I had the great pleasure of attending Oprah Winfrey's “Your Path Made Clear” in June. Oprah said we would already “know” much of what she was going to speak about, and she was right. Just because we “know” something however, it doesn’t necessarily mean we allow ourselves to believe it. Listening to Oprah share her stories helped me to believe what I know.
I have long believed in the "concept" of having a path, but it wasn’t until my mid-40s that I really began to embrace it. I started to accept that my path is unique to me and I began to put more trust in the process. Looking back now, random events no longer seem so random. I am fascinated by how seemingly unconnected events - and people- created a chain reaction of sorts to guide me to my path, even the roadblocks had a purpose. Have I doubted myself or questioned my decisions? Of course. Do I wish we could afford to go on a family vacation and that we didn’t have to worry about how we will pay the bills? Absolutely. But, I also believe that things work out the way they are supposed to and if we put in the effort, find our path, find our passion and stay true to ourselves, we will ultimately be OK.
While there have been a great number of events - and people -that have had an influence on the choices I have made, the direction I have gone and the person I have become, I will highlight just a few.
1982, I was in Grade 10 and was a very shy, insecure teenager who dreaded gym class. Imagine my surprise when my Phys. Ed. teacher asked me if I would teach aerobics to the school. I politely refused, yet I secretly wished I had the courage to do it. I never regretted not taking her up on it, the mere thought of it still terrifies me, but I often wondered what would have happened if I had been more confident in myself and my abilities. Maybe she saw something in me that I did not. The seed had been planted.
1994, I was working overseas and found myself wishing I was a Yoga Teacher so I could teach Yoga to the other expatriates, I could even picture it. I had never even set foot on a Yoga mat at that time, where was this vision coming from?
2001, I purchased my first Yoga mat and began to practice. While attending classes, I started thinking about what I would have taught next, or how I would have done something differently. It was never a criticism of the teacher; I was simply imagining myself teaching the class.
April, 2011, I had been taking a class at my local YMCA called “Fusion” and out of the blue, the instructor asked me if I would teach her class the next day – the second time in my life someone was directing me to this path. I heard myself saying yes. I still don’t know why I agreed to do it, but perhaps I was recalling how I wished I could have said yes in high school and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity a second time. Despite the fact that I was absolutely terrified, it went pretty well and I ended up taking over the class. I went on to earn AFLCA certification in 2012, followed by Yoga Teacher certification in 2013.
In my youth, my Mom used to watch a show called “Yoga Fits In”, led by legendary local Yoga teacher Gerda Krebs. My Mom would try to get me to practice Yoga with her but I always refused because I thought Yoga was boring. In 2015, I began training with Gerda. Gerda’s TV show had been revived, and although this was my first training with her, she asked me to be on her show. She said that she typically only asked her long-time students, but for some reason, she felt I should be on her show, she couldn’t explain it, she just knew it. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone – again. I ended up appearing on two of Gerda’s shows.
March 2016, during another training session with Gerda, she introduced me to the “Five Tibetans”. I was intrigued and began to investigate, discovering to my dismay that there were several different versions. What was the “right” way to do this? My research led me to Jerry Watt, a rare book collector and editor who is just as passionate about the Tibetans and about honoring the original practice as I am.
April 2017, Jerry informed me that a very rare 1939 edition of The Eye of Revelation, the original book about the Five Tibetans, was up for sale. I became the proud new owner of this book and was now able to practice the Tibetans the way they were meant to be done.
Early 2018, wanting to share this valuable information, I began to plan a workshop. While writing my handouts, I soon realized I had enough information for a book. The thought of writing a book wasn’t exactly new to me. I have considered writing an autobiography before (why, I don’t know) and have also thought about writing a book about Edmonton’s live music history. Once I started to toss the idea for the music book around, it seemed as if at every concert I attended, the artist would share some bizarre story about their time in Edmonton decades ago. I took this as a sign that I was on the right path and I started to picture myself interviewing different artists and amassing a unique collection of stories. The enormity of the project caused me to put it on the backburner however, and that is where it still sits. I’m not ready for a project that immense quite yet, but I am not closing the door on it either, I do think it is a story that needs to be told. Now that I have one book under my belt, I guess another one is not unrealistic.
April 2019, eight years after essentially being pushed into teaching my first class, my book, The Original Five Tibetans was published. It took me a year to write and I often wondered if I was in over my head. Even so, something kept pushing me to keep going; I just knew that this was what I was supposed to do. I now share my knowledge and experience in workshops and will continue to look for more ways to gain exposure for my work. It has been a challenging, uphill battle at times, but I will keep pushing forward on this adventure, on my path.
I may not have understood at the time why certain things happened when they did or the way they did, but when I look back now, I can see that it was all part of the process. I have focused on the positives, but the negatives played a large role in guiding me to my path as well, this is something I am well aware of.
It's been an interesting ride, I look forward to seeing where my path takes me next. #PathMadeClear