In a nutshell: I spent a full month in a remote village of Nicaragua, practicing yoga, volunteering, digging deep into my spirituality, and connecting (on a completely new level) with absolute strangers. There are so many lessons I have learned that I am still trying to sit with internally. This trip has impacted my spirit immeasurably, and I am so grateful.
One recurring theme has been the idea that we are all one. While we are each individually unique and complex, we are interconnected in some sense. This experience has really highlighted the philosophy for me. Twenty girls from different parts of the world were brought together out of love for the same binding interest – YOGA (and the desire to share it with others). Amongst my social groups back home, I sometimes felt a sense of disconnection, because I so badly desired travel, culture, and a life-changing adventure… and I wanted it so badly that I would quit my job to do it. So, I did, and I found myself transplanted into a group of women just like myself… women who also felt disconnected from their social groups, desired travel just as badly, and many of which quit their jobs too. We were each wanderlustin’ fools and yoga brought us together.
Photo by Cydney Connor @kidcyd
“Yoga is a practice of self-acceptance, and embracing ourselves for who we are.
Yoga uncovers our strength, adaptability, and grace,
and it gives us time to turn inward and reflect upon ourselves.”
– Kimberly Waugh, my incredible yoga teacher
While I was definitely able to reflect, I was also caught in moments where emotions would just come up unannounced. I wasn’t looking for them, but they willed themselves to be found regardless.
I learned to be radically honest with my self.
I learned we should be loved and accepted for whatever shade of us is shining forth. If we are feeling depressed and sensitive, wild and confident – whatever we are is enough. It is human, and it is healthy…. so just let it be. Whatever may come up, acknowledge it and let it be. You are loved and cared for.
I will embrace all parts of myself – the anxious over-planner with hints of awkwardness and reservation… but also, the strong, thoughtful, and empowering spirit who craves adventure and connection with cultures.
Now more than ever do I see how important this milestone in my life has been. It is just the beginning, and I am excited to see how the story unfolds.
JULES… your newly certified yoga instructor <3