Dealing…

Have you ever been told to Suck It Up Buttercup? Or to get over it because someone else has it much worse than you?

How’d that make you feel, as an adult going through something that may have created great despair or pain?

I think phrases such as that are fine to tell our children when they are acting like spoiled brats upon not getting their way. As a matter of fact, I should probably say something like that more!

Appropriate for everyone, though? I’m not so sure.

Two months ago my son committed suicide. I’m having to learn to live without the one who gave me a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. I’m learning to live without one of my life’s greatest inspirations and teachers.

This passage is for me, to remind myself of my own strength, will, and determination.

Yes, I’m putting myself out there to be judged and criticized, but somewhere I know that there is someone out there, dealing with what they seem they cannot endure, and I pray this reaches them. 

“There’s someone else who has it worse than you.” Yes, that’s true, but please use that phrase with caution unless you really know that to be true. 

A short synopsis of what life has thrown at me…

Anxiety and misdiagnosed dietary/health issues starting very young. Depression and eating disorders by grade 8. Sexually violated and suicidal by 12th. Survived, after feeling unwelcome and unloved by even God during my near death encounter with the Keeper of the Golden Gates. “Not yet. Someday. You still have work to do down there.” Don’t believe in near death experiences? You should.

Unexpected pregnancy by age 19. Keep or abort this baby? Rocky Relationship, but I love him and I already love this little creation with my whole heart. Keep. I might get disowned. But definitely keep. All I’ve ever known for sure is that I want to be a mommy. Easy pregnancy, relationship turned violent. Addiction returned. Had to walk away. Tried unsuccessfully to get back together but then the toughest of love lessons came our way. I had met another who promised the world so please don’t call anymore. Probably not what I really wanted. Probably wanted him to put up a fight, but he listened. If that was my plan it backfired.

Single mom married to someone who hid his true colors well. Marriage was emotionally/financially/spiritually abusive starting day 1. Within a year, became seriously ill in eating disorders and checked into recovery facilities out of state at 84 pounds, after accidentally overdosing on prescribed medications just to try to get some rest and migraine relief. Left my now 4 year old behind. Heart broken.

Worked my butt off to stay healthy and to try to salvage anything left of my so-called marriage. Unsuccessful, but too afraid to leave. Too many threats, another pregnancy with a daughter this time. Yay!! I had been told no more kids, too much damage to my reproductive system.

Where are we going to live, though, now that she’s a toddler?! Don’t have a clue where all the money has gone, but house payment hasn’t been paid. Foreclosure. How did I find out? My aunt saw it in newspaper, and my mom asked me about it. Seriously? This is happening and I’m the LAST to know? What kind of person am I living with?? Found housing, and took over bills to try to dig us out and figure out finances. Hmmm…lots of things don’t make sense and don’t add up. But don’t question it. I’ll regret it if I even consider it. 

The news that Christopher’s father had died turned my inner world upside down. So much I could have done differently. I let it end without even saying I love you. I had lost him, really lost him forever. Could I have helped save him?

Not sure if it was too much stress or all the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds I was on, but I miscarried twins. A boy and a girl. Guess who didn’t care? No support from my husband, so I’ll just keep this one to myself. Most likely no one else will care either. Heavy burden to carry alone. So much sadness and grief and no one knew for years.

New house. New beginnings? Nope. More of the same. Baby boy on his way now. Cannot wait! My kids are truly my world. My whole reason for living.

Wait. Lies. Lies. More lies. Just admit the truth. I can forgive it all. Nope. Denial and more narcissistic behaviors make me think I’m totally nuts. I can’t do this anymore. It’s killing me. I’m living life as a prisoner in my own home. Please go out of town soon, or work overtime. The kids and I need to come out of our rooms and feel welcome in our own house. My kids cannot grow up thinking this normal or ok.

