It’s how you recover that matters

Good grief! What a crazy few hours I have had!

It’s nearly Rabbie Burns night and so often I hear that voice in my head repeat this to me:

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

Robert Burns

Or… no matter how well or keenly you plan your week (enter Sunday Set Up Sessions at Irish Dance Village a helpful little zoom session to prioritise the things in our weeks that are usually the first to go but are always the things we need to keep our sanity) something is always going to derail them; be it a disturbed night’s sleep, a missed bus, no battery in your phone or a last minute intrusion that has to be prioritised… trust me I am there with you!

I guess it started last night with the return of yet two more classes to the timetable… exciting, inspiring, energising and wonderful! SO wonderful in fact that I couldn’t sleep. I was so buzzing with all the achievements from every single dancer that I couldn’t switch off. I was also very tired as it had been a full on invigorating week. Body vs brain; the classic battle! As a result of coming home later than usual I didn’t wind down enough, I didn’t go through my nighttime routine and the little things all started to add up and bring me into a space of frustration. Always with a mindset of ‘you can fix this; just try again’ I aimed to get up at 6.45am to start my morning routine and try again to get back on track. My little one had other ideas and so I was up changing her bed instead. Morning routine gone, late to nursery, add in a rushed dog walk and quick shop and my work timetable has gone. My intention this week of leaving early to get the bus to nursery and walk home with the dog was gone! Gutted!

I cam home and had a cry in the cupboard under the stairs when the hanger broke putting my coat away… it’s these wee things that break us isn’t it?

Anyway… it’s how we recover isn’t it?

So, coffee made and I headed outside to the cold sun and spoke on my Instagram story to you about the mess of a morning but how I am claiming it back by taking a break. stopping. breathing. I opened the Calm App for a beautiful playlist and when I came back inside I did some journalling.

Column 1 I wrote out EVERYTHING that was bugging me…. everything

Column 2 I wrote out why it annoyed me

Column 3 was the solutions that I needed to change things… mostly it was to be change some priorities, communicate with my partner or journal further on the issue and to get some help where I needed it.

I feel so much better but with a little bit more work to do but I can at least feel that I am back on track and ready to try again. I think I recovered today pretty well… don’t you? Let’s see how this afternoon goes!

x x x

Ready to feel great?

Well-being One Thing

Each month I will enjoy taking you through something that I have picked and tried to find has really made a difference to my life. I am passionate about taking control of my life, designing and creating a life that I want to live… for me and not being swayed by the assumed opinions and judgements of others. Putting me first before others. It may sound selfish and may not feel natural to begin with but trust me when you are living in your truest and happiest form you will only be a more positive influence in the lives of others.

I got me a Life Coach baby!

How did I arrive at this new balanced place? Well the short story is that I got me a Life Coach baby! I have worked with a few coaches and they have all contributed to my new found place of strength and knowing – who I am and what I want and more importantly how to get there… well most of the time. My good days are amazing and my bad days are what my good days used to be. Awful days are few. It is not a fixed place but a very enjoyable wee toddle along a varied path.

Do yourself a favour and buy some paper bound together in more paper aka a notepad

well-being one thing this month

The main tool that I have adopted that has increased by levels of happiness has been JOURNALING! Please, for Christmas or New Year or even just because… go buy yourself a notepad. It doesn’t need to be a fancy art and design notepad… all you need is paper and a pen.

Now start writing.

Here are some prompts on what to write to get your started:

  • what worked today?
  • what did not go your way today?
  • what emotions came up for you during the day – what started it?
  • what does a 10/10 day look like for you and what steps can you take each day to bring it slowly to a reality?
  • what fills your heart right up and makes a day just level up a notch?
  • what can you do tomorrow that will increase your level of happiness?
  • Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? – also known as the seven why’s… it gets deep fast.
  • does this job / activity / home / group of people align with me?
  • who are my best cheerleaders and how do they align with me?
  • and finally, most importantly your gratitudes – the things you are grateful for

What writing gives you is awareness. Not rumination and self critical awareness but insight. This insight into your thoughts at surface level and then a little deeper and then deeper again helps us identify the root cause of our subconscious ponderings; the things that bother us, increase our stress levels, make us procrastinate and feel the hard feelings. This is where we learn about who we are, what we can and will not put up with and how we want to feel on a daily basis. We take back the power that we so casually give to others when we worry about what they think or might say or do.

So your well-being one thing is to write it out. Take some time, a hot coffee or comforting tea and spend as much time as you can allow yourself to just write it out, get it out. From there you might feel that you want to talk to someone to make some sense of it, to get some guidance and to feel empowered to own your thoughts. Here is where I recommend a Life Coach or therapist as appropriate. You owe it to yourself and your happiness to take back that control and create the life you deserve to live.

