“To be here, on this mountain, living this life, is such a gift. You are lucky somehow. Make it your mission this weekend to figure out how, to find your every day miracle,” she said…or something like that.
Day one of the Wanderlust Festival in Copper Mountain, Colorado, my second class of the day and definitely where my journey began.
It was Seane Corn’s Every Day Miracles class—structured as her workshop classes typically are—with a bit of a talk at the beginning to set the context, followed by a divinely aligned Vinyasa practice.
Despite my deep cynicism towards the notion of a yoga celebrity, Seane Corn’s words and work have resonated with me since I first allowed myself to be dragged by a friend to a yoga conference in 2010.
In fact, my first and only stop in the festival marketplace that day had been to the booth of Seane’s nonprofit organization, Off The Mat, Into The World. There, I reconnected with fellow Torontonian and long-time Off The Mat activist, Davian Den Otter…but more about her later.
So, it’s Thursday afternoon and my forehead is on my mat as I rest in child’s pose and Seane Corn is asking us whether we can have patience with ourselves; whether we can accept that we might not know what’s supposed to happen next, whether we can open up to the possibilities of every day miracles…and I’m crying a little.
I’m crying (a little) because I recently launched my own yoga business and I’m feeling totally overwhelmed. I’ve just made yoga and business my life and I’m not totally certain what that even means.
I’m crying because I’m on a mountain in Colorado, at a yoga festival, travelling with a group of young women (fellow yoginis they might call themselves) and I don’t feel like I fit in or even belong here.
I’m crying because in my life I’ve been through so much trauma and heartbreak and things that would make most people give up completely—and I didn’t.
And what Seane is saying makes perfect sense to me because I’ve done it before. I’ve put one foot in front of the other while my world crumbled around me and I’ve lived my way through the questions and here I am now…but what happens next?
Fast forward to the following morning.
It’s day two of the festival and I’ve risen early to employ one of my long-time survival mechanisms: to find some personal solace in being alone, while surrounded by others in a public setting.
I take my laptop down to the coffee shop and set myself up with an americano and free wifi.
At some point, Kerri Kelly and Janet Stone kindly ask if they can sit next to me and I happily move my stuff over. Of course, I have no idea who they are but they seem lovely and I enjoy having their energy next to me while I work.
When Waylon Lewis swings by to say hello to them I deduce that they too must be among the echelon of yoga celebrity and I think merely to myself, “Well, at least they seem nice.”
A few hours later, I am basking in the sunshine on a mountaintop, about to begin the Be the Change class that I signed up for, because it was being led by two Off The Mat leaders (I’d been getting a little obsessed with OTM, stopping by the booth a lot, looking at the website, feeling the pull to get more involved somehow) and there she is…Kerri Kelly.
She is co-facilitating this class with Suzanne Sterling. I smile to myself about the coincidence of us having sat next to each other at the coffee shop earlier that morning.
Suzanne and Kerri and the mountains and the trees and my fellow students crack my heart wide open over and over again throughout this gorgeous class.
Afterwards, I decide to step out of my comfort zone and approach my teachers to thank them.
Suzanne Sterling embraces me like we are old friends and I’m starting to notice that she is a spirit who just loves openly on a pretty regular basis. Still, her warmth is comforting to me on a deep unexplainable level. Kerri recognizes me from the coffee shop (before I can say anything) and when I thank her for the lovely class we hug also.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that when I get back to Toronto, I need to connect with the OTM community there and get involved. Big time.
At four o’clock, I do my last yoga class of the day, followed by a nice dinner with my friend. We end up back at our condo with the rest of our travel companions. At some point in the evening, I step outside to enjoy the rain for a few moments (I’m a Vancouver-born gal who left behind a heat wave in Toronto for this festival, so I was basking in that downpour!) I see a yoga dude walking towards our building and I figure I’m about to meet one of our neighbors. I’m relatively ambivalent about this and even contemplate ducking inside to avoid this potentially awkward “hi” moment.
Boy, am I glad I didn’t.
As Yoga Dude approaches me, the first words out of his mouth are “Is this the Off The Mat house?” I think to myself, “No, but I sure wish it was…and if the Off The Mat house is anywhere near here I sure would like to know where it is…”
Yoga Dude joins me under the garage cover because it really is pouring rain and I helpfully (although rather uselessly) try to figure out where the house is that he’s trying to find.
Eventually, I invite him to come inside and join my friends and I for a glass of wine and some reprieve from being lost in the rain. I’m sure my friends were pretty shocked when I walked back inside with some random guy but I applaud the coolness with which they went with the flow and welcomed Yoga Dude (who’s name is actually Sam) into our home and our impromptu party.
Once the rain lets up, Sam decided to pick up his search for the OTM house party and generously invited all of us to join him. I was the only one interested in tagging along, so off the two of us went. A bit of a wander and then a car ride (during which I sat on a total stranger’s lap) later, we arrived at the beautiful home that was the “Off The Mat house” during the festival.
Upon walking in the door, I was relieved to be greeted first by the familiar and friendly face of my fellow canadian and OTM-kindred spirit, Davian and then of course Kerri Kelly—again. Once more she hugged me and as I shrugged attempting to explain the random act of serendipity that had landed me at this private party, Kerri generously and genuinely said to me, “I’m glad you’re here. You were meant to be here.”
(Hey Seane, do you think this counts as one of those “every day miracles” you were asking us to look for yesterday?)
The OTM party was pretty much the culmination of every meaningful interaction I’d had that day and by the time Kerri, Seane and Suzanne were making their thank you speeches it was undeniably clear to me. The universe was so completely affirming the desire I’d been nursing to really step up and take Off the Mat to the next level in Canada.
So I will. And finding this deep true sense of purpose, especially amidst all the uncertainty and loneliness that I’d been feeling as of late, seems undeniably like a miracle to me. A miracle in just one day.
For this, and for the miracles of many other days, I remain eternally grateful.
Former actor/dancer & arts educator turned yoga teacher & entrepreneur, Meghan Marie is also a fast-walker, loud-talker, heartfelt listener & incredibly loyal friend. When she’s not working on building her new mobile yoga studio business in Toronto, Go Yoga Inc., she can be found passionately pursuing projects that use yoga and the arts to affect positive change and build authentic community. Keep up with what’s up with Meghan Marie by following her on Twitter @go_yoga or checking in as her full website emerges at www.WeGoYoga.com.
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Like I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.