“Where There is Ruin There is Hope for a Treasure”

By Robin Sizemore. Robin is a teacher from Highland, USA, where she has also started non-profit Superhero Training. Please read her article and leave thoughts and comments below.

“Where There is Ruin There is Hope for a Treasure” – Rumi.

Five summers ago my daughter told her counselor that she planned to stand in the middle of the train tracks that run south of our house at 3pm the next day.  No one would be home, no one could stop her, and her pain would be ended.  I am forever grateful she did not follow through with this plan.  Because where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure. That’s a quote from a yogi born 800 years ago, and it fits because yoga became the treasure.  Our experience is an example of what Veronica Roth is saying when she says, “If there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling – or reading.” I would have to wholeheartedly agree.

When my daughter told us she wanted to end her life we reached out in every possible direction.  First medication. Then she was prescribed more and more and more until we finally found a doctor who was trained to work with children and made the right decisions.  Through counseling and medication she was getting better. But she still needed help regulating herself when those support systems didn’t help.

Fast forward two years. I am now a teacher. My assistant principal, who knows my whole story and how many times my daughter has been to the hospital and so much more, handed me a book, ‘10% Happier’.  I said, “don’t I seem happy enough?” This was laughable because I had become deeply depressed, watching my first born suffer and having no idea why or how to fix it.

So I read the book she handed me. Dan Harris is your friend telling you “I don’t know about this yoga and meditation stuff but I gave it a try”. The book opened my eyes to a new possibility – meditation – as a way to calm my daughter’s mind and relax her body. So, I researched and found that Dan Harris also had a podcast called … ‘10% Happier’.

The summer of 2016 I put headphones in, pressed play on podcast number one and started working in my yard and listening.  Then episode 16 started.  On this episode, Ali Smith from the Holistic Life Foundation talks about helping kids by teaching yoga and meditation through workshops and after school programs.

Have you ever had that moment where you know you’re in the right place at the right time, hearing the right information, knowing that it’s going to change you? That was it for me.  I called Ali, and traveled to train with he, his brother and best friend at a weeklong class in the Catskill Mountains in New York, in a yoga studio surrounded by windows past which a family of deer literally bounded. I came home to Indiana changed forever.

The nonprofit, Superhero Training was born in 2016 as a way to help anxious students in elementary school realize they can control their bodies and breath. I have become a yoga certified trainer for adults, certified to work with youth in urban settings, and have earned a certificate in applied neuroplasticity for educators. I have trained teachers in public, private and parochial schools, social workers, principals, parents, and most importantly children about how their breath is their body’s remote control, and that yoga and mindfulness can calm these anxious, depressed, angry little minds, and even teach them empathy. It has spread all the way up to the college level where I work with students who are trying to calm exam nerves.  And each time I talk to a group someone comes up to me to share their story (a story similar to mine sometimes) and I realize that because of the ruin I went through, I get to receive the treasure of helping someone else feel better and know they are not alone.

My daughter graduated high school with honors and is currently in college and working. She knows the difficult, dark days always pass. And so do I.  Our goal is to continue to share this information with others so they know there is hope.

14 comments on ““Where There is Ruin There is Hope for a Treasure”

  1. Annette R on

    You never cease to amaze me. Reading your story once again gives me insight as to a direction I feel I should point my niece towards as she’s grieving a loss of an infant and can’t seem to find her light at the end of a tunnel. Thank you.

  2. Laura W. on

    Robin, you are one amazing woman! It is a privilege to know you! You are making your mark in the world and are changing the lives of so many people. Keep up this very important work!

    • Jennifer Z on

      Robin I am continually inspired by you. You give so much of yourself too others and truly care about everyone! I believe in and care about the work you do.

  3. Debbie D on

    I am forever thankful that your ruin brought you treasure, because you were able to share that treasure with so many in need, including me.

  4. Amy Mason on

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story, Robyn. I love how these challenging times have ultimately changed you and helped guide your path as a mom and educator. You have impacted so many lives with Superhero Training. I am proud to call you my friend.

  5. Jennifer C on

    This is profound and reflects a deep awakening. Thank you, Robin, for courageously sharing the treasures you uncovered on your journey. And, thank you for the work you’re doing to share these treasures with children, peers and the community at large. These gifts are life changing. Much love to you as you continue on this path!

  6. Jodi Aurand on

    Robin, you always inspire me to share the possibilities for hope and healing through the power of your mind! I too read 10% Happier, based on your suggestion, and it has made a difference in my life. Continue being the awesomeness that is you!

  7. Jill Schlueter-Kim on

    Beautifully written, Robin. What a blessing to come through your experience with such insight and compassion, and to share that with others. Thank you for all the work you are doing!

  8. Sam Oliverio on

    These are some of the best people in my life! I am so happy, beyond words, that you all were able to realize that there was a better way, and then strive to achieve it. Keep on doing what you’re doing, and touching the lives you do! I’m sure there are still struggles, and I hope beyond hope that you continue to overcome them.

  9. Nick Zolfo on

    I hadn’t known this much depth of your story Robin but thanks for sharing it so openly and gently to allow others to be able to learn and reach out and use your ruin as a treasure for bettering humanity.

  10. Nancy B on

    Your willingness to bring these ideas to SCH has helped me through the devastation I felt with the loss of my husband. Because you shared your knowledge I have been able to handle the dark day. Much ❤️❤️

  11. Amy M. on

    I am amazed at what you have done to better the lives of our little people. We need more Robins in our world. Thank you for sharing your story and your wisdom.


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