Guest Scribe Lauren Rudick: the True North Journey
Somewhere near the middle of the summer, I was on the verge of a burnout. It was as if I was running uphill towards my goals, with my shoes on my feet and the mountain in front of me, but I just kept falling. My sneakers bore holes, the laces came out. I skinned my knees. I kept going, no longer efficient. I could see my mountain but the road was covered in fog. I was so focused on that view ahead of me that I didn’t even notice the trees, the flowers, the lakes, waterfalls and rainbows I was passing along the way. Then finally, I fell hard. I fell and I couldn’t get up. There was only one thing to do: take off my shoes, go back to sea level and rest.
So I did just that. I had to veer off my path to reorient my compass. I knew where true north was in theory. I knew what it looked like as I carried a Polaroid of it in my pocket. But I had lost my perspective. So I took a vacation. For two weeks I did nothing on a beach in Central America. The agenda was to heal, to breathe, to let answers come to me I were buried somewhere inside.
This is what I discovered: True north, just like home, exists within us. It isn’t a place- it is a feeling. True North is solace. It is a sense of feeling grounded. It is a knowing that everything is okay exactly as it is. This process called life is unfolding before our eyes and we have little control over it, and that is okay.
What we can do is be prepared to act when opportunity beckons. We can align ourselves to feel strong enough to weather the storms that inevitably come sometimes and we can remember our ponchos. We can surround ourselves with others who help us to elevate, to inspire and to challenge us to be stronger.
Mostly though, we can decide to act with kindness and compassion in all of life’s musings. We can choose positivity when life gets shitty. We can make spaghetti sauce out of bruised tomatoes and invite our friends to bring the wine.
True North is a choice.
It is the choice to love, to laugh, to look inward and then to grow.
Sometimes when we are so affixed on our goals, our tunnel vision prevents us from noticing or being objective about the necessary steps to achieving them. We can become so inefficient in our methods that working toward our dreams can be futile. Sometimes we need to step back, enjoy the view, have some gelato, take a food coma and then start walking again.
Even when we are down, we possess a tremendous power. We have the power to hug it out when solutions are out of our hands. We have the power to act mindfully. We have the power to smile at strangers, we have the power to uplift one another- and then ourselves feel uplifted.
Our biggest goals and wildest dreams never truly fade, nor are they ever really out of reach. But sometimes we need to wear billy boots and jump in the puddles of life before putting the running shoes back on and maybe asking for help tying the laces. Just as mountains have several paths that lead to the peak, it never hurts to ask about alternate routes, and then walk your own trail. Ultimately, we can all summit the pinnacles in our lives, as long each climb toward our own true north.
~Lauren Rudick is a yoga instructor, world traveler, jewelry maker and lover of puppies and food. She prefers to be where it is sunny, unless snowboarding. Lauren tie-dyes her own yoga pants and teaches colorful classes with humor and joy. You can join her follies at facebook.com/laurenrudickyoga more concisely on twitter @avignayoga, visually on instagram @laurenrudick or her website www.avignayoga.com, where you can hear about her upcoming international classes, workshops and retreats.