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Ali Binazir, Happiness Engineer. Christine Marie Mason is one of the most extraordinary people I know and one of my favorite humans. She has been an entrepreneur, CEO of 6 different companies, BA and MBA graduate from Northwestern University, organizer of nine TEDx events, a yoga teacher, artist, musician, mother of six fantastic kids, grandmother, and most recently, a prison peace mentor. You may also know here from the wise, eloquent and empowering piece “Love Your Body Now” included in The Tao of Dating (Ch 7, p. We met 1. 5 years ago at a yoga retreat, so I thought I knew her pretty well by now.
What I did not know was that when Christine was 1. Her body wasn’t found for days. She had her first child at 1.
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MBA program. Her first husband eventually had a schizophrenic break and ended up losing his job and squandering all their money. Her second husband got cancer, then proceeded to cheat on her in spectacular fashion even while Christine was helping him recuperate. These stories of violence, trauma, setback, recovery, triumph, betrayal, even greater setbacks, and the tools she’s been using for overcoming it all and continue growing are some of what Christine shares in her remarkable new personal growth memoir called Indivisible: Coming Home to Our Deep Connection (ebook and paperback), to be released Sept 1.
Christine’s been kind enough to share the piece below about re- connecting to the body: how she discovered yoga, the initial effect it had on her, and what yoga taught her before she started teaching it. I’ll be having a conversation with Christine on Monday, 1. Sept 2. 01. 6 at 6pm PT/9pm ET entitled “The Art & Science of Deep Connection” and would be thrilled if you could join me. Click here to sign up for the talk, get the call- in number, and receive automatic reminders to make sure you don’t miss it, ’cause I believe it’s going to be most excellent. Here’s the excerpt: The Poise of the Soul. After a particularly long day in this spell of dot- com craziness, I was walking down a crowded street to catch a commuter train, when I saw my old friend Daniel. Daniel always had a ready smile.
He was self- contained, a loving husband and father and accomplished professionally—at that time he was CEO of a public company, making all manner of kitchen gadgets. That night, he was shining.
It looked to me like he had shed layers of himself; he was carrying no burden.“What happened to you? You look fantastic!” I exclaimed. He responded in an instant. You’re coming with me this Friday.”That’s how my “way out” presented itself—as a way in. Yoga is sometimes called “Poise of the Soul.” Poise is equilibrium, readiness, balance, steadiness, stability, suspension between states of motion. Poise does not freak out over laundry, talk too much, go 9. I went to Daniel’s yoga class.
After a great struggling 7. Ashtanga yoga), the class arrived at Savasana, corpse pose, where we lay on our backs, arms outstretched, palms up, legs extended, letting all of our muscles relax, allowing our bones to sink into the floor, in a sort of half- state between sleeping and waking, a state of deep aware stillness. Through the breathing, the rhythm, the turning inward of yoga—through the not turning to an external thing like whacking a tennis ball or working into the night —I found my first peace in long memory. I kept going back to class, initially just for that Savasana. Connecting to the Body. Yoga, as it has been popularized in the west, is often practiced with pumping music.
People move fast and sweat and detox. It’s good exercise for the body and mind. But that wasn’t the kind of yoga I encountered that Friday evening. Daniel’s practice was deeply mindful – it made me take notice of things that had never before occurred to me. It was a practice that made me say, “Hmm. If I can’t feel my own feet, the connection from my brain to my feet isn’t working.” The eventual extension of that thought was this: If the connection between my feet and brain does not work, how am I going to connect to other people?
Before I found yoga, I couldn’t feel my feet or even spread my toes—they were just down there somewhere. Nor did I know where my organs were in my belly. My insides were like a black hole between my ribcage and my knees.
Can you feel where your liver is, unless it is in pain? After a while, I found that I could lift my arches and run an energetic current up my shins and thighs and ass and heart and right out the top of my head and back down again. The power I used in previous forms of athletics to release energy was something that could be channeled and leveraged inside of the body, to heal it and balance it, and restore equilibrium and clarity to my whole organism. The yoga practice that was handed to me started a new kind of self- inquiry: Am I aware of my breath? Where am I looking? Where are my feet? Are all four corners of my feet on the ground?
