Pushing Reset: Risks & Rewards – featuring Chelsea Johnson

Pushing Reset: Risks & Rewards – featuring Chelsea Johnson

  “If you're having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up--to know that there's life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way.” -Natalie Goldberg   When I first connected with Chelsea Johnson a few months ago, I knew I had met someone special. Our initial conversation, meant to be a quick meet-and-greet, lasted over an hour and a half and I left feeling energized, motivated and oh so positive about myself, my work and my life! Because that’s what Chelsea does – she’s a dynamic actor and singer, lifestyle entrepreneur, and the creator of Cue to Cue: The Performer’s Podcast – and she’s made it her mission uplift and inspire artists to embrace their authentic talents and live their most creative lives, day in and day out, no matter the situation. And let me tell you,...
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Special Holiday Edition: Spotlights & Insights – December 2017

Special Holiday Edition: Spotlights & Insights – December 2017

Do you hear that? It’s the New Year approaching! While this monthly wrap-up post is usually filled with new ideas, updates and helpful links, I thought this month called for something different. As the dust settles on another holiday season, and we prepare to turn the calendar page to a new year in just a few days, it’s important to find some space to appreciate all you have and all the year has brought you. For some of us, the year may have been one of progress and growth, of discovering new opportunities or connecting with new people. But mixed in with all that, there were likely moments of sadness and struggle, where unexpected events brought challenges to your life that perhaps you’re still working through. It’s easy at this time of year, on the threshold of the New Year, to get stuck on those challenging memories. This is often what happens to us when we’re feeling drained and low on energy – usually...
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Holiday Happy – A Holiday Recovery Guide

Holiday Happy – A Holiday Recovery Guide

Happy Holidays! Whether your calendar is full of events, parties and family dinners, or a long “to-do” list of everything that needs to be accomplished before the end of the year - there’s no doubt that December is a busy month. It’s this busy-ness that also makes December a month all about performing – and not necessarily in the way you expect it. Sure, if you’re an artist you may have a couple extra gigs on the go, or if you’re a winter sport athlete a couple of tournaments coming up. Maybe you have a few speaking gigs, or a couple of last minute presentations to help seal up some new deals before the end of the year. All this in a regular month would be enough of a workout for our performing muscles. But in December, there’s more. For many of us, all these events and holiday parties are not just about getting into the festive spirit. They’re networking opportunities. They’re places we can sidle up...
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Who’s a Performer? – You Are!

Who’s a Performer? – You Are!

Perform. Performer. I use these words a lot. I say them all the time. I write them over and again in this blog, on this website, in social media posts, in articles and even in books. I even call myself a “Performance & Wellness Coach” (and I’ve got business cards to prove it!). Most of us probably have our own definitions of these words. We likely have images in our minds of what a “performer” looks like, or what a performance is. Maybe you hear the word “performer” an automatically know that means you. Maybe you feel like your work is a “performance”, but are unsure if these terms apply to you. So let’s get clear on what these words mean at Five Winds. And it’ll give you an idea of the kinds of people I work with and what it is we do together. Read on! … Perform According to the dictionary (Oxford English, please), the (abridged) definition of “to perform” is: • To carry out...
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Slow down, it’s OK: Lessons from India.Arie

Slow down, it’s OK: Lessons from India.Arie

  Confession: I am addicted to inspirational stories. I subscribe to all the podcasts (Oprah’s SuperSoul Coversations, The RobCast, Magic Lessons, On Being, The Deconstructionists…) and I love all the inspirational people (yes Oprah, Glennon Doyle, Rob Bell, Krista Tippett, Elizabeth Gilbert…). I find motivation and comfort in hearing how others have walked through the fire and come out the other side. These stories help me process my own journey, provide insight and inspiration in my work, and make me feel deeply connected to myself and my fellow humans. Side Note: We all feel this way about inspirational stories. I think it's because these stories are the essence of the human existence; the quest, the struggle and challenge as we discover truth, and the growth that allows us to emerge stronger than we were before. To quote Glennon Doyle, “first the pain, then the rising”. These stories have been told to us since the beginning of time. We find them in the Bhagavad Gita,...
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Sweet Relief: An Exercise for Releasing Heat

