It always seems that I have to get that universal kick in the butt before the concept of self-care crosses my awareness. In complete opposition to what I encourage with my clients. Yes, guilty of doing, more than being.
A recent round with a cold/flu virus knocked me back...again...seems this year I've caught everything that is going around. I probably should have received the message the 2nd time around with a cold but it took this last knock for me to sit down and reassess. My body had been talking pretty loudly before the virus...knowing I needed to do more yoga and meditation, take more time for soaks in the tub and "do nothing"time. But as many of us do, I kept putting it off until I "had the time". Well the universe made sure of that.
This time I paid attention. I took time to review just how busy I had been through the last months and in that business had neglected my being. We all get caught in the hamster wheel of "busyness" but I was more than a little surprised to see just how many hours I was logging in with work tasks each week. No wonder I was achy and sore given that both my jobs, holistic therapist and dance instructor, are so physically demanding. I let that number of hours echo around in my brain for a few days realizing I was the only one who could make the changes needed for a more balanced life.
What I find tough in that is how much I love the work that I do and how difficult I find it to say no when a client has injured themselves and is in pain, or a student is working with a choreography and has hit a wall. I realize that I'm not very different to a lot of others in the varied personal service industries, if you've been at it for any time at all it is likely because you have a passion for what you do. But again, I'm brought back to I tell others; if you get sick or disabled and can't work what is going to happen in the different aspects of your world?
So what changes have I made? With both businesses I've reduced the number of hours that I am making myself available. Saying no is difficult so I've decided during the off hours I will stay away from the computer email messages and turn the phone off. A little self preservation that will go a long ways and I KNOW that in the long run, I will have more to give to both others and myself. It is the first in a few steps that I need to implement but it is a start!
(for my adjusted hours at Hand To Health please click here)
What steps are you taking, right now, to look after you?
Something brand new!
With stretching, isolations, breathing, dance combinations and more! Blends of modern and world music, stretches and moves to open up your muscles and tone them and then putting those moves into short dance combinations.
The combinations will help to build muscle memory and improve brain integration. Your muscles will work from toe tip to finger tip and everywhere in between. You will find this session helps with more conscious breathing while you move, posture, balance, body awareness and coordination. Props may be added to the mix to bring more stretch and balance.
Saturday, 10 to 11 am, April 18th to May 16th (5 weeks)
If registration is received by April 7th cost: $50
After April 7th $60
Drop in $15
Sessions are held at the Abbotsford Ballet Studio
Does the look on this child's face make you break out in a smile? It sure did for me. What I notice is how often I witness this exhuberant joy in children but not as often do I see it in adults. It leaves me wondering why?
I do have the joy of experiencing this kind of enthusiasm for life
when I teach dance and I think it is because the women that come to class have the opportunity to forget, for just a little while, all the stresses and responsibilities of life. In the safe environment of the studio, for just a short time, it doesn't matter who they are in day to day life, what "hats" are worn, whether they are thin, chubby, tall, short, had a bad hair day, can't make the contacts go in,...none of it matters, none of it is noticed.
(While I hear others say that this is rarely seen these days, I'm blessed to be surrounded at these classes by the least judgemental and most supportive women that I have ever met) In that "freedom" I am witness to these ladies playfully enjoying the camaraderie of each other as they experience and express their creativity together (oh yes, and have the fitness benefits too.) I do get to see smiles like these and it is a blessing.
In the pure joy of others, be they children or adults, the surrounding energy is uplifting. It feels great to be around happy people. But why do you think it is seen less often in adults?
In a society where it seems that to "be too busy" is worn as a badge of honour, or where one needs to feel overwhelmed, burned out and totally stressed in order to fit in and relate to others, are we forgetting the benefits of adding Joy to life? Of taking time to play? and if so, why?
The healing benefits of laughter and joy can not be underestimated. The feel good chemicals and endorphins released in the body are essential to good health of body, mind and spirit. My great-nephew often asks me why I laugh so much, I ask him "why
It does not take a lot of effort to choose joy. It may take some time to explore and discover what brings you joy at this stage in your life, but the adventure and exploration can be joyful in itself AND it is worth the time it takes.
I'm told that when I dance or teach dance, I glow. I haven't noticed that aspect of it but what I do notice is that the rest of my world goes away for a while and I can lose myself in the joy of the music, the movement and the time I am spending with others. When teaching and I happen to notice that smile, or sparkle of joy in the eye of a student, I know that I do glow on the inside...it warms my heart to see another person in that moment of joy.
Here is an opportunity to experience some pure JOY!
In a one hour playshop we will put on some inspiring music and just move! I'll share some very basic and easy belly dance moves that we can playfully put into combinations. We will bump our hips, twirl with veils and most importantly enjoy the experience of moving in a safe and fun environment.
YOU will play at the speed and level of movement that works for YOUR body. This playshop is for every woman regardless of size, age or fitness level! No dance experience is required. I can guarantee that this one hour of play will bring a smile to your lips!
Playshop size is limited so please register early. Wear comfortable clothing, bring some water and even the smallest desire or motivation to have some fun.
Saturday, August 23rd 10:00 to 11:00am and/or Wednesday, Sept. 3rd 6 to 7
Copyright © Teresa Graham, RMT 2013. All rights reserved