"I don't want to do this, but for some reason I can't stop thinking about it."

"It is your mind that is speaking to you."

"Your heart is pounding, aching of fear, of the unknown. And your mind is aware of the pain, but knows you need to choose with your mind, not your heart."

"Because you can find love in all you do. But you must accept whatever it is and learn to love what comes your way. And how do you know a little sacrifice and a little faith in the unknown will not lead to better doors? Or won't lead you to greater happiness down the road?...."

She sighs. Before she could say a word,

"...Let your heart pump free but let your mind lead the way. Your heart hurts because it knows your mind is right and your heart will struggle because it is not easy, but it is willing to endure the pain knowing down the road your heart will be stronger and happier."

"Your heart is ready. The question is are you brave enough?"

----


I look back at a draft, I never finished, of a conversation I wrote for a yoga class...  how things change yet stay the same, how life moves yet stands still, how odd it is to be so far in time yet you feel like the earth stands grounded.

It is hard -  We must learn to adapt and be able to find comfort in things strange.

I have days where life is fabulous and I am doing great. And there are days where I wonder when I will get a chance to hit up the slopes or visit home. But this is all making me stronger. With time, I know I am becoming more whole, I am learning to love new places and new experiences. I am experiencing, I am living.

And with that I can say I am happy, yes I am sad I had to sacrifice things dear to my heart, but I know this hard work this moment in time, I will be able to look back and say, "Yeah I moved to Washington for a job, on my own... where I knew no one and nothing... I learned a lot...and I am proud I did it." I know months down the road I will be proud of myself and even though I have those days where I am lonely here, I know I am lucky. I making the right decisions that my mind and heart can agree on. But most importantly found in the mind and embraced by the heart.

I am finding my happy place -- deep inside me.

DK





A Deeper Look Into Sacrifice



I am a strong believer in being happy in the present and soaking in the moment, however I also believe in a thing called sacrifice. When searching for happiness there are hard times and decisions you must make that will not always be appealing and sometimes you chicken out on those decisions because you do not want to sacrifice something. But you have to have the strength to understand them and take them because a little sacrifice here can lead you to an even greater happiness and a stronger you in the end. To find happiness it requires a strong mind that is willing to sacrifice in order to receive something greater down the road.

I loved my life in Colorado and that is what I wanted, it was a dream. Everything was going wonderfully for me I was about to start teaching at a yoga studio in walking distance to my apartment which was situated in downtown Denver that also allowed me to walk to my new job in PR on 16th street. I was on board to be a ski instructor at Vail that winter and life was good. I could not ask for anything more – I was happy living a life paycheck to paycheck because I was doing things I loved in a place I loved. However an opportunity came, a big job. A job that would almost triple what I would be making in Denver with an amazing company that is rated one of the best companies to work for … it was hard to believe the offer they gave me having graduated college only three months prior. But it was reality. (And it was not exactly an easy interview process…three interviews, an IQ test, and on-the-spot problem-solving questions in front of the interviewers…and math is not my speciality so when I asked if I could use a calculator for the IQ test I was denied access..)

At first I had a hard head – I said absolutely not. If I choose this way I am choosing the materialistic path and that is not me. I am fine with living on a tight budget doing what I love. No one could change my mind. It was not until I felt something twisting my gut like a wet rag someone was trying to dry… it hurt. I was twisting and hurting. It was not until I woke up and decided to have an open mind and be realistic. This new path was not a materialistic path – yes the benefits and salary was the main push when it came to shove, but this way is of opportunity – of growth – of strength – a chance to learn more about myself. 

I was so comfortable in Denver that I was making excuses not to leave, I had just moved there three weeks ago after traveling the world, I wanted to be situated in Colorado, I had just made the hard decision to say no to graduate school in Europe… – I was afraid. It was a mix of fear, discomfort, and sadness. Fear that I would loose sight of my dreams (to own a yoga studio and be an author). Discomfort knowing I would have to move to a place alone where I knew no one and knew nothing more. Sadness to leave a place I loved and things I loved doing and awareness to the fact that this sacrifice would not exactly bring me more happiness.

I took the job. I had no idea where the company would move me. I could have been relocated anywhere from Mississippi, to Alaska, to North Dakota, to Oklahoma, and beyond. In the end I was relocated to the state of Washington. Never in my life did I ever think I would live in the Pacific North West of the United States but here I am. 

You may be wondering why I took this sacrifice if it wouldn’t bring me more happiness and only a monetary gain. Well, I would be lying if I said that money was not part of the reason. Of course it was. But the other reason that I took this job– this scary unexpected move was because this would make me stronger. It puts my foot in the door opening up more opportunities of growth in the workplace. And although it seems that it would take me away from my dreams it actually is bringing me closer. So here I am, I am doing it, I am completely on my own, in a place I have never been that is now my home. 

For those that fear you will loose sight of your dream -- that can only happen if you let exterior factors fog your mind. If your mind stays clear and steady you will always have your dream close to your heart and it will always beat a little different when you stray away or step closer. 

