Note: I wrote this in early February, but haven’t had the guts to post it until now.
I suppose it started years ago. In the wee hours of the morning on my first day of my senior year of university—my first last day, as I cheekily updated my Facebook status—I went to a sunrise yoga class. The lithe young teacher asked us to come up with three words for our practice: our mantra, our intention, what we wanted to be that day. I chose peaceful, grounded, stress-free. Since then, those three words continue to circle in my mind, particularly as a young woman who tended to take everything far too seriously, whose fifth-grade teacher told her she would get an ulcer before she turned 20.
And then a few months ago, in the midst of event planning madness, my boss poured some motivation-scented oil into some strange little candle vat, said we were both going to take one minute and come up with the word that represented what we wanted to achieve that day. We blurted out “confirmation” in the same breath, breathed that intention into the universe, and proceeded to confirm every loose end that had been eluding us for weeks.
In the first month of 2012 in Bali, I morphed into someone who seemed like a parody of myself: Melbourne was city Christine with a perfect fringe and black skinny jeans and her trusty leather jacket, and here’s Bali hippie Christine. I finally gave up on trying to straighten my hair in the heavy humidity, and succumbed to its natural waviness. I dabbed sandalwood oil onto my wrists instead of Chanel perfume, and wrapped a sarong around my waist and slid Havianas onto my feet as I slipped into another vegetarian café for dinner. I went to yoga once, twice a day and actively chose intentions for my practice. Focus, and I finally nailed crow pose. Relaxation, and I accepted my hips opening and shoulders releasing. Go deeper, and I quieted the cacophony of voices in my head.
The busy voices in my head were mostly concerning what’s next. Do I go here, do this, give up, go home, spend this, save that. I let it take over my head space, the worries and possibilities and opportunities, writing lists and Googling options and being overcome with obligations. I bought a Magic-8 Ball app, wanting to give my decision making over to some unknown force, instead of trusting in my own intuition.
And then, my last day in Bali, I thrust my backside up and my head down into downward dog to start off another Vinyasa flow. I had spent the hour before class sipping a smoothie and listing the pros and cons of different choices, a favorite exercise of my anxiously logical former self. And then I let myself open up and simply see what the universe was telling me.
The echoing of this eerie song from this video in my head, a clip that brought me to tears the first time I watched it yet compelled me to instantly watch again, and again. The reflection of these photos in my mind: the crash of sunlight and glass skyscrapers and pure energy. The memory of words in a recent email from a close friend, where he said the city amazed him, that just breathing in the air put lightning in his teeth.
That was it. A trifecta of nudges, the universe calmly but surely telling me what was next: my intuition knowing that I need a little lightning in my life.
I’m moving to New York City.