What is your name & location?
Nia Calloway, New York City
How do you heal yourself? What is your favorite form of self-therapy?
I heal myself certainly through my yoga practice, but my self-therapy can take many shapes and forms. I cry, I dance, I sing, I laugh, a lot. I like to do anything that will release a powerful emotion.
When/what was the catalyst that made you start?
Re: Yoga. I began in the midst of my own personal health crisis. I had an eating disorder that was life threatening. I actually wrote about it here: http://bit.ly/2lCObSN. It lasted about two years but the physical and mental effects lasted much longer. I became a shell of who I was and had to physically and mentally relearn how to operate. Recovery is no cake walk. When I came around to finding yoga, I knew I it would work for me because it is about progress, not punishment. I was so used to using exercise as punishment while I was sick and this outlet came to me in a very peaceful, self-accepting way. Also, I had always been an athlete in grade school and yoga was the perfect antidote to intense, yang aspect of sports.
How has this form of healing helped you?
Yoga taught me that where I am today is okay. Where I am today emotionally, mentally, physically, is all okay. Interestingly, dancing, singing, laughing, and even crying have that same effect on me. Probably because I am so present when I do all of those things.
What does your process look like? (Please share what you feel comfortable sharing)
I turn on my two yoga mood lamps (a Himalayan salt lamp and string lights from IKEA), I burn my incense, I get dressed or undressed, and I get on my mat.
How does it make you feel when you are healing yourself?
In the moment, I feel a variety of things. I feel comfort, I feel discomfort, I feel love, I feel pain. It depends on the situation or why I am healing. The feeling I get from my various forms of self-healing range from “nice massage” to full on catharsis.
Why is what you do so important? Why is this form of self-helping important to you?
Yoga, meditation, singing, dancing, crying, laughing is all so important to me because they are all I have when I feel as if I have nothing. When I was ill, there were days I got so depressed that I didn’t want to live, and those things were all I could actively do to try and heal myself. When I was ill, there were also days when I felt inspired and hopeful that I would get better and reach health again. I usually developed that state of mind after engaging in those various self-healing strategies. (I didn’t know they were strategies then, but they unknowingly helped me out of a hole.)
What is your inspiration to continue doing what you are doing? What is the fuel that keeps you going?
I see it as self-maintenance. My energy becomes distorted when I haven’t had the proper outlet to engage in these self-healing strategies. Also, sharing my health journey has reaped so many benefits than I could have ever imagined. I keep going because I know my health was once at stake. I keep going because people have reached out to me and said, “I have gone through the same thing, thank you for sharing your story.” I want to maintain my sense of well-being so that others know that it is possible stay on the path of wellness.
What are your visions &/or goals?
I’ve got so many! I’m an Aquarius, so I have new ideas every day! I envision myself touching others through my words and healing others through my art. I envision touching, healing, and empowering others through my yoga practice and teaching. My goals are both internal and external in that I want to harness and spread spiritual wealth. I want to harness and spread compassion. I want to harness and spread true creative expression.
Tell us a fun fact about your form of healing, what it is that you do, or something people may not know.
Sometimes you gotta go play with puppies, and sometimes you gotta go re-watch the entire series of your favorite reality tv show. Sometimes you gotta scour Pinterest for natural hairstyles you wanna try, and sometimes you gotta color Simba blue in a coloring book.
In one sentence, what is your message to the world?
Have confidence, have compassion, believe in yourself, and always have gratitude.
Is there is anything else that you would like to share about yourself or what your form of self-healing?
It was not always easy, it sometimes still isn’t easy. However, I am way more honest with myself now than I was five years ago. I am way more confident in myself now than I was five years ago. Healing won’t happen overnight, but it will happen faster when you embrace self-love. It will happen faster when to realize that you deserve to live a full, healthy, balanced life.