In this lifetime I have received greatly. And I’ve given a great deal too. And somewhere within this great exchange I got lost. Am I giving or receiving, shape or shaper, teacher or apprentice, mother or mothered. And I found myself alive in this great exchange.

I am Dodie Sobretodo. Proud mother of Sheppard Marcus Sobretodo Leslie. The rebellious & grateful daughter or Editha Sobretodo. The dancing, smiling granddaughter or Juliana Dumayas. Daughter of HERE. Mothered by many. Mother to many. Daughter to the infinite. And proud and grateful to be part of this great lineage.

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The Business of Hugging

This morning I was at the daycare dropping off my son. As I sat with him, over breakfast I witnessed something so incredibly touching. There were two separate children in tears. And I watched as the daycare staff scooped these children up into a tight embrace. How these children yielded to the support. How they wrapped their arms around these trusted adults. How these adults offered love and support and embrace and space to cry. The sight of this nearly brought me to tears.

It struck me how fortunate it is that there are places and people that are in the business of embracing the child. That I can drop my son off at his daycare and know that I can trust that he will be scooped and up and held by the staff there as needed. How their willingness to hold my son, holds me in my ability to walk out the door of the daycare day after day. So that my body can soften and relax into the work I need to do. So that my son, can soften into the life he’s meant to live and relax into the work he needs to do. That as he grows older the remembrance of these hugs may allow him to hold and receive the cries of another.  And allow him to be soft and cry and be held in the arms of the another as needed.  That the remembrance of these hugs will allow him to hold and receive the immensity of his own potential.

I hold space for the potential of more and more moments like these in this world. Moments where we can soften around one another.  Moments where we can allow ourselves to be held. Moments where we can do the holding.  Moments that offer sanctuary for the cries of the soft body.  Where we can relax and find the ground to rise up and do the work we are all meant to be doing. There is such potency for our humanity in moments like these and I speak for them because they are precious and worth paying attention to.

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Reacting to Objects: Mindfulness, Tech and Emotion

I think that this practice of taking body awareness of the yoga mat and dance studios is really where it’s at. The integration of body awareness to the real world and our everyday activities is where we get real traction with these practice. Everything becomes this portal in to more meaningfully lead life. Thank you for sharing your embodied experience.

Museum in a Bottle

There’s been a lot of discussion about mindful looking and unplugging in museums of late. By pure coincidence, I’ve been thinking about looking at objects while traveling over the last 2 months, developing an understanding of how mindfulness and technology work together for me to connect emotionally with museum objects.

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IN SEARCH OF THE NAKED TRUTH: And how I finally found it

The truth is that I long desperately for the simple and the stark. That I look around at the complicated ways we exist. At the stories we tell. And the loneliness at the heart of it all.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 7.22.28 AMI have fought for the truth my entire life. Raised by lies. Married to lies.  I’ve fought to hold a sense of true while standing on a wonky moving ground. It felt that if I didn’t stay vigilant and fight for the truth, that the ground would swallow me up whole.

So in the quest for truth, I became a lawyer only to find myself immersed in this world of story telling. And posturing. Where our simple humanity seemed to have no business being.

Then I found dance and movement. Movement.  The purest and truest of ways to be in the world. As soon as we start to make sense of it,  describe it, contain it. It starts to lose it’s purity.  The words and contemplation starts to narrow and contain experience.

I dance in the park quite often inquiring into the reality of how it is we move and exist.  I would inquire for hours into simply shifting weight from side to side. The many ways I could experience left. And the many ways I could experience right.  The the endless pathways in between. And in this simple inquiry, I felt so ridiculously alive and complete.

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I would ask myself, why if I felt so alive in this simple inquiry, was I teaching dance in ways that felt so complex. So layered and complicated. Why is it that we need to be so entertained by this form, or that form, or the promise of this or that. To lose weight, to free your soul, reach spiritual enlightenment, to lead you to ecstasy.  Why must we entice with such promises, when reality, for the sake of reality,  is so shockingly beautiful.

