Fun in the sun!

The Practice of Being Well

Being well took on a whole new meaning for me in 2012.

Divorce devastated me financially, emotionally, energetically. Not only was I navigating motherhood, nursing throughout the night and day, trying my best to adjust to my new role, but at 5 months postpartum, I found myself sitting in an attorney’s office, sobbing over the loss and wreckage of my marriage.

Thankfully, I was blessed to have an amazing support team– family, dear friends, wise therapists and midwives– that loved me and my precious baby through the most beautiful and traumatizing time of my life.

All of sudden, every piece of wisdom I’d gleaned from my teachers, every Sunday sermon delivered with fervor I listened to as a child, every prostration I offered in temples around the world, every savasana (corpse pose— the final resting pose in yoga) I surrendered into on my mat, provided the fortitude I needed to save myself. I was required to draw upon my strength and inner wisdom to recreate my life, of course, with many stumbles and bumps along the way. What I didn’t realize was that throughout my practice(s), I was cultivating resilience— the ability to bounce back from tremendous setbacks, disappointments, loss, trauma and extreme grief.

Just a few weeks away from my daughter 5th birthday I’m reminded of how far we’ve come. I see how love, compassion, forgiveness and peace are accessible in every moment. And I see how truly amazing life is.

Change is a constant. And while I don’t have the life that I’d planned for, I am very happy, content and in alignment with my values. Life is kinda like that, huh? Times of extreme difficulty with waves of despair that seem like they will consume us whole. Times that literally take your breath away with only a scary, lonely dark void that seems to swallow all light.

But it doesn’t. The light remains. The light is within.

I had my practice. When I felt too overwhelmed to meditate, because, in the silence, my mind would play out every horrifying scenario, or if I felt too exhausted to bend and twist, I would lie on my mat and just breathe. Just breathe… breathe… I’m still alive, I’m ok. My baby is ok. I can get through this, I will get through this. And little by little, day by day, I felt a little brighter, a little clearer and a little more at ease. I could feel that I was supported by Grace. Of course, I was incredibly grateful for the love of my family and friends, but when I’d wake up in the middle of the night to nurse my infant and my mind would race to the threats that were levied against me, the accruing legal bills and the looming date of a family court appearance, I could breathe deeply. I could feel my body breathing. I became present and felt the presence of peace.

Ironically, I was charged with designing and managing a wellness program for 22,000 employees and their families at the same time as I felt I was crumbling into a million pieces. So I practiced what I preached. During lunch, I either walked along the Embarcadero, sat outside in the sun or met with my therapist. I taught and practiced yoga with my fellow co-workers. I gave talks on mindfulness and stress reduction.

I practiced being well.

Fun in the sun!Wellness is not a one size fits all proposition. It is different and unique for each person in their own skin with their own life circumstance. It will look different for the single mom, the stay-at-home dad, the grandparent raising their grandchildren and those with chronic illness. The most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself, to make yourself a priority. With more energy, a great sense of well-being, you’ll be better able to face the challenges in your life as well as the challenges that are facing our world.

Want to practice together? Email me to set up a private yoga session at your home or at my studio. I also have two new opportunities to share with you! Check out my blog and sign-up for my newsletter to stay connected!

Wishing you peace and blessings,

Chanda