Category Archives: Wellness Wisdom

Discover the Joys of Movement

This feels like a good time to share an excerpt from my
Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit book (2nd ed. 2011).
If you would appreciate inspiration and encouragement about choosing a joyful way to move, then you’ll enjoy this!

Chapter 15

Discover the Joys of Movement

Years ago I noticed how certain words with similar meanings prompted different reactions. I stopped saying “exercise” when I discovered that my next thought was “No pain, no gain.” That didn’t sound like much fun for me, so I began substituting the word “movement” for “exercise.” My clients smiled and their bodies relaxed when I would suggest they find a form of movement that would be just right for them.

While in my mid-forties, I could not always find a tennis or racquetball partner and sometimes felt bored lifting weights or riding a cycle that went nowhere. I had taken jazz dance classes for years but my work schedule often conflicted with the class schedule. During this time I discovered a holistic form of movement called Nia. Nia is a transformational fusion fitness and lifestyle practice that blends selected movements from the martial arts, the dance arts, and the healing arts. Nia uses The Body’s Way to achieve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being. Anyone can enjoy Nia because it encourages all participants to listen to the wisdom of their bodies. It brings out the inner dancer in everyone—especially in people who were told in their childhood (or adulthood) that they couldn’t dance or were too clumsy. All sizes, shapes, and ages can joyfully participate. If you are in a wheelchair or have a limited range of motion, you can enjoy the arm movements, music, sensations, sounds, and images created through Nia routines.

I discovered a passion for Nia that continues to inspire me to want to care for and nourish all aspects of my being. I am a certified black belt Nia instructor and have been teaching since 1999. I delight in being a dancing grandmother! And I must share this—I got a kick out of turning 60 in 2009 and love being able to get down and get back up again with ease! Nia has opened the doorway to profound joy, healing, passion, and wholeness in my life and in the lives of Nia students across the globe.

You can learn more by taking a Nia class or by reading The Nia Technique—The High-Powered Energizing Workout That Gives You a New Body and a New Life by Nia co-creators Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas. If you visit the Web site www.nianow.com you will find listings for classes all over the world.

Dance and martial arts don’t excite you? Simply walking each day can bring a sense of calm and provide cardiovascular benefits. If you move through your day via wheelchair or a Segway, taking time to get outside and connect your wheels to the earth can heighten your awareness as you take in all that surrounds you. If you like cycling or in-line skating, you can do that with attention to what’s flying by you. Whether you are walking, rolling, or jogging you can feel the wind on your face and through your hair. Delight in your senses. Smell the moment, see what you are traveling in and around, touch a flower or a rock or tree. Twenty to 30 minutes of movement each day freshens the mind and gently massages the heart in many ways. If you walk or roll everywhere you go, make time to do a part of it with a real intention of being fully in your body; an intention and recognition of “being here now” rather than on your way someplace else.

If health concerns seriously limit your ability to move, I offer a pearl of wisdom that my mother’s hospice counselor, Randi, suggested to her. Just a few days before my mother passed away, she confided in Randi that she realized she would never dance again. This wise and compassionate counselor took my mother’s hand and said, “Helen, close your eyes, and let’s dance together right now.” The mind is magnificent, and my mother smiled as she enjoyed visions of dancing one last time. Let your imagination guide you to enjoyable places now. Don’t wait.

It’s important to note that some people don’t have the problem of finding a movement form that suits them—they have found something and over-do it to the detriment of their body/mind. And in this arena of health concerns, if you or someone you love deals with disordered eating and over-exercising, Peach Friedman’s captivating book, Diary of an Exercise Addict, provides inspiration and support for healing.

And so, I advocate closing your eyes for a moment and thinking of a form of movement that creates joyful feelings and suits your wellness path. This joyful activity is the one to start with if you’re seeking a way to add more movement to your life. After selecting your first option, you might want to see if this movement involves strength, flexibility, and a cardiovascular benefit. (Nia provides all of these, by the way.) If not, the next step would be to consider adding another type of movement that includes these elements. Let this form of movement stir your passion and your pleasure.

