What does the UC of UC Grace mean?

As more and more people have asked me this over the last year I found myself having to think really hard about what the ‘UC’ was for. I knew I had written a sentence that encapsulated it, but what that was I couldn’t remember. Not because there wasn’t ever a reason to not remember, but because in the beginning it was front and centre in my mind, as I set my name and started my business. But as time has gone on the ability to recall those details has been harder, there’s been shifts in my aims, my logo design and branding, as well as the ‘info’ that I display about UC Grace. Plus, the reality of life and just being busy!

How UC Grace began in 2010

Let’s open the door…

But, there always comes a point when you need a spring clean, a bit of a shake through to remove bits of info that have served it’s time and that’s what happened with the ‘UC’. The logo changed to the letters and wording beneath it changed, I revamped the website, once, twice, many times, I rebranded, I acknowledged by values for the business and the way I wanted to push forward. But the reasoning behind the name was always there, it’s just been hidden behind different layers.

The logo in 2011

So, let’s revisit our roots and share in more depth how the ‘UC’ came about, the biggest thing to recognise first, was that it was a 2 fold development (see Golden Whirlwind for info about why I teach).

So what was the starting point?

In the early days as I sat with my notebook writing down lots of different names, I settled quite quickly on the word Grace, acknowledging that as part of our Christian walk, grace was so important. I realised that I wanted people to ‘see’ grace in dance, in our movements, actions, connections and relationships. So initially all I had was ‘you’ ‘see’ and ‘grace’. Deciding how to coax that into a name was super hard. The development of single letters happened quite quickly ‘uC’. Notice the little ‘u’ and the big ‘C’. That was pivotal as I felt it showed where the emphasis needed to be. The idea of opening up our eyes, seeing things that we wouldn’t have seen before, releasing something, and, so began the next stage.

We we entered 2012 there was a slight change, feeling that I needed to put ‘dance’ within the name and encase the tagline to a more succinct one with just my key words.

Defining what the ‘uC’ was about, working out what would create the foundation. I settled on it encompassing these words –
uncapped
unceasing
unchanging
uncover
uncontrolled

The addition of dance didn’t last long. By the end of 2012 I’d reverted back to just ‘UC Grace’

This became the saying that best described what the ‘uC’ was about, and it sat beneath the name uC Grace.

You can see the progression of the logo in these pictures.

As I moved forward with the company, another 3 words were pivotal in under pinning our tagline

– encouraging | growing | releasing –

these enable us to put Gods word front and centre in the company.

Encouraging – each person to grow into who they are meant to be

Growing – each person in their skills, knowledge and confidence God has given them

Releasing – each person into their dreams, ministries and journeys God has for them

The last change before the major rebrand was this. The debate about whether I didn’t dance in my title had trundled on, so I wanted to add an image that would explain a bit more about the company was rather than putting dance.

But what does it all mean?

Let’s go back to the ‘uC’, where I had the little u and the big C. You might notice that now the little u is a big U. At the beginning of 2018 I undertook a rebrand of UC Grace. Initially it was just going to be an update of my logo, but after a few months of thinking and praying I realised that UC Grace had changed so much that it deserved a logo that would reflect it’s true heart. Big and bold YOU SEE GRACE, grace in our everyday, the way we think, move and act. Colour displaying individuality, fun and integrity to Gods promise. The dancer with a ribbon displaying the ability worship in different ways (You can read more about ribbons here). A yellow ribbon, to demonstrate JOY. JOY of movement and remembering someone who danced with such joy for Jesus throughout her whole life, Lyn.

Lyn Cave. The joyful dancer.

What ‘UC’ is going to be important for you going forward?

We all see different things in life, that means we see the importance of things on a different level. Take a moment to think about your present life, what areas might you need to see things differently? What areas might you need grace?

This is what the UC is all about!!

