I have no doubt that the confidence, braveness, and SBM exercise you taught me would bring me happiness wherever I go in the future.
After tackling family issues I had been avoiding for years while back in Japan, I returned to London with a fresh mind, vowing to myself it would be my turn to find happiness by detoxing both my mind and body. The first day I returned to SBM class Mika declared my graduation. Now that was totally out of the blue. “Please Mika, I don’t want to leave just yet!” I begged for an extension, because I felt I was far from being ready to graduate.
Six years ago I was transferred to the London Office of the bank I had been working for. Approximately six months after the internal transfer, I was introduced to SBM by my colleague from my previous workplace. Back then I had a habit of torturing my body without taking rest to get a sense of euphoric high through tough endurance physical exercise, such as long-distance triathlons. As a result, I had menopause, back pain, and sharp pain in my toes and fingers for no apparent reason. What’s more, I was seen by a psychiatrist for almost a year for what seemed to be a depression caused by fatigue. The only thing I thought I was good at and could shine at were hard workouts. The fact that I was unable to work out, let alone feeling unmotivated to, made me shattered.
For nearly a year I would pay a visit to any chiropractor with the reputation of having “God’s hands”. I was therefore in a desperate state by the time I was introduced to SBM.
I fell badly while skiing and developed a herniated disk in my twenties. In addition I used to abuse my back by taking part in long-distance cycling races. Maybe all these factors contributed to thin, fragile intervertebral discs. The back exercise part of SBM was therefore very painful at first, and my back was rigid. Because I was right handed, I had been putting so much toll on my right side of the body through playing lacrosse over the years. And that had seemed to contribute to the sharp pain I felt above my right scapula towards the end of the back exercise. I was once told by a chiropractor with so-called “God’s hands” that I was extremely patient and tolerant to pain. My muscles were so stiff that he couldn’t work to their cores. He concluded by saying “Being tolerant sounds like a good thing. But on the contrary, you wouldn’t be able to hear your body when it screams for help. Do be careful.” So I was officially tolerant to pain. But the pain brought on by SBM was so intense that it reduced me to tears.
I cannot recall when exactly and how many times I felt it, but after almost five-and-a-half years of practicing SBM, I realised I was going through changes in my mindset. I started SBM to cure my body. Even though my back was starting to stabilise, it needed more work. I felt extremely cold while doing the neck exercise and probably felt that sense of coldness longer than other people. And that made me blame myself for not being good enough and not working hard enough. I am a Japanese. Together with a long track record of playing sports as a team member for years, I was proud of possessing high sense of responsibility. I was taking myself too seriously both in and outside of work. I felt highly stressed when I saw people who were too relaxed and not taking things seriously. I overestimated my tolerance level and was overconfident that I could handle stress easily. That made things worse gradually. Whenever I felt stress, I felt an acute pain at the back of my neck to the point I literally felt as if my eyes and teeth were going to drop. I also felt nausea and intense migraine at the same time. And to top it off, I had a severe back pain which forced me to lie in bed for few days. According to Mika who checked my body at the time, my neck was unstable as if my head was going to fall off. All these symptoms were the signs of my body screaming for help, thanks to SBM. It was then that my mind was gradually shifting to the point that I was starting to feel kind to myself and to others. Such a mind shift was not easy, but I was starting to pat my back by feeling proud of myself for taking each day as it came, fighting alone in a foreign country. This was not only owing to Mika and for her instructions that stress was the worst enemy within oneself, but it was also thanks to others’ help.
I typically attended classes in the evenings, where I would meet 3 other single working girls like myself. They all had respective challenges in life and by knowing everyone was doing her best, watching them transforming both their physiques and minds for the better, and sharing the journey of transformation bonded us as if we were all one big family with Mika as the head. (I am sorry if that is just my own imagination!) My loneliness in this country healed immensely. On that note, I thank Mika and all my classmates from the bottom of my heart. I am truly lost for words. If I did not come across SBM six years ago, I wouldn’t have managed to survive all this time. These six years didn’t fly past me for nothing- these six years were meant to be. I could proudly say so because my mind has become much healthier over the years. SBM certainly worked both within and outside my body. I have ditched my life motto: “life is full of hardships” and have converted to believe in “being kind to oneself”. I have discovered that happiness is to live each day with respect and by enjoying life. My graduation couldn’t have come at a better time.
Dear Mika, I am grateful for your kindness and no-nonsense strictness throughout your instruction. I have no doubt that the confidence, braveness, and SBM exercise you taught me would bring me happiness wherever I go in the future. I thank you in advance for your continued support.
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