19 February 2011

Just Dance.

Why did you decide to take Jazz Dance, and what have you learned thus far?

            I decided to take Jazz Dance because of my undying, passionate love for dance. I danced all throughout high school, but regrettably never made time in my busy college schedule to take a class. Free styling in my room and dancing with friends was not enough to fill the void I felt in my life without dance. So I decided to take Jazz Dance to give myself a guaranteed three hours a week of pure energy and expression. Every since I was a little girl, I was always enrolled in some kind of dance class, whether jazz, hip-hop, or cheerleading. From the first class I attended, I knew that I would never be able to control my desire to dance and to express myself through moving my body. The performance aspect and entertaining others with weeks of my hard work, is one of the most rewarding parts of dance. I feel like I am getting into character as soon as the music starts and my muscle memory is triggered. It is as if the whole world stops while that music plays: I don’t have a care in the world, and I let the beat of the melody take control. It is one of the only times that I allow myself to lay down control and wholeheartedly trust my body’s intuition. I took this class to relive everything I have always loved about dance: the performance, endorphin-powered energy, new friendships, and motivating challenges.
            So far, one of the most important things I have learned is that everyone learns choreography at his or her own pace. While I may get down on myself because I take longer to internalize and master new material, others can watch once and mimic seamlessly. As a perfectionist, I am learning that it is okay to not always be the best or master something new right away. I am discovering that if I don’t allow my spirits to be doused during the learning process, the “aha” moment of success is even more rewarding. I am also discovering how positively my body reacts when I push it to the limit and give every dance move my all. Each time I leave class, I feel more alive than I did when I walked in.  Additionally, I am learning to get more comfortable socializing with people and performing for strangers. While intimidating at first, it is important to remember that everyone in the class has something they can learn from someone else. We are all at different levels and each have our own skills, but for the one and a half hours that we are in class, it doesn’t matter. We walk into the class with all of our different interests and intentions, but on the dance floor we all meet in the middle with our love for dance and perfect imperfections. 

17 February 2011

Wonderful Book

Today in class, we read excerpts from a beautifully inspiring book called As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. It compares the mind to a garden, which you must tend to if you want it to flourish; just like a garden, the mind can grow weeds that will crowd and overpower if you do not plant flowers and fruit.  You can actually download this short book online, and I recommend it to everyone. I am going to start reading it today. Here is a small taste...

"Men will continue to have impure and poisoned blood, so long as they propagate unclean thoughts. Out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body. Out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body. Thought is the fount of action, life and manifestation; make the foundation pure, and all will be pure."

Download the free e-book at the link below. I have done it myself, so I know it works. ENJOY!

16 February 2011

Fascinating Ads

There is a great site I like to visit called http://www.ibelieveinadv.com/ (I Believe in Advertising). They post amazingly creative print and video ads from all different industries around the world. Take a look at some that I collected today...

bmt ­Bund Gegen Missbrauch der Tiere e.v. (Association against animal abuse): Fox

Exaaaactly... what if the tables were turned.

Onida Mobiles: Boss, Mom, Girlfriend

“If you’re on the phone, you’re not watching the road. Issued in public interest by Onida Mobiles.”
HAH - great way to illustrate the distraction it presents...

Canon PowerShot D10: Choir, Miss, Family

“It’s more fun underwater. Canon PowerShot D10.”

PETA: Veggie Love

PETA’s banned Super Bowl 2011 commercial.
LOL - vegetables never looked so good!

15 February 2011

Beautiful Song

Elephant Love Medley, from the movie Moulin Rouge

Christian: Love is a many splinded thing, love, lifts us up where we
belong, all you need is love.
Satine: Please, don't start that again.

C: All you need is love.
S: A girl has got to eat.

C: All you need is love.
S: Or she'll end up on the streets.

C: All you need is love.
S: Love is just a game.

C: I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me.
S: The only way of loving me baby, is to pay a lovely fee

C: Just one night, gimme, just one night.
S: There's no way, cause you can't pay.

C: In the name of love, one night in the name of love.
S: You crazy fool, I won't give in to you.

C: Don't leave me this way, I can't survive, without your sweet
love, oh baby, don't leave me this way.
S: You'd think that people would have had enough of silly
love songs.

C: I look around me and I see, it isn't so, oh no.
S: Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs.

C: Well what's wrong with that, I'd like to know? Cause here I go
again! Love lifts us up where we belong, where eagles fly, on
a mountain high.
S: Love makes us act like we are fools, throw our lives away
for one happy day.

