I am a survivor of rape and sexual assault. I let the trauma stay lodged in my mind and body for years, allowing it to fester and act itself out in the typical ways: PTSD, addictions of all kinds, disordered eating, and then severe health issues.
I reached a point in my journey where I came face-to-face with yet another threat and attempted assault where I realized I could no longer ignore what I needed to heal. And when I got to this point, yoga and meditation truly saved my life.
You will be called to heal when you are ready and you will find your path. What I most want to share with you today is the impact yoga and meditation had to help me heal.
I had no idea when I first began a yoga practice the profound impact it would have on my life. I came to yoga feeling broken inside, feeling as though I needed to become whole again and I knew deep down that I had to move this stuck energy up and out of my body in order to heal.
At first, I thought the whole practice was ridiculous. Meditation was the hardest. I was a person who was always on the go and getting me to stop and make time to listen to my breath just seemed like the most ridiculous thing I could ever be asked to do. But when I began working with loving kindness meditation, and my whole world changed.
Through meditation, I learned I could actually be loving and kind to myself instead of mean and hateful. I also learned that I could let go of toxic emotions that had been subconsciously plaguing me for years that were festering disease in my body.
The more I meditated and focused on being loving towards myself, noticing the thoughts in my head without reacting to them, the more my yoga practice began to unfold and my body began to release long held tension.
My fears began to be replaced with a sense of grounding, empowerment and self love and my mind and body began to finally ... let go. Something it hadn’t felt safe to do for many, many years.
Yoga and meditation truly saved my life. I went from being someone who couldn’t even leave my apartment out of intense fear and panic attacks, even with medication, to being free of medication, free of health issues and feeling safe, empowered and filled to the brim with self love.
If you are also in a place of needing to work on self-love and to healing, your yoga and mediation practice can begin simply with repeating the following phrases to yourself:
1. May I be happy.
2. May I be healthy.
3. May I be peaceful.
4. May I be safe.
And remember to also tell yourself, "I'm okay." This is a lovely mantra that I still return to daily.
I'm honored to be able to support other survivors of sexual trauma who also are looking to heal their wounds with love and light and embark on the biggest mission of their life: to love themselves, fully and completely in the present moment with what is.