For those that do not want to adapt or change your lifestyle -- remember change is one of the toughest challenges but because of the intensity it makes you the strongest of the pack. The ones able to adapt and change to new environments and ways of life are the ones who end up understanding the world better... we all need to learn that nothing is forever and change only makes us stronger.

For those that fear sadness from the sacrifice, know that this will enlighten you with an open mind and chance to find happiness in other things and ways. With sadness comes growth. 

Now I have proven to myself that happiness is not all about doing what you love 24.7 or living in a place you love. It is rooted within you. 
Exploring the mountains of Washington!

I am happy. I am happy here in this land that rains more than not, that is a long flight from my family on the east coast, that doesn’t have a yoga studio that I like within an hour from me… a place so different. It is hard. It is sacrifice. But I am happy. 

So my point of writing this is to say that in my book I preach to be happy and ways to find that happiness but in this short time I have realized our generation is somewhat confused thinking that life is only great if you are doing what you love all the time. Yes I completely agree with that but I think we forget in order to get there, in order to do what we love we may have to make sacrifices and now is the time to do them. Here we are young and eager to learn so take your sacrifices now. And later you will smile at the strength you had to make that decision, to make that sacrifice.

I sit here and type and think about this transition, this new chapter of my life. At first I will admit I was unhappy. I was so upset to discover the lack of yoga here and my antsy pants having to sit in a chair all day to come home to a lonely hotel. Yes I may sound dramatic, but it was no fun.

But part of the problem was me. I was busy sulking in my own shoes having pity for myself – I am glad I did that for less than a week because it is you who decides how much you enjoy life. I am happy with this sacrifice.

I am now a training coordinator for a software company learning new skills and growing everyday. And I can see why it is rated one of the best places to work -- I am extremely lucky. And most importantly it is driving me closer to my dreams.

Before in Denver I was on the back-roads to get there, now I am coasting on the highway with my dreams in sight. And here I am trying to gain, learn, and grow as much as I can knowing this is a chance, an opportunity, a moment in my life I will respect. And the best part of this whole thing is that down the road, this sacrifice will be worth it all. Now, only a month at the new gig I can say this sacrifice was the best decision I could have ever made.

It was one of the hardest decisions for me because I had to leave everything I loved and worked so hard for, but I was able to open my mind, be realistic, and see the possibilities that would come with sacrifice.  And I am proud of myself for doing it.

It is incredible to feel the power of your strength inside you. I have embarked on this journey on my own. That is something to do – let go of the attachments that you are holding onto and grab onto something new, unknown, and scary.



Remember that if living your dream was so attainable everyone would do it which looses the essence of why it is a dream. It is a dream because it is uniquely yours – it is a challenge – and with challenges we must sacrifice a little here and there. And I am just saying now might be a good time to look at the big picture in your life and ask what is it I want and how can I get there?

DK







Sacrifice



Sometimes you will have to make sacrifices. Some that rip at the core. And with sacrifice, emerges risk. Risks that are so dark you no longer see your dreams. Where you may embark on a journey that does not suit your fancy. But sometimes you have to do it. You have to suck it up. You have to endure the challenges of the risks and endure the elements of sacrifice.

It is when your gut creates these powerful vibrations so heavy and deep, it almost hurts. It knows the sacrifice will be worth it because it is part of your journey, part of your journey that will one day shape your reality into your dreams, a cruel expression fueling your fire to conquer them, it is part of the test... Testing to see how much you will give to live your dream. These sacrifices are unconsciously guiding you closer to your vision, to your happy place.

But you have to be strong enough to trust in that. And so, as passionate as your heart pumps, you must first listen to the power of your mind.

Paralyzed by Opportunity




 The distance between your reality and your expectation is your amount of suffering.

In this era, in the Western world, we are faced with an overwhelming amount of opportunity, of choice. It is known to be a wonderful thing having the opportunity to do this or to do that but in reality this overload of choices can diminish our happiness. It can take us away from the feeling of satisfaction.

It is inevitable that no matter where we go, we will have a variety of choices. It is as simple as stopping at a rest stop to grab a snack. Despite the fact you have to choose what snack you want you have to choose what drink you want, the choices seem endless. You walk down the candy isle at the gas station… all you want is a snack you can nibble on for the next few hours. But that is not an easy task, you end up walking down the four isles of goodies that are offered, not to mention the selection at the front by the cashier, but you manage to pick a few things out but debate on what to buy. You ask your friend what they are getting and they as well are struggling to come to a decision until you finally decide that you want chocolate. But then you have to decide if you want a chocolate bar, chocolate that comes in a bag like M&Ms, or if you want chocolate filled with mint, peanut butter or nuts. And that is not all then you have to decide what drink. You have to scan the entire back wall of refrigerators to see the endless selection. You simply want a bottle of water but that is too much to ask as you are presented with an entire refrigerator dedicated to all the water bottle brands. You finally make a decision and get back on the road. You realize you should have gotten Coke instead of water because it would have tasted better with your chocolate candy. Next time you will not get the chocolate because now it is melting in your hand. So consequently, you are now disappointed. Why? Because you had all these choices, which sets you up for a high expectation of the choice and then when it does not meet that high expectation you are disappointed. If you only had the choice of one drink or one choice of snack then you would not have had this feeling of dissatisfaction because there would not have been a choice.

