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

 

Self-Study: Atha-Yoga-Anusasanum Yoga Sutra 1.1

 

Hi, Lovelies!

I come back to study the Yoga Sutra over and over again. The very first one is perhaps the most important and significant for me.

The Yoga-Sutra of Patañjali: A New Translation and Commentary by Georg Feuerstein Ph.D. defines the first yoga sutra as Now commences the exposition of Yoga.”  

“Yoga is Now. Feel God_s presence.” (1)

Nischala Joy Devi’s definition in The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras  says: “With humility (an open heart and mind), we embrace the sacred study of Yoga.”

“Yoga is Now. Feel God_s presence.” (2)

Easy enough to study. Easy enough to say. More difficult to put into practice.

On my mat, I can more easily put all else aside for a couple of hours and just focus on my practice. Yet, even that isn’t always possible for me, unless all of my children are with me, and I know everyone is completely safe! Trying to implement this first sutra caused me to be taken aback as I became more aware of my ongoing struggle!

I stopped in the middle of making my bed to open my curtains. I brewed my coffee while starting laundry. I picked out my clothes while brushing my teeth. I seemed to dislike having my radio on one station as I commuted, so I alternated between radio, CD, and podcasts. I drank my smoothies on the road, and made any phone calls then, too. I ate lunch at my desk while working. I lost count how many times a day I checked my phone for texts, social media notifications, messages, and voicemail. While scrolling through social media feeds, I got distracted by friends’ posted articles and curious about how others commented. While surfing the web, Google wouldn’t let me only make one or two inquiries. No way! I had to browse several sites until I found just the right pages that held my interest for the longest amounts of time. I don’t know how many times I stopped what I was doing to talk with my children, co-workers, or friends…but worse…how many times did I pick up my phone to make sure I wasn’t missing anything while I was in the middle of a conversation?! That is rude, and I cannot apologize enough!

None of this includes going about my daily tasks while simultaneously having continuous thoughts about anything and everything other than the task at hand, and try as I might, I just couldn’t successfully tune out other people’s’ conversations that were in no way of concern to me. Did I mention I put away tons of clean laundry while binge watching a new Netflix fav?  

It is no wonder, I am tired, stressed out, and overwhelmed. It is no wonder my health has been in a fragile state. I’m in a constant state of multitasking!

There was not much pause to be present with any one thing, much less find God’s presence.

Yet, Spirit was there, in everything and in everyone I encountered, being ignored and going unnoticed and unappreciated. Except on a few occasions when I was made to shut up and listen!

This week, I’ll try more diligently to be still in the present moment and more aware of all that is. I’ll try to focus with more clarity in all situations, and speak more carefully.

As I continue to meditate and contemplate both of these translations, they resonate within me as such, “Yoga is Now. Feel God’s presence.”

“Yoga is Now. Feel God_s presence.”

Tonight, I will remember Yoga is a practice. Being still is a practice. Listening for God is a practice.

Namaste,

Nikki