Category: Word of the Month
Word of the Month: Create

Create: to bring (something) into existence

I love this word for this particular month. Not only is it officially summer, but also FINALLY, most parts of our world are opening up. With fewer commitments and restrictions, there is literally more space in our lives to focus on the beautiful creativity that lives within each and every one of us.

Creativity is one of the 8 parts of our core self and I know that for me, I often neglect to prioritize it. It’s because life is incredibly busy and seems to always be moving at such a fast pace. This reality leaves me with a limited capacity to step back and allow my creative juices to flow. Instead of carving out the time, I tend to move forward with whatever task is at hand. However, I realize that we gain a ton of gifts from making space in our lives to cultivate the new. It can actually serve as the fuel we need to complete a project, solve other things, and move us into a space of innovation not only in our work but also in our minds. When our minds are open, we all know that we have a much higher capacity to dream, imagine, or even formulate a plan to move those ideas to fruition.

Additionally, building and honing creativity is exciting and motivating. It’s a pertinent part of the way we train our teachers at TDM. We give them guidelines due to the structure that we have designed for the most effective results for our students, yet within that formula we teach, encourage and inspire our staff to be creative. Each teacher has the opportunity to let their personality, creativity, and energy flow through. This keeps it exciting for everyone!

I know I am creative. I created TDM and have continually had the opportunity within this platform to constantly create. I feel fortunate, yet I continue to want to stretch myself and explore other areas of creativity within me. My deepest intentions are to create the way I live my life, show up for my family, and bring to life the vision of my business to forever thrive. I aim to be present, curious, and intentional in creating the roadmap towards success and fulfillment in each of these areas.

In reading about creativity, I found this to be fascinating. In this Scientific American article, “researchers found that only creativity—not intelligence or overall openness—decreased mortality risk. One possible reason creativity is protective of health is because it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain.” If that doesn’t encourage you to try it, what will?

While reflecting on how I aim to add creativity into my month, I came up with a few ideas that may spark the creative spirit in you!

  • Create a change in your environment. Plant a garden, buy some living plants for your space, or rearrange a room in your house. This type of creativity can be highly cathartic and also serves as a reminder of how altering some small thing in our life has the potential to remind us of how possible it is to make a shift in anything.
  • Make a vision board – I know it’s the middle of the year, but it IS the beginning of something. I hadn’t finished my own vision board since January, and last week I sat down to do it. I love how my intentions have shifted from 6 months ago to what they are now. I’m certain I’m not alone in saying that there’s been a lot of change in my life in the last few months, and taking the time to envision what you really want often helps you achieve it. My vision board is on the wall, so I can see it from my bed and the chair I often work in. It’s a constant reminder.
  • Create a ritual! (I love rituals!) They are grounding, add consistency to our lives and open up opportunities for connection within ourselves and others. It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe make it as simple as having a pizza movie night every Friday with the kids or as challenging (yet rewarding) as committing to finally creating some sort of meditation practice.
  • Create boundaries! (This is a powerful way to CREATE!!) When we set boundaries, we position ourselves to look at the limitless possibilities in front of us and decide those we align with, and understand the ones we need to eliminate to create our best self. Commit to remain on a true path that serves you. Sometimes, or oftentimes, we need to say No to say Yes to something else.

Creativity takes courage, so allow yourself to be vulnerable in this internal expression! Keep in mind that there are so many opportunities to be creative and that it doesn’t have to be a big project.

Take time for yourself.

Pick up a piece of paper and a pen (or watercolors, charcoal, or paints) and allow your creativity to emerge.

Although it may feel awkward and imperfect the first time, trust that making a habit of injecting your life with a creative streak will open opportunities for you to get out of your head and realign you with your deeper self. You may discover something you’re good at or find a hobby that you are passionate about, which grounds you. Doing so may even support you in making a much-needed change in your life.

In July and onward, I would love to hear your thoughts and know how creativity lights you up from the inside!