This can also go as deep when dealing with a serious situation. In the old days there was typically one choice when you were sick. You take this medicine and hope it works. Now you have the choice to take this medicine, with these sides effects and benefits and three other options with those side effects and benefits. Dr. Barry Schwartz talks about this issue in depth in his book The Paradox of Choice.

In Dr. Schwartz’s studies he concludes that, “choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.”

Say your grandfather is sick with cancer. The doctor offers two procedures but says either way there is chance of death. But it is up to you, the patient’s family, to make the decision. This is called patient autonomy, when the burden is put on the family and the doctor no longer makes the final call. Unfortunately this creates stress and unhappiness.

When your grandfather passes away for whatever reason the choice you made for him already created stress and tension for your family but now brings the feeling of regret and guilt. You now think if you decided to do the other procedure things could have been better, that he would have survived or lived longer. The blame is now placed on you. Although really it is not you to blame, before when there was not so much choice and the doctor would say this is what we do without debate. It would release the possibility of the feelings of blame. No longer would you feel that is was your fault and you made the wrong choice. But now, we feel because the choices our in the palms of our hands that it is our fault.

Consequently our rate of satisfaction goes down affecting our state of mind.

Say you want to buy a new camera, so you go to Best Buy and ask, “Can I have a camera?” Well it is not that simple. There are hundreds of choices. First the sales guy may ask, “What brand do you want?” Well then you say, “What brands do you have?” And then he starts listing them off, “Canon, SONY, Nikon, Fujifilm, Samsung, Olympus, Kodak, Panasonic…” From there you have to decide what brand it is you want, what kind you want, if you want the extra lens, or if you want these effects… and so on. Eventually we make a decision. One that was more difficult than it used to be because of the demanding choices. But in the end you settle with one.

You then take it home and your friend asks, “Why didn’t you get the Canon?” or “Why didn’t you get the one that includes the night time feature?” This creates a sense of dissatisfaction as you think, “Oh well if I got the other one this photo would have been better.” Or, “Next time I will get a Canon because I do not like this one as much.” The choices in all aspects of life start to paralyze us and we do not know what to choose or what to do. We are constantly unsatisfied.

The Pressure from Opportunities
The paralysis of opportunity becomes extremely present and powerful when one is deciding a future career or educational path. Because in the Western world we have the opportunity to go to school across the country, out of the country or stay in-state. We have the opportunity to travel abroad in Asia, Africa, and beyond. We have the opportunity after graduating college to travel, get a job, continue school, or move home. The opportunities presented to us at a young age can paralyze us. The endless amount of opportunities can harm our current state of happiness.

In the end, we have to make a decision. The choice is on us; we do not have people making our decisions or a one-way road. Not in this generation.

Once we make a final decision say to go to college across the country instead of stay in state. We have a high expectation to enjoy this college because of all the choices we had. However it does not meet your expectations so you transfer to a college in state hoping this will bring you the happiness or contentment the other school was supposed to bring you. In the end, it is the same. Therefore, you loose hope and your rate of satisfaction is lowered because of the high expectations that were supposed to come along with the variety of choice.

Or say, you could choose anywhere to study abroad. So you decide to go to Spain and your friend decided to go to Australia. You realize your friend is having more fun than you and you should have gone to Australia. (I studied abroad in Spain and I had the best time of my life, this is just a scenario). You are less satisfied with your trip because you had the opportunity to go to Australia but you chose somewhere else. Although in reality taking that opportunity would not necessarily be better than the one you chose, you just think it would be because of your high expectations for each opportunity.

In these moments you get lost in all the ways you could have gone. You regret it because all of the opportunity. And when you get lost wishing you did one thing it is impossible to enjoy your current state because you are thinking you were somewhere else. No matter what path you decide, there will be struggle, lose and low points. It will not be all sunflowers and daisies. Yet you think that is possible because there are so many options, that one has to be that great. That is not true.

Remember that in life comes low points and that does not mean you took the wrong path. Accept where are you and find peace in the present and comfort in your life. As my grandmother would say, “dej√° lo!” which means, “let it be!”

Lost in Choices
Opportunity is meant to be a beautiful thing that this generation does not have to work as hard for as their parents did. Our parents wanted the 9-5 job and earn a fair living. This generation does not want a 9-5 job because we are presented with overwhelming opportunity to do so many things that are possible and acceptable in society.

It is not our fault that we have so many choices but we have to be aware that this amount of opportunity can affect our level of happiness.