 

Suggestions for Implementing the Ideas in This Chapter

  1. Think of a form of movement that creates joyful feelings and suits your wellness path. Nia, yoga, tennis, jogging, hiking, Pilates, golf, dancing, biking, aerobics, tai chi, softball, skiing, rock climbing, swimming, walking, skating—these are just some of the choices you have.
  2. Does this movement involve strength, flexibility, and a cardiovascular benefit? If not, the next step would be to consider adding another type of movement that includes these elements.
  3. Consider working out with a buddy. This is a great way to motivate and support both of you in creating time to discover the many joys of movement.
  4. Walking is a wonderful way to provide cardio-vascular benefits. Have fun stretching before and after you walk and you’ve added flexibility into your plan. If you have a gym membership, add weights and “play” with how it feels to strengthen your body. An alternative is to buy weights (second-hand stores always seem to have this type of equipment around) and check with a personal trainer or find a good book from the library to guide you. Less is more in this arena, as you never want to strain your muscles. It’s important to skip a day to allow your muscle fibers to rebuild properly. So if you do an upper body workout one day, focus on lower body the next.
  5. Set the intention to participate in healthy movement activities every two days. Seek pleasure in your choices, be playful, and don’t overdo.

Excerpt from chapter 15 of Wellness Wisdom, 2nd ed., 2011, by Susan Tate

LEARN MORE about FREE Nia classes with Susan at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at the University of Virginia.

©2000 – 2017 Susan Tate

Copyright 2011 by Susan Tate

13 Tips for Transformational Wellness

13 TIPS FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL

“All transformation begins with an intense burning desire to be transformed.”
~Wayne Dyer

Do you have this intense burning desire to transform a part of you life that isn’t serving you? Are you looking for a little less stress in your life? Are you desiring to feel more love? Do you want to feel really, really well?

These 13 Tips for Transformational Wellness will take only 13 seconds to read. Then you can choose one to practice–and of course practicing them will take MORE than 13 seconds–but they are all capable of adding to your well-being. And all of them are filled with love.

We get to take one step at at time on our wellness path. Which one will you choose for your next step?

  1. Intend to be well
  2. Listen to your body
  3. Nourish the body/mind temple
  4. Live in the present moment
  5. Pray and/or meditate
  6. Seek balance and pleasure
  7. Speak your truth with kindness
  8. Reframe worrying
  9. Cultivate forgiveness
  10. Practice peace
  11. Love radically
  12. Don’t complain
  13. Magnify gratitude

If you would like suggestions for implementing each of these tips, you will enjoy learning more in my book, Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit.

Buy Into the Mouths of Babes on Amazon

Please let me know which one you picked to play with today! Please leave a comment here or come on over to my SusanTateCommunity Facebook page and share your thoughts.

©2016 Susan Tate

Letting Go

Dalai Quote

It had once been my nature to cling ferociously to the belief that I was powerful enough to change the thinking of family members, friends, and even entire university committees. I am mighty powerful—but not in that way. I know that my true power comes from honestly and compassionately speaking my truth with integrity, kindness, and compassion and then letting go of the outcome. And it’s especially important to let go of the outcome. Pain has always resulted when I got in there and tried to force that oversized round peg into a very small square hole.

Trusting (rather than hoping) that things will unfold with ease in a way that is best for all involved will help as you prepare to truly let go. You may want to consider replacing the word hope with the word trust. Hope often implies something we wish might happen in the future. Trust can be a more optimistic and affirming way toward creating a specific result. And sometimes, it’s appropriate to really, really hope.

A real lesson in trusting and letting go came when my father was living his last few years of life with Alzheimer’s disease. My dear, rational, calm, clear thinking dad would tell me stories of flying boxcars that took him to work (and back) and he would tell me that wherever he landed, his bed would be right there too! The first time he told me this, I felt like my heart was bleeding tears. I felt desperate to bring him back into my reality. “Dad,” I softly pleaded, “You know that part of your brain that isn’t always connecting quite right? Well, that’s what’s happening now and that story isn’t really true.” I thought I was controlling the situation quite nicely. What an illusion!

When I let go and realized that his reality was his reality and totally different from mine, I began to find peace. I let go—and met him where he was, not where I wanted him to be. On one of our last walks together, I said, “Dad, tell me more about the boxcar with wings.” His face lit up as he described how this unique train took off and landed so smoothly and how much fun it was to ride it. Dad had been a railroad engineer so the added speed created by the airplane wings must have been quite a delight for him! And my delight came when I was able to let go and be with him right where he was. For a while after his death, I spent time wishing I had met him there sooner. Now I know I did the best I could at the time. I know he knows it too.