Get out of my house. Divorce. But it’ll be rough. The only promise he ever kept was to make my life miserable and difficult if I ever left him. Two years for the divorce to be finalized, all the while having to watch my back for his vehicle or a co-workers, or vehicle from another agency hiding around the corner watching me and the kids through binoculars. Just within enough distance to let me know their presence to intimidate me, but far enough away that I can’t call in for restraining orders. Well played, but please understand that people at my workplace are noticing, too.

Anxiety. Here, Baby Boy. This helps me. Some Yoga and Pranayama (Breathwork). And carry this special rock with you in your pocket. It has Mommy’s Kiss and anytime you miss me or feel anxious, get it out, rub it or kiss it, and remember that I’m not far away. I promise I wouldn’t leave you here if I didn’t trust your teachers. Thanks, Mrs. Principal for lovingly restraining my boy while I run off to get to work through my tears. Not only did Father choose to leave, but Mommy left her 16 year old position as stay home mom to go to work. I promise I’m not abandoning you, Sweetie. I’m doing the FOR you. We’ll repeat this process all year and have more of this experience for another 2 or three years. Whew! Eventually it does get better.

Ok…hang on tight. Here’s a ride. Thank God I know the signs of depression. Helping a daughter who had discovered self-harm and had her own suicidal thoughts wasn’t fun. How many nights did I cry through this?! Such a difficult thing to go through alone. Poor Peyton. How neglected you must feel while I try to help Sissy. What?! She’s pregnant? OK. Another baby is always welcome, plus he saved her life. Thank you, Angel Child.

Dating? Are you kidding me? How many guys do you think want to date a woman who is in Mommy Mode 24/7. Oh wait…I AM only on standby for four hours a week but I really need that time to nourish myself. Please leave me alone since I’ve finally learned that he isn’t really just going to take off with the kids and not return them! I’ve learned that it is ok to take care of me! Anyway, if you aren’t going to be good for and to me, and be willing to accept me AND my kids for who we are, then we don’t need you. Go ahead. Walk away and use whatever story you need to tell yourself to make you feel less guilty. We’ll be ok. We are perfectly imperfect and we are a chaotic mess. But we are each other’s everything.

Too much stress and overwhelm has created chronic illnesses that make it difficult to function in my everyday life. Guilt arises at all I’m not accomplishing and time I can’t spend in wholeness with my kids. Yoga and meditation help greatly but I need more support. That’s hard to admit…SIGH…

I watch from a distance as my (step)daughter goes through stuff that I’m not in a position to be able to offer help or even much emotional support, and her babies and my (step)son’s are all growing way too fast. I hate that I’m missing it. But I have never been allowed to develop relationships with the rest of the family, so this really shouldn’t bother me so much. Yet, it does. Always has.

Now Christopher.

What did I miss? I think nothing, but there must have been something? He was the one who spent the most time in counseling. His faith in God is the strongest fo anyone I know. He has so much to look forward. Graduating with highest honors, faithfully attending mass and chapel, loyal to his friends and family. What did I miss? There were no obvious signs. He worked hard, he was proud of himself for his efforts. Perhaps it was uncertainty of what’s next after College Graduation. Perhaps he was afraid of not getting into grad school. Perhaps he was afraid of being alone, starting his new chapter in life. Perhaps it was lack of sleep as he tried to excel in his classes, but he didn’t speak about his “maladies” openly to us. Or to anyone, it seems. I have, however, seen notes of encouragement left in his school mailbox. I cannot express how thankful I am for those short, sweet notes.

Because I had allowed myself to become stressed to the point of illness, I did my best to remind him to slow down. Rest. Play. Enjoy Life. He was much like me, in many ways. I could never ever deny him, nor would I want to!

He did Enjoy Life. He travelled. He spent quality time with friends. He knew what he wanted to do, and he did it, with no apologies or regrets, except that he did care whether or not his family supported his decisions. Of course, we usually did! He enjoyed life. Or so it seemed.

Robin Williams. I see now that my child had a soul in resonance with the great comedian.

