It seems to me, I have faced one health challenge after another throughout my adult years. Over and again, I find myself researching, seeking answers, because the standard medical industry offered a prescription to bandage over the issue, or had no real way to resolve the issue.
One of my more recent journey's has been looking for natural, healthy ways to address stress, anxiety, depression and the resulting inflammation within my body, all symptoms of Complex PTSD. For the most part I make healthier lifestyle choices because I feel better when I do. However, I am just as likely to reach for a bag of 'healthy' chips and a glass of red wine as the next person. They meet an immediate desire and are mindless activities.
Over recent years I have been addressing decades of buried feelings, finding my voice, and then diving headlong into founding a nonprofit. All of this meant meal planning and personal exercise were not my priority. I know for some people food is a defense mechanism, or a coping tool, for others life is full and busy so we grab whatever is easy. Sometimes we are aware of what we are doing, often we aren't. Then we find ourselves facing health challenges brought on by lifestyle choices. We never planned to be obese, diabetic, have hypertension or psychological challenges.
Even when the desire to change is present, our behaviors and habits continue to impact us. Sometimes we have received negative messages from society and/or family. These unhealthy, unhelpful messages continue to loop through our minds, adding to our challenge to change. It can quite literally feel impossible to do anything differently. And for some, it is impossible.
You know the old adage, if you want different results you have to do something different. If you want to break a habit, compulsion, addiction, you have to approach the situation differently. If you are tired of being held hostage to the symptoms and fallout of a traumatic experience, you have to gift yourself with the tools and environment which support your healing and transformation.
This has been my journey and I'm deeply grateful for my perseverance. Three years ago I described myself as a worn out type A personality. I was so tired of trying to meet the expectations of others, doing what I was told to forgive and forget (that is the biggest pile of BS)... Forgiving, yes; forgetting doesn't just happen. Unresolved trauma alters the mind and body on a cellular level.
Tired of running from the pain and darkness, and living as a hostage, I began to look into the darkness. Just as I teach women in self defense, be willing to face your attacker; I came to the emotional and mental place, I wanted/needed to face my attacker. Who was my attacker? Me, or actually the thoughts which looped through my mind, continuing to drag me down, negatively impact me and limit my success and enjoyment of life. This is where real freedom comes from, by being willing to go through the abyss and make my way to the other side. To be able to be alone with my thoughts, agast! and know I am NOT my thoughts.
Keeping an open mind and being curious, I embraced the practice of meditation. Coming from a religious background that shunned anything of the Eastern ways, meant I was moving against the grain in my own mind as well as counter culture to those around me. More and more I began to see how so many of the Western views had thrown the baby out with the bath water. It was the same old Us or Them mentality, Right or Wrong... Thankfully Science is proving the benefits of meditation and yoga.
As 2019 bloomed fresh and full of opportunity I dived into discovering my core desired feelings; it was time to embrace and honor them. They are: Healthy, Free, Successful and Harmonious. Knowing how I want and need to feel is liberating. Adjusting my life choices to support the way I want to feel has taken dedication and continual redirecting. The 'tools' of yoga and meditation have supported my journey and helped me understand the importance of my thoughts and feelings. Both practices are part of the virtual course, Transforming Trauma. But recently, I have been studying and applying transformational, Yoga Nidra.
Yoga Nidra has allowed me to embrace more mental and physical health. I am discovering unconscious mental patterns and the associated biochemical states which contribute to poor health. Even more important I am discovering and applying the tools of Yoga Nidra to re-wire my brain. Re-wiring, restoring, recovering from hardwired thoughts and habits takes time and commitment. But living life unhampered, no longer a hostage to the symptoms of Complex PTSD, is worth the time and effort. Shit, time is passing anyway. I might as well do what I can to enjoy greater emotional and mental balance and clarity. Doing so allows me to feel Free, Healthy, Successful and Harmonious.
So what is Yoga Nidra? In the simplest of terms, it is guided rest. A more complete description: an age-old practice of yoga composed of a series of breath, body, and awareness techniques designed to help you move into progressive states of relaxation, of non-doing. It takes us to brainwave states where organs and systems of the body are nourished and regenerated. It allows us to resolve and release incomplete, unprocessed emotions and experiences that came but never left. And we do not have to talk or discuss the feelings or event. It is truly a transformational practice.
I am a work in progress. Yet it has been exciting for me to witness/experience situations and be able to logically/rationally respond versus emotionally react. The more I learn and experience the more I want to share this gift. Most certainly, I am adding Yoga Nidra to my Transforming Trauma course! And when I get back from Yoga Nidra Teacher Training, (yes, I am adding this specialty to my credentials!) I will be offering group workshops and private classes.
If you are ready to take the next step to reshape your life and change your destiny, let's connect. More than ever I believe, "Our thoughts truly are the beginning of our destiny!". Email to discuss your next step.