Anthropologist Ralph Blum said, “Relinquishing control is the ultimate challenge for the spiritual warrior.” We have a choice to cling to thoughts and beliefs that keep us stuck, in pain or in the illusion of control—or, we can let go, and let God handle the details. It’s your choice.

–Excerpt from chapter 18 “Letting Go” in my book: Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit

How about you? Are you ready to let go of a thought, belief, or situation that no longer serves you? I’d love to hear from you. And may you feel the peace that comes from letting go . . .

 

The Space In Between

spaceinbetweenA few days ago, the management of the beautiful dance space where I have been teaching Nia for nine years gave us a week’s notice to cancel further classes and return our keys. My last class there will be Saturday morning, December 20. When I read the email notification, I immediately went into a very spiritual mode of thinking. “Ahh, everything will be okay! I wonder what’s next?” Within five minutes my mind took me to incredibly human thoughts (not so spiritual) and then I circled around to the spiritual view again. I’ve gone through shock, anger, acceptance, confusion, sadness, and denial. My grief is still present. But I am settling pretty deep into acceptance. I am keenly aware that, if this is one my biggest problems of the year, I’m very lucky.

What I want to share with you is the feeling of peace that is coming to me (in spurts) now. It’s similar to the feeling I had when we sold my parents’ home in the late 90s. My mother had died in 1996, two years later one of my younger sisters died, and then my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and could no longer live alone. It was time to sell the family home and pack up 53 years of a household.

As I wrote in chapter 25 of my Wellness Wisdom book, I vividly remember the feeling of sitting by myself in the family living room as I gazed at all that was around me. There was the family Bible on the table by my dad’s favorite chair, my mom’s music box collection, a small bust of Jackie Kennedy, family photographs on the dining room wall, and the old maple stereo console we’d had since the sixties. Anticipating the next four days of packing and removing remnants of our family’s life together in my childhood home, I began to cry. It seemed like a task I was too young to be doing and nothing seemed to make any sense. How would it feel to never come home again?

After praying for a few minutes, I felt a deep sense of peace wash over me. Spirit was clearly at work here, as I felt I was receiving a profound gift that enabled me to move through this passage with grace, strength, and trust. This gift proved to be more valuable than any household item in our lovely family home. I realized that it wasn’t the stuff, it wasn’t the dishes, and it wasn’t the doors or the walls or my old bedroom that was important at that moment. It wasn’t the living room where I stood for photos in my prom and wedding dresses or groaned when mom wanted to take one more family picture. It wasn’t the things—it was the space in between that was important. The gift was the realization that the space in between all this stuff was where I had learned to love. And that love was something I was able to safely pack with me and keep for the rest of my life. My tears stopped and I thanked God for the gift of this peaceful insight, and for the gift of such loving parents.

And now after nine precious years, I am leaving The Dance Space—unexpectedly. This space was like a home to me and to many students and teachers in our Nia Seattle community. It seems that here too, it was the space in between where we danced and laughed and played and cried and expressed joy and love. It was the space in between where we connected as dancers, friends, supported each others’ life events, and sometimes danced and donated to send healing and resources to places throughout the world.

I notice the similarities with leaving my family home and leaving The Dance Space now. It was the space in between where I found a loving Nia family that was always there for me as I celebrated birthdays and holidays without my children and grandchildren at my side. I will take all of that with me and I don’t even have to pack it!

I will take with me the feeling and energy of the love that we generated there. I offer gratitude for every student who walked through that door. I offer gratitude for each of the (over 1,000) classes  that I had the honor of teaching there. I offer gratitude for all the workshops held there. I offer gratitude to each of my Nia teaching colleagues for sharing their gifts there. I offer gratitude for the experience of teaching a Nia class in April with my daughter and granddaughter in the class–three generations doing Nia together, I offer gratitude for the space and for the neighborhood. I will leave the studio free and clear to serve the next people to enter. I will clear the space and take all my personal energy with me. That will leave my body, mind, spirit, and emotions free to embrace the next dancing steps; and lead me to the perfect studio space so I can continue to share my beloved Nia practice. My wish is for my students and our Nia community to be open to doing the same.

Are you in a time of life where you can see the value of the spaces in between? I’d love to hear about it here or over on my Susan Tate Community Facebook page.

