Rise Up

Rise Up

This week, I graduated a Sex Therapy Certification program.  I enrolled in the program back in September. I have grown by leaps and bounds in my clinical approach with clients. I have much to celebrate. But this growth required some sacrifice, personally, professionally and financially.

Growth is never easy. For anyone. Even therapists.  Somewhere along the road toward my certification, I started to drop the balls I desperately tried to juggle. In balancing the demands of parenting, business, family, marriage, household responsibilities and school work, I felt stressed to my max.

Often, we don’t know how stressed we are until things start falling apart, including our bodies. Stress can render one immobile and that’s exactly what began to happen to me, literally.  Stress took refuge in my neck. I could feel the muscles around my vertebrae wound tight like a fist, compressing my bones. I visited chiropractors, tried to squeeze in acupuncture and some basic, inconsistent stretching. Nothing worked.

In addition to that, despite my excitement about my role as student and what the future held for my work, I felt melancholy. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel excited about my birthday.  I snapped at my kids and spouse a bit more, forgot to pay some bills on time and overall felt, well, not my usual self.

As I’ve been checking in with myself over the past few months, I also realized that I had not been living from a spirited place. I’ve been checking off my to-do list. That’s it. Activities that felt deeply meaningful to me took a back seat, including my beloved yoga practice. So while I accomplished many tasks, I did it from an uninspired, un-grounded place.

Yoga has been with me for many years. It has even saved me from depths of deep despair when I’ve had to deal with difficult life events.  When flexible in my body and fully in my breath, I feel most alive. Yoga brings strength, clarity and peace even in the midst of the most distressing events. Yoga brings me back to myself yet helps me see beyond myself. It reminds me of my interconnection to all things.

After much reflection, I am glad to write that I have returned to my source. The beauty of yoga is that it is always accessible to me. All I need is my body…and to show up on the mat. If I had remained consistent in my yoga practice this past year, I would have felt much more ease, flexibility and joy. I forgive myself and start anew.

In an effort to stay committed to my self-care, I have themed my summer, “Rise Up”. I have made a list of what I want to engage in that brings meaning, inspiration and joy to my life. You can bet that an active daily yoga practice takes high priority. My self-care will benefit myself as well as my spouse, children and work.

I am particularly excited to blend the principles of yoga with my recent sex therapy training. A true combination of time-tested Eastern wisdom along with research-based Western methodologies. The possibilities are endless!

How do you bring meaning and inspiration into your life? How do you get in touch with the deepest parts of yourself? How do you sustain this connection when life feels difficult? How do you maintain connection to others when stressed?

Consider these questions. I welcome you to email me your responses. Perhaps you can join me, Rise Up this summer and live from an authentic, inspired place.

In every moment you have the time to feel, in every feeling you have the chance to heal and in every person there is the power to feel it“. ~ Bija Bennet, author of Emotional Yoga

Carolynn Aristone
carolynn.aristone@gmail.com
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