Last year I was fortunate enough to go on my first Yoga Retreat with Lauren Leduc of Karma Tribe Yoga.
We went to San Pancho Mexico and stayed at the Tailwind Jungle Lodge. It was one of the most beautiful, magical, soul affirming things I’ve done.
(Hence spending all my money to go to Greece with her now.)
On the last day of our retreat, Lauren asked us to write a letter to ourselves a year from now. We would write it, seal it, address it, and she would send it to us in a year. We could say whatever we wanted, but she encouraged us to reflect on our time in the jungle while it was still very very fresh and to consider the lessons we had just begun to learn.
Now because timing is a beautiful thing, I didn’t receive my letter until the morning I left to come to Greece.
In April 2016, I had no idea where I would be living in a year, so I addressed my letter to my sister’s house.
Now, in May of 2017 I had forgotten about this letter and my sister had moved. But, my mom still owned the house, so none of us bothered to forward our mail, and instead, my sister would drop by occasionally to pick it up.
Occasionally means a lot of things and apparently my letter was sitting at the old house for a bit before my sister picked it up.
She texted me and took it to her new house. Where it stayed for another couple of weeks because I just couldn’t remember to pick it up each time I was there. Until FINALLY, on the Monday I left for Greece, I managed to remember to grab it before I said good bye.
I read my letter in the airport waiting for my flight to London and was a little in awe of the words on the page.
I remember feeling incredibly in tune at the end of that trip, but I had no idea how spot on my words would be a year later.
Dear Melody at 29,
You’re welcome! This trip was amazing and I know it has changed you and shaped you in some way- even if you don’t remember now.
I am writing from Mexico; laying on my bed under mosquito netting, writing this in the journal Lindsey bought us for Christmas. The fan is blowing (to help with the bugs) but if it weren’t, the air would be the same temperature as my skin. It is perfect here. I feel so grateful and fortunate and in-tune here. I’m scared to go home.
I hope you haven’t fallen back into old patterns. I hope you are starting or continuing the journey towards your purpose. I hope you figure out what that is.
This trip was nothing that I expected. I’m not sure I know what I expected. I think I anticipated more Solitude and down time, but that is not really what I got at all and that is okay. That is great in fact. I had a beautiful adventures and cultivated some lovely friendships and really tried to focus on making each present moment the happiest or most joyous it could be. I feel like I was able to get out of my own head and out of my own way about what I thought I needed or should do.
I think that is the lesson or skill I hope you have held onto the most. To not only focus on the present but to make each present moment the most fulfilling or happiest it can be, and to trust your instincts about what will accomplish that. (Hint: good food and good people always help.) I also hope you are able to get in your own way less. To find your path and to honestly and openly attain what you need to help you along your way. Also, I think I’ve always been pretty good at this; but continue to nourish relationships with everyone you meet and to thank people daily. Gratitude is key.
I’m really proud of myself for doing this. For letting go of a scarcity mindset, for doing something big on my own, for traveling out of the country, meeting a group of strangers, and sleeping in the jungle- all on my own power. That’s not true though. Everyone here and everyone in my life helped create this experience. I am just lucky enough to be a part of it. But I was brave enough to get on that plane- and for that I am proud and thankful.
I hope you, in a year, are even more willing and eager to take big risks and start journeys on your own (you will never end them alone though). I hope you find or have found balance and grounding, but also an open heart and clear intuition. Also I hope you’ve mastered Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (or at least feel more comfortable not being great at something). I hope your daily life includes as much adventure and laughter as you’ve had this week. Believe me it has been quite a lot.
At the beginning of this trip my intention was to cleanse and to shed. I think I’ve done that through sport, and long talks and giggle fits, and tequila, and meditation, and self love. I hope you always have all of those things and that you use them to gain whatever it is you need. Laughter is healing and “you know what you need”.
I could go on and on and write for hours and days, but that’s not necessary. You know what you need to know- it’s already inside of you.
I love you
Now I’m not sure what my purpose is, and maybe I never will be; but I am certianly willing to take more risks. And I’m becoming more and more accepting of failure (grateful even). I’ve even been more willing to slow down and to offer myself what I need first. I’m not sure if I learned all those things in the jungle, or if they are just the byproduct of age. But I am very grateful for the reminder that I am on the right path.
When this publishes, I’ll be getting on a ferry to head to Amargos for my 2nd retreat. I don’t know if Lauren will have us write another letter. I don’t know what I’ll write or how I’ll feel. I don’t know if in a year, I’ll be sharing it with you all here. But I do know I’ll be changed, and that is not scary or sad. It is beautiful. We are all moving forward the best we can. Doing the work we are capable of and hoping for the best, and that is amazing.
So cheers to Melody at 28! May she become better with age as her laugh lines deepen and her world expands!
And to Melody at 30, keep up the good work.