January sparked the promise of a new beginning & new adventure. I had been planning for months & managed to gather enough courage to propel me towards a realization of a big dream. A dream to become a traveling teacher, sharing my knowledge & daily balancing practices of yoga, meditation, writing, & mandala drawing. Four dates & locations were set & I felt that was a solid enough start to see if a scheme like this could be successful. And in many ways, it was. Though the definition of success altered greatly with each step forward. An awakening growth process, gradual momentum towards mastery & discovering a wild freedom to express my truth became the primary aim of achievement.
The class in Oregon was called off by the studio owner for lack of interest. The shadow of rejection ensconced my will, urging me to give up before even beginning. I breathed my way out of a habitual urge to self-destruct through feelings of unworthiness, shame, & major self-doubt. I questioned my intentions, my skill, my value. And even though a weak voice of ego triggered me to remain small, I decided to grow through it by going through it – come what may.
The day after the class in Bozeman, which was an affirming gathering of gold-hearted friends, I headed further west where I ran into snow & the first of many vehicle issues. Missoula’s community welcomed me warmly & made it hard to leave. A piece of me stayed when I continued on towards the final class destination in Arcata, CA. I lingered several days in Idaho reminiscing with old friends, exploring hot springs, and allowing the flow to unfold without need to control.
Hours after leaving Boise my car broke down again in the small town of Burns, OR. I holed up in a dingy Days Inn room & made the best of the situation by slowing down enough to be intimate with my practices & interested in the local’s stories. I participated in an online course on building secure relationships, smoked several spliffs & danced to music loud enough to drown out the neighbor’s nonstop moaning. Three days later, I picked up my “fixed” car at the same time I received word that no one had signed up for the final class. Another big blow of rejection right to the gut. Welcoming in more doubt, more insecurity, more sense of utter failure.
I sat in my car in front of the Burns library for an hour, inertia in the passenger seat, unable to decide which direction to move. The Oregon coast called & was too close to turn away from, so I drove west & spent a couple days with yogi friends & another cozy sense of home. Exhaustion finally hit & I felt I had spent all of my creative energy without much in return. I let the ocean & the rain & the lush forests have their way with me, washing spirit clean of negativity & naïveté. I collected Oregon agate, local culture, fresh ocean air, a deeper love for small coastal towns, & more stories from spontaneous encounters with characters who gave of themselves in kind words of subtle guidance.
I left Portland after a hearty vegan breakfast feeling more resilient, safer with myself, and ever ready to be back where I found a longed-for sense of belonging – Missoula. And as fate would have it, my car broke down here once more. A mix of emotions flooded me in frustration, helplessness, & a deep reassurance of being exactly where I was meant to be. A new lover opened his home & gave me much of what I had been craving on the road – a safe space to create, a warm embrace to melt into every night, & a supportive challenge to persevere. We soaked in healing hot waters, participated in a traditional inipi ceremony, & nourished ourselves with steady daily routines & yummy food. The two weeks here granted me time & space to reevaluate, gestate, & create for my own sake.
Oftentimes our grand plans do not go exactly the way we envision, so it’s of benefit to see the gifts in all challenges & obstacles. We can choose to accept rejection & failure as a part of the process to attaining greatness or we can be defeated by it.