I was a featured speaker and the title of my talk was, "How Can Cultivating Habits of Curiosity, Exploration and Collaboration Support Relationships with Our Bodies and Our Health?"
Today, at 2 PM, I will sell my two-bedroom Condo in Park Slope Brooklyn. This is not a new experience. I bought and sold real estate in New York City throughout the mid 1990s and 2000s in order to put myself through graduate school, pay for my son's private school education and monetarily supplement my income as an artist and college professor. I have been very lucky -- and savvy -- managing to use my skills as a dancer/choreographer to feel-out spaces (a la Richard Florida's Rise of the Creative Class). I've stayed ahead of the New York City housing trends, and now I am ready to get out.
I'm primed to channel my creative skills elsewhere as it seems I am perhaps [again] ahead of the trend. Two recent studies indicate that we find happiness not by owning [things] but by doing [things]. Scientific America published an article entitled, Can Money Buy Happiness? New research reveals that reminders of wealth impair our capacity to savor life's little pleasures. According to author, Sonja Lyubomirsky, "although wealth may grant us opportunities to purchase many things, it simultaneously impairs our ability to enjoy those things."
As we head further into summer, take advantage of local forested areas; you may do more than simply stretch you legs and breathe fresh air. A Japanese study, released by the University of Kyoto and published in Public Health, entitled, 'Psychological effects of forest environments on healthy adults: Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing, walking) as a possible method of stress reduction' describes a link between walking in forests and reducing chronic stress.
This idea is gaining recognition and was discussed in the New York Times Health Section. Most people find a walk in the woods relaxing, but apparently this practice not only quiets the mind, but stimulates the physical relaxation response and our immune systems. Findings of this study concluded, "that forest environments are advantageous with respect to acute emotions, especially among those experiencing chronic stress."Accordingly, shinrin-yoku may be employed as a stress reduction method, and forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.
Remember a time when you played with your physical balance–on a balance beam, log, railing, or perhaps point shoes, ice skates or a bicycle. Imagine how you leaned to the left and then the right, perhaps you laughed as you fell down and picked yourself back up. Finding your balance was an exhilarating game filled with fleeting moments of true balance. This is the process of learning active life-balance. And this is a process that never ends. It is also a practice that can be fun, if you let go- fall down and enjoy the ride.
The same concept can be applied to your emotions and thoughts. Feeling grounded, balanced and clear throughout your day, begins with valuing every part of you. Just as you have one body that goes with you everywhere you go, you have all of your experiences, memories, likes and dislikes that travel with you through your day. The idea of playing with balance is like picking out your outfit for the day. The clothes you wore yesterday were perfect for yesterday- but you may feel more comfortable and better about yourself in a different color and style today. You looked and felt great yesterday–appreciate the clothes you wore and how they felt. Know that you will wear them again (together or with other things) when the time is right. Thoughts and emotions are like your clothes. Sometimes the blue sweater is perfect, sometimes the white; sometimes you will love your friends, parents, schoolmates, sometimes you they will drive you crazy. Both are perfect- just be honest with yourself and value where you are in your thoughts and emotions.
speaker / facilitator / stress expert / storyteller / choreographer / entrepreneur