I met Katie a few years ago on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. She was the first of my bungalow mates to introduce herself upon my arrival. She had a smile that never left her face, yet her actions read “I’m nervous”. She seemed easy going, yet intense. Happy, yet sad. At home and yet a touch out of place.
Yoga retreats are a funny thing. A bunch of people get together to practice yoga, meditate, learn, grow, let go and unwind. It seems that it takes less than 48 hours for you to feel like you’ve known all of these “strangers” for years. Why? Because we take time, lots and lots of time. Time to listen. Really listen. And in all that listening you realize that we are all so much alike. This retreat was no different. As the days passed we knew more and more about each one of our new friends. And, as everyone started to unfold you found that you could relate to them on a deeper level and you began to see glimpses of you in each one of them.
Katie, like so many other people, had demons. Big, fat scary demons. As the week went on those demons came out. Slowly at first and then with a roar. Katie showed up and she let us all in. She opened, she shared, she cried and she laughed (many times between tears). She was vulnerable and courageous all at the same time. That was the beginning of Katie’s journey in slaying those demons but it wasn’t the end. She’s worked hard. Really. Really. Hard. And she still does. But she’s come so far too.
That smile that I first read as nervous is pure joy now. She’s confident, easy going and focused. She’s happy and most definitely at home. Home in her body. Home in her heart. Home in her mind.
Here’s what Katie had to say in an Instagram post. I love what she wrote because isn’t there a bit of her in each one of us? That part where we choose to love ourselves and relinquish the fear that has held us back for far too long.
“If you would have told me 3 years ago that life could ever feel this good, I would have told you you were crazy.
It’s been such an epic journey since that first yoga class with the one Goddess of awesome herself, Alison Sinatra. It may not always be pretty, but God is it beautiful.
I climbed to the top of a castle, on a rock, on a mountain, on an island last week and did a hand stand for no other reason than I could, and it felt good. I was overflowing with excitement and gratitude for all of the incredible individuals who helped me get here.
Here, of course, having nothing to do with handstands on castles. Here, simply being that place where you can breathe, and feel, and grow, and be, and move and evolve, and contract and expand, and get to know you. All of you. The real you. The light. The dark. The sweet. The strong. The awesome. And everything in between. Because that’s the journey worth choosing. Worth digging for. Worth letting go for. Worth showing up for. Thank you teachers. Thank you tribe. Thank you heart. Thank you body. Thank you body. Thank you body.”