On September 1, 2016, my husband Kevin and I drove away from where we grew up on the north shore of Massachusetts to follow our dreams. We found a home on Lookout Mountain in Georgia and began to build lives that centered on what we call a "yoga lifestyle", or what the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali calls Isvarapranidhana.
Isvarapranidhana: Celebration of the Spiritual within us and all things ~ Concentration on and surrender to divine flow
Isvarapranidhana means "to lay all your actions at the feet of God." It is the contemplation on God (Isvara) in order to become attuned to the natural expression of love and heartfulness in all our relations. It is the recognition that spirituality suffuses everything, that through our attention and care we can attune ourselves with our role as part of the Creator and see the good in all things.
I've been trying to do this through my painting and writing and Kevin through yoga and his work with the mentally ill. Our intention had been to create a yoga and art retreat and community, but for various reasons that became impossible. Now, two years later, what began with Kevin's interest in moving off the mountain closer to his job in Chattanooga has led to a desire to return to that intention - our Calling. In a few weeks, we'll leave here to start again in North Carolina. At least this time we'll have a little experience under our belts.
Creating a new life from scratch hasn't been easy, and I've learned a lot over the past two years. I've come to realize that the most important and valuable thing I can do is create Connections. Unfortunately, this doesn't come easily for me. I'm introverted, shy, and awkward. And while it seems like everyone else understands the language and customs, I feel like a stranger in a strange land. I don't understand what's expected of me. But it occurred to me recently that the problem is that I haven't applied the yoga principle of non-attachment to relationships.
You have the right to act only, never to its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be your motive. ~ The Bhagavad Gita
A connection is simply an opening. What passes through that opening is up to each individual. There can be no expectations. When I let go of the concern over what is expected from me or what I expect from someone else, the act of making a connection becomes much easier. Letting go of expectation means letting go of fear, guilt, and disappointment. Without expectation, there is freedom and possibility.
I will try to remember this as we move forward into our new home and life. And to all of the acquaintances, business partners, customers, neighbors, and friends I've made here in the Chattanooga area, please know how grateful I am to have you in my life and that this connection will always be open to you.
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