We see our friends travelling the world and automatically desire to do what they are doing. The concept that we have the choices that our parents would never dream of after they graduated college can be detrimental to finding peace in our present life.

It is also easy to get distracted and overwhelmed by the concept of opportunity that we ourselves get lost in the choices. We feel like there are so many choices that we do not know what is right for us and start to feel dissatisfaction in the road we took.

If there were only one-way to go like our parents had: graduate, get a 9-5 job, get married, etc. there would be less feelings of dissatisfaction.

With that in mind and the fact that we cannot change this modern world we have to come to terms with opportunity. Because it is so easy to become dissatisfied in this society we have to understand that no matter the decision we make we become strong, we grow and although we may question the road we took, we have to remember that we are being paralyzed by choice.

We set high standards for the road we take because we started with a handful of roads to travel and expect the road we choose will bring us the highest rate of satisfaction. And when we find ourselves struggling on the path, which in every path we take we will find obstacles, we then become paralyzed by opportunity. We then think because we are struggling on the path we took that we should not have gone this way and instead we should have taken the job opportunity in Seattle or whatever it was that we did not do. We forget how to find peace and happiness in the road we took because of all the distractions around us.

The Power of Social Media
When we see our friends on social media posting pictures it is easy to feel that your life is not as good because your friends are posting these awesome photos. But you have to remember that what people post is a way they “brand” themselves, how they want others to see them. They post only what they want others to see, essentially the best photos, which makes others think they are having a great time all the time.

When in reality we all have issues. We have to realize that it is awesome our friends can be having fun but that does not mean their life is better than yours because you see them partying at the beach or climbing a volcano. We have to realize that social media is a way people want others to see them and so they create an image that does not necessarily mean they are worry free. So when you feel a sense of sadness that you wish you were there (or as we say FOMO) do not let it bring your level of happiness down because of their social media image. And that is also referring to the chapter Finding Solid Ground, discussing the importance of not comparing yourself to others. However, it is easy in this era to have a lower rate of happiness because you see what the world is doing twenty-four seven.

Do not let the overbearing presence of social media lower your level of happiness. If it makes it easier, do not use social media as much as you typically do, stray away from the clutter that is hurting your state of happiness.

In this society we are poured with distractions and choices that we forget where we are in life. We forget we chose this path for a reason, we had to make a choice and we chose this one. And we forget that this path can bring us happiness but we are stopping ourselves from that feeling of happiness because of the distracting chances of opportunity around us.

Taking aside the idea of chances and opportunity we were born into a society of distractions, TVs, phones, electronics, at anytime most anywhere in the world we can be contacted. When are parents were growing up it would be unfathomable for them to think they could get in touch in with us across the world within seconds, having the internet so accessible.

We are spoiled with technology and have become consumed in the materialistic part of society. A study of media usage and ad exposure done by Media Dynamics Inc. came to the conclusion that the average number of advertisements and brand exposures per day per person are 5,000 plus.

We see an estimated 5,000 advertisements per day. No wonder our generation is a little confused. We are bombarded with choices as simple as choosing which brand of jeans to buy to what to restaurant to eat at.

We were born to have high expectations because of the unlimited amount of choices. Therefore we need to learn to not set the bar so high.

If we lower our expectations of our choices our rate of satisfaction will go up. That is obvious. If you go out with your friends (instead of doing the other countless options) and do not expect to have a good night, the chances of being more satisfied rise. We need to understand that despite the several choices we have that does not mean the choice will gives us this greater sense of satisfaction; that no matter the quantity in choices the quality will not necessarily be so much greater just because the option is there. And we would never know how great the other choice would be, but we assume it would be better because we are not satisfied with the one we took because we had set that high standard.

Regret Follows Decisions
The other paralysis of opportunity is the notion of regret. We regret not going one way and taking the other route. That is why we cannot regret decisions we have made because they cannot be changed. We cannot reverse time. We have to accept each action and take something of value from it. Otherwise it is a lose-lose situation. We make mistakes but that is how we grow. Some of us need to make the mistakes in order to learn and grow.

We need to remember that with the overload of choices it can paralyze us and have us stuck in confusion, flustered, not knowing which way to go. You have to step away from the chaos, take a deep breath, and feel what your heart desires most. Sometimes with harder decisions it is not something that can be made right away. You may need time to escape in your body and find where your soul wants to travel. And once we are able to getaway from the overwhelming feeling of opportunity we can find what path that is the best for us. Then we can take it and the stress of all those choices are ceased. And after we take this path we may start to struggle or regret that we did not choose the other direction. But we have to remember what made us choose this path – your gut. So just because there were many other options that does not mean it was the wrong way to go. You are forgetting the purpose of why you took this path. You are getting lost and paralyzed in opportunity.

Remember that in this life there will be plenty of opportunities, it is no longer about finding them, it is choosing one and accepting it.

Ground yourself, make the decision you want using your mind, find contentment in your path, and focus on the present, the reality. Do not dwell on the if, could-a, would-a, should-a.