Going forward UC Grace is committed to demonstrating and sharing Gods word through dance and movement. The saying below is what developed in 2010 when I started UC Grace. It encapsulates so well what it means to generate a deeper conversation with God through dance and movement. We hope it connects with you and encourages you in your journey.

We’d love to connect with you further, so why not sign up to our newsletter where you can hear more about what we are doing and how you can get involved. Head here.

UC Grace 2019 End of Year Message.

I can’t believe we are now at the end of the year again, where I get to recap all that has gone on, the delight, the learnings, friendships, fellowships and awe inspiring moments that God has given throughout the course of the year.

It has been an amazing year, seeing lots of what I have dreamt about start to bear fruit and draw together.

The year began with our Living Colour workshops, before moving on to a new opportunity to dance at St Michaels Aldershot with Helen Warren. This was a very precious opportunity to share with others a relationship between Jesus and movement, how he speaks to us, guides us and values our ways.

Another way that I have helped share some of this is through the UC Grace Blog. Over the course of the year the blog has been a place a to reveal more intimate details about the journey of UC Grace, encourage others in their journey. Provide moments of teaching and share updates of how events had gone. Busyness took over the latter part of the year which meant that posts dwindled down, the hope in 2020 is to pick this back up again. I’d love to hear about what you would like to read about, what inspires you, what you’d like to learn or hear more about. Drop me a line and let me know.

We introduced this year Soak Nights – a chance to take a pause during your busy week and intentionally connect with the Holy Spirit and LISTEN to God rather than do all the talking. These evening were a chance to catch some much needed respite, move and dance with no agenda and pray and support each other.

The relaunch of the Training days this year saw us grapple with exploring deeper Moving with Resources, Teaching children and dance movement and Dancing the scriptures where we challenged ourselves to approach Gods word in a different way.

The biggest event of the year was Going Deeper, this was a brand-new dance weekend with small numbers allowing participants the chance to strengthen friendships, faith and movement abilities in a safe environment with teaching solely from me. It also demonstrated how needed this kind of event was and will now be a permanent fixture on our calendar alternating yearly with our Big Dance Weekend that happens in Northampton.

In addition to the dance weekend, two other biggest developments of the year have been bringing on board a team of 7 people to help deliver the 2020 dance weekend – Moving in Gods Armour. This is set to be our biggest weekend yet with over 30 registered, and a strong 30% not attending an event like this before. We are trialling a new structure and delivery and I’m excited to see how it will all work out.

Ticking along in the background I have been writing a book, about faith, dance and children – how the 3 can integrate and the impact that happens when they do. I am hoping for launch in Spring 2020, but there is still lots of tweaking to do!

2020 is set to be a very exciting year, UC Grace turns 10! What an amazing 10 years it has been. So next year there will definitely be a party! Plus we hope to launch a membership and have identified a platform to run online courses and materials.

So watch this space. If you’re not already on our newsletter, we’d love to keep you up to date. If you are, thank you so much for being part of the UC Grace journey. Whether that is through attending our events, supporting or provided prayer support, it is very much appreciated.

Here’s to all that 2020 will bring!

Fear of the Unknown

These verses are packed with so much stuff, recently I heard Cathy Madavan speak about the fear of the unknown in relation to these set of verses. Several things she spoke of really resonated with how life can be for so many of us.

What are you like when you are in a physical waiting room, such as at the doctors surgery or hospital, or outside an interview room? We often find ourselves pacing, twiddling our thumbs, taking lots of deep breaths and other things to keep ourselves distracted whilst waiting for the answer, some news or the next step.

Moments in our life will seem like God has put us in a waiting room, but what are we doing in that waiting room?

Are you wishing for answers, thinking of what you could do, where you could go, what you could be? Does it get you anywhere? Why do you not progress forward?

Lauren and Helen waiting.

Cathy spoke about, how, when we are in those times of waiting, we can be fearful of what is to come, fearful of the outcome and how God may answer the situation. Fearful of the unknown. To work through this, we need to be able to live with God in the present season, and not wish for seasons to come. After a waiting season always comes a fruitful season.

