Dance…Relationships

So it has come to this…time on my hands (a rarity!!), which means time to reflect (woohoo!). The result is the following thoughts… creating a parallel between relationships and dancing.

For those of you who know me, my brain is wired as a person with passion for dancing (I teach dance), interest with IT (work within IT business solutions & projects), and I have this long time fascination with the human brain & behaviour (I provide life coaching). You will witness some elements within my writing below.

Before you read on, I need to define my version of what is a relationship. According to many dictionaries a relationship is “an emotional or other connection between people whether by association, involvement, blood, marriage.”.  Therefore, my belief is that a relationship starts the moment you make any form of connection. This relationship can last for a second, a day, a month, a year, a decade, or a lifetime. The reason I say this is because once a connection (of any form) is made, how I speak, react, and behave is in relation to this person.

Now for the parallel I draw between relationship and dance.  🙂

(LEGEND: Relationship = R, Dance = D)

Project Kick-Off = The Beginning!

Initiation Phase = Encounter Phase = Trial/Audition Phase

R= someone catches your eye and inspires within you an interest, enough to start a conversation and hopefully getting a phone number.

D= someone catches your eye from across the dance floor and inspires within you an interest, enough to get you to go over and hopefully dance.

Planning Phase = Dating Phase = Two Hand Hold Phase

R= conversations and outings are arranged to get to know one another, and dating begins.

D= one leads and the other is led to the dance floor which gives you a sense of what type of dancer you are engaging with, and dancing begins with two hand hold.

Development Phase = Courting Phase = Formal Frame Phase

R= trust, comfort, and greater connection develop which triggers desire to get closer emotionally & physically.

D= trust, comfort, and greater connection develop leading to dancing closer in a formal frame.

Implementation Phase = Intimate Phase = Rib Cage Phase

R= you feel this is the one for you, and are ready to move to the next level of the relationship sharing yourself completely in every way.

D= this is the one you for you, you are ready to move to the next level of connection by dancing closer to one another – rib cage to rib cage with arms wrapped around one another in full hold.

Deployment Phase = Commitment Phase = Dance Partner Phase

R= the trust, comfort, and familiarity makes for a wonderful connection – and so you commit to one another.

D= the trust, comfort, and familiarity makes for a wonderful connection – and so you dance together every chance you get.

Project Closeout = The End. 🙂

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Work-Life Balance: Make It Your Business

Are you always on the go with little or no time to stay in one place to reflect, relax or even get a good night’s rest? If you’re finding it difficult to balance the different elements of your life, you’re not alone. 58% of Canadians report “overload” associated with their many roles in life.

The various roles we take on in our lives may include being a worker, parent, spouse, friend, caregiver and more.  Achieving balance in all of these roles can be difficult and time consuming, to the point where we will forget (or forego) taking care of our own physical and mental well-being.

 

Are You Balanced?

While a moderate amount of stress improves efficiency and mental sharpness, a high stress level can be harmful to your health. Unlike the ability to measure physical health with scales, endurance tests, blood tests, etc., assessing our mental health is more complex.  Fortunately, there are some signs we can look out for:

  • Feeling like you have lost control of your life
  • Often feeling guilty about neglecting your different roles
  • Frequently having difficulty concentrating on the task at hand
  • Always being tired

Nearly half of the people surveyed by Desjardins Financial Security indicated that money is the main cause of stress outside work.

How Do You Find Balance? Take Control!

At work

Take brief breaks throughout the day to slow down/change the pace, reflect, recharge, and while at it get a healthy dose of social interaction with fellow co-workers! A good laugh triggers healthy physical changes in the body by strengthening your immune system, boosting your energy, diminishing pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.  This will help you increase your productivity, effectiveness, and give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the work day.

Before leaving work, set your priorities for the following day. Be realistic about what you can accomplish within your work day and factor in your coffee & lunch breaks.

Work to live (and not the other way around)! This means it is important to make a distinction between work and the rest of your life. One way to achieve this is to make a conscious effort once you step out of the building – leave work behind.  Turn off the devices or avoid checking work emails.

At Home

Develop a transition between your work and home life by listening to some music on your commute home, taking a walk after work, doing a crossword puzzle or anything that gives you pleasure before beginning the evening’s routine. Once in full gear at home, determine what chores need to be done and what can wait. Make it a family/team activity and share the chores. This will give you more time with family, friends, or even just for you.

Physical activity, whether exercising at a gym or playing sports, has great benefits for the body and mind which will make you feel energized and refreshed. So let determination in and excuses out the door!

Fun activities need not be expensive, nonetheless set a household budget by keeping aside some money from each pay cheque.  Use some funds for a gym membership, sports club or a league. Give yourself a break from the cooking and cleaning by ordering in or eating out once a week with family/friends. Get creative with these nights by theming it to make them fun for you, the family and friends.

In Your Community

You make the choice! Social, community and volunteer obligations can pull us in many directions. Choose the ones that are most fulfilling and learn to say “no” to the rest. After all, contribution can only be made if there is abundance of time and commitment.

Work-Life Balance Benefits You and Those Around You!