Join us for an Introduction to Life Coaching with Leona Young – our Village Life Coach and see how you can make changes in your life. Tuesday 11th January at 7.30pm on Zoom as part of our ‘Welcome Back’ workshop series for 2022. Book your place here

With love and compassion,

Got thoughts? Get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Weekly Well-Being One Thing

Helping you to try something new

Listen to the podcast (link below) or read on here:

Today there is a lot of information about what we should all be doing to live better lives, we are overloaded with well-being tips and ideas from fitness to nutrition, exercise and journaling. The amount of information telling us what we should be doing on a daily basis is overwhelming and let’s face it unrealistic.

want to listen to this instead of read?… listen to the podcast here

But what if I told you there was another way to approach well-being and you were completely in charge… welcome to your ‘weekly well-being one thing’ where you are invited to try just one thing for just one week to see if it resonates with you or not. Slowly over time you can build up a toolkit of well-being habits that actually work for you and enrich your life.

Your weekly well-being one thing this week is an invitation to explore the founding philosophy of the Irish Dance village.

Our aim at Irish Dance Village is to have heart-filled 10 out of 10 days every day.

I’d like to invite you to think about the things that fill you up, that bring joy, sunny warm glorious feelings, that make your heart swell and instantly puts a smile on your face smile. These are likely to be the big things in life.

The big things in life… my #girlgang

I’d like you to now consider all the small things that make life more beautiful but we maybe don’t notice as easily – wearing my favourite colour, the sun when I open the curtains, the milk arriving on the doorstop, the robin that visits my garden every day, when my bed is made, aroma of coffee filling the house, the tiny footsteps of my child or dog running through the house, the wave from a neighbour, the house plant that is still alive, the new scented candle in the hall, the flowers I bought for myself, knowing that I’m meeting a friend for coffee later, new socks, when my meals are planned for the rest of the week, going for a walk by myself and just breathing, dipping in to read a chapter of an inspirational books, listening to my favourite podcast episode, talking to a treasured friend, ordering a small gift for someone I love… these are all small, simple things but they add up. Some of these are things that are happening and I notice them and some are things I can make happen, I can choose to invite them all in to my day.  

When we take time to notice these smaller things as well as the bigger things then the amount of gratitude we feel in our lives will increase. This is what we mean when we say heart filled. You might want to write these things down on a daily basis this week.

As we know… what we focus on will grow. This feeling of heart filled will get bigger day by day and help you towards a 10/10 day, week, month and year.

Of course you will have bad days and maybe not every day is going to be a solid 10 / 10 day, that’s just not realistic but with this toolkit of heart filled things that you have noticed or can choose to make happen then perhaps you can at least improve your day from a 3/10 to a 5/10. You can choose to improve how you see your day. If you are feeling that you are at the lower end of the scale then ask yourself… how can I improve today, how can I get to a 4 or a 5? What can I choose to notice or make happen to improve today? How can I make it better than it was going to be? With practise this way of thinking becomes a habit, a new way of looking at your world, a new way of choosing to create, design and live each day. Choose the heart-filled option.

And when you operate from a place of heart filled then you are operating as the best version of yourself… the way you are supposed to naturally be. There are no constraints of ‘supposed to’s’ or ‘should be’s’ or ‘have to’s’. You are just being your heart filled beautiful you; rested, nourished and loved. That’s good for our families, our friends, our colleagues, for everyone we interact with on a daily basis but most of all it is good for you.

Aim for a heart-filled 10 / 10 day every day because you absolutely deserve to have this.

You absolutely deserve to have the things that fill your heart up surrounding you constantly every day.  You deserve to live a heart-filled life.

So go and write out everything that fills your heart and plan them in to your days and weeks. Prioritise them. You deserve it.

Take a moment just now to design in your mind your 10 / 10 day, daydream about it, get carried away with possibility.

Now why can’t you have a day like that? Yes reality of life has to be considered but there are ways to bring your 10/10 day to life. So your weekly wellbeing one thing invitation this week is to daydream, design and then create your 10 / 10 days. To invite heart filled elements in to every day and watch as your days, weeks and months become so beautiful you don’t recognise them or yourself. You owe it to yourself to live a heart filled life.

Go design and lead your heart filled life.

With love,
Jenni x

A moment with…. Laura Kirkman

During lockdown we have lost our special moments with each other after class so we thought we would recreate that as best we could with our new interview series called ‘A Moment with…’

Meet Laura… a beautiful dancer with a conscientious approach to most things in her life. She always shows up for dance but for herself too and is such a positive spirit to have in the IDVillage. I love her and I know you will too. So let’s get started!

Watch the interview by clicking here…
Listen to the podcast by clicking here…
Or read on below…

So Laura, tell us about yourself
I’m 23 years old and live in Edinburgh. I work as a trainee solicitor. I started my job remotely which was not what I had envisioned and whilst I look forward to going to the office and meeting my colleagues in person, working from home does have its benefits – my commute is now the length of my hallway and I can turn up to work in my slippers! The HIIT classes are also helping to counter the dangers that come with the close proximity of the fridge! I never really planned to become a lawyer and sometimes question if an office job is for me, but I enjoy working with others and find each day challenging and rewarding.

