My sister and I just went on a yoga retreat in Puerto Rico and had an amazing time. We met really cool new people, we tried new things (like surfing!), experienced a new place, and did lots and lots of yoga. It was epic.
At the beginning of the retreat, our teachers said that their theme of the week was this idea of “Karma”. At first, I thought that was a funny theme because my understanding of karma was you get what you deserve. You did something bad so now something bad has to happen to you. Not very yoga-like but thankfully, I was very wrong.
They explained to us that there is a big misconception around the meaning of karma. In Buddhism, karma is an energy created by willful action, through thoughts words and deeds.
We all create karma every day because karma is an action NOT a result.
Our teachers wanted to make that the theme of the week because they wanted to impress upon us that life, and this yoga retreat is what you make of it. If you go all in, you will experience more. If you hold back and don’t participate, you won’t have the same experience. Your karma is the actions you chose to make. You can change your course by changing your actions.
This whole idea really resonated with me because I do believe that life is what you make of it. You can look at it negatively and things will be negative, or you can look at it positively and it will all turn around.
I thought it was a great theme for the trip and Day 1 our karma was challenged.
My sister and I show up to this retreat, really not knowing what we were doing. We came alone, didn’t do any research beforehand, or even asked many questions on what the plan was or anything. We kind of just bought the tickets and showed up, and not until we showed up did we think we maybe should have done a little more research. We didn’t have a car, or a map, or knew where we were on the island.
Somehow we got to where we were staying and met this lovely couple, Chris and Polly. Chris is Australian and one of the nicest most sincere guys I have ever met. We nicknamed him “MOW” Man of the World, because he’s done everything, been everywhere, and reminds you of James Bond. Then along came Polly. Beautiful, independent, confident, and totally has her shit together, like you can just tell she runs s*** at work and home. Don’t mess with Polly! They were a dynamic duo.
Then there was Amanda and I, feeling lost and afraid, and questioning why we didn’t bring an adult for supervision. So, naturally, once we met Chris and Polly, we latched on. They were nice, warm, welcoming, and adults who had their shit together, and we did not.
So night 1, they offered to drive us to dinner in their minivan and we were like thank God because we were coming with you either way… And it just felt right. Amanda and I are sitting in the back of the minivan with mom and dad upfront. All was right in the world again.
Then on the way home, within the first 5 minutes, Polly and Chris realized that they had a flat tire and had to pull over. For starters, I had no idea there was a flat, felt nothing, and if it was me I would have driven all the way home and broken the van. But not MOW and Perfect Polly PP. Nope, they knew it immediately and pulled over.
We were in Rincon, Puerto Rico, where they have super narrow windy roads, and not exactly an ideal condition to call AAA, so they just took action.
MOW and PP got right out of the car, started assessing the tire, then started to figure out how they were going to change the tire THEMSELVES!!!!
Guys! I have NEVER changed a tire by myself!! I was always afraid I would F*** it up, the car would fall on top of me and I would die. Then that would be the end of Emily Audibert. So if I were to get a flat tire, I would A. start crying or yelling in anger (depending on the day) B. Call my Uncle Curt or Dad to come to help me, who would then say to call AAA, so I would C. Call AAA and just wait.
Not MOW and PP, nope. They looked at the tire, and then PP found the manual (because it was a rental) and found in the book where it told you how to change a tire, and she read it out to all of us, step by step on what to do while we all followed her direction. Amanda and I did a great job holding up the flashlight, and pretending we were useful, but we know it was really PP and MOW who were the MVP’s.
They both stayed calm and positive, and PP read through the directions as if she was reading to us how to bake an apple pie. Simple, easy peasy, anyone could do it. Then, I kid you not, maybe 15 minutes later we were back in the car, with a new tire on, and heading back to the hotel.
TALK ABOUT KARMA!! Day 1!! The universe tested us by giving us a flat tire, and saying “okay, now how are you going to react?”. This could have gone very poorly, this could have been a very terrible start to the trip, but because of the way we reacted, it was just something that happened, and not a trip altering event. And when I say we, obviously I mean MOW and PP. They were leading the charge here and were great examples to Amanda and I on how to act in a difficult situation.
I just love that story and wanted to share it with you because life truly is what you make of it. Karma is the actions that you take every day, not the results of something that has happened before.
Life is always going to be giving us difficult situations and hard times to deal with. Those hard times aren’t your karma coming back for you, but those are opportunities for you to create a new ending, an opportunity to see and react differently to the situation, creating good karma for yourself and those around you.
Until next time,