Featured Collaborator, Soulivity Magazine
In the winter of 1999, I achieved my first 12-mile run through Astoria, New York. While barely hanging on to the railing that separated Astoria Park from the East River suddenly I felt what seemed like a jolt in my right kneecap.
Ignoring my inner voice, I continued running for the next three days, until my knee swelled to the size of a softball. At the advice of my family physician, I was able to bring the swelling down before going to an orthopedic surgeon for an x-ray.
To my amazement, the doctor suggested I practice yoga, as he said I didn't need surgery. Apparently, yoga would keep me flexible and active. At the time, I thought of yoga as a pastime of standing on your head and becoming a part-time contortionist. He explained that yoga is both a physical and mindfulness practice. Although I was a bit apprehensive, I took his advice and began searching for yoga online.
At first, what I found was just what I had expected, yogis standing on their heads, twisting their bodies into human pretzels. I was only temporarily dismayed, for when I looked up the word "mindfulness," I found something completely different.
While there were many images of yoga poses, there were also ones of people sitting with their legs crossed and eyes closed in meditation. Immediately, I equated the art of mindfulness with thoughts of ancient sages; but to my surprise, I learned something entirely different.
In 2000, I came across the book by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh entitled "The Miracle of Mindfulness." Hanh teaches the reader how to become more aware of ourselves, even in an increasingly stressful environment. It seemed rather difficult to learn at first until I realized that we, as a western society, make mindfulness a difficult task.
The quintessential philosophy of meditation is Hanh's quote, "Breathing in; I know that I am breathing in." However, one doesn't have to be at the very top of a mountain or sit in lotus pose with the eyes closed to achieve mindfulness.
While riding the subway one morning, I watched as two women were arguing over a seat. Though drawn to their energy, I thought it was the perfect time to practice mindfulness. I focused intently on my breath, the flow of energy traveling in and out of my body. What could have turned into a heated shouting match did not affect my mind or thoughts.
Through the years, I have learned that mindfulness can be achieved in the unlikeliest of places – whether it be sipping coffee or tea, washing the dishes, or doing the laundry. It's all relative when we are mindful of our life force – the breath.
Since Michelle's deep realization from surviving one of the most horrific attacks in American history, she has devoted her life to teaching and serving humanity around the world through words of strength, hope and perseverance.
As a consultant, Michelle is the voice for evolutionary leadership. She helps her clients in their journey of awakening to their deepest sense of self; and, provides them with the understanding to help them on their path of healing and life purpose.
Over the past eight years, Michelle has received the honor of having her remarkable story featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, FOX and BBC; and, being named the "Woman of Empowerment" by the Washington Times. However, her accomplishments have never deterred her true purpose. Michelle continues to be a philanthropist through her writing, public speaking and consulting. Be sure to check out her latest book, "Pursuing Your Destiny", here, and/or, via twitter: @PYD_Book.
Check out her blog, as well: http://blog.michellerosado.com