“At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. Last week, I picked up a discarded book from my mother’s library; I remembered how sometimes a few little words can change your life: such is the power of words when they speak to the soul.
Back in the summer of 2015 as I arrived to the wild mountain villages of Crete I felt the whole universe conspiring to help me. I was in a land full of treasure, a heaven unravished by greed that was nourishing my happiness, daring me to dream and promising peace. I had arrived into the soul of the earth where the stars shone like the first day of forever, the waters glistened like the jewels of eternity and the wind blew mightily moving me into perfect sync with my destiny. Even now, words fail to describe the magic of nature that beats within those waters, drawing you home to your true self; it is something only to be experienced when the time is right.
My moment had arrived and I found myself absorbed in the white washed walls of Pavlo’s Place, the family-run Greek tavern at Triopetra on the southern tip of Crete, the vibrations of healing energy enlivening me as every morning I stepped out on the terrace and enjoyed creamy goats milk yoghurt, local honey, Greek coffee and silence against a panorama of fascination: the trio of rocks landmarking Triopetra, the rickety sail boats oscillating on the waves of daybreak and the auroral rays of sunshine that set the skies ablaze. The locals, many of whom, live to over a 100, with their generous spirits, low prices and high hearts wrapped me a safe blanket of family hood – was this just a dream? And then I recalled the warning line Paulo Coelho inserted into his uplifting fable, “But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realise their destiny.” Clearly It was not safe to doubt a single thing.
What followed this week of yoga in the sun was not just the regular sense of holiday elevation but something deeper. I realised that perhaps after the greatest, most daunting changes and experiences I had undergone in my life, not only had my voice and confidence suffered but my spirit had saddened too. Yet, it seemed I had momentarily forgotten that the universe is never working against us, only ever with us. After placing me exactly where I needed to be: a lonely faraway land – it was here that I was destined to grow. As I hung out under the fireworks of starlight every night at Triopetra with only the sounds of waves and whispers in the air I could hear that which I had not been willing to listen to: pain is part of the process of evolution, hard experiences are blessing in disguises, places and people must be left behind in order for you to grow into the person you are intended to be and now was my time to come back, grow stronger and stand taller.
One of the tiers in the whole enchilada of yoga in action is Tapas, tapas means a burning desire to practise yoga and intense effort applied to practice, this burning desire also includes a burning effect on the body and consciousness burning away impurities, old habituated and negative thought patterns and memories, making way for the new. Naturally we cling to the known, the comfortable and familiar, we are afraid of and resist change sometimes at the expense of our own happiness.
We dampen our potential by remaining cemented in one place, afraid to move forward, yet change is the only consistent force in this entire universe; every single thing is in a constant state of change even down to the microscopic cells in your fingertips – and if we try to resist this law of nature we create great convolutions of unproductive pain.
There is a line from the Bhagavad Gita that I like to use as a powerful manta during all trying times, “Be one in self-harmony, in Yoga, and arise, great warrior, arise.” There is a warrior within each and everyone of us – when you lose job/money/position trust that your true fortunes are about to be revealed, when you lose your lover have faith that a matchless companion awaits, when your health quavers be sure this is a test to enable your heart to blossom, when you become an addict/depressive/angry grant the way for your inner hero to awaken and combat your demons.
If something really frightens you whether that be a problem with your boss or the prospect of making a big commitment, walk towards it – never run away, only with this courage in our hearts can we learn to be the masters of our world: self reliant, responsible, reliable, dutiful and wise.
I made a wish that very night to change my thoughts, my attitudes and beliefs and to take absolute control of my life. I dreamed that I would be able to share my knowledge with others and to inspire truth seekers on their paths. One year later I was back with the same ferocious wind blasting my hair and purifying my being, only this time I was with my beautiful family and a group of hungry students and a soul that burned as brightly as the sun.
I believe the wise words of Paulo Coelho that whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you are ready, it is your mission in this earth to find your purpose, yet sometimes we get lost in life. When this moment presents itself, which it no doubt will, we need to make an outer voyage to a place where the wise words of nature can speak to our soul and an inner journey home. Day to day life is complicated, difficult and busy and occasionally we need to retreat; as the great Persian poet Rumi taught us; “You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”
And fly together, we will. Next year in 2017 I wish to continue to light the road less travelled for those looking to successful soar through life and am offering 3 instalments of Inner Awakening yoga retreats down in the depths of Crete, each retreat will follow an intelligent and simply designed programme in order for us to methodologically climb the ladders of life with vitality. Contact the retreats team for further info.
Kat Webster is on the Soul Seed Travel blogging team.
Following the completion of an intensive yoga teacher training in Morocco with Yoga Alliance UK I have continued to progress on my spiritual path, training and studying with the likes of renown teachers Shiva Rea, Simon Parks, Rod Stryker, Bodhiyoga.es (mindfulness yoga), Tara Lee and Uma Dinsmore-Tuli.
I am passionate about sharing the joy of yoga with all and run 2 successful yoga studios in Spain from where I also hosts monthly retreats, combining Buddhist principles, meditation and a flowing form of vinyasa yoga that creates energy, joy and health in every cell, pulse and beat of the mindbody – igniting your soul and enlivening your spirit www.lifeesbella.tumblr.com