Dr. Annette MG is a two-time breast cancer survivor who also loves to write and encourage others to write and tell their stories. She found her writing voice after her second occurrence of breast cancer. This post was also shared at www.SisterCircleWriters.com as there is a connection between writing, yoga, and our need to share our voice as we learn the art of self-care.
Part of My Story: Self-Care, Writing, and Yoga
I am starting this post with the acknowledgment that 2020 has not been the best. We are amid a global pandemic Johns Hopkins reports 51 million cases and 1.3 million deaths and growing worldwide. The report also indicates that the US alone has more than 10 million cases and just short of 240,000 deaths, and climbing, at the time of this writing. On top of this massive global public health crisis, the US faces socio-political unrest that encompasses every "ism" and societal issue known to humankind. For many, this has been a year filled with rage, disappointment, hopelessness, loss, fear, and various other negative emotions too numerous to list. Along with the negative, we must also shine a light on the positive emotions that filter through the muck and the mire.
As I self-disclose, 2020 has been horrendous and filled with both personal and professional losses and disappointments. For some, myself included, the combination of socio-political unrest, the pandemic, personal and professional disillusionment (whatever that might be for you) can create physical, mental, and spiritual dis-ease. So, how do we care for ourselves when we are overwhelmed. How do we release the pressures before dis-ease turns into a disease? I am not a medical physician or a psychiatrist, so please do not let things go too far without seeking professional help. But what I can do is speak from my own experience with the hope that it might inspire you to push through carefully and find ways to practice self-care.
Knowing what stress can do to one's physical, mental, and spiritual health, I am always on the lookout for ways to maintain my balance. Walking and biking have been my go-to activities and remain so. Like many of you, I have had stops and starts on my wellness journey as other obligations, and life circumstances get in the way of my self-care. It is a conscious effort to bring myself back to the center and resume the activity necessary to reduce stress. I added yoga to my repertoire of activities.
Yoga - The Right Fit
After using the various DVDs for beginning yoga, yoga for weight loss, yoga for meditation, and of course, the PBS television yoga classes, I found my way to an actual live studio class that welcomed and affirmed Black women while living in Lynchburg, VA. It was fantastic to be in a space with women on a journey of self-care and better health. The crowning glory of this experience was our yoga instructor, gifted in her ability to provide instruction to yogis of all levels, and she looked like me. The women in that room were representative of every Black woman I have met. The flow was magnificent.
To reignite that flow as I navigate COVID restrictions, a long-distance move, and other life changes, I asked an old friend if she knew of any Black women yoga instructors in the area. She put out a call to her FB friends resulted in several suggestions from which to choose. After doing some basic research, I settled on Embody Yoga. I signed up for the virtual beginners class taught by Ms. Joanna Brooks. I was impressed by her ability not only as a yogi but her ability to instruct students – in the studio and "yogis at home." Wait, what she called us yogis! What!!! Anyway, I felt the benefits. My flow was back on track, my writing flow (getting the words out of my head), my physical flow (energy, circulation, mobility), and my spiritual flow (meditative focus and connection to the Divine).
I shared part of my story with you and want you to join us in January as we launch Yoga for Writers. What an excellent opportunity to explore the benefits of yoga and the connection to writing as we practice self-care physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you have a story, you want to tell – get those words out of your head - join us. All levels of yogis and writers are invited to this virtual yoga retreat for writers. Free your inner voice!
Agape, Peace, & Blessings,
 Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. COVID 19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html accessed November 10, 2020.