It all started when I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada. I grew up in a loving nuclear suburban family with two parents and a brother (again, fortunate).
But like many suburban youth, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. School didn’t directly impact me, and I was more interested in my dramatic social relationships and fast forwarding to becoming successful (and by successful I thought rich). I worked in restaurants and bars, I paid for all my own shit, I had a car, I was just very independent early on. I was on my own schedule, regularly skipping class but never missing a shift at work. I had heavier priorities than most when I was a teenager, paying for clothing, bills, alcohol, drugs, boyfriend’s court fees, you know; the usual. I was able to barely make it through high school, fast track my way to a college diploma, graduate and run down my path to the flashy job title, the big salary and the apartment downtown.
This kind of track record set me up for a whole lot of life experience. I ran into an unpaid internship and bullshit contracts. I ran into a relationship with the wrong person. I ran into a situation that I couldn’t sustain, and how could I? I was trying to do everything at once: nail down the career, the house, the dog, maybe even the life partner, all in my very early twenties (can you hear the bomb ticking yet?) So yes. My relationship ended horribly and I was so broke I was eating one meal a day for months – only having half of my lunch at work and saving the over half for dinner (or not). I’ve gotten myself in and out of some pretty cray-cray situations. I’ve lost and found friends, boyfriends, and relatives. I’ve worked my ass off, moved in and out of home, loved and been loved, broke things and been broken, been missed, kissed, and betrayed. I have hated and lied, been cheated on, manipulated, and abused.
Which leads me to this chapter. Today is Wednesday, May 10th, 2017. It’s 8:10 a.m. I’m writing this peacefully with my coconut coffee and my essential oils filling the air. I’m sitting at my desk in the room I grew up in, at 26 years old and feeling totally safe and secure. If someone had told the 17-year-old me that I’d be careerless and living back home at age 26, my exact thought would be “FAIL.” But what I didn’t realize all this time while I was “dealing” with my somewhat unfortunate past by trying to become CEO of every company I worked at and proving to everyone that I made it in life; I was just misusing all that energy to feed my ego. Ditching my corporate career to teach yoga doesn’t feel like failing in the slightest. Things happen for reasons bigger than our understanding, and I have gratitude that I was given this opportunity to choose health and happiness over money and material things. No one on their death bed lays there wishing they’d spent more time at the office. So why not choose to spend your short time on this planet doing some good for yourself and for others? We spend our days working jobs we hate popping prescription pills we can’t afford to improve our quality of life, and we’ve forgotten about the things we can control. I basically just chose to use my body instead of sitting for a living. See? It’s very simple. We all have the ability to choose.
Just because our parents, friends, or the social majority around us are doing something does not mean we have to follow. It took me a while to realize the corporate ladder my parents shot to the top of when they were early in their careers has become a stump. I had the Starbucks latte, the heels, the blazer, the business cards, and the intelligence – but no fulfillment. I’ve worked on large-scale corporate marketing teams for one of Canada’s largest publicly traded insurance companies, I’ve worked at small-scale advertising agencies, and even for “cool-culture”, dog-friendly, jeans-every-day tech start-ups. And none of those made me feel happy, rich, or at peace in my life. I wanted to do something useful. I wanted a good work day to be “how many people did I have a positive impact on today”, not “how many emails did I send” or “how many weeks until we have to hit that outrageous sales target”. We’re all unique souls and we all have our own gifts – and we need to listen to our intuitions in order to trust those gifts. I know, it’s hard, we’re busy and we want to move forward and if you’re labelled a “millennial” like me, you’re probably just trying to survive out there. It’s hard. But just try. Even beginning with the tiniest of changes, to spend more of your time doing things that actually make you happy.
I can’t WAIT to continue my yoga journey this summer and complete my 200 hour teacher training. I have a vision that runs deep, farther than just a vibin’ Vinyasa practice on the beaches of Toronto with some Drake beats, farther than a late-night steamy Yin practice on a full moon, farther than a flow designed to help get you through a breakup, filled with heart-opening postures and uplifting lyrics from Beyonce. Yoga isn’t like hitting the gym. For me, and so many others, its a way to heal the body, mind, and spirit. And I’m so excited and grateful that I’ve found a way to share my way of healing with you all.