Episode 41: About overcoming trauma, with Obi Ndefo
Apr 30, 2020
On August 17, 2019, Obi Ndefo was loading organic groceries into the trunk of his car on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles when a drunk driver swerved and hit his body directly from behind. He miraculously survived the collision, but had to have both his legs amputated just above the knee.
As an actor and a yoga teacher, this sudden trauma completely changed Obi’s life. But he’s made a remarkable recovery, as a result of the ability to soften and accept, and also to strengthen his body and spirit. Now, as we all struggle with the challenge of a worldwide pandemic, Obi offers his voice to share how to accept the things we cannot change.
Listen here on Spotify.
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- 0:00 - 07:25 - Welcome with Obi and Elissa. This moment is intense but also natural in the scope of human history on planet earth. So let’s choose love.
- 07:25 - 16:28 - Obi’s story about life overall, and also the auto collision that happened on August 17, 2019 that severed his legs.
- 16:28 - 21:12 - Obi talks about how he’s been integrating and accepting his new reality.
- 21:12 - - Why humans dissociate during trauma. And how acceptance can help us re-associate.
- 30:10 - 41:48 - Our Speak Your Truth check in, and the importance of having a sense of purpose in our work.
- 41:48 - 43:21 - The serenity prayer, but with an important word added to it: God grant me the serenity to accept and embrace the things I cannot change, courage to change and embrace the things I can, and the wisdom to know and embrace the difference.
- 43:21 - 46:45 - Obi answers what it means to him to speak his truth.
- 46:45 - - On the topic of energy: The five vayus in yoga describe how energy enters and leaves our body. Udana is the energy that leaves our body going up, which includes breath, emotion, and voice. As humans, we each have our own unique vibration, like a musical instrument. Treat your body like a temple.
- 53:00 - - On the topic of depression and anxiety… they are indicators of what we need to accept and embrace. It is our resistance that creates our greatest suffering.
- 1:01:10 - What Obi’s working on now: fundraising with his gofundme campaign to get prosthetic legs, and his television show “Juice Bar.”
First and foremost, please consider supporting Obi’s gofundme campaign to help him get his prosthetic legs. You can do so here, and it’s also the best place to get in touch with Obi: https://www.gofundme.com/f/obi-ndefo-lifeline-organized-by-his-family
Some coverage about Obi’s story from CBS Inside Edition, Spectrum News/Los Angeles Times, and Yale School of Drama.
In case you didn’t know what I was talking about with Violet in Willy Wonka, she blows up like a blueberry. 🔵
Obi mentioned John Lennon’s Imagine. Also a great thing to listen to, always. ☮️
Here’s some more information about the five vayus in yoga, which include prana, apana, and udana.
This is the article Obi referred to in the NY Times in 2010 called “Depression’s Upside.”
If you need to rock out to Eye of the Tiger (the Rocky theme), here you go. 🤟👅
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Our Editor is Sean Brennan
Our Graphic Designer is Laura Sills
Our Photography is by Sophie Mathewson
And our theme song is “Waters of Body” by Strange Weather
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