I came back to teaching movement classes recently. This past Sunday the inquiry started with the simple sway that happens naturally when we stand in stillness. This simple tiny sway that can be tracked back to a nearly imperceptible shift of weight. To the left. Then to the right.

What I can promise you, beyond a shadow of a doubt is that we all sway.  That we all shift weight. Trust me when I tell you that we all spiral.  That we all rise and that we all fall.  That there is truth and  justice found here.

Finally, as a teacher I can stay true to the truth and to myself. I need not make shit up, I need not pretend, I need not resort to anything other than the simple reality of what is already moving in us.  And that this simple truth is magnificent, and fascinating just as it is.

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Soul Motion Sundays

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.57.42 PM 9:30 am – 10:45 am
Sunday Feb 22, March 1, 8, April 8
(more dates to follow)
Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue

Step onto the dance floor for Soul Motion Sundays. In this early morning sanctuary we come back to knowing ourselves simply, as bodies moving through space and time. We will attune, attend, listen, and stay curious as we move in relationship with others.

Soul Motion is an inquiry based practice in the basic principles of movement.  Through this simple portal in, we map the terrain of our potential as one and one of a greater whole.

Every body is welcome. No co-ordination or dance experience necessary. As we build our capacity to attend to the moment, this simple yet transformative movement discipline builds our capacity for everyday service and leadership on and off the dance floor.

IMG_0527The class is hosted by Dodie Sobretodo who is committed to the service of humanity. As such she holds the broadest and deepest possible space for all and for one to shine. She sees all things she does as a portal into a more practiced and informed life. Some recent practices include single mothering, coaching, Somatics, writing, holding hands, silliness, stillness, and fucking up every now and again.

For more information please contact Dodie at (613) 290-3250 or email at or visit her blog at

For more information about Soul Motion please check out

I am the Proud Mother …

I am the proud mother of S.M.S.L. He just turned two and is rather awesome. He is a dancer and a mumbler. He’s a picky eater and loves to hang around the house naked from waist down. He seems to have an aptitude for Lego and loves taking selifes.

Yesterday I was planning on going to the Wild Oat to talk about orgasms, and talk about talking to strangers, and talk about a chance encounter with a band from the East coast. I was planning to run there and have a nice healthy sandwich. But things didn’t go down that way.

Yesterday I was the proud mother to grumpy son who would have nothing to do with going to the Wild Oat. Yesterday he needed his mother close. And quiet. In a quiet corner, on a comfy arm chair we talked about panda bears. Then we talked about blue sea lions and green sea turtles. And I felt the warmth of his little body up against mine. And I listened dearly into the silence between the words and felt deep within me how very magnificent those moments were indeed

Conversations about orgasms and foreign bands will always be there. These conversations really never end.

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The Audacity of Divorce Court

Waking up this morning in this surreal state. Today is my first appearance in divorce court.  There are alot of things that cause me discomfort about this. But probably the thing that causes me the most discomfort is having to interact with my X in the forum of “divorce court.”  I have a backlog of stories to be telling you. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve recently become more verbose. Something shifted. And I have a huge backlog of stories to tell.  One thing I’ve been meaning to tell you is that I’ve realized that there is this lexicon that lives in my body. A lexicon built over 16 years with my X that tells this story of how I loved.  It is deeply engrained in the fabric of my cells.  I know it well, this lexicon of love I will call it. What my body doesn’t know as well is the lexicon of goodbye and the lexicon of separation and divorce.

