Yes, not only in a literal sense, but also realizing that this the way my husband and I are most comfortable on our own little island. You can access us but it takes effort. In exchange we offer undivided attention, our hearts on our sleeve and the hunger to know as much as you're willing to dish out. The banter of passing party conversation is a reason to stay home in my mind. I show up to hear more about someones story, hearing their authenticity, feeling connection through struggle, pain and loss. Bright eyed and still thriving for more of this visceral life.
This past year has been a dive into my unrecognized conditioning and a contrast to what was. I struggled with the realization last year that I hesitate to share proudly that I am a "yoga teacher". In a new community where I felt immediate connection to the people, this very familiar part of me felt disconnected and alone. While the passion for the practice has never left my heart, I began searching for inspiration and affirmation - from students, new fellow teachers and most of all the industry. Wavering back and forth between teaching this incredible craft and following what contemporary yoga has evolved into continued to keep me in a state of puzzled exploration. Most days it felt like an exercise in accepting what is, is. I was getting stuck when I saw what I truly wanted and wished for was the past to be present again. It happens.
I have never been so adventurous in giving myself exercises in vulnerability. Inserting myself into this small community as if they had no choice! I volunteered, took on a p/t job, joined a book club, travelled solo, decided I was going to make crafts to sell at the local fair, hosted community mini retreats/potlucks and met tons of new friends in the process.
I also realized that I found comfort and a sense of safety in numbers and anonymity. There is no accountability in a place where it is unlikely that you will run into someone again after they *insert unkind/unconscious things strangers do*. It may sound odd, but I spent more than half my life living downtown in the biggest city in our country and when walking alone at night I felt more safe there then I do walking alone in a forest midday here - and there aren't even any predators on this island! How can I not feel safe unless I'm within earshot of another human?? I recognize this and laugh about it sometimes. Just like waking up each morning to find myself on my side, there are things we don't even realize until we awaken(!). As challenging as they can be to change, I love discoveries and this pursuit of curiosity.
Obviously, the constant in all this change was me. Putting myself in new surroundings gives me more insight into my Self and my nature. I love the quote "Everywhere you go, there you are". I wonder what's going to come up in this new year. More joy, pain, gain, loss, love and fear? Well, here I am. Eager to grow and willing to show up. My heart beats for the why, when and how. Planting ourselves here just makes the sound louder and harder to deny. As my husband likes to say, "We're not living on a island to unplug, we're here to plug in". Couldn't have said it better myself Sweet Love.