Once upon a time, a long time ago, I stepped off a plane in a foreign land for the first time on my own.
That land was Japan and I was on a brief stopover on my way to a new life in another land, the United States of America. That was my only plan… the rest, I was winging it!
Little did I know how significantly that first overseas trip would change the trajectory of my life and shape me as a person. Never could I have imagined that one day I’d return to Japan to spend time sharing a hobby I picked up whilst on my travels, that turned into a passion, and eventually into way of life and my source of comfort, wisdom and income.
This amazing yoga-glowing photo video was taken just minutes after the end of the final class I taught at Powder Yoga Niseko this season. It was possibly my favourite class I’d taught all season…one of those ‘Goldilocks’ moments where everything was ‘just right’; the intention, the energy, the breath, the movement, the space, the stillness, the people that came together to co-create it, the soft winter afternoon light streaming through the studio and the crystal clear views of Mount Yotei our constant silent guide. Half of the class I had planned… the rest of it just unfolded. Here’s to winging it with confidence!
It’s magic moments like these that fill my cup and help remind me why I love to do what I do: Yoga – whether as a personal practice or an offering. My thanks go out to everyone at Powder Yoga Niseko for inspiring me and keeping my inner candle flame burning bright these last three months… because not all of my moments this season were light.
Along with all of the powder filled wonder and fun of this season… there’s also been some challenging times with many long-repeated scenarios in my life resurfacing for release and – hopefully – resolution. Unlike that first time I travelled away from home, this time I went to Japan with expectations and an agenda for how I could best use my time… I wanted to plan my next steps, and move forward with my business and my life. I was quickly schooled in the folly of believing I could control what lies in the future and was constantly called back to the present moment, by roadblocks like illness and other situations that were like signposts to how my beliefs and actions developed in the past have shaped my current view of life.
Sometimes it’s important to have a plan, a strategy, an image in your mind of what the future might hold. It can help you bring it to life and manifest your dreams into physical form. Other times – like my time here in Japan, you’re called to drop into a deep trust in the process and let go of the fear, the control, the insignificance of your mortal thoughts and egoic mind and float down the river of life without a raft or a paddle.
My travels in Japan have been a timely reminder that sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us and that somehow, somewhere there’s ‘something’ directing us to let go of everything we think we know and allow ourselves to be guided towards something unfamiliar, unexpected and new. New and unfamiliar can be scary – a feeling we usually try and avoid. But it is in exactly these raw and vulnerable moments that we invite magic to unfold and find some of the most powerful and transformative experiences of our lives. Call it intuition, flow, synchronicity, magic, trust, universal guidance, god, faith, divine timing, feeling the fear and doing it anyway – what ever floats your spiritual boat or moves your soul – it is all the same life lesson in trust and letting go. And I have very recently been schooled!
I’m still not sure if I have graduated with flying colours but I am grateful for the reminder that things work out for the best, regardless of how much energy I invest in worrying about them being a particular way. And that when I do just open up and allow people and experiences to flow lightly both into and out of my life there is an incredible richness and ease to both my relationships and the opportunities that come my way.
Now that my time in beautiful Niseko is over and I am once again back in the land down under, I feel more and more like this trip was like the end of a volume, rather than just the end of another chapter of my life. It’s more like a bookend to an epic and adventurous tale I began at 20 with a rocking party and flying stop over in the land of the rising sun on the way to an unplanned new life. It feels good to be back in that state of adventurous flow where anything is possible and almost everything is unknown!
In this ripe time of receiving, my meditation practice helps me stay open to guidance and in tune with my intuition. Each morning I open to the question ‘I wonder what is possible?’ and sit quietly open to the answers. It’s been a great practice for Mindful March that I plan to continue as I readjust to life back in Oz and wait for the signals on what my next move might be.
I’ve been attached to my wanderlusting lifestyle from that very first adventure that began in Japan. Over this time I’ve realised that sometimes doors stay open, either wide or ever so slightly so you can slide back inside the places and stories of your life that make you comfortable. Other times, doors are closed firmly, either for you or by you to end certain chapters of your life.
It feels interesting and different to let a story about myself go, to let a door gently close and sit quietly in the moment accepting not knowing what the future holds. I’m excited to explore what’s possible as I reveal a blank page on which to start a new volume of my life…
I am grateful to all the characters who’ve their played parts, small or large in bringing my story to life so far! Thanks for the memories, and here’s to leaping bravely into the unknown once again and embracing the magic in each moment.