Our ability to work through this fear lies in how our patience is and whether we need to grow in the spiritual discipline of patience.

My husband often tells me that I have good patience, which is true when it comes to the children, dealing with lots of people and events. But when it comes to waiting for an answer or a step forward from God, my patience for that isn’t quite as well tuned! I most definitely pace, get grumpy and question the decisions that I have taken so far.

The spiritual discipline of patience is about being active in your patience. YOU decide what to do with your feelings. You can make the choice to keep emotions such as anger away from you, it doesn’t need to come near you. God has the big picture, in our waiting to see that, we need to accept that there will be waiting, that God has given us enough to last through that waiting.

Persistence in the patience and waiting is really important in our desire to focus on living with God in the present season. Look at those that have done it well, Esther, Paul, Abraham, Daniel, David, Mary and Martha and many more.

Think about when you are in that waiting place. Do you worship God or do you worship your circumstances?

I hope this has provided some thoughts about how you can deal with those periods of waiting. We can so easily slip into the mindset of grumbling in our waiting. Lets switch up our mindset and seek to serve, worship and LIVE during those waiting times.

Want to be kept up to date with all things UC Grace? Head here.

Golden Whirlwind

Does your movement change things?

God encourages us in those moments we need it most, even if we haven’t recognised that we need it. Whilst I was away at Rivercamp, there were several things that struck me.

The first being we all dance and move with the same heart. The second that a whirlwind is created as each of us moves in someway.

Let me share some more.

Part of my journey with UC Grace has been overcoming people’s perceptions of what I do and my heart behind it, as well believing and trusting that I was good enough to do it, and there was a need for it. It hasn’t been easy, at the Going Deeper weekend in July I shared some of this. That in the beginning of UC Grace I judged my ‘success’ on the number of people that came to my events and if I didn’t have many, I wasn’t good enough and doing it right.

Yet I knew the foremost reason that I was doing UC Grace was because it was about the hearts of those that came. The hearts that God needed to work with, take on a journey and grow. That’s what my heart needed to do, in order to recognise the gift God had grown inside me. A passion to share, motivate and grow others in movement and dance with Gods word as central.

During my time at Rivercamp I noticed a group of people that always congregated near a space at the side at the front, and claimed the space so to speak, and as the meeting got underway I realised they were movers and dancers of varying degrees of ability. As I began to watch them, a wrestle began in my spirit. A wrestle to watch, receive and bless what I was seeing, but at the same time resentment, longing, and feeling put out and it was unfair! Lots of emotions that had crept up and I didn’t know where to go with. Except I did, but only because of the journey I had been through with UC Grace.

Let me unpack this.

When I am in an environment where my emotions seem to be getting the better of me, or, better put, the Devil is trying to windle his way in. I check myself. I take a pause, a visible breath. The negativity that I was experiencing was pulling up my insecurities, ones that I had defeated. But there, in that present moment, in a new situation they were trying to come to the surface again. I just kept saying to myself, ‘they have a heart to move too,’ ‘they are worshipping God their way.’

In those moments in the worship, where I was desperate just to be lost in it and dance myself, I had to deal with this before I moved forward. I had to deal with the elephant! So, I began a conversation with God, asking what I have got to learn here, what did I need to deal with, recognise, bless, repent. Tough going!

As I relaxed into his presence, he encouraged me that it wasn’t about me being ‘left out’ or ‘not included’, it was about opening up opportunities for others to experience God.

The essence of UC Grace….

As UC Grace has grown, part of my battle has been addressing how UC Grace is seen, or what it is. It’s only been the past few years that I’ve acknowledged that it is a business. I say this here because it is through that acknowledgment that God presented me with opportunities for UC Grace to grow and develop.

Over the few days after that initial encounter in the tent at Rivercamp, I thought about it more, the impact of my reaction to what I had felt, and asked God to reveal more about it.

