with that, so when, when I talk about movement with my coaching practice, it’s not just moving the body, it’s moving the energy that’s moving the thought processes.
11:18 Yeah. That’s because you were saying how it’s like some a meditative thing. How does that play into the, to the actual moving part, how do you find that that’s, what is the key role of the meditation side?
11:31 So I believe in meditation in many different aspects. There is guided meditations and visualisations, there’s sitting meditation, which I think is very important and necessary in our crazy world, right?
11:46 Finding stillness.
11:47 Finding stillness within yourself to find your inner being. And again, people, not only are they afraid to get off the couch, but they’re afraid to touch into their own inner self. I see that so much. They’re afraid to hear what they might hear from themselves, so they fill themselves up with busyness, you know what I mean? And then there’s moving meditation, which could be a walk in the park, it could be, I have moving meditations I do within my classes, you know, walking, I have a beautiful one called the walk to nowhere, which is walking in a circle, walking forward and backwards and forwards and backwards in rhythm. And it’s, you pass the stage just like you do in meditation where you sit there and you’re like, you’d start twiddling your thumbs and your like, okay, okay. All right, right. When is this going to be over? You know, you get over and he kind of get over that and you move through boredom and then you move to that other peaceful space of openness and freedom just like you do with this walking meditation. I mean, are you guys meditators? Do you know what I’m talking about?
12:52 I wouldn’t say so much, not to a greater degree. I have to say, since we’ve started our thing, we are great students of our own advice. Yeah, exactly. We’re learning every day on again. So our daily action number five is let go and it’s really all about letting go of stress, letting go of negative emotions, whatever they be, and many, many people find great relief from meditation and lots of benefits from meditation. So I think that it’s just another thing for another avenue for people to use to, but because it is so vitally important to let go of all that stress. Yeah. So, I would say it’s not so much meditation for me, it’s more trying to be more mindful as I’m doing things. So it’s not quite, it’s in the same, in the same realm, but it’s, it’s something, and meditation is something you have to practice. So you know, I’m getting there.
13:56 It is a practice for sure. But yeah, being mindful is being conscious, being aware and being present, right?
14:03 Well in being mindful, we have this planner that we’ve created that really helps people incorporate these five daily actions into their lives. And even for me, what I’m finding is the act of writing things down that I need to let go of, you know, helps me let go in and of themselves. So it is a practice, it’s different, different ways, but I love the idea and I actually, the idea of moving meditation actually kind of sounds good to me because I agree with you, sometimes the thought of meditating and the notion of like sitting really still and having to sit there for too many minutes. It gets me like I get a little, a little, I get a little antsy just thinking about it.
14:48 That definitely is a practice. But the thing about the movie meditation too and, and moving the body is that when you envisioned what you want, when you’re looking to accomplish something or do something and to anchor that in your body, through movement, so I do power walks as well as moving meditations. I mean, it’s a different energy, a way different energy, but no matter how you do it, it’s still it., you have to incorporate the body and the mind in the spirit. You can think things, and I, I’m a big, big proponent of writing. I have all my clients, write, I have all my students write. I’m a big journaler because you gotta get it outta your head and that’s part of that letting go process. Like you said, you write it down and it really helps to release it
15:38 And sometimes you don’t know it’s there until you go to write it down.
15:41 That’s true. So true.
15:44 Then you start writing and you go “Where did that come from?” Right, you know you’re stressed but you don’t exactly know why until you start trying to write it down and. Yeah. So I know in your, looking over at your blog and stuff, you talked a little bit about the importance of taking time for yourself and how I think people are challenged, right? In terms of a lot of women especially who are, we know, you know, from our own lives, right? In taking care of kids and moving out of that realm into a time when we’re able to focus a little more time on ourselves but don’t really know how. Yeah, yeah. This is an alien thing and somehow it feels uncomfortable.
16:26 To try for yourself? You know, there’s a thing. It’s like you start to think that it feels selfish. But, selfish can be a good thing. So part of that is a mindset.
16:38 Is that a common thread? Do you hear that from women?
16:40 Absolutley all the time, but how beautiful it is for you to be selfish about yourself so that when you take care of yourself, you are able to give much more fuller, much more for is that proper English? I’m not sure, and more beautifully from your heart when you have that connection with yourself when you take care of yourself, but if you’re running ragged and you’re frazzled and you don’t know up from down, how can you help anyone else? How can you do your work from your heart, you know, to the, to the fullest extent and it’s selfish a good thing.
