My sleeping fears started when I was nearing the end of Junior School, that impending fear of dread that a new school week was looming. I would start to feel nervous and anxious mid afternoon, dread rising from the pit of my stomach. By bedtime, I was either teary or filled with such rage. Certain TV music themes would act like a 'toiling bell', ever reminding me that Monday was around the corner. I lay in bed hearing the 9 o'clock church bells chime, then the 11 o'clock, my parents going to bed, 12 o'clock, 1, 2, 3, 4 .....every week was the same, I valued my happiness in levels - high - Friday afternoon around 4pm, the lows - 8.30am waking into school.
The end of the holidays were the worst. I had double the anxiety of normal Sunday nights when returning to school after a holiday. I was too young to think forward to exciting months ahead and only stayed in my 'fight or flight' mode, listening to the negative 'monkey chatter'. It was during this period I started to retreat.
Those who know me will realise that I have two personality traits. The bubbly Suzy, full of life and positively and the quiet one, locked in a relentless cycle of fear, doubt and self-loathing. As a young adult, none of these anxieties were ever spoken about, I thought I was the only who felt like this, never realising that every single young person was dealing with the same anxieties and issues.
I didn't realise that I was actually feeding the negativity and surprising the good. There is a fabulous old Cherokee story of the two wolves ........ when I first read this, after a short matter of time, things started to fall into place and make sense.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I was feeding the Fear! By only thinking negative emotions I was unknowingly feeding them, allowing them to grow throughout my informative young adult years and into adulthood.
These old fears have stayed with me over the years, but when I started to deepen my yoga practice, and understand how the breath, body and mind work together, I realised I was in charge of my emotional well-being, and in charge of which wolf I wanted to feed, the cycle of facing the the 'good' self and the 'negative' self.
We all feel these emotions as adults, but with the Yin Tribe, I feel this need to give young people the tools and abilities to live with joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith and quieten the 'evil' wolf within.
So the seeds of the 'Happy New You' workshops were formed, and from this I determined what the workshops objectives were...
- to stop the mind from over thinking, stilling of the mind, connection with the body and breath
- yin yoga - relaxing, releasing, learning new postures that will help the mind to remain calm
- learning to quieten the mind and understanding our emotions
- journaling our thoughts
- being with like minded young people, thus forming a 'tribe' so that we have a community we can turn to during feelings of doubt and anxiety.
- crystal healing
Secondly, when would be the perfect time to hold such a workshop .....
On a Sunday, after Christmas and New Year when the realisation that a new term, week was beginning........
This being 5th January, in the afternoon, a homage to my foreboding feelings of Sundays.
And lastly, the setting, the beautiful and relaxing studio at The Yoga Studio, Cheltenham Pilates and Yoga.... this wonderful studio allows us to come together and begin to transform young people's lives.
We are all born happy babies ...... it's time to re-write the story and give future generations of young people the tools and confidence to grow into strong, healthy minded, compassionate adults.
And so we began ..... the rest they say is 'THEIR-story'.