In two weeks I will be graduating from my yoga teacher training. I began this program mid November, and it actually being March now feels so unreal. The fact that I will be a certified yoga instructor feels unreal. I’ve considered a lot of things as I thought about my future and what would be best for me. Photography seemed only natural, but at the same time something always held me back from completely diving into it. I have walked in a lot of directions, but I never felt that certainly that I was becomeing the person that I was capable of becoming.

I first began working when I was 13, hosting and busing tables at the local steakhouse in my hometown. Having the opportunity to make decent money, I was able to save and eventually provide a life for myself. I waited tables for 7 years before I finally exhausted myself and burnt out of the fast and efficient way of service.

I’m the summer of 2017, when I was 20 years old, I just decided to quit. My job, my life, my town, everything about the person that I had been, and everything I had known. I gave up in every single aspect possible. I stopping making any efforts in any direction and simply started praying. I walked my dog and spent all of my time outside in the mountains, looking over everything I had ever known. Questioning myself, my existence, where I belonged, why I was here, why I couldn’t keep up with the outside world the way everyone else seemed to. I didn’t just blend in, and I couldn’t just do what others before me had done, things were just awkward for me. I renounce my desire to be someone who could fit into what was “normal” and accepted. I gave up every personal desire I had about myself. My hair, sense birth, had been the thing that meant the most to me, and gave me security. I completely chopped it off to less than an inch. Every single action I took at this time, I did so with the intention to give myself and my life to god. I wanted nothing for myself, because at first I felt unworthy of anything. But along my journey I grew past this negativity, and I now have found a deeper, truer, and more pure love for myself and others.

I was unemployed for 6 weeks, and I put almost no thought into what I would do for work. I focused on simply being present with my dog. Finally, I woke up and said to myself, it was getting time to find some income. That day, I was browsing through the online yard sale site in my hometown, and found someone posting about working with the elderly. I was told to come for an interview the next day, and was hired that same day. The following morning I went to see my first client, and everything that followed in my life after has absolutely molded me into the person I am today. My eyes and my heart were opened by all of the amazing souls I came into contact with. I learned so much about myself and how those who came before me were so similar. I was introduced to the Dharma, Qigong, books like the alchemist and A New Earth, and the more I opened myself to everything my clients could teach me, the more closely I felt connected to god.

All along my journey after this I continued to consider where my place in this world was. Where I could touch and serve the most people, in a way that also was the best thing for me and my personal growth. I felt so lost all the way through 2018, feeling like no matter how much of myself I did give, I still couldn’t save the ones I loved. This was a hard truth to swallow. But in doing so, I finally dove into saving myself. I dove into yoga hard, and refocused myself on finding strength, stability, and endurance within myself. I began to take care of myself, and my body in a way I had never before. Turning inward, yoga, has saved my life. My health and vitality have never been in such great condition, able to withstand more than ever. Even upon realizing how amazing this practice was and how much it had changed me, I still never considered I would be teaching. It literally never once occurred to me to look for a training, or that I was remotely capable of teaching someone else how to exercise.

On one of my days off I went to Gilbert run, a short hike not far from where I’m living now, in Maryland. I sat on the pier by the river and practiced yoga and cried because I felt so thankful to be able to move me body so freely and finally, finally I was able to express myself. I remember standing on the edge, and feeling the rushing water move underneath me. I felt like I was flourishing above the current, and I could feel the energy flowing through me, hollowing me out. I thought to myself how, this was exactly what I wanted to be doing all the time. All of my days, all of my hours, I wanted to spend moving my body. And still, I did not consider becoming a yoga instructor. It wasn’t until the next day, when I went to my gym for yoga. After the practice that day, lying on the mat, completely exhausted, I felt the urge to just get up and ask where this teacher had gotten her training. Without a second thought, I got up and went and asked her. It was the most compulsive and in-the-moment thing I’ve ever done. She was so excited, and received the question with such positively. She told me her friend was starting a new training the next day and gave me her number. I wasn’t able to attend that training specifically, but I did make contact and plans to complete a one-on-one training.

I’m am so thankful for the opportunity to share my passions with people, and hopefully inspire someone in some small way. At the most trying and challenging point in my life, I asked the power high than me to give me the strength that was beyond me, to make it through the unknown ahead of me. And so much more was delivered, so much more than I could have ever asked for. So much more than I can believe at times. Not only did spirit take my hand and lead me through, but he continued to walk with me and has allowed me to journey far past I ever thought possible. I truly never saw myself here, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. God knew my heart and my soul and gave me everything I needed to mend and nurture all the areas where I was lacking. My journey of learning and evolving doesn’t stop in two weeks, as I know god will be with me always.

Becoming a yoga instructor, I have no idea where I’m gonna live or teach, but as you’ve probably learned by now, it doesn’t matter. I know I will find my way to exactly the place that needs a heart like mine. I’m really excited to continue to find my way and share my thoughts as go….

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