Hello, and a very happy 2016 to you all, if a little belatedly!
As I sit here in my little sanctuary, soaking up the beauty of this High Paradise - aka Alto Paraiso (Brazil) - I find myself reflecting on life on planet Earth in this twenty first century. I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you....
If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d probably agree that life can often feel like quite a struggle.
There’s so much that has to be taken care of just to function at a normal level. So many emails, texts, WhatsApp messages, then there’s the kids and/or the partner, and that’s before we even think about our dreams and heartfelt desires.
The papers, TV and our social media feeds are full of doom and gloom, and we feel compelled to do more in less time. The demands that we place upon ourselves are simply too much. It’s little wonder that stress and chronic disease are spiraling out of control.
And yet, those of us who live with political freedom, and are of sound mind and able body, we have so much to be grateful for. We’re not immigrants fleeing from a war zone, we’ve had the privilege of a good education, we have food on our tables, and a roof over our heads. We have the possibility to create a compelling future.
So how do we cope with the incredible overload of information, demands and stress? How do we deal with our loneliness, anxiety and struggle, and yet still remain full of gratitude?
How do we become the masters of our own health and happiness?
I believe that we all have the possibility to create a compelling life for ourselves. A life rich with love, creativity and peace of mind. I also believe that the people we surround ourselves with are one of the most essential elements in our quest for such a life.
With this in mind, I would like to begin by saying how grateful I am for the incredible people in my life and the way that they support me.
I have had the great good fortune to be the founder of Ashiyana Yoga Retreat Village in Goa, where I recently spent one month. My trip was planned to be for two weeks, yet, after just a few days, I knew that I wasn’t ready to leave as scheduled. In fact, it was important for me to stay on for an extra two weeks.
What unravelled over those four weeks amounted to one of the most enriching and important months of my life. For the first time in nine years, my little baby, Ashiyana, nurtured me in a way that touched me deeply. Or, perhaps said more accurately, I allowed it to nurture me!
Ashiyana Yoga Retreat Village, Mandrem, Goa, India
(Photo by Hannah Witte Photography)
Following the dream that is Ashiyana, has not always been easy, and the last ten years have tested me more than I could ever imagine.
Creating a business in India, as a foreigner, is no simple matter. So, in the past, I have frequently found it hard to fully relax in my own ‘home’. But I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by loving people that have believed in my dream and trusted that life would take care of us; and indeed she has.
It’s been my experience, that when I slow down, connect with my breathing and sense inwardly what life is gently saying to me, then I am endlessly guided from within. Whilst she makes no promises about exactly what the future holds, life responds to my heartfelt intentions, and conspires to support me in my undertakings. This feels like riding my own personal magic carpet. The challenges of life still arise, but they are manageable when I allow myself to be nurtured by the loving community around me.
So here we are, at the threshold of 2016, and on the immediate horizon there is a lot to be excited about. I am beginning to manifest the ‘on and offline’ support system that I have been planning for several years:
I am launching my first book - “Wake Up and SOAR” in May; we are opening a new Retreat Village in Brazil in July, where we are launching our new
300hr yoga teacher training; and a small team and myself are launching the SOAR App in the late summer (enabling you to book a wellbeing practitioner in your area).
I am excited, a little nervous, and SOARing :)
The book, which was written three times over a three year period, now only requires marketing, however the other two projects are immense. So why am I even contemplating such a crazy undertaking? In a word, because I am crazy! But also, because I have an incredible team of smart, motivated people who share my passion and vision.
Wake Up and SOAR - to be released May 2016
I believe that life’s greatest achievements do not arise from a “normal” state of mind. Rather they spring forth, unstoppably, from that vast creative reservoir that I call the “playground of manifestation”. When we are filled with passion and surfing the magic carpet of our dreams, we experience our “natural quality of mind”. Here, we are 100% alive, so that we are able to access universal wisdom, and remain steadfastly focused.
A second thing I should say is this (but please don’t tell the team at Ashiyana or SOAR) - goals and dreams are there to inspire us, to give us focus, and to cause us to jump out of bed in the morning with eyes shining bright, just as we did when we were kids. They are not meant to go precisely to plan, but rather to galvanise us into action!
So, just as Ashiyana has become my support system, which is now giving birth to new projects, I wish for you that, if you haven’t already, you create a beautiful, supportive community around yourself. With this in place, you can pursue your dreams and heartfelt desires, beginning with an incredible 2016 filled with peace, love and inspiration :)
Lots of love,
P.S. - If your dream is to become a yoga teacher, or you want to evolve your teaching (and your marketability) with a 300hr teacher training, then join us in Brazil this summer! Click here for the course brochure. (Only a few places are left...!)
"Through introspection we can remember our connection with the source. From here, all is well, and our mind-made problems melt away. From this space of inner calm, we can transcend many of our apparent limitations - our genetic predispositions, our unhealthy environments and our ego mind. We will discover that we are, and always have been, able to create our lives according to our deepest desires".
(From "Wake Up and SOAR - How to master your own wellbeing")
Wake Up and SOAR!