It was March 2017 in Portland Oregon, and I was feeling restless.
I had just moved again (for the billionth time), so I had a new room, was about to start a new term in school, was bartending full time, and had every opportunity laid out ahead of me. But even with all of this going on, I was restless. The life I had built for myself wasn’t satisfying my soul. I was happy enough, but still I kept hearing this call that I had other work to do. Bigger work. I had this annoying voice inside reminding me that the path I was walking down wasn’t going to prepare me for my best life.
Once I acknowledged that the source of my unhappiness was from the choices I was making, I found myself feeling incredibly lost. It became glaringly obvious that my life wasn’t lining up with the direction I wanted to go. Every day I felt farther and farther away from the people around me, and less and less connected to my own life. So even before the term started, school became my highest priority. I used it as an excuse to step out of my life. I started spending more time alone. During this time you’d rarely catch me without my headphones on. My free time was spent drawing, writing, sewing, cooking, or exercising. I started walking everywhere– just to have more time by myself. I’d have my headphones on, but I was listening to my heart. I was desperate for something to click so that I could see the path.
About a month into the term, I loved my classes and was spending a lot of time creating but knew I wasn’t doing enough to forge an entirely new path. I was still making mistakes. I was still stuck. I had no plan, no answer, no roadmap, and no way to describe the place I wanted to go. All I could identify was that I didn’t want to be where I was. So, one night after a party I broke down and called my mom. I told her the story of how I couldn’t find my heart anymore. I cried and we talked. She understood what I was describing when I spoke of not feeling like I was on track to where I wanted to go. We came up with a plan: what if I became a yoga teacher? As soon as I said it, I knew that it was the path to bring peace and clarity to my unsatisfied heart. Learning how to teach peace and wellness to others would supply me the toolkit I needed to rebuild myself from the ground up. It was time to step away from the familiar and dive into my most creative life.
My heart was telling me to go to Costa Rica. I didn’t just want out of Portland, I wanted out of the country. I wanted space from all of the distractions. And after a brutally long winter, I needed sunlight and ocean water. So I hung up with mom and spent the next couple of days thinking on my decision. When the time came to commit to a program, I just knew. I knew it was the right day and the right time to pick where I was going. I was on a 10 minute break from class, sitting by myself in a hallway when I pulled my phone out and Googled “Yoga Teacher Training Costa Rica.” The second program I came across was Alchemy of Yoga with Silvia Mordini and Emily Perry. It was three weeks long, but it matched up with my schedule just right. I quickly scrolled through the photos on their page and checked out the resort they teamed up with. I knew that this was the program I would go to. I paid the deposit sitting in that hallway.
The next few days felt surreal. I had a plan! A commitment. But with the shiny “good feelings” of it all, I became tasked with managing the present. It wasn’t easy, there were lots of distractions and there were still days that I failed to fight off temptations. I tried my best to keep my goal in sight. I tried my best to forgive myself and treat myself with love even when I made mistakes. I tried my best to keep my eye on the prize. But in full disclosure there were many days that I failed… at all of it. I was trying to change but I also wasn’t ready to let go of who I was.
And on top of internal struggles, after committing to Alchemy of Yoga my life became a rollercoaster ride. My calendar filled up with distractions– some planned and some unplanned. I had an engagement every day for nearly three months straight! About halfway into my crazy schedule I found the willpower to get myself to a yoga class. That same day I received bad news that rocked my world. My schedule was so packed and I was so fragile that after that I became occupied with just keeping my life together.
The week before Costa Rica I was packing to move out of the temporary room I had been renting. I struggled that week because didn’t want to be packing, I wanted to be practicing. I had faced so much resistance and was so full of self-doubt that I honestly felt like cancelling my trip. I knew how underprepared I was. I had only gone to one yoga class all summer. If I went, I would surely embarrass myself! How could I ever survive a month in a foreign country with real athletes? I had no idea. But I knew I had no choice. I was about to leap with a blindfold on, because deep down I knew I was going to go anyway. As I taped up my boxes, I cleared my mind and recommitted to the plan. I promised myself that I would do my best.
I knew that forward was the only direction I could go. So, step by step I placed one foot in front of the other until I was walking up the steep stairs to my new home in Costa Rica…
(to be continued…)