How I Heal Series part 3! All of my guest features are so special to me, but this one really stands out to because I feel like it embodies everything I had in mind when I first thought about starting this series. I honestly feel like Micheal is a world changer and has such a huge impact on anyone and everything he encounters and pursues. Read below to learn about Micheal and his amazing healing journey, this is one you do NOT want to miss.
Name and Occupation
Micheal Sinclair - Creator of As You Are | Yoga Teacher | Social Entrepreneur
Method of Healing
Yoga + Other Meditation Practices
How You Discovered This Method
Late 2014, I was really going through it. I'd just found out that my mom had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, there were a lot of unarmed black kids getting murdered in the streets, and I was 1000 miles from home trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life in Oklahoma City. I was freaking out pretty much on the daily and had just made a new friend at my new job and we were discussing what was going on in the world and in our personal lives. After hearing about what I was going through, she referred me to a book she was reading tilted "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass. Ram Dass is an ex Harvard psychology professor turned spiritual teacher. After meeting his guru in India, Ram Dass wrote "Be Here Now" detailing what he'd learned about how to help others relieve themselves from suffering. I was captivated, literally from the first second I started reading this book because it seemed to confirm so many things that I had felt true about the world ever since I was little. For the first time ever, it felt like someone understood my worldview. Throughout "Be Here Now", Ram Dass provides methods geared towards healing oneself or relieving oneself from suffering. A couple of the methods that he listed as a means of relieving suffering are Yoga and meditation and because he was already blowing my mind by showing me that I wasn't alone in my thinking this whole time, I figured I would give them a try.
I remember the first time I meditated like it was yesterday. It was my first day back at work in Oklahoma City after visiting home in South Carolina for the first time since my mom got sick. Seeing what the chemo had done to her body was devastating. Her condition was all I could think about while I was at work and around noon, I asked my supervisor if I could go home because I couldn't focus on anything else and thankfully, he obliged. When I got home, I made a beeline straight for my closet. I don't know why I chose the closet but it made sense at the time -- I wanted to be somewhere that felt away from all the noise that I was currently having to process. When I got in the closet, I closed the door, then I closed my eyes and I began to just notice myself breathe over and over. Whenever an unhelpful thought would come to my mind I'd just let it go and return to focusing on the sound of my breath instead. It was very difficult at first but eventually I found ease. It felt good to just be sitting. To just be being without needing to do this or that and without having to think about how I'm going to cure my mother or what I was going to do without her. I had to have been in there for at least an hour and towards the end of that hour, I experienced something that I still have a difficult time putting into words. For the first time in my life, in that closet, I felt touched by unconditional love. I felt like everything was going to be okay. I felt like there was really no need to worry about my mom, myself, or anyone else dying because all bodies are temporary but what I connected to deep within myself that day is eternal and from that moment on, I knew that who my mom really is is eternal too.
I'd tried many things to make myself feel better since finding out my mom was sick and not only did those things only provide a temporary fix, they also were typically very self-destructive in nature. To this day, nearly four years later, the only things that consistency negate my depression, anxiety, and generally neurotic mind are Yoga and meditation.
How You Currently Use This Method and How It Helps
Yoga has helped heal me in a lot of ways but the most prominent way is by merely showing me that I am responsible for my own Self, for my own journey, and for my own healing -- regardless to who has done what to me. Yoga only asks one thing of it's practitioners -- show up. Yoga says, "It does not matter if you are not where you would like to be today. Just show up and you will get better." And I've learned that this simple advice applies to pretty much every other aspect of life. The hardest part is usually just showing up but if you can just get there, life seems to take care of everything else on it's own. I love doing handstands now and at one point in my life, I thought being able to balance on my hands was something that I would never be able to achieve but that's the power of Yoga. It shows you that your only real enemy is what you have in between your ears and that if you can conquer it, you can quite literally conquer your life.
There's so much healing power in the breath and this is another way that Yoga has changed my life. Hatha Yoga often requires you to place your body in an uncomfortable position and to breathe while doing so. After enough practice, this begins to translate off the mat. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable position in your relationships, at work, or any other aspect of life, instead of just reacting out of fear the way most of us are programmed to do, you'll instead breathe, survey the situation mindfully, and then respond with intelligence.
The power of Yoga is something that I could talk about all day but it's truly something that has to be experienced in order to be understood.
Message To Others
I've learned that what really heals us on a spiritual level, each of us, regardless of the underlying ailment, is Love and only Love. That being said, it really doesn't matter to me if you try Yoga or any other form of meditation. What matters to me is that every day, you try to love yourself and everyone else around you more fully than the day before. I definitely believe that Yoga + meditation will help you achieve this goal faster than anything else but it's important to remember that these methods are just a means to an end -- the "end" is loving and accepting ourselves as we are :)
My sole ambition in this life is to heal myself and hopefully inspire others to do the same along the way. If you'd like to keep up with me or join me on this journey home, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and pretty much everywhere else @michealsinclair and for even more info on what I'm up to these days, check out michealsinclair.com
Please check out Micheal's website as well as his social media accounts. What he has to share and offer is truly valuable and worth exploring!
Head over to my Instgram page and follow the entry rules for a chance to win the Absolute Affirmations Deck! Absolute Affirmations is a 44-Card positive affirmation deck created by myself and my sister! Read THIS blog for more details. Contest ends 7/26 and winner is announced on the release date Friday, July 27th, 2018. Good Luck!