This spring I read Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong. I've been thinking back on the biggest turning points in my life - the times when I have catalyzed the most positive change and personal growth. I realized they were all times I took a leap.
Taking a leap is scary. It's when you're drawn by a deeper calling and feel the pull to greatness, but it requires you to leave your zone of comfort and step into total unknown with trust.
What I found is there is always inner resistance and self-doubt before taking a leap. The rational mind will come up with all kinds of excuses not to do it. But for me, the inner calling became so pronounced at certain times in my life that I didn't feel like I had any other choice.
So I lept. And I'm so glad I did.
Here are 3 of the biggest leaps I've taken over the last six years, and how they impacted my life:
1. Moving to San Francisco
At 22 years old I was living on the East Coast. New York was all I knew. I grew up in a suburb of NYC and at age 18 chose to go to college a mere 45 minutes away from my house.
New York was my comfort zone. Yet, the thought of living with warmer winters, palm trees, surrounded by nature and the hopes of a more carefree lifestyle drew me in.
When I started applying to jobs in NYC when I graduated just after the economic crises of 2008, I was only hearing crickets. The thought of finding a new apartment in New York City, continuing to search for jobs when I still didn't totally know what I wanted to do with my life felt daunting.
I started going to yoga classes and consistently in savasana I kept seeing San Francisco. The vision came again and again, so finally one day on craigslist instead of searching for jobs in NYC, I searched for housing in San Francisco.
I found an artist collective in the Mission within my budget, and within a week I was flying out there to look at the room.
When I made a choice to move (it was a 1 month sublet, so I knew if it didn't work out, I could always fly back home and continue my job search) everything began to fall into place.
Ten days after moving to SF, I met Amma, the hugging guru and I just knew it was all meant to be. I established more trust in the universe and in following my intuition.
"A leap requires you to jump before you know what comes next."
2. Becoming a Yoga Teacher
In 2010 I attended a 16-day training at Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico. It was a leap because it required me to invest in myself and to face my biggest fear: public speaking.
I remember holding so much fear standing up to present in my classes in college. Actually, I couldn't bear to do it even just sitting down.
But the more yoga classes I went to, the more clear it came to me that I too wanted to be the leader, confidently leading the class at the front of the room...so I leapt and I never looked back.
3. Leading My First International Retreat in Bali, Indonesia
I remember being with my family in Northern Minnesota for Christmas in 2014 and suddenly these very clear downloads coming to me about leading a retreat in Bali. I wrote and wrote, and even saw the images on the website page inviting women to join me there.
I had no idea how I would go about leading this retreat in a country I had never been to before, but I trusted in the process and I started sharing about the dream.
One day in a meditation course I met a woman who told me about the perfect retreat center. I reached out to them and within a few months, I put my deposit down.
I remember my friend Erica Jago was sitting next to me in my home at the time and she encouraged me every step of the way. "Yes you can do this!" she said.
So I paid the deposit and signed a contract to pay a huge sum of money to the retreat center, even though I was unsure if I would really be able to make it happen.
However, I trusted in the process and 8 months later, there I was, in Bali with 11 participants.
I needed to commit to the choice, give it my all and follow through.
Every step of the way I gained more confidence, more trust in my intuition and trust in the universe.
A leap can certainly be uncomfortable, but every so often I believe they are necessary for your growth.
In all cases, I was connected to my intuition. I was willing to face a fear and take a leap, I received support along the way, and I opened myself to the power of sharing my gifts.
This is how I aim to serve women now...
1. Reconnect with the wisdom of their body and the messages it may be sending them
2. Gather up the courage to face their fears, take a leap and answer the calling of their soul's adventure
3. Create layers of support around themselves to take those leaps
4. Share the gifts of all they learn through the process
I believe when women are supported to listen to this wisdom, and face the fears that come up along the way, really anything is possible.