The Top 10 Lessons of Being a Vagabond Yogi
This morning I woke up a new part of the Canada, in a new home, and after practicing a little Reiki & meditation in a new bed, I wandered into a new kitchen. I tried to make myself tea. I looked for mugs first, obviously, right? Mugs. Basic. Every house should have mugs. I looked through all the kitchen cupboards. No mugs. Sigh. But, this being the house of a yoga studio owner, there are tons and tons of mason jars-cum-cups so I settle for tea from a jar. We can be flexible about theses things, yes?
I have had many, many mornings like this in the past two years. New house. Wake up. Where am I? Oh right, I’m in XYZ town, staying at XYZ friends’/family members’/friends’ of friends’ place. How do I get going today? What are the days’ priorities? What am I doing? There is no routine, no set schedule, no boss to report to. I set the routine, I set the schedule, I report to me.
No matter where I am, the morning almost always consists of a set routine of teeth-brushing, meditation, breakfast, tea, yoga practice, then on to who-knows-what. This day in particular began very well; there was a beautiful warm light filtering into the cluttered bedroom in which I was sleeping, no one was home but the family dog and there were more funny cat videos on Facebook than usual. These elements set a light tone in my heart for meditation.
I’ve progressively become more and more skilled at being a backpack-bound, traveling person; I’ve learned many many things while on the road.
The top 10 lessons of being a vagabond-yogi:
- Always pack lighter than I think I need. I have to carry what I take with me on my back. I literally have to bear the weight of it all and that super sucks when I’m tired (metaphor for life?). If I need something a) it will magically appear when I need it, b) someone will lend it to me, or c) we live in a world where you can almost always get everything you need within a day — so I can go buy it. I do not carry around the ‘just in case’ stuff just in case. Unless it’s rain gear and I’m traveling in B.C. That’s stuff’s non-negotiable.
- Always pack essential health foods that I don’t-really-need-but-make-me-feel-awesome. I didn’t do this while traveling in India and I paid the price. I now always travel with vitamins, matcha tea, superfood trail mix and superfood powders for smoothies. I will no longer settle for letting my body kind-of-sort-of-feel-ok. Nobody wins when my health is strained.
- I will always be ok. Really truly. Things go south all the time, and I am still ok. Plans go up in flames usually to make room for other equally awesome plans. Just because the universe has my back, it doesn’t mean I will always get my way.
- People are incredibly generous and want to help me. This fact still gets me every time I live it. People will feed me, clothe me, offer me more than I need, and ask for nothing in return. People can be saintly. The flip side to this is do not judge a person by how they look. Look deeper. They will always turn out more interesting, kind, compassionate, loving, generous than I originally assumed.
- My default mode is to be social but it’s not the only way to recharge. I need alone time too and just because I am staying in someone else’s home doesn’t mean that I have to hang out with them all the time. This relates to point 2. If I need to fly solo for a bit to recharge, I can know that that’s fine. No one wins if I’m a Grouchy Pants. This leads to point 6.
- I am responsible for knowing, being aware of, and maintaining my boundaries. *Warning: astrology reference* Being a water sign (Cancer, YAY! Moodiness!) I can be emotional, and those emotions tell me a lot of awesome info that I am mayyyybe not conscious of otherwise. It’s my job to wake up and feel the feelings. No one else is gonna do that for me. See point 5: “No one wins if I’m a Grouchy Pants”.
- I have enough money. Always. Period. I have known tight-pocketed-times, but again, prosperity always comes. I can afford healthy food. I can afford to take the bus if my body is beat. I can buy people thank-you gifts (no Dom Perignon here, but something sweet like flowers or maybe, for this house I’m staying in right now, mugs!). In fact, it brings more wealth to be generous with my money.
- This whole hair-brained plan of traveling and teaching will not work if I am not trusting my gut. Trust. Trust. Trust. If the idea (“I want to travel and teach for about 3 years…”) makes my eyes light up and tummy flip, then it’s a good idea.
- If after a few minutes after having idea No. 8, I hear the mental chatter chatter chatter about why it won’t work out and I feel myself retracting like a turtle backing into its shell away from the vision, I have to turn to those fear-based feelings ASAP (because, no, they don’t get to run the show) and hold their hands and keep stepping forward.
- None of this is possible without the unbelievable support, enthusiasm, and hardwork big-heartedness of the Moksha/Modo Community. These plans are fabulous to dream up, scary as hell to put into motion, and unbelievably enriching to live out-loud. I often refer to this community as my “Spirit Family” — this is a group of people who understand, encourage, and help me to realize my life vision. I can show up in all my colours, shades and hues of personality and HECK YEAH they still love me!
You’ll hear more from me as I delve into this journey of traveling, teaching, and running social media for Moksha/Modo. If you ever want to reach out personally, send me an email at email@example.com or find me on Facebook; the name’s Katarina Wittkamp. I feel pretty lucky to be able to share a piece of my life with you. May it be of benefit!