If you're a little uptight and feeling stressed. Dance it out. I'm talking to everyone here, guys and gals!
Shut the door, put your headset on and move. You will feel rejuvenated. Let your feet do a little tap routine under the desk. Do a double step or two when taking out the garbage.
Dancing is proven to improve stress management and reduced psychological distress and has lasting effects
Dance is rhythm. Rhythmic movement increases energy and lowers anxiety levels.
Dance is definitely exercise. And along with the benefits of exercise it increases our confidence in how we move and the space we take up in the world.
Dance can be spontaneous, teaching us to trust our instincts and impulses.
Dance is often done as a community. Being around others who are also moving can decrease feelings of isolation. It can also support us in learning how to form healthy relations around wellness and common interests and fun.
Dance expressed our individuality. It helps us recognize, appreciate, and love the unique ways in which each we hear and respond to music.
Dance is every expression and everywhere. There is dance in each of us. How we navigate a shopping cart, or run up the stairs, or wave to a friend are all forms of movement unique to us. Movement can be dance.
Dance can empower us and provide a new lens through which to see the flow of everyday life.
Dance is language. As Martha Graham explained, self-expression has the power to point us in new directions in terms of thought and behavior. Learning new forms of creativity often enables us to non-verbally express emotions that could be challenging to share any other way.
I was fortunate enough to see Derek Hough, a two time Emmy winner, choreographer and dancer in concert. It was an evening of incredible dance and I watched not only the amazing performance on stage but I also watched the audience. When someone on stage leapt, the entire audience seemed to jut their chin forward as if adding their energy to the leap. When a Tango started, people sat up straighter and rolled their shoulders. Many from their seats in the audience were imitating micro movements of the people on stage. We were entranced and even in our microscopic ways, from our seats, we danced along. I've never seen a more happy and energized audience at the end of an evening.
Martha Graham, a well known pioneer of choreography, has said that dance is the hidden language of the soul. I believe her.
She also said:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others”
― Martha Graham
I believe this applies to all action. Whether you are taking action toward the career of your dreams or an item on your bucket list, you're actions toward these things are uniquely you and therefore not open to comparison. So few in this world take action necessary to get clear about they want and then take concreate steps to attain it.
Working with a career/life coach supports you in getting out of your own way and on with taking the actions that create your best life.
Live the Life the Your Soul Intended.
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Like smelling coffee beans after having evaluated one too many colognes, I need a reset in my day after tackling several related things. For me that reset often comes in the form of picking up a book of poetry or verse. Why verse? I think it's because it requires me to slow down and focus in an entirely different way.
Making that switch from thinking one way to thinking another is like a mini-massage for my mind. My brain literally loves it. I come away from those pages renewed and ready to tackle the rest of my day.
Sometimes the poetry book I pick up is one that was given to me by my brother, Douglass Guy, a poet in his own right, several years ago.
The inscription from him read:
For the courage it takes to walk in your shoes, I offer the steps of another.
Since receiving the book it has always been sentimentally close at hand. Even thru a major round of downsizing precipitated by a relocation and the giving away of 3/4th of our home library, this book, remains with me.
The book is a collection of prose poetry by Mary Oliver who passed away today.
My first thought when I heard of Mary Oliver's passing, wasn't of her Pulitzer Prize or her volume of works or even of loss, a topic she had always dealt with with such honesty. It was of gratitude. For my brother and for her. Her themes were so often about gratitude. And I felt gratitude for the many times over the years, that her turn of phrase delighted me.
I have often been comforted by the way she marveled at the capacity we have to be humans and to be both humble and resilient in our humanity.
There are two excepts from her work that I have nearly memorized over the years. The first is from her poem “Messenger”. I included only a brief excerpt above but I’ll include a link to the entire poem at the end and invite you to take a few moments to breathe it in.
The second is from her poem, “Heavy”, which I always think of in three parts, though it is not really written that way. The second 'part' always resonates with me.
In my feeble attempt to help you to see it the way I see it, I’ve played with the font of the text a bit, but otherwise it is presented as she intended. I invite you, if a bit of a brain shift is needed in your day, to take a moment to breathe this in, perhaps twice, and see if it provides the mini-vacation for you, that it does for me.
Rest in Peace, Mary and thank you.
Heavy, By Mary Oliver
I thought I could not
Go any closer to grief
I went closer,
And I did not die.
Surely God had His hand in this,
As well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
And my laughter,
As the poet said,
Was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry
But how you carry it-
Books, bricks, grief-
It’s all in the way
You embrace it, balance it, carry it
When you cannot, and would not,
Put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
to which there is no reply?
- Mary Oliver, 1935-2019
Let us all be brave and bring our talent to the world. When we do so we are all lifted.
By Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird-
Equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
Keep my mind on what matters,
Which is my work,
Which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoincing, since all the ingredients are there,
Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a hear
And these body-clothes,
A mouth with which to give shouts of joy
To the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
Telling them all, over and over, how it is
That we live forever.
Certified and Experienced Career and Life Coach
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