This Sunday I felt like I was in the “Once in a Lifetime” Talking Heads video. I was quite literally looking around and thinking “well … how the fuck did I get here.” One day you’re drowning in unlimited mimosas on the beach and next thing you’re at a nature center, listening to a dude named Davinicus bang a gong during savasana.
Let me back up. The transition from beach trash to yogi did not happen overnight. And it pretty much happened despite my best intentions to never become “this kind of person.” People who sit on rubber mats in the middle of the woods, listening to a yoga teacher from Iowa preach eastern philosophy – seem pretty ridiculous. I get that.
But I’ve had first hand experience with “these people” before. My first job out of college was a summer internship in DC. My boss introduced me to a young couple she knew that needed a tenant for their extra bedroom. Mandy and Rob offered me a place to call home. They were kind, sweet, loving hippies. They had a compost heap in the backyard; ate an abundance of soy products and would stare at photos of Jupiter projected on their basement wall. They would get stoned and eat all of my groceries. But they were the idealist brother and sister that I never had. They were the kind of landlords who spring for a keg of Yuengling for your birthday and lend you their car to pick up your boyfriend from the Baltimore airport. And they were the kind of friends who listened endlessly, loved unconditionally and believed in all of the hopeful possibilities of my life. They challenged me to think about all that I wanted to get out of life at 22 – an impressive career, fancy home and revenge against all of my enemies. They raised an eyebrow at a boyfriend who left me in tears on my more days than I care to count.
On my last day of residence in their home, they hugged me goodbye and told me that they had seen my soul emerge. And despite their “summer of love” jargon, I believed them. I trusted their vision of me more than I trusted my vision of myself. (Theirs being by far the kinder).
And so it seems that years later I found myself on a yoga retreat, surrounded by the West coast versions of Mandy and Rob. And I think I'm at the same cross roads that I was years ago - I have done some hard work on the inside. I've paused a lot and listened. I've stopped trying to prove that the world is out to get me. And I've tried (really hard) not to judge those with a happy outlook on life.
So bring on your gongs, your feathered hats, your raw food dogma and your tantric love. I'm "here" and I'm not fighting it.