Are my arches lifted away? Where are my fingers? Are they evenly aligned or evenly spaced? Am I standing tall or leaning forwards or backwards? Where am I in space? How good is my proprioception: the receiving (receptoris) of one’s self (proprius)? Am I aware of my own body’s parts in relationship to each other, to the floor, to the vertical line?
What am I actually feeling? What is actually happening?
It was a straight line to hyperawareness. I began to learn that the body has rising and falling energies, that when it gets certain inputs it releases certain chemicals, that there is a virtuous loop between the actions of the body and the chemicals that are released, and that this cycle is autonomic until we intervene and override it. We can start to use our breathing and our thoughts to restructure which chemicals are getting released from our minds and into our bodies. We can reprogram ourselves, literally.
I didn’t know what this meant until I found yoga. Once I began, it was rapid- fire study.
I went to my first class, and I knew I was going to return. Eventually, I found a connection to divine source on that quiet, meditative, sweaty little mat, something I never quite got in any traditional church. That tiny studio, with a purple Om symbol painted on the wall, above a pizza parlor in the middle of Chicago, curtains blowing in, sirens and car horns below, became a holy place. It was there that I discovered a sense of having a permeable body: my skin was always interacting with the environment, and I was always connected. I was made of the same stuff as everything else in the universe. I wanted to go deeper.
In 2. 00. 2, I went on a retreat led by power yoga founder Baron Baptiste. His easygoing introduction to yoga philosophy, musical open laugh, softness, strength, humor and accessibility just made me happy. Baron’s yoga was hard – a demanding fast flow, coupled with long holds in deep postures. For example, once we stayed for a full 2. Somatic theory says we hold our painful memories in the body, and holding this position for this long had people in the room (women especially), letting go and weeping at all the things held in the groin and hips. I took his teacher training in Tulum, just to keep growing.
Then I stumbled, or was led, into a month of teacher training in an intense, academic program that honored a deep Indian lineage, with Yogarupa Rod Stryker- and that training has continued apace for the last 1. Sanskrit texts – it is an unending investigation. But mostly it’s a living experiment into how to have the happiest and most authentic experience in a human body. Who is thinking these thoughts? By investigating the body, I began to investigate the mind also, and then even deeper into relationships.
Once, early on, I was holding a yoga position called side plank for a long time. This position requires the body to form a long, firm, extended board, placing one hand on the floor, the other to the ceiling, and balancing between the side of the bottom foot and the palm of the hand, holding the belly snug and the hips high. It can be rigorous. My arms started shaking; my balance was challenged. At that moment the teacher said, “People. I invite you to look at your reaction to that.
Are you gritting your teeth and tensing your jaw and toughing it out, even though you’re beyond your capacity? Are you collapsing and quitting because your conditioned mind is telling you it’s too hard, even though you probably could stay longer if you wanted to? Are you feeling proud, or maybe the inverse: inadequate?”“However you are meeting this posture on the mat,” he continued, “I guarantee you: That’s how you are meeting your life off the mat. How can you be kind to yourself in this moment, play your edge, and take responsibility for your experience? How much are your own thoughts and reactions responsible for your own suffering?”How much? Maybe one hundred percent. If side plank was hard, the other big practice, seated meditation, was harder.
Sitting still, harboring a quiet mind, initially felt impossible. Even two minutes of meditation felt interminable. Every part of me resisted. It felt unproductive, and wasn’t burning calories. To make it easier, all kinds of techniques were offered: Watch your breath right where it enters and exits the nostrils, imagine a flame, say a mantra.
But it was all just practice to do one thing: to notice the workings of the mind, and to let thoughts just pass by. To become a watcher of my own thoughts. But if I am watching my thoughts, who is thinking the thoughts?
If I am witnessing them, they can’t be the essence of me. I am not my thoughts. And if I am not my thoughts, I can un- identify and manipulate them to a better outcome.
Lo and behold, this was true. By watching and stopping unhelpful patterns of thinking, I learned that I could change the day- to- day experience of life in my body. I still haven’t met a single person who has been able to overcome really bad wiring without some kind of meditation practice. Well, maybe one person. For example, I learned to not judge a rising emotion or thought – just to see it as neutral energy.
