Since I was twenty-five years old I’ve dealt with chronic illness and the reality that the state of your body often dictates the state of your spirit. Trying to separate one from the other is just not possible. Body and mind are intertwined, one tugs on the other in so many ways. I learned early, the hard way, that we don’t always have control over our bodies. Illness, trauma and pain happen. But we can do our best to influence our physical and emotional health by practicing benevolent, kind self-care. And we can feel better physically if we are self-compassionate.
- Whole Health means Mental Health: This is a fundamental philosophy at the core of psychotherapy, counseling and coaching at EWN. So when Emily Becker brought HEAL Buffalo to my attention I was curious and excited about how a practice like ours would fit into a yoga retreat. I called Cheryl, who, with Jocelyn, is a co-owner of HEAL Buffalo. She made me feel welcome right away. Because Explore What’s Next represented a real offering for people wishing to live a Whole-Hearted Life we belonged at HEAL Buffalo.
- De-stigmatizing therapy: Here’s another EWN core belief: We could all use some good therapy at some point in our lives. Sadly, it’s often stigma that keeps people from seeing therapy as a viable way to go when they’re feeling off. Or maybe they just don’t know where to look for a good therapist. Why can’t going to a therapist be as easy and common sense-y as going to a dentist if something’s “off” with your teeth? Or calling your family doctor if there’s a pain in your knee that just won’t go away? Our goal is do what we can to help our society diminish stigma.
- Exercising the Spirit: In my lifetime, I’ve tried a lot of different forms of exercise and movement. My doctor really wanted me to keep moving no matter how much pain I was in. Practicing yoga saved my body from freezing up like the Tin Man. Whenever I have a relapse of my chronic illness, simple walking and the gentler forms of yoga are soothing and good for my body and mind. Yoga reminds of the good my body can do, a good thing to remember when you’re busy feeling betrayed by it. Depending on my level of health, I also ride horseback, step up walking to running, and cross-train with weights. Throughout all of these different types of movement, yoga is the constant. Yoga can be done anywhere, by anyone, and like meditation, there is no room for judgement. You might like kick-boxing, or tennis or swimming. It doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are connecting with your body, listening to it, respecting it and loving it through movement.
- Stepping out of the Traditional: EWN belongs at HEAL Buffalo for all these reasons. Plus, we are the only therapy/coaching outfit at HEAL Buffalo, which tickles me because I’ve always loved being a pioneer!
- Having a good time with Our People.
Please come by and visit our table at HEAL Buffalo @ The Hotel Henry, March 11th. That’s this Sunday! It’s free to shop the two floors of vendors, artists, artisans and musicians. We’re giving away stuff! Meet our wonderful team and enter our raffle for a beautiful free yoga blanket or comfy meditation pillow. See you there!
This beautiful photo provided by Ben White