From Student to Teacher - Megan's Story of Change
This is a personal story of transformation and growth by Megan Calkins.
There was a time when my life centered around finding ways to escape from my feelings. When left alone, I didn't know how to interpret my feeling or what I was supposed to do with them. As a result of my longing to escape, I embarked on a self-centered road of substance abuse. Thankfully, eventually I reached a fork in the road. I diverged from that path and was led to a rehab facility where I could receive help.
I was exposed to Yoga 4 Change while housed in a corrections facility. Initially, I saw it as an excuse to get out of the community cell where we, the inmates, were collectively housed. I never imagined how much I would end up loving yoga or that it would play such a large part in my recovery. It all started by making the decision to attend my first class.
It would be an understatement to say I left the class feeling amazing. I don't know if there are words to truly describe what I felt after each class ended. For the first time in so long, I felt genuinely content.
I continued with the program and I learned more about myself through each class. I learned that it was okay to feel uncomfortable and that I didn’t have to run away from my feelings. I came to realize that I did not need to react to a situation out of an emotional response. I learned that I could trust my body to hold me up, even when my muscles were burning and I felt like I would fall over. I started to form a deeper understanding of acceptance; that I could eventually be at ease if I committed to being present, even in a difficult position, and was okay with sitting with the discomfort.
Because of these revelations, I made a commitment to fight for my life. A teacher from Yoga 4 Change with an incredible spirit presented me, and others in a similar circumstance, with a way to cope with our traumas. I was touched by how these teachers committed their time to serving those who believed that they had been forgotten. I owe my life to this organization and the people who lead through it.
I would have been merely a statistic if it were not for Yoga 4 Change. If I had continued on my path of substance abuse, I would have died because at the time I honestly believed that my life wasn’t worth fighting for. Yoga 4 Change showed me that my life had value, that I mattered. Today, I live my yoga on and off the mat. Inspired by my practice, I am much more mindful of every movement in my life. Coupled with a meditation practice and my 12-step program, I am living a life that is beyond my wildest dreams.
When Yoga 4 Change found me, not only did I gain my life back, I also gained a purpose. My mission, which I have chosen to accept, is to go into those same facilities and help others who are struggling just like I was. Just as someone had shown me, it is now my responsibility to remind others that they matter, that they are not forgotten.
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