Word of the Month: Focus

FOCUS: Def. v. to pay particular attention to

With COVID, came a bunch of chaos we’ve all had to navigate through over the past several months. It is a huge reason why we chose “Focus” as our September Word of the Month (WOM) in an intentional effort to support ourselves and our communities in setting aside the external distractions inevitably out of our control. Self-care is needed like never before, and so with a new month comes an amazing opportunity to reestablish our focus on ourselves.

At The Dailey Method, we have 100% excelled and succeeded at accomplishing our detailed focus on all things barre, helping people get stronger and more confident, as well as supporting them in discovering optimal alignment for the last 20 years! (Yes, you heard that right! We hit our 20 year anniversary of TDM in 2020!!). It’s incredible because those two decades, dedicated to focusing on one thing, have provided us a unique opportunity to engage with our community and teach movement in a way that makes us all feel amazing from the inside out.

With this milestone, we never anticipated a global pandemic nor how it would shape our world. Everything from our businesses, work-life, social activities, and even schooling our children have gone virtual. This constant interaction with devices can be incredibly distracting – not to mention mentally draining. In addition to that comes an unknown and the harsh reality that we have no idea when our lives will return to “normal.”

Given these uncertainties, changes, and challenges, The Dailey Method has made it a goal for September to support you with setting an intention to focus your energies and strength more inward to practice redirecting your worries towards that of self-care.

Our annual Align & Shine Challenge starts this month. Whether you’re in a virtual or hybrid community with TDM, we have 20 days (September 21-October 10) of opportunities for you to learn with us, give back to yourself, and practice radiating from the inside – out!

Stay tuned for how to sign up and participate!

Until then, here are some ideas and ways for you to begin to Focus on YOU!!!

  • Life continually throws us unexpected challenges. We throw them at you in the class choreography! In your next TDM class, focus your energy and attention on how gracefully, or not, you adjust to what is unexpected. Focus on the “noticing” versus judging so that in a moment’s notice, you can shift your focus to grace and acceptance – therefore guiding you towards success and strength! This can be carried into your life practice too.
  • Focus on a part of your body you rarely place attention on in any given exercise. Set your mind on an intentional focus to listen to what your teacher says about this body part or movement. By directing your brain to focus on these auditory cues, you begin contracting the same muscle needed in your life to be in whatever moment you are in and focus on only what is in front of you.
  • Focus on a life circumstance with insurmountable trust that it will soon change like everything else on the planet. This will help you stay present in your daily life and even in a class setting knowing that change is just around the corner. Starting here and from a place of trust/acceptance of what is – will help you awaken parts of your body, mind, and spirit so that you deepen your life practice in ways you didn’t know were possible.
  • Focus energy on leading with your light and what you love best about yourself during each of your Dailey (and daily!!) activities. Look for what’s good, positive, hopeful, and let that focus pull you away from what might be negative or scary. This will inevitably support you by highlighting your outward expression of self-confidence. This deliberate focus will do wonders for you with respect to quieting any self-criticism and will magnify what makes you shine!

Have the best month and stay healthy!

With Love,

Jill

Word of the Month: Pause

Pause: A temporary stop or rest, especially in speech or action, to emphasize meaning. 

Wow.

To say that our world hit a huge PAUSE button these last 4 months is an understatement!

Covid 19 built in an unprecedented kind of PAUSE that has deeply affected our plans, opportunities, experiences and moved us all into isolation. It took away our ability to congregate with one another, eradicated the ability to distract ourselves in the ways we had before and stopped us in our tracks by removing much of the busyness in our day to day life.

This global situation has also forced us to pause to recognize the transformations that our world undoubtedly needs. It’s been a time that has encouraged individuals and communities to evaluate what is important, assess inherent core values, uncover the wounds caused by inequality and has catapulted populations towards positive change. We must keep it going…there is so much more to do!

This time has given me pause to be truly grateful that I own a platform that has the ability to raise awareness and funds for organizations that are working to make our country and our world a better place. Historically, as a company and within individual TDM studios, we have held donation classes to help organizations we believe in both locally and globally. Just as we preach the importance of a regular practice in creating change in our minds and bodies, we also want to make it a regular practice to give back.

Each month The Dailey Method is committed to pause and take notice of how we can best effectuate positive change in our world and in our communities. Our end goal lies in becoming a consistent part of the small, incremental, baby steps that eventually will begin to heal them. For us, joining together in order to make a difference, means being intentional inside of that quiet moment so that we are able to decide where to place our focus and then what action steps to take.

This month we have chosen the Boys and Girls Club. I will be teaching a Dailey Barre class on Wed. July 8th at 10:00 AM PST and will donate 100% of the proceeds towards helping young kids in need.

