Archive for August, 2012
How are you all surviving this hot summer weather?? (For those of you in Tokyo anyway).
This was the theme for today’s Toastmasters meeting that I attended. “How to survive”. I recently joined the Aoyama Lunch Toastmasters Club here in Tokyo to work on my communications and leadership skills. For those of you who don’t know, a Toastmasters Club is a place where people get together to work on their public speaking skills, and to gain more confidence in speaking in front of an audience. People of all backgrounds and goals can join, and it is a very safe and fun learning environment! Personally, one of my biggest fears is talking in front of a group of people, so I thought to myself: What better opportunity to grow and gain more confidence than to working on and overcoming this fear?
I have to admit that it took me a while to muster up enough courage to apply for a membership at the Club. In order to become a member at Aoyama Lunch Toastmasters Club, you have to attend 2 meetings as a guest first. My first attendance was together with my husband right before the earthquake last year, as he had been recommended to check it out by one of the experienced members there. In all honesty, after that meeting, I was very intimidated by the high level of speaking ability and professionalism of all the members, and I thought that this would be too much for me. I was scared!
Then, after not thinking about Toastmasters at all for a year, it suddenly came to my mind again this past April, and I knew I needed to get over my fear and challenge myself to attend another meeting. This time by myself. I attended the second time as a guest in May, with more confidence and determination to keep going and to join the club. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did! Although today was only the 3rd meeting as an official member, I am already learning a lot, and feel very privileged to be surrounded and welcomed by so many experienced and wonderful speakers.
I did my first “Ice breaker speech” last month to introduce myself to the other members. Although I was nervous, it was a great experience, and not as scary as I thought. After all, the subject of my speech was a very familiar one. The great thing about Toastmasters is that you can totally do things at your own pace, and you can decide yourself when to hold your next speech. Obviously, the more speeches you hold, the better you get, but there are also a lot of other roles you can take during the meetings, such as being a timer for those who are holding the speeches, evaluating the speeches, or Toastmaster of the Day etc. There are different difficulty levels of the roles, and you can slowly work towards taking on more higher responsibility tasks. Today, my role was to count the Um and Ah’s, or unnecessary fillers people used in their speeches and talks. It challenges your listening skills and ability to keep concentrated.
How about you? Have you ever attended any Toastmasters meeting? Or, have you recently started any new and fun (or perhaps scary) challenges for yourself?
I hope to hear from you.
マリジョゼ先生によるピラティス指導者養成コースであるPilates Leadership Concept (PLC)は今回からモジュール２になり、前回モジュール１は受けたけれども２はまだと言う方達も集まりクラスは定員一杯でした。
“The devil is in the details”
と言う言葉は元々”God is in the detail（神は細部に宿る）”から来ているそうですが、マリジョゼ先生は動きの詳細を徹底的に気にしていて、妥協を一切許しません。でも妥協は許さないけれども個人個人の能力差を考慮し、毎回モデルになってエクササイズをする生徒さんの最大限の力を引き出せるように今までは到達した事のない動き（可動範囲）を導き、結果的に身体が変化して優秀なピラティストレーナーを輩出しているのだと思います。
I am sorry for taking so long to follow up on my last post, where I talked about my “Crazy Sexy Diet” experience. It has now been a month and a half already since I finished the 21-Day cleanse, and I have to say that going through it was the best thing I could have ever done. It helped me to get started with the change I needed in my life. Although, I have to admit that I am no longer following as strict of a diet as I did with the cleanse. However, I am eating less meat and more vegetables than I used to, and using only soy milk with my cereal, as well as having no regular coffee at home. Although, I do drink it when I am out. Even though I am not as strict with my diet now, I notice myself craving less and less meat, and I feel that I will naturally move towards a more vegetarian or plant-based diet. I realized that the key here is the word “naturally”. Anytime we try to force ourselves to do anything, whether it is regards to our diet or something else, it just never goes well, as I am sure you have experienced.
Right after finishing the cleanse, I did a 3 day GYROTONIC® Level 2 preparation course with Authorized Master trainer Erika Hassan, which was a really fun and wonderful experience. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I did the cleanse before the course started. Had I not did it, I know I wouldn’t have been able to move as well, and my body probably wouldn’t have made the changes that it did. Although there is a limit to how much you can change in just 3 days, I felt that I passed my previous threshold on the last day, and am moving a little better than I used to:) What also helped this change to take place, I feel, was the fact that my mind was more clear and open towards new information after I did the cleanse. It is hard to explain, but I felt that I was ready to receive the stimulus to change.
Another thing that has helped my body to feel even better is spending more time in nature. Being lucky enough to work right next to the biggest park in Tokyo, I have been taking my groundsheet with me between sessions, and connecting with the earth and the green environment. I started this because I learned about a really interesting book called “Earthing”, which talks about the health benefits of connecting directly to the ground with your bare feet. By doing this, your body receives the healing energy from the surface of the earth, which automatically reduces inflammation in the body. I will talk more in detail about the book in a later post, but I can tell you now that I am feeling the effects of this with my own body! It is really amazing! And best of all, it is free! I have gone to Yoyogi park feeling a little pain with my neck and shoulder, and after lying down on the grass for 30 minutes to an hour, the pain went away! You should really try it for yourself. Even if you don’t have any pain, I can guarantee that you will feel more energized and refreshed afterward!
Have you ever read a book that totally changed the way you look at things? Well, I recently have been reading a series of books from an author called James Redfield, which is the most life-changing books I have ever read. What he writes about is something that I believe is very true, and it has helped me to realize many things about my own life and how I view things. Because the way I think has changed from reading these books, I can also feel my body changing as well. It is very interesting, and the first time I have experienced this. I will use another blog post to explain what his books talk about. Until then, I hope everyone is having a great summer!
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