This is your life and if you choose to let the overwhelming options, opportunities and the constant connection with social media crowd your mind you will find yourself lost, confused and unhappy. So become aware of all that is around but be able to ground yourself and let your mind become clear of all that chaos. Remember that opportunity can hurt you if you do not live in the present and remember why you are here in the first place. And if it is not where you want to be, step away from all of the noise. It will help you find the direction you want to travel. Give yourself that time, you deserve it.

Recap:
1.     Do not let the overwhelming amount of choices and opportunities overwhelm your state
2.     Do not set a high standard for the road you take because you had so many choices
3.     Be content with the road you take 
4.   Focus on the present… enjoy life’s opportunities!

The Tail End of Summer




Well the jet lag has certainly got to me as it is almost 5:00 on the East Coast. I got back from a long day of traveling and landed in EST at 1400, I was so exhausted I passed out when I got home to wake up around 2230. And unfortunately I have not been able to sleep since, so what to do? Well... blog.

My summer has been a go - go - go mentality, and I have no complaints about it. So to finish off this summer of travel I stopped in Maui for a week to visit my best friend from college who has been staying there for most of her summer.

It was incredible - the places we explored are indescribable. (I was lucky enough to see all the local spots since Kiki's cousin is from there). We had waterfalls and pools to ourselves, it was awesome.

The beauty of Hawaii is truly breathtaking, in fact out of all the places I have in the world, this is at the top, a very close to first. I have a sweet spot for the beautiful land of Colorado, but besides that Hawaii beats out New Zealand, Fiji, Switzerland and all the other beautiful parts of the world I have seen.

I am not going to go on and brag about how amazing my trip was but I am going to share a few things that I thought about during my stay on the Island of Maui.

The only reason I brought my laptop with me was so that I could spend the long flights writing. I was not planning on using it for any other purpose but when I get there mid way through my trip I decided to turn it on to check out my resume -- and my computer would not turn on.

The hard drive was making noise, so that was a good sign, but the screen would not light up nor would the keyboard respond - bad sign.

I took it to the Mac store but they said my computer was pretty much toast. Now, that is a bummer considering I spent seven hours vigorously writing a new chapter for my book and have my edited resumes that have not been saved to a USB yet.

So this late night or early morning, I have spent re-writing my resume on my mother's computer and counting down the hours to when the Mac store opens in town, so I can see if they can get my files saved on a USB.

I have hope but I will admit that I would be devastated if my work was not saved, so I am hoping that something can be done.

That is just a side not as I continue to ramble, but as I say, things happen and you can give yourself the 24-hour rule, 24-hours to feel bad for yourself then you move on. Kiki's Aunt T taught us that rule over the week and it is an amazing rule to stand by. So I had a little depression for a few moments when I discovered that my computer was toast and that I would not have anything to do on the plane... and although it took me less than the day to recover, with bigger situations you may need the full 24 hours. But after that, move on. No time for pouting, life is life, and life is a challenge you can either accept or let it get the best of you.

And after all this traveling I have come to the conclusion,

We are a puzzle. A puzzle pieced together by what we choose to be, what we choose to make of ourselves. Pieces that are discovered in everything we do - experiences, events, adventures. And the pieces we choose to put in our puzzle tell us more of who we are. And sometimes discovering the smallest piece to our puzzle, the smallest piece of us, is all we need.







A few words from my heart




A few words that puzzle together meaning.

"Sometimes we don't know where to go. We stay in between the jump, between on way and another. Hesitant. And that's the hardest place to be. Once we dig up the courage to jump, one way or the other, we find peace in the present. And that feeling never disappoints the soul." - DK

One Destination to The Next

I have been enjoying the present so much I have not had a chance to think about my exciting future plans. And it's a great thing. 

India taught me a lot and I wouldn't doubt if I refer to that chapter of my life in my future blogs. 

Importantly, it taught me to live in the present moment.

And that's no easy task.

However with ease I have been absorbing every present moment.

From Left: Alex, my oldest sister. Middle: Rachel, my middle sister. Right: Me.
After India I have been living it up to the fullest. Now, that's all subjective but when you've been constricted to cold bucket showers and no air conditioning plus the other amenities not available, everything after that is heaven.

Although this trip in Dubai would be a blast for any person, for me coming from tougher Indian living conditions, it put me in the mind set of "now" and forever positive vibes.

I was blessed to be in the presence of my sisters and I certainly enjoyed every moment with them. (Even the ones where we didn't get along). The last time us three did something together has been years.

We went on a desert safari riding camels and ATVS. We spent sometime at a Bedouin village, took a boat tour and bus tour (the Hop in Hop Off Bus), visiting the famous Atlantis hotel and seeing the only seven star hotel in the world. We went Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, we went to the beach and we skied and snowboarded at the indoor ski resort! All in three days. Literally, no time to rest. But that's my kind of vacation.


The best part, hard to say. But I love that they know me inside and out despite the fact I see them a few times a year, if that. It was some great bonding. 

