Do Your Damn Dharma
This is a story of the past fiveish years of my life and how an epiphany -while driving to work -changed everything.
In 2009 I was driving to work thinking about how my car lease was up the next month. I randomly started adding up my car expenses (insurance, payment and gas) and then subtracted that from my monthly income. I realized I was paying over half of my income to get to a job I didn't like. Hmmm..... If I didn't have a car, could I make the same amount (what was left over) by working just my second job bartending? Why yes I could! This didn't make sense. Work less and have the same amount of money? I decided to retire at 30.
I walked into work and gave my two week notice. Everyone thought I was crazy. I had a great job and great benefits; how could I leave? In fact I was told I was being irresponsibe, that I could never survive without a car and would not make enough money to survive. Something in my soul just told me it was the right thing to do and it would all work out. Because the truth was; I just wasn't happy.
I wasn't happy in all areas of my life. My personal life was a hot mess and I honestly didn't like who I was. I started noticing some of my habits and didn't like them. It was time for a change. That next morning I left my boyfriend after six on and off years and moved into a friends house. After two weeks I found an apartment, cashed out my 401k, payed off a bunch of bills and bought a scooter. I gave myself two years to figure myself out and after that maybe I would re-enter the standard workforce.
My first year was great. I scooted to the beach everyday and worked only three days a week. I was living the life. When the winter hit I became a little depressed and lost. I had a lot of time on my hands. A friend of mine asked me if I was interested in moving to Spain to become a nanny/english tutor for a private family for three months. I said yes. This was it. I always had dreams of traveling and always made excuses as to why I could't go. Infact I made a lot of excuses for everything in my life. I gave notice on my apartment, worked some extra shifts and used my tax returns to buy a ticket. This is what kick started my traveling bug. During those three months I went to Paris (which had been a dream since I was a little girl) and traveled all around Spain and Portugal.
When I returned from Spain I began to feel lost again. One day I was sitting in front of the yoga studio (which I didnt know was there at the time) and saw an aquaintance. He was coming from the studio and sat on the bench with me. He asked me how I was and I just started crying and couldn't stop. I told him that I just felt lost. He handed me a class schedule and told me this place would help me.
I started attending classes religously. Even two to three times a day. Not so much because I understood why I was there but because I needed something to keep me busy. I eventually started running with friends and started to get in shape. Life was getting better. I met a girl who told me she was interested in doing a 500+ mile hike in Spain called the Camino de Santiago. I had known about this walk because when I lived in Spain I used to see the pilgrims walking. This ignited something in my soul. I took it as a sign that I needed walk the Camino. So I did. I took 6 weeks off to travel to Paris and Bordeaux and to complete the Camino. I traveled by myself and finished in 33 days.
When I came back I kinda fell int a funk AGAIN. Probably because I had been focused on planning for a big trip for so long and now it was over. So the question remained..OK what next? But that was the problem. The past two years I spent all my time and energy planning what was next instead of focusing on the every day life. I needed to stay focused. I still had some of those habits I didn't like and still couldn't figure out why and how I could fix them. So the question became; What now?
I decided to enroll in yoga teacher training. I never wanted to be a teacher but I wanted to learn more about yoga and again I needed to keep busy. At the same time I decided to run a marathon. I didn't consider myself a runner and honestly didn't really think I could run a marathon. Teacher training and marathon training would give me the daily focus I needed to stay present and figure my shit out.
And after 6 months of teacher training I recieved my 200 hour Prana Flow certification. This training gave me the tools to begin my svadhyaya or intense self study. I learned ALOT about myself. Most of it wasn't pretty but I had some huge breakthroughs. Breakthroughs that keep me focused and working on my shit every damn day. We are all imperfect beings. Works in progress.
Since I still had the travel bug I decided that IF i was going to run a marathon, it should be somewhere fantastic. Go big or go home. I picked Venice, Italy and mapped out a three week European adventure to go with it. I hired a running coach for the first two months then trained myself by using the walk/run method. It worked! I ran my first marathon in Venice! Just shy of 5 hours. It was my last hurrah on my 5 city european tour. I ran my way through Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Paris.
Shortly after I started teaching free classes in the park with my friends - eventhough I didn't really see myself teaching. After a couple of months I was offered a position teaching at my studio. I couldn't believe it! I was now a yoga teacher, world traveler and marathon runner! I had come so far!
I trusted my gut and knew there was a better life out there for me. I had no idea what it was but I knew I would find it. It was my DHARMA.
My journey continues and not a day goes by that I regret my decison to take the road less traveled. There are countries to be seen and yoga to be taught.
Trust your gut. DO YOUR DAMN DHARMA.
Todos es possible. (All is possible)