Someone recently expressed concern over my being alone at my Yoga Studio at night. I assured him I take safety precautions when I’m alone, but that I’ve already experienced so much, that not much else could phase me. Sure, I could be killed, but I’m all good. Death happens, and it’s going to come to me anyway. The worst thing that could happen to me at this point is that something would take away one of my kids.

Damn. I was right about that. So please excuse me while I grieve.

Nothing. And I mean NOTHING is worse than losing a child.

So I write this reminder to myself. Not for sympathy, but to remind myself that I’m strong, determined, and now capable of showing compassion and unconditional love to others. I now know how to share and help others who have struggles, too. I take joy in sharing with and serving others and helping them find their Light again.

I write this as a reminder that I’ve changed tremendously for the better. I’m happy to say I’m not the same person I use to be.

I’ve been through Hell and Back. And I’ve survived. In large part to my parents who always have my back, and in large part because of my Faith in One Higher Than I, for all those times I didn’t feel adequate, capable or able. And of course, Yoga. It makes everything better. 

NOTHING is worse than losing a child. But I’m doing pretty damn good, considering.

And so are you, The Bright Shining Star who is reading this. Go, Do You. Nobody else can do it so well!

Struggling so much you’re not sure you can hold on much longer? Trying to help someone you love?

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline today! 1-800-273-8255

Namaste,

Nikki

Eating Disorder Awareness 2018: Day 7

I realized I needed help when my firstborn was almost 4 years old. I was a full time student and a primary caregiver to my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. I was in an unhealthy marriage. I was stressed to the max and overwhelmed. I was scared. I weighed in at 83 pounds, couldn’t sleep for days at a time, suffered horrible migraines, and literally hated everything about myself.
I used alcohol, opiates, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety meds to try to survive. I was in therapy, yet I was in large part self-medicating. One night, I overdid it, and was lucky to have woken up the next morning. I called my therapist and she got a team together to start putting my treatment plan in place. She saw my desperation to stay alive so that I could be Mommy to my baby. I am thankful she believed in me and fought her own battles to see that I got appropriate help. If I had nothing else to live for, I had my baby.
I was sent to Florida for treatment, where I resided in two facilities, and started attended different 12 step meetings. I despised being away from my kiddo, and angry that I missed his 4th birthday. However, that’s where Yoga found me, and I realized my story was to be used for a Higher cause someday.
My healing began 20 years ago. It is a process, not a perfect. Recovery has been a rough ride, and I have good days and bad. When I can’t remember on my own the tools I’ve learned, I have friends and family who jump in to help. Even on my darkest nights, though, I remember the who and why that finally brought me face to face to my most dangerous demon.
This kid, from the moment I first found I was pregnant, gave me a sense of purpose and belonging. My Mommy Status requires that I stay healthy, set a good example, and live my life in accordance to Divine Will.
I didn’t choose to suffer with eating disorders, but I can choose to give up or continue on the fight. I choose to allow God to work through me, because I know somewhere out there someone else needs to know he/she isn’t alone. The struggle is real, but help is out there. 
28514868_10215164936457827_6190148179061621823_o

Call NEDA now 1-800-931-2237, and if you want, use the form below to contact me, too. You are not alone.

 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 6

5 Steps to Positive Body Image:
1. Appreciate all that your body can do.
2. Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like.
3.Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep.
4. Look at yourself as a whole person. 
5. Surround yourself with positive people.

Challenge: Show us who supports you/recovery. Community-We all have some sort of tribe, support group or community that we do things and surround ourselves with. Maybe your tribe is your local yoga studio, your church group, your running buddies or your family. Who is your community that you love to be with, can’t live with without, and what do you all do together

MY TRIBE:
My sons, daughter, and grandson. They are undoubtedly the loves of my life. Nothing in the world means as much to me as my babies. Every decision I have ever made…the good along with the not so good…have been for these kiddos. My intentions have always been to do whatever it takes to make theirs lives the best possible. They are the reason I keep waking up every morning, and keeping fighting the battle even on my darkest nights.

