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Ten Tips for a Fabulous Summer with links

www.margibrownash.com

                             Photo by Hanna Roche

In December 2018 Equity Magazine (Actors) published this article. Below I have the links you can follow if you want to thicken your understanding.

Ten Tips for a Fabulously Fit Spring and Summer, 2018 by Dr Margi Brown Ash

Margi has spent the last 20 years researching protective practices to help artists live with power and integrity, good health and inner vibrancy. Margi has also created theatre since the 70’s, collaboratively writing and performing stories that interrogate alternate ways of being, challenge the status quo and provide opportunities to change dominant and damaging stories. http://www.4change.com.au and https://www.margibrownash.com

As performers we use our bodies as our creative instrument, yet how often do we acknowledge the stress and strain that comes with our practice? I have gathered ten protective factors for all of us to take on board, as we head towards the end of a busy year:

The Practice of Gratitude

Gratitude is a huge protective factor. The more we recognise and acknowledge the things that are going well, the more things will go well:
https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/gratitude-appreciation/ and https://www.factorhappiness.at/downloads/quellen/S6_fredrickson_lang.pdf
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/2Wood-GratitudeWell-BeingReview.pdf

Friendship is Magic

“According to science, loneliness shortens our lifespan. Twice as much as obesity. Yes, you read that right”:http://theconversation.com/loneliness-could-kill-you-87217.
Friendship can not only improve our health but also boost our confidence, helping us through the hard times: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-friendships-matter_us_5a172f48e4b0250a107bfe7f

Embracing and Celebrating Solitude

Just as connectedness is an essential ingredient for a healthy arts practice, there are times when it is important to embrace and celebrate solitude, a time of reflection, of slowing down, of deep connection with self and something greater than ourselves.
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/03/the-virtues-of-isolation/521100/
And https://www.hermitary.com/solitude/merton_preface.html

Voracious Reading

The power of literature to heal and enrich has been around for centuries, with Plato suggesting that “the muses gave us the arts not for “mindless pleasure” but “as an aid to bringing our soul-circuit, when it has got out of tune, into order and harmony with itself”. See Morrison’s article https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/jan/05/fiction.scienceandnature
See https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/dont-pop-a-pill-read-a-book-20130226-2f2ph.html
for a list of books to begin the adventure.

Yoga Nidra

For me, Yoga Nidra has become my daily ritual. Presently I am on a National Tour of La Boite’s Prize Fighter. For half an hour before warm up, the entire ensemble lies together and experiences a balancing of our energies.
See http://www.abc.net.au/health/library/stories/2009/07/23/2633472.htm and https://yogainternational.com/article/view/5-benefits-of-yoga-nidra.

Daily Walking in Nature

“The health benefits of walking are so overwhelming that to deny access to that is a violation of fundamental human rights,” declared sociologist Robert A. Bullard, founder of the environmental justice movement, at the 2015 Walking Summit.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/suprising-positive-power-of-walking_us_5963a130e4b085e766b5148f and
https://theconversation.com/thinking-of-taking-a-walk-everyday-six-reasons-why-its-good-for-you-92114 and https://theconversation.com/we-asked-five-experts-is-walking-enough-exercise-94991

Eating Deliciously

See http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-05-18/brain-food-eating-to-manage-depression-anxiety-mental-health/8529900 for a list of golden rules for eating to stay well emotionally and physically.

Remembering our Artistic Ancestors:

This relates back to No. 1 and 2. With gratitude, we acknowledge our artistic ancestors who made it possible for us to be where we are right now. Our responsibility now is to turn up and pass on the knowledge that we co-create collaboratively with our fellow artists. As part of a larger whole, we can see the importance of our vocation in making our world a better place.
https://jeanhoustonfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Art-of-Social-Artistry.pdf

The Importance of Mystery

“There are two kinds of belonging…One is social inclusion…but the other is belonging in that sense of being part of something larger than yourself… (relating back to No. 8). Mystery is this shared but unknowable terrain, reminding us that we are not the masters of our destiny…It dispels the arrogance that we know where we’re headed. It keeps our minds open, and our lives interesting” (Lancaster, see https://www.psychologies.co.uk/self/why-mystery-matters.html). Mystery or ‘the unknown’ is important to acknowledge both on and off the stage.

Acknowledging Thresholds in Your Day

According to the Celts, thresholds are the thin places where two worlds meet, for example, stage door. One way of staying mindful (and therefore alive to the moment) is acknowledging the many thresholds we cross every day, moving from one activity to the next. This is a simple technique of mindful practice. Go slower to be able to go fast. Notice what you notice.

The ancient Celtic concept of thresholds in time and place

When you click on http://www.margibrownash.com you will go to my personal website where I write other posts about living, theatre and developing our own personal mythologies.

You can also find out more about 4change coaching on Facebook: FACEBOOK link 4change coaching and more about Margi on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/margi.b.ash

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