Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. —Anaïs Nin
Story time: Originally from Oklahoma, I couldn’t wait to explore life beyond the windy Great Plains. After graduating from college, I backpacked through Europe with a childhood friend and moved to Summit County, Colorado to ski and work.
Unable to release into the chill mountain lifestyle, I worked many jobs, learned to snowboard, and grew antsy. So I packed up my car and drove to Washington, DC to attend a paralegal program at Georgetown University. It was time to for adulting.
I landed my dream spot in the nation’s largest intellectual property firm complete with an office and secretary. I’d made it . . . or so I thought. Soon I found myself dreaming of retirement from this corporate job—in 40 years—to travel and live life on my own terms. Surely there had to be more.
Constantly seeking, I looked into graduate programs, read piles of self-help books, and was rarely separated from my journal. I ended an abusive relationship and exchanged it for a black rescue cat named Bonnard (after French Impressionist Pierre Bonnard). The cat was a much better fit.
During my exploration, I developed an intrigue for yoga, signed up for a teacher training, became obsessed with Anaïs Nin and read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. The book and training launched me into my next phase. I invited strangers into my living room. We practiced yoga around a fireplace in my fourth floor walk-up and sipped homemade chai. That was 1999.
By 2000, I took a scary leap into self-employment. A women’s studies degree, retreats, a clothing line, books, a planner, mentoring, a non-profit, an additional studio location, a blog, a podcast, a social work degree, a tranquility tour in a vintage camper named Miss Lillie followed, a social work license, a private psychotherapy practice, the sale of my 18-year-old yoga studio baby, and a return to the ballet barre.
Everything I do began as a seed—a desire for an experience that I couldn’t find. Whether a feminine yoga studio with chandeliers or comfy clothing that transitions from day to night, all of my offerings started out as passion projects to satisfy my own inner cravings.
The road was never without bumps. There was loss of those dearest to me. There was betrayal. There were people who came and went. There have been mistakes. It’s all part of the journey.
And I’m still seeking. Still addicted to self-help, learning, and growing. Still wanting to leave the world a better place. Still not in perfect balance. Honestly, finding that coveted life balance often feels like two steps forward and one step back. “Doing it all” is a delicate dance of fits and starts, missteps, and an occasional curtain bow.
And so the journey continues.
The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. —Agnes de Mille