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I once read the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. If you get a chance to read it, you should. It’s a good book. In the book, she describes her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail and the personal changes she underwent during that journey. In it, she describes this as “doing something glorious and hard”. If you’ve ever busted some boundaries and dared to do something you didn’t think you could, you know exactly what that feels like. Like the time I went alone to India for 5 weeks and lived in an ashram and took my yoga teachers training. That’s what I was remembered, as I read those words.
Did you know that I did that? That journey was earth-shattering for me. I traveled for days to get Mumbai, even crossed the country on a train, which in India is quite an adventure on its own. Threw myself into the world of suicidal scooter-taxis and “helpers” who will grab your things without permission and then demand money for helping you. The world where saying the word “no” is considered rude, so if you ask a question and you’re met with “okay-okay”, you can be pretty sure they really meant no. Or maybe. Sometimes it means yes. I never really figured that out.
I spent hours of a 13-hour strict regiment bending my body in ways I didn’t even know it could, working for two weeks just to be able to find the balance on my head and endless hours of meditation, most of them spent resisting an itch. Excursions to local temples, climbing 500 steps and getting to see the innermost holy of a temple, something most westerners don’t get to see.
Doing karma yoga, which is basically doing chores, thought of as "working out your karma". Learning the ways of yoga, the 8 limbs of yoga, how the mind works, how this world is an illusion and how to seek the path to enlightenment. But most profoundly was the change in me. How I woke to my true self, my desires my passion and started listening to my heart and what it had to tell me. I came there to get a teacher's certificate. I walked away with so much more.
That was glorious and hard.
So, years later, as I was reading Cheryl Strayed’s words, I was thinking: it’s been a long time since I’ve done something glorious and hard.
Fast forward to today. This morning I woke to an aching body. Aching from a 6 am rise the day before with a 5-hour drive, a soundcheck, a showcase and hours of networking afterward. On top of that, only having very little to eat and fighting an inner ear infection on antibiotics. My whole body is aching this morning as I slowly get ready for the next 5-hour drive. I was even thinking it takes a certain type of person to be willing to do this.
But on top of it all, I’m smiling. I'm happy. Because I am living my dream. Because the opportunities that lie before me seem so bright and the showcase yesterday went so well. I’m excited to have an agent who is genuine and looking out for me.
I’ve been preparing for this for 9 years. I’ve been honing my craft, taking the steps (sometimes one step forward and two steps back) making the necessary changes, adjusted, created and created some more. It’s been a long journey and I’m starting to see some fruit, but it’s still my journey. And then it hit me: I am doing it! I am doing something glorious and hard.