I’m writing to you from the comforts of my bestie’s apartment in Vancouver. It’s a grey morning (typical of Vancouver) and I have my lemon water on one side, and my (organic, Gerson’s) coffee on another. I am sitting in my friend’s beautiful KALI yoga pants (custom-made for the #sisterhood retreat I helped co-host in Costa Rica last month), and I feel a sense of calm and peace, amongst a small amount of chaos. There is a lot changing around me. Life is always in flux- that we know. And sometimes, it feels like it is in more flux than ever- as if everything in life is changing at a rapid pace and you can barely slow down to watch it all transition at the pace of light. My life is going through some major changes. From as little as the way my body feels, to as big as where I am going to live for the foreseeable future.
It’s been exactly a month since I was in Costa Rica with my sisters. It’s been exactly a month since I woke up at the same time every morning to sunlight, in a treehouse in the jungle, and moved my body all day long. It’s been exactly a month since I ate three Ayurvedic meals a day that were always at the same time (signified by the sound of a horn), and felt so good in my body. It’s been exactly a month since I danced my heart out in a jungle pagoda, sweating like I never have before and being cheered on by howlers. When I arrived home from Costa Rica, I felt old thoughts of my past come into the present space. As I felt lighter, more limber and slimmer- I noticed thoughts of control, wanting to hold onto this simple way of life. Being surrounded by the souls and spirits of a group of women who loved deeply, shared courageously and lived wildly. It was as if my mind knew what was coming (all of the change) and it felt comfortable getting through it all, in this Costa Rican yogic body.
As soon as we try to hold onto something, chances are- it will pass us by. Not that my body has changed, or that I am no longer yogic- but we can’t hold onto feelings. Because they are just that, feelings. Feelings are temporary. A feeling in the body is temporary. This yogic feeling I had was associated to more than just the way my clothes fit- it represented the jungle, the mountain water, the Ayurvedic food and the puppy pile savasana that left us all connected and at ease.
For one full week we carried each other through our lives and the truth is, it was just what I needed. You know what they say, we teach what we most need to learn. This couldn’t be more than true in this circumstance. I traveled to Costa Rica to support others. I joined #Sisterhood to be a leader. What ended up happening- as always, is that I was taken care of just as much as I cared for. And that, is #Sisterhood.
I remember feeling so desperate to hold onto the feeling as I returned home. I grew up in a jungle, literally. I grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Waking up to the sounds of the monkeys was my normal for 14 years (not literally in a jungle, but surrounded by one). So, for me, Costa Rican living was like coming home. It awakened the jungle warrior-ess within me. Free of make-up, feasting on plants of the local earth, drinking gallons of lemon water and walking through the river of The Sanctuary- I felt so incredibly and deeply me. It was as if the true essence of who I am, underneath all the layers of humanity- seeped through my sun-kissed skin, and what was left was the soul and spirit of a connected group of love and feminine beauty. The truth is, this jungle-beauty never leaves. She just lies dormant, behind the sounds and distractions of the city.
I returned to Vancouver from Costa Rica, and the monkeys’ morning calls became distant. Suddenly, my life began changing rapidly. I left Dubai on February 27th and I had a feeling I may not be returning. I remember thinking, that it may be the last time I walked through the immigration area for some time. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be seeing these sights for a while. As I sat in the taxi to the airport, I remember saying a mindful “farewell” to the Burj Khalifa. Something, somewhere deep inside of me knew that it was all about to change. Somewhere, there was will for movement and transition. So I boarded the flight to Seattle, and I said a silent goodbye to Dubai.
As soon as I arrived home from Costa Rica, everything changed. My nomad-ways continued and life tested my will to flow. Nomadic living is both beautiful and painful. Sleeping in different beds and on strange couches. Living out of suitcase(s) and wearing the same outfit 3 times a week. This month has been on both sides of the pendulum as I micro-control my money and spend out of necessity to eat and get myself through some difficult times. Instability tests your ability to adapt. Somewhere in our history as a species we were nomads. It is there. And yet, the feeling of “home” and “control” can be oh-so-comfortable.
Nomadic life shows you the beauty that is around you. Without asking or presenting my case- homes were opened, beds made and my friends and family jumped to my safety and happiness. I have truly recognised that no matter where in the world I go- love is there and you are never lost. The concept of being lost is one of the mind. It is a state of fear. And I can sense that my body, mind and soul has been existing in a state of fear for a lot of the past month. I have been believing the thought that I am lost, ungrounded and out of control. And then there have been times where I have been in pure bliss. Driving through the Rocky Mountains from Calgary to Vancouver- I found myself so grateful to finally be back home. Sitting in my brother’s apartment hearing the sounds of loved one’s laughter. Walking my dog Ollie in the damp and dense woods of the Pacific North West. Sharing a bottle of wedding wine with Faris for the very first time. So many moments of love and beauty- all of which wouldn’t be here, if not for change and fear.
As I prepare to release my ebook and start a new Chloe’s Countertop project- I feel such deep excitement for what’s to come. In just a few months, I will be in a new home, with my new husband, living a life I have only dreamed of. Chloe’s Countertop, my baby, continues to grow and for the first time in a long time, I have trust and belief that it will carry. I feel the magic of it’s foundation and I know that I can do this. Because starting a business and supporting yourself is much like a relationship. It tests you, it’s not always glamorous and it will put you through more personal challenges than you would ever will upon yourself. It will test your fears, your ego and your sense of self- and you will contemplate quitting, leaving and starting. Because beneath it all, it the question of whether or not you love yourself and if you can truly believe in you.
Do you believe that you can be unconditionally loved? Do you believe that you are capable of magic?
Growth takes courage. No change is easy. At some point, shift requires instability. The question is always, are you willing to survive the shift in order to enjoy the effects of movement? It takes time. And it is all about the journey. Change will come. Embrace it.
And so my updates are:
Faris and I have left Dubai.
And we are moving our unit to the city of Seattle.
I have returned to the Pacific North West.
We are getting married on July 16th at our ranch in Calgary, Alberta.
Thank you for all of your support, love and patience. Many exciting things are coming. To all of my friends in Dubai- I am so sad that I wasn’t able to properly say goodbye. What I know, is that I will be back one day (not too far away) and cannot wait to say hello again!
*Photo credit © Mary Beth Koeth