1 Nature is Everywhere. From Dublin to Tokyo, from Rome to Melbourne, from New York to Bangkok, each major city pumped a unique pulse of life through it. Some were pumped with the obsession of coffee (eehem…Melbourne) and others with streetlights and structures that have withstood the test of time and history. No matter what city I found myself in, however, I could not wait to drive out into the country and see the cliffs, the desert, the wine country, or the islands that surrounded the city centers. In the end…or really the middle… all the big cities were, dare I say, the same. Yes, they all had a unique culture, spoke different languages and were unlike, in many respects, the next and the rest. But, they were the same….the same hustle and bustle, the same rush rush, and the same kindness and harshness. The more places I went…the less I could really differentiate. Advertisements and signage flooded the streets, everyone just trying to be heard through all the clutter…but not many…listening.
It was the drive down a desolate road to a nearby lake or an overnight train ride followed by a ferry followed by a horse carriage because there were no cars…that is where the magic happened. That is where I always found myself wanting to be.
Alas…. I am here. I am home. Perhaps not the Great Ocean Road or beaches of Bali but I am in a place, had I not grown up in, had I been a foreigner to (Lake Conroe that is), I would probably be searching for. A place were fields of grass and trees flood the roads. Albeit manicured, but lawns that encompass a plethora of life, from squirrels to rabbits to ants to dogs and butterflies. A huuuuuge body of water that taps the edges of so many walkways and neighborhoods. Nature is a plenty. And, it's right here. Not interrupted by blocks of a concrete jungle. The area is growing as developments do but buildings and apartments are only allowed to be so high. Restrictive some might say, but I get to look up every day and see the vast Texas sky light up the day with a multitude of colors, textures, and temperatures. The 'burbs' looks pretty great to me. It took 15 years and a trip around the world for me to realize the treasure I had in my own back yard. I say often in my yoga classes “create space”. The space is already there, you just have to go home, where your heart is… and find it.
2 “How You Are Here is How You Are Everywhere”... a wise soul (Roger Rippy) once told me. “Nah uh….I don’t believe that” I argued, silently to myself of course. “I need nature, I need landscape, I need the ocean”. And, the list of what “I needed” to be happy went on and on and on. Well, wouldn’t you know I moved to some of the most beautiful places on Earth and still the “I need” continued. I needed a better boss, I needed a partner, I needed more friends. How I was, right there in Houston was exactly how I was in all the other locations I have been. I’m not going to lie, it’s still a practice, I now need new pots and pans and a better toaster. The desire to want more or different I think is always there. The practice of being content is just that…a practice. What’s different about it for me now, in this place that I call home, is my personal definition of contentment. It is not… ”Ah well..that's the way it is”… it’s “Wow, this is the way it is? (mesmerized) I love it. I am so grateful…. I’m so lucky.” Wholehearted acceptance with joy and excitement.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
3 The Whole World is Ready. I used to think … “I have to be in a big city to offer what I want to offer. No one will be open to my offering, no one will be interested in what I have to say in those small towns”. Well, to my delight and ecstatic pleasure I have been proven very very wrong … and it feels so great to say it. I have to give a big thanks to the brave souls in this community who have gone beyond themselves to create something bigger, who looked a fear in the face and said: “I’m doing it anyway”. Melissa from Lake Pointe Yoga in Willis, Texas (yes I said Willis, Texas), Melanie from the YogaPod in The Woodlands, Sue from The Woodlands Yoga Studio, and now Annie from The Yoga Room Conroe and Roger and Albina from YogaOne in The Woodlands have all given this community a gift, a platform for people to come together and seek truth. And, little did I know how much this community was ready and ripe and primed for what lays ahead. I am so grateful that timing and place and kismet all came together. Everything, every moment I have ever lived through has lead me to this one moment right here, right now.
“What I want, also wants me.” - Also Rumi.