C: We could be heroes, just for one day.
S: You, you will be mean.

C: No I won't!
S: And I, I--I'll drink all the time.

C: We should be lovers.
S: We can't do that.

C: We should be lovers, and that's a fact.
S: Though nothing, will keep us together.

C: We could steal time...
Both: Just for one day.We could be heroes, for ever and ever.
We could be heroes, for ever and ever. We could be heroes...
C: Just because I will always love you.

S: I
Both:Can't help loving
S:How Wonderful life is
Both:Now your in the world 

Perception is a Powerful Thing

February 15th, 2011

Questions to help diffuse the stress response:
Choose one a stressor in your life. Is this situation real? Can I handle this situation? How can I think about it differently?

            One huge stressor in my life is pleasing others. Usually, the people that I most aim to impress and strive to get their validation are my parents. From a young age, I have looked to my elders to confirm my successes, validate my choices, and encourage the path I chose to embark on. When I feel that my parents don’t support a decision I have made, I get really down on myself and stress about how to change things. If I don’t make a change that pleases them, I live in constant stress and a cloud of guilt follows my every move.

            This stressor is NOT real. My parents trust me enough to make my own life decisions, but are never hesitant to give their opinions and two cents about my chosen course of action. The feeling of guilt and my perceived disappointment live in my mind alone. As long as I’m not doing anything life threatening, my parents generally encourage me to make my own choices. However their advice and opinions always loom in the back of my mind, daunting me if I chose to go against what they think is right.

            This stressor, like all others, is about perception. This is how I choose to feel about my parents’ opinions and this is how I choose to let myself worry. Getting another point of view or someone else’s opinion about a choice you make is great. It helps you to step out from behind your own biased screen to see the situation through a more objective window. Many times, it takes a lot of will power to maintain an even temper or not get overly emotional when someone reveals flaws or brings certain considerations to light. When my parents do this, especially with things that I feel very strongly about, I often break down and shut myself off. I don’t want to hear their advice or I feel it’s too invasive. I get very snippy and often provoke my parents with short, annoyed statements.  I can make a conscious effort to absorb and consider their take on my decisions without getting upset. I should listen to everything they have to say, without interrupting them, and then give myself some alone time to mull it over before jumping to shut them down or prove them wrong. I need to practice not jumping to the defense, and learning to be a more even-tempered, considerate communicator. Sometimes opening your mind to what other, more experienced and removed people have to say can really inform better decisions. You just have to be open to it. But YOU control that.

11 February 2011

Overcoming Emotion

I am taking a Stress Management class during my last semester at USC, and I wanted to share the journal entries that we write every week. They are extremely cathartic for me and great personal exercises to learn more about yourself and what you would like to work on. All of the questions/prompts will be provided in my entries, so feel free to do these exercises yourself too. You'll be surprised at how well you can enlighten yourself just by freeing your thoughts from your cluttered mind.

February 10th, 2011

Worry, guilt, fear, hostility, anxiety, anger, hostility…Choose an emotion that plagues you and explain why you picked it. Why does it always have a hold on you and why do you let it overcome you? Name three steps you can take to gain more control over this emotion.

I often get so preoccupied with the future, whether short term or long term, that I forgot to enjoy the present. I need to work on lessening my worry by accepting the natural order of events and embracing the serendipity of life. Being of the “planner” mindset, there are ways to set goals for myself without stressing over them so much that when I ultimately fulfill them, it isn’t satisfying. Worry has a hold on me because I let it. I fear imperfection and the unexpected. I can make conscious choices to help lessen my worry.
1.  Journal about the things I am worrying about on a weekly basis. Simply getting my worries on paper gets them out of my mind and into view where I can consider how to best deal with them.
2. Instead of worrying about the future and the unknown, I can work on smaller, short-term goals that may or may not lead to what I envisioned. Keeping closer tabs on my goals and keeping them relative to the time I compose will help me to allow them to constantly evolve. Instead of setting huge future goals in stone, it is best to create loose objectives and allow them to evolve over time. Goals are leaving and breathing, not definite.
3. Exercises like dance, yoga, and singing are activities that help me to step outside of my cluttered mind and take a breath of fresh air. Worry overcomes me when I review my anxieties over and over in my mind. Instead of obsessing, it’s good to fold in weely physical activities and soothing time for myself to clear my thoughts and enable better judgment and emotional control.

