I was flipping through a yoga book earlier this week and saw this quote from Buddha, “When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” I have read this many times before, but I sat there starring at the words as if it were the first time I had seen them.
I’ve always thought I was meant to thrive in the big city. It’s all I’ve pretty much ever known, big ole Dallas. However, after living in Prince Edward Island for over three months now, I’ve quickly fallen in love with the simple country lifestyle. I’ve noticed the tightness in my chest has subsided. A tightness that I was never fully aware of until it disappeared, leaving more room to breathe invigorating, deeper, fuller breaths. Looking back, I can actually envision the first chip that broke off of my tension-filled chest, as if it were unlocking a rusty, old door.
Driving over the Confederation bridge, was the first time in a year and half I let out a big sigh with the feeling of, “I’m home.” Seeing that little island just upon my reach with all it’s island magic was the first time in a long time I felt a sense of familiarity. I remember thinking, “Ahhh, everything is going to be okay,” and I believed it to be true.
Crazy right? PEI isn’t even my “real” home, but somehow it feels like it is. When I left Prince Edward Island after the summer of 2011, my world, as well as everyone in my family, had been turned upside down. I was spending long nights at the hospital, packing and unpacking the same little green suitcase, either at my house or my grandparents’ every other week; running countless errands for myself and family; auditioning for plays and films, then memorizing lines for those gigs; dating a new someone and attempting to let a”chip”of old love fall away; trying my best to keep in contact with friends in different states and countries, not to mention actually attending class, turning in assignments on time, all while trying to pretend my life was together to my teachers, strangers, and friends. Clearly, it was walking a FINE line.
My time here has been one of the most enchanted, blossoming chapters, bursting with growth and self love. You know when you discover things about yourself; feelings, thoughts, habits, longings, dreams, hopes that you never realized were there all along? You notice the change in the way you walk, hold your head, listen, speak, and breathe. When somehow your life speaks volumes of overflowing passion. You feel stronger, grounded, and well- balanced. You’ve found peace. All of the sudden you feel complete, like you have found the missing piece to your best you.
Self love is something I never realized was so important until now.
There is something about this place: the simplicity, the country, wide open fields, bright skies filled every color possible, the small communities from village to village. It brings you back to the deep roots where the seeds of simplicity and importance were born. The ever-changing leaves. Always running into someone you know when you go out. Countless stars in the country sky, the cracks and squeaks in the floorboards of this big old cozy house. The howling wind at night. And of course, the sweet salty ocean. The mother of all mothers with her waves scooping you up as if she’s giving you a big hug. She’s a healer alright.
Truth is, today was the first time I actually understood that quote. I was inside an antique store with my mom when the owner, a man in his late sixties, approached us. He asked my mom if her father and mother owned a big white house in Stanley Bridge. Replying yes, a big grin came over his face as he said, “I remember you, thirty some odd years ago; I remember your parents and three other little ones you were with. I had just started working here and your parents were buying antiques to decorate the house.”
My mouth dropped wide open. I could feel Buddha himself winking at me. With a huge smile I threw my head back giggling at how perfect that moment was. Something I’ll always remember.
I learned a lot in my time here. Ultimately, I understand that there is far more to learn. I accept that this “growing up” thing isn’t all so easy. Who ever accomplished their dreams without a little mud and skidded elbows? I learned that it’s okay to change my mind 100 times a day and still not know where I’m headed or what life will toss my way next. I actually learned where each province is and finally got the hang of Celcius.…woooo snaps for Caro! I uncovered I have a bad habit of fast forwarding my life farrrrr too often and not being present. But that’s where these chips of life lessons fall into place. I’ve learned to laugh at myself, let go of those thoughts, and keep practicing just being, accepting that everything is as it should be.
It’s the first time, I see myself for who I am in the clearest, most bare, absolute way. It’s as if the sun shined some light, leaving everything cloudless.
Peacefully, it’s the first time I’m happy with every ounce of who I am.
It’s never easy to leave this place. It’s special. It’s a special kind of special too. One that can’t really be described until you, yourself, have allowed it to change you. I often fear that I’ll lose that calm, reassured, healed feeling when I set back into city life. It’s hard to keep things simple in a not so simple place. However, that’s where my yoga comes into play. That’s where I can take what the hundreds of sweet sweaty Moksha loving Charlottetownians have taught me in each class I’ve lead and taken; to always come back to the breath.
The rhythm, my rhythm, has slowed down quite a bit. It’s as if my internal clock caught up with the actual present moment. I can see the peace one has found while pressing both thumbs into the chest while in Tree Pose, Vrksasana; awakened to the strong beat of their own heart. The jingles coming from a horse ride outside, the sound of sweat dripping from a nose onto the mat, snow lining the streets, or the frost painting a picture on the windows as it sticks. The delicious inhale one takes as they seal their practice; bowing down or placing their hands over the heart and releasing their gratitude into the world.
A lot of things I’ve ever loved come from this little island, tangible and elusive. A new love in my life, Moksha, came from this place. I feel blessed and truly honored to have been given the opportunity to teach, play, and learn at Moksha Yoga Charlottetown. Thank you to my students, new friends that are now lifelong friends, and my fellow yogis. You all have given me so much love to take with me and keep forever. You captivated me. You will all be missed.
I will never forget this chapter.
So, Islanders, beautiful Prince Edward Island, dear family and treasured friends, be happy. Be present. And know, that everything is just as it should be.
Thank you. I sincerely adore you.