My experiences have shaped me.
I grew up in Putnam County, NY in a loving home with supportive parents, a cool brother, and adventurous neighbors and friends. I am certainly grateful for my upbringings, but most importantly, I am thankful for the insight and wonderment about life that these people and those I’ve encountered along the way have shared with me. My family instilled trust and love in me and modeled what it meant to be kind, selfless and strong individuals in a world that is sometimes chaotic and noisy. My brother taught me to laugh and never lose my inner child and my friends taught me the meaning of connection – they balanced my insights and outlooks on life and taught me how to embrace being me.
The moments that used to scare me were new chapters, transition, and change. I remember that feeling of moving from middle school to high school, high school to college, ending a relationship, meeting new people, starting a new internship, etc. It all felt shakey and it made me nervous. I’m not sure when exactly it all changed, but it did.
Today, my favorite moments are those shakey ones — the unknowns; situations that I fear will be uncomfortable or scary; those moments I want to avoid because I am uncertain, unsure, uneasy, plain old scared that I will fail, etc. All of these “what ifs” and fears and questions about being “good enough”. Yet, I have learned to love these moments. Why?
Because those new chapters, new beginnings… that’s where the journey always begins and starts to unfold.
I studied Counseling & Human Services at the University of Scranton and ultimately received my Masters Degree in School Counseling in 2014. I lived in Pennsylvania for 6.5 years through college and graduate school and then landed my first (temporary) counseling position there. All the while, I practiced yoga at a local studio and that’s where my personal and spiritual journey really began in trusting what the universe has in store for me and what it meant to listen and connect to my body. With all things considered, I missed my true home and knew I wanted to work somewhere closer to my family. I was thankful to hear from a friend about a school counselor opening at a high school in NJ, which I applied for and landed. I picked up again and moved to the mile-square, buzzing city of Hoboken, NJ.
I started working behind the desk at a well known hot vinyasa yoga studio in exchange for free classes. I became a part of a yoga community that was (and still is!) about compassion, strength, love, support, and encouragement. Did I ever think I wanted to teach yoga? Nope! I was perfectly content challenging myself in the studio to the beat of the yogi standing in front of me. Becoming a teacher never crossed my mind until one of my favorite and challenging teachers encouraged me to take her training. [Insert new chapter, new beginning, “am I good enough?”, “can I even teach people things?”, fear, etc.]
I was aching for a change and some new direction in my life. This opportunity was exactly what I needed.
A few years later after receiving my registered yoga teacher certification (RYT 200) and here I landed. I left my school counseling position during the pandemic because I was craving something more. Today, I live in Pawling, NY, among the big sky, chirping birds — underneath the warm sun and beautiful moon. I have had many journeys along the way and have grown tremendously as a yoga teacher, but today starts a new adventure. I’m still unsure and uncertain at times but I guess without those sensations, life wouldn’t be as thrilling.
My path in life thus far has taught me that I can handle what is in front of me and what’s to come. I can take a leap and grow in each opportunity that I step into and take a chance on. I can acknowledge the unknowns, uncertainty and fear and empower myself to be brave; to embrace all the feelings that I encounter and trust that my journey is unfolding as it should.
I empower you to do the same. Challenge yourself. Take a chance. Ignite your inner flame. Find stillness in the chaos and noise. Be brave. Trust yourself. Believe in your strength.
Most importantly, let your journey unfold.