Transforming Caregiver Stress into Compassion Resilience
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Are You An Embodied Performer?

Embodiment is the process of giving a physical, concrete form to an abstract concept like a principle, or quality. It is the ability to allow ideas and insights to root and take shape in our bodies, so they can find outward expression in effective, tangible actions.  What does this mean for you as a performer? Embodied performers don’t just live in an abstract trance of how they would like things to be, they take the bold action necessary to advocate for themselves as artists, and for their artform. They commit to practices that cultivate the qualities of presence, confidence and ease under pressure. They have the capacity to access a powerful source for physical and emotional creative expression. An embodied performer brings focus and meaning to their practice, and they have the resilience to thrive in the face of set-backs, mistakes, judgement and criticism. Embodied performers align body, breath and movement with intention, purpose and inspiration, supporting a life that is centered in integrity and authenticity. They are courageous enough to confront what is getting in their way, and to risk leaving parts of themselves behind, in order to pursue new habits and behaviours; an embodied approach to life holds that it is possible to release  ourselves from a chain of reactivity, and stay in closer touch with intuition and wisdom. The experience of being embodied arises through somatic and mindful practices – ways of bringing awareness to, and working with, the physical body and its sensations, feelings and moods. Because no matter how much we know something in theory, when we experience stress, it’s our BODY that returns to what it knows best. Because our deepest learning is rooted at a below-conscious level, we repeat behaviours and habits that are now dysfunctional for the job at hand. New research reveals what many enlightened souls have known intuitively all along… that working with the domain of the body is a powerful way to learn, change and transform ourselves. When we re-organize ourselves physically, we also change our state of mind, and ultimately the action we are capable of taking. That’s not surprising, since our physical experience of the world provides the pattern for how we reason about the world; our mind is constantly being shaped by the things we encounter in the physical world. And that’s why it is important that we don’t just understand what we need to do, but we also train our nervous system to support the learning and development of new actions and behaviours (for example, how to...

Paul Linden Returns

After a successful workshop a few months ago, Being In Movement founder and body-mind master  Paul Linden is returning to the UK with a new Embodiment For Trainers and Coaches workshop on 31st August in Brighton.  From September 1st Paul will also be available for 1:1 coachings. For more information visit http://integrationtraining.co.uk/blog/2012/07/paul-linden-uk-workshop-embodied-training-tools.html. I had lots of fun and learning on the last one, so it comes highly recommended.      ...

Are You Truly Ready For A Leading Role?

Imagine you are the star of the show. Your name is called and you take your place in the wings.  You are alone, in the semi-darkness, waiting your entrance. With dramatic anticipation, the curtain rises and the lights illuminate the space, revealing the stage and your audience. What happens next? Do you trust yourself to step into the light, confident you will give a good performance (and equally secure knowing that, should you happen to fall flat on your face, you can smile and carry on) Or do you hesitate too long, miss your cue, and experience such fright that you give up those dreams of being the star and beat a retreat to the safety of your day job? I know countless women who have the talent, skills and knowledge to take their business to the next level. And  too many of those women have sabotaged their success just as they were on the verge of a breakthrough. Every year in the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8th March, I hear an increasing number of calls for women to take up more visible positions ; in politics, in business, in communities.  (Have you noticed how enlightened women entrepreneurs are being hailed as the next global economy?) But you know, it’s really not that easy. What is less frequently spoken about (at least in public), is that many women are simply not practiced at being ‘Visible’ Leaders.  It seems shameful to admit somehow, as if it’s a weakness that we are responsible for. We are not. There is no doubt that we are experts at what we do. But the truth is, a good number of us haven’t been awarded the opportunities or experiences that equip us to face the Leadership challenge in the long-term.  Too many training programmes fail to  provide the resources we need, when they ignore the  sticky issues that exist around attitudes and perspectives on women’s power and leadership, and don’t take account how our histories and experiences shape our performance.   And we were lucky if we grew up with the mentors and role models to show us how to we can take the lead without losing our heads, our integrity and our identities along the way. The thing is, achieving success inevitably brings demands and complex challenges. You know that, which is why you hesitate.  Even natural born leaders need to build appropriate resilience and reserves before they move out in front and risk being in the line of fire. That’s...

Embodying Boundaries

Stressed? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Feeling discomfort, and unease? You’ve probably got a case of ‘crappy boundary’ syndrome! I’ve learned the messy way, that if we  want to stay in our power, and perform at our best under pressure, then we have to get clear on where we draw the boundaries and where we walk the line. Boundaries are vital for keeping us safe and secure. They allow us to keep what harms and disturbs us at arms length, so we don’t become destabilised. And they allow us to let in the stuff that nourishes and strengthens us, which feeds our resilience.  Boundaries are intimately connected with your right to claim your existence, and your right  to take a stand for yourself, and what matters to you. And our capacity to hold relaxed but strong boundaries allows our clients, our families, and our children, to experience  more support, containment and security for themselves. So everyone benefits. We negotiate boundaries in all areas of our lives; we have emotional, relational, physical, sexual, social, financial, intellectual and spiritual boundaries. But rarely do we bring conscious attention to what our personal limits are, and where our defenses are  too permeable or too rigid. If the people in your life don’t know your limits, they’ll assume they have permission to keep doing what they are doing until you say stop.  The problem is,  if you don’t know what your limits are either, they’ll keep doing it until you reach overwhelm or breakdown.  At the very least, you will feel taken advantage of. The first step is to become aware of the boundaries you need to strengthen (or loosen), in order to nourish you and meet your needs better. But that’s not enough. As I’m sure you have experienced, being aware that you need to say ‘NO’ to a request, and knowing both the words to say and the reason to say them, doesn’t make it any easier to say ‘NO’ in the moment, when you are in contact with the other person. Instead we become dis-abled by the feelings, sensations, histories and experiences that are imprinted in our bodies.  We are physically unable to communicate our intention. We may create other ‘defenses’ to maintain a superficial sense of safety. We say yes, but then sabotage the agreement. We may act out knee-jerk responses, or otherwise react inappropriately, but they only every provide short-term relief. That’s because  boundaries are an embodied experience; it is at the edges and the spaces of our physical organism that we meet, communicate, and...

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