It is 2006 and - among other things - I am searching for an escape route from work, studies, and home. I am 25, married and about to graduate with a Masters Degree in Marine Biology. That is, IF I finish writing my thesis. I recognize that I need a goal. Something that inspires me to sit down and write, to get this thing over with, so I can move on to... to anything! Moving towards a PhD was not enough of a reward. It just seemed like more work down the road. From my perspective that was not much to look forward to.
I sit down to consider my choices; to understand my needs and my wants. I recognize that there are two things constantly calling me: traveling and yoga. What could I do with those?
Maybe I can book a trip for a month to clear my head? Go to Peru! That's it! I search the web and find a 28 day tour with Gap Adventures (now G Adventures) that promises to clear my mind from satellite images, from bleaching corals, a shaky marriage and - more importantly - from working in a room without windows. I was ready to book the trip of a lifetime until something hit me. Figuratively speaking.
I was in the bathroom - because that's where great ideas happen - when IT happened. I can't explain what “IT” was, but IT was the closest thing I’ve ever felt to “a calling.” I was being called to go to India and take a teacher training. I remember explaining to my mom when I gave her the news that if I didn't do it, a hand would materialize from thin air and slap me until I got on a plane. A force bigger than me was pointing me toward a new and unknown direction.
Skipping my trip with Gap Adventures and instead embarking on my very own adventure to India formed the first and major fork on my life's journey. What followed was a series of life changes, some wonderful (making friends with health conscious people) and inspiring (finding refuge on writing, on running and on my daily practice). And some that caused me great sorrows (getting divorced, calling quits on my PhD, losing my identity as a scientist). There were too many ups and down to keep you interested or for me to feel safe to share. But I can tell you this without any doubt: the decision to travel to India was the best decision of my entire life.
Since that day I decided to shake up my life, I have shed (and still shed) many tears. Some tears of transformation, and some tears of joy - like the ones I shed when I randomly won a tour with G Adventures and realized that it was exactly 10 years after I skipped out on my original plan to join G Adventures on a trip to Peru!
You never know when you are going to have your own personal IT moment. They don't always happen when you're going to the bathroom. But when you feel it, acknowledge that your Higher Self is calling you to action; calling for change. Answering the call could very well be the catalyst for some profound spiritual growth. Or simply a really good time.
Today, I travel the world as a Slackline Yoga and Acro Yoga teacher. My biggest daily concern is how perfectly straight and still I can make my handstands. My days are focused on spiritual, physical, and emotional growth. More important than all that, I have found a wonderful human to share this absolutely - amazing - out of the ordinary life with.
Yoga and the choices I've made in life have brought me here, today, to remind me that life is a series of small journeys inside a big journey and that it is up to us, as individuals, to decide what, when, and where we choose to explore our own particular series of circles. Remembering how my choices have brought me here reminds me about that very first fork in my road, and I'm spurred to regain focus and energy - two things I need to continue on this inner journey, and to keep planting the seeds for a life filled with even more joy and adventures.