My one sister and I were even asked if we were twins because we kept responding to his questions at the same time with the same response in the same tone. It was obnoxious but funny. We couldn't help it. 

Since we had such a packed schedule doing something every minute of the day it went with the blink of an eye. And when we took off and landed in Amsterdam for a layover I still didn't think about my future but I was so ready to get out in the city for a few hours before my next departure took off.

And I did. 

We landed at 6 in the morning. I freshened up and by 830 I headed out to the city. I got on the bus route to the centre city, bus 169, and around quarter after 9 I got off at the Vondel Park, the most famous park in the Netherlands. 

It was an overcast day but I was very happy to feel a cool breeze and no humidity. It was amazing. I had to head back by 1130 to give myself time for my next flight departing at 1300... I wanted extra time to go through passport check point and security. 

After strolling around I saw the water tours were opening up and to my convenience an hour canal tour started in two minutes at 1020! How perfect. 
On the tour boat in Amsterdam
I went! It was nice to see the city from the canal and learn about some history. As soon as I walked off the boat I got to the bus stop and conveniently my bus was leaving to the airport! It was incredible.

I got on the bus at 11:25. And made it back to the airport by noon. It was seriously perfect.

I got through security and passport check in and to my gate thirty minutes prior to boarding. This gave me time to freshen up and FaceTime my mother real quick. It was ideal.

I couldn't have had a more smooth layover.

Although it does take preparation in order to do it. I did research on what I could do, where, how far, how much it would cost, how to get there, etc. I was looking at visiting the Van Gogh museum or the Anne Frank house but I decided I wanted fresh air and I didn't want to be rushed in the tour. I think I made the right decision. And if I come back here I'll make sure I visit both places. In addition to the famous tulip garden, Keukenhof, which I would have loved to visit but it was not in season! (March-May is season) 

However I did purchase some tulips buds to plant in Panama.

Anyway, I have arrived to my house in Panama, and estoy muy contenta. 



Life is good. 

Advice: be happy right now. No need to always look forward to the future, even if it looks wonderful because then we will never get the chance to enjoy the moment. Plus, the future is unpredictable. If you can't enjoy the present, you can't enjoy much of life. Who know's what tomorrow will bring. 

Until then,
DK 







Live With The Heart: My India Chapter is Complete




A teaching from Osho:

"The Latin root word for courage is 'cor' which means heart. To be courageous means to live with the heart. To live in love, trust and to move into the unknown. Living through the heart is to discover meaning"

The experience I have had cannot be put in words.

I came here four days after graduating college, not really thinking what exactly I was getting myself into. It went by like a breeze of fresh air grazing your face. 

This breeze, changed me. It was fresh air from the Indian Himalayan mountains that decided to shine new light and find a way to enlightenment my soul.

It was a drastic change and as much I love change the breeze wasn't always complimenting. I had days where I thought to myself, "do I ever consider what exactly I'm doing before I do it?"

I had come to India on my own and agreed to participate in a yogic lifestyle which required more than I bargained for, but it made me stronger and now I am grateful for the challenge:

No meat
No alcohol
No dairy 
No proper shower (bucket of cold water)
No consistent running water (without water for days, on and off)
No makeup (my decision, and not an easy one! But I must say, I have gotten use to looking at my face without makeup)
No television
No air conditioning 
Etc.
With the rigorous schedule starting at 6 AM on the dot every morning for 30 days and finishing at 1800 for dinner. (With a break for breakfast tea time and lunch during the day)


I met amazing people who were courageous and strong enough to drop their lives and detach from the world. 

Each and every yogi that accompanied me on this journey is an inspiration and brought new perspectives and knowledge as we came from all over the world: Australia, Japan, Thailand, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Russia, Costa Rica, Canada, Hungary, Spain, Chile, Vietnam, Mexico and the United States. (I think that's all)

And despite that we all came from different cultures, we all had one common ground: a passion for yoga and courage to detach from our lives.

In life we get used to our daily lives and get too comfortable, it's natural. But we need to find ways to change it up and switch around what we do. In order to do that we need courage. 

Courage to dip our toes into the fresh water. Courage to open a new door of opportunity and step through to the other side to a breeze of fresh air.

I have become a better human with more understanding and more compassion for the world. 

I see life in a new way of positive light and happiness. I am extremely grateful that I have this courage to find ways to broaden my horizons and explore into the unknown.

My advice: wander and explore into a new adventure. Go out of your comfort zone and find meaning in all that you do. Be adventurous and when you venture into the unknown you learn more about yourself than you ever knew possible. 

This past month has taught me heaps about who I am, what I want, and what I truly need. Osho is right. And when we love, trust, and dive into the unknown we live through our heart and we discover meaning. 

And after this experience I can say,

I am living through my heart discovering meaning.
I am courageous.
I am living in love, trust and moving continuously into the unknown.

My heart is full. 

DK

The Last Week Of My Yoga Journey In India

My time is dwindling down here in Dharamsala as the yoga teaching training detox course is finishing it's victory lap. 

