I've been reading this quote from Michelle Obama every day this week. I've needed to absorb it's truth.
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know I started off this year with a post about courage and hope. I don't think any of us knew how much more of that we'd have to find in 2022.
But I'm sticking with that hopeful resolution and I want you to know that you can too. Because you are much more powerful than you can imagine and, deep down, you know that. You just find it hard to find and use that power sometimes. And I'll tell you why. Overwhelm.
When you bunch together all the bad stuff - world events, your own dramas, the crises going on around you - it seems impossible to know where to start. But. You know very well (because history has taught you, too) that you CAN handle whatever comes your way, AND you can transform it into something beautiful for you and the world. You just forget that when you're in the middle of the drama.
And boy, has there been a lot of drama going on. So how do we reconnect with our own power when we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders? The same way you eat an elephant - one bite at a time.
I would love to end all the suffering in the world, but I know I can't do that in this lifetime. What I can do is make a luminous and lasting difference in my own little corner of the world. And that's why I am so grateful to my teachers and the tools of Yoga Therapy. Through Yoga Therapy I have been able to do more than I ever imagined. In recent months I have:
Supported the husband of a cancer patient who cannot go with his wife into her oncology appointments because of the COVID-19 restrictions. He felt helpless, shut out and fearful. Using the principles of Yoga Therapy, we co-created a unique practice that helped him tap into his inner strength and reach out for the support he needs to care for himself and his wife.
Worked with a young person with anxiety and ADHD and her mother who struggled to find structure and connection during lockdown. I invited them to join an online Yoga Therapy For Anxiety group that provides a non-judgmental, supportive community, helping them to feel connected and maintain a much needed regular practice.
Shared private online Yoga Therapy sessions with an immune compromised woman with a disability living in a flood-affected regional town. She is frightened to go out into the community because of COVID-19 and there are no Yoga Therapists close by. Together, we explore practices that support her physical wellbeing and help her manage the stress and sense of isolation she has been experiencing during the pandemic.
Each of these students felt confused, helpless and disconnected. Yoga Therapy brought connection and hope - even in the face of isolation, floods and a pandemic. That hope fires up my courage to keep me putting one foot in front of the other.
Reflecting on Michelle Obama's quote has renewed my commitment to my vision - that everybody who wants to heal with yoga can access a highly qualified Yoga Therapist. That is why I have dedicated the last 9 years of my life to training yoga teachers to become great Yoga Therapists. I know it works because it has transformed my own life and that of hundreds of students I've worked with.
When you find yourself overwhelmed by the world and begin to doubt your power to make a difference, try focussing on the one small thing you CAN do. If you're a yoga teacher, you have an extraordinary gift to share with your students - at a time when they need it most.
Even the smallest connection can bring hope, comfort and build courage. You're doing an amazing job and you are already making a difference. If every single one of us keeps making a tiny difference in our own little corners of the world, all those little lights of hope will start to join up.
As Michelle Obama says, courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of it's own.