I also have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. I haven’t always gotten along with other females. However through the years, these Lovely Ladies have helped me understand the importance of having feminine energy surround me and support me. I need it to help me stay healthy and break negative lifestyle and mental patterns. When most everyone else come and go at their own convenience, these Gals show up, invited or not, just to be sure I’m ok. They aren’t afraid to tell me like it is, hold me accountable, and perhaps most importantly, remind me that I’m loved. My Soul Sisters.  

Image may contain: one or more people, child, closeup and outdoor

Do you or someone you know need help? Call NEDA now.
Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

Also, feel free to use the contact form below to reach out to me. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 5

10 (MORE) general Physical Symptoms of Eating Disorders, as per NEDA:

Dental problems, such as enamel erosion, cavities, and tooth sensitivity; Dry skin and hair, and brittle nails; Swelling around area of salivary glands; Fine hair on body (lanugo); Cavities, or discoloration of teeth, from vomiting; Muscle weakness; Yellow skin (in context of eating large amounts of carrots); Cold, mottled hands and feet or swelling of feet; Poor wound healing; Impaired immune functioning

Today’s Challenge: Uneasiness/Vulnerability- Putting yourself out there and trying something new can sometimes make us pretty uneasy. Have you ever done a yoga posture or fitness class that just made you feel unsure, maybe a bit vulnerable? Did you have to back out or were you able to complete the task! Tell us and post a picture of what it was.

Although I can easily answer yes to certain yoga poses and fitness classes causing me to feel uneasy, tonight’s challenge was literally just to get me out of the house to start stepping into my “normal” life. I have not been out of my house much at all since Feb 9. I’ve only left a few absolute necessary times, for short amounts of times.

Tonight, though, I even got out of yoga pants and into jeans, and I put on makeup. GASP! I know, right?! In truth, there were probably other reasons for the makeup…but it still got put on…that’s a true rarity.

One little step into acceptance that my life really does have to go on without one of my children. I’ll probably forever hate Fridays, but spending time tonight watching My Little Man play basketball was worth taken on the anxiety and the vulnerability that I am still feeling.

How could I even think about missing his first AAU game of the season? Could I have forgiven myself if I hadn’t been able to get over my own $#!t?!

I’m thankful for some people who have made me feel just a little bit more safe during this dark night.

And I’m thankful for this kid. Just look at his smile.

28423997_10215151117432360_3803853092815654537_o

Do you or someone you know need help? Call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237. You can also use the form below to contact me. Remember, you are not alone.

 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 4

Let’s start talking about some general PHYSICAL Symptoms of Eating Disorders  

The first 10, as per NEDA: Noticeable fluctuations in weight, both up and down; Stomach cramps, other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid reflux, etc.); Menstrual irregularities — missing periods or only having a period while on hormonal contraceptives (this is not considered a “true” period); Difficulties concentrating; Abnormal laboratory findings (anemia, low thyroid and hormone levels, low potassium, low white and red blood cell counts); Dizziness, especially upon standing; Fainting/syncope; Feeling cold all the time; Sleep problems; Cuts and calluses across the top of finger joints (a result of inducing vomiting)

Challenge- show us Strength! What activity have you done in the past that made you feel strong? Tell us and post a picture of what it was so that we can celebrate YOUR strength! 

My yoga studio. Designed for small, intimate classes. I had a vision many years ago to use my life experiences to help/serve others through Yoga. I was being called to help others heal. Yet, there were many, many obstacles to overcome to first. I had to first understand what Yoga had done for me.

Yoga helped me through eating disorders, an unhealthy marriage, divorce, severe depression and anxiety, dealing with a child suffering from her own and then dealing with her teenage pregnancy. Now Yoga is helping me find acceptance in the worst ever kind of Momma Nightmare imaginable. Through Yoga, I connect closely with God…that’s where any strength I have has ultimately come from.

I vowed to someday teach using my own experiences. I understand that not all yoga is right for everyone. I get to watch people thrive who once didn’t feel comfortable in other class settings or who have been too self-conscious to try Yoga. I was one of those people, too, so I get it! I LOVE to watch people change and grow confident in themselves.

