by
Mind
Reconnecting with myself

When I think of being healthy, I don’t think of just my body. I also think of that intangible part of me that resides inside my body — my true self, without all the judgments, roles, and expectations that are part of our culture and our world in this age of being.

But before I re-connected with myself and started healing, I struggled with inner awareness. This is my journey.

In my twenties, I paid little attention to eating healthily or taking care of myself.  Life was moving quickly, and so was I. I struggled with my weight and I had battled with eating disorders. In an effort to feel better, I tried to control everything about my life, including things that were not remotely under my control.

There was no time to slow down or listen to the whispers of impending problems coming from my body. Eventually those whispers got louder and more frequent until they could not longer be denied.

In my mid-thirties I was diagnosed with infertility and told I could not have another child. Ignoring the doctor’s prognosis, I believed with my whole heart that I was going to have another girl. I took matters into my own hands, and I radically changed my diet and detoxed my body. The result was my second daughter, Emily. I like to say that even before she was born, I could not imagine living life without her.

My journey to health and wellness had begun. However, I was focused primarily on the physical aspects of healing. It would not be until years later when I began a yoga practice that I would discover that lasting healing would require more than healthy food and exercise.    

Healing from the outside-in: diet and exercise weren’t enough

As I continued to change my diet and cleanse my body, I started to feel better. However, my second pregnancy was difficult, and I gained a lot of weight. I kept focusing on healthy eating and clean living and I eventually lost the weight I had gained. 

As time went by my health began to decline again, even though I had adopted a healthier way of living. I experienced unexplained physical problems and lots of physical pain. I was diagnosed with autoimmune disorders and was told that my current state would be a part of my life forever. I once again pushed back. That voice inside my heart kept saying there is something more.

“The crack is where the light gets in.”

— Rumi

Although I had adopted a healthy diet and exercise program, I had not connected internally or started the work of healing the wounds of life I was holding inside. It took a cancer diagnosis and my mother’s death to open the path for healing. I began to feel a desperate need to find relief from the negative cycle I found myself in. After a doctor recommended that I try yoga, I made my way to a class and my healing fully expanded to include body, mind, and spirit. Beginning a mind-body practice was my first step toward inner wellness.

Total acceptance: becoming perfectly imperfect

As I began to move deeper into my yoga practice and past the physical aspects, I began to inhabit my body and to watch my mind. I grew a deeper capacity for self-compassion. I came to realize that truly accepting all of myself was another important step in my journey toward inner wellness.  

I learned to give myself the same break that I would give a good friend and the same love and support, no matter what. Instead of being my worst critic, I started to become the kind of friend to myself that I would want to be for someone else.

I accepted that life isn’t perfect, and neither am I. This acceptance allowed me to soften even more and to love all of me. 

Lasting healing and wellness: body, mind, and spirit

I realized that to bring about lasting change I needed to accept where I was at that moment, and then from that place of acceptance I could create space to make different choices. I realized that resisting my truth would keep me stuck in the shadows of self-deceit. 

As I continued to let go and to heal my body, mind and spirit, I began to live again. I started to experience myself and my feelings without dread or fear that I would inevitably fall into an abyss if I let go even a bit of the control I had been holding onto for so long.

The truth is my view of health and wellness looks a lot different today than it did in my twenties or thirties. Today, wellness means a combination of a healthy lifestyle, mindfulness, and being able to accept myself at this moment and with all my imperfections.  It means living from a more heart-centric place.

I’m interested in knowing what being “healthy” means to you. Please share your comments, and let’s have a conversation. You never know whom you may be inspiring by sharing your struggles and your triumphs with others!  

Hope Knosher
Contributor & Founding Member
http://www.hopesyoga.com

After a rough bout with breast cancer, I turned to yoga to help myself heal. When my practice lifted me mentally, physically, and emotionally, I experienced a heartfelt calling to share the healing qualities of yoga with others. I believe that there is a yoga practice for everyone, and specialize in meeting individuals "where they are” and helping them grow their practice while inspiring and empowering each individual to live a more joyful and connected life through my writing, classes, workshops, and retreats.