Love,

Jill

Word of the Month: Reflect

Reflect:

to think quietly and calmly – to realize, consider

to express a thought or opinion resulting from reflection

 

I always appreciate when I ask someone a hard question, and their answer is “let me reflect on it and get back to you”. Reflection is such a powerful tool that I personally aim to hone. It promotes the idea of not reacting; of being considerate, thoughtful and authentic in your action or in your response.

It’s hard not to just tumble through life sometimes. Our to-do lists seem massive, desires we may have for certain circumstances to be different cloud our judgment, and as a result we sometimes find ourselves struggling to take our next best step forward. When I feel myself inside of this particular kind of spin cycle, I recognize it as a time to reflect on the beauty around me. It is within those few sacred moments that I am able to carve out of my day where I begin to feel more positivity, more calm and where I can finally access the resilience within myself. Reflection is always the key.

For me, the best way I find to practice reflection is through my writing. I jot down ideas I have – I let dreams come alive on the paper – I write down an inspirational quote that lit me up from the inside and that put a smile on my face on an otherwise difficult day. I write it out as a tactile way to reflect on what is stirring inside because if I try and keep everything in my head oftentimes some incredibly profound, supportive, exciting, nurturing ideas, thoughts or visions – dissipate. I use it as a way to get it out so that I can go back and look at it. I am always pleasantly surprised at how many times I notice or feel something different as I revisit my written reflections. It somehow allows me to build upon it and inevitably lifts my mood or has the ability to guide me in a more positive direction.

Lastly, I always love the cues that Lead Master Teacher Trainer, Katina Griffin, gives to our teachers and owners so that they are able to thread our Word of the Month into their class themes. This helps students feel how focusing on a word supports them in dropping deeper into their practice and deeper into their mind body connection – After all, this is where so much magic happens!

Here are a couple of her examples for us all to think about!

-Reflect for a moment what – if any – obstacles almost stood in your way of taking a class. Be proud and feel successful simply because you showed up! Even 15 minutes of movement can help shift your entire day!

-Reflect on the similarity between you actively stretching while attempting to find both that same EASE and the EFFORT in your life. Notice if there are places in your stretches – but also outside of this room – where you could breathe more space and ease into a difficult moment or tight sensation to discover whether or not it transforms.

-Take a moment and breathe. Drop your weight into the supportive earth and reflect on sections of class – as though they were “sections” of your life – Commit to attend to the ones where you felt a need to go get water, check your phone or to LEAVE the intensity versus to stay with it. Remove ALL judgment and yet see if there is a way, as you leave here today, whether you are able to decide to stick with a challenge you may be facing instead of turning away from it. Remember – Adversity is where our growth is actualized.

Let’s enter June with renewed energy and then fill our beautiful summer with intermittent moments of reflection.

We’ve been through a lot.

Challenge definitely ebbs and flows, yet with our commitment to turning TOWARDS it – we must trust – that we’ll come out on the other side. We all have that power within. We just need to believe it.

