Livin in Paradise!
No really, I'm living on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
I'm writing in response to many emails and messages regarding what I've been "up-to", "what are you doing with your life" and of course, "what are your plans once you return to the US"?
Well, for those of you who do not know...I've been living at an ashram for the last 6 weeks. An ashram? Yes, an ashram! I've been in the Sivananda Yoga Ashram located in the Bahamas since March 29 and will be here till sometime in July. So you want to know the truth? Okay here it is, but put your coffee down first! Lol
So the truth, I'm living at an ashram....in a tent...doing a karma yoga program...working for free (volunteering my time and energy)...What does one do at an ashram...well my daily schedule is as followed:
- Wake up (anywhere from): 5-5:55am (depends on how many times I fall back asleep, lets be honest)
- Meditation: 6am
- Kirtan: 6:30-8am
- Yoga: 8-9:45am
- Breakfast: 9:45-11am
- Work: 11-4pm
- Dinner: 5:45-7pm
- Meditation: 8-8:30pm
- Kirtan: 8:30-10pm
My work is doing the sound for all the presentations, a great way to partake in all the workshops, meeting renowned speakers from all over the world. When they're not presentations taking place, then I have the time for myself, which is nice!
Whats the catch besides the crazy schedule and volunteering your time and energy for FREE? We work 7 days a week...which is a little much! Lol think I'm crazy yet? Haha I did say, years ago, if I could do anything, I'd travel the world and volunteer. This is a test, a big one! So many rules at an ashram! Thankfully, we have the Atlantis as our neighbor!
So everyone wants to know my "plan"...to be honest, I don't have one. I moved here on a whim, without a friend and not knowing what to expect. I've done it once before and I figured, if I could do it in NYC, I could do it anywhere!
Coming up in my life I have the NYC TRI, which will take place on July 19th. After that, the world is once again my oyster! The details are not set in stone and from life lessons, I've realized nothing will ever be set in stone, so I'm staying open to my so-called, "plans". In the next year, I plan to travel and learn as much as I possibly can from speakers I've met here at the ashram, plan to moved to California for a bit and work on the Yoga Farm, learning more about Ayurveda & wellness therapies, going to Colombia and learning about a yoga program to work with prisoners and children etc.....why?
Well....my goal is to travel cross country next year, starting in the spring. I would ride my bicycle, starting in NYC (Washington sq park), ride to Maine and head to Oregon, down through California and for my 30th bday, end at the ELLEN show! (Yessssss.....)!
During my trip, I have the hopes to teach in prisons throughout the United States, work with yoga studios, give free classes in public parks, teach at churches and with children (because yoga is not a religion) and as corny as it may sound, spread joy!
My end goal, is to raise money for yoga teacher training programs for prisoners. I met an amazing man in NYC last winter, he was an ex prisoner and more importantly, an incredible yoga teacher and the teacher training course saved his life after getting out. He said to me, I finally found a place I could fit in, with people who accepted me for the way I was and held no judgement for my past <- beautiful, what a community of people can do! I would also, like to raise money for children's education because I think that's why there is so much crime and hate in our world today.
How to raise money?
My idea is that anyone can join me on my journey, for as long or as little as they would like. I'm a gemini at birth and for anyone who knows me, I love company! People could bike with me and donate, $100 per ride to the charity or their choice.
My classes would be donation based split between the two charities, auction what I have at the end and just give. I'm speaking with artist and designers to see, if they would help me create things to sell which would go to either charity.
How on earth will I afford this trip if i'm not accepting money? Well, I hope to have people house me through my trip, couch surf, or i'll just have to pitch a tent (i've been living in one for 6 weeks and its not so bad- don't get me wrong, I miss having my personal bathroom, but I think I'll manage....as long as I don't mistake a leafy bush for poison ivy--now that would be a walk of shame)!
My goal is to document the whole thing...go-pro, photographs, live stream etc. I also want to photograph people and show love/kindness & culture from sea to shining sea!
Since I won't accept money, I plan to work on organic farms to pay for my own needs without taking from the charities along the way, kick starter to get money for gear (aka a bike, since someone kindly took it off my hands at the beginning of the year) lol if anything has worth at the end, I'll donate it! A ride for a change. then who knows....
How to help? If you know anyone spread the word to help! I need places to stay, help finding the perfect road map, contacts in prisons and yoga studios, someone to help me document my journey and someone to help make my photographs presentable!
To do: wowza! Big list that keeps on growing! I'd be happy to buy a bike and go the next day...I'm proud of myself for actually trying to make a plan!