Category: Word of the Month
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

Word of the Month: Self Love

Your best life, the one you deserve, begins with self-love. If we lack love for ourselves, it’s incredibly difficult to allow others to love us – or to even share our love with those around us. To be able to stare back at our reflection in a mirror and be able to say “I love you” is a practice we must all aspire towards.

One of my favorite meditations that drives this messaging home is on “Insight Timer” with Sarah Blondin. You can access it here:

Sometimes, when I’ve said or done something I wish I hadn’t, I struggle to find love and compassion for myself. In these times, I look for a quiet place to sit and focus on a few affirmations that are really powerful in allowing myself to move past the moment I’m stuck in. This process gives me the space I need to move forward towards my greatest potential and unequivocally helps me reconnect to self-love and forgiveness for my imperfections.

Here are a few of the affirmations I tap into:

  • I am enough, I matter
  • I do not have to be perfect
  • My flaws are my character, and they are beautiful
  • I am beautiful
  • I love myself, my body, my heart, and my soul
  • I am deserving of love
  • I am deserving of success and happiness
  • I choose myself
  • I am doing my best
  • I do not need validation from others
  • I believe in me
  • I forgive myself
  • Positive thinking creates my positive life

Once we all commit to practicing self-love daily, we 100% have more gas in our tanks to provide authentic love to others. If you find yourself lacking or depriving yourself of this gift – make it a practice to pull in some positive affirmations. In class, do things like feel the floor holding you up and feel what it feels like to turn this into a metaphor for how there are supports around us all of the time, just take the opportunity to notice and submit. Or when you are in a stretch and forward fold, notice the surrender and calm of bringing two parts of your body closer together transforming this awareness into the metaphor of giving yourself an internal hug.

Lastly, in our day to day lives and certainly in our Dailey Method practice, sometimes self-love shows up when you allow yourself a break by taking a reset of a position or pulling back a little in honor of your body’s messages. In life, it could just be taking a walk to breathe some fresh air to clear your mind. Regardless of where, the little bits of added support you provide and then gift yourself are simple and tactile ways of demonstrating SELF-LOVE.

Do it.

Be the ripple effect.

Loving yourself, first, is the gateway to giving others permission to do the same.

Word of the Month: Rejuvenate

 

Give new energy or vigor to; revitalize.

 

Welcome January 2021!

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge and be proud of having seen the challenges of 2020 through up to now. It doesn’t mean that the difficult times are over but we can definitely stand in the face of all we’ve been through and feel rejuvenated by the fact that a NEW YEAR is finally here.

It’s because of this that in our New Year, we hope to help you cultivate ways that guide you closer towards your best version of YOU! January for us highlights taking a look at the small shifts or simple things you can do to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.

I am certain you will agree that the 2020 holidays were extremely different for so many of us in comparison to what we’ve experienced in the past. We were not alone in our experiences of a lot less festivity, energy and connection. Over Christmas, my kids were with their Dad and I had a few days off. It’s hard for me to not be with them, but I chose to embrace the time, unplug, take hikes and cook some creative, international meals. Some were inspired by The Master Class (which I highly recommend if you want an opportunity to learn from an impressive list of incredibly talented individuals). After four days of this routine, I felt completely refreshed, inspired and motivated. I was able to show up for work and for my kids in a much more present way. Because the opportunity for vacations are so limited right now, most people I know aren’t taking time for themselves. If you have the opportunity I encourage you to prioritize taking some time off – completely off – even if it’s just a few hours or a few days. The collective effect of how this will rejuvenate your energy and mind is exponential and will help you reset your intention moving into another (hopefully more fulfilling) New Year.

Because of the continued stresses in our lives, radical self care, plus mental, emotional and physical health I believe must be our number 1 concerns right now. Here are a few simple ideas and suggestions on how you may begin to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.

  • Find a space that can be your meditation or your intention setting, relaxing space. Make this an area that feels good to be in so that it supports you in being alone, quiet and introspective. I love the corner set up in the (very empty) studio to either sit quietly, move my body, or to simply have a few moments to myself. Taking time for me, even if it’s just a couple of moments between Zoom calls is an amazing way to release the tension that builds up in my life and help me be more present.
  • Take a bath! This is one of my favorite ways to unwind and to help heal my body when it feels overworked. Here are my two go-to CBD soaks.
  • We’ve put together 21 days of simple steps (like drinking more water or scheduling our workouts) to support you in focusing on yourself this month from January 11th-31st. It’s a list of ways for you to prioritize your health and well-being in small, accessible doses. You can do this through some of the local Studios or get all of the daily tips on instagram by following The Dailey Method. There are a lot of options out there right now for challenges of mindfulness or fitness. Find something that inspires you to commit or holds you accountable to creating a new daily practice -the most important one- self care. Because we should do this every day. We’re worth it!

It’s not a resolution- it’s a commitment to you. Because we all know that when we focus on ourselves, our health, wellbeing and happiness, it reflects in our abilities to show up for our loved ones, our jobs and anything that life throws our way.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year (with less things thrown our way)!
I Love You

Jill

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