As I wandered aimlessly and blissfully among the streets of New York City, I smugly smiled to myself at how authentic I am and how I am slowly liberating myself from all of society’s shackles. Prowling the streets, feeling the pure energy of the City that Never Sleeps, I looked with, perhaps, something close to a bit of pity at all of the people working 9-5 jobs, rushing about, stressed out and “working for the Man.”
I savored the moment, inhaling and exhaling, as I looked around appreciating the wonder of the Big Apple, thinking that all of those folks bustling about take so much of it for granted in their pursuit of success. I sent up a silent prayer of gratitude and thanks to God for allowing me the wisdom and strength to pursue my passion and follow my heart. I felt free, liberated, enlightened!
As I continued walking, I heard someone singing gospel music. She didn’t have a particularly special or talented voice, but I heard her before I could see her. I searched the sidewalks until I finally saw the woman singing to her heart’s content. She was easily in her late 50s or early 60s, clearly homeless, sitting on a pile of stuff that was all of her worldly possessions, and she was belting out a song with her eyes closed and with pure emotion.
WOW! Here was a woman, living in the moment, expressing herself through her voice, who had obviously walked away from property ownership and all of society’s other “shackles,” including personal grooming and a sense of style. She seemed happy, content and at peace… so why did that image shake me to my core? Shouldn’t I be admiring this woman for her courage, strength, authenticity? She was the epitome of freedom, liberation and enlightenment!
But the truth is, I began to doubt my new path. Should I really be liquidating my lululemon and Whole Foods stocks to bankroll myself while I pursue a noble, but undefined, path toward non-attachment and equanimity? It seemed like such poetic justice at the time, but, there really are no guarantees here! What if I ended up homeless, alone, disowned by Julian, lugging all of my entire wealth around the streets while I practiced yoga whenever, wherever, and however, I felt like it? Am I willing to take this journey if that’s where it is leading me?
Well, the answer is NO, I do not want to be an old, lonely, homeless woman with no money! But I realized that if that is truly my path, I will end up there anyway, whether I work on Wall Street with $10 million in my trading account or whether I am a struggling yoga instructor in her middle years!
It also dawned on me that I am still very far from a place of non-attachment — I still have far too many pairs of shoes, dresses, clothing items, yoga mats that I no longer use (or have never used!) but have not let go of. I still hunger for beautiful material possessions. I still judge people on society’s standards of success rather than personal fulfillment. I still struggle with drinking, smoking, overindulging on chocolate. I still spend too much time in the past and not enough time meditating.
I am a continual work in progress, as we all are. Perhaps the lesson here is to appreciate the position and opportunity that I have been blessed with and continually visualize my global, universal intent, but always remember that a dream realized takes a lot of hard work, focus, determination, sacrifices, tears, pain, faith and belief in myself and GOD.
So whatever side of that thin line I am on is up to interpretation. But I know that I am definitely where I am supposed to be. ♥