Life TherapyTM
Psychotherapy & Coaching + Mindfulness & Meditation

"Winter Rejuvenation"

Feb 11th 2012 was a climactic moment for the JasminBalance team. After much preparation, the team presented their workshop to 50 participants eager to partake in the “Winter Rejuvenation” exercises offered.
The 3 hour event was designed as a journey through different parts of the self, including: Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit, and Alignment to learn how to better care for ourselves from the inside out. Each team member shared their area of expertise with experiential activities in dance/movement/yoga, psycho-analytic tools for navigating one’s inner space, frameworks for understanding one’s purpose and the “heart blocks” that can get in the way, guided meditation to help access deeper levels of consciousness within self, and lastly, a way to synthesize all these areas to break through fears and come into empowered action.
The engaged participants were ready to delve into self-examination and were especially eager to share with each other in small groups. They were provided with a multiple page worksheet so they could reflect on each segment and take home their personal insights and realizations.
Within the three hours, there were folks creating intentions, dancing around the room and stretching out, writing down sunny or cloudy feelings on a large mural, breaking out into intimate partner-shares, journaling, closing their eyes serenely in the dark for a deep meditation, and breaking through wooden boards.

A journey through the self:
BODY: Jeanine kicked off the workshop with a series of fun and playful dance exercises as well as some fluid yoga motions. Participants were led to solidify an intention for the day, and to feel it’s effects and it’s power through expressive movements. The group was encouraged to tap into an internal and personal body-awareness while also acknowledging and “meeting” others through interactive motions. Whether throwing imaginary beach balls to new partners, creating gestures of giving and receiving, or folding forward “like towels over a towel rack,” the group started to break the ice and melt into the moment. Flowing between stiff rigidity and freestyle loose dancing, participants felt in their bodies the dynamic contrast and interplay between stuckness and freedom that often show up in our daily lives.

Comments from participants:

  • “Awesome way to start! Fun, forced me to confront/let go of self-consciousness, put me fully in the present, and in touch with body.”
  • “Great beginning and way to begin the journey: unique and appreciated.”
  • “Facilitated feeling more open around people you don’t know.”

MIND: Jasmin was able to poetically explain how we can love all parts of our self including our pains and joys. She describes in a self-created metaphor how instead of identifying with only our sun (joys) or trying desperately to get rid of our clouds (pain), we can start to become the vessel (sky) which compassionately holds all our emotions as they are. She emphasized the importance of self-acceptance rather than judging our feelings and wanting our inner weather to be different than it is in the moment. It was amazing to witness the liberation felt among the participants in the realization that their pain/clouds is not something to be shunned or pushed away, but rather a piece of ourselves to also be embraced and honored, just like our joys/sun.”
Comments from participants:

  • “Helpful to reflect on how light and darkness are both “part of our perfection” and warrant our attention.”
  • “Loved the concepts and being open and okay with pain is a new way of thinking.”
  • “Very insightful perspective! I love the principle of identifying fear and cloudy feeling and accepting them rather than pushing them aside.”

HEART: Hakeem started his section with a passionate and heartfelt poem that got everyone’s attention. He set the tone by addressing the fact that we don’t always wake up motivated and inspired in life, and that it is in these moments that it is most important to connect to our heart, which he refers to as the seat of our passion and purpose. He identified four “heart blocks”, common themes that arise within us that keep us from true heart connection. Participants were then divided into smaller groups to discuss their own assumptions, interpretations, limiting beliefs and inner critics, and were surprised how many of the same concepts came up for us all.
Comments from participants:

  • “Enlightening! I had no idea how much of my own insecurities I blame on others.”
  • “Enjoyed immensely, especially his story and mantras.”
  • “I really related to his personal experience because I’ve been holding on to those same feelings.”

SPIRIT: Sheila took the group deeper through a discussion on spirituality and the benefits of getting in touch with parts of ourselves that are often neglected. She introduced concepts of our “Core self” and “Wounded Self” and how we can become loving adults to these two sides of the inner child. She explained her own journey of self-healing and the effects of getting in touch with a profound source of love within. As she led a 10-min guided meditation, participants relaxed in their seats and in their bodies, sitting serenely as a group united by the safe space of self-exploration. Participants found themselves on a metaphorical and dream-like journey through their inner space, some connecting powerfully with evocative emotions.
Comments from participants:

  • “So powerful, felt complete calmness, literally like being at beach.”
  • “Very powerful – I have never actually meditated so deeply.”
  • “Made me go to a place that I didn’t want to go and that I NEEDED to go. Now I want to dig deeper and love my inner child.”

ALIGNMENT: El wrapped up the workshop leading the alignment portion which brought everything full circle for participants. Speaking with confidence and conviction, El demonstrated the power and positivity that is accessible to each of us when we harmonize body, mind, heart, and spirit. His section culminated with 8 volunteers shyly agreeing to break through wooden boards with their fists. Each wrote their fears on one side of their boards, and their goals on the other. They then bowed to and faced their fears and then literally broke through them while the crowd cheered supportively. One volunteer commented that “It seemed so scary before hand, but it was so much easier than it seemed.” El concluded that in that way it is true that “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” since fears can make a task seem overwhelming when in reality taking action reveals that things can be simpler and more manageable than we thought. Each participant left inspired and uplifted by El’s insights on how to access and manifest their true power and joy in their lives.
Comments from participants:

  • “It was fun. It was very empowering. An eye-opener…That moment when you say to yourself “Just Do It” and you do it, a deep sense of relief comes over.”
  • “This was my favorite part because I sometimes get stuck in the victim role and to know I am strong and powerful is amazing!”
  • “Excellent way to finish! I can’t wait to go out into the world and break through all of life’s barriers!”

What participants said about the workshop as a whole:

  • “Every single person was amazing. I enjoyed the workshop immensely. I like the way the workshop was broken down and that each expert was given a subject that they know well. Very engaging, entertaining. Thank you!”
  • “Great balance among the presenters! Well done!”
  • “Great transitioning between topics!”
  • “Everyone did a fantastic job and was intertwined beautifully. Thank you.”

It was a great day, and the team plans to return with a new workshop in the Spring! Stay tuned!

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