Love,

Jill

Word of the Month: Support

Support- it’s something we all need. The support of the earth working in opposition to our muscles to hold us upright, the support of our beds to allow us to soften and sleep, the support of people in our lives to help us grow, love, and feel safe.
For many people, asking others or allowing others to support them feels uncomfortable. Our lives have become increasingly busy and stressful, and as a result, it has led us to collectively adopt a mentality that we should be able to handle it all by ourselves.
I was one of those people. Things shifted for me, though, early on in my divorce when I broke my ankle (okay, my dog broke my ankle). I was suddenly more alone than I’d been in a long time and felt like I had no one to help me. I remember one evening coming home after the kids were already asleep, I had stairs to climb in order to get to my room, and I desperately wanted to take a glass of water up with me. It was terrible. I think it took me about 20 minutes and – quite a few tears to accomplish the feat. It was at that moment that I truly acknowledged what a vulnerable place I was in. I became clear that if I continued attempting to manage my life on my own, I would either end up spending unmanageable amounts of time accomplishing every task – or at the very least – I would be crying all of the time. Neither scenario was optimal, and I had the time for neither.
I began allowing myself to ask for and accept help. First, it was prodding my children; then, it was accepting offers from my friends. I finally noticed I had it down with a simple act. I was trying to get into my car with a coffee cup in my hand. Without even thinking, I turned to a stranger near the car next to me and asked them if they could please open my car door for me. Simple but impactful. They willingly did it, and I was proud of myself that I hadn’t flinched nor resisted the need to ask for outside support from a stranger.
We all need help, and we all need the support of those around us. Allowing ourselves to accept this and then asking for it is a transformational thing if you take that first step. Not only does it make our lives better, but it also fills up others. Visit the feeling that arises when you are truly able to help a friend of yours in need. There is an undeniable deepening of the connection you feel to them, and your friend is given a chance to be a grateful recipient of your unrelenting support. It’s a Win-Win!
Katina (a Lead Dailey Method Master Teacher Trainer) recently described it this way: “I think of support as the myofascial release balls meant to smooth out the discomfort of change. Increasingly as 2020 came and went and then 2021 moved upon us – it was a constant exercise in continual CONTRACTION and ENDURANCE because there was so much change and uncertainty.
As we ease into May, and it feels like things are shifting more towards normal, allow yourself the opportunity to sit, lie down, find a stretch position and just release into the support of the ground. Don’t force; simply give in to the feeling of being lifted up, held, and then drop into a deepened capacity to let go and surrender.
Be.
Drape.
Stay.
Breathe.
….then…
Move.”
Support this process inside of you.
Do it both within your body and inside of your relationships.
Because I believe, if we can adopt this way of being, we will be able to see ANYTHING through – together!
Love, Jill

Word of the Month: Compassion

Talk to yourself as you would to someone you love.

— Brene Brown

 

The meaning of compassion is to recognize that there is suffering and then to take action to help. It means embodying a tangible expression of love for those who are suffering.

As I reflect on this word and our theme for April, it’s incredibly noticeable how our world would benefit greatly from a unified effort to become a more compassionate society. Right? There is such an obvious need for us to make progress that will create peace and symbiosis for all humankind. This way of living should (must) be threaded into our way of living in each step of our daily lives. It’s each and every one of our responsibilities.

I consider myself a compassionate person. I’ve taken workshops on compassion; it is a common theme in my conversations with my children and my daily meditation practice. Yet as much as I feel able to hone an ability to be compassionate towards others, I notice often that I struggle with returning the same gift of allowance towards myself. This is especially true when I’m feeling more challenged in my life situations. And life has been incredibly challenging this past year!

I had the thought the other day, while I was inside the spin cycle of self-criticism, that in order to feel better and turn my day around, I just needed to cut myself some slack- or at the very least be okay with my shortcomings. At first, it was difficult for me to make the shift, yet I found that even as I focused on my intention to dig deep enough to find self-compassion – something inside of me began to change. I felt a surrender. I became okay with the feelings and then was able to take action and move into a place of self-acceptance because of the compassion I found for myself. After all, ideally, none of us ever intentionally mess up, fall short, or purposefully choose a path that does not feel good to another. When I put it that way to myself, I was able to realign with my intention and understand and accept that what I was telling myself didn’t translate with my belief of self. Thank goodness we always have a second chance to try again with a desire to do and be better. Second chances are great!

A thought that helps me realign with self-compassion is to remember that when I make mistakes or find myself struggling, it’s common to feel like I’m the only one experiencing those emotions. This is what makes us human and connects us all. We all suffer and experience setbacks. Instead of isolating myself from others, remembering that I’m not alone with what I’m feeling- I must choose to resist the urge to compare myself or my process with others. Hard, but so important.

When painful moments arise, my advice is to be mindful of the feelings that come up versus suppressing them, identify what you’re feeling, and refrain from any judgments that may come up around your emotions. Being aware of your emotions is different than getting lost in your own story and feeding into the drama. Oh the drama!!

I did some research and learned that there are only 3 steps for compassion toward others and toward self. 3 steps is obtainable!

