My Spiritual Journey
In the mid 2000’s my
son’s primary school welfare officer
introduced a short ‘easy ‘exercise program to
get the stay at home mums active. Really I was
already walking to and from school each day,
but I was in a ‘bad’ mental space and taking
anti-depressants. Medication kept me like a
zombie and I didn’t feel like I was improving
much, just going through the motions really.
It wasn’t until I went to a dear friend’s
funeral and virtually didn’t cry that I knew I
had to do something different.
Rita was in her mid
30’s and had just quit her full-time job to
start her own business - Mind and Body Focus.
She had been involved in the fitness industry
for over 20 years, mainly aerobics and high
impact exercises until a knee injury forced
her to look at alternative therapies. She was
using a studio from home and trying to build
her business by going out into the suburbs.
Me, I was very
skeptical of ‘eastern’ practices, and did not
think very highly of any ‘hocus-pocus’ but I
was willing to give it a go.
The first class was
held in the school’s multipurpose room and I
was the thinnest participant! We began by
standing in a relaxing pose and gently rolling
and stretching our tense necks and upper
torsos. We used a ‘chi’ ball and gradually
progressed to the floor and continued
stretching. We also danced ‘Bollywood’ style
and had a lot of fun. Then we had a warm down
and short meditation to end the hour.
I had never done
meditation before and I was amazed how calm
and relaxed I felt even in this short (about
20 minutes) time. So of course I couldn’t wait
for the following week to carry on with my
‘therapy ’I continued to attend each week’s
class until the all handful of participants
dropped off and Rita found the class was not
viable with only 2 or 3 of us. Then I commuted
to Pascoe Vale, then Glenroy each week to
‘de-stress’ and relax, the classes contained a
mixture of practices including qigong,
Pilates, yoga, feldenkrais, mindfulness and
I no longer attend
weekly classes but I enjoy an hour and a half
meditation each month. I am the resident
‘cook’ and take a plate of bite sized treats
to enjoy with a refreshing tea at the end of
the session. Each month is different but we
have enjoyed fennel, jasmine, peppermint and
lemongrass teas to go with our sweet treats.
Each new session brings a day-long retreat to
pamper yourself or a mid-season ‘mini’ to
recharge the batteries.
I have learnt about
‘Chi’, the vital energy and the balance needed
to keep healthy and live well. I have learnt
about yin and yang, meridians, chakras,
seasonal elements and breathing.
I think I am now a
calmer person. I have learnt to love with some
of my demons. I no longer ‘sit’ on a problem,
I ‘let it go’ (or
at least I try to!). Rita taught me to live in
the now and get rid of any ‘baggage’. This is
very hard to achieve when you have a lot, but
you need to or it will gradually drag you
down. I try to think clearly and practice
mindfulness, which is sometimes tricky, and I
don’t commit to anything I don’t want to do.
It took me a very long time but I learnt to
say ‘NO’. It meant looking after ‘me’ for a
change because I realized that no one else was
going to do it. We all need ‘me’ time and I do
not feel selfish at all. The key is balance
and making it work for you. To feel renewed
take a spiritual holiday. You don’t have to go
anywhere except inside yourself and away from
Some Mantras to
One of the simplest ways to stay happy is
letting go of the things that make you sad.
• It’s what you let go of
not what you hang onto.
• The hardest part of
letting go is finally realizing that there
wasn’t much left to hang onto
• Change is sometimes
difficult to accept but it is always a
constant in our lives. Let go of what no
longer serves you.
12 Methods for a
Think, speak, and feel positively about
yourself, others and situations around you.
Believe in your own worth. Happiness is your
2. Always visualize yourself
and your life the way you want it. Dwell on
what you want, then you will gravitate towards
3. Set goals, but remember
you need goals not for what they get us but
for what they do to us. What you become is
more important than what you get.
4. Throw away the labels you
hang on yourself. Don’t place limits on
yourself. The biggest limitation is the
thought ‘I can’t’.
5. Slow down. You’ll have
fewer accidents and you will avoid hurting
yourself and others by accident.
6. Discipline your mind and
intellect. You are in control. You decide what
you put in there, you determine what you get
back. Knowledge is the essential nourishment
for the intellect.
7. See problems as
opportunities to learn. You will continually
be faced with great opportunities that
disguise themselves as unsolvable problems.
You have been designed to solve problems and
find new ways of doing things.
8. Tackle disasters one at a
time. Then they are not so disastrous.
9. Treat yourself well. Make
time for yourself as a necessity not an
objective. Pause on your past, just like
‘music is the space between the notes’
10. Surround yourself with
good people. People who support you in your
efforts to change.
11. Have an attitude of
gratitude. This ensures your attention is on
what you want.
12. Realise how valuable the
present moment is. Make the most of every
The above comes
from the Y.O.U.
Inc "Returning to My New
Normal" Panel Discussion (February 2017)
Young Ostomates United Inc