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

Keeping Sanity During the Current Craziness!

I’m still trying to conceptualize how just a couple weeks ago we were in groups of people, connecting and touching and now we’ve been confined to our homes and immediate circles. The loss of community, something so many of us take for granted, is massively affecting me. 

I’ve found a couple hacks if you’re interested…

  • Houseparty appYes, I know you could do the same thing through zoom or google hangout, but just the name of this app makes it more fun. Not to mention the fact that my kids think it’s hilarious that we’re all on it. Here’s a call to action- right now! group text your friends, find a time that works and have a virtual meet up or happy hour. I did this last weekend and the laughter (clearly as you can see from the photo) and connection filled me up. Before we ended the call we gave the space for each of us to have a few minutes to talk about what we personally were experiencing. It was good to hear some positivity but also be able to be there to support each other – and to hear that even though our struggles are different, we’re definitely not alone.

 

 

  • Create a safe workspace for yourself and have consequences if your children don’t abide by them. Just kidding. Do make sure you find a space where you can be alone, take a few breaths and take care of yourself AND also search for humor and the little things that make you smile. When something makes you laugh (like this picture!) share it out. Smile at people (from 6 feet away) even when you’re feeling frustrated or out of whack.. 

  • Keep consistent practices. Wake up at the same time every day, eat dinner and maybe even breakfast with the people you’re sheltering with. It’s okay- your new consistency might be inconsistent with what you used to do. Take advantage of this different daily structure to do something you love: read a book, watch a movie, take a bath, meditate more.

  • Take this time to grow. Our Dailey Method studios had to change our business models quickly in order to provide the consistent and quality classes you need more than ever when you’re confined to your home. It’s amazing to me how quickly people have learned to embrace change in order to maintain something familiar and comforting (although if we’re talking about something like fold-over -not necessarily comfortable!). Some students are taking even more classes now than they did at the studios. We’re calling it “Prison Fit”!  Check out our website for the virtual classes offered through the local studios, and if that doesn’t work for you there’s always an option to Dailey Online….. Your first two weeks are free! And beginning next week we’re trying something new there- you don’t want to miss out!
Word of the Month: Presence

This pose is our signature Seated Neutral Spine. Introducing it became a pivotal point for my journey in evolving the Method with regards to the power of mental focus on supporting our physical practice. We consider this our Dailey Method meditation on posture. 

This exercise encourages students to tune into their spine. They have the chance to focus on the amazing way their bones align, and gives them time to breathe more space into their skeleton which inevitably creates greater core engagement and supports their optimal alignment. I remember when we first introduced this posture and how frustrating it was to teach. Students mentioned,  “they couldn’t feel it”, “didn’t understand it”, and even questioned what we were doing while teaching it, but I persisted because I both felt it and believed in it so much. One day, a couple months later, I was teaching at my Corte Madera location and looked out and everyone had their eyes closed, they were sitting up so powerfully and mindfully and I could see that it had finally clicked. It was amazing and I started crying because of the energy and strength in the room. And that my persistence in something I really believed in had paid off.

 This movement practice has evolved in my life to a committed seated (okay sometimes lying down) meditation practice. Mindfulness has become a key component to my sense of peace and inner radiance this past year. When I take the time to go inward, to focus on myself, my body, and my breath – it translates into other areas of my life and allows me to step back into being present when the chaos seems to persist everywhere. 

Presence is the Dailey Method  word of the month for our entire community. This themed focus  perfectly aligns with our first ever global 21 day Meditation challenge that runs from March 2nd till March 22nd. My hope in spearheading this challenge is that it will encourage in all of us, a self-reflective journey towards greater well-being and community. Because this practice has been so transformative for me I want to share it and invite others to experience the support that this practice provides you inside of your potentially hectic life. 

The focus will be on unique daily themes built around loving-kindness, compassion, presence, and gratitude. It’s completely free and set up to inspire you EVERYDAY so please join us!!

Each day you’ll receive a meditation delivered to your inbox. The time spans from 4 minutes the first week up to 12 minutes for the final week to allow you, over the full 21 days, to have an opportunity to grow and expand in your meditation practice. And if you already have a practice it will hopefully give you new inspiration. I am honored that Camilla Sacre-Dallerup has partnered with us for this challenge. I first meditated with her through my favorite meditation app, insight timer. My current personal practice is a 12 minute timed meditation with a waterfall background, but sometimes I need a guided practice to keep my mind from wavering and Camilla became my go-to for guided because I love both her voice and messaging. I asked if she would partner with TDM for this challenge and she said yes! Camilla is also a bestselling author, founder of the successful life coaching business Zenme.tv AND is a judge on Dancing with the Stars New Zealand! 💫

When I think of mindfulness, along with meditation, I think of setting intentions, which is a practice that really helps support me in being more present. When I set my sights on establishing the kind of day I want to create and focus my energy towards that vision, I find it is more apt to come true. Sometimes specific ideas or even more clarity on something comes up during my meditation. And then there are other times when I’m able to quiet any unproductive inner dialogue and use what comes forth in my meditations in the same way you might use a mantra. Even in my physical classes I’ll often set an intention for something I want to focus on during the class, and as I leave and am feeling centered and grounded again – I set one for the remainder of my day.

For the last 6 months “presence” is what has come up for me the majority of the time. I have needed to hone my ability to take a breath and bring focus and attention back to where it needs to be. It’s helped me engage vs. react. It’s shown me self-compassion and has also made me practice truly being here, now – versus amplifying the mistakes I may have made and the worry about what’s going to happen next. After all, NOW is the most important moment we have.

Whether it’s an open eyed meditation in nature, sitting and listening to a waterfall with a timer or simply closing my eyes to remember to breathe and pause for just a moment, I have made a lifetime commitment to myself to hone my ability to both practice and to teach mindfulness. 

At The Dailey Method we’re here to support you.  Mind, Body and Spirit!!

Love, Jill

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