Dare to meet yourself
…and live the life you’re here to live
This is a short reminder, what can happen if we move past fear and step out of a conventional system that we were conditioned to be part of. This is a reminder that malcondition and dis-ease is not normal. This is a reminder that you are here on this earth for a reason, that is nothing like paying bills and surviving. This is my story.
Miami opened my eyes.
I was 21 years old when I got accepted for an exchange semester at the University of Miami. And I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
At that time I had been in a relationship for 4 years and my entire future was planned out. My former boyfriend had given up his career, had become a teacher and wanted to build a life with me. I thought I wanted that too. However, in Miami I found out that I had no idea what I wanted. I didn’t even know who I was.
I arrived in Miami and dove right into this crazy party world. I partied day in, day out and lived a life I would have never even dreamed of. The fanciest clubs, yachts and restaurants were the norm and being recognized and seen was the most important thing. I felt like I was on top of the world. For the first time I thought I felt what it meant to be free.
Through my friends, who told me each and every day I wouldn’t have to go back to my “old life”, building a house and founding a family at age 22, I realized that I really and actually didn’t have to go back to a life that didn’t feel like it was mine. I realized this belief of having no other option, that was so engrained in my brain, could be replaced by a new belief. It took time, but I allowed myself to go through that process.
When I went back to Austria, I collected all my strength and broke up with my boyfriend. Of course, this wasn’t easy at all. It was a real process. A painful one. And at the same time the most freeing one.
Right after I fell into a crazy passionate relationship with so much drama. Oh boy. It was so amazing and at the same time so utterly devastating. For both of us. Eventually we broke up and I cut myself off from dating entirely for a while to slowly and steadily heal and get to know myself. To nourish and open my heart. And find love again. First and foremost for myself.
This was part one of my life where society conventions had completely taken over. Another one was career.
A promising business career.
I studied business from 15 years until 23 years. And I hated it. All of it. I basically followed a career for rational reasons. So that I would hopefully find a secured job with good income later. My decisions were entirely based on security thinking. They were not based on inspiration, aspiration and on my talents. I still remember the first day at higher business school. I came back home crying. Basically I was crying the entire first week. And one year later, after summer break, I came back home crying again. I hated the subjects, the atmosphere, most of the teachers and felt completely misplaced. BECAUSE: I loved to sing and dance and be creative. I was part of a leisure acting group and the school band, took singing and guitar lessons, but eventually I suppressed all of it and completely leaned towards the rational.
I pushed through and worked hard. I had the best grades. I continued studying business at Vienna University of Economics and Business, again amongst the top 5 % of my cohort. Pushing through, sucking it up, going for it. I worked on the side in Sales, making good money, in order to fly to Miami whenever possible. I did an internship at the Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C., traveled and partied even more, and eventually was chosen for a trainee program in Key Account Management in the media industry. I pushed through again, got hired by a renowned magazine, worked and partied, until there was a point where I just didn’t want to do it anymore.
Leaving it all behind.
Again and still, I felt so stuck. So stuck. I just wanted to escape and get out of my misery. Away. Far away. To Miami. My happy place. So, instead of accepting a promotion, I requested educational leave and got it approved. I had no idea what I was gonna do, I just wanted to get away. Obviously, I flew to Miami. And actually my plan was to stay there for a while. But this time it was different. After a couple of weeks I couldn’t deal with the superficial party life anymore. I got annoyed and asked myself “what am I even doing here?”, which led me to spend even more time in the gym than usually and one afternoon something happened, that changed everything: I signed up for a yoga class.
My first time on the mat. In Miami.
Oh wow, I still remember this first time on my yoga mat as if it was yesterday. It was on this beautiful terrace overlooking the water. Everything in white. We were a small group of 5 and a this middle-aged woman with this amazing energy came outside and guided us through a beautiful yoga sequence. The practice included meditation and breathing at the beginning and the end. And I still remember, that I didn’t want to get off the mat. After everyone had left, I was still sitting there, overlooking the water, breathing consciously and asking myself “What is this?”. I felt an instant connection. I just had no idea what or who I felt connected to. I just knew I wanted more of that. So I practiced everyday. Sometimes twice or thrice. In the gym, yoga studios, parks, at the beach,… I couldn’t get enough of it. I knew, there was something deeper behind that practice. I wanted to learn all about it. Obviously, the more yoga I did, the less I could deal with the superficial party life. So I exchanged my high heels for a backpack, booked a flight to Panama City and left Miami.
When a yoga retreat turns into a yoga teacher training.
I wanted to join a yoga retreat and started to research. When I read through the descriptions I realized that this did not appeal to me at all. I didn’t want to sign up for two yoga classes per day. I wanted to dive deeply into yoga. I wanted to learn everything. So, I just thought, “Why not apply for a yoga teacher training?”
