Change Your Life
They were dark times inside me. I spent most of my life up until this point swinging in and out of anxiety and depression. I was defensive, full of excuses, listened to the screams of my own fear and would act from that so that I was always the victim. I would try so hard to be someone who was strong, someone who always had a happy face on, someone who was the life of the party, someone who everyone liked, someone who would rarely talk about herself and instead defer the conversation to the other person for fear of really being seen, someone who presented a mask to the world to make others happy and not myself. It reached a point where I just couldn’t go on anymore like this. It wasn’t the first time I’d been here and I was so ashamed that I had returned to feeling this way. But unlike other times, I refused to turn my thoughts to ending it, instead I decided to make a lasting change. I was done with being this way.
Since the decision was made, there came about a culmination of factors that helped facilitate a change - a very regular Yoga practice was the first; the second was an amazing psychologist who was not the first to teach me meditation, but was the one that made me practice daily; and a leap of faith in terms of a career change and travel was the third.
I decided to take a year off and travel around the world, included in that year was my Yoga Teacher Training and teaching around the world. I began to see the value in my Yoga practice and the little light bulb moments that occurred on my mat began to land as a practice in real life. The evolution began. I stopped caring so much about what others thought of me, I was not so highly strung or stressed, the little things that would once bother me no longer did. I began to see value in the person I am and for the first time in my life, began to see how hard I was on myself, ALL THE TIME. All these little insights into myself were shocking and disheartening to actually witness, but being able to see my habitual bullying thought processes has empowered me to correct them and understand that I don’t have to listen to or believe those thoughts. Through courage, time and practice, I stopped listening to the thoughts that would bring me down and despite it all, I actually started liking myself.
I chose a life of happiness, of peace, of emotional intelligence and of understanding for my life and how I am living it. But it took work: Why did I react in that way? Why did I feel that way towards that person? Why was I doing the same thing over and over but getting the same result? Attracting the same people? I worked through my jealousy, worthlessness, sense of lack amongst all the other stuff. I redefined what it means to love. I used Yoga, meditation, breathwork, healing from various healers including theta healing and hypnotherapy. I made a deep connection with Mother Earth and Pachamama. AND I would have never been able to be a yoga teacher, run workshops and mentor (among other things) because simply, I would never have had the confidence.
Practices that help heal my life
Here are three of the most healing practices that have complemented my Yoga practice over the past three years.
Vipassana 10 day silent meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains in Sydney really solidified this practice, and while my practice occasionally wavers, meditation has allowed me to soften, to let go, to connect to my body and to still the busy-ness of my mind. Meditation can be such a huge challenge, do you agree? Perhaps because we begin to see the individual workings of our mind. Each meditation offers us an opportunity to see our stuff! The way we judge others and ourselves, the way we keep ourselves ‘busy’, the way we narrate the happenings of our lives and turn them into potential stories of the future that aren’t true.
I like to take some time after my meditation to write what I noticed came up during my meditation, and this was the pivotal shift. From there I could literally see what was happening in my mind, so that I could take action: decide if it was ‘true’ and then set an intention to shift the thought process. Want to know what happened? I began to notice every time I thought in that way, could decide if it was true in that moment, take right action, then let it go. Enter the realm of positive change.
Sound Healing and Breathwork
There was a Sound Healer that began working out of the studio I was working in. Being the sceptic I tend to be occasionally, I decided I needed to experience it before I go judging. The experience of the Sound Healing with Daniel Coates was deep, feeling an array of different sensations rush around my body, and having hearing loss I really noticed how my body would often respond to the vibration before I could pick it up with my ears. Interesting…
After the session I decided to get a private session with Daniel. This is where he added 2hours of breath work to the sound healing session. Holy WOW. My body completely relaxed, my ego mind relaxed somewhat and after about 20minutes of breathing, the experience fully began. Everything from full body energy rushes, to visuals, to feeling a deep clearing of energy lines in my body. I could feel stuck energy being released through movement, through experiencing emotions that I’d stored subconsciously, to remembering and resolving memories of the past. The most profound part of the experience was a connection to something greater; a connection to universal consciousness.
Afterwards I felt the clearest I have ever been. I felt connected, and I had literally forgotten what I had let go of. In the 14+ sessions I have had, I have let go of so much, and it’s not until someone reminds me of what I was like that I see the change. Our breath is so much more powerful than we realise. This tool that is part of us goes so under-utilised and really we can include breath practices so easily into our daily routines.
Mindfulness & Clearing Limiting Beliefs
“You are not your mind.” This epic quote by Eckhart Tolle, hits the nail on the head. I was walking around every day thinking that what I thought was essentially who I was. “I am good at Yoga, but bad at maths. I can’t achieve my dreams because I am not good enough. I am fat, I am ugly and I am not loveable. I won’t say what I think and feel in case I hurt their feelings. I won’t do that because so-and-so won’t like it. I need to work harder to prove my worth. I don’t fit in anywhere. No one likes me.” Sound familiar? (Just quietly WTF!?).
We all have our own variation of these limiting self-beliefs depending on our upbringing and family history, and the above two practices really began to help me see mine. I began to journal about them, and for me, writing them down helped me see how ridiculous I was being! Sometimes it hurt to see it in writing, but I needed to see it to clear it.
We don’t see the mess in a room until we turn the light on. Using affirmations each and every day has been profound work for me, infusing conscious beliefs over the subconscious, slowly began to shift things. Then I found Theta Healing. I was put into a Theta state and accessed my subconscious truth of how I was limiting my experience of life though false beliefs about myself that fuelled my fears and my behaviour. Wow. I’ve since learned this form of healing and tap in every single day, to better serve as my authentic self and to help others reach the same in themselves.
I invite you to listen to yourself. Pause, even take a moment right now and ask “What do I need?” Then Listen… You can make a change. All you have to do is choose. Sometimes your situation looks like there are no other avenues, that you’re trapped, that you’re the victim. Perhaps you haven’t realised that there is ALWAYS another way, there is always someone you can reach to for support, there are always opportunities for you to take your life in your hands, have the courage to step forward and make a change. Throw your excuses, judgements, expectations and fears out the window and step out and do it. You’ve got this!
Karina's passion lies in empowerment and she honours her students by creating a safe space of love and connection and is on a path of continuous healing and growth. She has over 700hrs of Yoga Teacher Training behind her and a Bachelor in Human Movement and Health Education. She has over 12 years experience in the health and education industry, with a background in welfare and mental health. She believes the process of letting go is not limited to the mind, and that the most effective forms of release and healing occur when the body and mind are addressed as a union.
Other than teach Yoga, Karina has trained in breathwork and holds space for Sound Healing and Breathwork sessions, teaches vocal activation and Sound Bowl Meditation, she is a Mentor and Coach for Yoga Teachers and creatives, is a Theta Healer and conducts sessions 1-1 around Sydney and online.
You can read more about Karina at her website https://theyogamovement.com.au/ or on Instagram at @karina.pupo.yoga