eenal Kelkar, MBA, CYT, CPRYT, CTYT, has helped countless Overworked Overwhelmed Overachievers savor their lives through inside-out change. Sounds officious, doesn’t it? So really, how am I able to do this? Because I, myself, am a recovering Overworked Overwhelmed Overachiever, a state of being highly-refined during my 15 years in corporate finance and most recently as an entrepreneur growing a Mind-Body wellness service. Suffice it to say, that I have extensive personal experience on how difficult it can be to quiet an active mind!
I knew something had to change, but for me, a life-time of prescription medication for symptoms that have other solutions was not an answer. By age 35, I had lived through a six-year period where my father had chest pains resulting in quadruple bypass surgery and most recently, my younger brother survived a major heart attack. The year I turned 40, my mother underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment for breast cancer. Those were my outward warning signs, and yet I couldn’t figure out how to do this thing called Life differently than what I had learned. Personally, I experienced insomnia resulting from that relentless mind chatter and what I experienced as a low-level “can’t turn off” vibration within my body, splitting tension headaches that would last for days on end completely resistant to pain relievers, chronic constipation and bloating, swollen hands and feet that would mysteriously disappear in the same way that they appeared, chronic nasty acne, dark circles around my mouth that would reach from nose to chin. These were my wake up calls that something had to change, and yet I was stuck not knowing how. So all I knew to do was to continue doing what I did best … Overworked Overwhelmed Overachiever.
I tried yoga classes, even going so far as earning a 200-hour teaching certification. Yes, they did help but I found that the effects would quickly wear off as soon as I got back to work. Meditation classes were like a joke being played on me … “What me sit still? How do you expect me to do that when my foot is tapping due to a deep-down need to move? And what in the world do you mean by ‘release your thoughts’?!” I would try a few classes and eventually, leave in frustration when told that I wasn’t doing it right. That’s when I started believing that “Maybe this is how I am wired. Maybe this is how my life has to be.”
Living Life Head First
y darkest moment came when I had to put my dog Allie to sleep. Allie had been my constant companion for 14 years, traveling with me to Connecticut during my father’s recovery from the bypass surgery, protecting me through all those years when my husband was away on business travel. In her later years, she developed a series of tumors that needed to be removed. She appeared to be recovering from her most recent surgery, but then one morning I woke up to find that my husband had been up with her all night. She had been panting in pain, walking into walls, and he did what he could to ease her distress. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “We can’t let her continue like this.” Turns out that an organ had been punctured in her most recent surgery and caught up in work like we usually are, we had not noticed her signs of pain. So we euthanized her that day and I went into a deep depression thinking, “What kind of life am I leading if I can’t even see those things that are most important to me?” And still … I couldn’t figure out how to make a meaningful change, so I kept doing what I knew how to do really well … Overworked Overwhelmed Overachiever … except now I was desperate, depressed and completely stuck.
Welcoming In Your Body
I stumbled across Yoga Therapy (in particular, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy) sight unseen and in that first 4 day training, I knew that I had discovered my escape route … more accurately, my Body and Spirit knew that there was something powerful here for me to explore … for once in my life, I had to let go of what my Mind said because there were no rational business reasons for pursuing this certification. All I had to go on was a deep yearning within me and my husband’s repeated comment, “This is what you want to do, isn’t it? I’ve never seen you this excited before!”
he secret revealed to me in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy was the connection between my Mind and my Body. More accurately, the connection between Body, Mind and Spirit. My ability to analyze, see patterns and interpret numbers was highly valued in my career … unknowingly, I had taught myself how to move through life Head-first. Seriously, other than being a warehouse of mysterious symptoms, I rarely paid attention to my Body. After all, isn’t a Body simply a vehicle that allows me to race through day, getting things done on my TO DO List? Sound familiar?
Yoga Therapy turned this around … teaching me that my Body is a valuable source of information about who I am and how I am … a steadfast and active participant in every emotion, thought, action, word that I have experienced in my life … a reservoir of wisdom about what I need for my well-being. I was dumbfounded to realize the amount of information that my Body was communicating to me at any point of time … so much more than just hunger and tiredness … all of that was there for me as long as I chose to listen to it. I already knew what Life was like when I lived Head first … always ON and feeling stuck! And this wasn’t about letting go of my powerful Mind because that is the source of so many strengths that I bring to the table! But what if … what would emerge if I allowed my Mind and my Body become equal collaborators in how I do Life?
Exploring that one question, through multiple certifications with leading experts who are redefining our understanding of how the Mind and Body operate, led to the programs that I have developed and the One-on-One sessions that I offer. You see, I’ve discovered that the Mind-Body Connection is the pathway to a vibrant life. It is the escape route out of stuckness. It is the fast track to experiencing Balance and being able to savor your life with all of your senses. Listening to my Body’s communication and knowing what to do with that information became the basis for the Body-Focused Meditation that I teach.
Giving Equal Weight to Mind, Body & Spirit
I find that Overworked Overwhelmed Overachiever is no longer my default way of doing life. Yes, I can still pull it out when I have a task that would benefit from those qualities … and I’ll be honest that it does sometimes jump into the driver’s seat and takes off, dragging me along. But I’ve the developed the ability to notice faster and faster when that does happen. And the power is in the noticing … noticing how Overworked Overwhelmed Overachiever looks, feels and sounds like … because once I notice, I can find my way back into Balance. Because now, Balance has its own look, feel, sound and even taste for me … and I know how to come back to it. Unexpectedly, my life has changed from the inside-out. All of a sudden, Life is no longer programmed to one station … I have a palette of choices available to me.
You may be wondering, “Where does Spirit come into this?” I believe that Balance, Ease, Joy, Equanimity, Compassion, Connection, Flow, Playfulness, Creativity, Inspiration, Passion … are how we as humans experience Spirit. When you are stuck in your head, these qualities are available, but they are momentary whispers of what Life is like when Mind and Body are working together. I don’t know about you, but I want the MORE! I WANT IT ALL!
And that’s what I want to bring to you … that palette of choices … that fuller experience of Spirit in your Life … the MORE that is available to each of us.