Trust, Risk, Play and Create a Life Worth Living

This post is written by Nia Teacher and Trainer Sophie Marsh, who thrives on sharing her contagious passion for Nia and inspiring people to live authentically. She teaches innovative Nia classes, playshops, retreats and White Belt Trainings.

Have you ever wanted to go beyond what feels safe and shape your life into a magnificent tale of adventure and triumph?

During my childhood, the "good girl" in me gained a feeling of worth by helping and pleasing others, taking roles of responsibility (read bossy big sister!), achieving academic success and doing what I believed was expected of me. Her strengths gave me self-discipline, the power of intention, and motivation to do my best aligned with social justice and compassion.

Another "me" harbored a wildness inside that longed to be unleashed. As a child she expressed herself through dancing, playing in the rain, camping in the great outdoors, body surfing the big waves, and traveling with the family. She helped develop my belief that God lives in everything, that all life is sacred, that the extraordinary is possible, and that feeling scared out of my wits is more often then not a sign that I need to just do it!

Her fearless passion for life inspired me to abseil down Balinese cliffs, dangle by my ankles to kiss the Blarney Stone, hug east-Berliners as they crossed the wall to the west, ride a motorbike around Santorini, drive a taxi in Nairobi (don't ask!), bungee jump in New Zealand, climb 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado and commune with Spirit at Uluru, Notre Dame, Aya Sophia and Wat Phra Kaew. Her voice gave me courage to abandon my law degree, have three children, leave a 14-year marriage, and embrace the relatively unknown practice of Nia as my sacred livelihood.

Taking risks has brought many peak experiences, but it's often from the unexpected–the "mistakes" and "failures"–that I've received the greatest lessons. I've been held against my will in Morocco, had everything but the clothes on my back stolen in Madrid, been trapped alone in a London nightclub basement, suffered dehydration and exhaustion after getting lost cycling through Kenya’s Hell's Gate National Park, and nearly drowned in deep water off the Great Barrier Reef! I've traversed gut-wrenching grief, ecstasy, scrape-me-off-the-floor heartbreak, and cracked-wide-open love. I've beheld breathtaking beauty and devastation–natural and man-made–and witnessed humanity at its best and most challenged.

Since 1999, Nia has guided me to accept and celebrate all the different versions of myself, no matter what life presents. The practice gives me "response-ability," principles and practices to sense truth in my body, to consciously explore my edges and push beyond them.

I believe life is a sacred adventure of love, growth, movement, transformation, expansion, soul connection, creativity, healing and intuition, all grounded in the wisdom of the body. I cherish experiences of deep play, embody my feminine, envision astonishing dreams and manifest my heart's desires. Every day with Nia, I cross my own boundaries, only to find more of myself on the other side.

To engage in life fully while honoring all aspects of myself is a choice that begins with knowing and trusting my self, and getting out of my own flippin' way! I am here to serve, to share and to shine. Balancing trust and risk, I open to joy, love, magic, possibility, abundance and deep fulfillment that I am creating a life worth living and inspiring others to do the same.