I had the most amazing picture.

This is the reason for this post, but I wanted you to understand a few things before I shared it. Every dancer and movers journey is different. You will experience some negativity at some point on your journey about dancing and moving, the key is how you deal with it when you are presented with it.

My heart is to release and equip others with their faith through dance and movement. Jesus will always be the number one person I go to for decisions, reasons and conversations, and that includes business ones. UC Grace is a business, it’s a business God has blessed with growth over a very big journey, the picture God gave me, not only encouraged me in my journey with UC Grace, but the journey of Christian dance organisations, businesses, and individuals. Whether they are moving now, will be movers, or will simply just experience the soaking of the Holy Spirit through someone moving around them.

So the picture…

During one of the last worship times at Rivercamp, the tent had come to a very hushed quiet, what I began to see were small whirlwinds over the tops of groups of people. As these whirlwinds began to move around the place, gold started to be threaded through them.

All the whirlwinds then converged into one. Into a tornado. A tornado of GLORY, filled with gold. As it moved it changed the atmosphere, transforming those it moved over. The more it moved the more different colours came into it. The more it moved it was clear that it was the interaction of what was inside the tornado that was causing the shift in the atmosphere.

As the image faded away, it was an ah ha moment. A moment where I recognised why God had to reiterate to me before about how precious each person’s movement was, and how each individuals movements when converged with others creates something far more powerful than we can ever fathom. It creates a movement in the heavens that transforms those around it.

This is something that I knew, but sometimes you can loose sight of it, when you’re tired and been giving out lots.

There is however more.

My friend told me about a picture an artist had in a tent, that I needed to go and look at. This is it… what do you see?

Painting by Helen Yousaf https://www.helen-yousaf-art.com/
Painting by Helen Yousaf https://www.helen-yousaf-art.com/

Two things were brought to my attention. The whirlwind effect of colours spiralling with the reaction to the environment around it. But also, how it fits in with the UC Grace logo. The lady that painted this is Helen Yousaf a prophetic artist and an amazing worship leader.

I was just astounded (again) at how God brings everything together. Are you a dancer? Are you ready to change the atmosphere that you move in? Are you ready to take your whirlwind where God tells you? Get in touch as I would love to hear from you.

Want to be kept up to date with all things UC Grace? Head here.

August Moving: Arms

Having strength in your arms is important, it helps improve your posture which means your back is strong, resistance training your arms has shown that it reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries or at least reduce their severity. But proper form is important.

  • Strong muscles will enhance your workout. Once you start concentrating on your upper body, other exercises will seem easier.
  • Working your arms can help protect your bones. Every year your bones loose more strength, but the good news is, the more you work them, the more you help to maintain healthy bones and build density.
  • Working your arms, gives you that feel good factor, the satisfaction that you’ve worked something hard and will reap the rewards. It will help your exercise mindset going forward.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your arm strength.

  1. Forearm pulse: Connect your forearms together from your elbow all the way up to your fingertips, palms together. Push the forms arms together to create tension. Pulse your arms up and down, maintaining contact with no gaps and pressure. Do this for 30 seconds/ pulses. Ensure your shoulders stay down and your core is still scooped in.
  2. Press ups: You probably thought you might get away with out these, but no such luck. A few things to remember about press ups. The further your feet are away the harder it, which means the lower your arms/ centre of gravity the harder it is too. So bear this in mind when you choose the level you want to do the press ups at. Place your hands just wider than your shoulders. Keep your shoulders down and tummy scooped. Make sure your body is in a straight line, so your bottom is tucked in. inhale on the way down. Exhale on the way up. Aim for 10 reps.
August Moving: Arms

August Moving: Quads

The quadriceps are one of your power house muscles in your body (alongside your core), that really need to be strong and stable. The muscle groups in your legs work together to ensure that your balance and stability are in the right place when your body needs it, as well ensuring your knee flexes and extends as needed.

