“Go forth and set the world on fire.”
― St. Ignatius of Loyola
Tomorrow I will graduate from university, the culmination of a four year period of my life that brought painful and difficult experiences of growth, as well as love, awareness, and deep soul connections. I am grateful for my college education and the opportunities for self-awareness it has presented me. It wasn’t always an easy ride or a lovely cup of tea. Throughout my undergraduate career, I became more and more painfully aware of the ways that traditional education fails me. I learned more through direct experience and self-education than I did from textbooks or lectures. There was always a sense of obligation, of duty to force myself to go through the motions, to try to adapt to the daily workings of college life. It was not always joyful and blissful, but these experiences allowed me to discover my spiritual nature and delve into my devotional practice.
To see how much I’ve changed since my first two years of college is a blessing. There are many defining moments that stand out in my mind. One of them was the summer of my sophomore year, when I traveled alone to Shanghai to seek an internship at a law firm. I stayed for a month before cutting it off early to return home. I felt like I had failed, but at the same time, there was a part of me that knew that internship was not for me, even before I got there. Upon returning home, I felt disconnected and lost. I had to decompress from the intensity of that experience, and the feeling of being utterly alone in a strange foreign land. At this perfect time, I discovered the transformative practice of yoga and was guided to go deeper into my being, in order to learn about my true nature. I began a devoted meditation practice, and my hoop dance journey was just beginning to unfold. I kept my love for hoop dance to myself. Then I slowly began to blossom and share that bliss with the world.
This is a reflection, an expression of gratitude to the Universe for guiding me on my path during the past four years. Looking back, I can see that every trial and turmoil was only for my highest evolution. I had to experience loneliness, pain, and separation in order to shine the light of consciousness on it. I healed many of the dark corners of my mind and awakened to my inner wisdom, the still, small voice of love, the sense of inner knowing that communicates though emotions. I discovered more about my path, and my purpose as a bringer of Light. This knowingness came from a serene place within.
In light of my graduation, I approach the ceremony as a celebration of my journey thus far. I trust that everything happens to support my spiritual evolution. I am ready to begin a new part of my life journey in which I am fully guided by my heart. I am being called to step into my power with full trust that I everything is unfolding in Divine time, if I allow myself to surrender to the flow of the Now. There are no specific plans or To-Do lists. I am left with the devotion to my path, wherever it may lead.
The fire spinning pictures are Aura Jade, double fire hooping.