My Regular Life…
Guest Blog post by Living Ayurveda Course Member, Heather Stewart. To watch the intro videos for the Living Ayurveda Course, click here.
I’ll call this my year of firsts. Until now, I’ve never written a blog post. In fact, I’ve never even read one. Well, that’s not true. I read one once. That’s not my 1st first for this year though. This is the first year I’ve struggled with near-sighted vision. Oh, the joys of getting older. And not too long before that, I eliminated dairy from my diet for the first time. And even though I’ve been gluten free for years, this is my son’s first year without gluten, dairy, soy and eggs, which is a first for me as his (single) mom. And last, but certainly not least, I’m regular for the first time. Ever.
Here’s something that’s not a first: depression. I’ve struggled with depression for years, since childhood. I’ve been on and off of antidepressants and in and out of counseling since I was 13. So, me being depressed…not new. But for the first time ever, I’m depressed yet creating space so as NOT to unconsciously delve into another antidepressant drug oblivion to dull the dull that I’ve known all too well in the past. Believe me, I’ve considered it several times in the last few weeks. I still have some meds in my drawer from the last time I was depressed, so I could easily just pop one daily until I make my next appointment with the local GP. But I choose not to. At least not for now.
I know one thing that is really helping me right now. It’s Ayurveda. I’m taking Living Ayurveda with Cate Stillman, founder of www.YogaHealer.com. It’s my first time learning about Ayurveda and taking the Living Ayurveda class, but I bet it won’t be my last. I’ll probably take her class again. And again. There’s so much to learn. There’s so much to understand. There’s so much to know. It’s infinity times infinity (as my son would say about how much he loves me, and thank god he loves me so much because I make mistake after mistake and thus have a hard time loving myself these days). Anyway, I feel like an infant on this Ayurvedic journey because I know nothing. Well, I know a little. Just enough to be dangerous! And so I persevere to learn more, in spite of my depression. Because frankly, I’d rather just blow it off and sleep and steep in my own sorrow. Although, as a single mom, I don’t really have that luxury anyway.
I’m still trying to figure out what Ayurveda is to me. I’ll put it in a neophyte, lay-woman’s terms. First, I did learn that in Sanskrit Ayu means life and veda means knowledge. So, simply put, Ayurveda means the knowledge of life. Okay! We can all go home now. Seriously, as I understand it from my limited experiential perspective, Ayurveda is the study of life as it relates to our body, mind, and spirit and how/where we attain our food, knowledge, emotions, and energy – individually, relationally, and universally moment to moment and over a lifetime. Whew. I don’t know where that came from! Does it even make sense? Well, I’m sticking with it for now. I know I have so much to learn. A new definition will emerge; I hope! (And if this goes well, there will be another blog with an updated definition as I learn more and evolve.)
As I see it, had I started this Ayurvedic journey a long time ago, I’d know more, be healthier and perhaps be in a much better place at the ripe age of 40-something. Woe is me… Serendipitously (or perhaps not) the other day on my weekly Living Ayurveda live teleconference call, Cate helped me discover that I have what is called in Ayurveda, a vata imbalance. And with a vata imbalance, I can easily feel overwhelmed and hopeless. I’ve heard it in a few of Cate’s lessons before, but this is the first time it really sank in. (And that’s when the Jeopardy tune started singing in my head. I paused, then answered to myself…”What is depression?”) Of course! And then Cate added, “When you find yourself in that place of vata imbalance, ask yourself what is the smallest thing you can do to be part of the solution.” Okay. Good idea. Hmm…the smallest…or maybe the biggest…hmm… Got it! Teach Ayurveda to my kid! I had been dabbling in it, but now it’s so clear. Ah. I’m already starting to feel better. And the sun just came out.
Again, this is my first blog. Ever. And the regular thing. Yup, you guessed it. Pooping daily (sorry, TMI). Which believe it or not is HUGE in Ayurveda. Who knew! And the best thing is that I now know that the little I’ve already started teaching my son about Ayurveda is actually working! The other day he came home with a 2016 New Year Resolution booklet from school and among his brightly colored pages he wrote, “My New Year’s Resolution is to poop every day. Why? Because I don’t do it every day. How? By drinking lots of water every day.” This warms my heart. At least I’m doing something right. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot. I just ordered my first Squatty Potty (www.squattypotty.com) for my regular life.
Heather Stewart, founder of My Body Works, LLC, is a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in Kripalu Bodywork and CranioSacral Therapy. In 1997, Heather earned a Master’s of Science Degree in the School of Health Sciences from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. In 2000, she studied Massage Therapy at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and has been practicing massage full time since 2008 in Teton Valley, Idaho. Heather is now also an Awake Wellness Coach. Visit www.heatherstewart.massagetherapy.com or http://on.fb.me/20DhCU7 for more information.
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