mindfulness, depression, yoga, mental health, finding a way

Wmindfulness_journal-cover11hen I was in 3rd grade, we did an exercise where we created a poster board with images depicting our future career. I picked writer. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In high school I narrowed this down to wanting to be a self-help writer. I dreamed of being a famous author interviewed on Oprah.

What I actually became was a technical writer. After 20 years of corporate information technology writing how did I come around to writing my long-awaited self-help book?

Life. Pure and simple.

What really happened just came naturally and was not contrived or planned. After my completely unplanned mental breakdown in 2014 I was desperate to find relief from my depression and anxiety. In fact, it was a matter of life and death. Looking back on it now, it seems like kismet. A friend suggested Baptiste yoga even though she herself had only taken a few classes. The first class was pure torture — room heated to 90 degrees in the middle of July, yoga that moves quickly, not relaxing and slow. I thought I would die. Afterwards the instructor asked me what I thought and in my mind I was thinking I’d never come back. But that following week I kept thinking about her words “rinsing out” and “wringing out” our junk, knowing we are strong, getting “out of our heads.” I went back to that yoga and now I’m an instructor.

Shortly after I enrolled in an outpatient therapy program at a local hospital, and the therapist recommended an author named Dr. Russ Harris. His books on mindfulness really opened my eyes. They changed my perception on the nature of my thoughts, those thoughts that had been holding me hostage all of my life. It took what I was hearing in yoga and expanded it to something that could take on the very extreme negative thoughts of clinical depression.

Being the technical writer that I am, I created an organized journal for myself to stay on track every day practicing Dr. Harris’s tips. I started giving journals to fellow patients and realized that I had a journal I could share with the world.

I’ve gotten so much support from my yoga community that I’m teaching a 100-day class at my yoga studio using the journal. We’ll meet every two weeks (8 sessions) over the course of 100 days (16 weeks.) The idea is to create a support group to help each other and hold each other accountable to working through the journal. We’ll do a little yoga and meditation, plus learn more about mindfulness than what could fit in the journal.

Information about the class and to sign up:

Mindfulness_Journal-eBook-(cover)-freeSample        AmazonLink

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