I just returned from 10 days in Barbados leading my first yoga retreat abroad. Not only was it wonderful to get to visit with my sister in a tropical paradise, but it was incredible to make friends with such a fun group of yogis! It also was a great sounding board for me to be reminded about some very powerful life lessons, and a reminder of the direction of my own path.
We started each day with a 7 am practice overlooking the water. The 80 degree breeze would blow across our skin in each posture, and the sound of the ocean waves crashing feet from our deck provided the perfect music to compliment our breathing. Everyone was set loose to do their own thing--explore the island, curl up on one of many white sandy beaches, or retire within their ocean-front condos--until 5 pm, when we met again for a restorative yoga class. The sunset at the end of class ceremoniously closed out the day... or perhaps simply provided a transition for many to explore the great music and food of the island.
There was one day, however, where we all adventured together up the west coast of the island on a 50-foot catamaran. Cool Runnings, as our ship was named, proved to be the perfect vessel for fun! We swam with sea turtles off of Payne's Bay, snorkeled around a shipwreck just north of there, and stopped at Heron Bay to enjoy a lunch of grilled fish and mac pie (a local's favorite).
As if this wasn't fun enough, the captain cranked up the tunes as we headed back down the coast and an epic dance party ensued.
The breeze began to pick up, and we danced along with the gently rolling waves of the sea. At one point, my hat almost blew off, and with reflexes of a cat, I snagged it from mid-air. That probably could have been my warning to remove the hat entirely. But, with hat back securely on my head, I kept right on moving with the group!
About 20 minutes later, a gust caught my hat once again. Only, this time, I was not so quick to respond. I chased my hat across the deck of the boat and watched it blow right into the crystal blue water.
Normally, a disclaimer is provided by the crew as the ship leaves port that anything that goes overboard (other than a human being) remains that way.
In this case, the captain was a friend and stopped the boat like a boss. He instructed the sails to be lowered, put our forward motion to a halt, and began the turnaround for my hat. In the time it took to get us safely to a slower pace, it was still a bit disorienting to look out into the myriad of blues to see my tiny ball cap. Almost all 40 passengers had their eyes focused on the water, but it was yet to be found.
Then, as we turned our bow back toward the south, I miraculously spotted it 40 yards away. Captain Eddie gracefully backed the boat right up to the hat. It floated right to the back hull, and crewmember Adam picked it up with ease!
Cheers went up from the crowd, and I felt like a celebrity getting my photo taken by many on the ship. I gave Eddie a HUGE hug, and thanked him for the rescue!
The lesson, as it became obvious to me, is that the Universe conspires to help us reach our goals. There is a powerful force behind us, often unseen, that is simultaneously working out components of our dreams. And, in the case of my sailing experience, people can joyfully chime in to bring our ideas into reality.
So, what's my role in all of this?
Stay focused on my future. Remain in a good-feeling place. Laugh often. Be genuinely kind to all I meet, and recognize them as playful co-creators in this life experience. Thank others often for the assistance they provide in helping me live my life. And, perhaps, most importantly, appreciate the incredible flow of energy that is supporting me on my path.
I was pleasantly stunned at how quickly our giant catamaran changed pace and direction to save my hat, and it was something that was literally out of my control.
In those actions, though, my heart rejoiced in the funof working with others to create a joyful outcome. And, perhaps most importantly, I was reminded to stay hopeful on my journey to reaching my dreams because I am supported in more ways than I could possibly imagine.