Posted 12/17/15

 

Affirmations for Your Wellness Path

Affirmations for Wellness

We have over 60,000 thoughts a day and most of them were also bonking around in our heads yesterday. These thoughts most often reflect our subconscious beliefs. So, the power in a positive affirming statement is that it can slowly but surely become a welcome part of those repetitive thoughts and eventually become a belief. You can affirm something peaceful or affirm something to create worry or suffering. You get to choose. And although most people find daily affirmations make their lives feel better, they do not “work” simply by saying, “I am getting healthier every day” while you are sitting on the sofa eating bonbons. There’s a saying I love, “Pray and move your feet!”

Here are the “Affirmations for Wellness” I share in my Wellness Wisdom book.  At the end of these affirmations, you’ll find resources to support you in reprogramming your subconscious beliefs, which are about 95% of your thoughts. I think of affirmations as a way of “recording over” the old beliefs. Have fun in your own personal recording studio!

 

AFFIRMATIONS FOR WELLNESS

I accept balance in all aspects of me; including my mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional self.

I am enough.

Every cell in my body vibrates with health.

I forgive myself and I forgive others for any behaviors or beliefs
that have caused pain.

I release and bless all thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve
my highest purpose.

God (or whatever you call the Divine) is at home in me.

I am filled with gratitude for the abundant blessings I constantly receive
from Spirit.

I allow myself to love greatly and be greatly loved.

I am constantly discovering my joy and it is powerful.

I am surrounded by feelings of harmony and peace.

I accept and receive all of my good now.

I lovingly accept joyful health to flow in and through my body.

I accept radiant health and wholeness.

I am a generous giver and a gracious receiver.

I commit to taking more time each day to be silent and still.

I know that now is the God moment.

I express my emotions with authenticity and clarity.

I speak with kindness, truth, and compassion.

I joyfully live a life full of integrity.

I mindfully choose my response to any circumstance
or condition.

I am grateful for my body.

I revel in wholeness.

Affirmations from my book: Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit by Susan Tate

Resources, affirmations, and support for re-writing that old script in your head!

Become What You Believe: Free 21-day meditation series from Deepak Choprak & Oprah Winfrey (started 11-2-15)

The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Louise Hay’s 101 Power Thoughts

The Honeymoon Effect by Bruce Lipton

The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success by Mario Martinez

The Tapping Solution by Mark Hyman, MD  and Nick Ortner

 

 

Practice Peace

Practice Peace

ARE YOU READY FOR MORE PEACE TO ENTER YOUR HEART AND LIFE?

It seems like a good time to share an excerpt from the “Practice Peace” chapter in my Wellness Wisdom book to offer you a generous helping of nourishing peace.

Peace begins at home, home within the center of each of us. Our peaceful state of mind can then be extended to our family, friends, community, and the world. It can even be extended to people who don’t believe as we do. If we each take steps to promote this harmony, we could eventually see peace reach epidemic proportions.

It is often easy to condemn groups of people who are at war with each other. We may shake our heads wondering why “they” can’t live in peace. But are we living in peace? Are we at peace with ourselves? People creating terror hold a grudge against people who do not think like they do. Do we harbor grudges against family, former partners, coworkers, or neighbors? I believe if each of us takes the steps necessary to truly practice peace “at home,” within our bodies and souls, then it will be easier to sustain a peace consciousness throughout our entire planet.

EVERY DAY, YOU CAN CHOOSE TO CREATE PEACE
WITHIN YOUR OWN HEART.

When listening to the radio or watching the evening news, you can take deep breaths and a moment to pray for peace. You might even choose to create a ritual of peace-thinking in your daily life. For example, every time you stop at a red light, it could be a signal to think peace and be peace. I love the peace bumpers stickers I see when I’m driving too. And I giggle out loud every time I see the one that says, “Envision Whirled Peas”!

I invite you to join me in mindfully taking time to pray for peace, within ourselves first and then throughout the world. Whether you walk through the doorway of your own home or through the metal doorway in airport security, dare to be the carrier of peace.

peace doveP E A C E

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is
no noise, trouble, or hard work.
It means to be in the midst of those things
and still be calm in your heart.”  ~Unknown

PRACTICE PEACE

When we practice peace in all parts of our daily life, we could actually begin to upset the condition of conflict and turmoil in the world. Practice peace. Think peace. Be peace. Touch peace. It’s communicable.

OVER TO YOU

What one thing will you do today to create more peace in your heart and mind? Feel free to leave your comments on my Susan Tate Community Facebook Page.