Running for a Soulful Purpose

Hello and Happy almost Spring!

I hope everyone is safe & healthy and still enjoying their day-to-day lives amidst this stressful & uncertain time. It is times like these when I lean on the ancient teachings of yoga more than ever. Some of the things that have really been helping me, have been to keep faith that I am doing all I can, and to use mantra in my daily meditations, like, “I am safe,” “I am healthy.” You can also try mantra in the collective “we” sense. “We are safe.” “We are healthy.” This can really help soothe the nervous system when paired with deep belly breaths.

Like many people, this week was stressful for me. I got my taxes back and realized that I was not as diligent as I should have been about paying them quarterly, and as a sole proprietor, this means paying a lot more at the end of the year…BOOOO. The heart rate went up a bit, old chatter crept back in. “I am not doing enough, I am failing…” This is old, familiar territory for me, taking a neutral situation and going right to the negative. As the week went on, new stress arose as older clients cancelled our sessions until further notice, of course they need to protect themselves from the virus at all costs. 

 

We adopted a new rescue pup from Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue last Sunday. He is the perfect addition to our family because him and our first baby, Timber, have bonded so well and he seems to fit right in. His name is Hudson and he is a 2-year old German Shepard that was left at a high kill shelter. I am so happy we found each other, thanks to a phenomenal rescue group (definitely check them out  timberandhuddy

click here )! Of course, a new dog means a bit more stress, at least in the beginning as they settle and we both adjust. By Friday, I felt a little scattered. The Coronavirus updates were blasting from the news, Facebook, my clients, friends, and family. I started to consider the reality of being unemployed, and as someone with an anxiety disorder, I worried a bit too much.

 

For the past few months I have been focusing particularly on grounding and protecting my energy. I have been told by mediums, Shamans,and reiki masters that I have to be extra diligent about grounding and releasing energy from others because my energetic field is wide open. If this sounds like a bunch of nonsense to you, it basically means I take on energy from others. This is NOT good if you are in a healing profession or just work with lots of people in general. I work hard on it, but it is a very old pattern of mine, from being a small child and feeling like I had to help others’ by taking their pain. Apparently, I did this until I became aware of it about two years ago. If I am a little off my game, or over-stressed, this happens more easily and I end up feeling very fatigued. By Friday, I was just about there. My clients’ panic over the virus (after seeing about 23 people all week) slowly seeped into my energetic field. The good thing is that I am aware of it. As hectic as Friday the 13th was, I took some time to ground & center AND THEN my new dog escaped and my other dog ate a pound of mulch…you get the idea… Friday the 13th stuff LOL!!

 

Today was different. Today I knew what I needed. My husband and I took our dogs over to my parents’ home, which is out in the country. I decided to go for a run in the hills. Only about a quarter mile in, I felt my heart opening as I smelled the Spring arrival, looked over miles of fields and blooming trees, and felt the sun on my face. The earth is my medicine. I remembered today that I named this blog “The Running Mind Blog” because running has always been a release for me. Since I was a young kid, running gave me the ability to reconnect with myself, to “re-discover Maddie” under the layers of the mind and the ego. My dad took me for my very first run when I was around 11. I had such bad chronic obsessive thoughts and anxiety. I think he didn’t know what else to do, but it worked. Being surrounded by trees, water, and mother nature, my nervous system just comes down. I come home to me. Running was taught to me as a mechanism to release stress and I am so grateful to my mom and dad who have always been active and athletic.

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Don’t get me wrong… I have some crappy running days, but they usually remind me that reality is neutral and that everything is OK. As I run and just observe and take everything in through my senses, my vibration grows and my mind relaxes. This type of running is really a form of yoga, because it quiets the mind and I am able to connect to my higher self. I am able to understand that I will be able to live past paying my taxes, that I am doing OK, that I am whole and worthy and living my life with powerful intention. I have a purpose, to help others, and sometimes I get a little side tracked, but I can come back to my breath, back to my soul, if I just take the time. I always get my best ideas on runs and always feel the most inspired by life when running. We rarely take the time in our culture to just observe and “be” anymore, but running does that for me.

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As I continued to run over a few hills passing a cherry blossom lined pasture with horses grazing, I started to cry a little and a huge smile spread across my face (people driving past were probably confused LOL).  I whispered to myself, “this is all I needed.” For 20 years, I had been suffering. I had been on multiple psychiatric drugs. I had TRULY believed that I was a defective human who would suffer forever. For years, I took over 3 or 5 medications and fretted and worried about every step on my path. I obsessed over outcomes, and I suffered many physical effects due to this worrying. Today, though, as I ran, I celebrated. I am almost NINE months medication free, and living my life with powerful, passionate intention. Helping other people remove their suffering gives me life. Nine months medication free. It still sounds crazy. When I was eight, the psychoanalyst at the Children’s Psychiatric Ward put in her report that I would likely never be able to go to college, due to my diagnosis and mental health. I believed these types of negative statements until I did my healing. I identified with being a “defective” child, teenager, young adult.  Now, I know that I have always been whole, I was just out of touch with my higher self. I am passionate, I am loving, I am curious about the world and eager to connect. I am whole.

 

This is yoga off the mat. This is yoga for anxiety. This is what I teach EVERY SINGLE DAY! We have to keep doing the work, we need to keep coming back to the self and listening, and breathing, and observing, and accepting. This is the only way I can stay medication free. I have to constantly work at it, change my thoughts, meditate, GET IN NATURE. Everyone has their own medicine, and psychiatric or not, we all must honor what brings us in alignment with our highest selves. That is the only way to remove suffering.

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So, there you have it. Not only is this blog for people who experience running thoughts, but I literally RUN to reconnect and release these thoughts. What do you do that brings you in touch with the highest version of yourself? How can you find more time for it and make it a priority?

 

I hope you all are enjoying the fresh air and connecting within and with each other! I would love to hear what your “yoga” looks like!

 

Hope to connect soon!

 

With love and light,

 

Maddie Tuohy