In January of this year I planned everything out for my 2 month adventure overseas. I had just joined Pure Yoga on 86th street on the upper east side in November 2016. This would be my biggest investment in improving my health physically, the doctors weren't authorized to help me get stronger, they were only authorized to continue treatment for the rest of my life.
I wanted something more, I didn't want to experience pain for the rest of my life. See I mask it very well, but I'm usually suffering with severe back and neck pain, and when that gets a little better I usually suffer for 3 days with tension headaches. The headaches are the hardest to mask. I learned ways to not trigger my injuries, a skill learned over the last 9 years of suffering from them.
Years of going to doctors that take tests and tell me what the cause is and confirm my injuries, to being sent to opposing doctors that claim nothings wrong. You are told to stay quiet and wait, don't do anything and expect to be under surveillance. I loved working and I knew that even a settlement in the future would be less than a years salary. So for all the people who thought I was just going for the money, I would rather have full range of motion in my body instead. I would love to take a boxing class, or get on a roller coaster, maybe even jump out of a plane without my spine feeling like it's rattling. But I can't, at least not yet.
Although I don't suffer today as much as I used to, I still have some pretty rough days. They make me silent, they make it hard to think. Chronic injury is no joke if you are suffering from it, I consider you one strong ass person if you push yourself to function everyday. But more than just the physical part of pushing which I did, I failed the mental part. By year two I couldn't really cope with anything, my relationship, my business, lack of support from my family. I don't think anyone came to visit me or think they knew I had to sleep sitting up in my bed for a year.
So mentally I was fighting everything around me, especially myself. When walking two blocks pained me so bad I became a failure and I repeated those words to myself everyday. So by year 7 I was fried, with only a sliver of hope that would reappear at crucial times.
We're all looking for some sort of healing, and for me it just took 9 years or maybe I should say 41 years. We get self help books, meditation cds, juicing, workshops and we load up as much as we can. I have and am still that person. I'm patient with myself, I do what I can when I'm ready. Like smoking, I can't believe it's been almost 2 years no cheating, no half puffs, nothing. I'm also 1 1/2 months away from 2 years clean and sober, also with no cheating, or half sips.
But what I want talk about is the solution that we sometimes seek and might already have. I'll use yoga as an example. In January when I planned my vacation I paid for a private yoga class, something I could take with me because I really enjoyed going to yoga 2-3 times a week, physically and mentally I felt better. So my yoga instructor was so kind to let me record it and gave me some notes. I would now be ready for my journey abroad.
Well my 2 month journey has now turned into 10 months and counting, I've been talking to people here about finding a yoga class, a gym, and some help on healthy eating. Im about 2 hours away from drop in yoga classes. I get motivated and start doing calesthenics, all physical stuff. I improve on my eating but lately I've had this sugar craving which is a sign of stress and for an addict a dangerous one. I know my mind at the moment needs help.
I've had some major decisions to make regarding what and who is good for my recovery, and there is some patience skills I'm relearning. So yoga, the thing I know will help my mind and my body to get stronger, to get me out of self, I've had all along. I've had this catered session just for me.
So today I started it, one hour just me, my mat, and my instructor. I followed my teacher and I cried and realized that I was also crying on the video at that same moment. It just reminded of how much I keep inside without realizing it. And maybe I just need an hour a day to completely shut my mind off from the outside, an hour to just focus on my breathing, my body and my mind.
She said to me "Be strong but soft" and I cried because that describes me and my entire life.
Be Strong but Soft, no matter what struggles or adversities you face. Be Strong but soft, I've taken so much hurt but I still give so much love.
Be Strong but Soft, I am now learning how to do this without damaging myself in the process.
Be Strong But Soft to myself, enjoy my struggles and learn from them, get back up and try again, be kind to myself because it's all part of the journey.
Try yoga with me if you like, I've added my video. Or take a yoga class, it's like silent therapy. Let them teach you to free yourself of blockages and thoughts.
So I make a commitment to myself today that I will do my yoga everyday until November 13th.
And at the end I asked "What I wanted from yoga?"
- I want to be free from the bondage of self
- I want my mind to stop saying I'm hurt for life
- I want to love myself just a little bit more
- I want to be Strong but Soft always
Mucho Love, Jamie
I would like to also ask you send prayers or good vibes to the people of Puerto Rico and all of the Caribbean Island hit by Hurricanes. Our Family and Friends are suffering greatly and could use all the support they can get. They need money, food, water and supplies. Donate if you can by clicking the link on my homepage.