Tag Archives: The Dailey Method

Mindfulness – Part One

About a month ago, I began to live more mindfully.  Since then, I’ve attempted to write about it several times and found myself stuck every time, including now.  These changes have been so profound, even in a short amount of time, that I can say that it has changed my life.  Consider this the first of many posts about the topic.

Fundamentally, I am trying to be present in my mind and body at every moment.  Truly *being* where I am with no thought of what’s coming next, unless I’m purposefully planning.  The only unhappiness and anxiety I have in my lovely life is a product of worrying.  When we worry, we use our creative minds to remove ourselves from present contentment and place ourselves in an imagined future where something is going wrong.  Put that way, it sounds like a terrible way to live but it is so common!

Recognizing that in this moment everything is fine can be really powerful.  In the first few days of thinking this way, I noticed 2-3 times per day that I felt anything other than contentment.  That’s it!  They were fleeting moments that dissipated as quickly as I noticed them.  I was truly amazed by how content I was, even when sitting in traffic, waiting in lines, etc.  If you’re just *being* with your thoughts, your music, your podcasts, the sunshine…everything is pretty nice!  Of course, not every moment is fine.  Someone may say something hurtful, a driver might do something dangerous that frightens or angers you… Those are still realities of life but we can choose whether we let those moments pass quickly or dwell on them, forcing ourselves to re-experience the hurt/discomfort over and over again.  No thanks.

I can get daunted pretty easily and daunted typically equals very unhappy.  However, when I’m actually doing the daunting things, they always go well!  I love my job and whether I’m teaching a voice lesson, a Dailey Method class, or singing, I feel this amazing sense of flow.  I’m so fully engaged that time seems to speed up.  I leave each activity feeling more alive than before.   My motivation for actively seeking presence was to feel as engaged and positive outside of those activities as I feel when I’m doing them.

To eliminate feeling overwhelmed, I committed to stop looking at my calendar.  Instead, I take 5-10 minutes each day to sit down with the next day’s schedule and set an intention for each activity.  I think about what each student, class, or workout needs.  I make a little notation in my phone and boom, the day is handled.  I can spend the other 23 hours and 50 minutes of today being in today!  I’ve also noticed how much time I truly have when an activity is contained within it’s allotted time (instead of being thought about all day).  4 lessons and 2 DM classes isn’t ALL DAY, it’s only 6 hours.  That shift has allowed me to reclaim and enjoy a whole lot of previously squandered time.

Birthday Notes!

Birthday Notes!

Around the time this all started, I had a wonderful Dailey Method workshop with Lorna Samatas, owner of The Dailey Method – Elmhurst.  The topic was “Theming Your DM Class” but much of it was about mindfulness techniques.  One concept that I really took to was the idea of “arriving” in a space.  The idea is that when you cross a threshold into a new space, it’s a mindfulness trigger.  You take a moment to pause and consider why you’re there and what you hope to get from the experience in that space.  My Dailey Method students have responded well to this as a way to truly begin their practice.  I’m using it everywhere from entering a rehearsal to retreating to my bedroom at the end of the day.

Without question, this has significantly changed my running.  I will explore this in a subsequent post(s) but I want to tell you that last week’s 17 miler and yesterday’s TWENTY were both amazing runs.  I was *calm* the entire time.  I didn’t have any dread or fear of the distance.  At the beginning, I had no sense of how long I had to go.  I simply ran.  I noticed physical sensations, noticed ebbs and flows in my energy, noticed clouds, noticed my own happiness.  It was tremendous and couldn’t come at a better time.

Happy from beginning to end!

Happy from beginning to end!

There’s a lot more I want to share and now that I’ve gotten this first post through my fingers, more will come soon!

Please ask questions or share your favorite mindfulness tips and resources in the comments!

 

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Happening

Things have happened, are happening, and will happen.

I’m a Dailey Method Instructor!

LE.GIT.

LE.GIT.

I had hesitations about taking on Dailey Method instructor training during 70.3 training for obvious reasons.  The training, class observations/assists, endless practicing, and mock classes were just as time-consuming and emotional intense as I expected.  The quality of instruction is very high and TDM means a lot to me so I knew I would have to fully invest myself in the process.  That investment really paid off.  I felt confident and prepared for the mock classes at the end of my training.  Mocks typically don’t have high attendance so please picture my face when my second mock had 11 people, 6 of whom had never taken TDM before!  I was a bit intimidated but it went well and I learned a lot about how to respond to who is in the room and how to spontaneously tailor my language to the needs of the present clients.

On Sunday, I taught my first official class.  It was a typically light time slot but just like my second mock, it was inexplicably PACKED.  More and more people came in and I realized I would be teaching my first class to a nearly full room.  I taught TWENTY people (the room holds 24) and had a ball.  Friends and other instructors came to support me and we had some serious thigh-shaking fun.

First Class TRIUMPH!

First Class TRIUMPH!

