11 May 2013
DMF is on a mission to bring joy, happiness and courage to NYC and beyond. Courage you say? Yes, Courage! It is always my goal when teaching DMF to help clients shed physical insecurities and truly enjoy how freeing it is to just dance and let lose to awesome music. But stripping away self-consciousness takes courage, especially since we live in a society that has unfortunately conditioned us to be so worried about what others think of us. Many of us live in fear of embarrassment and/or judgment from others. Or even more to the core of it—judgment of ourselves. I hear all the time, “but I’m not a dancer” or “I’m so uncoordinated I could never do DMF.” What it often boils down to is that we are afraid to try things that we aren’t “perfect” at. We feel insufficient or like a fool just because we are not “mastering something,” rather than just giving in to the fact that it’s OK to be silly and do something simply because it is FUN. Dr. Brene Brown has an awesome quote about perfectionism: “Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.” So true.
I’ve struggled with perfectionism and fear of embarrassment my whole life. While I had the courage to be myself around those in my close circle of friends and family, I often didn’t express this to the world outside my comfort zone. I was afraid. Afraid of judgment and afraid people would think I was crazy. Afraid of not being “cool.” And later in life, I stayed in an unhappy marriage much longer than I should have for fear of what others would think of a 29-year-old divorcee and the intense fear of starting life over.
Several years ago, I went on a mission to “figure life out.” I studied happiness, I immersed myself in books, lectures and things I found challenging and inspiring. I became more diligent about be grateful for the little things and the people in my life. I stopped trying to be perfect. Throughout this quest, I started being more of me in EVERY moment, living with more love, living and teaching with silliness, optimism, positivity and my crazy passion for serving others and making others feel good. As I started living with more courage and truly being myself, I felt more free and HAPPY. I stopped worrying about what others thought of me, and focused more on what I thought of me—am I living with integrity, with purpose, with gratitude, with love? This is what I want for my clients.
As a started really studying happiness, I found that the happiest people aren’t afraid to try new things, they aren’t afraid to get silly, crazy and they aren’t so worried and terrified about being perfect. This leads me to one of my biggest goals with DMF—helping people feel happy in their bodies and in their lives NOW by letting loose, embracing silliness, and not worrying so much about what others think. Who cares if you look “crazy” as long as you are having fun!
I encourage you this month to have the courage to let go of fear of what others think of you (and what YOU think of you) and start doing things and trying things that get you out of your comfort zone and bring you joy. Let go of perfectionism and have the courage to be your awesome self, imperfections included. Stop worrying and judging and start living.
03 Mar 2013
Leaving the world more awesome than when I found it has always been a passion of mine. Since I was little, I always believed that one person CAN make a difference, especially if that ONE person inspires others to do the same. Soon the ONE becomes MANY and the small change becomes big.
I knew that my personal passion for service and spreading positivity and kindness needed to be a part of the DMF business model. It is important to me that DMF be more than just an awesome workout experience, but also a company that promotes positive and happy change in the community. Each month, I hope to raise funds for a non-profit organization close to my heart by hosting Dance for a Cause, a special DMF class in which 100% of profits goes to charity
The first Dance for a Cause will be benefiting The Family Center, an organization whose mission is to strengthen families affected by crisis, illness or loss to create a more secure present and future for their children. The Family Center has an amazing mentoring program called the Buddy Program, which I became involved with last year. Here is my story:
Though I have volunteered my whole life in various capacities, I have always wanted to volunteer in a way that allowed me to create a “forever” bond and friendship with a child in need. Last year, I finally felt that I was in a place in my life (i.e. not traveling for work, performing all over and auditioning!) that I could truly commit to being the type of mentor I wanted to be. I went on the hunt for great mentoring programs and found the Family Center’s Buddy Program. Last fall, I became a mentor to an amazing young girl named Jennifer. From the moment we met, something clicked and Jennifer and I both knew we had found something special in each other. Jennifer is nine and, like me, she LOVES to dance. You will often find us “dance-walking” down the street and singing to the latest tunes. While we wait for the train, Jennifer often teaches me her latest moves and I teach her mine. Though we have only been together a few months, we have shared many amazing experiences—ice skating, the zoo, Disney on Ice, movie dates, new restaurants, and lots of life chats! —and I can see such a positive change in her. She is a super bright light in my life and I look forward to her big smiles and warm hugs. On our second “date” she said, “Lindi, you are my best friend,” and I knew that I had forged a special bond and commitment to an awesome child.
