happiness

Join My 30 Days of Meditation

Hi everyone! I am so excited to bring you a special project I have been working on over the last month; #30daysofmeditation. Join me on this journey for the next 30 days as I hope to inspire a personal practice that helps to bring more calm, clarity and peace to your life. Meditation has been life changing for me and I am very happy to share it with you. We’ll be meditating every day for 30 days straight, starting Wednesday, November 1st. I’d love to hear who will be joining in and any comments, questions and insight you are gaining along the way. I’ll be sharing intentions, video meditations and direction every day on my Instagram account, so make sure you follow me there. 

Scheduling 20 minutes or more for your sacred time each day is best, and here are some tips to establishing a daily practice. 

I'm excited to meditate with you!

 

 

Why We Dance

Why do we dance?  We dance because we love it, it makes us feel happy, it brings community together and spreads love and tolerance. There are a million and one reasons to dance.  Anyone can benefit from it; you certainly don’t have to be a professional. When I find my way to the dance floor at a gathering, I can feel the desire that others have to join the party. They may feel shy or unsure, but the craving to let go and feel the joy is there. And it’s always worth, letting your guard down, and just letting the music move you.  Here are 10 perfectly good reasons to dance more!

1.  Releases stored emotion and stress

As the body heats up, endorphins kick in and we are able to let go of the tightness and holding.  Many of us work hard to hold it all together.  Parenting, work, finances, daily responsibilities.    Dance is a release.  A letting go.  A way of expressing our feelings that are sometimes hidden, even to us. It is a perfect activity for sickness prevention! Get it out, don’t let it harbor and stay inside.  

2.  Quiets the mind chatter

Dance is a form of meditation, a tool to get us out of the stressed, active mind that jumps from one thought to the next.  The movement brings us to the present moment and the life force energy that is generated brings a sense of calm, bliss and joy. Dance is a wonderful bridge from the overworked mind to the quiet space within.  

3.  Opens up the pathways to increased insight and clarity

As the mind quiets, we get in touch with the incredible wisdom and inner guidance that we all have access to. We may come up with solutions to problems we never thought of before. We may receive bursts of creativity and ideas that flow easily and gracefully. I always keep a journal nearby so that I may write any inspirations that come forward during my dancing.  

4.  Improves strength, flexibility and balance

Muscles are engaged, worked, and strengthened. Footwork challenges balance and helps us stabilize and gain better control of our bodies. Dancing reduces stiffness and eases joint pain, and allows for more mobility and grace on the dance floor, and in life.  

5.  Improves cardiovascular health 

Our heart rate increases and we improve our heart health, breathing and quality of life. Dancing allows us to work at our own fitness level, increasing speed and footwork as strength and stamina improve.  

6.  Promotes better sleep

It’s no a surprise that regular aerobic exercise can promote good sleep. The body has worked, exerted itself, and can fully rest and restore during the night. 

7.  Increases a sense of well-being 

Dance is a form of alchemy that serves to illuminate, transform and bring more levity. It naturally increases serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, and brings a positive mindset. Dance helps us to build up our emotional reserve so that we have more energy to handle the struggles that may arise in life.  

8.  Makes you smarter

Dancing increases cognitive acuity at all ages. It integrates several brain functions at once - kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional - further increasing our neural connectivity. Dance takes us out of our comfort zones and allows us to build new pathways to learning.     

9.  Opens your heart

Dance is heart expanding. Where we feel tightness and holding, dance brings space, joy, happiness and light to those areas, and your whole being. You may feel “blissed out” and expansive after a dance workout.   

10.  Helps you feel courageous, free and empowered

As we tap into our own life energy, we feel our purpose, our own power, our voice. There is much to be expressed and shared through dance.  It is free, without judgment, and pure.  

Dance is a gateway to freedom, a gateway to what we want in life. It dissolves fears, transcends boundaries, and brings us closer to ourselves and each other. Whether in a dance class or in your living room, let dance be a gift. I am very thankful to have dance in my life and to share it with others as a powerful source of healing and comfort. So, get to dancing!

UPCOMING EVENTS

5 Ways Dance Can Help Clear Your Mind & Bring Inner Peace

From Tara's article on Mind Body Green

Photo by Ron Hamad

Photo by Ron Hamad

For many years I believed dancing was a type of escape:  from fear, worry, judgment, tough teenage years.  Especially when I was young, my analyzing and worrying mind was so active and my emotional life was vulnerable, hidden and confusing.  Yet, when I stepped on the dance floor, those worries and uncertainties fell away.  Something about the rhythm and the vibration of the music and getting lost in the movement allowed me a gateway to expressing, giving voice and ultimately releasing those emotions of sadness, fear, loneliness.  And what poured in, as I went deeper into the dance, was a wellspring of freedom, happiness, calm, a feeling that I am going to be okay in this world.     

I realize now that dance wasn’t an escape, but a way of moving closer to myself, to my feelings, to my needs and my dreams.  Dance brought me closer to my inner peace and by giving over to the movement and the music, my soul took care of the rest.  Kind of like soul therapy.  I needed to quiet my mind and express my emotions.  Dance is wonderfully emotional.  I LOVE that quote, “If you don’t let emotions live, they will never die.”  Through dance, we can honor our emotions.  

And now as an adult, I still use dance, in addition to my meditation practice, to get in touch with that divine yumminess.  We all, at some point or another, have challenges that keep our mind reeling and questioning and spiraling and going.  The self-doubt, the uncertainty, the day to day struggles, the emotional roller coaster of life.  This chaotic mental dance can be channelled into the dance of the body to bring greater peace and happiness.  

You don’t have to be a professional dancer to dive in and feel connected to yourself and to that source that fuels us.  Whether you’re in a dance class, or you choose to dim the lights and play your favorite song in your living room, you receive the benefit of the energy that flows and the new information that comes in.  

Here are my 5 simple steps to dancing bliss.  I invite you to try it.  Who cares what you look like.  What matters is how you feel and sometimes all it takes is the willingness to do something different and be open to what appears.  There can be great healing in the dance.     

1.  Take off your shoes and put on something comfortable.  Feeling the wood floor or carpet beneath your bare feet gets you in touch with the support that is there for you always.  Allow your body weight, energy, any tension or worry to fall into the ground and melt away.           

2.  Dim the lights so that it is an internal experience.  You want to be cocooned and safe in your own private world.  This is not about perfect moves or performing outwardly, it’s not about judging yourself and deciding whether you are “good” or not.  Closing your eyes helps to tune into yourself and your journey.    

3.  This can be a beautiful journey of discovery, reflection, expression.  Set an intention for how you’d like to feel, what you’d like to get out of this dance meditation.  Maybe you’d like to let go of something, bring in something new, reframe a difficult situation.  Or maybe you just want to feel good.  Whatever it is, state it internally or out loud.  

4.  Put on a song or album that you love.  Pop music with lyrics can be fun but a soundscape feel that is more about the mood, and less about the words, can be helpful for soul traveling.  Play it on repeat or with a continuous stream, so that you are not interrupted with an abrupt ending.      

5.  Let yourself go.  Close your eyes, let the music move your body and don’t be afraid to release.  It’s a wonderful practice in surrendering to what is.  Let the energy flow as your body heats up and let instinct guide the way, allowing your body to move in different ways, shapes and expressions.  Let the anger out.  Let the happiness ring.  Let the giddiness ride.  It’s a beautiful thing.    

And when you’re done,  thank yourself for having the courage to explore and express.  Many times I go to my journal afterwards to write down any inspirations or insight that came forward.  Dance is a gift that we all have access to.  Love and light to you.

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UPCOMING EVENTS