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Yoga - A Tool For Empowerment

deZengo2010-07-05 04:56:42 +0000 #1
This is part of a series I am publishing on self discovery and empowerment. If you think this topic or article is something that your readers would show interest to -- please feel free to use it. I believe my dilemmas are not that different from everyone else and that there is no shame in being human, nor any human who goes through "the human experience" perfect. I believe in the eyes of the "Creator" we are all but children in our evolutionary development.

While Ego attempted to keep me from sharing out of fear, the stirring in my soul could not be ignored. I feel I have a responsibility to each of you. This is my story... --blessings and peace--

In the midst of what felt like the horrific (destruction) fallout from war, I found myself trying to manage the emotional devastation from the loss of love and betrayal as well as the comprehend and respond to the diagnosis of advanced stage breast cancer. Just one year prior to my cancer diagnosis I began evaluating the immediate need for changes to my current lifestyle. At that time I was not aware that the small changes—adding exercise, yoga, changing my diet—might in part, actually contribute to my rescue in the near future. The specifics of my neglect of "self" will be discussed in depth at a later time, for now, I will just say that looking to people, events, objects, money, career, food, etc...as the source of my happiness, I contributed to my own personal destruction. In truth, when I look back, I believe the small changes were part of a grand design to supply the necessary intervention needed to save my very life. The pendulum was starting to swing back as I was making better choices for my life. It started out with simple efforts—incorporating exercise back into my life. I had a tendency to put my husband and children's' needs before my own, so years went by and my body began displaying the repercussions of that neglect. After I began slowly reclaiming the relationship with "self" (body & mind), as well as incorporating the necessary changes to specific aspects of my life, I was then given a gift of empowerment –Yoga.

In the beginning I viewed Yoga as I would any athletic activity. It was after I continued practicing Yoga that I realized it also had the potential use as a tool for repairing years of self inflicted physical and mental abuse. The effects of the Yoga were long lasting, profound, and quiet often subliminal. There was more going on than the obvious physical rewards -- I began looking deeper into myself. Not just during Yoga, but all throughout the day I found myself searching for answers, truths, wisdom in decisions, and discernment in understanding others. The dots quickly connected. Then, right before my eyes I felt and saw changes taking place in my own life. Yoga's empowering effects assisted me in my efforts to heal my broken body, wounded heart and lost spirit.

At the lowest point in life, battling in a divorce—then battling for my life, I was introduced to Yoga and began practicing. I did not know the incredible, almost amazing side effects of the practice in the beginning. It is only by grace that my story did not turn out to be a tragedy, rather than an informative / human interest. The confrontation with mortality, has a way of teaching how precious "life" is. This realization of a simple truth was the first day of the rest of my life. In essence it was a rebirth. My friend, mentor and yoga instructor, Masso Salmassi, told me many times, "You must unlearn, to have the ability to relearn correctly." At the moment, I began understanding how the application of various tools could assist in my journey. Yoga, for me, was a very important tool and could be used to help / teach / change / manage the destructive forces and by products of: loss of love, fear of change, facing mortality, self destructive tendencies—basically Yoga could be used in all areas of my life. At that point, I felt compelled, almost driven to share my story. Not because I believe my story is unique or that I alone have found a magical way to deal with problems, adversity or pain. Rather as a way to give back what has been given to me. The principles of Yoga exceeded my expectations, and I have an obligation to distribute this gift so that others may use it for their own successful endeavors and while dealing with different forms of adversity. My story is dedicated to all men and women looking for positive alternative methods to deal with physical, mental or spiritual adversity and pain. In effect, Yoga has ultimately opened the doors to my mind, while providing a complete body workout (muscles, bones, organs, mind & spirit).

It was almost one year prior to my diagnosis of cancer that I began practicing Yoga. That is where my story begins. For now I deliberately choose not to focus on my specific pains/adversities/confusions; because the human experience provides amble opportunities for sunshine and stormy nights. My adversities are no better or worse than yours. They may, in part, be different or we may share in some of the same experiences, emotions, choices, confusion, pleasures etc... We have all lived, loved, laughed, cried, feared something, someone, some event -- at some point in our life. I spent much of my life wanting to be different. I had my own emotional need to feel special – different. I am embarrassed to admit that at one point I was sure no one else had ever loved and hurt the way I was hurting. I could not live, did not want to live – blatantly refused any sign of life. I blamed myself for the failure of my marriage and was so fearful of being alone stayed in a situation that was emotional poison. My point is, upon the suggestion of a respected friend, I began connecting with other women. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to express my respect for those from whom I have learned so much. Women, men, and children all have valuable lessons, if only I listen. On the other hand, once a truth is felt or a lesson learned, a responsibility comes with it. In my realization of my complete ordinariness, I understand the very same tools I used can be challenged and proven true over the course of time. As we all go through "the human experience" and the full gambit of emotions we are alike. We are the same. How wonderful! We share something just because we are human. So, it is my hope that some of the techniques I found helpful in dealing with adversity and/or pain may also assist you.



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