How did you discover Irish dance?
I think Irish dance can be so mesmerizing when everyone is in sync. I love the team spirit and feel such a buzz in class. For a moment, in the comfort of my own living room, I can pretend I am in Riverdance! The music is also fab and I am enjoying learning some trad dances. I started Irish dance when I was at university. It’s not something I’d ever tried before but a friend recommended it. I’m so glad I went. I have had some really fun experiences and made great friends. I’m trained in ballet so I do have a dancing background but I enjoy the challenge each Irish dance class brings.

What is it about Irish Dance Village that you think people need to know before joining?
I love the welcoming and uplifting atmosphere created at the IDVillage. Whether a novice Irish dancer like myself or an experienced performer, everyone is made to feel welcome and part of the community. I enjoy the mix of performance choreography and the Trad dances, as well as the focus on fitness and strength at the beginning of each class. I hope we can share a studio soon and have fun putting together all the choreography we have been learning at home! I’m also loving the collaborations the IDV has made. Yoga with Laura Watt on a Saturday morning starts the weekend off right! It’s not something I’ve tried before but it has definitely become part of my routine.

When not working or dancing what do you get up to? I’m an avid reader and so have spent many hours in lockdown making my way through my bookshelf! Like many people, a daily walk has now become part of my routine. I have discovered some beautiful new routes on my doorstep which I probably wouldn’t have found if we hadn’t had so much time. My attempts at running have been more mixed! I think this winter has taught me I’m a summer runner and so I am hoping with lighter mornings and evenings and less snow and ice, I will discover some motivation again! I also love spending time with my friends and family. A dream of mine is to go travelling, learn about new cultures and make some amazing memories!

What has lockdown taught you? I’ve had two very different lockdown experiences. The first time round, I was finishing my university course. There were lots of cancelled celebrations and trips and like everyone my plans were thrown out the window. The second time round, I had started my job and felt very grateful to be working. Throughout this past year, I have learnt routine is important for me, as is adaptability and learning to simply go with the (yoga) flow! As much as I am grateful we have the technology to connect with others from our homes, nothing beats seeing friends and family in person. Lockdown has taught me never to say no to a coffee with a friend or a night out ever again! 

Heart-filled is the founding philosophy of the Irish Dance Village … finding small things every day to help us feel strong, content, inspired and the list goes on. It is a little different for everyone. So how do you find ‘heart-filled’? I love the heart-filled philosophy of the IDV. Finding little moments of joy each day helps me to feel heart-filled. When I nail a new step in class, when a quick call with a friend turns into a life catch-up, when a stranger smiles and says ‘hi’ out on my walk, my heart feels full .💚

You can watch our conversation on our Facebook page

Heart Filled

Like a lot of us in Lockdown, I have used this time to reflect. I examined what my life ‘before’ looked like but more importantly what it felt like. I knew there was something missing. I realised my heart wasn’t completely full and I wanted to change that.

The morning that changed everything was the morning I went in the sea at 6.55am and watched the sunrise. I don’t know if it was the pumping adrenalin as the cold water chilled me to my core, the sheer beauty of the calmest sea, the momentous power of witnessing a sunrise or that the last few weeks I had spent time listening to my quietest voice, the deep down one. Now she was shouting and being heard as my face filled with sunshine and met a new day.

So what led to this moment? Well, every morning for a few weeks I had been walking in silence in the gorgeous fields surrounding my house and eventually the surface chatter full of anxiety, to-do lists and noise fell away and sitting there was this idea of what does a full heart look and feel like? What does that mean to me? I started to curate the vision of the life that I wanted to live; the life I deserved to live; and then I wanted to live it! For me it means bringing and experiencing joy, being inspired and inspiring others, being present and focussed on gratitude, seeking out solitude; filling my heart so that I could fill others’. If I am depleted then how can I be the best version of myself and in turn be the best Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Friend or Teacher. Simply, I cannot.

Enter a new way of thinking; let’s make every day a 10 out of 10 day, let’s share this new energy and encourage others to feel this too. Let’s seek out the things that fill my heart and do more of that!

Enter connectivity, inspiration and joy.

Enter the Irish Dance Village and a heart filled.

Credits: Orlaith Brogan, Fearne Cotton and Laura Piper who all inspired this journey.

Irish Dance Village

The three pillars that are the foundation of the Village are:
and now it has all fallen into place…. a beautiful, supportive, encouraging space known as the Irish Dance Village. With a strong ethos on having a heart filled our new community offers opportunities to do this and be the best versions of ourselves every single day.

Siamsoir and The Irish Dance Academy still very much exist – they are the Village. They are joined by RoxyFit Irish Dance, the branch of the Village that offers the fitness and wellbeing training.
As and when lockdown eases there will be so much more added to our offerings in terms of physical classes, new experiences and workshops but for now, lets build this unique online space and get back in touch with our glorious Irish dance selves.

With love,