Six months ago I decided to give up most of my material possessions and embark on a new journey into the unknown. I am a firm believer in taking chances and living life to the fullest and I wanted to try something new; something that would get me out of my comfort zone completely; something to shake up the foundations I had built for the last 2-3 years of my life, with no expectations but simply allowing myself to take every experience as it comes.
I came to Greece, where I followed my passion of teaching yoga, learning from amazing mentors and meeting likeminded people sharing the same passions and aspirations in life. I have been island hoping in Greece, just me and my little black suitcase with just enough things in it, like clothes, my journal, and a few sentimental things. I keep those I love close to me, always in my heart knowing that wherever I am in the world, they are with me. I rarely say goodbye or I miss you because I know these people are always with me and I with them.
I have been to places that opened my heart, healed my wounds, brought clarity to my mind and internal peace to my soul. I have walked on roads that have been forgotten by others, places with kind locals who have never been outside of their little island but who have more wisdom and appreciation for life than others I had met who have seen the world. I found myself lost in-between picturesque settings of mountains and sea, swam in the crystal-clear Aegean Sea, watched the sunsets every day for a month, spent time with myself in the nature, meditated at sunrise and listened to the melodic echoes of the birds, actually just sitting still and just allowing myself to listen. I have met amazing people, who not long ago were strangers and have now become part of my life, opening their arms to me and welcoming me into their homes and lives. I fell in love and learnt to let go, appreciating the darkness some experiences bring from which a brighter light follows. I have lived in places that had only 2 cafes, 4 restaurants and 1 little supermarket shop that had just enough of what I needed to be fed, clean and warm. This was a complete change from living in big cities previously, having everything accessible to me and many options available. I had to share rooms with strangers which is a big difference considering that I used to live in a beautiful apartment on my own for the last almost 3 years, enjoying my own comfort. I learnt to share my space with others who did exactly the same and found comfort in uncomfortable and new experiences.
Living in the Greek islands taught me to recognise what is important in life and to appreciate the simplicity of life. Some people here may not have much but what they do have is an abundance of compassion and kindness, teaching me to find mine and give without expecting in return. Here I found the meaning of unconditional love for myself and others, to stop pushing myself so hard, to let go of the idea that I need to be anything more than I am and to just accept and love myself just the way I am. This is a process that takes time, self-awareness and a lot of observation of the self. I continue to learn and to open myself to this every day. I came here with an open mind, embarking on an adventure my soul called for. So, I listened and now I have turned yet another page of my book of life.
I wake up and most mornings I go to the beach, watch the sunrise and swim in the sea. I practice yoga and meditation daily, and I am blessed enough to share my practice with people from different parts of the world who come to my yoga classes, to experience yoga themselves. I focus on writing and working on my second book, having enough space to keep inspired. I have learned to focus on my breath, to appreciate each inhale and to let go with every exhale. Breathing mindfully teaches us to live in the moment, understanding that each inhale is a new experience and each exhale we let go of it trusting this present state. And I continue everyday teaching yoga and empowering others and myself to connect, love and accept the body, ourselves and our hearts.
I have opened myself to the world; I walked into the unknown completely confident in myself and the universe without having any expectations other than being true to myself and spending my days as I love to do so. I learned to say yes to new experiences, to forgive myself and others, to let go of judgement, to acknowledge my fears and I continued to go on this path regardless of how scared or alone I felt at times. When you travel alone, the feeling of loneliness can be very overpowering but if you just acknowledge it and then let go, you will realise you are never really alone. I have learned to embrace change and allow life to unfold itself, trusting that everything happens for me not against me. Most importantly I continue to discover the external world and my inner world in every moment, trying to see all that is within and outside with clarity, with no if’s or but’s instead to just take it all in.
Not everybody needs to leave everything behind and start new, but I think we can all be honest enough with ourselves to understand how we want to spend our life, from the guidance we receive from within and not from our ego. We can reinvent ourselves in any given moment in life, understanding that we don’t have to hold onto past ideas or self-limiting beliefs which keep us stuck in a routine that keeps us still. Living is about experiencing the present moment, about letting go of the past, about being open to get to know our true self and continuing to discover this daily. Everything is temporary, yet often we think otherwise. And so we become dependent on others, on our jobs, on our material possessions. This can certainly provide us with a feeling of security and stability, but we are also beings made to move, to expand, to grow and to adapt to change. To experience adventures that bring us outside of our bubble, whatever they may be for you.
Our life is like a painting. Exposed too much to something it may dry and the colours may fade, but we have the ability to discover new shades and apply these to renew the meaning of this masterpiece. The picture may change, but we are the artist and we hold the paint brush, allowing us to decide. Create your painting and follow your own path. Sometimes you need to take the road less travelled. Lead the way with your heart open and your mind flexible enough to let go of ideals and take in new ways of seeing the world. Most importantly give yourself the respect and nurture to be part of the experiences which fill your heart with joy and your day with kindness, love and happiness.