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Transforming through Adversity and Training Our Minds and Bodies for Happiness


Transforming through Adversity and Training Our Minds and Bodies for Happiness

mark tanaka

This year kicked my ass. It was a tough year to say the least. For those of you who don't know or missed it, my mother passed away in February after battling cancer for a year. The year has been full of other twists and turns but dealing with the practical matters of her death and the emotional impact added an extra layer to all of my experiences this year.

I've been going through my grieving process all year. But something has been different. Along with the natural emotions and ups and downs that come with a life event like this, I also experienced a lot of peace and strength, and a general capacity to hold my experience with greater ease than in the past.  Don't get me wrong, I had emotional hardships. Old woulds of abandonment and loneliness came up hard. There were moments of pure overwhelm. I felt grief, fear, nauseating amounts of regret and guilt. But it was also a year that I got to see how much I've grown in the past 20 years.

20 years ago I was a depressed, insecure, confused young adult. I was overwhelmed by the practical realities of the world. Dealing with my emotions and having a job, making money, being responsible was hard. These last couple years have been extremely challenging but I noticed a new level of resiliency that I didn't realize I had. I honestly feel like I wouldn't have gotten through this year if it weren't for my meditation practice, my self-care practices, my community, my therapists and healers and the inner resources I built over the past 20 years of practice.

I noticed that compared to my past, I was able to step back enough to really give all of my feelings a lot of room and space to flow through. I reached out for support when I needed it and regulated my nervous system in those connections.  I was able to let my resentment go. I was able to let my guilt go. And the things I haven't been able to let go, I'm also at peace with for the moment. Just to be clear this doesn't mean I'm not grieving her or feeling deep sadness in moments. It means that I am able to fully accept her death and all that comes with it and be at peace with all of that.

We can't get rid of death, sickness, pain and all conflicts in life, but we can equip ourselves and train ourselves to weather it with greater grace. Training our minds and our bodies religiously has undeniable benefit in this regard. Seeing how I was able to navigate this year has given me more confidence around the things that I practice and teach. I feel more inspired than ever to help others on their inner journey this coming year. I want to create a supportive and resource rich community for people to heal and grow.

So all of this brings me to this:
How can I support you this year in your own personal healing and growth journey?
What are you working on within yourself right now?
Is there something you're struggling with that diving deeper in a supportive community can help?
Have you considered a deeper dive into a self-reflection practice?
Are you interested in leveling up your relationship to your mind and emotions?
Do you need more spiritual guidance or inspiration in your life?

In the beginning of the new year I've decided to focus my energy into sharing the art of meditation and yoga philosophy for creating the mental, emotional and spiritual foundations for inner peace and happiness. Having a meditation practice of some form is instrumental in deepening our yoga and creating a training ground to cultivate and master our relationship to our human self and our deeper spiritual self. Meditation can be the ultimate training ground for self and also become the most nourishing gift that we can give ourselves to heal and recover from life's intensity.

So on JANUARY 3rd from 6pm-7:15pm I'll be leading a free introductory Zoom class to a 6-week online Meditation and Personal Transformation Pod/Group for Inner Foundations for Success. In this Group we'll be meditating together every week and engaging in building connection and community around the Inner Skills we need to build to be our most successful selves this coming year. We'll cover, practice, and help you implement in your life, a lot of the core principles I found to be super helpful for creating lasting positive change. Come with your New Year's intentions, things you want to shift this year for yourself.

And on JANUARY 27th at Breathe Together Yoga, I will be running a 3 hour Introductory Yoga Philosophy course on how to practically apply Yogic philosophy and practice to generate inner Peace and create the foundations for Happiness. The workshop will introduce you to a handful of very useful tools and perspectives that you can immediately apply to your daily life.

Yoga philosophy is a treasure trove of awakening, transformative and liberating insight for retraining the way that we see ourselves and world. Unfortunately it has been often obscure and difficult for many to grasp or apply and is an overwhelming topic for many. I plan on changing that. I'll be offering multiple workshops and an online/in person multi-week course later this year that demystifies and clarifies the various teachings and streamlines the practical applications in the context of how we can dramatically improve our lives with the knowledge.

We all struggle in life. Life is hard. We can't always control circumstances. But we can educate and train our bodies and minds and awaken our spiritual resources so that we can be prepared to tackle life's challenges head on. Not only that, when we strengthen our inner selves we create the inner foundations for being successful in all aspects of life- career, relationships, creativity, you name it. Inner strength and clarity leads to the capacity to THRIVE in life.

I hope that I can serve you all better this year than the last. I hope that what I've learned from this year, I can find some way to share with you. I hope that I can bring more value to your world so you can do so for others.

Thank you all for your patronage and support. Without you I would not have the opportunity to teach and share what I share. Teaching classes and working with all of you have saved me many times this year. I hope that I can contribute to you building a strong inner foundation for yourself and your loved ones this year.

Mark Tanaka