Be the Author of Your Own Story + Free Webinar
I knew it was time to make some major changes in my life the moment I was peering over the edge of the top floor of a parking garage in Miami Beach in 2012, contemplating whether or not I should jump off.
I was in a toxic, gaslighting relationship with a depressed, unemployed boyfriend at the time while also working crazy hours at my job for a Fortune 500 company, partially to spend as much time as possible away from said boyfriend.
It still took me a while to officially end the relationship. He even refused to move out for several months after that but we finally parted ways the following year.
My job was mentally and physically draining plus I felt really under-appreciated by our region’s executives and eventually worked up the courage to quit my job (on good terms) in 2015. I soon discovered I had an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in which my immune system seeks and destroys my thyroid. I’m pretty sure it was triggered by that personal and professional stress.
I was on the verge of my 30th birthday and this mantra kept coming up for me during meditation and yoga but most annoyingly when I was trying to fall asleep at night:
“If you wrote a book about your life, would anyone want to read it?”
That is when I decided to become the author of my own story. No longer would my story be written by controlling ex-boyfriends, nor societal stereotypes or expectations, nor a boss at a corporate company.
I needed to find myself while writing new chapters in my life. The funny part was, I wasn’t sure where or when that would be so being a chronic overachieving Type A, I went to ALL THE PLACES. Lol
I found parts of myself and my story while snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. While volunteering with Sea Turtles in Sri Lanka. While doing my yoga teacher training in India. While wiping out at a surf camp in Bali. While caring for elephants and other wildlife in Thailand. While meditating with Buddhist monks in Myanmar. While hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.
In fact, I thought I wanted to be a travel blogger, which is why I started sharing my story on youtube. But after two years of vagabonding, I felt the need to put down roots and start writing a new chapter.
When I trusted my gut and moved to Asheville, NC in 2017, I didn’t have a plan except to figure out what I love doing and how to get paid for it.
Well, let’s see. I loved yoga and meditation and hiking and mindfulness and nature since they had been integral in my own healing and self-discovery. I also had a professional background in creative branding and marketing. And a friend provided the final spark by suggesting that I do yoga hikes and I was like “Wait, that’s a thing?” And she said “I’ve heard of it other places, but not here.” Done.
In May 2017, I started testing the concept leading free or donation based yoga hikes at one location on select Saturdays while I worked a freelance graphic design job during the week.
In the beginning of 2018 I had my logo, website, social media, permits, insurance and schedule up and running for Namaste in Nature. By the end of that year, I had 5 other additional yoga guides - most of whom reached out to me - and was leading hikes every weekend, using three different locations.
Now in 2019, I manage an incredible team of 11 other guides and offer yoga hikes 7 days a week and use 4 different locations.
Our yoga hikes are generally small, intimate groups of 10 or less and allows a lot of time to get to know people. I am constantly blown away by the stories of our guests and how my story and experience becomes a part of theirs.
The story of the woman who was the sole caretaker of her husband until he died and she used this yoga hike as the catalyst to finally start caring for herself.
The woman on her first trip to Asheville who was so scared to hike in the woods and felt so accomplished after seeing and meditating at her first waterfall.
The couple that didn’t get a chance to take engagement photos because the husband was busy applying to medical residencies. (So of course I insisted on taking engagement photos for them during their honeymoon yoga hike.)
The bridesmaid that is “not an outdoorsy” person and was scared to hike and do yoga with her more experienced friends but ended up making incredible memories.
Many people also feel yoga is intimidating or inaccessible at gyms and studios. So many people tell me “I’m not flexible enough” or “I’m not the yoga type.”
I have been surprised and thrilled to have all kinds of people join me and my guides for yoga hikes. 20-something bachelorette groups. 40th birthday celebrations. 30-something moms that are enjoying a girls weekend getaway. Retired couples enjoying their summer travels. Moms and daughters celebrating the start or finish of college.
I’m not a fan of identity politics, but just to provide context, we’ve had all religions, shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations join us. We start as strangers and by the end it’s nothing but hugs and smiles.
In the words of Sir Edmund Hilary “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
I experienced the most personal and professional growth by traveling, sharing my story and creating a space and experience for others to write their life stories. These things helped me transition from contemplating whether or not to live at all 7 years ago to living my best life today.
So I encourage you to be the author of your own story too! It’s never too late to close one chapter of your life and start writing a new one.
This latest chapter in my life is the inspiration for a free webinar on Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 01:00 PM - 1:30 PM called How to Start or Grow Your Own Outdoor Yoga Business.
Copy and paste this onto your digital calendar:
Join URL: https://zoom.us/j/580111646
I’ll share more of my story, break down the business basics, reveal lessons I learned that will make things faster and easier for you, confess my biggest mistake and how you can get started or grow your existing business asap.
This is a great fit if you are
A lover of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and nature
On a mission to spread health and happiness
Passionate about preserving the planet for future generations
Curious, hard-working and motivated to make a difference
Wanna stand out in a saturated yoga/wellness/outdoor market
Living in another area besides Western North Carolina so we can grow the national/international market together
Namaste & Have A Great Day!