My body remembers well what it feels like to lie beside him night after night for 16 years. To be held safe and warm in his arms at night. I can still feel the warmth of his front body against my back body.  How he sandwiched my feet with his legs when they got really cold at night. How he brought me a drink of water every night before bed.  How on some evenings I’d fall fast asleep on the sofa and he’d convince me to take my tired and reluctant body upstairs. My butt can still feel the push from his hands as he forced me up those stairs and how I’d lean back with all of my body weight backwards into him. It was rather comical. That was the lexicon of bedtime. Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.58.07 AM My body remembers well how I prepared meal and after meal for us. It remembers breakfasts. Breakfasts were huge around here when X was still here. My body remembers how it made the eggs and toasted the toast.  Pulling this that and the other thing out of the fridge and onto the table. My eyes remember the fullness of the table spread. My belly remembers the feeling of full.  How I kissed him goodbye in the back room and how he rode away up the gravel driveway to work. My ears recall the sound of the tires on the gravel. And my arms remember waving goodbye and and my throat remembers calling out to him, “I love you sweety.” (with a y of course, not to be confused with “sweetie” which was what my ears recall him referring to me). This is the lexicon of our mornings and it’s a well worn dialect in this body. My hand remembers well the feeling of being held in his hand as we walked the streets of the market. How we walked the streets of the world together. My body remembers how when we walked, he always took the position between me and the street. My ears recall him saying he did this to protect me from danger of the street.  My pinky finger remembers the way it would link through his pinky and fourth finger. This is the lexicon of how we walked through space. Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.54.54 AM Today my body has the awkward task of going to divorce court. Alone.  We live a few mere blocks from one another and within walking distance to the court house.  My body is considering now the awkwardness of walking there alone. On this cold and miserable November day, my body considers walking the streets to the courthouse on the same sidewalks we walked hand in hand. Walking by the place where we had our first date.  And the place where we were engaged to be married. And the place where we rented an apartment for 3 years. The awkwardness of the courthouse and the courtroom.  I’m a lawyer, I know the halls of these places well. These are war grounds. Where people go to battle it out.  How is it that after 16 years of speaking the lexicon of love,  that I come to meet him in this place of war.  My eyes still find discomfort with seeing him from a distance and my body still finds discomfort with not closing that distance.  How he will sit in one place side by side with his lawyer. How I will sit some place different by myself.  The awkwardness of having to wait like this for our turn to be called to appear before the judge. And the awkwardness of being called by the judge. How we will walk down the aisle together once again. Yet apart.   To the war tables. This very linearly arranged room. How I will stand behind one table as respondent. How he will stand at another as applicant. How we will speak to the front of the room to a strange person called a judge about how it is we sever this life we shared.  This is a lexicon my body really doesn’t know. How to be in relationship with him in these awkward ways. What do you wear to divorce court? My mind for some reason remembers now, the dressing up for our wedding day.  Everyone knows you wear a white dress to your wedding. But what do wear to divorce court? I am learning day by day this new lexicon of how I relate to this man I now call my X husband.  My eyes feel tearing and my cheek feels the tears rolling downwards.  There is another life with all kinds of new lexicon on the other side of this divorce. It’s already happening and I’m building a new language in this body to speak to that.  But today, this body goes to divorce court to speak the foreign and awkward language of divorce to a man that I held dear for 16 long years. Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.48.26 AM

Introducing Cooking With Shorty

I want to start playing around here with some writings on cooking. I wanna call these blogs “Cooking With Shorty.” Shorty and I have been making these awesome healthy dinners together for some time. For a while there, Shorty and I noticed that our eating habits were slipping and we knew we weren’t looking or feeling our best because of that. So together we started having these awesome dinner nights we prepare a entire meal of healthy recipes found primarily from blogs. We eat gluten free, dairy free and try to limit our sugar and grains.  The entire process feels like an exciting crescendo to dinnertime. I feel like there is a distinct process forming here:

1. Recipe Selection:

Shorty does all the research, because I don’t have the time or patience for it. I receive a flurry of them via text and it’s my job to review each recipe, say yes or no. Sometimes we do an entire meal prep. Sometimes it’s a theme like raw energy bites and we do it test kitchen style preparing several similar recipes. I want to feature the recipe blogs we use and expose you to new recipe bloggers you may not have known about.

