lessons

the time i followed my ticker and hit the reset button.

I experienced a big (read: massive) life transition just over three years ago. A new city, solo status and wide open social calendar was my reality as I was welcomed into a pretty badass community. With like minded people surrounding me and opporunity a'plenty to get to know Vancouver on a whole new level, my once empty calendar was quickly jam-packed with coffee dates, workout plans and networking events. On a mission to 'do more' I layered on the commitments - what I can now identify as my 'feel less' tactic. The 'do more' turned into 'be more', 'connect more', 'write more', 'date more' - among others - which created some pretty gnarly 'less' activity. 'Sleep less' was a big one, with 'dance less' following close behind. My pursuit of stuffing what I was feeling by adding on more 'things' to life disconnected me from what mattered the most; my friends near and far, my family and most importantly, myself. Yet, while hindsight is 20/20, in the moment,'more' felt like the right and the only thing to do.

I was looking - searching - for an answer to what else I could be doing that would fill the empty feeling that I had  through long days of impactful work with fantastic people. All signs pointed to being in the best place possible to learn and grow a career with heaps of potential - yet I looked at myself with disappointment and frustration. How the heck could it be that by having such a full life I felt so empty? My 'more' mentality kept me moving forward, asking for bigger projects and expanding my working days well beyond the norm of the nine-to-five. And then, May 2013 rolled around.

May was a month of #wishbombs. June was a month of adventure; where Iceland was not only an uncharted travel experience but also a first taste of doing less and experiencing more. July was a tipping point where 'more' met 'enough'. August was a month of boldness; admitting that life wasn't working and making the claim that it was worth changing something; and resigning from a job that had supported me through three career changes in three years and never stopped believing in me or my potential. And it was bold to not know what I was going to do next. All I knew is that I was following my heart and getting back in touch with a part of me that I had quieted too many years before.

My last day at work, October 5, came around uncharcteristically fast; and with it, a day that I thought would be marked by tears, apologies, promises and yes, a red carpet and a marching band wishing me well into the next chapter of life. Much like every other Saturday this year, it came and passed without event. No pomp and circumstance, no red carpet, no marching band. Most suprisingly, no remorse and no regret. Let's be honest - there was fear coursing through every vein in my body and a sense of 'what now?' that I couldn't ignore. AND, I felt complete, in every sense of the word.

Now, I'm finding my happy. I'm creating and connecting. I'm writing, sharing, playing in new career opportunities and listening to heaps of really good music. My days are experiments in working some, playing some, drinking too much coffee and getting some time for me. And it's a fine balance - always trying to do what's needed in the moment and know when I'm going into 'more' over drive. Which doesn't come easy, but I'm learning.

So, here goes. I'm re-meeting myself. I'm getting to know the real Me and letting that whiskey-loving, Jess-of-all-trades, Americano junkie out. I'm writing. I'm storytelling about people that I think are interesting. And I'm learning along the way. Lots. Stay tuned for tales of travel, trials, tribulations, celebrations - you get it. There's more to come, always with a side of something to make you go 'hmmm.' Enjoy the ride.

life lessons through getting bendy and salt-water fests.

Iceland was just a chip off the very top of a deep iceberg this past July. I went to the country of contradictions to explore  my roots and spend time on the mat. Reality: it was so much more. It was about connecting to a new community, to the people in the room and to our yoga practice through the elements. That brief experience was a catalyst for overdue reflection and is what sparked a phone call to register for another yoga experience - paralleled in 'why I'm going' intentions yet unmatched by any learning experience I've cannon-balled into to date. Yep, THAT big, that ripple-inducing. THAT good.

This time around it was Teacher Training with Ryan Leier at One Yoga for the People in Vancouver (no jet setting this time). With intentions of getting really good at handstands and discovering more about yoga philosophy, I was amazed to find how much I wound up learning from a most unexpected teacher - me. While I had some friends let me know the amount of reflection and 'you' work involved in the training process, I was brought me to my knees faster than you can say 'savasana'. Albeit an intense subject - facing your demons and all that business - the week was positively positive. Ultimately I walked away from the training feeling lighter, more mentally clear and with a sense of self that I haven't felt in ages. The waterworks were matched with laughter a'plenty and high quality dance parties at the end of some of the longest (read: sweatiest) days we worked through. The fun factor was high amidst the salt-water extravaganza.

Yes, my ability to feel my way into the poses increased as we explored the anatomy of a posture. And, while ten days sans vino plus gnarly two-to-three hour practices cleansed me on a physical level, I'm moreso keen to share the top three things that were greeting me head on as we navigated this yoga-wonderland.

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the  barriers within yourself that you have built against it." - Rumi

1. I have been on the search for love for a long time. what I haven't been doing in that process is searching for what I needed to do to love me first and to let any kind of love in. To be a giver is an altruistic role to play - until it's at the expense of one's health or happiness. Or until it's a deflection tactic from getting real with oneself and owning up to some serious work needing to be done. Time to bust down some barriers, Jess.

"Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice." - B.K.S. Iyengar.

2. Out with a disposable outlook - in with a sustainable one. Most importantly - a sustainable lifestyle. One that incorporates time for work, play, people, relationships, growth, groceries, shopping and sipping wine. With people I love. Oh, and phone calls, too.

"Practice Courage. Grow Roots. Get High. Truth Is. We Are One." - One Yoga creed.

3. I have alwasy connected to yoga for the physical benefits of the practice. Although it keeps me limber and tones me up, it's truly a tuning fork for my connection with myself and what I know to be true. What I learned this week is that yoga really is union - mind, body, self, others, higher beings. Whatever that means to each individual on their unique path.

More tales from the mat are to come....of this I am most positive. Oh, and keep your eyes out for this wandering yogi offering some commnity classes here and there as time wears on....