My strength…My Little Studio…because I know where I once was and I’m thankful for how much I’ve changed.

0115181834

Do you or someone you know need help? It is time to call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237.

Feel free to contact me, too, using the form below. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 3

6 (MORE) COMMON EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS OF AN EATING DISORDER, as described by NEDA:

  • Any new practices with food or fad diets, including cutting out entire food groups (no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, vegetarianism/veganism)
  • Withdrawal from usual friends and activities
  • Frequent dieting
  • Extreme concern with body size and shape
  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance
  • Extreme mood swings

Today’s Challenge: Resourcefulness! What is the most resourceful thing you have ever come up with to get your workout in?

Well, Darn it. I’m actually going to have to do more today than just snap a shot of a pose or two. Am I ready to practice? My first actual asana practice since 2.8.18. Twenty days. I don’t know if I’m ready. May it’s time. I should clean up first. I’m a mess. My pants don’t fit well, my hair is a mess, and this shirt though! Just do it.

Ok. Done. Did I really forget a few Ardha Uttanasana? My alignment is off, I couldn’t hover in Chaturanga, I had trouble with headstand. Look at my heavy breathing. Do I dare post this?! I know I have to…for me…and perhaps someone else.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations…if I do nothing else to move my body, I practice a few rounds of these. Often, like today, once I start, I’m led to a few poses that I need. Sun Salutations create the perfect balance between strength and flexibility. Sun Salutations offer a meditative experience as each breath links to each movement. Sun Salutations raise the heart rate and help with detoxification and purification.

Most importantly, though…Sun Salutations can be done almost anywhere. No special equipment needed. Not even a yoga mat is really needed, but carpet is gross…my nose isn’t going there!! But what’s better? Fifteen minutes. My whole practice today timed right at 15 minutes. My body feels better tonight and my mind feels more focused. And I’m thankful for the challenge.

Do you or someone you know need help? Call Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237, and remember you are not alone. Feel free to use the form below to contact me. 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 2

6 COMMON EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS OF AN EATING DISORDER, as described by NEDA:

  • In general, behaviors and attitudes that indicate that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns
  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, carbohydrates, fat grams, and dieting
  • Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g., no carbohydrates, etc.)
  • Appears uncomfortable eating around others
  • Food rituals (e.g. eats only a particular food or food group [e.g. condiments], excessive chewing, doesn’t allow foods to touch)
  • Skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals

“Today’s challenge: Humanity/Humbleness: What is one activity that you have tried that you failed at miserably that first time you tried it?  Did you go back and try it again?”

This was tough for me because impulsively I answered LIFE! Too many miserable attempts and failures to count! UUUGH! Ok, I do admit though…I’m not in my happiest of places right now, and every day, every thing I do is taking every ounce of effort.

So I chose my favorite yoga pose that helps me break free from ego’s pride. This asana helps me surrender to the truth of what’s happening in my body, mind, and spirit when strong and often uncomfortable sensations arise telling me all those long held “issues in my tissues” are ready to be dealt with and released. When I learn to stay present during difficult moments on my mat, I’m also learning to stay present during life’s perfectly imperfect moments.

Humble Warrior reminds me to stand strong in my truth and in my faith, and to do so in sweet surrender. I am reminded to turn my focus inward so that I can Listen to Divine Calling. During particularly difficult times, I couple this asana with the Kali mudra to connect with My Inner Fierce Goddess. On my darkest days this mudra helps to let go of the pain and allow the light to enter again.

0227181303

Do you or someone you know need help? Please call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237.