It's bittersweet. The more I become accustomed to this schedule and lifestyle the more I am enjoying myself. Especially the acro yoga. One of the girls is a master at it and thinks I'm a great fit for this type of yoga because of my body shape and I'm stoked about it, so she has been teaching me some moves and I will definitely take this practice into my life at home.

So that's incredibly fun and I am trying my best to enjoy this moment but it's hard when I know what's at the finish line -- a fun tourist vacation with my two sisters in Dubai and to cherry top that a Yoga Alliance Teacher certification in the bag. So forgive me it's hard to focus on the now.

But I am, I completed teaching my two asana sequences and only have a meditation to lead tomorrow morning (wish me luck) and a quiz to complete to finish the course. For me, teaching the asana classes were fun, I wasn't nervous and that's because I've taught asana classes before but I am apprehensive about leading a meditation as well as this quiz. If you know me well, you're aware that I can't sit still and so my ADHD had me staring out the window day dreaming, dozing off, or doodling in my notebook so I am not sure how much I truly retained in that class.. But I am not going to worry about it. 

I've been thinking and trying to recap my four weeks here. Have I improved mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally? What did I learn? How much of this yogic lifestyle will I incorporate in my Westernized life? Have I changed? 

I think mentally I have grown, I am mentally stronger. I have become more independent traveling to the east alone, learning how to adjust and cope with situations better, and having an even more positive outlook on life. And although sometimes my mind wasn't feeling meditation practice my mind became more stable and balanced, forcing my mind to be quiet, something that would have not been possible before.

Spiritually, well obviously I have become more in tune having meditation every morning for the past 28 days at 6:00 in the morning for almost two hours. But my mind has also been exposed to spiritual practices in which I was unaware of like, Reiki. In the end, yes. Before coming to India I was probably 5% spiritual and now I would say 25%. You westerners might disagree and say I am more spiritual than that, but you have yet to meet the gurus over here. 

Physically... I wish! No, realistically I have. I have been more aware of my body and its ability in asana practice and I have challenged my body to do postures I never knew were possible for me. Although I have years to go until I master some! 

Emotionally, I am not really sure how to tackle that one, I think yes I learned to continue to be independent and to feel emotions but to not attach. Because in the end nothing lasts forever. That's emotional right?

I learned a lot. Too much to explain but I am happy for this new knowledge from anatomy, to philosophy, to asana postures, to yin/astanga/hatha/acro yoga sequences, to NLP (nero linguistics programming), to much more. It's been a ride. (I'll have to save some of this enlightenment and blend it into to my book) anyway, point being: a few chapters of interesting knowledge. 

Will I incorporate this yogic lifestyle? To an extent, I will take what I believe will benefit my practice and my life. For example, the niyamas and yamas, social and personal codes, like the basics. 

This is my rational: I have an open mind to hear everyone's opinions and views just like I do when I hear this yogic lifestyle (which stems off of Buddhism and Hinduism religion) but that does not mean I will use it or agree with it. I understand this way of life but I am content and happy with mine. So, I will take what will benefit me. 

Have I changed? With every new adventure I take on my journey of curiosity I change. I become a better human. I see the world in the light of another culture and do my best to be apart of it so I can understand how other people live and with that comes change. New experiences new people new culture .. It's bound to make a lasting impression and it certainly made a mark on me and one I will never forget.

I will have one more final blog in the next coming days to bring this circle round and announce that the victory lap has been completed.

Until then, 
DK

Last Supper

It's a rainy day here in Dharamsala and it's playing an active role on my mood. I am not necessarily tired because I would love to go to one of my typical yoga sculpt classes in Colorado or take a run at my parents house (both impossible things here, you can't go for a run in this town because of the culture) but it is that I am tired of the same routine - bored too.

I don't know anyone too well, although it's not my point to mingle, it's nice to have a person there to chat with. And I can't complain because Joey, the closest to my age and closest person to my hometown has been an awesome companion. But it's not like I'm going to blurt out all my thoughts onto his poor soul (I say poor because he has to listen to me), although he has endured the "Devin rants" aka me going on and on about a story the person probably does not really care about, remember where I began, or get the chance to interrupt me... Apologies Joey. 

Anyway.

Three weeks, going on four, without one day to sleep past 5:30, with pretty much an identical daily schedule, it's been more rough than easy. I am not one to wake up at the crack of dawn unless I am going my typical 7:00 yoga sculpt class back in the states. Otherwise I don't see a point in waking up that early. 

And here, we wake up to meditate. I have come to the conclusion it is not my thing and you'll see me in the back of the room with my head bobbing down because I am usually falling asleep since in meditation you have your eyes closed. 

An easy way for someone to doze off who is not serious about meditating. At first I really tried to meditate and all that jazz but it was pointless. I am not "ready" enough to have zero thoughts and quite frankly I don't mind.