Get the support & results you desire by:

  • Being clear on what it is you need to ensure work-life balance
  • Researching programs, policies and benefits available
  • Providing examples of practices that have worked in the past

Some of the options that might be available include:

  • Flexible hours: adjust start and end times to balance work and home life
  • If supported by your employer, work from home: work a day from home to alleviate stress from commuting long distances
  • Job share: share your role with another fellow employee
  • Graduated return: gradually work up to a full-time schedule after a long leave

Talk to your supervisor or Human Resources representatives to confirm what options may be available for you.

Mental health is just as vital as our physical health in ensuring our well-being.  We need to take care of it by reducing harmful stress and take important steps towards protecting and nurturing our mental health by bringing all aspects of our lives into balance.

**If available at your place of work, take advantage of the Employment Assistance Program (EAP).**

Reference(s): Canadian Mental Health Association

 

“Life situations and experiences do not define us. We define ourselves by how we get through these times.” –Angela Seth

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Au Revoir Mon Amour

A heartfelt “thank you” to each & every one for the out pour of thoughts, prayers, love & support since the loss of my love, Alex Sousa. To better understand the effect Alex has on me and many others,  I share with you the speech  made at the funeral service held June 20, 2014.

 

 

 

Alex -King of Hearts

                 My King of Hearts 

ALEX SOUSA

November 27, 1967 – June 16, 2014

Firstly, I would like to give my condolences, love & support to all of Alex’s family including the beautiful souls at Bartley , all of his friends, and especially the children, L & A –know that you were (are) each truly loved for that is all Alex knew how to do –and does best.

What is love?

If each of you were to shout out an answer you would all be correct for love is all encompassing. Honestly, if you had asked me this question months ago, I would have said something along the lines of “love is to give of yourself”, “love is to feel security”, “love is to feel significant”, “love is to feel connected”, and so on.

I have known Alex Sousa for only a brief time. What we shared & what he opened my mind, heart & soul to during our brief time sufficed because love is also timeless. The bountiful energy Alex & I exchanged & shared in the seconds that filled our moments equates to days, weeks, months & even years. As individuals we are each complete & somehow void of expectations towards one another. Thus the energy formula (or synergy) of 1+1=3 became real & tangible for us.

In this lifetime, Alex was a seeker for he had many, many questions -which I’m sure some of his friends here today can attest to. Alex was a dreamer for he wrote & sang songs with passion, loved to dance and really loved being in love –a true romantic at heart. Alex was a visionary for he sought ways to efficiently enhance people’s lives –one of which was by developing the SonicWomb bed (anyone who has not experienced it, I urge you to try it out for his heart & soul was poured into this project). However, first & foremost, Alex’s focus & energy was directed towards the ones he loved, forgoing some of his own reflective/self-searching journeys, dreams and visions – as necessary.  Alex wanted to juggle it all because he was passionate about everything & everyone. This inevitably brought some lows in his life, yet despite it all Alex continued to smile, laugh & even love. The trooper that he is, Alex kept trying to perfect his juggling skills and in doing so some of these elements (seeking, dreaming, envisioning) were coming to fruition.

Days before he left this life, he continuously expressed to me with excitement that our mind, body & soul connections helped him tap into a source whereby his senses & awareness were significantly heightened and he was now able to see things clearly. He could see it all. Life made sense.

I believe this source he tapped into was pure & genuine love -so unconditional, so perfect that he outgrew this life –or as a couple of his friends have said “graduated onto the next level”.

My family & friends tell me it is so unfair that he left so soon, especially when our relationship just started. The truth is Alex & I are but old souls who sought one another for many, many lifetimes. The stars and planets aligned as such that we eventually found each other. Life is neither fair nor unfair. Alex completed his journey here with flying colours by affecting everything & every one of us with devotion, kindness, forgiveness, and more. The divine was “calling all angels” and Alex willingly accepted.

I ask you all to please take a moment & close your eyes. Take a deep breath. He has left you with the precious gift of love.

We spent most of our time together this past weekend sharing our ideas, dreams, thoughts and affections. We spoke about how we would build a home so all of our loved ones may gather. We tried to figure out how we would bring our children together, join our lives. One thing about Alex, he had no reservations about sincerely expressing how he felt about you. In turn, he allowed himself to be vulnerable and this is just one of the many qualities that make him so beautiful. Peace fell upon him when I finally said to him “I love you too”. With tears coming down, he said “thank you, that’s what I needed”.  These words will forever be embedded in my heart. Though our time together was brief, I am both honoured & blessed that I was with Alex that Monday morning – filling his heart, mind & soul with love as he has – and continues to do so for me.

Well Alex, I know you are aware of just how much you too are loved –you need only to feel us here, all gathered today.

I patiently await till my time comes to be with you again –in the meantime, I shall honour your wishes & dreams – Bartley’s Lighthouse will be our home where all shall be welcomed & feel our love, and we shall see it through that your vision is successfully carried on.

Now if you were to ask me what love is, my answer is simply “Alex”.

 

Love you always Alex.

-Your Queen of Hearts

Au Revoir Mon Amour

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