2. Foraging

Once the recipes are chosen I prepare a shopping list. I pick up some stuff, Shorty picks up some stuff. I live in the market area of Ottawa and foraging takes on a European flavour here where I go from shop to shop and to the local fresh food vendors for ingredients. I want to feature the local Ottawa businesses here as a way of community building.


And my Shortier Shorty tags along too.


3. Cooking

Shorty and I have a way with each other in the kitchen. It feels like a dance the way we move around one another. It is honestly so much fun to cook with Shorty!


4. Mandatory Dance Break

When I say that I dance with Shorty around the kitchen, I really mean that. Shorty institutes a mandatory dance break and me, Shorty and my Shortier Shorty all dance together in the kitchen.

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6. Assessment

We rate and assess the recipes. Think about how we might improve.

I live this life of intentional practice and part of that is presenting you with a balanced and real view of who I am.  How cooking spills into parenting and spills into sex talking and spills into dancing and spills into conversations with strangers. It is all one big conversation really.  So you’ll see the weaving of the various aspects of my life in my writings.

If you have any recipes suggestions, I would be happy to consider it. Any questions,  comments, ways we can improve the recipes or local shops we should check out, please do let us know.

Please come back and check out what Shorty and I are cooking up!

Lost and Found

Today I woke up in utter tears for the beauty and wisdom that I witnessed yesterday. It started out with little tears and then I was weeping.  I’m following this thread of engaging in conversations with strangers. And really listening to their stories. Yesterday evening I did a short speech on “lost and found” and in preparing for that I asked my Facebook Community for input here. I ended up speaking to 3 wise women yesterday.  I want to speak to what it is I heard. And I want to speak to how very much it all moved me in another blog. But for now I want to leave you with my Facebook posting from yesterday asking for input from others.  I am blown away by the wisdom of strangers. What comes rushing in when you ask the questions and make space for the answers. It is nothing short of pure grace.

Posted on Facebook yesterday morning:

This morning I’m thinking about what it is to be LOST. And what it is to be FOUND. I’m doing a speech on it tonight. And I am meeting with two people today who offered to speak to their experience. One is a friend and one is a stranger who is about to become less “strange” to me. 

And I remember being lost at the grocery store and being found by a worker who called my name over the sound system, and my really worried father coming to greet me there.

And I remember being lost as a late teen. Pregnant. Betrayed. Remembering somehow that finding myself then had much to do with my posse of girlfriends, and dancing to new age music.

And the crushing loss after the death of a soul mate a few years back. How that started something that I’m still following.

And I remember being lost after he left. Holding a baby in the arms of this body. And the abundance that filled the emptiness. And how that all happened.

I am a story teller and a listener of stories. Today I look forward to the enrichment of my life by the stories of two others. How they were lost. How they were found. And the space in between.

May you be lost. And may you be found. Over and over and over again.

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We Never Dance Alone

I am the proud granddaughter of Juliana Dumayas. She was a smiler and a dancer with a sharp business sense.  She was kind and generous and sensitive. I remember seeing her cry when talking about what matters to her most.  Strong and courageous she was. I wish in this moment I knew her full name to tell you. Or the years she graced this earth. Or had a picture of her as I remember her,  smiling and spiralling with joy and contentment in her eyes. I wonder often where I get my sensibilities from and I think, yep, I am the granddaughter of Juliana Dumayas.  I want to find out more about my grandmother. Like her full name and find some pictures of her and tell you more about her but another time. I tried to find a picture of myself dancing to attach to this post but I  was drawn somehow to this one taken very recently. It’s my legs on the left, and I’m dancing up a storm with my son on his second birthday.   Perhaps an odd choice for this post but it demonstrates to me this sense of lineage. My grandmother is a dancer. I am a dancer. My son is a dancer.  When I’m dead and gone I hope to be remembered fondly as a smiler and a dancer, full of courage and love.  And I hope to be remembered, referenced by this sense of lineage. I am the proud granddaughter of Juliana Dumayas and loving mother to my dear son.  I am a sister. I am an ex-wife. I am a daughter. I am an enemy. I am a friend.  We never dance alone.