WELCOME TO THE SIMULATION
There was a time, before we were born--If someone asks, this is where I'll be... where I'll be.
- David Byrne
Since returning to Florida and to yoga, many people have asked how I ended up here. I've often asked myself the same question, haha! But I do have some interesting answers, and I'd like to respond to everyone's very kind outpouring, so here we go...
Where did you go and why? I went to Chicago six years ago to pursue something I'd always wanted to... acting and modeling. Right before I left, I was signed with a big agency here in Florida (after a whim call) so I took it as a sign that pursuing that lifelong dream of mine was the right thing to do. We can get into why that was a lifelong dream at another time...
What was it like? It was great. I learned a lot. Most importantly, I learned I could do it. I studied acting rigorously and poured my entire self into the craft. I was in plays, shows, movies and had lots of photoshoots. I was involved in really meaningful projects and others that were a whole lot more commercial. Overall, though, I found the entire experience left me feeling really empty and uncomfortable. Plus, the stories told didn't necessarily dive deeper into the meaning of life. They just presented the human condition in all its pain and glory without providing a context for "Why are we here?" and "What created us?" Those are, to me, really meaningful questions and ones I've pondered my entire life--and coincidentally, I've found only yoga answers them.
Why did you leave yoga? I was turned off by the obsession with the physical, with the external that I could see happening in the yoga industry. (I know it makes no sense that I then went into acting and modeling, but...in a way, I thought going into an industry that explicitly focuses on the external was preparing me for how it would be, so there wouldn't be any hypocrisy I could get mad at, haha). There were also a few big betrayals and my own bad choices I was still angry about, and I just wanted to leave it all behind.
Why did you come back? Once I realized I no longer wanted to be in the acting and modeling worlds, I was at a complete loss. I had no direction, no purpose, and Chicago's winters were taking their toll. I booked a flight to Florida, to home, immediately.
While walking to the terminal, I prayed to God--I said, "Alright. No more messing around. Tell me. Here and now. Unequivocally. What do you want me to do? No gentle nudges. No maybes. Show me with a clear-as-day sign, an unmistakeable arrow: WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?"
One of the last people to board the plane (no assigned seats on Southwest), I saw an empty seat, minus one jean jacket, in the middle of the very front row. Ordinarily, I would've just walked on by... but I felt so tired and weary and just didn't want to walk anymore. So, I stopped and asked, "Is anyone sitting there?" Clearly displeased but accommodating, the lady by the window moved her jacket, and I sat down. Big sigh.
The gentleman to my right and I started talking, and I told him my story, about Full Moon Yoga, about how it fulfilled me more than anything I ever did in the acting and modeling worlds, about my interests in spirituality, earthly and cosmic cycles and rhythms, and helping people. About how people (myself included) are lost and lonely in the modern world, searching and thirsty for meaning. About my desire to reconnect people to Nature, to their innate wisdom and to empower them to create masterpieces of their lives. And I also told him about everything I had given away, and didn't appreciate, in the process of moving to Chicago and how much deep loss I felt personally.
Only after I shared my soul did he tell me who he was--a big time venture capitalist, angel investor with dozens of high-performing companies and entrepreneurs all across the globe. He looked me in the eye and said, "I know good ideas. You have a great idea. Full Moon Yoga is brilliant. Do it. Do it now. Stop waiting."
The rest, as you know, is history... and now I have tears in my eyes writing that story because I will forever be grateful to God, to myself, and to that man sitting next to me on the plane for giving me the gift of believing in myself, in my true purpose, once more. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will always remember you for helping me to remember myself.