For Compassion towards others: Daniel Goleman says: True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.” —

  • Bring attention or awareness to recognizing that there is suffering
  • Feel emotion and moved by that suffering
  • Wish for there to be relief from that suffering

For Compassion towards ourselves, Dr. Kristin Neff says, “treating yourself like someone you care about with support, encouragement, and warmth.”

  • Self-kindness
  • Common Humanity
  • Mindfulness

And how this relates to your TDM class practice:

  • While practicing, notice where you can begin practicing compassion for yourself in how you actively choose to lift yourself up versus beat yourself down. Notice ways you can get involved to bring about this same change around you by motivating and inspiring others.
  • Remember! Getting out of position in class is not giving up! It is having compassion for your body that is merely asking for you to press the reset button!
  • Notice those around you, whether indoors, outdoors, or on the Zoom platform- that everyone has the same set of challenges as you! Collectively invite compassion into your room by allowing whatever is there to be fully and lovingly accepted! If you need to reset, redirect your focus, or leave and come back into the room – do it! This is the same way compassion spreads out in our world.

My ask for myself and for you:

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Dalai Lama

Who could say it better?

Compassionately,

Jill

Word of the Month: Begin

be·gin – start; perform or undergo the first part of (an action or activity)

 

When I reflect on the word “begin” my thoughts are pulled towards those of intention, thoughtfulness, allowance of space, breath and awareness.

The way we begin something sets the tone for the entire process and ultimately affects our end result. In a Dailey Method class, we always begin our practice with a few deep breaths in order to bring us more present. It’s a way to center ourselves in our space, it allows us to arrive at the door of our practice and then settle into our bodies. It gives us the opportunity to truly be in the moment and move forward with an intention of newness.

I love the word “begin” because it’s reflective of the here and now. I was listening to a Master Class recently with Jon Kabat-Zin, a meditation teacher. I loved how he expressed (my words not his) how every current moment is the space from where we move forward. It gives us the opportunity to continually begin anew. We all have regrets in our life but focusing on them will never be productive. In fact, giving ourselves an allowance to leave those shortcomings in the past and then move forward from the present moment onward, frees us of negativity and is a true gift. It’s a place where only “the now” exists. This awareness gifts us the space and grace to believe in our best selves from here onward – each and everyday. This is immensely powerful for me and can be truly life transforming.

As we approach the Spring and all of the awakening and renewed energy the season brings, I am filled with gratitude. After all, the winter we’re each coming out of has not been an easy one. That said, as we practice the concept I mention above, and decide to begin again – I believe this undoubtedly will lead us towards boundless possibility.

Let’s “begin” a new month on a new foot, together, If we each focus on this small intent great things will make their way to our horizons.

Other thoughts I had when reflecting on beginning anew are:

  • Sometimes a “pause” is the best beginning. Begin a response to a question or interjection into a conversation with a pause. This can be such a powerful way to not only ensure you’re truly listening, that the other person is being heard, but also give you the space to really say what you mean, not always the gut reaction or what you feel.
  • I absolutely love beginning my day with an affirmation. From the moment I wake up I try to think of something positive to align my day with that energetic path. It’s as simple as “it’s going to be a great day” or “I’m happy”. A friend of mine begins his day by setting his alarm to a song that brings positivity into his thoughts. He changes it monthly but the current one is “Love and Happiness by Al Green. ❤️

Here are ideas from Katina to think about BEGIN in your Dailey Method practice:

  • In the start of class, when marching, envision that this march or lift is your first step to begin anew. Be intentional each time and feel your strength, power and perseverance that will see you onward towards great things – including a great class to build strength and support your body and health.
  • When you’re holding a position – close your eyes and from the ground up, begin a sequential check of each body part in space. Own the space you take up on your mat and notice the exact moment you begin to feel an exercise you know so well differently.
  • When you need a reset- acknowledge that it is NOT giving up! It’s the BEGINNING of you preparing yourself for a powerful finish to this exercise. If you have come out of position, take a breath – gather your strength and smarts and BEGIN again!

Every single moment of every single day is your opportunity to begin anew. Embrace it and embrace yourself. You’re beautiful, amazing and can accomplish anything you set your mind on.

Love,

Jill

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