I am fortunate to get to do what I love every day. I have clients who are a joy. I work with dear friends. I get to share yoga with a huge variety of folks. I learn and grow every day.
The past several weeks I’ve been blessed to spend a lot of time traveling, both in and out of the country. On a recent plane trip, I had the brilliant luck to sit next to an amazing woman. Upon my return, I was asked to write a column for Shakti in the Mountains. I work for Shakti founder Kim Bushore-Maki and we are growing a community of strong, creatively charged, authentically living women in our area. (If you haven’t been there or heard of it, check it out. Now. Please.)
The following is the column I wrote, and I wanted to share it even further:
I hope you are safe and warm, where ever you may be. I’m happy to be back here in chilly Tennessee. There really is no place like home.
Lately I’ve had the privilege to travel quite a bit, mostly to warm places. There’s all the planning and packing, the anticipation, and then the journey begins. It doesn’t stop once we arrive at our destination of choice. The journey is constant; it’s every meal, every cab ride, every hike…and every step in between.
I love to talk to people all along the way. (If I could offer some travel advice, it would be pack light and TALK. Talk to everyone you can. It’s amazing what can be learned when you are willing to be open.) Last night on our journey back, I had the privilege to sit next to a remarkable woman. You know the drill: sit down, buckle up, grab reading material. I went through my routine and settled in for the next few hours.
The woman next to me had a search-a-word book and an LSAT study book. I lasted till after take-off, but I couldn’t stop myself. I asked her when she was taking the exam. And I am so glad I did.
Her eyes lit up. She answered that she was finally sitting for the test in June, and that she’d be starting law school somewhere in 2015. Here’s what really got me: when I asked how long she’d been studying, she turned from the page she’d book-marked to a page near the front of the book. In the upper right corner, there was a series of dates and math. She pointed to that corner and said, “I’ve been working on this for 27 years. You can’t forget your dreams. And you can’t stop learning.” Let that sink in.
The flight was too short, which is almost never problematic for me. I could write more than you’d ever want to read about our conversation. Her children were grown. One daughter was starting medical school. She’d overcome mis-diagnosed diabetes, struggles with weight, and she’d shut up the voices in her head (her words, not mine) to get to this place. She was not stopping.
After our flight ended, I was waiting for the next one when I found a Taoist Proverb in my stash of quotes that brought it home: The journey is the destination.
She really made me think…what are the things that I want to learn? What are the “obstacles” I allow to stop me? What is the direction of my journey? I spent a few minutes listing not only what I wanted to learn, but also what I use as the excuse for not. Give that a try sometime. It’s illuminating. Hopefully, after that exercise, you’ll remind yourself (as I did) that there is no excuse big enough to keep you from your dreams. You can’t stop learning. There’s no stopping you, either.
Safe travels on your journey.