The Spirit of Nia Tour - A Note From Jeff
By: Jeff Stewart | April 3, 2009
I am overwhelmed with memories. Big mistake not to blog during the tour. Every stop was worthy of 1,500 words (“1,500” is a blogging term. If you blog regularly, you understand this is close to a chapter). The highlights for me were the people. It always is. I love dancing, hanging and being with all of you so much I think I will by a VW van. In fact, Debbie had so much fun…(get this, very unlike Debbie), after our 14-hour train ride from Boston to Charlottesville, she told me she wants to take a year to travel by train and visit Nia Teachers worldwide. Don't get too excited (as I did) for even one brief moment. I think we will be doing more town-to-town visiting of the Nia clan, but not for a year straight and most likely not on US trains.
IN CASE YOU DO NOT KNOW, I LOVE TO TRAVEL. Train, plane, boat, bike, bus, car – hell I don’t care as long as I am going somewhere…could be the grocery store!
Anyway, the train ride was supposed to be 10 hours long but, as it often is with US trains, it was 14. It was a good day, though. I felt like we were on honeymoon. In fact, I felt like we were on a honeymoon the entire time. My time with Debbie was, without a doubt, the highlight of my trip. Sorry all, but as much as I love all of you, this trip was a surprisingly transformational experience for me in relationship to ‘me and Debbie’.
Trips like these can be dangerous as they could go either way, huh? I mean really, six weeks traveling, together every minute, things going wrong, surprises; all the stuff that builds relationship or changes them completely. If you have not already gotten it: we had a completely blissful time together. I have never been more in love with Debbie.
Beyond this, the tour was magical. Everywhere we went was a grand reunion of old friends and the opportunity to make new ones. For a guy who spent most of his life pre-Nia as a stranger in a strange land, now in a relationship with all of you, I feel like I have a family and a hometown all rolled up in one. 2,500 sisters and brothers! Thank you all.
I don’t get to see you all very often but I always feel connected. Some of our relationships go back a decade and it is a great joy for me to see you all move through life. There have been tragedies, there have been births, weddings, college degrees, changes of names, changes of games. One thing is certain: we Nia people like to change it up, and the best part is, we are for the most part in constant movement. Most often forward movement. It has been, and continues to be, one of the riches of my life to witness your commitment to growth and to be around long enough to see your dreams come true.
This tour was a nonstop reunion of friends and family, kind of like a big multi-stop wedding reception. Considering the magnitude of the tour, the logistics were executed without a hitch. To all the Producers, I thank you and I salute you. Each of you did a magnificent job - I wanna do it again!! The only glitch was in Boston, where my camera froze up and I lost the entire shoot. Dear Boston, I am very sorry. Your pictures are lost forever. The good news is, Boston was the one city in which there were a number of serious camera jocks running around.
Damn, it was cold in Boston. I almost forgot the element of weather - this is always fun. I don't know if you know, but snow is one of Debbie's favorite phenomena. I think is because she gets to dress up like a fairy snow princess (pics to follow). In Debbie's past life, she was either Mrs. Kringle or the exiled Queen of Narnia. That said, Debbie got her share of snow and cold, cold, cold.
Debbie's birthday was also on the tour. Once again it was magic. 200 people bundled around her in Vancouver BC, sounding and sending her love vibes. I had chills and tears. Thank you Vancouver, for making Debbie's birthday one to remember.
One of my favorite memories on tour was when, at one gig, I think I witnessed Carlos close to jumping out of his skin. It was at the beginning of the tune, "Move Your Body". As he began the dance, he turned from facing the crowd to his opening step, and as he did, he took flight, his body exploding into the movement. Wow, physical mastery at any age. Dude, you rock.
So now onto the next 25 years. I am more confident now than ever that Nia is on her own, her life a collection of all our dreams, visions, passions and our commitment to Pleasure over pain. Thanks to all of you, the world will be able to experience Nia until the end of time.