September is an invitation to shift energy, focus & intention. This is a month filled with reestablishing routines, reevaluating goals and recalibrating to shorter days, lower temps, and a new rhythm to our lives. It is a time of important focus- it's National Yoga Month & National Suicide Awareness Month. And in my opinion it's no surprise they are in the same month; I believe they go hand in hand. Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death. Depression is the most common mental illness. The practices of yoga & meditation are shown to play a powerful role in helping alleviate depression & enhance well-being. These practices are a pathway to approach anxiety, depression, physical illness/injury, isolation, and loneliness. Breath linked with movement, grounded in intention, practiced in community, is a perfect prescription for feeling better in our whole being- body/mind/heart. Please remember it isn't a "cure all" so if you personally struggle keep up with what your professionals advise while adding yoga, meditation, and service in community to your Rx for wellbeing! Yoga heals!
Since many of us directly suffer or have been indirectly affected by mental illness and even suicide, let us be open and honest about this reality. Though it can carry stigma and shame, both of which exacerbate stress and dis-ease in the body & mind, we at EmbodyGR work to open the conversation honestly, with compassion & a focus on healing. This work is crucial. We ground in love and belonging. We collaborate with the Mental Health Foundation, learn more aboutiUnderstand, get certified in mental health first aid. We do our best to show up for ourselves and others, we ask them if they are okay, and we do our best to offer hope and healing.
I am uber proud of all of us at EmbodyGR who, on September 10, lived out our mantra "feel better, DO good" at the Walk to Stop HIV. Many of us showed up to volunteer, support, practice yoga & walk. Some of us even sponsored walkers and donated money. It was good times for an important cause. As Ghandi said, "In a gentle way, YOU can shake the world.” And yes, we did shake it up with breath, movement, laughter, tears, a 3.2 mile walk... all in community. Together it is easier to do our part knowing we are not alone. That our efforts make a difference. That we become better people while doing good for others.
I wish you a smooth transition into our new month, an invitation to continually show up for yourself, and a collective call to being present for others to offer words of love and encouragement especially when life's challenges seem to large to face alone. Together we rise!
September 14, 2016
***IMPORTANT: WE DO HAVE CHILDCARE this night!!
Who: YOU and friends
What: EmbodyGR free weekly gathering
Where: Social Hall - Fountain Street Church
When: Wed September 14, 2016- 6:30-8:00pm
Why: To feel better & do good!
Bring: Your beautiful self!
September 23-24: Oktoberfest West Michigan FREE!
When: Sept 23-24 from 12pm-11pm
Where: John Ball Park
What: Dance, eat, and drink! The event is free to attend including access to the festival grounds, music tent and food vendor area; however there is a $5 cover for an "Over 21" wristband which will be required to drink alcohol at the event.
September 24: Soul Pose
When: Saturday, Sept 24 8:30am-11:30am
Where: Devos Place and Performance Hall
What: A more pricey event than we usually advertise, but I didn't want to NOT mention it :)
The cool glow of blacklight creates the perfect setting for people of all experience levels to try something new with yoga. Participants will be connected by wearing the SOULBAND, an LED bracelet that allows you to become a part of the light experience. Each yoga session is led by a world-class instructor and mixed with fresh music, choreographed lighting, and a bit of lighthearted fun.
September 24: Ladyfest at the Lakeshore 2016 FREE!
When: Saturday, Sept 24 from 2-11pm
Where: Grand Armory Brewing - 17 S. 2nd Street
Grand Haven, Michigan
What: Ladyfest at the Lakeshore is an inclusive celebration of women and girls, focused primarily on the rich diversity of authentic female voices in the Midwest. We seek to raise awareness about global issues regarding women and girls, while growing a community of local and regional talents and perspectives.
“The EmbodyGR community embraces and supports, says ‘yes you can’ when the noisy inner voice says, ‘no you can’t’ – Kari Wilson, Community Member