In the past I have only blogged while I was traveling, for two reasons. To share my experiences with my family and friends and to document my experiences for myself to look back on. During my most recent trip to Indonesia and Thailand, I found blogging to be quite therapeutic and a wonderful outlet for my thoughts and emotions. I’ve received a very positive response from my readers and encouragement to continue writing. Last weekend I was speaking with a friend that I met in Bali who is also a life coach and healer and she helped me to realize that I don’t necessarily need to limit my blogging just to times of travel. There are plenty of things constantly coming up in life to blog about that others can share in and benefit from. And this of course is a beautiful way for me to remain connected to my community no matter where we are in this world and in our lives. So here goes…
As you probably know, I recently returned home from three months of traveling in Bali and Thailand. This trip was intended to last a year or two, but ended up being cut short because of emotional stress that I experienced during my travels. I have been home for three weeks now, and during the past week I finally have begun to see and feel signs of healing. And to be perfectly honest, I am surprised at how quickly the healing has come considering the circumstances.
I spent a full year planning this trip. I slowly sold off and donated most of my personal belongings that I have acquired over the past 15 years of my adult life, including my car which was paid off in full. I spent several hours doing Skype interviews at odd times to teach TEFL in Thailand and yoga in Bali. I purchased airline tickets and organized the places where I would be living for the first seven months of my trip. I completed visa applications for Indonesia, Thailand and India. I made trips to the dentist, the eye doctor and the doctor for routine appointments as well as travel vaccines and prescriptions. And slowly over that year I began the process of letting go and saying my goodbyes. Saying goodbye to my home of 13 years. To my yoga teaching career that I had worked so hard over the past two and a half years to build. To my students, my friends, my family, my pets and my boyfriend of three years. I planned every little detail I could possibly plan, but the thing that I couldn’t plan for was the emptiness and pain in my heart that would come once I finally left. I’ve already spoken to the reasons that influenced my leaving in previous blogs so I won’t go into that again in effort to continue my process of moving forward. Sadly, it just wasn’t what I expected or wanted which eventually led me to make the difficult decision to return home.
The moment I walked into my mother’s house after traveling for over 36 hours, I broke down. I was honestly at one of the lowest points of my entire life and I felt that taking this trip had ruined my life. I felt like a failure. I had walked away from everything. I left behind a relationship that I wasn’t quite as ready as I thought I was to leave, and in turn lost my best friend completely. I spent most of my remaining money breaking my contract with the TEFL company and paying for my flight home. Moving back to Denver where my friends and job opportunities were wasn’t even an option at this point because I had no money, no car and no furniture to start over. I had no choice but to move back into my mom’s house. My mom lives in a small town in Arizona mostly filled with retirees and snowbirds where yoga is virtually non-existent. I had no idea where to even begin in putting the pieces of my shattered life back together.
I spent most of my first week here sleeping and grieving. I had some pretty wicked jet lag which took almost two weeks to fully recover from. But after the first week, it became clear to me that I wasn’t healing and I couldn’t continue like this. I believe that mourning loss is an important part of our recovery, but at a certain point we have to choose to pull ourselves out of it. Even if it’s just baby steps. I started with getting my nails and hair done and going to the dentist. I went for a few swims in my mom’s pool and eventually stepped back onto my yoga mat. I made a spontaneous trip to Sedona to meet a friend for a full moon drum circle and camping. I am certainly not fully back in my routines yet but I’m making my way there and my energy is slowly beginning to return. Each day is getting just a little bit easier.
Last week I reached out to gyms and spas inquiring about yoga teaching opportunities and applied at a few restaurants. I realized that there are two dispensaries in the area and I have worked in the industry in the past so I figured I’d give them a call. Both said that they weren’t hiring but I figured it couldn’t hurt to apply anyway. Four days later I had an interview. I went in for the interview and immediately hit it off with both of the managers. This was the first place I had finally felt at home since I had arrived Bullhead City. They were even interested in my yoga teaching experience and mentioned to me that there was a healing/community center nearby that offers yoga classes. That day I was hired by both the dispensary and the healing center, just over two weeks after arriving here.
It is incredible to me how quickly and drastically things can change in this life. Five years ago…one year ago…even two months ago I had a completely different idea of where I would be and what I would be doing right now. I truly believe that we are the creators of our experience which means that on some level, underneath all the layers there was a part of me that didn’t want that trip as much as I thought. There was a layer of fear and resistance that completely re-routed my life and led me back to a place where I feel safe, loved and comfortable. There is no shame in doing what feels comfortable and taking the easy path. In fact, taking the path of least resistance is the best thing we can possibly do for ourselves and the more we allow ourselves to do that, the easier the things we truly want will come to us. I am slowly shedding the pain, the disappointment and the feelings of failure. I am beginning to appreciate where I am in my life and the experiences that I have had this year that are helping me to define what I really want more clearly. And I truly believe that the more intense the contrast is, the more beautiful the creations that are waiting for us on the other side are going to be, as long as we are willing to surrender and allow them into our lives. Slowly but surely I am beginning to see the beauty and joy make their way back into my life…