Chaos Or Calm – The Choice Is Yours

By DSOA Studio Growth Coach, Jane Grech.

Join Jane and our team of Studio Growth coaches, and industry experts in the biggest FREE Dance Studio Owner training of the year! Join us inside Dance Studio Recharge, and get ready to transform your business. Recharge officially kicks off on August 6th. Make sure to register by clicking here today so you don’t miss a moment!

Chaos Or Calm – The Choice Is Yours

“Boys Costumes – Junior Hip Hop”

“Call Rosie re ticket sales”

“Next season timetable – must do!”

“Holiday workshops – when and what?”

This is the chatter that often fills the minds of Dance Studio Owners everywhere as they lay their head on the pillow each night.

Sound like you?

Don’t be alarmed, you are in good company! As a Studio Growth Coach for Dance Studio Owners Association I am privileged to work with and get to know studio owners from around the globe. Whilst our varying worldwide locations may create subtle cultural differences in the way studios are run, there are many common threads that tie us altogether. Dance studio owners are driven by passion and purpose, and as a result find their brains whirring at all hours. While this can be exciting, it can also be incredibly draining. As creative leaders it is integral we teach our minds to rest, reset and recover if we are ever going to be the best version of ourselves.

Over the last couple of years I have developed the practice of mindfulness through meditation to help me calm my over excitable mind. Like you, I have too many ideas and not enough time and a ‘to-do’ list longer than my arm. Add to this a young family, employees and ‘general life’ it is easy to feel overwhelmed. A focus on becoming more self-aware led me to discover that chaos in any form caused me to feel edgy, unsettled and stressed. When I feel life is chaotic I am not even close to the best version of myself. Following this discovery I set about using strategies to not only keep chaos at bay but to encourage it’s direct counterpart – feelings of calm.

Many tools were boringly practical: weekly menu planning, daily laundry, calendars, lists, project plans….all helped tame the chaos, but the one strategy that evoked calm was the practice of mindfulness, especially meditation.

The mornings I wake early to stretch my body and meditate are my best days. I make better business decisions. I am more likely to respond thoughtfully as opposed to reacting emotionally, making me a better leader. I am more empathetic. I look for joy, and I’m more likely to find it.  I am more fun and I laugh more.

Meditation not only calmed my mind it made me nicer to be around.

Rhonda Gillrie, is the Director of Danceology, located in Canada. Now entering her 34th season Rhonda is a  long time believer in mindfulness. She starts her day lying or sitting quietly in bed focusing on how she wants the day to be. “I decide the steps I will take towards happiness. I kindly speak to myself for a moment each day and support my thoughts and feelings.”   Rhonda believes that her daily mindfulness practice has not only impacted her personally but professionally as well. “In the past fifteen years, I’ve thought seriously about what I wanted for my business, my family and myself. I think that because I practice mindfulness each day and really focus on these desires I have been able to meet my goals.”

The beauty of mindfulness is, like success, it looks and sounds different for everyone. While Rhonda chooses stillness, Jessie Zeveka from Vivid Vertical Fitness in Australia prefers movement. Through her practice of yoga, Jessie is able to reset her nervous system and give herself a break from her constant inner chatter. “Mindfulness and meditation is about being immersed in the moment. Your mind is not looking forward in time or seeking the past. It is fully present and absorbed with what you’re doing and how you are feeling at this exact moment.” Jessie shares that the most powerful benefit has been managing the deep seated fight or flight response we are all born with. A throwback to our ‘caveman’ days the response is designed to protect us from imminent danger. When it fires, it can cause us to react in ways that do not honour our best selves. “Through mindfulness I can take a moment to step back from the situation and assess what is really happening and respond instead of react.”

Dana Sekulich, director of Ignite Dance Studios in Canada combines several mindfulness practices to infuse her days and nights with calm. Upon waking, Dana starts her day with a fully body scan followed by listing affirmations dependant on her goals for the day, week or month. Dana also enjoys moving and completes at least 5 sun salutations to get her blood flowing through her body. As Dana prepares to finish her day she reflects with gratitude. “There are frequent items that come up in my daily gratitude… warm bed, happy home, clean water, ability to move… but it’s nice to reflect on the other moments of joy. Like the heart-warming moments from my 4 year old classes, compliments I received that day or unexpected encounters with strangers.” Sometimes developing a new habit can be daunting, but Dana offers reassurance that the practice  doesn’t need to be time consuming. “My morning and night practice takes a total of 20 minutes out of my day.”

Starting the day off on the right note is also important to Abigail Sites from Abundance Academy of Dance in Pennsylvania. Abigail uses the Insight Timer APP which offers many different choices of mediations, including a variety of sounds, themes, songs and poems. “I listen to my body to decide what would serve it best with no expectations or requirements.” A focus on mindfulness results in making mental health a priority and Abigail believes that “everything else in my life (professionally and personally) is strengthened because of it.”

For me, the alarm goes off, and instantly I think it would be easier to stay in bed. I’m tired and it’s warm and cosy there. Through a mixture of discipline and habit I pull back the covers and get to ‘work’. I start with a ten minute walk to get my body warm, followed by Pilates and Yoga, the movements and poses specifically chosen to soothe my current aches and pains. I focus on the movement and nothing else until I find myself still. Here, I let my mind become quiet. Thoughts come, through a focus on my breath, I let them go. I feel centred and calm, and the day begins.

Mindfulness practice is as individual as you.  “You’ve just got to find what works for you: whatever position, length of time, or if you want sounds or silence,” says Abigail. Dana agrees: “Give something a chance… if you don’t enjoy it then stop. If you do enjoy it, keep doing it! You just have to find what lights you up.” The idea of making your practice your own is also shared by Jessie. “Maybe you like to run, or you freestyle dance, or immerse yourself in the music, or a ritual bubble bath with candles.”

Through trial and error you will find a practice that helps your mind and body to stop and be present. It is here you will release the chaos and instead find peace, healing, rest and calm.

Jane Grech is the author of Dance Studio Success as well as the owner of the Jane Grech Dance Centre in Adelaide. She is also a loving wife, mother of 3 gorgeous children and our DSOA resident expert when it comes to studio culture and leadership.

Join Jane and our team of Studio Growth coaches, and industry experts in the biggest FREE Dance Studio Owner training of the year! Join us inside Dance Studio Recharge, and get ready to transform your business. Recharge officially kicks off on August 6th. Make sure to register by clicking here today so you don’t miss a moment!

 

 

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