"To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair,and to try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greastest hazard in life is to risk nothing.The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and becomes nothing.He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he’s forfeited his freedom.Only the person who risks is truly free."
In my childhood kitchen, a version of the above (author is debated) hung on a cabinet, cut from some old publication. I saw it everyday. I read it some days. I now have that tattered clipping framed in my house and a copy stuck in my passport cover. It is coming with me on this journey.
For a few years, something just wasn't clicking. I was happy but not fulfilled. I discovered my passion for teaching yoga and that helped. Still though, I was spending many hours a week going to work to sit (or stand) behind a desk in an office. I liked the work I was doing. I love the people I was working with. The work was meaningful. And still, something wasn't clicking.
I went back to Yandara, the amazing place where I did my 200 hour YTT, to train to be a life coach. And there it was. During the intense training to be a coach, I received an intense amount of coaching (by others and myself), and I finally got it. Before those 10 days in December I knew I needed to quit my job. I knew I needed to get out of 9-5 office life. I knew that my heart was calling me toward the teaching and guiding of yoga and related work. I knew it and I couldn't act on it.
Why? I was afraid. I'm not afraid of much. Bugs, heights, new foods...none of those things get to me. So this idea of fear is not one I'm used to embracing. In that intensity of coaching, I realized I was afraid. I was afraid to take this risk. To leave my job with no certain paycheck to follow. To not have employer funded health insurance. To try to "make it" doing what I love, where I knew my heart wanted me to go, and not know if it would work out as I hoped. Once I finally owned that fear, I could work with it. I could feel it and then let it go. I could look at it and say, "I see you fear. I also know that I've got this. That if the worst thing happens, if it doesn't work as I hope, I'm still ok. I'm still enough. I'm still loved. So let's go do this thing."
So I write this post from Ban Krut, Thailand. It is a beautiful little beach town many Thai haven't even heard of. Before here I was at Elephant Nature Park, communing with an incredible community of humans and elephants alike. Four days before that was my last day at the office. I walked out feeling perfectly content. Knowing full well that the decision was, at this time, perfect. I'll travel for a couple of months and then I'll return to Seattle and to teaching yoga, coaching, and practicing Reiki. This travel is my time to finish letting go of whatever needs to be let go of and to invite in some new pavers for the path ahead.
I look forward to seeing you when I'm back in the US or somewhere along the way. Take the risk. Find your freedom.
The version that lived in my kitchen and now travels with me.