How do others perceive you?

I am taking a Stress Management class during my last semester at USC, and I wanted to share the journal entries that we write every week. They are extremely cathartic for me and great personal exercises to learn more about yourself and what you would like to work on. All of the questions/prompts will be provided in my entries, so feel free to do these exercises yourself too. You'll be surprised at how well you can enlighten yourself just by freeing your thoughts from your cluttered mind.

January 27th, 2011

What do you think others think about you? What is their perception of you?
Why do you think people have that perception of you?
How do you want to be remembered?

From what I have found out later from friends and peers, many people at school perceive me to be intimidating and unapproachable. I was floored to hear this, because I am a friendly, nonjudgmental person. However, it turns out that being vocal in class, asking questions in lecture, and working hard on my studies and projects really drives people away from me. This is unfortunate, because I know that are many people in my classes who have avoided chatting with me because of how much pride I take in my work and how I like to participate in class. When put into group projects with peers or meeting new people through friends at school, I have much better luck hitting it off with people because they see that there is nothing to be intimidated by. Additionally, all of my friends and many peers will say that I am an over-achiever and that I push myself too hard. I have recently gotten a better grasp on balancing work and fun, but everyone knows that I will never accept anything less than the absolute best from myself.
Adults see me as mature for my age and very driven. Coming from a house of hard-working parents, people see that their ambition has been passed down to me. I like to talk about my accomplishments and goals for the future when family members and family friends ask. Since they are older, this is not intimidating to them, but rather, enticing because we have more things to talk about and it’s easier to relate to one another. For this reason, many of my confidants and good friends are older than me. Though I enjoying sharing my experiences and insights, I have been told that I do not come off as arrogant, and instead adults perceive me as very humble. I appreciate that, because I often don’t give myself enough credit and feel uncomfortable rambling on about school and work when my parents put me on the spot.
I want to be remembered as a hard-working person who really put family and close friends at the top of her list of priorities. I want people to know that I had a deep passion for my work, and that I was always up for a creative challenge. I hope that people remember me for my kind, charitable spirit and that the research I have conducted lives on for decades after I have passed.

“Type A” Much?

I am taking a Stress Management class during my last semester at USC, and I wanted to share the journal entries that we write every week. They are extremely cathartic for me and great personal exercises to learn more about yourself and what you would like to work on. All of the questions/prompts will be provided in my entries, so feel free to do these exercises yourself too. You'll be surprised at how well you can enlighten yourself just by freeing your thoughts from your cluttered mind.

February 9th, 2011

(3) things you like about yourself, and why?
1.        I am a relentlessly hard worker. When I put my mind to something or set a goal, I will achieve it. I am very hard on myself, but this passionate approach to my life and my work has brought me great success and fulfillment.
2.       I am a good mentor and advice-giver. I like to feel like my own personal experiences or general empathy can help people to get through hard times and understand more about the situations they face. It makes me feel like a good friend to help those close to me battle through difficult times.
3.       I am humble. Though this is something I would never come up with on my own, I have been told by many friends and family members that I keep my achievements and my pride to myself. Part of this is because I am such a harsh judge of my own work, and sometimes I do not see the magnitude of my accomplishments. I like knowing that my hard work hasn’t made me seem like a flashy, stuck-up person to others.
(3) things you would like to change/improve about yourself, and why?
1.        I sell myself short. While I am proud of everything I have accomplished, I always seem to feel like it’s never enough or that it is not “that great.” We are all our own worst critics, but I tend to put myself down when I feel like I have done a less-than perfect job or when others don’t recognize what I feel was very hard work. I would like to learn to not be so hard on myself, while still staying humble and working at my full potential.
2.       I can be short-tempered. This is unfortunate, because I am most snippy with the people that matter most to me: close friends and family. Though I am a great advice-giver, I can be harsh when dealing with someone close to me. I find it difficult to be patient when I see someone hurting themselves, acting na├»ve, or playing the victim. I would like to learn to be a more patient person in all aspects of life and a better listener.
3.       I over-analyze everything. I tend to read into things, whether it be an assignment or a message from a crush, way too much. I exhaust myself trying to think of the perfect response or best way to tackle an assignment. I always go above and beyond what is asked of me, often because I have over-thought what is expected of me. I would like to learn to calm down, to be more comfortable trusting my intuition, and to take things for what they are. There is beauty in the unknown, and not everything necessitates a perfect answer.