breathe.

Driving into Ubud yesterday I found I often had to remind myself to breathe. The driving is something I’ve never experienced. Scooters flying around on both sides. Constant games of chicken with oncoming traffic, luckily it ends safely (at least it has so far). Everyone seems at ease. There doesn’t seem to be road rage here, or at least I haven’t experienced it. It’s just an understanding, I’m faster than you so I’m gonna go around you and when I flash my lights or put on my blinker or calmly honk my horn I’m just preparing you for my move.

It’s almost like a dance. The cars and scooters are just gliding down the highway, weaving in and out, speeding up, slowing down, taking a moment to breathe rather than moving forward with rage, they are grateful they are moving. It took us just under 2 hours to arrive in Ubud and I found as we got closer I had started to breathe again, I was at ease, taking it all in. Breathing in a new culture, a new perspective.

It’s amazing how different their highways, markets and housing is from the United States. I had a similar eye opening experience 3 years ago when I spent a month in South Africa and Malawi. One thing I noticed that aligns both places is people are happy, people are content and people here are breathing. They are soaking in every experience, every interaction and they want to make sure your time here is memorable. Every single person working at this resort knows my name. Not only mine, but every single person I am here learning with. Incredible.

What has made me sad though is the volcano activity has driven much of the tourism out of Bali. A lot of people that live here and that work at this resort have been evacuated from their homes and they are living with other family. They don’t complain about it, they don’t want your sympathy, they are just grateful that they are safe. We are the only people (minus one other couple) at this resort due to the warnings, warnings that aren’t even affecting our area, but warnings that are affecting the wealth of this resort, the wealth of this island. They could be angry, they could be rude to us, but every single person I’ve encountered shows pure gratitude. It has me thinking about the interactions in America, how could we be more like the Balinese, how could we be more grateful?

Breathe it all in and think of what you can be more grateful for, even if it’s just for that moment that you stop and just breathe.

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observations.

There is a beautiful connection between movement and breath. Inner thoughts occur. Worry. Faith. Doubt. Belief. Strength. Weakness. Fear. Fearlessness.

Day seven has arrived in what has already felt like a month of time here, yet has only felt like one day has gone by. There are so many vibrations going through my mind. The fear of being authentically myself on arrival and being accepted. We got delayed on our journey so we arrived a day late. Our first day started off with 4 hours of silence. First off if you know me personally you are probably thinking how on earth did you stay quiet that one. It was tough. I met 15 new people via silence. We connected just by a simple smile and movement. There was a lot of curiosity on both ends, who are these people? Will they like me? We meditated in each other’s presence, we flowed in a two hour vinyasa class and then the silence was broke and we met. I immediately felt a connection with many of these people if not all of them. That is just the beginning. 

We are all here on a different journey. We are here with a different story. We are here to find our own path. Yet we are all connected as one and we are all facing different fears. What I truly love about the practice of yoga is that it comes in all forms. It doesn’t matter the success or the struggle that you bring to the mat. What matters is that you show up and you grow from the experience. A lot of people fear yoga. I think it’s because you know you’ll have to stop and listen to yourself, you’ll have to feel movement in your body and you’ll have to listen to your mind and the chatter that exists within. I relate it to how I feel about writing. This scares the crap out of me. I was told once I need to blog because I have good stuff to say. But I constantly doubt my abilities to do it. I was also told to never go back and read it, cause I’ll over analyze, correct and not actually say what I mean. They were right…about that last part anyway.

I am finding this experience is a lot like the volcano that erupted just a short seventeen miles away from us. We expect by nature of a volcano at some point it will erupt. I came in full of expectations of what an advanced teacher training could hold, yet I was ready to dive into the unknown. The people that had to evacuate didn’t know what to expect. They knew that the eruption could be life changing, but how life changing was unknown. This training is opening several doors of thought and life changing experiences. In just seven days my mind has been filled with so many new ideas, dreams, goals and it has also allowed me to let go of a a few things that I have been hanging on to.  I have noticed things that I need to change and it feels good to acknowledge. Twenty five days left and I’m sure we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Pause in the moments of unknown. And breathe. Don’t think of what’s next. Think of what is now. – Cailee

surrender and be fearless

The last two days have been a test. I have broke down and cried several times. Over fear, over generosity, over worry, over gratefulness. Back and forth I have felt sad tears and happy tears and all of it is because I am fifteen days away from the journey of a lifetime. I need to surrender and be fearless, God has great plans for me on the road ahead.

A few months ago I toyed with the idea of going somewhere for my 500 hour training for yoga and just two weeks from now I will find myself in a quiet seaside town in east Bali. Who would have thought?

I have often looked at life as an adventure, and I have been fortunate to take many trips through out the US and I’ve visited countries that most can only dream of. I went to South Africa and Malawi in 2014. It was my first time leaving the country. I got to meet people who live a completely different life than me. It was humbling, and the first time I realized that I have a bigger purpose in life than working 9-5 at a desk.

Shortly after, in 2015 I went to Mexico. Also eye opening – but I got to live in the luxurious tourist part, but man it was different than home, and it’s so close to home. I have been back to Mexico a couple times since and each time I have been able to experience culture at a deeper level.

2016 was Germany where I got to explore European life, sports and travel by train and bus where I visited Prague, Czech Republic and Salzburg, Austria. I explored castles where I wondered how it felt to be a princess, drank beer just like the Germans (it was Oktoberfest in Munich so I had to play the part) and tasted what makes European cities so amazing.

Here we are wrapping up 2017 and I am lucky enough to continue the adventure in Bali. I know that what I am about to learn will be life changing. Something their website said that made me believe this was the right training for me, “When it’s done you’ll be a different person…not a person who’s changed, but rather a person who has a clearer, truer understanding of who they really are…a person who sees the beauty and grace inside of themselves, and know what it’s like to feel a connection with others that’s so strong it can never be broken.”

I can’t wait to bring this feeling back to my students – I am ready to keep changing lives and I’m excited to better understand myself so I can make a bigger impact in this world. It’s tough what we face everyday in this world – in the news, in our jobs, in our communities. We can make a choice how we feel in our lives, even when bad things happen around us. We can surrender, we can be fearless and we can make a choice to be our best selves.

I am going to do my best to blog at least once a week while I’m gone – maybe even twice. But for the most part I’m staying technology free which is scary and exciting all at the same time. Be sure to follow here for updates 🙂

For more information on where I’m headed and what I’m doing Click Here
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