Hello! I want to introduce myself as I join Sami Aaron in team-teaching the weekly Resilience and Morning Meditation class. I am delighted for the opportunity to contribute in this way toward our collective resilience and wellbeing.

What self-care means to me

I love self-care of all kinds, and I love to teach self-care. One example of my passion is that I wear a 24-7 heart rate monitor, and take great pleasure in all the feedback I get about my sleep and exertion, watching how changes in my habits affect my health and fitness over time. I worked my way through graduate school as a group fitness instructor, and I have taught wellness and meditation classes at work. 

Why teach meditation?

I find that preparing to teach a concept deepens my own understanding. I observe more carefully and think through the gaps where I may have made some leaps of intuition. It is so engaging. As author Jim Kwik says, “When you teach something, you get to learn it twice.”

I especially want to teach meditation because in my own life, my meditation practice and the benefits I have gotten from it, exploded when I found real-life teachers and community. Before that, my own practice came and went, mostly went. 

I grew up in a house where meditation was a thing. My parents weren’t hippies by any stretch, but they did take a meditation class when I was too young to even participate in the concurrent children’s class. My two older sisters did participate though. We had a meditation space in the house, and I remember a couple of attempts to get up early and meditate with my parents. While I didn’t have the commitment at that point to continue regularly, I did learn about stillness and deliberate relaxation and added those to my self-care toolbelt.

I have hit several hurdles in my path toward a regular meditation practice, but viewing it as way too weird wasn’t one of them. 

During one particularly rough patch of my life, still before discovering in-person teachers and community, I found meditation books helpful. As I worked with those books, I did receive benefits but I also hit some roadblocks that I wasn’t able to navigate on my own. I started searching for a community to learn from and practice with, that met my secular needs. Finally, I was so grateful to find the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness (MAM), right near my home. 

The importance of learning from good teachers who bring wisdom and a huge context of ethics and beneficial attitudes to each class exceeded every expectation I had. The obstacles in my personal practice were skillfully addressed. My meditation practice finally became part of my routine, deepened, and became increasingly helpful in my life.

At the same time, I am keenly aware of how much more there is to learn. 

Attending The Resilient Activist’s weekly morning meditation classes created the perfect condition for me to want to teach! Tracy Ochester, the Heart-Mind Coordinator for MAM wrote that “Many of us who have benefited so powerfully from the cultivation of mindfulness in our lives feel a deep calling to share these healing practices with others.” That is true for me. 

I am looking forward to sharing the tools to soothe ourselves, heal from hurts, see more clearly, and take action from a place of integrity and love.

To me that is resilience.

I am so grateful to Sami for the opportunity to join her in guiding the weekly pranayama and meditation class at The Resilient Activist.

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

Tobi Holloway

Tobi Holloway is passionate about taking good care of ourselves, each other, and our planet. She is on the Board of The Resilient Activist and a blogger on the site. "I am especially interested in aligning our strengths and choices with our highest values. This requires deep dives into what we really care about as well as a persistent, gentle vigilance to navigate toward it. My focus is on upstream changes to our mindsets and behaviors. I hope to minimize the trade-off between activism and self-care and instead maximize the way they enhance each other -- improving wellbeing at every level.  I’m inspired to be part of The Resilient Activist because of the positive, optimistic approach to effecting change when change is hard."