Boys & Girls Clubs serve more than 4.6 million young people through membership and community outreach in nearly 4,700 Club facilities nationwide. Due in part to support from the COVID-19 Relief Fund, more than 3,000 Clubs are now able to provide some sort of food, digital programming and support to youth and families, including access to services for families of first responders, the U.S. Military, National Guard, Military Reserve, healthcare workers and other essential industries. Your support will help Boys & Girls Clubs do whatever it takes to help youth who need it most.

Covid-19 Relief Fund Giving

  • $1 can provide nutritious food for a child
  • $5 can provide a child in need with virtual homework help and mentoring.
  • $50 can provide books, supplies and virtual activities to help seven children keep reading skills sharp and prevent learning loss.

You can sign up to help support here 

In light of all that is happening around us, I would like to invite you to stop. Take a breath. Pause for a moment in order to reflect on how you will choose to become part of this global shift.

In the end, once the chaos of this pandemic slips into our generational gaps of forgetfulness – and after the amount of time we’ve spent missing loved ones or feeling isolated… for every uncomfortable circumstance we were each forced into … instead of just getting through it, let’s make certain it means SOMETHING and becomes the start of something truly amazing.

Take a step with me.

Let’s do THIS together.

Love,

Jill

Word of the Month: Explore

WOM Explore:

When I started ideating on this blog a couple of weeks ago, the direction I envisioned it taking was completely different than what I’m writing today. Seeing our world move so quickly through some really challenging times has dramatically shifted my focus, causing me to think of the word “explore” in a completely different way. It’s amazing how one hugely unsettling situation can create such a quick pivot on how we look at ourselves and those around us; if we choose to accept that necessary exploration.

From children, we are all given a certain perspective of our world based on where we live, how we are raised, and the color of our skin. We all have our own story of how we were influenced from early on, here’s mine:

I was raised in Denver in the ’70s. This was back when bussing was prevalent to support diversity. My neighborhood was not diverse but I was the minority at every school I attended from 3rd grade – 12th. I believe from an early age I didn’t really notice color or social differences. These were my playmates, friends, and my dance partners. I was part of the dance department at East High in Denver, which was one of the most diversified programs at our school. We were the same. We loved and accepted each other. I learned early on that our differences do not define us, they’re not important. I know I’ve brought that acceptance into my adult life, but, I haven’t first-hand been exposed to the really hard stuff. I’ve seen it on the media but not personally. I fully own that I need to explore what is really happening, to educate myself and my children so that we can create awareness, action, and change. 

Because I’m making it a priority to have these conversations- I asked Katina Griffin- Master Teacher Trainer, trusted friend, and personal teacher to share her upbringing and perspective:

“Like many white people, I have always positioned myself as non-racist – I moved away from a cultural climate that fostered inequality in race because it never felt fair to me to treat another human being whose blood was the same color or whose tears contained the same salt as mine – but I realize now in my adulthood – that I merely ran away from it. I hate conflict. I was unsure of where to trek or what step to take or what to say because I only hoped to avoid more rage and further dissension. While running may not have been the action to take – I stand by a deep core value that fighting and violence against any property, all races, or each other is not the answer. I am reminded that it is one thing to say, ‘lead with LOVE’ – and yet it is another to accept that part of leading with LOVE is creating the space for rage and anger to be heard and fully processed. These are the voices we are hearing and seeing.”

I acknowledge that both Katina and I have been relatively privileged. There is an infinite number of different perspectives that we, without choice, each come from. Despite how we were raised and what we were taught it’s important that we are open and decide for ourselves what we believe and how we want to show up. I encourage you to ask the questions of others and truly listen to them. And to share your own stories- I want to hear!

I feel like our world is out of alignment and, for those of you who do the Dailey Method, you know that I really prefer alignment. I want to work together -with everyone- to calibrate it. This month, I challenge you to explore by looking deep into yourselves, discovering how you really feel. Then find words for how you are feeling and courageously put a voice to those words.

We need to hold  hands (obviously metaphorically because 😱 don’t get the virus). But if we don’t reach out, connect, and allow each other space beside us we create a worse virus- distrust, separation, and hatred.

Let’s instead explore compassion, understanding, oneness, and love.

I love you,

Jill

Here are a few links where you can donate , take action steps and educate ourselves. We need to make change and we can. 

5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today

Campaign zero  

NAACP

Follow Light Watkins on Instagram

Photo credits and a touching read

 

 

Word of the Month: Learn

The last 7 weeks have given us all amazing opportunities to Learn. By being curious, open, and adaptable during this time I have had the opportunity to expand my base of knowledge in several different areas. One is learning how to give myself grace with my to-do list. Hence getting this blog out 6 days late! 😉

Our studios, overnight, had to completely learn how to do business in a different way. And we did it. We weren’t experienced, we didn’t know what we were doing or how to do it but we worked as a team to figure it out – together. We had to get messy, make decisions quickly, and accept that they might not work. I am grateful for the Dailey Method team and owners for the collaboration and wisdom they provided for us all to be able to learn and pivot quickly so we could still provide The Dailey Method practice to our communities. 