I found this promising teacher training in Ecuador that was gonna take place two months later by the American Yoga School “Authentic Yoga Teacher Training”. I prayed every day that they would accept me with my 2 months of yoga experience (usually they require you to have a daily practice for at least a year).
Meanwhile I traveled Panama and Colombia. I slept in hostels, hitch-hiked, went into the jungles by myself, spent a lot of time by myself, talked to strangers, lived day by day and went through the entire range of emotions. From feeling connected with everyone on this planet to extreme seclusion and loneliness. From crazy fear to deep confidence. From immense gratitude to anxiety about the future. From happiness to sadness. From deep trust to feelings of failure. All the way back up to feeling incredibly proud of myself. Ups and downs and ups and downs. And ups, as eventually, I got accepted for the yoga teacher training.
I had no idea how absolutely life-changing and how hard it was going to be. I literally had started the physical yoga practice 2 months prior. So, I was in physical soreness 24/7. But if there’s something I was really good at, it’s pushing through.
What fascinated me most, however, had nothing to do with the physical. It was the spiritual practice. I couldn’t get enough of all the philosophy, the chanting, the psychology and the anatomy of the energies. I was totally enamored. Everything made so much sense. I had this feeling “oh yeah, that’s right”. As if something inside of me had known all of this already. It wasn’t entirely new information. It was remembering.
Quick stopover at the University of Amsterdam.
With all this new knowledge and old reminders I traveled back to Europe. As a little side note: I applied for a business Master’s program in Amsterdam while feeling lost in partying in Miami. Due to my excellent grades and CV and recommendations I got accepted, which put me into a situation of inner conflict. Because on the one hand I wanted to continue traveling. Especially, I wanted to go to India. To the roots of Yoga.
My rational mind, however, won this dispute and I moved to Amsterdam to do once more what I learned the past 10 years: fully focus on that end goal of having my Masters Degree at the end of the study year and push through. So I did it.
And I also really loved to be close to my beloved ones, did many beautiful trips in Europe, had many friends visit me and taught yoga to my flat mate and in parks, which was my highlight each time. But honestly, I so disagreed with the university system and the content of the studies. I mean, analyzing for example in “consumer behavior” how the science of psychology is being used to manipulate people through advertising – what an insane world this is. Thus, it actually took me a lot of resilience and discipline and endurance to finish strong. And I did. I “bought” my ticket to freedom.
After this Master’s degree, again, I got a very promising job offer, which put me into an inner conflict. Again. Yet, this time my heart won over my head. I chose freedom over career.
Finally traveling to the roots of yoga.
After a very beautiful summer in Europe, I packed my backpack and left for Asia, to travel to the roots of yoga. My first stop was Thailand to do my second teacher training. And already on my first day I knew “this was the right decision”. The training with an amazing Indian teacher was incredibly intense. Physically, mentally and emotionally. However, I loved every second of it. I literally soaked it all in. I completed the course with devotion and gratitude and from there I kept studying and teaching yoga whenever possible.
I traveled from Thailand to Cambodia, to Hong Kong, to Vietnam, to Singapore, to Sri Lanka, to India to do a teacher training in yoga therapy, to Thailand to assist in a yoga teacher training, to the Philippines, to Bali, to Vietnam, to Thailand, to Malaysia, to Singapore, to Bali.
Bali, my LOVE.
And there I stayed. Because I fell in love with the island, completely and fully. I got permanently employed in a beautiful healing yoga retreat center on the laid-back north coast of Bali to lead yoga retreats every week – another “coincidence” on this wild journey. I stepped out of my comfort zone every day by teaching people of all ages and levels and genders and origins. I grew with them and through them. I learned aqua healing from a wonderful Dutch woman and I dove deeply into the Balinese culture and their Hindu religion.
I learned so much, especially from the Balinese women I worked and lived with. They were living with the inner and outer cycles like no single woman I knew at that time. I joined their moon ceremonies and connected with my own inner cycle for the very first time in my life. And this amazed me. For the first time I actually felt that there are different energy movements throughout the month that are so similar with the ebb and flow of the moon. Eventually my menstrual cycle also synchronized with the moon cycle. All of this and the wonderful words of my retreat participants (mostly women) led to me taking the next step.
Women’s Selfcare Yoga changed my life.
I still remember as if it was yesterday how this absolutely beautiful and clairvoyant woman sat across from me in a consultation and said “Victoria, you are a leader of women.” I had goosebumps all over my body and a part of me resonated with her words on such a deep level. However, at that time I had no idea what this meant and where my journey would take me.
No idea, that her and other retreat participants’ words would lead me to doing another yoga teacher training. A teacher training, specialized in women’s selfcare. A teacher training that made ancient feminine teachings available to us that I had never heard about before. And this literally changed my entire view on yoga and on my life – once more.
