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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0071| September 17, 2002
5,700 Subscribers


picture of Steve Davis, editor of the Master Facilitator Journal.

From the Publisher: 
Hello MFJ Readers. This issue is about mind/body awareness and how it will benefit you as a facilitator. The following article was written and graciously submitted by my friend Judy Warner. Thanks Judy for your contribution. We also feature a Video resource from Judy called, "Centering Movements and Centering Sounds," which you can use on yourself or your clients. 

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!
 
Steve Davis


Training Skill

Mind/Body Self-Assessment


The Point

We all desire to be the best facilitators we can be. With that objective, we research, read, and practice the latest ideas for improving facilitation skills. However, part of the key to being a great facilitator relates to our presence, our mind/body state. 

How much attention do you give to your general mind/body state of being? 

The truth is that we devote the greater percentage of our own training to improving our interaction capabilities with others rather than assessing and improving our general mental and physical well-being.

Example

Take a quick self-assessment of your mind/body state of being. 

Would you describe yourself as relaxed, energized, flexible yet stable, calm under pressure? These are the mind/body qualities that a peak performer in any arena embodies. 

There are a number of eastern arts that emphasize improving your mind/body state through simple breathing and movement exercises. You can utilize their teachings to take action to improve your own mind/body state.

BreathWork.  Breathing is something we all do. Use your breath as a means to regain composure when you become tense and agitated. Breathe deeply from your belly. This focus your attention upon the center of your body and almost magically coordinates mind and body. This creates a powerful base for living. 
During periods of stress, pausing to take a few proverbial deep breaths can provide you with a moment to regroup before taking an action you might regret. It is also an excellent way to ground yourself before beginning to facilitate a group.

Movement. Gentle physical movement facilitates the flow of energy in your body. It releases mental and physical stress. Any gentle stretching that extends the arms and moves the torso of the body can be beneficial. Arts such as qi-gong teach that that this type stretching massages the internal organs. Movements that are fluid and comfortable are most beneficial (as opposed to holding positions and creating pain).

Learning a routine of gentle stretches is an easy way to increase your vitality. The applications are countless: when your shoulders ache from too much time at the computer, at the first complaints from your lower back from too long in a poorly designed chair, etc. Movement also helps get the energy flowing when you're experiencing mental or emotional stress. When you are stuck on a position that is not working, or emotional upset, try using movement to change your perspective.

Many of you may have fallen into the trap just now of realizing the suggestions above can be easily adapted to use with a group that you are facilitating…and are making mental notes to use one at the next opportunity. But, remember, we started out discussing ways to take care of ourselves. Don't forget to use these ideas for yourself as well as with others.

Judith Warner has specialized in mind/body work in a variety of ways for the past 16 years. You can learn more about her projects at aikiworks.com and judywarner.com


Action

Resolve to use movement and breathing to increase your vitality and focus your mind. Set aside some time each day for the next week to try these options. Observe for yourself if they improve the quality of your day. If you are interested in learning more about mind/body disciplines from eastern thought, check in your community for classes in t'ai chi, qi gong, yoga, or aikido. Please email me your comments on this topic.


Resource
The Magic of Conflict, by Thomas F. Crum
This set of simple techniques, including meditation, breathing exercises, openness, and play--Aiki--leads gently to a reordered state of mind. From overcoming apathy to understanding how conflict doesn't have to mean contest, Aiki turns mind-body integration principles into powerful tools. You might also find The Magic of Conflict Workbook helpful. 

cartoon image of a talking man.

Reader Survey 

What types of physical exercises do you use to energize your groups? 

Please email me descriptions of exercises you've found useful in your work. I'll send the entire collection to those who contribute.

If you know someone who might benefit and enjoy this newsletter, please send this link to a friend.


About the Author
Steve Davis is a Facilitator's Coach helping leaders enhance their effectiveness through the application and perspective of facilitation. Please email or call me at 805-489-4130 to schedule a Free exploratory session, or to share your suggestions and ideas for the journal. I'd love to hear from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. Thanks for reading!
 


In the Spotlight

 

 

Learn simple stretching and breathing practices that can increase your vitality and help you deal with stress.

Conflicts at home or in the office. Tension before a group facilitation process. Long hours sitting before a computer or in meetings. All of these daily situations take a toll on our health and appreciation of life. But, there are simple ways to energize yourself and restore balance to your system that have been taught for thousands of years.

Centering Movements, Centering Sounds: Ten Minutes to Inner Peace, Energy and Health is a forty-five minute video that draws from a repertoire of exercises from the art of Qi Gong. These exercises have been used for over 3000 years to increase health and balance people’s energy.

There are a number of benefits that you will experience as you use this video:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Greater mind/body coordination
  • A calm, yet energized feeling
  • Emotional balancing
  • Positive perspective on health and life

Yet, the exercises are so simple they can be done anywhere – at home, in the office, even sitting in a chair!

This 45-minute video, Centering Movements, Centering Sounds: Ten Minutes to Inner Peace, Energy and Health, has two types of exercises:

  • A 10 minute sequence that massages all of the internal organs. The movements are gentle and easy to learn. They help you to feel great in just 10 minutes.
  • There is also a set of 6 breathing exercises that are designed to balance the emotions. These exercises quiet the mind and focus the person upon positive emotions.

All of the exercises in Centering Movements, Centering Sounds are demonstrated by Judith Warner. Judith has been involved in the mind/body disciplines for over 16 years. She is a certified qi gong therapist and holds a fourth degree black belt ranking in the martial art of aikido. She is a founding board member of Aiki Extensions, a group devoted to the application of aikido mind/body principles off the mat and is the director of Thomas Crum’s organization, Aiki Works, which has taught mind/body principles to the business community for the past 17 years. Her book, From Chaos to Center: A Training Guide in the Art of Centering, outlines simple means to mind/body activities to enhance your ability to stay calm under pressure.

Centering Movements, Centering Sounds is not only instructive. It is captivating to experience.

  • The movement work is performed to the music of the Gayatri Mantra sung by Deva Premal in her CD, The Essence. It is the most ancient mantra known to man and it is said that the Gayatri Mantra purifies the listener as well as the singer. The stretching movements lend themselves gracefully to the tempo of the mantra. You will find yourself drawn more and more into the chant, the movements emanating from deep within yourself.
  • The breathing exercises combine the breath with kinesthetic and auditory elements to rebalance your body while letting go of tension. Qi Gong teaches that these sounds with accompanying visualizations allow us to let go of negative emotions while embracing positive, healing energy. Judith’s gentle instruction makes it simple for you to learn the six elements.

Centering Movements, Centering Sounds is just the resource to help you relax and regain perspective on your life. You can use it on a daily basis:

"Your production is great. I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the mornings with the exercises. Your teaching style is so calm and restful – it shines through and is a joy to listen to." -- Kimberly Valentine, Chiropractor

"These exercises have been a great source of centering and balance in my life. They are invaluable to anyone seeking to harmonize their mind, body, and spirit. I recommend these techniques to my patients." -- Sue Williams, NMD


We invite you to order Centering Movements, Centering Sounds today. It is your opportunity to take positive action to change your life. The price of this video is just $35.00 plus shipping. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with Centering Movements, Centering Sounds you are always welcome to return it for a full refund

If you order today, we will include a complimentary set of Aiki note cards. This set of eight cards, printed on recycled paper, contain centering quotes from author Thomas Crum and Aiki songwriter, Ellen Stapenhorst.

We look forward to hearing from you now.

Click here to buy now
.

Sincerely,

Judy Warner
Director, NY Office
Aiki Works, Inc.

 

Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on September 24, 2002.   


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