Archive for April, 2020

Yoga and writing

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

published in the Republican May 2020

For me, yoga and writing, my two passions, have always been interconnected.  They both have similar patterns.  For example, they can ground and relax you.  More importantly, both practices teach you to be mindful.

Both writing and yoga have similar traits, such as relaxation, precision and mindfulness.  The two practices require warming up.  For example, sun salutations are a great way to begin a yoga discipline, while brainstorming is a great way to get your writing juices flowing.

Both disciplines require you to be in a relaxed state of mind in order to focus on your poses, breathing and words.  Yoga and writing have made me more mindful of my movements, actions and speech.  Precision is very important because in yoga having good alignment is critical for having a safe practice.  In writing, it is important to be sure you are using the right words from grammar to spelling.

Both disciplines require patience and practice to achieve the end goal.  They both have given me much joy in my personal life while helping me succeed in my professional life as a writer and yoga teacher.

Writing therapy

Monday, April 13th, 2020

published in the Republican April 2020

Fifteen years ago, I began writing my column, sharing my personal experiences while giving insight into disability issues.  My hope is to empower and inspire people to live their best lives.

I have always believed in the power of writing therapy ever since I was a young girl.  I always kept a journal writing down my wishes and frustrations.  It was a way to destress while turning the page to start fresh every day.  Writing therapy has been proven to improve memory.  It can also be very healing for people who experience a traumatic event to write about what happened and how they felt.  Writing therapy has been shown to help people with anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illnesses, substance abuse, eating disorders, communication skills and low self esteem.

Starting a journal can be done with pen and paper or at a computer.  I prefer to use my iPad.  Each week you should set a goal when you want to write.  I always like to do it at the end of the day.

There are five steps to keep in mind while writing.  The first and second steps are to decide what you want to write about and review.  The third step is to investigate your thoughts and feelings.  The next step is to set a time limit, which is very helpful when you want to relieve stress and let things go.  The final step is to reread what you wrote and be refreshed for the next day.


Sunday, April 5th, 2020

published in the Republican April 2020

With everything going on in the world, it is very common to feel anxious, especially with the overwhelming news circulating around to make things more confusing. 

Anxiety can also be dangerous for our health, both physically and mentally.  The symptoms are nervousness, feeling tense and panicky.  It can cause rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and trembling.  Many people have difficulty focusing or sleeping.

I have learned many ways to deal with anxiety from my spiritual teacher Gabrielle Bernstein.  One tool I use daily is called the choose again method.  It has three steps, starting with acknowledging the fearful or negative thought.  The second step is to forgive the thought.  The last step is to choose a positive, loving thought.

I also depend on breathing exercises.  For example, taking a deep breath and releasing all of the tension from the exhale.  Another good exercise is placing your hand over your heart and focusing on your heartbeat, filling you with love.

Meditation is a part of my daily life.  I like to practice visual meditation, where you focus on an object, leading you to be calm and peaceful.  You can also repeat a mantra, such as I am safe, and I am healthy.  My favorite one is love, peace and happiness.