Tearful mother tells Dr Phil how lover 'murdered her son'A mother whose infant child was allegedly murdered by her former lover has spoken out about her harrowing story to television host Dr Phil. Roxanne Lewis- Randall had been in a secret relationship with a married dentist, 3. Bert Franklin for about a year. CCTV footage allegedly captured him slamming her son Lincoln's head into the ground, making a kicking motion, then carrying the child while nonchalantly getting himself a piece of pizza. The child's mother told Dr Phil through tears about what Franklin did next.
Her complete interview with Dr Phil airs on Monday. Scroll down for videos Roxanne Lewis- Randall told Dr Phil through tears about her son's tragic death 'Lincoln was laying on the couch, looking up at the TV, so I went to walk around to give him his pacifier and Burt was on the other couch,' she said. She didn't know that her child had already been fatally injured.'He was like . So he carried him into the kitchen, gets another piece of pizza, and eventually takes him to my room and lays him on my bed.'Roxanne goes on to tell how when she later picked up her son's lifeless body, he was completely limp. At that point, Lincoln was already brain dead. Roxanne goes on to tell how when she later picked up her son's lifeless body, he was completely limp. At that point, Lincoln was already brain- dead.
Her complete interview with Dr Phil airs on Monday. Bert Franklin, 3. Lincoln Van Henry Lewis. When Roxanne realized her son was unresponsive she took him to Mercy Hospital, where he was diagnosed with skull fractures. Surveillance video was later released which gives a clue to the horrific last moments of baby Lincoln's life. Monstrous crime: Oklahoma dentist Bert Franklin, 3.
Lincoln Van Henry Lewis (right), with a blow to the head The footage showed Franklin walking down the stairs at the home of his Ms Randall, with Lincoln in his arms. At that point, the baby looked alert and awake.
Franklin then disappeared out of view into the living room. It is unclear what happened next but an Oklahoma City detective told the court she believes the video showed the dentist slamming the child head first into the ground. Franklin was then seen kicking towards something on the floor which is not visible. A shocking new video shows an Oklahoma dentist carrying the limp child after the alleged attack, left, and grabbing a slice of pizza, right. Double life: Roxanne Lewis- Randall, pictured with Lincoln, said she had been in a relationship with Franklin for a year and did not know he was married. When he walked back into the kitchen, in view of the camera, the child is limp in his arms. Franklin seems unaffected and casually grabbed a piece of pizza from the box on the side, Lincoln's limp legs dangling.
The boy's mother only noticed something was wrong after she tried to wake Lincoln up around 2am to feed. At that point, she discovered her son unresponsive and rushed him to hospital. Due to the severity of his injuries, the child was later flown to a Tulsa hospital where he passed away, according to police. A doctor who initially treated Lincoln in Oklahoma City called police because the toddler's injuries were consistent with abuse, according to a press release cited by Tulsa World. Roxanne told police that on July 1. Gravity Falls when she heard a loud 'thud' from an upstairs bedroom, where Franklin and Lincoln were alone at the time. Franklin later told his girlfriend that the noise she heard was with from a small ball he was throwing to a puppy.
According to Roxanne, her boyfriend hated Lincoln's biological father and had threatened to kill him, 'skin him in Bricktown' and cut off his penis, Fox 2. She also claimed that Franklin recently had begun to exhibit 'controlling behavior.' Investigators stated in Franklin's arrest warrant that his wife and his mistress were not aware of one another's existence. Detectives said when they interviewed Bert Franklin, they found his story to be inconsistent with the evidence in the case. Franklin later surrendered and is set to stand trial for murder starting September 2.
Prosecutors told the judge at the bail hearing that Franklin would be a flight risk because he's lost everything after the case - including his Tulsa dental practice. His Facebook page states that Franklin works at Signature Smiles Dental Spa in Tulsa. He reportedly was with the practice for eight years. A bio on the dental practice's website states that Franklin graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, where he received the Dental Wellness Partner Scholarship. He also holds an undergraduate degree in biomedical chemistry from Oral Roberts University. The court heard evidence that one of Franklin's biological children had accused him of abuse in the past. The judge, who also saw violent texts Franklin had sent to Lewis' biological father, was swayed by the arguments and denied him bail.
Posts and photos shared on Roxanne's Facebook account reveal that her son Lincoln was born prematurely in late December 2. NICU. She was finally able to take him home in February of 2. She also has two older children, a son and daughter.