17:20 Yeah. It’s like a lot of things that you know what the right thing to do is, but doing it as a different thing. You have to really to practice. You have to, you have to force yourself to do it and, and keep doing it
17:35 Well and forcing yourself. Actually. I mean, so there’s, there’s a really good example of changing your words. Your words have so much power, you know, and the things we say, you know, we can. I mean, I’m sure that you guys know, you’ve heard women, you know, make fun of themselves or belittle themselves when you give someone a compliment and they’re like, oh, this old dress, you know, I got it for a quarter at the corner store, or Oh, you like my hair and I’m not sure if I like it instead of going, well thank, you know, I feel really good in this, you know, and, and being able to acknowledge themselves,
18:10 You know, the whole idea of self talk and the way that we talk to ourselves and being able to embrace self care as something that is a necessary first step in most of life as opposed to not making it your second, third or fourth priority. Right, right, right. Exactly. Yeah. But I agree. I don’t know. I have a really hard time. I just did it yesterday as a matter of fact, I had an incident, you know, I was really uncomfortable about and people were saying, Oh, you know, oh, you did great. You did. You know, my immediate instinct was to argue, you know, like to say, no, no. You know what I mean? And it’s hard and I, I, I caught myself and said I’m going to and even said it out loud, I’m going to resist. Resist the urge to argue and just say thank you.
19:02 Yeah, right? Accept it allow it. Allow yourself to receive that beautiful thing.
19:10 We are our own worst critics, that’s for sure.
19:13 But that’s what I was talking about is the words, the words that you say to yourself, you know, so you can make it hard or you can make it a beautiful thing. It’s your choice.
19:23 Yeah. That’s one of the things we say about the five daily actions is the simple and the are simple, but it’s just how you go about making sure you do them and keeping on track. They’re still a choice. There’s no choice involved everyday,
19:39 Right? So you can make the choice. You can make the decision to do it or not do it, to make it hard or to make it easy. And if you think about the purpose, if you think about the result, why you want to take care of yourself, really simple, right? Think about what is the purpose to feel good? It’s simple, but sometimes you’ve got to put your purpose into it so that you’re actually motivated to do it. If I want to exercise every day, what’s my reason? What’s my purpose? Well, the result would be that I want to have a strong trim, toned body. Purpose is that it makes me feel really good. I feel good in my skin, makes me feel good in my posture, makes me feel healthy, gives me the motivation and the reason to take the actions to get there. So with all you know, you like your five action steps. The reason, what’s the purpose?
20:49 Yeah. And it is. It’s ultimately to, to feel good. It’s to live a happier longer life. We, you know, we are very based in both science and the result being, not only increased longevity but improved overall quality of your life because we talk a lot about the fact that it’s no fun reaching 85 if you’re not happy about being there. Right? And you can’t really achieve a longer, happier life if you don’t start taking actions in your midlife and beyond to whenever you have to be focused on that outcome. And with the way the aging population is right now, and statistics, we talk about it here is just if you reach the age of 65, statistically speaking, you are going to most likely see 85. And so wouldn’t it be nice to be happy about it once you do, you know? And uh, so that’s where those, where the five daily actions came from.
21:49 So on your blog today, we noticed that you were talking about finishing up the year and we, of course, we don’t want to go to political in our conversation, but there’s a lot going on right now. A lot is enough to cover what’s all going on . Yeah. And so the climate of the world is a little unsettling, I think for a lot of people. But regardless, you have to, you have to do you and make sure you’re doing what is good for you, and if you’re doing that, then the knock on effect of that is you set a, I don’t Dunno, a climate within your own little bubble that you’re in. So it’s really important to to make sure you are doing what is good for you.
22:38 And moving forward. I think that’s, that’s part of the problem sometimes these days is that people get stuck in their old stories or the letting go process, but they, I start to identify with those old stories instead of moving forward.
22:56 As a coach, that’s what I deal with. I don’t deal with the past idea with the future I deal with and now. And where do you want to go? How do you want to expand? What will make your life bigger, fuller, brighter, happier, more joyful.
23:07 So when you do that. So it sounds like, I mean, I’ll know obviously a lot of our, you know, our actions probably intertwined with how you work with your clients. Talk to us a little bit about what you would say is your, you know, your favorite tip for making the rest of your life the best of your life.
