My Kind Of Fear, And Yours?

Hearts on line

It was the year 2000. I was on the cusp of the biggest life change I would experience to date, but didn’t yet know it.

I was preparing for what was to come.

I was bracing myself for change and getting ready as best as I knew how. I was trying to finish up my Masters degree, we were looking to buy and make the move into our first home, I was wrapping up a business I ran, and the hardest part of all, I was waiting.

Sitting on the cusp of change is an uncomfortable place, for me. Relaxing into the unknown, near impossible.

As I stared down at my ever growing belly and tried to imagine life with a baby I felt so excited and so scared at the same time. I was not sure I would manage. My friends did not have children and I had no idea how to juggle the life I was currently living with the life that was only months away, but that was the least of it. I was so scared of being vulnerable and dependent and having to ask for help. I felt constantly threatened by the words of warning from well meaning strangers that continued to reinforce that despite what I thought this would feel like, I had no idea.

For the first time in my life I could not step sideways, and sideways was my comfortable alternative route.

Sideways took me close to where I wanted to be heading, but never quite got me there, yet it was what I had settled for on too many occasions so as not to have to face my fears head on. At last I was beginning to tackle what was sitting just under the surface. My fear and anxiety had kept me stuck and immobilised for so long and here I was having to move forward, despite the unpreparedness.

I didn’t know anyone with a baby. I felt I was navigating this journey blind. I felt so open to judgement and criticism and the person who was my harshest critic was working her way deep into my psyche, me.

I am now the mother of two beautiful children who have made my life so much better in every single way. I have come to know the deepest love and purest joy in those depths of vulnerability, My early days of mothering  were indeed filled with so much uncertainty and I still fear failing my children, but motherhood has also presented me with the single greatest opportunity to grow and learn, and overcome. What I was previously unable to do for myself I am  more than willing to do for my children. I can no longer take a neat sideways step when decisions become difficult and things get challenging. My love for them has taught me how to love myself, and my children have taught me so much more about life than I will ever be able to teach them.

Tackling fear and anxiety is an ongoing process. I have to be ever mindful about it but the rewards have been no less than life-changing. Choosing to live in the love instead of in fear, has meant that I am free. I have come to learn what true happiness is, and I want to share all of it…..with you.

The Playground Add-Venture Workshops  are my opportunity to give it all to you. They are a little parcel of all that I have learned and passed on to my private clients.  An afternoon of connection, contemplation and fun. It is our chance to explore the things that may be holding you back in your own life – the things that may keep you awake at night or prevent you from feeling fully alive.

”This workshop reminded me that i need to do things like this more often. The yoga was so relaxing and the art was fantastic. It was a great way to spend an afternoon clarifying priorities. Michelle is unreal!”
– Rahnee Karge

We will move gently and mindfully, we will create playfully and intuitively and you will discover. All of this in service of something much bigger – YOUR JOY AND HAPPINESS.

More about the workshop here. It happens on Sunday, April 19th, 2015.

I look forward to meeting you there.

Why Adults Need Play Time Too

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We don’t lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up.

What we all instinctively know is that  “All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl.” Work, parenting and the daily routine keeps us very task focused and achievement oriented. Our hectic, modern lifestyle is certainly busy and demanding and we need measures in place for regular, light-hearted relief to boost our happiness. The missing ingredient is joy and fun, and the way to find it is through play.

Adult play is a time to forget about responsibilities and commitments. The focus of play is on the actual experience, not on accomplishing a goal. It is pleasure for pleasure sake. The only purpose of the activity is having pure fun. “We don’t lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up,” says Scott G. Eberle, editor of the American Journal of Play.

But we dismiss play too easily. We excuse ourselves from opportunities to play by telling ourselves we are too busy, too tired, too old or too stressed to make time for it. Our leisure time activities tend to revolve around technology and television, which do not rejuvenate us or enrich us like play can.

Play is a way to fuel the imagination, develop creativity, connect with loved ones and improve overall health. Research shows that a life lived without play is at increased risk for stress related diseases, mental health issues, addiction and interpersonal violence. Introducing more play helps to relieve stress, boost creativity and innovation, improve brain function,  connect in relationships and keeps us feeling alive and engaged.

So instead of looking at play as a waste of precious time, consider it a great investment in your wellbeing.

Some of my personal go-to activities are doodling mindlessly on paper, knitting, participating in activities of my children’s choice (eg. water slides, rock climbing, trampolining), singing loudly to the radio, seeing art shows, playing with new yoga poses, attending writers talks, drinking tea with friends and warm baths.

Here are some other suggestions that may help introduce more play into your routine…

  • read a book/novel for pleasure
  • make art – draw, sculpt or just colour in
  • see art – go to a gallery
  • see a movie
  • move your body in new ways- go to a fun dance or yoga class
  • see some comedy
  • play some music or go to a live concert
  • get involved in a team sport
  • find your inner flirt
  • daydream on the grass
  • do a puzzle
  • play games or do a craft activity as a family
  • play with your kids and let them take the lead

I would love you to leave some of your favourites in the comments below. I love a good play date.

xM

If you would like to come play with me I will be holding a series of Art and Yoga workshops in and around Melbourne where we will make art and enjoy using our bodies in a creative and supportive environment. The first workshop in the series is for adults and the focus is on Bravery and Courage, learning to flex our bravery muscles . A second workshop will run for tweens and parents/caregivers and we look at Resilience. No yoga or art experience is necessary.
 
To find out more jump over here.
 
