The Answer, My Friend.

During my yoga training in Brazil last winter, I had my aura read.  And according to the acute divination of my spectral interpreter, apparently I am a person that lives up in the trees.  And not in the trees in their bark-ey entirety, but rather, I am a person that lives up in my leaves.  I flit from leaf to leaf, surrounded by thousands of fluttering possibilities, swaying and moving only with the wind, and anchored barely by thin branches.  Very far removed from the solid trunk rooted deep into the earth far below.

I think what she was getting at is that I dabble.

As she was telling me this, I was picturing my apartment during the average holiday season:  cookies baking in the oven, a knitting project on the couch, hand-made cards on the go on the kitchen table, jewellery projects in my basement, five books I wanted to read on my bedside table; all of the above semi to partly undone.  And I thought, “This chick is crazy.  I don’t live in my leaves!”

All of my life, for as long as I can remember, my life motto has been,                   “No Regrets.”  I never want to end up a shrivelled, old woman wondering “what if?”  Which has given me carte blanche to do and try many things.  It has also been my justification for changing gears, plans, cities or hobbies on a dime.  My passions are strong, fierce and true but they rarely last for long.

When I was eighteen, I was accepted to the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.  I had applied because, at the time, that university was only one of four in the United States with a four-year degree program in Glass Blowing, for which,  I was doing an internship with Josh Simpson.  I remember going to the university to see the school after I had been accepted, and I saw a girl walking into the dormitory carrying a briefcase made out of Coke cans, sporting a purple hair-do.  I remember sizing her up and then mentally comparing myself and thinking, “Oh I’m not eccentric like that.  I must not be a real artist if I’m not eccentric like that.”

Shortly after, I withdrew my application.

Then there was Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where I majored in Dance.  I stayed for a year before I convinced myself that at, nineteen, I was too old to ever make a go of it in the dance world.   I had a jewellery business in Montreal that was half-assed successful.  I was a daycare instructor and a waitress and when I had to apply for my Canadian residency, I had to list my whereabouts for the previous ten years.  As it turned out, I had moved from the West Coast to East Coast EIGHT TIMES in ten years.  EIGHT!

Alright, so maybe I dabble.

I also apparently self-sabotage my dreams with doubt before I barely skim the surface.  I question my authenticity because I don’t always feel inspired.  For some reason, I equate “artists” as being driven to create; compulsive and empty without it.  Like if you don’t dance, paint, play, write, or sing you will WITHER.

And in the yoga world, I hear some of my colleagues talking about their daily asana practice, their daily meditation sit, their Kirtan chants and mala beads; dropping terms like apana vayu and hulabaloo mudra and I smile and nod with blissful comprehension, while mentally thinking about a beer, a steak and a coffee in no particular order.  Trying to hide the question mark furrowed in between my brows.

Does that make me a yogi fraud?  A Downward Dog Ponzi scheme?

I think that I spent a lot of time feeling like a failure for not sticking out my endeavours through until the “end.”  I questioned the validity of my craft and the authenticity of my passion.  I wondered if I would ever grow up, and if I did, would I know what I wanted to be when I grew up?  And so I feel very grateful that I have stumbled upon this yogic path.  A path that includes both a passion and a livelihood.  A path that not only encourages change, but states that there is nothing more certain than that.

And so I’m clinging onto the coattails of change, letting this crazy Charlottetown wind blow me out for a while.  Back to Montreal to teach for a few weeks, and then off to L.A. to visit my sister and teach there for a few weeks; inhaling every moment along the way.

And when others are stretching their arms towards the sky in Vriksasana, I am reaching my fingers down towards the ground, imagining roots so deep their wispy tips are warmed by the rays of bubbling lava.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Mitchell
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 10:10:36

    Simply Beautiful! Finding a connection within is so incredibly powerful and then allowing that love to trickle out…….just lovely! So happy for you. xo


  2. Rhonda
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 11:12:05

    I love reading your blog. You are a master of insight. You are a true artist. And, I think, you are an eccentric person. Because of who you are, I am inspired. So thank you for that.


  3. Robin Hewitt
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 16:18:51

    Honesty is true beauty and freedom. Thank-you for sharing YOU, Jen. We will miss you desperately here in Charlottetown while you teach in Montreal and LA but remember you are always welcome to plant your roots here with us on the Island 🙂


  4. Lawrence
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 11:08:09

    This was a good one, Jen! I can definitely relate and you say it so well.


  5. jrbrandts
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 14:22:15

    Beautifully written, Jen…your willingness to lay out your innermost doubts & fears on the table, for all to see, tells me that you’ve “arrived” at the most important place of all: self-acceptance. Despite (or maybe BECAUSE of?) all of your wanderings – both physical & mental – and your “imperfections” (very subjective term, that one…) you have ALWAYS been consistent in your warmth, your passion, your kindness towards others, and your ability to radiate that irresisitible inner Jen-ness that makes others want to be around you & inspires them to want to stick THEIR necks out just a little bit further than normal. Keep sticking YOUR neck out – and turning up the volume on that Jen-ness of yours – because it sure is making the world glow a little bit brighter!


  6. Jennifer Reed
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 23:41:38

    Oh wow. Thank you, everyone.


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