23:27 My favorite tip. Well, you know again the, the, the name of my coaching businesses, movement, momentum and magic and, and those are the values. So there are three tips instead of one moving, like I said, moving the spirit as well as the body momentum to keep beautiful energy. And you do that through movement. You’re natural mindset. Keep that momentum, get that motivation and, and move it forward. And magic is living every day lit up everyday magic. The world is an awesome place. We are so full of magic and beauty and power and you know, awe, and not to forget that and to be so present and to live lit up.
24:15 Yeah, I love your little cool. Life is for living in loving. That’s great. Yeah. When you talk about magic, it’s obvious that you’ve, you’ve had a very creative life. I mean you’ve led a very, you’ve been creative in writing and photography and dance and I know there’s, there’s been studies that show that, you know, picking up a new creative habit as you age too, helps you develop this attitude of optimism and a positive outlook, and we talk a lot about ways that you can create a positive mindset, right? Things that you can do. And so obviously the movement is huge. Finding something that you find magical is part of that too.
25:04 So give us the domains where people can get in touch with you if they want to learn more about both Gypsy Caravan Tribal dance and also your Movement, Momentum and Magic. Yes, I did it.
25:17 Well I’m kind of all over the social web, so I have a couple of different websites. http://www.paulettereesdenis.com my coaching website. I Have http://gypsycaravantribalbellydance.com if you you want to go to the belly dance world? www.tribalgrooves.us is the divine feminine fitness. And then of course I’m on instagram and facebook .
25:39 And all those wonderful social medias.
25:41 I have a blog, I have my video, video cast, heart and hustle, visionary healers, movers and shakers were I also interview women and sometimes men who are making great change and beautifying the world. And that’s super fun. I’ve been doing that for going on two years now. I just did my 45th.
26:02 Super awesome. And every now and then I do lots of facebook lives.
26:07 Wow. You work with people in no matter where they’re based, is that right?
26:12 I do. Most of my work is actually online these days now. I’ve traveled around the world and taught for years and years and years. And now most of my stuff is online, which is fantastic. Although I still travel. I’ve got a retreat coming up in Mexico in April.
26:28 It’d be great. And um, let’s see. I just put out a poetry book.
26:32 Oh lovely. I didn’t know about that, I’m going to have to put that. So we’ll put all of the. We’ll put all of these and these links in our show notes so people can connect with because they may want to. And you’ll have to give us the title of your Poetry Book too because I’m sure people will want to learn more and explore more about that. You’ve got such a wonderful aura, such, you know, great experience and a great energetic vibe that I know people are going to want to learn more for sure.
27:02 Oh, thank you.
27:04 Well, we appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today.
27:06 I love it. I love what you’re doing. I love what you’re bringing to the world. It’s so good. It’s so important.
27:12 Oh, appreciate it. You’re a great example of continuing to just keep on growing. I mean, did you mention to us on air or did you do that before? I don’t want to say it out loud if I’m not supposed to. You’re just. You just turned 61?
27:25 61. Woo hoo!
27:26 Yeah, I know. I mean do you really plan on slowing down anytime soon?
27:36 Right, exactly.
27:37 My mom, just turned 92.
27:39 Hey, alright, my dad’s about to turn 91. It’s awesome.
27:43 You know, life is good. Life is good. I really, I really actually love the growing older process. A lot of people want to look younger and do all those crazy things that they do to themselves to look younger and I love getting older.
27:58 You look fabulous. So yeah, I think not a video, not a video cast, but hey, we’ll say it. And I think that’s part of the how you feel inside it, it comes out and it shows in how you look, so if you have a fresh positive outlook on life, that’s how you look. So it’s really, it’s hugely important.
28:20 And not settling. Yeah, right. Never settle.
28:24 Yeah. I love everything that you’re up to and, and can’t. I’m, I’m definitely gonna. Check out the belly dancing. You might find it a couple extra people knocking around in your class. Exactly. Four boys later. I have lots of room in my belly and my hips.
28:44 I love it. Use it baby, use it!
28:48 Well, Paulette, it has been a real joy to talk with you today. Like I said, we will put all of your links and the ways that people could connect with you in our show notes and we just thank you so much for taking time to talk with us on live happier longer.
29:05 Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. Keep it going on girls.
29:10 Will do.
29:12 Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. Now it’s time to move, learn, share, and let go. Five daily actions to make the rest of your life the best of your life. See you next week.
- Heart and Hustle: Visionary Healers, Movers, and Shakers
com/blog/heart-and-hustle- visionary-healers-movers-and- shakers-a-video-and-podcast- series-3/