I had several more classes this week and they all went well!  My language is feeling more and more organic, which is a huge relief.  I opted to script all my transitions and cues which ultimately gave me the security to go rogue.  I even killed a spider without losing count or my train of thought.  SO PROFESH!

So, how did this all balance with the last 8 weeks of Half Ironman Training?

I’ll just show you:

Funfetti of Training!

Funfetti of Training!

June looked like that too except all the workouts were longer.

In the last 8 weeks, I’ve maybe missed 5/90 workouts.  Without question, I’m in the best shape of my life.  I’ve lost about 10 pounds by adjusting my food (gluten-free, no refined sugar or carbs.)  I generally have a lot of energy and have completed workouts without problems.  This last week has been really tough and I’m not sure why.  I’m hoping it’s hormonal because I’ve been struggling bigtime physically and emotionally but that’s a topic for another post.  Generally, training is going well and I’m making progress in all three sports.

Some exciting things have happened in my singing life.  I traveled to the Ojai Music Festival to perform Beethoven, Ives, Feldman and a program of spirituals.  I sang a solo recital of Debussy and Wolf that got a positive review.  There are some other exciting things that I will share as soon as I can.

Not in sweaty spandex!

Not in sweaty spandex!

The big thing I’ve taken away from these intense months is to just GO FOR IT and take risks.  People have been unbelievably supportive of each leap I’ve taken and that makes the successes so much more wonderful.  I hope to have the space to blog more and elaborate on some of what I’ve been going through, especially in my 70.3 training.  In the meantime, I hope YOU are having a wonderful summer and taking some fun risks of your own.

 

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#TeachItDailey

OMGEEEEEEE!!!!

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I am going to teach The Dailey Method!

This is old news if you know me or follow me on Twitter or Instagram but this is literally the first moment I’ve had time to sit down and write about it.  And I only have time right now because I’m digesting breakfast before heading out for a run.

Awhile ago, I was approached about the possibility of teaching.  I died of SqueeDelightProudness.  I’ve been taking Dailey Method regularly since I began this blog in February of 2012 (!) and the invitation to teach felt like a wonderful validation of the hard work I’ve put into my practice and the strength I’ve gained from it.  TDM’s deep commitment to anatomically correct alignment and form is in sync with my approach as a voice teacher and I have the schedule flexibility to teach classes so…..no brainer, right?  Just say yes?

Well, there was one thing holding me back.

(Well, two if you count the audition which seriously sent me into a full PANIC every time I thought about it.)

I HAVE TO SWIM BIKE RUN 70.3 MILES IN FIVE MONTHS.  

I knew the training for Dailey Method would be just as time and mind consuming as training for Augusta.  Especially because I pour myself completely into anything that’s important to me.  I obviously couldn’t take both on at the same time.  My goal during Augusta training was to get to TDM a minimum of twice a week but probably not much more than that.  Both Augusta training and TDM training are sure to push me way out of my comfort zone.  How could I handle being in wonderful but anxiety-producing situations so much of the time?  No way, right?  Also, the audition.  I had to teach a short portion to one or both of the studio owners and the idea of making a fool of myself in front of these women I respect was SO BARFY.

So, I explained that I had already committed to training for Augusta and that I was really interested in pursuing it in the fall.  Everyone was happy with that and I filed it away in the “future” folder.

And then I got a sweet email saying “Well, we’re having these workshops and it would be great if you could come so why don’t you just audition and we’ll see…”

GACK!

So, I prepared like a crazy person and successfully auditioned.  The feedback I received made me feel much more confident and like most things, once I know I can sort of do it, I REALLY WANT TO DO IT.  Just tell me I’m okay at something and I’m off to the races.

You want me to do what now?

You want me to do what now?

And then I went to a weekend of workshops and ascended into TDM nerd heaven.  I just LOVE learning about things that I enjoy doing.  Digging into the how and why of every single exercise, position, and cue gave me even more respect for this method.  I always knew that my instructors were very knowledgable and I often marveled at how they would tell you to shift weight or engage a certain part to activate a certain muscle and it always happened!  Learning to facilitate that experience for someone else has been fascinating and really, really fun.  I also have a great cohort of ladies who are currently training and one of my besties trained to teach last year and has given me tons of helpful tips.

Waterski with my girl Tonia and the amazing Susannah.

Waterski with my girl Tonia and the amazing Susannah.

When I agreed to attend the workshops, I figured I would pick away at the training through the summer and ramp up after Augusta.  And then I was hooked and decided that instead, I would compress the intense part of TDM training (class observations, workshops, and developing my training class) during the base phase of Augusta.  My hope is that as Augusta training ramps up, my TDM training will be tapering down to the point where I’m presenting mock classes and going live on the schedule.

So, basically, I’m insane and thrilled and Britney Spears.

 

Instagrammed Selfie = Fitness Professional Headshot.  #WhatAWorld

Instagrammed Selfie = Fitness Professional Headshot. #WhatAWorld

See you at the studio!  #TeachItDailey #HappyFit #AllNewHashtags

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