I’m sitting here reflecting like I do every 1st of the month. I ask myself what was the most memorable moment, biggest lesson learned, how I spent my time, who I’m grateful for and how am I different from the last one?
It seems the theme and lesson of this year for me is to continually connect to my internal landscape as the means to find clarity and direction. The more I stay connected to my practice the less I look externally to have my needs met. I worry less, have less fear and life just seems to flow almost effortlessly. Contrast this to when I don’t take time to be silent and still…fear creeps in, I worry about what I “should “ do next, have less energy and a harder time dealing with life day to day.
This lesson for me came at the perfect time to incorporate my experience into my new role as Co-facilitator with the Centre for Mindfulness in Public Safety’s “Mindfulness Based Wellness & Resiliency” program that is being implemented throughout Ontario Corrections. I was honored to be asked to join the team as this program, (that was piloted in the spring), gets rolled out Provincially this fall and will continue expanding into other locations in 2020. If you are a Correctional Officer or Manager in Ontario, keep an eye on your inbox for the email. The program is 100% voluntary, and you get paid to participate! I am so impressed with the content and language of it. This 10 Week program teaches breathing and mindfulness practices to build stress resiliency and self-regulate the nervous system. It addresses all the layers of wellness from physical and mental to emotional, spiritual and pre/post shift practices to manage stress. I am excited to see where this goes and am hopeful this proactive approach to wellness and mental health will be applied to correctional officer basic training, tactical teams and as a regular component of staff training. I am very grateful for my career in corrections. Despite its constant challenges, it has given me the experience to relate and share these life changing tools with others who continue to do the toughest work.
The most memorable moment of October was spending the week at Johns Hopkins Howard County General providing Yoga Therapy to patients in the Oncology and Acute Care floor. My biggest take-away from working in the hospital setting was the direct correlation between the acute environment and the willingness of people to open up to the vulnerability of genuine connection. Whether it was the client, their family or even the care team members; the level of intimacy in connection in little moments of shared humanness took my breath away. The role of Yoga Therapist offers the unique gift of time without such structured agenda as others on the healthcare team need to have. It was clear to me how hungry people are to be seen and heard, as well as the depth of sharing that is brought forward when someone can hold space for the realness, beauty and frailty of life.
There is a palpable hunger in this environment from everyone inside its doors to connect to the Freedom found in the internal landscape. It was an honor to hold the role of Guide. The staff mentioned on numerous occasions, (and units), their desire to have Yoga Therapy resources for themselves as care givers. By the end of the week, the daily presence created the chance to reach out to the staff to seek their recommendations on what patients they thought could use our help. So much gratitude to the staff, patients, families and my Team from Yoga North Soma Yoga Institute and the Maryland University of Integrative Health.
I am excited to bring this work to Canada. I look forward to sharing the tools, language and experience to articulate the benefits of Yoga Therapy in care settings to Northern Ontario Healthcare Teams. I am left with the sense of grace, ease and trust in the world opening up to bring this work forward. That the lessons I learn working with people in acute settings serve as a daily reminder to live and let-go. That we are all threads in the tapestry of a much bigger picture and that we are all evolving into a greater consciousness and Freedom.
***First Responders 40% OFF Yoga Therapy in November***
Rates discounted for any packages, sessions or Gift Certificates purchased in November ***Individual Sessions $50, 3 Session Package $125*** Proof of ID/Badge required
Group Class Drop-in Availability week to week by $20 e-transfer
Mink Mountain Resort Tuesday Night Relax 7-8:30pm
JET Wellness Sunday Night Relax 7-8:30pm
Chocolate Workshop with Angela Slomke
Saturday November 23rd 6-9pm Mink Mountain Resort $60
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