When I knew I was getting divorced, I started thinking about ways I could increase my income. I’m a smart person, but I’d been teaching yoga and raising kids and taking care of a home and dog and all kinds of things that require many admirable qualities, and none of them particularly good for a job resume. Also, since I became a massage therapist at 25, I’d been self-employed and I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of changing that. So…back to thinking.
I was on a short personal retreat, just me, reading Yoga Journal magazine, and saw an ad to become certified as a celebrant. I loved this idea! It’s something I could do…help people arrange unique weddings, funerals, coming of age ceremonies….I love ceremonies and rituals and creating and getting personal and hearing stories, sharing stories…So, I enrolled in an 8-month program to become certified, which I completed. I also had to become an ordained minister as part of the process (Colorado laws). Bet you didn’t know I’m a minister? (You, too, can acquire this title for very little time and money 🙂 ).
Then I realized that maybe a newly divorced woman is not actually the best person to be talking to young, hopeful couples about devoting the rest of their lives to one another. Nor did most people in Colorado have an idea of what a celebrant does or how much time they put into it and therefore, should be paid. But, I was glad I took the course, because I did learn, and that’s always a good thing for me.
Now what? In my heart of hearts, I wanted to travel. I wanted to keep teaching yoga. I wanted to create wonderful communities. I wanted to facilitate transformation. And, well, change the world a little…or at least see it and show parts of it to other people, too. I wanted to follow my heart but also make a living, of course.
Then, an idea was born. It had actually been gestating for a while, maybe even a few years, but only as a faraway dream. Yoga retreats, around the world. I decided that I wanted to utilize as many of my best skills as possible (even if they didn’t SEEM employable) and make it happen. Maybe I could even use my celebrant training?
When I came home from a retreat, I told my students what a great experience I’d had, shared a little of my vision and asked how many of them would go with me on MY retreat the next year. I needed to make a downpayment and had no idea if it would pay off…15 people came forward with a non-refundable deposit within 2 days. By the time the retreat took place, that number doubled. It was, as yet, the largest retreat I’ve held. I will forever be grateful to those adventurers who trusted me with their time and money, to participate in something I’d never done, and go somewhere they’d never been.
Following that first retreat, I KNEW I’d found my calling and was being guided down a path that I cherish. It was only then that I officially started my business, chose a name, got a website…and I include wedding ceremonies!
My Freedom Journey grows and changes continuously, but it will never end. The end is nothing. The journey is everything.