Isadora’s legacy: freedom!

Happy “Isadora Duncan Day”(September 14)!

92 years ago today that free spirit and exploratory dancer left us–in body but not in spirit. In my mind, her self-given freedom is her greatest legacy. Long-live her lasting invitation to us to free our heart, mind, movement, and motivation from the tyranny of tradition!

I invite you to get up and dance today, remembering Isadora as you shout aloud, “I am the dance”! 

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Feeding one’s mind

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This past year, I’ve tried to engage in a lot of self-care to try and keep me emotionally well: meditation, progressive relaxation, warm tea, yoga, plenty of sleep, etc.

When I came across this Dale Carnegie quote a while back, it really hit me. Realizing that the thoughts I consume when I am depressive often make me sicker (like junk food), I made a commitment to myself to aim for a diet of healthier thoughts. After spending 30 minutes or so brainstorming healthy mantras/affirmations I want to embrace and review often, I was pumped. Really a mood booster!

Healthy mantras for the mind:
* I feed myself encouraging thoughts for a healthy “mindstyle.”
* I acknowledge and enjoy the milestones, growth, insights, and glorious vistas my life journey has afforded me.
* I accept that there are hard times when I’m not certain where I’m going, nor feel that it’s worth it. While not fun, such feelings and thoughts are only temporary.
* I am patient with the process, knowing the journey IS the destination (i.e. enjoying the journey is the end goal).
* I balance introspection with interpersonal attention and collaboration.
* I forgive myself for having weaknesses.
* I tell others I love/enjoy/forgive/accept them.
* Everything I experience contributes to my growth and empathic potential, so long as I trust that all’s well, ultimately. (The universe will live on and on . . .)
* I can handle the truth. When I have a positive relationship with truth, my steps become intentional rather than blind.
* My life is rich with innumerable gifts and supports. When I have eyes to see them, I realize how abundant my existence is.

Here’s to feeding our minds healthy, empowering thoughts!

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Manipulating a metaphor

The metaphor of drowning has been a persistent image during my years of depression. “Drowning in possibilities.” “Drowning in the complexity of life.” “Drowning in my mistakes (the harm I’ve caused).” “Drowning in uncertainty.” Etc.

The other day, as I was doing active relaxation (focused attention on and releasing of bodily tension), the imagery changed. Rather than engage in an exhausting fight to keep my head above water, I realized I could surrender to the experience. Curious, and refusing to worry, I allowed myself (in a visualization) to relax and take that “scary” breath . . . What’s this?–I’m breathing underwater. I’m swimming gracefully in the water of self-acceptance. Nothing to prove. No fight to win. It was as if I was connected to my Higher Self–the self that doesn’t worry; that delights in each new experience; that is whole; that flows with life. Rather than inspiring a wish to retreat from life, it inspired the delightful thought that life can be truly pleasant if I slow down and breathe it in.

Slowing down isn’t something my anxious mind does easily. Relaxing into a trusting, heart-centered mode of experiencing life, however, is possible–with practice. (Consciously experiencing ourselves in a challenging situation but in an unhurried–“extra-timely” (outside time)–mode of being.)

Good stuff.

Re-fashioning painful metaphors is a therapeutic modality championed by the late David Grove of En Zed (New Zealand). Rather than having the therapist suggest metaphors, Grove emphatically insisted that the metaphors should be produced and manipulated (changed/fashioned) by the client. He taught therapists how to use “Clean Language” that allowed for none of their personal, projected narratives to enter the sessions.

I’d love to find a therapist trained in Grovian Metaphor therapy!

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