The Race of a Lifetime

After years of talk therapy, James knew that he needed more. One day, while living on Kaua’i, James found himself running in a 5k. He was winning the race but another runner was close behind. It came down to a final sprint and James was able to out run his competitor. When James looked back to see the other runner, he was shocked to see that it was his friend who was running without shoes.

“How did you run the entire race barefoot!?” James asked. His friend replied, “I was breathing.” “What do you mean… Breathing! Can you teach me how to breathe?” asked James. “Yes.” his friend replied.

Learning to Meditate

That weekend, James learned to meditate on the breath, to engage the witness. This was frightening for James. It brought him face to face with his neurosis. His thoughts were overwhelming and his body was in constant pain. The act of sitting in “easy” pose for five minutes brought him to tears. But everyday, no matter the discomfort or frightening thoughts, he found himself back on the mat. Watching his thoughts, observing the sensations, and returning back home to the breath.

Waking up at 4am, taking cold showers and eating simply was a daily routine.

The Bipolar medication was numbing him. It disconnected him from his inner wisdom. He had to stop taking it in order to reconnect his truth. He found different healers to help him on his path. He committed to his practice, his daily medicine. Each day he was becoming more clear and getting stronger. And then, he found Kundalini Yoga. 

The movement’s, the breath, the mantras, all expedited the healing process. This brought him closer to God and in return to closer himself than ever before. With this new lifestyle James and his wife, Casey Chibirka, found themselves studying Kundalini Yoga in India under Gurmukh. For a month, they immersed themselves in the teachings. They woke up everyday at 3:30 in the morning to begin practicing yoga for five to six hours a day. James was no longer running from the darkness, escaping the pain. He was comforting his demons, healing his trauma and uprooting himself to plant a new seed.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

– CYNTHIA occelli

James’ time in India gave him an unshakable foundation. It awoke him to his infinite potential. When he returned home, he continued with the cold showers and daily practice. He began teaching yoga at different studios in the city and also taught meditation everyday to his fifth graders. He saw the power in community, he experienced the strength in commitment. So he kept sharing. James began sharing his story and finding inspiration from other’s journeys.

His thirst for knowledge continued to grow. James was ready to transition from teaching elementary school to stepping into the healing arts. But where to begin? He had an idea. James created a podcast to interview a variety of different healers. This provided a platform for doctors and health professionals to share their insight. It gave a voice to those who liberated themselves from the victim mentality. Give a Shift created a clear path for James to follow. The podcast provides a road map for those on the journey of discovering their true self. James resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he continues to teach and record his podcast, Give a Shift. 

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