Dance for Joy

“Dance is the joy of movement and the heart of life” – The Radio City Rockettes

I used to wake up early on Thursday mornings for a Zumba class which has been called a fitness dance party.  All of my friends and family know how much I love to dance.  One of my nieces calls me “the Dancing Queen.”  So I was disappointed when the class was canceled several months ago.

Although there was another Latin dance class on the same morning, I didn’t check it out because I “heard” it was lower impact.  I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much. Sometimes we get stuck in our box not trying new things because we crave comfort from familiar favorites. It’s like always ordering the same dish you love at a restaurant.  But to grow we need to branch out, try new and different things, expand our perceptions.

This week I finally tried the other class and loved it! Yes, it was different but in a good way and definitely not low-impact.  The point is I dance for joy.  Moving my body to music while getting a cardio workout is what really matters.  One person who has brought the world a lot of joy said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” –Walt Disney.    Enjoy finding a new path!

Grow Through Life

“Don’t go through life, grow through life.” – Eric Butterworth

Growing

I find yoga classes at a new studio in town inspiring on many levels. Often the instructor asks you to set an intention for the day. This morning, I wanted to find a connection for today’s blog topic. Tawna, a gifted instructor guided us through a gentle vinyasa while giving insightful messages about yoga, our bodies and life. She talked about our concern with anti-aging. Similar to the seasons, we change and grow. If we let go of physical changes when we age, it allows us to grow our mind and spirit. “Don’t live with regrets, move forward.” Her mature wisdom at a young age is refreshing and impressive.

Oprah asked Michelle Obama why she chose the title: Becoming for her memoir. She told Oprah it’s silly to ask children what they want to be when they grow up because we continue to grow in adulthood. “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

The physical aspects of aging can be difficult, so I prefer celebrating opportunities to learn more, become a better person, growing older gracefully and graciously.

New Opportunities in a New Year

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day”  – Edith Lovejoy Pierce

sunlight on trees in snow

I’m inspired each January to move into a time of new opportunities, less clutter and stress, more healthy practices. Beyond the traditional New Year’s resolution lies the true intent of becoming the best we can be. It’s a time of reflection to evaluate what’s working in our life, what isn’t and ways we can make improvements.

In the height of winter, we tend to hibernate spending more time in our home with loved ones. We can let go of activities, commitments and anxiety of the hectic holiday season.  If we allow ourselves time to slow down, rest, read, chill and nourish our bodies with healthy meals, we gain a sense of peace that comes from rejuvenating our spirit.

It gives me renewed energy to adopt new practices like meditating each morning, exercising more, appreciating stillness in nature. Overall, I feel calm and confident finding I’m able to respond instead of reacting to things.  It creates a new perspective within which radiates out in all you do.

 

Kindness Matters

“My religion is very simple.  My religion is Kindness” – Dalai Lama

For the past couple of months, my shoulder and arm have been hurting.  I know three other women experiencing shoulder pain which makes me wonder if there is truth in the saying “carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

When we become burdened with pain and challenges, we need relief.   I told my physical therapist today she is a miracle worker. With her care, she is mending my arm.  Care is what our world needs to heal and help one another.

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A week ago I attended a documentary addressing hate in our country today.  A few young men were passing out Kindness Matters cards.  Their gesture was touching as we gathered for this difficult topic.  In a time where we are polarized by politics, we need compassion and consideration to unite us for our common goals: being healthy, staying safe, having freedom.

Kindness matters. Visit the sick, lonely or elderly who may not have family close by, be polite to everyone you meet, let someone ahead of you in line, start your day with gratitude, volunteer for a good cause, give someone a hug, smiles are contagious – pass them on.

http://www.kindnesscards.com

 

 

 

 

 

Letting Go

“Autumn shows how beautiful it is to let things go.” – Unknown

Full moon

Last night’s full moon showered us with light during our meditation in a park perched over the ocean. We listened to waves roll into shore as our guide gave blessings to Earth wishing peace for all beings.

I joined this full moon meditation a few times before. September was the first night we were outside in the dark.  As we walked to the park I wondered, “would the grass be wet, would there be bugs or dog poo?”  Last night, a sea lion kept barking.  I worried if it was ok since we have a marine mammal rescue center in town.  Each time I reminded myself to just let it go.

Earlier this month we enjoyed a blissful vacation in Maui. Hawaii is one of my favorite places to be because it’s the epitome of exhaling and letting go.  The literal meaning of Aloha is “the presence of breath” or the “breath of life.”  The beautiful scenery, rainbows and spirit of the islands capture your breath.  Worries and stress simply melt away.

Maui

These experiences remind me to worry less, meditate more and appreciate autumn’s life lessons.

Click here for the Planetary Meditation for Peace

Feeling Overwhelmed

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” – Sydney J. Harris

Bench in trees

At times, I feel over-whelmed with the craziness of unrelenting news stories, an on-going construction project next door and my personal commitments. Our hectic lives make it difficult to catch our breath, slow down and nurture ourselves.

It’s important to incorporate self-care practices in our daily life instead of waiting until we’re on overload. If I wake up anxious about a busy schedule, I remind myself to take a few deep breaths.  Focusing on inhaling and exhaling calms our mind.  When I begin my day stretching, meditating, or sipping lemon and honey water it starts the day in a positive way before checking Email and to-do lists.

Ultimately, we need to know we don’t have to do everything or be constantly busy. It’s ok and healthy to take time for ourselves.  Relaxing with a good book, sitting in nature, taking a walk, enjoying things that soothe our spirit strengthen us so we can keep going.

Here are some other tips and resources: