An Unusual Post for an Unusual Time

This is an unusual post for me. It’s not about fundraising or nonprofit management. Nevertheless, it’s appropriate for this unusual time. If you’re like me, 2020 has been a stressful year for you. Now, in the closing weeks of the year, that stress level is being ratcheted up. Professionally, we’re struggling to raise as much money as we can at year-end. Personally, we’re trying to make holiday plans while coping with ever-changing government directives concerning the pandemic.

To help you more effectively deal with the stress in your life, I want to tell you about two special webinars. Both of these programs will be taught by Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT. Michelle is not just a certified yoga therapist, she’s my instructor. So, I can tell you, from personal knowledge, that she’s experienced, compassionate, practical, and helpful.

While many of Michelle’s programs are designed for cancer patients and survivors, the following two programs are open to the general public and will benefit anyone experiencing stress:

Stress Reduction Through Yoga:

In this session, you’ll learn simple mind-body practices to reduce stress, get better sleep, and cultivate peace. Harness the power of your mind to stay calm in the midst of any storm! No prior yoga experience is necessary.

Date:  Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Time:  1:00 – 2:00 PM (EST)

Fee: This is a FREE event.

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this free Zoom event.

Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra:

The winter solstice is a special time of year. It’s the point at which the northern hemisphere is farthest from the strong influence of the sun and is more exposed to the vast universe. It’s the longest night of the year and, therefore, it’s a good time to work with your dreams … both your sleeping dreams and your deepest desires. Yoga Nidra is a guided, multi-stage relaxation/meditation practice that takes you to that sweet spot between wakefulness and sleep. Here you can hover near the subconscious, and allow your dreams to take the stage. No yoga or meditation experience is necessary. In this Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra event on Zoom, we’ll take time to:

  • write about our deepest desires and dreams
  • move the body and breathe a bit
  • then settle into the guided Nidra practice for quiet inward visioning
  • we’ll emerge and sit in simple meditation
  • then we’ll take time to discuss and write thoughts and/or action steps

Sink into the deep wisdom of the body and let your dreams have more playtime.

You’ll need:

  • a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted
  • comfy clothing in layers to adjust for body temp fluctuations
  • space to lie down, usually on the floor, but a couch, recliner, or bed will do
  • supportive props like blankets and pillows
  • a journal/paper and pen

Date:  Sunday, December 20, 2020

Time:  4:00 – 6:00 PM (EST)

Fee:  $20 per person plus a small processing charge

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this Zoom event.

My wife and I are planning to participate in both events. I encourage you to consider attending one or both of the programs. Self-care is vitally important. You can’t take care of others, professionally or personally, unless you first take care of yourself. Here is how I put it in an article for the Association of Fundraising Professionals:

You’ve probably heard the announcement dozens, or even hundreds, of times from flight attendants when flying. Nevertheless, take a moment now to really think about it:

‘In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally…. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask first, and then assist the other person.’

What the airlines want us to do is override our instinct to first help the person we are with who needs our assistance. Instead, the airlines instruct us to help ourselves before assisting anyone else. The reason is completely practical. We simply won’t be able to help anyone else unless we first take care of ourselves.

Not only is that useful advice when flying at 35,000 feet, it’s just as meaningful when we have our feet firmly planted on Earth.”

At this holiday season, give yourself the gift of stress relief. Whether or not you participate in the programs I’ve described, I hope you find meaningful ways to take care of yourself.

If you have some helpful self-care tips, please share them below in the comments section. If we help each other, our journeys will be much more pleasant and successful.

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

4 Comments to “An Unusual Post for an Unusual Time”

  1. Michael, I work at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit (a member of the Cancer Support Community). I had been attending yoga at the beginning of the pandemic, and have gotten out of the practice. Thank you for this reminder to step back into the practice to help with my stress.

    • Madeline, thank you for your kind message. I’m glad to know my post is inspiring you to step back into yoga practice. I confess that I had largely stopped my meditation practice. My early new-year resolution is to get back to meditation and practice regularly. I wish you the best.

  2. I’m so glad that you shared this. I practice yoga daily and it centers me and eases the stress of day-to-day life, which is critical during such a crazy time. Thanks for these resources.

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