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Share Your Thoughts
13 Comments

Stacey

July 29, 2017 - 9:57am

Being a single mom and a primary caretaker to my disabled 24 year old daughter, for years, my acceptance and self care wasn’t even on the back burner, I was completely off the stove!!!! Now being in my late 40’s with health problems myself, I have been working on slowly accepting myself for who I am physically, mentally, and spiritually….this is a very tough daily challenge, society’s opinions and views are twisted, but everyday I have me time, and do something nice for myself….thank you Hope for sharing your story…..sending gentle hugs…..

Marsha W

June 29, 2017 - 3:55pm

Hope, thank you for being so willing to lay yourself bare for others!  Your honesty about your struggles and your successes is powerful inspiration.  I’ve recently rededicated myself to having a consistent home-based yoga practice, and it’s often some of the best time I spend each day.  Thank you for being here on the Noteworthy journey.

Hope Knosher

July 2, 2017 - 9:26am

Thank you so much Marsha for your words of encouragement.  I am so glad that sharing my story and my journey is inspiring others like yourself.  Congrats on starting a home based practice and on spending some time getting to know yourself.  It is from that place of knowing and connection that we can fully move out into the world and our lives.  Much Love and Light for your journey!  Hope

Toni J

June 20, 2017 - 8:48am

Everyone you meet in life is either a teacher or a student…Hope is an inspirational teacher to everyone she comes in contact with.  Always uplifting and thoughtful, I always enjoy what she has to say.

Hope Knosher

June 20, 2017 - 9:15am

Thank you so much Toni!  Much love and light your way as your journey continues.  Join the 21 Day Wellness Journey here at Noteworthy.  It is really awesome and so in-line with your current journey!  XOXOXO

Dawn 13135

May 3, 2017 - 11:09pm

As I think about being healthy, many thoughts come to mind. 
1.  Eating mindfully and with gratitude
2.  Not always trying to be perfect
3.  Getting a good nights sleep
4.  Having mental clarity
5.  Not having anxiety about life
6.  Being present (not living in the past or the future)
7.  Being humble
8.  Being conscious of my thoughts, words and actions
9.  Trusting that everything is going to be OK (Even when it does not feel like it)
10. Last but not least, being able to forgive myself and others.

Stacey

July 29, 2017 - 9:49am

Good morning Dawn!!!! In my humble opinion, I believe that everyone should have a list similiar to that in their house, work, etc….thank you for sharing that…..have a wonderful day!!!!!

Hope Knosher

June 19, 2017 - 10:23am

Hey Dawn!  Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and journey!  All great points:)

Susan 12637

April 24, 2017 - 11:32pm

I’m so excited to have come across your page! I’m 54 yrs old and connecting with myself for the first time EVER! After raising my kids as a single mom, I couldn’t grasp what it meant to take care of myself, with feeling selfish. Thank you so much fun r creating a page of hope, creativity, and encouragement! I will be visiting often as if I walk this journey!

Blessings,
Susan

Hope Knosher

April 25, 2017 - 3:33pm

Thank you Susan for your comments and your enthusiasm!  I feel it:)  So glad you are learning how to take care of you and I look forward to hearing how you are doing!  So excited to be a part of this awesome sisterhood hosted by Aura Cacia that we are all creating together!  From my heart to yours:)  Hope

Joanne 12464

April 21, 2017 - 3:24pm

I started practice 4 yrs ago with Hope at Whole Foods and I believe every word, because that is how our entire practice goes, 2 yr ago I suffered a stroke and getting back to Yoga was one of my main priorities in my healing journey. My daughter also suffers with an auto immune condition and with Hopes thoughtful help she has also learnt to embrace the “stress relieving properties” of Yoga.

Hope Knosher

April 21, 2017 - 3:48pm

Thank you Joanne for your kind words.  It is such a pleasure to be sharing this journey with both you and Lucy.  Thank you for sharing your personal story.  I am sure you will in some way inspire others. I feel blessed to be able to share this wonderful life changing practice with others every day!

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