No shame. No questions. No ignoring the obvious.

Posted on February 28, 2019

Talk About It

We are a culture who tries to hide any ugliness, whether it’s an ill-fitting shirt, an unusual birthmark or a sickness. When we’re asked how we are, we automatically reply, “Good. Fine.” After all, who wants to admit to weakness? Who wants to hear it? In the world of Facebook and Instagram, we are programmed to only share happy things, to look lovely as we do it and not to worry.

Guess what? That’s not real life. And there are more and more of us who want to be real, whether for ourselves, for our children or just to get a conversation going. This month’s Difference Maker is Julie Kiddoo, an author and owner of Revolution Power Yoga, and she is doing just that: Getting real and not shying away from a challenging conversation or topic.

It all started when she was in her teens and fell into more than a funk and was unusually anxious about her future. Her pediatrician originally gave her a ‘buck up’ speech and told her she was just fine. She wasn’t but started feeling herself. A few years later, she was hospitalized and was labeled bipolar and put on antidepressants, which worked… until they didn’t.

Through it all, Julie’s mother was a catalyst to get an answer and help Julie. No shame. No questions. No ignoring the obvious.

“When I first became depressed when I was a senior [in high school and] my parents took me to my pediatrician and then he referred me to a psychiatrist. My parents, especially my mother were determined to get me better,” says Julie.

Since then, she’s been focused on mental health: hers and those around her. When asked what helps her today, she says, “My yoga practice has been the single most important tool that I have today. I mediate tons too. Yoga means union and it connects the body and mind. I tend to get anxious about a lot of things that are in the future, the things that I can’t control. The anxiety, then turns into depression. Yoga brings me into the present moment and dissolves the fear of the unknown and allows me to connect my body to my mind and to know that everything is going to be okay.”

Knowing that yoga is so important for her mental well-being, she, and her studio, do much for the community. Revolution Power Yoga has an Ambassador Program, which a trade for working at the front desk, cleaning or assisting and in turn one gets yoga and an opportunity to be a part of an incredible team that is up to making a difference in others’ lives.

Service is important, and right along with that, access to yoga. RPY supports the Africa Yoga Project, which empowers youth in several countries to teach yoga. It gives them jobs so that they have a new chance at life and to make a difference in their communities. “We support Speak Up Reach Out, Children’s Global Alliance and more. For three years we taught yoga in the Eagle County Jail,” Julie says.

Through it all, the ups and downs, being a small business owner, mother, wife… it comes down to, for Julie, knowing she is not alone. And that is her resounding message for anyone struggling right now.
“ Know that you are not alone. Make sure you talk to someone you can trust, a parent, a therapist, a friend. There is always hope and that good mental health is for everyone. Go to yoga. Meditate. Journal. All of those tools really work. Never give up. Stay determined to get well. Trust yourself,” she says.

Learn more about Julie. She will be presenting at our next Eat Chat Parent on March 5 and 6.

Julie Kiddoo has written a book, Bye-Polar on her own mental health struggles and the healing she has found along the way. She is committed to offering a community to others where they feel safe and empowered to create change in their lives so that they can live a life of freedom and joy.

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