Michelle Seelig is the proud mother of 2 creative, courageous girls and has worked in health and well-being for 25 years. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher, Health Coach and an artist with a Masters degree in Art Therapy. Using art, yoga and coaching practices in her workshops Michelle combines her skills and insights to deliver a unique, creative and transformative experience.
f you would like to learn more about yoga and mindfulness I will be holding a series of Art and Yoga workshops in and around Melbourne where we will explore these ideas in a creative and supportive environment. The first workshop in the series is for adults and the focus is on Bravery and Courage, learning to flex our bravery muscles . A second workshop will run for tweens and parents/caregivers and we look at Resilience. No yoga or art experience is necessary.
 
To find out more jump over here.
 
Michelle Seelig is the proud mother of 2 creative, courageous girls and has worked in health and well-being for 25 years. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher, Health Coach and an artist with a Masters degree in Art Therapy. Using art, yoga and coaching practices in her workshops Michelle combines her skills and insights to deliver a unique, creative and transformative experience.

– See more at: http://thelivewellplayground.com.au/#sthash.uiHEcTcQ.dpuf

f you would like to learn more about yoga and mindfulness I will be holding a series of Art and Yoga workshops in and around Melbourne where we will explore these ideas in a creative and supportive environment. The first workshop in the series is for adults and the focus is on Bravery and Courage, learning to flex our bravery muscles . A second workshop will run for tweens and parents/caregivers and we look at Resilience. No yoga or art experience is necessary.
 
To find out more jump over here.
 
Michelle Seelig is the proud mother of 2 creative, courageous girls and has worked in health and well-being for 25 years. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher, Health Coach and an artist with a Masters degree in Art Therapy. Using art, yoga and coaching practices in her workshops Michelle combines her skills and insights to deliver a unique, creative and transformative experience.

– See more at: http://thelivewellplayground.com.au/#sthash.uiHEcTcQ.dpuf

f you would like to learn more about yoga and mindfulness I will be holding a series of Art and Yoga workshops in and around Melbourne where we will explore these ideas in a creative and supportive environment. The first workshop in the series is for adults and the focus is on Bravery and Courage, learning to flex our bravery muscles . A second workshop will run for tweens and parents/caregivers and we look at Resilience. No yoga or art experience is necessary.
 
To find out more jump over here.
 
Michelle Seelig is the proud mother of 2 creative, courageous girls and has worked in health and well-being for 25 years. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher, Health Coach and an artist with a Masters degree in Art Therapy. Using art, yoga and coaching practices in her workshops Michelle combines her skills and insights to deliver a unique, creative and transformative experience.

– See more at: http://thelivewellplayground.com.au/#sthash.uiHEcTcQ.dpuf

What Yoga Teaches Us About Parenting

Yoga and parentingYoga, like parenting, is a lifelong practice that confronts us with all facets of ourselves. We have good days and not so good days, but our role is to keep showing up and paying attention.

In making yoga a regular part of your lifestyle, particularly if you have a home practice away from the encouragement and motivation of a class or teacher, you may be familiar with those days when your practice feels more like a stale routine than a discovery tour. You may find your practice lacks that sense of exploration and investigation that brings with it the magic, the freshness, the learning. The little things that keep our attention focused – noticing the subtleties of how our body feels in the pose today, paying attention to the wandering thoughts of the mind or watching the breath, etc. There is much to pay attention to for both the novice and the experienced practitioner alike and by keeping the mind engaged in this way we come to experience present moment awareness and the meditative-like state during our practice.

Repetition, however, often sees us switch to auto-pilot. It is much easier to have a beginners mind when we are new to something. We have a natural curiosity and a sense of awe and wonder that keeps the mind alert and engaged. This is far less likely when we are dealing with the familiar and we feel we can predict the outcome.

It takes a lot of mental skill and mindful attention to approach the familiar with a beginners mind.

As a parent I wrestle with my auto-pilot responses regularly. They serve as a shorthand way of addressing issues that come up repeatedly. It is a way to avoid having to re-invent the wheel every time I am called upon to settle the same arguments or make the same requests. It is very tempting when we have been over this same ground many times before (many!).  It is, however, also a way of disengaging. I am somehow just going through the motions and doing what I have always done. As with yoga, if I am not fully present whilst parenting my children I miss out on gaining valuable insight. If I am unable to approach an all-too-familiar situation with a fresh eye I am unable to find new solutions. I also miss out on staying present to my own experience in the moment. This leaves me more likely to be tossed around by the emotional waves that rush toward me in the challenging moments and lose sight of my parenting values.

Whether we are performing a long series of sun salutations in our yoga practice or repeatedly revisiting the same conversations with our children about unresolved issues, staying present with what our experience is helps us to grow and learn, and ultimately feel more engaged with life and with our children.

If you would like to learn more about yoga and mindfulness I will be holding a series of Art and Yoga workshops in and around Melbourne where we will explore these ideas in a creative and supportive environment. The first workshop in the series is for adults and the focus is on Bravery and Courage, learning to flex our bravery muscles . A second workshop will run for tweens and parents/caregivers and we look at Resilience. No yoga or art experience is necessary.
 
To find out more jump over here.
 
Michelle Seelig is the proud mother of 2 creative, courageous girls and has worked in health and well-being for 25 years. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher, Health Coach and an artist with a Masters degree in Art Therapy. Using art, yoga and coaching practices in her workshops Michelle combines her skills and insights to deliver a unique, creative and transformative experience.