Please join me on Sunday, March 24th at 3pm for Dance for a Cause, a super sweaty and fun dance-party workout benefiting the Family Center’s Buddy Program. The minimum donation is $25 (price of a single DMF class), but feel free to give more if you feel inclined! All donations are tax deductible and space is limited so sign up now! Want to donate, but can’t take class? You can do that too! Thanks for being awesome and can’t wait to bust a move with you at Dance for a Cause! DANY Studios-305 West 38th Street. Sign up now: Dance for a Cause! http://thefamilycenter.
10 Feb 2013
So true. Sometimes in the midst of hard times, a stressful moment, or a tumultuous day, it’s difficult to remember that the feelings overwhelming us are temporary. Take a breath and remind yourself of this and you can get through ANYTHING. I always remind myself that even on the most cloudy or rainy of days, the sun is shining above the clouds. You know this is true if you have ever taken off in a plane on a cloudy day because once the plane gets up to a certain level, the sun is shining again! A great reminder for all of us stressed out, overwhelmed New Yorkers!
So what gets me through of a funk? Duh! Putting on an awesome song and just dancing like a spaz. Works every time. I dare you to try it. I often say in my classes that “the burn is temporary, just like anything uncomfortable in life.” Push through, remember that a moment is just a moment–however bad it may be– and good times are right around the corner:)
10 Jan 2013
One of the number one resolutions people make each year is to get healthy and lose weight. Yet more often than not, people fail to accomplish this task successfully and it gets put on the list for next year. Why is it that something so important to us is so hard to achieve? While there are many answers to this question, I find that failure to make goal setting a serious task and priority is a huge culprit in this struggle.
Goal setting should not be a one time, lofty statement like, “I want to get healthy and lose 20lbs.” It needs to be a repetitive ritual that establishes the “why” behind your actions. You need strong reasons to motivate success. So first, take the time to establish the reasons for this journey. Perhaps your “why” is being able to actively play with your future children or grandchildren, or being able to walk up stairs with ease, or feeling strong when you go about your daily activities. Maybe your reasons why include gaining self-confidence and feeling good about how your clothes fit you. Whatever your “whys” are, I encourage you to write them down and look at them every day. Success psychologists say that 95% – 97% of the people in the world do NOT have written goals and fail, while 3-5% have written goals and succeed. This is because in order to achieve a specific goal we must establish rituals and habits that support this goal. What you repeat over and over again is programmed into the subconscious mind and begins to take root. On a practical level, this means RE-writing your goals every day and thinking about them in positive terms and in mental pictures until the habit is formed and turned over to “auto-pilot.”
Now let’s get a little more specific. The SMART acronym is a way of turning your goals into reality. Here is what it stands for:
SPECIFIC: The goals must specifically state what is to be accomplished. They must be easily understood and should not be ambiguous or subject to interpretation. For example, rather than stating you would like to improve your fitness level, set a specific goal to be power walk a mile in 15 minutes or do 15 full-form pushups without stopping.
MEASURABLE: The goals must be measureable so that there is no doubt about whether you achieved them. Measurable goals also allow you to evaluate your progress. Goals can be measured objectively or subjectively (i.e., how you feel and look), or both. For example, you could measure your percent body fat and body weight, but also monitor how your pants fit.
ATTAINABLE: The goals must be attainable—not too difficult or too easy. Easy goals do not motivate, and overly difficult ones may frustrate you and lead to a perception of failure.
