Tips, Advice and Ideas by Dan Norman
From time to time DMS will feature tips, advice and ideas from those that mean well and like to help others strive towards being the best they can be.
Today’s contribution is from Dan Norman.
Dan is a coach, trainer and writer and is interested in code breaking, or more specifically helping people step towards their greatness and revel in the journey.
Riding the Wave
“Self care, self-leadership for the artist.”
By Dan Norman
Creating work, expressing the vitality of your craft, being ready for when the Universe moves and you can put down your offering for others which is dependant to a large degree on your resilience, wellness and fluidity.
By fluidity I mean the responsiveness of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and soulful elements that characterise who you are and, by resilience I mean keeping ourselves in a state of performance readiness that is never so far away that we can’t respond when our true nature wants to make itself heard.
In this piece I’m going to go over six fundamental, modifiable factors and practices that can sustain our energy, ward off excessive stress and provide an integral format to ensure we are keeping ourselves, and our instrument finely tuned.
The six fundamentals are, sleep, breathing, hydration, eating, thinking, movement. Each sphere of influence can have a great effect on either the positive manifestation of a robust level of energy or a deleterious effect, leaving us blunted, dulled down and lacking in inspiration or vital creative energy.
What’s important about sleep is that it’s where we get our physical repair, our psychological repair and very often our dreams which we all know can inform our work so powerfully if we choose to interpret this realm.
With adequate sleep we keep our circadian rhythm in tune with the day, keep stress hormones lower and allow for repair to occur. A dark room and adequate covers, refraining from excessive use of computers beforehand and enough food inside to power through a solid deep sleep phase is what we are after. Twenty-minute naps can fill some gaps but for anyone who is not getting enough sleep the compensatory measures the body will need to make won’t help leaving us fresh.
Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Yoga, Alexander Technique, Meditation, all share the deep, mindful diaphragmatic breathing that accesses our parasympathetic nervous system, our reserve branch of the nervous system, aiding with lung volume, power and posture. Some investigation into these ancient healing arts will add more than just relaxation to your self-care tool-box.
We don’t need gallons but hydration is critical to performance, mental acuity and a relaxed physical presence. One to two litres of pure clean water, filtered preferably relieves your body’s many cries for water. In a culture fuelled by caffeine, water is often our best friend in getting through the work we need to do, at or closest to our peak performance.
Food is love, food is nurture and food is our soul mate, our companion and our fuel. Food is deeply social, emotive and extends far beyond its cope in nutrition in delivering what it yields for us. Learning to cook balanced, vibrant and energising meals is a key skill for ourselves and others. Taking some lessons in cooking and visiting a nutritionist, food coach or dietician may be one of the best investments you could make. Whole, good quality foods that provide deep nutrition get our cells singing tunes that help us move with grace and power.
Our dominant thoughts take their root from our core beliefs. Examining what we really think of ourselves, our experiences through reflection, writing, coaching conversations, therapy or the arts can allow for the clarification and processing of success, rejection, highlights and disasters as we keep our thoughts mindful, congruent and supportive.
Life is motion. Dance, stretch, play, fight, lift weights, run, free run, samba and box your way to some enlivening physicality. We embody our work, our presence, our stance, our pose, our offering all find ground in the body, our body. We turn up as our body not with one. What do you need? Release blocks? Get aggressive? Move with fluidity and poise? Make your deep practice embodied, an unending exploration into what our physicality can generate towards our life and our art.
These six areas can cost as much or as little time and expense as we choose, yet they are freely accessible, freely available and very potent in their scope to enhance our living, embodied experience of being who we are and offering what we have to give.
Please get in touch if you’d like to do the same. Get in touch.