Sweet Relief: An Exercise for Releasing Heat

What a ride this summer has been! I can’t believe that August is almost upon us. ???? It’s been a whirlwind these past few weeks, between coaching, teaching and presenting at events! I’m so grateful for everyone who came out to practice with me at the Toronto Fringe, Hillside and Gerrard Art Space. It’s been great to connect with you and I’m excited to continue to share this work with you. While it’s all been very exciting, at times it has also felt overstimulating and I often leave events feeling like I’m buzzing on the inside from all the energy that was created (sound familiar?). Along with buzzing, I also often experience this excess energy as heat. My face gets red, I sweat more and my skin feels hot to the touch. While it seems like I’ve just been out in the sun for a while, this happens even when I present inside or in a cool space. This heat is not generated from...
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Instant Calm: An Exercise

Instant Calm: An Exercise

I remember clearly the first time I had a panic attack on stage. I was in high school, performing a play in drama competition. It was a two-person show; just me and another actor in front of the audience for 45 minutes. While I had acted in a similar style piece before, this felt much more high-stakes. It had been years since my school had made it this far in the competition and I took this responsibility both seriously and personally. We were the second show of our night. Before us had been a lively and intense piece with a large cast. Now, as I stepped out on stage, that entire cast was sitting in the first two rows of the audience staring up at me. They were buzzed from their performance, with too much energy to sit still. They chatted amongst themselves, so loudly that I could hear them clearly on stage. Thank goodness this was the time before cell phones....
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Post-Performance Recovery: An Introduction + Exercise

Post-Performance Recovery: An Introduction + Exercise

If you’ve been clicking around my website or following me on social media at all, you’ve probably seen the term post-performance recovery come up a *few times (*read, a lot). It’s a pretty catchy phrase, and seems pretty easy to understand. But since I talk about it so much, I thought it might be useful to explain what I actually mean by it. So… Post-Performance Recovery. What the heck is it? In many ways, it is exactly what it sounds like: A process to assists artists in releasing their performance experiences and rebalancing their energy, so they can transition back into their everyday lives. This is a fancy way of saying it’s a “cool down”. Think of sports. Before an athlete competes in an event, they go through a warm up routine to prepare themselves. Afterwards, they follow a cool down routine to help their body recuperate from all the energy the just exerted. Many performers follow a similar routine, except for one thing: most...
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Updates: Workshops, E-Books, Design and More!

Updates: Workshops, E-Books, Design and More!

Wow! It’s been about two months since the launch of this blog and website, and a lot has been happening at Five Winds! Between writing blog posts, I’ve been working hard at moving forward a bunch of other projects. Busy (but also fun) times! So in light of this, I thought it would be a good idea to update you on what I’ve been up to. So check it out below! There’s even some things for you to participate in too. :) Workshop: Earth, Water, Sun – Restorative Yoga for Spring First off, I’m excited to announce that I will be offering a restorative yoga workshop at Gerrard Art Space in May. Come relax with me in this beautiful gallery and community space. If you haven’t had the chance to practice while surrounded by a collection of stunning visual art, I highly recommend it! There's a maximum of 10 participants, so if you’re interested, sign up early! Sunday, May 7, 2017 7:00pm – 9:00pm Gerrard...
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Releasing Character: Lessons from Hugh Jackman and Wolverine + EXERCISE

Releasing Character: Lessons from Hugh Jackman and Wolverine + EXERCISE

My first memory of Hugh Jackman will always be from this film. I mean, what more could I have wanted from an early 2000s romantic comedy: Meg Ryan, time travel, a man in tails, Liev Schreiber, margarine…I’m not seeing a downside here! Oh, and Bradley Whitford too. ;) But regardless of my teenage taste in movies (don’t judge…), the role that really defined his career involved having giant retractable knives sticking out of his hands. Yes, in between several Broadway runs, hosting the Tony’s multiple times and winning a Golden Globe Award, the character that has stuck by his side for 17 years has been James (Logan) Howlett, better known as the X-Men’s* Wolverine. *Side Note: The X-Men were my gateway superheroes. I was a big fan of the animated series in the 90s. This was probably largely due to the fact that it was one of the only cartoons that had women heroes (Storm, Jean Grey...pretty awesome). I can still sing the...
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