We Are the Art and the Artist


By: Debbie Rosas  |  April 13, 2009

“Every brilliant experiment, like every great work of art, starts with an act of imagination.”
- From Proust Was a Neuroscientist - by Johah Lehrer

It is the first day of spring and the air reflects change and growth. The colors are beginning to emerge and the poetry of the world we live in is about to sing. I love this, as I feel like I am in the midst of the earth taking care of herself - self-healing. For some reason I love to read in spring. As usual, the books I am most attracted to are scientific in nature.

My favorite new book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, by Johah Lehrer, is a book about artists who, through their own journeys and art, anticipated the discoveries of neuroscience. It is a beautifully written book about writers, painters, and composers who, through their shared and yet individual methods of art, explored and discovered real, tangible truths about the human mind -  truths that science is now re-discovering. Their imagination foretold facts about the future we are now hearing about.

Lehrer describes how Whitman, Eliot, Darwin, Proust, and Woolfe all lived to witness the birth of science. He explains how each wanted to understand consciousness, not from science but from the inside, from their work and personal experience. They looked inward to create their art, and for each of them, their art was exquisitely self-conscious. In light of science questioning the essence of human nature, they never stopped believing in art, and said, “Our truth must begin with us, with what reality feels like!” We Nia people can relate.

Many scientific theories have come and gone since then, but the work of these artists has endured, as wise and resonant as ever. While Lehrer said, “We need art to frame the mystery,” Carlos and I say, “Life is Art.” We are the art and the artist. Our body and life is the canvas, and Nia is the medium we use to frame the mystery of life. Nia is what we use to experience and sense the landscape of what it means to live a full and passionate life as a spirit in a body. Nia is what we do to experience our selves, moving and Dancing Through Life. It is our practice, workout and lifestyle for sensing through emotion, pleasure and sweat. We sense our beauty and power as we listen and dance to the music. It is what we are privileged to do and teach. It is our art, what we use to explore and discover truths about our self, the body, and the world. It’s a good job — becoming the best we can be while working! At the end of the class and day, ask yourself, “What have I learned and received that has changed my body and life this moment?” Never forget that Nia is your healing work. Nia is yours to feel better, look better, and live better in joy and in pleasure.