  • Having strong quads will aid the stability needed for the knee joints, which can inherently be unstable and depend on ligaments and muscles to protect them from injury.
  • The inner thigh muscles also provide internal rotation, which counterbalances the external rotation from your outer thighs and glutes.
  • Like any major muscle groups they require care and maintenance, stretching in particular is important as no stretching can lead to a shortened thigh muscle which in turn means your knee won’t be able to flex effectively.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your quad strength.

  1. Squats – super easy to integrate into your day when you’re brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, cooking tea and more! You need to have you feet hip or shoulder width apart and a straight back. Remember to scoop in your core and engage it. You want to bend your knees, ensuring your knees stay behind your toes, and your chest stays higher than your hips. You have the choice to do normal squats down and up, or add in a pulse at the bottom before you come up. Aim for 15 reps.
  2. Standing leg raises: Standing up tall with your tummy scooped in. Raise your leg up in front of you so it is slightly bent and then lower back down, let your big toe tap the ground but nothing else and lift leg back up. If you need to hold onto something to keep your balance, rest your hand lightly on a chair. The lifting of the leg must come from the thigh not the knee. Aim for 15 reps on each leg.

August Moving: Core

Our core can be something that we obsess about, what it looks like, how strong it is and the exercises that we do. During my time as a dance teacher and Buggyfit trainer I have seen many different exercises to work the core.

  • My conclusion, simpler is the better and conventional is not always best. What I mean by this is that sit ups and burpees are not the answer, they don’t target our inner core.
  • Our core is a complicated part of our body, and many different things impact it. What we forget is that our body is made up of many different layers. Conventional exercises focus on building strength in the upper layers, whilst inner core work goes deep down.
  • Training these muscles is essential for stability, joint control through motion and ensuring all those inner muscle work together to propel you forward in the best way.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your core strength.

  1. Box scoop: Kneeling on all fours ensure your knees are directly below your hips and your wrists are below your shoulders, have your back in neutral alignment. Relax your tummy, it’s really important that you really let it all go! Otherwise the exercise won’t work effectively. Inhale and let your tummy fill with air, as you exhale slowly scoop your in and up. You want to begin from the top of your pubic bone and finish at your belly button. Your aim is to create a C scoop as you draw your tummy in. Take 4 counts to exhale and 4 counts to inhale. You need to have control through both directions. 5 reps. This can also be done standing up, but by doing it on your hands and knees, you work against gravity more, so your muscles work harder!
  2. Candlestick Dipper: This will work your transverse abdominus and your obliques. Kneel on the ground, with one leg out to the side. Ensure your back in straight and your hip is stacked above your knee for the one you’re kneeling on. For the one out to side, keep the toe facing forward and the heel to the back. Option A is to raise your arms out to the side at shoulder height, maintaining a straight line with your body tilt to the side away from the foot that it out. Touch the floor with your fingertips. The further away you touch the harder it is. Option B join your fingertips together above your head. Maintain contact with your fingers as you lean to the side and then bring yourself back up. It’s important to keep yourself aligned for both these options and don’t allow your bum to out backwards and you reach forward with you arms. For those who have a weak core or less than 5 months postpartum, only do option A!
August Moving: Core

August Moving

Summer months is always a time when we naturally pick up the pace and move more, whether that’s through day trips out or just because the weather is nicer, we are outside more. I’m someone who needs to go outside and move everyday whatever the weather. But the reality of moving in a specific way apart from day to day tasks can be daunting, we might all think about it lots, but the actual doing of it, can take some extra focus.

Throughout August I want to offer some real quick ways to integrate movement into your everyday that will allow a daily habit to be created. I’ll also provide some extra info about why we might want to support or exercise that part of the body.