One of my favorite hashtags is #alwaysbeastudent (I honestly believe I made it up!). I am going to continue to embrace it! 

We’ve had to learn how to stay home; set boundaries with our loved ones, rearrange the house, landscape the backyard, cook 3 meals a day (and not lose our minds with the number of dishes). We’ve had to learn how to break boredom through reading, puzzles, cooking, writing, and working out. We’ve had to learn to connect through technology so we can make “eye” contact with others. 

What has this sheltering in place allowed you to learn? An exercise I did recently when I was frustrated with our new norm and all of the unknown, was to reflect on and write down 5 things that this situation has taught me. I considered “would I have learned that skill or lesson if I was not in quarantine right now?” I know learning is all about an open mindset and the drive to continue to grow and expand. But I also know I have to continue to pay attention. When I look back at my list I notice if I can direct that learning to somewhere else in my life- potentially serving me for years to come whether personally or professionally.

I encourage you to get messy and to be open during this time. Allow yourself and others around you a lot of grace in possibly getting it wrong. Mistakes can be an amazing lesson too! Every day is changing, which means we are given an opportunity to learn every day. Challenge yourself to try a new skill, grow personally or professionally, focus on yourself and your growth. Learn as much as you can about yourself. And be OK with not having the perfect answer to everything. Challenge yourself and all your knowledge. You’re doing a great job. 

Here are a few ways you could focus on learning during your new-found workout regimes:

1) In the same way, we are all currently learning new things about what is important in our lives. I challenge you to use your practice today to truly tap in and learn what your body needs during this physical challenge. 

2) Listen and Learn! On these virtual platforms, we are relying on our auditory learning skills now more than ever. Notice if there is a place in class where you can simply close your eyes and just listen to learn what is coming next. 

Let’s grow together, beat this thing, and get stronger because of it!

Word of the Month: Connection

 

Everyone views connection differently. To me it’s a hug, a smile, eye contact, connecting with loved ones. What does connection mean to you? What do you miss? 

During this time finding connections can be challenging. We have to search for it in ways we haven’t had to before. We can still maintain some connection in ways we know, however there is a lot we need to alter.

I’ve struggled with feeling connected to my girlfriends,  the studio, and the community. 

I’ve definitely had to do a mindset shift and focus on all of the ways I can feel connection during this time. 

  • Virtual Connection: Thank God for technology! Virtual connection has been HUGE for me. Coffee dates, happy hours, virtual game nights with girlfriends on FaceTime, Houseparty and Zoom are saving me. Don’t forget to celebrate the milestones that happen during this time – have a virtual birthday party!
  • Keep your workout buddy: Not being in the studio has been a real challenge for me. I miss you guys!! I am grateful for the opportunity to have live-streaming classes where I can see familiar faces and to be able to connect back and forth. Grab a friend and set up a weekly workout schedule where you hold each other accountable and you still have the connection of the studio. Turn your cameras on – you might even feel like we’re all in a room together!
  • Check-in on your people: Regardless of how close or far you loved ones are, call and text them. Don’t lose it, call your parents, your grandparents. Reach out to old friends and reconnect. Make this a priority because we all need it so much.
  • Create a Book Club: Get together with a group of friends and pick a book you’ve been wanting to read. You will find connection knowing that you are a part of something larger than yourself. Pick a date to finish the book and have a virtual date with your friends!
  • Find your hobby: What do you love? What sets your soul on fire? What is something that you have been putting off? What is something that you used to do and then lost the “time”? What is something you have always wanted to do? DO IT. You have the time. Get uncomfortable and paint when you think you’re bad. Build that 2,000 piece puzzle with your kids. Start that blog. Garden – plant some new veggies. Find connections within yourself. When your heart and your mind align, beautiful things happen. I promise to not call it a “hobby” but I’ve been connecting with my son our TikTok. I never really understood it before (still kind of don’t) but it’s been a great way for me to bond with him while dancing, singing, being silly. Doing something he enjoys doing.
  • Set a goal: Set a goal during this time. Or create a  30-day challenge with your friends and try something new everyday. For example, learn something new like baking bread, journal, learn a new game, do a crossword puzzle, put a facemask on and send pictures in a group message, etc.

It’s hard and challenging to be where we are right now in the world. There is a lot of fear and anxiety but there is also a lot of love. I encourage you to take the time to do the things you have been wanting to do. Don’t look back on this time and think, I should have done that. Connect with your family, cook and eat dinner together every night. Laugh with your kids and spouse. It is tough being in the house together but try and be grateful for the time. Accept the challenges and turn them into opportunities to grow yourself personally and your relationships with others. As humans, we need connection, we need to feel loved and to laugh. Find it in ways that will work for you – you’re worth it!

Sending you love!

Jill

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