For anyone that has ever worked with me I profess loudly the benefits of meditation and breathwork. In fact, I believe in it so much I almost always assign it to my clients for homework. Why? It’s simple to do, it’s free, and you can do it in your PJ’s!
In 2011 I was headed into divorce. My 12 year marriage was dissolved and I was on the verge of perpetual panic attacks daily. Most who know me would say I’m even keeled, methodical and nothing phases me. That is until my entire world was flipped upside down in an instant. Everything hit me all at once. My design studio that took me a decade to build had to be shut down due to this impending divorce and declining economy, I couldn’t find a place to live (because I was self-employed and now single) and of course the divorce. Any ONE of those things was difficult, but I was the lucky winner of all three during the holiday season.
I decided to sublease my design studio because I could no longer afford my space for the remaining two years left on my lease. To my surprise, four people wanted my space and it became a bidding war. A construction company by the name of Utopia won the bid but there was a caveat, they wanted the space by Dec 1, which was two weeks away!
My space was 4,000 sq feet and FULL of office stuff and inventory for an online and retail store. ALL of my local moving companies were closed or unavailable. I had no place to go, couldn’t find a place to live and I had to be out of my space in two weeks – and it was Thanksgiving!
Honestly, had I been any older I likely would have had a heart attack. Never in my life had I felt such impending doom, worry and stress. I was experiencing one to two panic attacks daily. I lost twenty pounds almost over night, and I was suffering from severe migraines and insomnia. Something had to give or my body was going to give out!
Now I’m not gonna tell you I landed on my feet right away. Not even close. In fact, it was pretty messy and I wrote about here and here. I had to fly my mom out from Arizona to help me lease a house. It was Wednesday before Thanksgiving before I finally, desperately, persuaded someone to give me a place to live and I had FOUR days to move a 4,000 sq ft office by myself. Luckily, I found a college kid on Saturday at the Home Depot to help me lift the big stuff like sofas, but I kid you not, I moved for 96 straight hours. I had a company van at the time and I made a gazillion trips back and forth because I had to.
On Monday morning, December 1, I handed over the keys to the new leasee. I went back to my disabled life and collapsed.
That’s when I was pushed to start yoga in a new way. After I slept for about 12 hours straight I discovered there was a yoga studio next door to my house. Now I had already been doing Bikram Hot Yoga, but I saw it as pure fitness, and a way to lean out, not chill out. When I started at this new studio I passed out the first three times I did it. The room was hot, but I also was NOT breathing. I was so anxious and stressed out I couldn’t even make it through an entire yoga class without a looming panic attack. My heart would be racing, I’d get light headed, and boom, on the floor I’d go unable to breathe. Can we all just agree, I was a hot mess? But I stuck with it, and my compassionate teacher taught me prana breathing techniques.
Honestly I thought it was stupid. I was so stressed out and there was no way this deep breath shit was going to fix my disabled life – until it did. Wait, what? Are you telling me BREATHING is the answer? Crazy to think but 67% of Americans take shallow sips of air all day long, which leads to stress, foggy thinking, worry, fatigue, insomnia and more. And here I was the statistic. Whomp, whomp.
It took me a little over a year to get my shit turned around and right side out, but yoga and breathwork changed everything for me, and it’s why I am such a huge advocate for it today. To me, a lot of people are stressed out, so it seemed like a great time to introduce you to two people that have changed my life: Emily Fletcher and Sah Di Simone.
Emily Fletcher was like many Americans stretching from one goal post to the next, living full of anxiety, doubt and fear – but she was American dream working on Broadway. Instead of being happy she was stressed, filled with worry and full of anxiety. And no matter how many goals she achieved, she was never fulfilled. Until she discovered meditation and mindfulness.
Sah Di Simone is no different. Chasing the American dream of running a successful magazine in New York led him to a dead end full of depression, anxiety and angst. After years abroad in India, he learned the subtle but powerful art of meditation, mindfulness and the meaning of peace. True peace.
Both of these amazing people are changing the world and how you view self-care. Through their techniques they make meditation, breathwork and mindfulness attainable and easy to do, so that you start turning things around, no matter the circumstances!
Many of you are dealing with trauma, divorce, grief, injury, health issues and much much more. What if the source of relief isn’t some big, extravagant, expensive thing but something small you harbor within you? What if it really is this simple? Guess what, it is! And that’s why I say, why not? Why not try it, what do you have to lose? Let me tell you, you have so much good stuff to gain! Ohmmmmmmmmmm.