"Those were the words I looked at when I finally made the decision to leave my job. I had been working in the charity sector for 6 years, after completing an internship with Oxfam in 2009, and securing what I thought to be my dream job with my dream charity. Since getting that dream job though, things had changed. I had moved cities, my relationship with the man I thought I would marry had ended, and I was spending more and more of my time at work.
I often looked back at the woman I had been in my early 20s, when I had travelled the world. 3 months in Italy, 3 months in Australia, 9 months in New Zealand and 4 months in SE Asia had opened my eyes to the wonders of the world. From learning to scuba dive in unbelievably beautiful oceans in Western Australia, to getting my hands dirty (and my skin eaten by mosquitoes!) building schools on a tsunami damaged part of Thailand, I finally learnt what it meant to breathe.
Fast forward to the moment I am sitting on my bed, looking at the card with the words, "leap and the net will appear". I knew it was time to leap. I was no longer completely recklessly travelling the world with a f**k it attitude, and I was also no longer wanting to kill myself at my desk.
After my relationship had ended, and I realised the job was not my dream, I moved back to Bristol. I started making new friends. I felt happy again. I went on an energy healing course and on my way home from the first session realised I was feeling something different - and I suddenly recognised that the feeling was interest. I was interested in life. And I knew I couldn't continue working in the same way.
I went on to start yoga teacher training, and my life radically changed. Yoga made me cry, made me smile, made me move in ways I didn't think I could, and to find stillness like I never had before. Most of all, yoga started to reveal the traumas in my body that went way beyond leaving my job.
WHEN I WAS 18, LIFE AS I KNEW IT HAD FALLEN APART.
My grandparents, who had brought me up after my mum died when I was 2, had both by the time I reached 17. I had gone from living in a happy family home, where we didn't have much money but where I was truly loved, to feeling isolated, lonely and depressed. I was struggling to pay bills, had the shame associated with claiming benefits, and was trying to cope with the tremendous sense of loss I had experienced when I had lost the two most important people in the world to me.
Ten years through the practice of yoga, the emotions and fears I had repressed since this time started to seep out. Certain postures made me cry, and I had massive resistance to others. Being with a wonderful group of women began to reconnect me with my feminine side, a side I had pushed away a long time ago in order to survive. I am delighted to now run a weekly women's yoga class and share the healing power of the circle.
Yoga took me out of survival mode and into thriving. Yoga has become, quite simply, my life. So much more than making shapes on a mat, yoga can become - if we allow it - our guiding light, our instruction manual for our own heart, and our path to peace. Yoga can help us to heal from within, trusting in our own bodies, hearts and minds to guide us. Yoga is empowering because we trust ourselves more than external parties, and yoga is connective, because by connecting deeply to our own bodies, we begin to connect more deeply with the world around us. It's impossible to feel lonely when you have yoga."