Indisputably, there are numerous challenges facing the current generation of youth creating lives for ourselves in the world today. This holds true for humankind, in all of history. We struggle, we get in our own way, blah blah blah. The challenges are always different, they always seem more serious for me. We have been to history class, read books, seen movies, so we have some perspective on the challenges of our ancestors; however, the only challenges I really truly know are my own. Challenges that my generation of strong, motivated peers experience daily on some level, consciously or subconsciously. I know this to be true because I make a habit out of discussing such things with my friends, my community, and anyone who will indulge me in conversation about how to overcome them.
The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences and the insight that I have gained from reflecting upon my challenges, in hopes that I can serve the universe in some way. Now this is a very general statement, but whether one person reads this blog and is inspired, validated, or amused by my blabbering, or 20 people read it and one of them is able to integrate some of the practical approaches to life that it contains to better theirs in some way, then I have served. Not to mention, writing makes me a better person. It helps me to process and assimilate all of my experiences in a much deeper, more profound way. This helps me to be a better version of myself.
My perspective is mostly from living in a small town. I tried living in the big city, but felt lonely and disconnected there. So I reconnected with a boy from home and moved back to good ol’ Hawley, PA. I grew up in the beautiful town of Hawley. My feelings of loneliness and lack of connection were very soon eliminated. My family and many friends still live here, along with the boys friends, and familiar faces left and right. In this town, you cannot hardly go to the mailbox, without someone that you know driving past. In Hawley, you are completely exposed. All the time. Exposed to every emotion, relationship, and experience of all of your “past lives”. Your journey is exposed and not soon forgotten.
The opposite extreme of disconnection is hyper connection. When we are hyper connected to the outside world, the external, and other people, we lose some connection with ourself. As human beings, we have a limited supply of energy. Energy is necessary to connect with others and with ourselves. We have all experienced this when we are to tried to talk to our spouse/boyfriend/best friend about how their co-worker just doesn’t see eye to eye with them on an issue they feel strongly about. You want to help, but just don’t have the energy to talk it out with them, to empathize, and to offer solutions. When I returned to Hawley, I was instantly reconnected.
Hyper connectedness is a cultural phenomenon. In many ways, our connectivity has vastly enhanced our society and is aiding in our evolution. Fundamentally, I also believe it is one of the greatest challenges of my generation. One that I particularly struggle with. One that brought me to my inner journey. In a world where we are expected to be available 24/7, whenever we receive an email, text message, or are tagged on Facebook. Where we are taught to focus entirely on the external. That all of our happiness comes from the external. People are still lonely. People are still angry (maybe even more so). People are still sad.
Soon after I embarked on my inner journey, I wanted to share the love I felt inside with everyone I care about. Nurturing my mind, body, and soul, made me feel so whole. Then I became a yoga teacher, through a beyond transformational program at The Himalayan Institute. I quickly learned that everyone is on their own journey. The more I taught yoga, the clearer it became that I had no place sharing any of this with anyone who did not ask to learn it.
Sometimes I think, “If I only lived in a more populated area, my journey would be so much easier. I would be surrounded by so many likeminded people to share ideas with and receive support from.” It is a fact that within 20 miles of my house, there are at least 20 bars, but only the yoga studio I recently poured my heart and soul into creating. I am apprehensive to ask my local grocery store if they have tempeh for fear of getting looked at like an alien. These of course are negative thoughts and I continue to focus on re-routing these thoughts to the plethora of things in Hawley that I have to be grateful for. The endless access to outdoor activities, and all things nature. Peace and quiet. The opportunity to make a large impact. The lower cost of living. The deep connections of the locals to this place and each other.
I have worked hard to develop habits and educate myself in order to continue on the yogic path despite my geographical disadvantages. I’m here to share those habits and that education with you.