We had a nine day summer dance camp in our home here on the mountain last week (which explains why I haven’t blogged in so long). There were 15 kids (ages 10 -19) and four grown ups who stayed with us in our sprawling rancher for the duration. My job was to prepare the meals and “manage the house” to support the dancers in their preparations for the weekend performances of “Ballet on the Lake.”
We had a wonderful time. There was so much laughter and bustling activity as youngsters engaged in all the hard work of intensive dance training intermingled with summer fun. But it was demanding for me as chief cook and bottle washer to say the least. Lunch preparations began as soon as the kitchen was clean from breakfast and so on. My goal was to feed them well, so I prepared everything from scratch, being careful to see to it that they were served food that was healthy and nutritious. But I also knew that, along with good food, I needed to maintain a positive attitude to support the overall success of the week.
I decided that this week of summer camp would be a good “laboratory” for me to test the principles I teach. So, before the group arrived, I set my intention to maintain a “high emotional frequency” throughout. I knew that if I dropped into a “low frequency,” irritable or moody state, others would follow suit and the result would be unnecessary drama and all round unhappiness. Knowing that our “emotional frequency” is contagious, I wanted to see what could be accomplished in maintaining an overall “high frequency” tone for the whole group by keeping my own frequency as balanced as possible. I hypothesized that I might well be able to support a higher frequency all round by taking care of myself in a way that would keep me upbeat and at peace. It worked.
It was my daily practice that enabled me to maintain a positive/”high frequency” and upbeat attitude so that I was able to enjoy the week, rather than spiral into a resentful, martyr role as I had been prone to do in similar situations in times past. Because I made taking care of myself a priority, even in the midst of taking care of others, I was able to enjoy every precious moment with these wonderful kids and the adults who came to support them. Staying connected to Source through my daily practice allowed me to come through the situation with flying colors.
Here’s how I did it …
No matter how late I had to be up the night before, I would get up in the morning in time to spend at least an hour on the mat doing yoga/qigong/aligning with Source as a way to set a “high frequency “tone for the day. This meant I was already awake and centered by the time I arrived in the kitchen to start breakfast for the crowd. (We served whole food smoothies to everyone first thing every day, made from fresh fruits and vegies from the garden which probably contributed greatly to the overall success of my experiment too!) I would then return to the mat for a half hour of restful yoga in the lull that followed lunch each day and that quiet time rejuvenated my energy and carried me through until bedtime. I was able to refrain from snappy, irritable negativity which resulted in happier kids and peers who worked together in harmony and joy. Everyone performed better, laughed harder, enjoyed each other more and knocked the socks off our audiences who came to see these talented dancers perform Swan Lake on our lake stage!