yin yoga girl

I lead a free monthly yin yoga workshop at weSPARK Cancer Support Center here in Los Angeles.  Cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones are all welcome to attend.  This workshop focuses on the connective tissue in the body as well as what connects us as a community.

During my recent July workshop all participants sat back to back in the middle of the room. We began with a breath work exercise to center and ground ourselves. I then asked everyone to close their eyes and connect with the breath of the person they were touching.

I slowly walked all the participants through a “Just Like Me” exercise that I first experienced as a kid at Rowe Camp and Conference Center.  Little did I know that the seeds planted at that time in my life would bloom in my late thirties. It is an exercise to practice in moments when you are frustrated with another, frustrated with yourself or feeling disconnected from the world around you.

Just like me the person beside me wants to feel safe.

Just like me the person beside me wants to feel nourished.

Just like me the person beside me has a lot of fear.

Just like me the person beside me has a secret that they do not want anyone to know.

Just like me the person beside me has experienced the worst day of their life.

Just like me the person beside me has lost something.

Just like me the person beside me has felt deep shame.

Just like me the person beside me has been disappointed in themselves at times.

Just like me the person beside me has lied and felt justified in doing so.

Just like me the person beside me has goodness within them.

Just like me the person beside me has helped someone when no one was looking.

Just like me the person beside me feels weak at times.

Just like me the person beside me has been sick.

Just like me the person beside me has accomplished things that required great strength.

Just like me the person beside me cries.

Just like me the person beside me is sometimes really awkward.

Just like me the person beside me has said the wrong thing.

Just like me the person beside me has wanted to apologize but did not.

Just like me the person beside me has dreams.

Just like me the person beside me loves something or someone unconditionally.

Just like me the person beside me has potential.

Just like me the person beside me is on a path.

The words are interchangeable and shift depending on what I am experiencing at the time but the purpose is connection. It is far easier to hurt, dismiss or lie to someone that you deem to be an “other.” It is not so easy to behave that way when you realize how similar you are.

Just like me…

weSPARK Cancer Support Center is located in Los Angeles and offers completely FREE programs, workshops, classes and individual therapies to cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. Remember to take a look at our monthly program schedule for more information about the services we offer.

Stay connected to weSPARK!

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Casey Ann Hickey, LMSW is the Program Director at weSPARK. Casey leads the breast cancer support group, post treatment support group, weekly gardening program, monthly yin yoga workshop and “Healing In High Places” hiking and meditation program. More of Casey’s articles can be found on her website.

 

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