Day 41 – 46: Genuine Intentions

Hello! This morning I woke up expecting to do my usual 36+ Sun Salutations before the rush of day, but instead fell into a beautiful free flow that was slow and nourishing and I still managed to pump out 4 salutations! I needed this to happen. The past couple weeks have been nonstop. In a good way, all good things but nonstop!

I realized as I came up to my first 36 days, a third of the way through my campaign, that while I have felt so many benefits physically and mentally with this practice, I have also allowed my mind to shift in areas that do not serve me. I often find myself, during my daily salutations, allowing my mind to wonder on what I need to do right after I am done, or what I should blog about that day or wondering how I am going to get the money to be able to go to India. How? Why? Where? are all questions that rattle around my brain CONSTANTLY. And then I have those brief and rare moments like this morning when my main focus isn’t on 108 sun salutations and I am able to forget about the campaign and focus within. While the actual physical movement of the practice isn’t a cake walk, the difficult part is controlling the ego, letting go of expectations and focusing on the present.

Can I get an “Amen!!” yogis?!

As I approached my first milestone in this campaign, my goal was to have raised $4000 and when I didn’t achieve this goal it was really easy to become disappointed and disconnected from my true intention and miss all the good that has entered into my life as a result of opening my intention to YOU. My main focus in this campaign is to aid my trip to India where I will experience different methodologies of healing and share them with others that are suffering.

The faster we run, the faster we miss the point.                             -Rachel  Brathen

The first 36 days of the campaign were CRAZY busy. The first two weeks, I was finishing a 3 month stint of working 12 hour hygiene days and then a trip to San Diego to recharge and then the rest of April… every single week day, week evening and weekend packed FULL. While I faithfully completed 108 sun salutations every single day, I had to squeeze them in between other daily responsibilities. If I have a spare 10 minutes throughout my day, I am saluting. I’ve saluted in airports, on sidewalks, while catching up with girlfriends and during Aziz Ansari standup marathons. While none of this is a surprise to me and I knew it would be a challenge, what I have not anticipated is all the extras involved in a campaign of this scale!

The stronger you desire something, and the more deeply rooted your experience of it is, the more quickly and powerfully it bursts forth into manifestation. – Alan Cohen

Raising $12000 in less than 4 months, is no small feat! It requires lots of emails and collaboration, exposure and trust. Writing this blog, while time consuming, is a great form of therapy! I enjoy writing and I enjoy sharing this journey with you and I am grateful and humbled that you take interest and follow along! During this campaign, I have had so much fun connecting with various people of our community and connecting with you. In order to come from a truly authentic space however, I’m learning the importance of connecting with my self.

No matter what you want to change in your life – lose weight, de-stress, build a career – it needs to come from a place of genuine intention.

I found yoga at a pinnacle point in my life. I was in a whirlwind of change. My life went from travel and adventure to heartbreak and sickness. My father became very sick and in a very short amount of time we lost him to cancer. Five weeks later, I am diagnosed with a different cancer. I’m away from family and friends and forging new relationships with people while breaking connections with another. As soon as I heard the words, “you have a lymphoma” my world flipped. I had taken a few yoga classes at a local gym back home while training for a half marathon and at that time, yoga was purely a physical practice. I had never considered yoga as anything but a form of exercise. I knew however, in that moment, that I needed yoga to help clear my mental space. Yoga quickly became a potent form of healing during my chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Not only did yoga give me energy to work 8 to 10 hour days at the dental surgery and to get out of bed every morning, but it also gave me the courage to get through crushing amounts of grief, anxiety, and fear.

I was on what they call a “cocktail chemotherapy”, which is not as fun as it may sound. I was suppose to lose all my hair in two weeks. I was told that I would get violently sick and have a constant state of nausea and that my energy levels would be a bare minimum. As I said before, I was able to work through all 8 rounds of chemotherapy and I didn’t lose my hair until after my 7th round, 14 weeks in and while I got slightly nauseous on occasion, I never needed to take the anti-nausea medicine they send you home with! The nurses were constantly amazed at my stamina and lack of side effects. I’m not trying to downplay the whole situation, it was tough but it was yoga that centered me, balanced and gave me strength.

At that time, I was also introduced to acupuncture which I did before each chemotherapy appointment and I started receiving reiki every two weeks. These also had a huge role in aiding my health and to counter the harsh yet effective side effects of western medicine.

I feel that western medicine certainly has it’s place and is needed in various cases, I however believe that everyone has the capability to heal themselves. Our bodies and minds are unfathomable in their strength and power! I have had a glimpse of the power these ancient modalities of healing have and I strongly believe that I am here today, sharing with you and typing out this super long post because of yoga, western medicine and ancient wisdom of eastern philosophy. It all played a HUGE role in my healing and I am infinitely grateful and I want to share more of it with YOU!

While completing this 108 Sun Salutation challenge is a vehicle to raise money so that I can pursue my dreams of studying Yoga Therapy, I am realizing that before I can facilitate healing in others, I need to start with me. I can’t focus on the end result. I have continued faith the universe will provide. It has gotten me through challenges much larger than this!

I am established in my vision and intention. Everything that happens on the way to my goal contributes to greater achievement – Alan Cohen

Thanks so much for reading guys and thank you for your ever present love and support, I mean it! You are why I am here and I am forever humbled in gratitude. Thank YOU!!

If you would like to support my campaign, that would be AWESOME! Just click here and THANK YOU!! If you are not able to contribute monetarily, that’s cool too. If any of this resounded with you or you feel a loved one would find support, please share this post! So much of this campaign is connecting with YOU and your community and I would be so honored if you spread the word. Thanks so much!!

Love, Stephanie

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