RELEVANT: The goals must be relevant or pertinent to your particular interests, needs and abilities. For example, when preparing for a 5K walk, running quarter-mile sprints would not be the best approach. Find what you love and what suits you.
TIME-BOUND: The goals must be time-bound by specific deadlines for completion. Timelines can be both short-term and long-term and should help you stay focused. By limiting the time you have to accomplish a goal you have a fixed timetable to work with and the sense of urgency that will spur you to keep on track.
Some helpful tips:
1.) Identify a support system. Find individuals of significance in your life that will support your desire to change and perhaps even join you.
2.) Select some rewards for achieving major steps in your program. Recognize your achievements with treats such as a purchase, attending a function or even taking a trip. Such rewards will help you stay motivated during the beginning of your program.
3.) Visibly place prompts and cues that constantly remind you of the decision you made to change, and remove any stimuli that may trigger undesirable behaviors. For example, placing visible notes or keeping a workout bag accessible will prompt good behavior, while removing ice cream from the freezer may remove a negative stimulus.
Zig Ziglar once said that, “A goal casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle.” You may want to re-read that one! It is not easy to make a change, but having a strong set of reasons why you are making the change and a sense of destination of where you want to be will help you succeed in your journey.
02 Jan 2013
As DMF quickly approaches its launch, I wanted to tell you a bit about why I started this company and what I hope to accomplish for you and the world. Yes, the world! I truly believe we are all on this earth to fulfill some sort of purpose. And our passions are what drive this purpose. This past year has been an awaking for me and I have finally found what I believe to be the perfect blend of passion and purpose with DMF.
Dance and music are definitely very high on my list of passions and have been a central focus for me the majority of my life. Teaching and motivating people to achieve their goals are right up there too. Dance has been a way for me to express myself. When I dance I feel bliss, especially if I am dancing to an AMAZING song. I loved working as a professional dancer and having the privilege of performing and emoting for an audience. But it wasn’t enough. Though I love giving people joy through performance, I wanted people to get that same joy for themselves. I fell into the fitness industry by chance…it was a “side” job for me as a working dancer. However, I found that I had a passion and a niche for motivating people to achieve their goals and fully realize how amazing they are. I believe in order to live life fully, you have to embrace health—physical, mental, and spiritual—so that you can have the energy and strength to pursue your own purpose and passions. My teaching has never been about what you look like or developing a “perfect” body. My teaching is about feeling good, empowered, and strong so that you have energy to do the things that make you happy and live the life you imagine for yourself.
As for purpose? I believe one of my purposes is to help people see and feel joy, happiness, and community and believe in their massive potential. What better way to feel joy and happiness than through dance, music and motivation! Living and working in NYC, I see so many people stressed, crazed, and full of a desire to “be” a certain way. We build up walls and subconsciously create inhibitions for ourselves based on how we think others perceive us. But when we let that go, and forget about “acting” or “bring” a certain way, we are free to be ourselves and experience joy, and that’s what DMF is all about. So many people say to me, “but I can’t dance” or “I’m so uncoordinated.” Who said? Someone probably told that person, “you look stupid” or “you look silly” or “you’re embarrassing me” and that caused a subconscious wall and fear to develop. I say, “What’s wrong with looking silly as long as it feels good!” I also say, “Who cares if you are uncoordinated and on the wrong foot as long as you’re having fun!” Life is too short to worry about these things. Dance is natural. It’s one of the first things babies do when they hear a beat. We are meant to move and be free and if we look a little “crazy” while doing it, who cares!!?? DMF is about feeling good, strong, free, and happy and if I can help a few people in this world do that through my teaching, I will have completed some of my purpose.
I hope very soon to volunteer in schools and teach DMF to at risk youth. I think dance is a great way for kids to express themselves, and the message in DMF is beneficial to children of all ages. Once I launch, I will be holding a once a month “Dance for a Cause” party, in which all proceeds will go to charity. Giving back is central in the mission of DMF and I can’t wait to get more involved in the community!
I truly hope to see you all in class soon! So join the party and get happy!