We are pleased to have guest blog contributor Stephanie Herman write this piece for our readers. Thank you Stephanie!
How is it that I am going to be 66 years old in November and yet I feel 40!?!
I was a former principal ballerina in New York City and now am the creator of a new body awareness system that teaches people how to stay younger in mind and body.
What do I do to make myself feel young? Most importantly, I make sure to physically stay in shape. Then I make myself try things that scare me or test my comfort level. But I also sprinkle in the other major activities that I love in my life, such as spending time with family and friends, dancing, acting, performing, teaching, giving back and making sure to have FUN!
I have been teaching my Pilates/Fitness programs for 30 years. How do they stay fresh after so long? I keep reinventing them. I have 2 programs – CoreTique is a Mind Body Educational program that personally educates people about how to best move and control the body. If you know how, then the rest is easy. My 2nd program is “Pilates Ballet by Stephanie Herman,” that is a fun musical fitness program that takes CoreTique to the next level. By teaching these programs, it satisfies many of my loves of life – teaching, giving back, and having fun!
How did I add things that scared me or tested my comfort level? I was teaching my fitness programs and staying in shape by teaching, but began to realize that in teaching, I am not always doing the exercises because I am walking around helping others. I realized I was not putting the proper fitness regimen in my OWN life, so I decided to go back to ballet after a 20 year hiatus. Talk about scary!
It took courage to walk back into a ballet studio, as I was not in ballet shape. And it took courage to show up not in shape. But, I weighed the pros against the cons and realized that I just needed to be disciplined to make myself take on this endeavor. It was not easy, it took me about 1 -2 years to feel better about myself in ballet class compared to what I was 40 years ago. I needed to stop my negative self critique, and focus on one step at a time. When someone in class said to me “you still have it!” that felt good.
Finally, I felt that I was missing performing in my life. So, at the age of 65, I decided to add more performance in my life. How? By taking baby steps. I started by taking an acting class every Thursday night in SF from 7- 10pm. Yes, that took courage. But I love it. It’s not really performing on stage, but it is starting to bring out the performer in me, inspiring me and giving me courage to try more – it occurred to me that staying young at any age can require courage if you want to be who you want to be. Don’t let yourself or others tell you otherwise. Surround yourself by people who support your dreams!
So what does it take to feel young? It’s your attitude … how you think about yourself … what you put in your life. Optimism, balance, fun, inspiration, passion, love, health and making your dreams come true.
Ok, now that you know the answer, how do you execute on it?
You need to start by understanding which of these elements are missing in your life. Take one thing … Is it your optimism? Is it your balance in life? Are you missing Fun? Love? Health?
Let’s break it down…
Optimism…… Try for the next 14 days to only be optimistic…. Put on the calendar each time you are optimistic and when you are being negative. Being aware is the first step in changing. You might find sometimes that being negative is a habit that just needs to be broken. Try to use the 14 days to believe in yourself, give yourself permission to do what you want to do without blockage.
Balance– Do you think your life is balanced? Look at what you do during the week…. Think about it as a giant pie that you want to split into 10 pieces. Each piece is balanced to fit into the pie. Write 5-10 major things that fill your week. Work, Play, Friends, Healthy Habits, etc. Then see how unbalanced it might look. Or, see what you would like to add and subtract. This could be an ongoing work sheet.
Now, LIVE IT!:)
If you are in the Bay Area and would like to contact Stephanie and learn about how she could help you achieve your greatest at any age, you can check out her website at: http://www.StephanieHerman.com and contact info: (650) 465-7919 or Sh1dancer@aol.com