You can also use the form below to contact me. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 1

According to The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

Types & Symptoms of Eating Disorders:

Anorexia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa  

Binge eating disorder

Orthorexia  

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Pica

Rumination disorder  

Unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED)  

Laxative abuse  

Compulsive exercise

It’s a picture from September 2017 but I love my expression! Obviously, I was shocked to have  lifted. After YEARS of studying and practicing yoga, I finally decided to stop letting fear get in the way of attempting handstands. How many times has fear stopped me in my tracks off the mat, too? Adho Mukha Vrksasana is my new favorite practice to help me remember that I can stay stuck or I can keep practicing living a my life fully. This is the asana that currently helps me embody confidence. Today’s challenge was to share a pose that helps me find confidence. I still have a long way to go, but no doubt I have more strength now than I did when I first came to yoga while in was in a recovery center for eating disorders. Not only that, I have developed a more playful attitude, too. With confidence, comes the ability to laugh at myself each time I come tumbling down!

28472089_10215116517047372_5454586575637018717_n

Do you or someone you know need help?
Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

You can also use the form below to contact me. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018

I hesitate to participate this year but I made a commitment. I may or may not be able to fully follow through, but I’m going to try because I know with every story shared, healing takes place.

28378399_10215112442425509_8305898797839189364_n

Suffering with your own eating disorder? You are not alone. I’m an Eating Disorder Survivor.  Feel free to contact me and be sure to call NEDA‘s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

 

A (VERY) Long Week of Healing

Dear Lovely Soul,

It has been a very long week!! I have still been releasing energetic cords attached to codependent tendencies that keep me stuck in unhealthy behavior patterns, and afraid of moving forward.

Stored emotions related to codependency and other things yet to be dealt with have made home in my physical body and often show up as chronic body pain and blocked energy channels. In this week’s yoga and meditation practices, I became aware of particular holding areas.

My adrenal glands caused low back pain. I experienced pain along the entire right side of my body, with emphasis on tightness in my right shoulder blade, right groin area, and the stabbing pain near my right temple. Visually, Codependency showed itself as a wooden stake and an emotional rapist. Lovely, huh?

My exploration with Dr. Kate Flynn’s Fear Release Technique, brought up a new list, including but limited to, and in no particular order, fear of: failure; my messy life forever being a mess; not being able to do everything that needs to be done on my own; rejection; never being understood; letting people see my crazy; not being an effective yoga teacher; vulnerability; love; showing my femininity; loneliness; relationships; weakness; inadequacy; happiness; reverting back into old, unhealthy patterns; my kids getting hurt; getting hurt myself; hurting others; losing myself; compromising my beliefs and values; compromising my health; not having enough quality time for my kids; not having enough ME time; being in yet another commitment that leaves me feeling miserably lonely.

Who knew I was afraid of so much?! I have been living my whole life in fear, no doubt, but one day, I will live fearlessly. I will live as if there is no tomorrow.

This past week, I needed yoga practices to bring balance and restore health in my Triple Warmer Meridian, which is all out of whack, while I continued to cut through any and all energetic cords of codependency.

My Triple Warmer Meridian practices helped me to realize burdens brought on by habitual codependency behaviors such as being/doing what others need, taking on other people’s responsibilities and guilt, denying my own needs and desires, and the feeling of never being good enough. I heard my my hips and inner thighs scream “Have mercy!!” while in Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose). However, afterward, I did feel more balanced energetically, and felt tension start to release in my head, neck, shoulders and upper torso. The practices seemed so simple, but there was really lots happening, physically, mentally energetically, and spiritually!  

I practiced a much needed Traditional Chinese Medicine Spleen yoga class which reminded me to be sure to set strong boundaries. In the physical realm, my boundaries can be too rigid these days, however my energetic boundaries still seem to be super susceptible to other people’s vibrations. I became increasingly aware throughout the practice that I am now carrying other people’s stuff on a subconscious and energetic level. I felt a shift in my energy and in my mind mindset. I was reminded to replenish and nourish my own energy. This means I need to be more mindful to fuel my body with my proper nourishment and allow for self-care sessions and enough sleep. I often fall into the habit of becoming too tired to care for myself after I’ve seen to it that everyone else is taken care of.

