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  • Writer's pictureBecky Aten (they/she)

Yoga for Neurodiversity Project Update: November 2023

Time for another project update! Big changes have been happening, and I've been slowing down and unmasking in order to ride things out without burning out.

Yoga for Neurodiversity Project Update: I've been slowing down and unmasking.
Image has a light blue background and rainbow nebula border, and reads "Nov 2023" with my IG tag in the corner. There is a lil pic of me looking cute, hand on my face, smiling. I am wearing a black bandana and black tank top. Text reads: Yoga for Neurodiversity Project Update November 2023 I’ve been slowing down and unmasking.

In August: I held a virtual workshop in a new series that I’ve been creating with the theme “Exploring Your Neurodivergent Identity.” August 13th’s Neurodivergent Joy! workshop was attended by folks from all corners of the planet! It was such an energizing and enlightening experience to share and cultivate joy together within a neurodiverse online community. Then, the very next day I tested positive Covid-19, fell ill, and my life has not been the same since.

In September: As I recovered from the fever and fatigue of illness, I spent a week camping in the forest, reconnecting to myself, and taking things slow. During this time I started noticing early signs of autoimmune disease, triggered by the virus; I was experiencing increased pain in my joints, near-constant headaches, and having difficulty getting out of bed every morning. I met with my doctor to begin the long process of getting answers and relief.

In the first half of October: As health concerns persisted, I took action to slow things down (way down), and lowered my hours at my full-time job to make more space for healing, rest, and connection with my neurodivergent peers. On October 4th, the Exploring Your Autistic Identity workshop series that I created with my local Autism Society began its pilot run with 17 Autistic adults meeting together twice a month for vibrant discussions, learning, and resource sharing (it’s been amazing so far). The next series starts February 2024 via Zoom!

In the second half of October: Advocacy opportunities started pouring in. I was interviewed for an article about neurodiversity-affirming yoga for an online magazine (more to come!). Then I was contacted by a yoga teacher training school with an invitation to join their faculty and teach a module about neurodiversity (yes, it is happening!). I found myself falling into a comfortable rhythm with work and play, and observed how slowing down gave me space and time to identify the needs I had been masking at the expense of my long-term health.

In November: I made progress in my unmasking journey, starting with the decision to remain part-time at my day job indefinitely, and trust that my needs will be met without full-time employment. I feel anxious, happy, and free about this, all at the same time. So, as a way to support my mental health and stay connected with this community, I am offering a repeat of the Neurodivergent Joy! workshop this December. Do you need this as much as I do? I am really excited to share a joyful experience with those who can join in! You can find the sign up link on my Events page.

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