When people ask me if anything changed in my life when I decided to do my Yoga Teacher Training, I answer by saying, “my whole life fell apart.”
And it did.
I had my first taste of Teacher Training in August 2011. Little did I know that it would be the catalyst to tremendous change in my life. It was when I finally decided that I wanted to do the first 200 Hour Teacher Training, and although I thought I could go on with life as it was through this process, the universe had other plans. Three weeks after that, the relationship I was in fell apart. There was a bit of toing and froing, but in the grand scheme of things, it dissolved rather quickly.
A few months after that, I gave up smoking, which truth be told was even more difficult as my relationship with cigarettes had spanned about 14 years by then. However, I thought that since I was grieving a relationship, why not go through withdrawals at the same time. Needless to say, the last part of 2011 was pretty much time spent rolling around in the muck.
As the sun rose on New Year’s Day 2012, in Byron Bay however, I realised that that part of life was behind me and there was nowhere I could go but forward.
That was not the end of it.
The week before I went for the first Teacher Training retreat, I packed up everything I owned to move to a new place. Then off we went on retreat, beginning the most intense journey of self-discovery that I had gone on my entire life. There was a lot of laughter, but also a lot of tears as we slowly went through those months of exploration. Never had I stopped to look inside and question myself so deeply, and never had I written down in detail the life that I wanted.
Through all of this I had also decided that if I really wanted to know myself, I needed to just be by myself and therefore had decided to adopt the yogic yama of brahmacharya (celibacy). It was a difficult choice as when going through a breakup, sometimes you want to stick a band aid on the pain by jumping into a new relationship. However, as I was going through big changes in my life, I was just not in the right space for it.
Time came, time went and in December my first teacher training was completed. 2012 had been a crazy year and I thought I could spend some time just finding my ground. Again, I was wrong. On the 29th of January 2013, my father passed away. Two weeks later, my full time corporate stint ended, and soon after that, my life got suspended between two worlds.
Something had to give. The world of yoga beckoned me more and more, and by the second half of 2013, I had completely transitioned into this life.
Things were happening, and layers were being unpeeled.
After seven years of being in Australia, I finally received my Permanent Resident status, and it was during these times of challenge that I found out who my true friends are. It was during this time also that I adopted beautiful Portia, a rescue cat who has become the queen of my house. In a land where I am in essence alone, I found community, and I found family.
I’ve had glimpses of what my life could have been like had I stayed where I was. Perhaps I would have started a family. Perhaps I would have climbed the corporate ladder. It seems a pretty picture and yet, I have no regrets at not being there. I know now that that frame was never mine to fit into.
And so here I am, far far away from where my life was two years ago, or rather, seven years ago, when this journey truly began.
I am altered, and yet I sit more comfortably in my skin than I have ever sat before.
Now I know that everything had to fall apart.
I had to fall apart.
Transformation begins when you take that first step into the fire and when it is right the universe helps you. Sometimes the help comes in a scary way where the doors you could have walked through to return to where you were close with a force that you can’t fight – a breakup, a death, the loss of a job, the loss of a dream that you once held so dear, an idea that had to change, a perspective that needed to be altered, a love that needed to be severed. You crawl through the mud, and sometimes you just want to say, “fuck it all to hell! I want to go back to where I was,” but something won’t let you, and so, you just keep going.
It is not always without pain. In fact, most of the time, it is with a lot of pain and the journey forward might not be smooth either, but you go on, one step at a time, towards the place you were meant to be.
The world breaks down to be rebuilt.
As we stand here, at the horizon of a new year, know, without a doubt, that this is exactly where you were meant to be.