A Voice

This week I wish to share a personal story. I do this with the best intention at heart, which is to give you a little push, so you are compelled to look into your beliefs around safety, properness, and self - worth. Hopefully, this story will make you reflect on how your ideas hold you back, how they keep you from living fully.

My story brings up the topic of having a voice, why this is relevant, and why you should uncover and express yours.

When your voice is repressed, problems of many kinds are coming. You will suffer in different ways because you are not being true to yourself. Don't just take my word for it, but my own, first-hand experience.

My ex-fiance left while I was away on one of my trips to study yoga. It was a shocking, unanticipated move that I had not seen coming. By the time I reached home, he was already gone, and so I wasn't given a chance to speak.

Following that, perhaps as a consequence, my sacrum was blocked, and my neck and shoulders became rigid. The deep backbends that we do in yoga, those that demand a good deal of strength and yet enough softness and trust to remain open and surrender, were still possible, but much more restricted.

Thanks to my understanding of the mechanics of yoga and the workings of my body, I found my way around these limitations. Even though you might not be able to tell the difference from the outside, this incident was a turning point, not only in my backbends.

Mind, body, and emotions are deeply correlated. There is no doubt about it. Physiologically, the tissues in the neck and lower back are connected. If you look at the body as a vortex of energy moving, the lower back, or sacral area, has to do with one's position in the world, foundational values, identity, and uniqueness. Lower back issues hence can be an indication of deeper problems.

Likewise, the neck and the shoulders are connected to the throat, where we articulate language to express, share, and connect. A lack of self-expression, ambiguity, or miscommunication may cause trouble in this area.

I would take massage, sleep with special pillows, do extra stretches, learn even more about body mechanics and yoga technique. The discomfort, the tightness, the numbness might ease up a bit. Still, it would not disappear completely.

Around that time, too, I started approaching self-expression in a variety of ways. I joined a public speaking club, I took dance classes, acting classes, I carried on with the writing. All these activities taught me something about myself and helped me digest my experiences and channel my thoughts and emotions in creative, constructive ways.

Yet, it was not until two weeks ago when the restrictions around the sacrum disappeared, and I managed to feel into the numbness of my neck and shoulders. Coincidentally, about two weeks ago, I managed to forgive honestly. Finally, I dropped the story of the wrongdoing, as it did not suit me any longer.

For the last couple of weeks, I haven't been looking back in anger. My back is back on track. My backbends are free. My awareness, sharper. And my voice, louder.

Happy New Week x

Carmen