I have a new passion in my life......it's called "efficiency".....Seriously. I get very excited when I can find the tool, the plan, or the thing that organizes me. That sensation of streamlining my time is wonderful. Let's face it, life itself has challenges and just meeting the day to day demands requires "energy". Those days that we have more are wonderful, we breeze through our "to-do's", have energy to tackle the piles lying around and have time/energy left over for leisure. We meet life's more difficult tasks with rigor, and tackle complicated issues confidently. Our health is vibrant and we feel a joy for life. Having a good amount of energy can make doing tasks you dislike doing go fast and with ease. This energy is our resource that uplifts, gives, and expands our lives in positive ways.
I have to be honest, my reality is more complicated ( we all have our stories, yeah?).... flash forward to adding into the equation a kid or two, a demanding job/business, a house, car, traffic, cell phone, computers and more.....and suddenly efficiency is a necessity. In fact it's almost a drug......it's the key to managing with the least amount of stress and the most amount of happiness.
So the question becomes what is the very best tool I can use to have more energy? The answer is right in front of you....or rather, inside of you....it's your body. Websters defines energy as "the strength and vitality required for sustained physical and mental activity". Feeling animated, vital, vigor, having a zest for life, buoyancy, effervescence, exuberance, a sparkle are all terms for having "energy". Yes, my body says.....i'd like some of that, what about YOU? So how do we get THERE when life is complicated??? Here are some of the tools I have learned through Kai as dance thru my life. I would love to hear some of yours!
1. Awareness: It all starts in the body. Movement efficiency is noticing where am I "over working" and how can I do movement with least possible effort? This doesn't mean NOT MOVE AT ALL, in fact it's the opposite. (Stagnancy is a terrible energy robber.) MOVE to have MORE, and yet find efficiency to do the same movement with less effort. This means noticing the tensions of my body and bringing more EASE to them. It takes a deep attention to detail to notice your own walk, your breathing patterns, how you sit, stand, and how you function in life. Every little thing counts ( notice how you brush your teeth, do you grip the tooth brush? Do you tighten your jaw when you stand, how do you hold your phone when making a call?) You must always look for ways to move with more relaxation or you are not sustainable for a full day at full vibrance......that said......naps are heavenly:)
2. Boundries: Say YES and say NO with clarity, commitment and positiveness. Know your priorities and know when those lines feel fuzzy. Sometimes I feel guilt about not being able to have time to stay after class, or feeling like I want to get right to the point of a conversation as my time/energy needs to be this fine tuned for me to stay in the high efficiency place I desire. I say "no" to many invitations that sound wonderful but simply I am not able to do that and stay aligned with my priorities. This inner alignment is VITAL to having energy and is a refined skill. True friends will want you to be aligned with YOU and there will always be invitations, this is what I remind myself if guilt clouds my mirror. Inner boundries are equally important to outer boundries. We all have those inner gremlins that can suck energy out of your desires, notice if this is happening and STOP, REDIRECT, PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER AND WALK THRU THE TENSION........It's like re-directing the flow of a whirlpool.
3. Nutrition: It Matters ....ALOT. Experiment with what works for you and be careful of gimmicks. Think LONG TERM SUSTAINABLE energy....you want to be dancing and vibrant loving life when your retired and playing with grandkids, yes? Speaking of this......let go of what "age" looks like. This is a big one. Society has a collective vision of aging and you can either agree with it or you can create your own vision. It may help to read and see pictures of the "new" 80 year old......
4. Mind: Have a practice to use your mind efficiently. Develop the ability to shift out of funky negative thoughts. Be aware that your thoughts reflect what you listen too, watch, read, etc. Feed it healthy nutrition.......there is so much research on music and mind, meditation, challenging your mind thru puzzles, art, etc. Kai is wonderful for turning on new neural pathways. It's never too late! The brain is made with the ability to build new neural pathways at any age!
5. Emotions: Emotions comes from the latin word EMO "to flow like the ocean" . Become more aware of your feelings. Feelings have TREMENDOUS energy that we can tap into. Every emotion has a purpose, it's unlocking the code of "why" and surrendering to the natural movement they offer. Creative arts are wonderful tools to help move emotions also ournalling, talking with a trusted friend, or dancing. Anger is a fierce strength when channeled and directed with clarity. Grief, Fear, Longing.....all have a purpose which is to release, open intuition, expand desire.......every emotion has a purpose and it's for movement.
6. Spirit: This is different for everyone.....For me it's knowing that I simply can't do it all alone. I ask for help and find that it's there when I do this....... All I can say here is to explore what YOUR connection is to something bigger than you. There may be gifts waiting here for you to discover.