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Little blurbs on wellness and living

"Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society." - John Lewis

This is an election unlike any other. How did we get to this moment? For many of us, there's a painful history rife with othering, assimilation, gaslighting, genocide and every sort of erasure - all of which have culminated in generational trauma. Trauma is an experience that can cause emotional, physical or mental harm to an individual and may also cause said individual to develop survival-based behaviors that misalign with their true self. Generational trauma is “transmitted through attachment relationships where the parent has experienced relational trauma and have significant impacts upon individuals across the lifespan, including predisposition to further trauma” (Isobel, S., Goodyear, M., Furness, T., & Foster, K., 2019)

As trauma can be passed down from one person to another so can entire belief systems structured on false narratives. Thought distortions, or cognitive distortions, are false patterns of thinking that develop over time due to adverse experiences. Given enough time and reinforcement, these thoughts can cause barriers to self-actualization and also blockages within our energy systems that manifest themselves in the body. Until today, thought distortions seemed to separate from generational trauma and more about our lived experiences on this earth.

During a reflection about how to be free of negative thought patterns that have potentially held many of us captive for generations, the above quote from John Lewis came to mind. Freedom as a dynamic, uncomfortable act in the midst of messiness; not a beautifully curated waiting space of whatever-happens-happens. Freedom is work in progress in real-time. A process. And once we have an inkling on how to set ourselves right, there is a higher purpose to then use whatever gifts have been illuminated for the betterment of our society with the implication that we are all one.

So how do we even get free? The answer lies within neuroplasticity, the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of interactions with our environment. This is the essence of decolonization. When we either develop new neuro-connectors or strengthen ones that truly serve us, we’re to better able to learn from and adapt to new experiences. Positive affirmations are one way to do this. Therapeutic movement is another.

Therapeutic yoga is a pathway to illuminate the precious lessons of our inner child and work through adverse experiences to reparent ourselves and in turn give our best selves to the world. While thought distortions may arise, tools are developed through body-mind connection to better distinguish what your higher self is telling you from the noise of thought distortions.

Starting something new can be uncomfortable, scary even, especially when it doesn't fit into what we already know. Through the practice of therapeutic movement (yoga therapy) we heal ourselves, free ourselves and put in the work so that we're not enacting the same experiences we’re trying to heal from unto others. The answer: we start with committing to ourselves.

Freedom starts with a belief in the possibility of something better than the status quo. Freedom is hard work, a daily practice of self-love and reverence for all - ahimsa. A process that grows with us. Freedom is the ability to breathe through our edges and see ourselves as a whole both in community and being, rather than fractured, separate islands of otherness. Freedom is a choice felt deep within your being, vibrating, pulsating on a frequency unknown, and yet intertwined with the ase of the entire universe. Once you're there, get to know it, be with it and receive all the knowing from promises fulfilled. 

When you're able to access your higher self through intentional practice, you're not only giving yourself a gift, but the world. The gift of knowing the real you free from limiting beliefs based on personal agendas, ideologies, negative experiences, hurt – all that confusion becomes a pause to reflect rather than anxiety or additional trauma.

November 3, 2020


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