I'll be giving a meditation class next week, which requires two mantras and two pranayama exercises, it's at six in the morning so at least I'll be half asleep when giving it... Let's just hope I don't doze off in the middle.

I am happy the weekend is finally here which means the count down is now onto single digits. Except tomorrow I will be doing the throw up detox I have already done, which I sincerely disliked. And then an hour later I will be doing a similar detox with a lemon type drink and then performing asana (yoga practice) until I need to run to the bathroom or vomit. That will be done up to ten times.

After that, we rest all day since our energy will be very low from cleansing everything out of the body. We are eating a very light dinner tonight, we are not allowed to eat out, and that has been my go to the past two weeks since I despise Indian food more and more.

My last meal before the detox.
But it's 72 hours of my life so I am telling myself, easy peeezy lemon squeezey. 

Once we complete the 10 rounds we are only allowed to eat kitchari for the next 48 hours. I explained in my previous blog it's two types of grains, very bland. Unfortunately I can't even sneak in a sweet treat because that will only upset my stomach and at that point in the game I doubt I'll be up for it.
This practice is suppose to clean literally everything out of the body, so you start fresh once it's all said and done. For example one person did it who was a chain smoker and vomited up tar basically because this is getting everything out one way or the other.

The Asana practice performed after drinking the detox drink.

So thankfully those delicious cakes I've been treating myself too apparently won't matter, although I'll most likely be regretting it tomorrow.

I am sincerely looking forward to seeing my sisters in Dubai and doing some awesome tourist things, but until then I will continue to embrace this yogic lifestyle as best I can.

Oh and although this whole experience has been a detox in itself I have clearly snuck away to find sweet treats and Oreos but I am still following the vegetarian protocol (I can't say vegan anymore because I am sure the treats at the bakery I have scarfed down were made with an egg which is not allowed in that diet) but for vegetation protocol that means I have not had a piece of meat since I left the states. In addition to the fact I have not had a sip of alcohol (although that's not part of their diet) so I'm staying strong.

Anyway I am sincerely looking forward to a big juicy cheese burger with guacamole and fries on the side. As well as a fat tasty crab cake. And of course a nice beer to go with it wouldn't hurt.... So indulge for me!!! And when you take that delicious yummy filled bite think of me over here in India sitting on the floor (since chairs don't exist in this culture) eating kitchari (the two grain dish) for the next 72 hours. 

DK


Around the Bend

The end count down to becoming officially certified as a yoga instructor by Yoga Alliance has arrived! And I couldn't be more excited. 

Although we still have quite some time and I'm enjoying the experience, we're over the hill and riding slowly down to the finish line.

Morgana (in grey pants) and I (in blue top) during a partner yoga workshop.


I completed my first practicum, teaching a thirty minute asana. It went well, my class seemed to enjoy it as I got positive feedback (but who's to give negative in a yoga environment). I focused on back bends in my sequence and I felt awesome teaching! 

Although I have taught before (because I'm certified through Corepower yoga) it was different. This was a true asana class with my new knowledge and a different atmosphere.

I am most apprehensive about leading a meditation class. That is next week. As well as leading one more hour class. 

I am completely over eating at the yoga school and I have been eating out quite a bit, finding some great tourist - approved places to eat. In fact, a lot of Israelis travel here for some reason, so there is a decent amount of Israeli food, which has been to my delight.

And I can't complain about the prices because, for example, this awesome vegetable burrito that I order is $3.00 U.S. Dollars and it's legit. So the prices are awesome but I have done a good amount of shopping so unfortunately running out of rupees (the Indian currency) has already happened. 

They don't take credit cards so that has been a downfall and my reasoning for buying a good amount of gifts is because the prices are good and they'll come in handy in the states and in the states the prices would be way higher, so I am telling myself if the  purchases will come in handy, for a good price, I'll make it happen. 

Anyway, the schedule is lighter although philosophy and meditation are still in the mix, and you know how I feel about that. But we are doing four hours of Asana (postures/practice) yoga! So finally we are really getting into postures and stretching our bodies, instead of having the lecturers more often than asana. So it's nice.

This weekend we do a big detox of our internal organs. We drink this mixture of something that will upset our digestive system so it will clean out everything causing us to run to the bathroom vomiting and out the other end. And to top it off we can only eat kitchari, a mixture of solely two grains, that is easy to digest. We can only eat that for 48 hours. I decided I'm going to do the detox even though I said I was over it in the last blog. 

I have come to this conclusion because this is the only time in my life I will have this opportunity and support to participate in the detox and in this environment.

So we shall see. That is going to be on our "day off" but it's not really off because we will be busy puking and so on. 

Until then I will be treating myself to dessert and bread and all of the above. (Except meat and alcohol because that is not allowed).

Oh and if you were wondering how I am doing with the water and sickness... I am back to myself feeling fantastic and energized to the fullest. And the water, well I've adjusted to using bottles of water to "shower" myself and I am happy when the water turns on for a cold rinse. But it's not often and I've adjusted... We are around the bend!



Namaste
DK