Feeling so rich in experiences and wisdom I felt the strong desire to bring this knowledge to Europe. To come back to Austria and start my own business. To hold immersions and retreats on these precious sacred femininity teachings I acquired in that training and since then. So I did.
So, here I am,…
…4 years and 1000+ hours of teacher trainings later. After traveling South America and Asia, living in hostels and in Ashrams, teaching yoga in hotels, leading a retreat center, hosting retreats and workshops internationally and growing and evolving every day. Learning and expanding. Exposing myself and showing my vulnerability. Stretching my comfort zone and becoming a more authentic version of myself each day. Still going through a pretty decent amount of emotions, but allowing them all in and navigating through them.
And that’s part two of breaking out of society conventions. Leaving behind a prosperous, promising and especially secure business career to start my own yoga business. All risky and not predictable. Going with the flow, co-creating with the universe and cultivating trust. Over and over.
And after years, finding back to my voice. A journey I just began. Not knowing where this will take me, but following this strong feeling. This desire. This urge to express myself through singing. This urge to use my voice. For my own healing and for the healing of others. I just recorded some mantras for the first time and the resonance is blowing my mind.
Once you’ve decided to step out of that comfort zone and get out of the conventional system, the fun begins. You will probably go from the highest highs to the lowest lows and back up to the highest highs and perhaps all the way back down until you move up again. You will tap into feelings you had no idea were possible. Maybe for the first time in your life you’ll feel a glimpse of actual fulfillment and perhaps you start to realize that you are here on this earth for a reason. A reason that is much more than making money, trying to survive and ensuring the most convenient life in terms of materialistic things.
On the other hand, it’s absolutely normal that doubts and perhaps even fears kick in from time to time. Ridiculous fears and doubts if you take a step back and re-assess them. I mean, most of us have been conditioned for years and years and years and decades that being part of the conventional system is the only way. And that living life according to society rules is the only way. We have been told that it’s normal to spend a life that’s something like the following:
Going to school, perhaps studying, finding a job asap that pays well, finding a partner to found a family, getting a mortgage to build a house, paying off the mortgage, founding a family, getting drunk every now and then, maybe cheating, fighting diseases and discomfort with pharmaceuticals, buying stuff like the newest technology, shoes and bags, cars, interior, jewelry and vacations in 5* hotels to recover and feel better, being even more tied to work to sustain the life standard – until the kids move out. And then, in your fifties, you start being asked: „so, how many more years do you have to work until you can retire?“ Because then you are „free”. Free to design your life the way you want. In your sixties. After you had worked somewhat between 350.000 – 500.000 hours of your life in a job that pays the bills. A job that pays into a system. A system that is on the edge. A system that is oriented towards continuous growth at the cost of Mother Earth, at the cost of people’s health, at the cost of community, at the cost of happiness and fulfillment.
…be reminded, that this above story does not need to be yours. You are here on earth for a reason. A reason that is nothing like buying stuff and paying bills. You are here to design your life. A life that fulfills you so you can enrich others. A life where you feel a rush of joy flowing through you when you “work”. A life that brings ease and happiness. You deserve nothing less than a life that makes you want to dance in the rain and hug the whole world.
I see you and I believe in you.
If you are currently trying to step out of a conventional system, be reminded, that moving towards your purpose, your inner genius, your intuition, your soul’s desire, your higher self, whatever you want to call it, will be the most fulfilling and freeing move you’ll ever do. Not only will you experience fulfillment and freedom, you will also grow your personality immensely and live a happier and thus healthier life. Of course, fears and doubts will kick in at some point. Welcome them. All of them. All of these emotions. Look at them and accept that they are there. Evaluate them, maybe even talk to them. But by no means, ever, let them take any decision of yours.
Our bodies are miraculous systems that are trying to communicate with us.
And, dear soul, if your body is suffering from whatever physical or psychological dis-ease at the moment, be reminded, that dis-ease is NEVER normal. Pre-menstrual complications and discomfort are not normal. Heavy periods and endometriosis are not normal. Migraine is not normal. Digestive issues are not normal. Insomnia is not normal. States of depression are not normal. Slipped discs are not normal. So called „autoimmune diseases“ are not normal. And the list goes on and on and on. These are all signs. Our bodies are miraculous systems that are trying to communicate with us. They are trying to make us wake up and change something in our daily lives. All we have to do as listen. Re-connect and listen. Know that your natural state is healthy and joyful. You just have to re-member your body’s wisdom, re-connect with your inner voice and re-balance your whole being.
It’s never ever too late to start all over. Never.
I’m sending you so much love.
From my heart to yours,
PS: if you are in a situation like this and feel that you need guidance, reach out anytime. I am here to serve and to help.