A few weeks ago I quit my job. I worked hard at that job for many years, with the idea that once I paid off my extensive student loans, I would make space in my life to figure out what I loved, what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to pursue, without the "must pay off my loans" burden hanging over me. So I achieved that goal. And I quit.
I'm not going to lie to you, it was terrifying. On a practical level, I got used to having a bi-weekly paycheque that I could depend on. And taking this little journey means there is no predicable income, at least not for the next few months. I've been wise, I'm taken care of, but there is fear, for sure! On an emotional level, the institution I worked at was my "place" for 6 years. There were very good times, and very challenging times. There are amazing friends I've made there, and some people who, again, were challenging for me. But for better or worse, it was my day-to-day place, my people, my routine, my community. And leaving it felt like leaving a slightly dysfunctional relationship - though it might not have always been great for me, it was my life for 6 years. And frig, it's hard to walk away from anything you've been involved in and invested in for 6 years!!
I had some decisions to make - what to do with my time now that I don't have that job. I spent a lot of time thinking, discussing, journaling, meditating, listening. And in the end I decided to forego my Master's in Counselling, to do what my heart was saying loudly and clearly: I want to immerse myself in yoga for a while. I battled my mind for a long time, flipping back and forth between what seemed the rational, "intelligent" choice, and what seemed the kooky, heart's desire choice. But you know what, I've always, in my heart of hearts, embraced the "Follow Your Bliss" philosophy, and this is my time to actually act on that. Master's programs will always be there, if I decide I want that path after this. But for now, I'm following my heart. I'm going to go be a yoga hippy for a while:) and that makes me so so deeply happy.
The last 6 weeks since my last day at work have been up and down. Times of great anxiety and stress and fear and worry. Times of great excitement, joy, and feelings of certainty. Tons of journaling, occasionally forays to my therapist, long walks in nature, longer talks and visits with dear friends, processing and thinking and feeling. A good dose of weeping, and a greater dose of laughing and smiling. I subletted my place for the next 4 months, to a (hopefully!) great guy who will take (hopefully!) great care of my two furry friends. I'm currently having a layover at my parents, where I'm enjoying a few days of visits with my family, including lots of cuddle time with my beautiful baby niece (also a Ginger!).
And then. Thursday, I drive down to Pennsylvania, to the Himalayan Institute (http://www.himalayaninstitute.org/). I'm going to be there for a month or two, I think, where I'll do a whole lotta learning - asana practice, meditation, pranayama, some cleaning and cooking and gardening. I'm hoping for some long forest walks - the Institute is on 400 acres of forest land - nature is a great healer! I feel nervous - I can't really know what it will be like until I live it - and anticipation is sometimes a scary thing! I'm curious what it will be like to live with a bunch of yogis in a community, when I've lived a pretty private, independent life for so long. I'm curious what our days will be like. I'm curious if I'll be able to make the space to rest. I'm curious how I'll react, after having lived in a city for many years and worked in an office environment. I'm excited to live in a community where the focus is health, wellness and healing. Physical and mental health and wellness are core values to me - I want to learn more and more about these things, I want to further embrace a lifestyle of health and wholeness, and perhaps I'd like to be further involved in healing and wellness for others eventually. I'm really looking forward to being in a place where these very things are valued deeply.
I've consciously made space in my life to explore what I value and desire. Peace, joy, wellness, stillness, life. Love. I am so grateful for all the people and experiences that have brought me to this place. I am grateful to the many friends and family members who have supported me. I am so very grateful for my yoga community - my teachers, Roxanne Joly and Loren Crawford, and the dear friends (I'll call them sisters!) I've studied and learned and taught with. I am grateful for strength, for hope, for faith, for love. For the many teachers and gurus who've come before, to write the books and share the wisdom they've received.
As I was driving away from Ottawa, after a weepy departure from my cats and my home and my friends and my city, I found myself driving toward the most beautiful sky and felt such hope and comfort and joy. Heading into the light:) here we go!