Archive

Tag Archives: Yoga

Renee Lamb Headshot

Don’t be satisfied with stories
How things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth.

Rumi wrote these words centuries before my wandering heart would find them and realize that they spoke a truth so deep it is hard to see on most days.

The story contained within this blog is a typical one: Girl turns 30. She wonders what she’s doing with her life and why she feels so empty. She walks away from it all, leaving those things that define “her” behind, hoping to find the myth already enfolded within. It’s a story that’s been told thousands of times, but each time with a slightly different voice, a slightly different perspective, a slightly different ending.

This is my story of spending 16 months living out of a backpack, with all of those wonderful things that made my little NY apartment “home”, boxed up and stored away. I of course was looking and hoping for a change, but as I packed that last box, I had no idea the challenges and changes that lay on the path before me. In retrospect it was inevitable.

The adventure contained within these words and photos chronicles travels through many places: the U.S.IndiaNepalVietnamSenegalTanzaniaRwandaCosta RicaMorocco and my own heart.  Don’t let the colorful photos fool you – nothing has been as expected, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My hope is that by keeping this blog up now that my travels have ended, it will inspire someone else to take that leap of faith that leads them closer to their own true joy.

My leap led me to Soulié, a social enterprise that was always residing in my heart and a natural next step once I returned home.

To learn more about Soulié and our mission to preserve craft and create more beauty in the world, check out our website at www.renee-soulie.com. If you love the story, please spread the word. We are a tribe, and only with your help can we grow and do more good.

Thanks for being a part of this adventure with me.
Wishing you love and light.
Signature

 

Advertisements

I had gone to Costa Rica basically on a whim, an instinct to do a yoga training that I just knew I couldn’t pass up. The first night there I left my little open-air shack, walked up what seemed like 12 flights of stone stairs, passed gigantic palms, birds of paradise and a half dozen small blue and bright orange crabs that must have turned the wrong way and lost the beach.  At the top of all this, I found myself sitting on the floor of a beautiful room, balancing myself on a small round bolster.

The resort owner was animatedly talking about the grounds, the history and the food. I listened as intently as I could, distracted by the howler monkeys and excitement until my ear caught a simple story – a previous guest had been speared by a stingray while running in the surf on the beach. Apparently the calm, shallow waters that make this beach so perfect for swimming also make it the perfect place for migrating stingrays. The only way to avoid an encounter – shuffle your feet. No bounding Baywatch beach moments in my future.

P1170457

Unwilling to swim for fear of losing a foot, I go for an ATV ride with 2 friends instead. I am working on my trust issues and so decide to take the passenger role for the first part of the trip. 20 minutes later I find myself lying in the dirt, stunned. A man from across the street runs over and helps me up. He asks if I am OK.

I don’t know.

I have one of those moments that most people must have when they are still conscious right after an accident – I take an inventory: 2 legs, I am standing so, check!, feet, abdomen, hands, head, check! At first my body thinks everything is intact; I don’t feel any pain. I bend my arm and realize a piece of flesh is missing from my elbow. I actually think to myself, “How can that be? I am not even bleeding.” Yet before the words are finished formulating in my head, there it is – warm and red dripping down my arm.

The man that helped me up takes us across the street to his house. He pulls a first aid kit out of his truck and a hose out of his yard. He’s part of the volunteer EMT crew in town and just happened to be in his yard as our ATV flipped across the road. I get washed and bandaged up. My friend is speaking with him in Spanish – I catch the part where she tells him he must be an angel. “No,” he says, “I am Angelo.”

The next morning in class we begin at the front of our mat. My instructor, a beautiful, tall, Lebanese New Yorker comes up behind me to tell me to put my feet together. Before she can get my full name out, I’ve screamed and jumped 5 feet in the air. She holds her comment about my foot placement and instead hugs me around the shoulders. I begin to sob, and sun salute, and sob some more. So many stoic years of mourning for friends that have passed, for a young girl I didn’t even know come falling out. The tears mixing with my sweat as I curl into child’s pose, hugging my bloody and oozing elbow in close as everyone else goes down onto their forearms and up into a headstand. So much sadness pours out of me as the blood continues to seep out of my arm. I realize that this pose, which was to be one of my key goals for the month, one that symbolizes overcoming fears of death and uncertainty, has just become an impossibility.

Sunset2 weeks later I stand at the edge of the Pacific ocean, my arm amazingly but just barely healed. I watch the sun fall behind the clouds on the horizon. The waves are soft and gentle here. I am overcome by the sheer beauty of it all and suddenly feel such gratitude that things ended as they did and not as they could have.

For the first time since I arrived in Costa Rica, I have the desire to walk out towards the sunset, towards the waves. I look up to the sky and take one step and then another. I know that I am still moving but I’ve stopped counting my steps. Suddenly pulled out of my stupor, I remember those words from the first day – stingrays! I turn around and see the beach off in the distance, what feels like a half mile away.  “A whole gaggle of stingrays could be hiding between me and that beach,” I think. No longer afraid of a mortal wound but still anxious to keep my feet without holes, I take a deep breath and slowly begin to shuffle my way back home.

I have just finished doing a yoga teacher training, which I think by default causes you to think of life in poetic parables… And if 30 straight days of yoga don’t do it, 30 straight days of India will.

To honor my month long commitment to 12 hours a day of yoga practice, meditation, and literary study, I brought some Yogi tea with me from NY. (If you don’t know Yogi tea, they have catchy little sayings on all of their tea bags.) Today’s says: “Life is a chance, Love is infinity, Grace is reality”. Thinking back to the loss of my friend Janika, inspires me to reinterpret the saying this way:

Love like your life depends on it, Live with grace, and Realize that your dreams have already been fulfilled.

I might just have to use that in one of my classes. Well, that is if I ever put this yoga thing to economic use.

Om Shanti