During a mudra practice, I felt a tight spot loosen in my chest with an audible pop. That knot had been there for quite some time, but this past week it was so bothersome that it had my awareness enough that I tried my best to massage it away to no avail.

I feel much gratitude for the wealth of knowledge Dr. Melissa West provides her students throughout her membership community. That is where I found these practices for my Triple Warmer Meridian and Spleen, and Melissa’s belief in me allows me to take on a leadership role. I had put together a playlist in the Daily Yoga Connection section to focus on Forgiveness two weeks ago, and this past week’s follow up playlist was intended to focus on Grief. I often find after I practice Forgiveness, I must grieve!

Let me reassure you, practicing Forgiveness and Grief are appropriate when dealing with codependency issues that made their impression very early on in life!

In my Yoga for Grief practices, I realized that codependency caused me to lose my childhood too quickly as I took on responsibilities beyond my years. I lost my innocence very early in life, as I created a me that made everyone else happy and tried her hardest to find their love and acceptance. I had no idea I was a habitual liar as little girl, but now I am aware that every single time I put on a fake smile and did what everyone expected of me, I was creating my own prison, my own pain. While practicing Parighasana (Gate Pose), I could feel just how much pain resides in both sides, all along the rib cage. Forward folds reminded me to stop striving for perfection. The Perfectionism Prison is another codependency trait that has been with me from very early on! This practice reminded me to relax into exactly where I am today – in all areas of my life and on all levels. I was reminded to surrender to my present moment, and allow everything to unfold organically. Experience has shown me that too much effort only leads to illness, exhaustion and overwhelm. I deserve better.

I also had another knot release with the same pop as earlier! This one resided in my left lower back! That knot must have been holding an awful lot because let me tell ya…when you are in a healing process, stored emotions will always find their way out at some point, in some way…

Earlier in the week I was the target of a stranger’s anger. He triggered me, in a very strong way. I had to leave the situation because I was afraid of what I was going to say or do in response. Usually, I do well keeping myself pulled together, until I’ve absolutely reached my limits, at which point I’ve been known to explode. I am, after all, well versed in pretending that everything is fine and painting a smile on my face! Sometimes, though, too much is all I can handle!

This incident was seemingly out of the blue, as all had been going quite smoothly in my life! I gave myself permission to take the rest of the day to feel absolutely anything that came up for me. My near-rage anger turned into sadness and grief followed by sheer exhaustion! The next day I felt a bit of embarrassment for my very-loud-and-adult-language venting that came out to a friend, but for the first time ever, I did not feel those deep-rooted codependency rules of guilt or shame toward these formerly perceived “negative” emotions.

Today, because of yoga, I feel grateful for Mean Man’s presence. He gave me the opportunity to experience a different attitude toward emotions I use to try my hardest to avoid. He provided an opportunity to explore who I am at my heart’s core. He taught me that I have developed a very low tolerance for my allowing people to treat me in a degrading and disrespectful manner. Most importantly, he reminded me that even on my worse days, I (usually) have the ability to still treat others with kindness and respect, as I noticed myself praying for grace and for peace toward this man that I hope to never see again.

I love a good  practice with Sun Salutations! This time with previously mentioned man on my mind, they made me question if it is possible to teach people how to treat me differently as I undergo inner changes.

I recalled one person who knows I was taught that I was not capable of caring for myself, to avoid conflict, and to deny my own needs and wishes. She knows I was taught to dismiss my own feelings. I have very recently been able to recognize how she is still stuck in her own codependent behaviors. However, I am happy to say, our relationship is overall a good one.

As I’ve come into my own truth, I’ve set certain boundaries that she has learned/is learning to honor. Our new dance will be one of continued practice. My prayer is that as she continues to watch the changes in me, she’ll find her own strength to do certain things in a healthier way for herself.

Life’s turbulence once broke me into a million pieces. Yoga helped me cry, put me back together, and daily teaches me to bend, so I don’t break again.

“I am OK. I’ve always been OK. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. I am already enough.”

Until Next Time,

Nikki

this-is-your-life-book