I’m rushing out of the parking lot of Whole Foods, I get to the parking ticket booth and I realize I don’t have my parking ticket. I feel tension in my shoulders as I scramble looking for the ticket. My breathing gets tight and I start to explain to the parking attendant that I dropped the ticket. The tension moves to my neck and my jaw tightens, I’m frantic thinking about my yoga class that starts in ten minutes. I begin crying and explaining to the attendant. The line of cars behind me is getting longer. I attempt to use deep breathing, I speed through the streets of Baltimore. I rush into yoga and settle on my mat.
The Pagoda in Patterson Park, Baltimore
I was trying to take care of myself by going to yoga class and I was living a fast-paced life: working for a non-profit in a new city, navigating step-parenting, learning how to live as a new bride to a partner struggling with depression, anxiety, and addiction. I unknowingly became part of a complex family not cognizant of the intricacies of addiction. I tended to stay very busy and keep things going at a hectic pace with a controlling approach to the details of life. I was not aware of how the disease of addiction had affected me and was continuing to affect me. I was attracted to yoga because I could move and release energy in class but I didn’t know that my act of self care in that yoga class wouldn’t be retained because it was just one hour of fairly surface-level releasing and I would simply return again to holding tension in my body until the next yoga class.
These were the ways that I knew how to live. My ways of being that I brought to my marriage, and the currents of controlling behavior practiced over a lifetime, as well as my tendency to race through life and my sincere lack of tools to be present to the everyday, all of these were not balanced out by the brief moments of serenity gained in yoga class. The small moments needed to come more frequently in order to work well for me.
Over the past 9 years I have filled my large toolbox of practices for balance, from daily practices and awareness of the 5 Elements, meditation, Reiki, yoga nidra and other mindfulness tools. Over the past 2 years I’ve been learning and practicing tools from Stacia Synnestvedt, The Meditating Mama, which have been life-changing additions to my toolbox. I am excited and grateful to be teaching a workshop about them in the course, A Spiritual Perspective On Addiction: A Workshop for Caregivers and Loved Ones of Addicts. Participants learn how to hold boundaries and release energy throughout the whole day, in small moments instead of building it all up and waiting for a teacher to guide you through a release (and I still enjoy my yoga classes). In this class, I give you tools to empower you to do this kind of work for yourself in quick and effective practices that you can apply any time.
Today if I lost my parking ticket, I have the tools to not let my body build up tension into a crying mess harassing an attendant and creating danger on the roads. I hope that I would be able to step back, observe myself and laugh- maybe even say to myself, “I guess I’m not supposed to get to yoga today” and take some time to find the ticket without so much drama. Join me for A Spiritual Perspective on Addiction to learn some of the most powerful tools I have learned to truly detach with Love on an energetic level, and to look at the disease of addiction in a new light.