There was no denying it, what I thought I knew I didn’t, and yet there was still so much I didn’t know. Life would never be the same again.

It was Labor Day, 2001.  Feeling restless in my life, I had bolted from my life in the city to Harbin Hot Springs, a clothing optional paradise in the Northern California mountains.

Even now, 16 years later, it is hard to put into words the change that happened within me that weekend. Like Pandora, I had opened a box full of all sorts, but there at the bottom, before the box closed again I caught a glimpse of hope.

I drove home that day feeling like a different person had emerged from just three solo days in nature.  I spent my days outside plunging in the hot and cold pools, and then slept under the stars on the communal redwood deck.

My soul found me that weekend.  Never had I felt so free and now I had to drive home back to the life that killing me softly, the very life I had worked my ass of to achieve, the life that looked so good from the outside yet churned up my insides.

It wasn’t news to me that my life wasn’t working, I just didn’t know how to make a change, where to start, or how to do it all, after all, there wasn’t one area of my life that didn’t need an overhaul.

All I knew is that there was so much more I did not know, there was more to experience in the world than the things I was experiencing at the time.

And here I was, in nature, walking my naked body around the pools, making peace with every step I took.

I sit here today and so much of that weekend is now what makes up my life, living and working in nature, teaching and sharing Kundalini Yoga-it was 16 years ago yesterday that I did my first Kundalini Yoga practice as the sun rose over the mountains in front of us..  I saw and heard the djembe drum for the first time and fell in love, this would be the piece that four months later would lead me to meet Cemaaj at the Hippie Hill Drum Circle in Golden Gate Park.

Turns out there was so much more I didn’t know.

I was a square peck being pushed into a round hole, I didn’t want to leave this newly found piece of paradise, who knew people lived like that? Certainly not me.

Drive home I did.  Life would certainly never be the same because I had changed, and this was just to be the beginning, everything I thought was important in my life was about to be turned upside down and inside out, and the next seven days were to be the most profound in my life to date.

There is little I could have predicted about what would happen in the ensuing 16 years to today.  What I do know is that the weekend at Harbin was the catalyst for so much more change to happen in my life.

All I know today is that the more I get to know the more I realize there is to know.  I strayed off the path laid out for me and found something I could never have imagined.

That’s  the thing about straying off the path, we never know what treasures await.  Turns out that inside of that exterior me there is so much more inside.  And outside of the endless career progression there is a life that can make a difference in a different kind of way.

How about you, what path of life are you taking and how does it fit who you are?

Sending you love always in all ways.