Week one: Ankle | 5th August

Why start with the ankles? Ankles are one of our main joins that take the stress and strain of our whole body as we go about our day. They help keep us stable, work our core and pivot with changes of direction and motion as needed. Here’s some other key facts to remember about ankles –

  • A major function is proprioception, when neutral transmitters in and around the joint respond to signals from the brain that enable you to identify where the ankle is and how well balanced you are on it.
  • Improving the flexibility of your ankle will significantly help with your strength, squat and reduce injury.
  • The ankle is a hinge joint and works on one plane of motion – dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. Plantarflexion is the movement downwards – pointing your toes like a ballet dancer. Dorsiflexion is the movement up, when your toes go towards the sky whilst your heel is on the ground.
  • Strong dorsiflexion means the front of the shin can move forward during a movement, which helps with crucial body alignment and application of force.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your ankle strength.

  1. Flexion and extension of ankle: sitting on the floor extend your legs out in front of you, alternately flex your foot to the ceiling and then point it down to the ground. Push to the point that you feel a stretch. Aim for 10 reps flexing, 10 reps extending. This can also be done on a chair/sofa. What ever you choose, ensure you’re sat up straight and your shoulders are down.
  2. Heel raises: ensure you are standing up straight, place your feet hip width apart and take a slight bend. This is the position that you will hold during the exercise. Keep your knees and rest of body still, lift up your as far as you can, pushing the top of your foot forward. Lower back down. Do 10 reps. This can also be done on a step, by dropping heels below the top of the step and then raising them up.
August Moving: Ankles

Why use an Essential Oil Diffuser?

At doTERRA we recommend using essential oils aromatically, topically, or internally depending on the properties in each individual oil. Nearly every oil and blend, with the exception of HD Clear® and Immortelle, can be diffused. Diffusing an oil helps us take advantage of its most noticeable characteristic—it’s scent. By learning more about how much of a role smell plays in our lives, the impact of essential oils can be understood on a deeper level.

Petal Diffuser

The Power of Scent

Our sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses, and you have probably noticed in your own experience that some scents are more positively associated in our minds than others. Your body contains over 1,000 receptors for smell—more receptors than for any other sense. Dr. David K. Hill D.C., Founding Executive points out that even though our noses are not as acute as a bloodhound’s, “you can still detect thousands of varieties of odors in infinitesimal quantities.”

By putting essential oils directly into the air we breathe, we can influence the feeling of our environment, and, more powerfully, our own emotions. We know that citrus oils, for example, are uplifting and energizing to your mood, while scents like Lavender or doTERRA Balance® are calming and grounding.

Other Uses and Benefits

While smell is a great tool, there are other reasons that diffusing essential oils can be beneficial to you:

  1. It can purify the air in your home.
     
  2. Some oils can help maintain feelings of clear breathing and open airways. 
     
  3. To minimize the effects of seasonal threats. 
     
  4. Only a small amount of oil needs to be used if you’re using it in an ultrasonic diffuser. This means you can use one bottle of essential oil many times before you’ll need to purchase more.

How to Diffuse

The best way to diffuse is either nebulizing (cold air) or ultrasonic (water) diffusion. Heating oils to diffuse them can alter their delicate chemistry. Most of the diffusers doTERRA offers are ultrasonic diffusers, meaning that they use water to disperse the oil into the air.

To diffuse in an ultrasonic diffuser, put cool tap water to the fill line and add at least two drops or more to the water. Then, choose the time setting you desire and let it run. Diffusing in a nebulizing diffuser is waterless: take the cap and orifice off of your bottle of essential oil and attach it to the diffuser and choose your settings for time and amount at a time.

The combinations of essential oils you can diffuse are endless. And, like each of you, they are as unique as you would like them to be. 

The above information was disseminated amongst Wellness Advocates for BOGO week July 2019.

Using a diffuser during UC Grace events

If you have been to one of our events recently, you will have noticed that we have been using diffusers. Much like the reasons above they offer a great reason to uplift and set apart the mood of the room. At our latest event Going Deeper 2019, many participants commented how lovely it was to have something diffusing during the sessions, helping concentration, tiredness and energy.