A book I’ve been reading referenced a term I hadn’t seen in awhile - the Butterfly Effect. The Butterfly Effect is an element of chaos theory, basically referencing that small incidences can create momentous occurrences (i.e. a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world could cause a hurricane in another). Does anyone else find that concept fascinating?
I’ve been thinking back to seemingly small moments in my life that have inspired great change. There’s one in particular that led me to you. A small group of people may never know it, but they had a profound effect on my life leading to my own experience with a little controlled chaos.
A few years ago, I was driving along the PA turnpike coming home from a work trip. It had been a long, busy couple of days. Around this time, I was also seriously contemplating leaving my job, consulting for a bit, and opening a yoga studio. I had the lease in my hands (but hadn’t signed it), I had the capital, I had the systems. I just needed a big ‘ole sign to appear. While on that drive, I realized I hadn’t eaten for hours. Of course, the GPS in the rental car was whack and my phone didn’t get a signal so I pulled off into a teensy little town I’d never heard of - Jim Thorpe. Have you been there? So cute! I digress…
I strolled into an empty restaurant, Stone Row, and saw a little bell with the words, “Ring me and a genie will appear.” Yes. My kind of place. A woman with the kindest face popped over. She was the owner and chef. She offered me a table, a menu, the wifi password (No thanks...I just want to chill and read and contemplate life). When she came back to take my order, I explained that I have a serious allergy to gluten. “Oh, not a problem. In fact, we're completely gluten free,” she says. Stop it. What are the odds that I randomly pull off into the cutest little town built into the side of a mountain and walk into a restaurant that is entirely gluten free? Well, it gets better.
I order my lunch. Maybe 10-15 minutes go by and a man walks in. He’s seated at a table across from mine. He’s getting the millet burger, too. We start a conversation. He’s from London, but came most recently from Dublin. He has family in the States and is doing business here. He’s going back to London. There are big changes underfoot. Hmmm interesting...me, too. In walks another young man, probably about the same age as me at the time. His table is close to ours. We make a sweet little triangle of solo travelers at tables set for four. We all start talking over our cold pressed coffees. He’s thinking of leaving his gig in New Jersey. He’s going camping for the weekend to sort out his next steps. I share about my visions of yoga.
How funny...we’re all on a similar path. We all found each other here in the middle of PA. We talked for nearly two hours about life and adventure and taking chances. I like to think that genie/owner/chef was my own fairy godmother...actually all of ours. I visualize her sprinkling fairy dust over our meals in the kitchen, beaming as she sets down our plates, proud to see us laughing, listening, encouraging.
I walked back to my car that afternoon, snapped a picture of the tiny town and proceeded to record this story on my voice notes app. I felt light, limitless. I think of that time as my own Butterfly Effect. I’ve never seen those individuals again. We’ve never found each other on Facebook or Instagram. But, they really impacted my life. Of course, with the support of my closest family and dearest friends, I know I would’ve started a business at some point. But, this serendipitous time gave me the courage to say, let’s do it now and not look back, changing my story forever. I could go on how my own sort of chaos ensued, uncertainty and doubt and fear and immense excitement and joy, but that’s a whole other letter.
My point is, take a look back in your life and notice your own Butterfly Effects. Was there a person or a group of people who changed your path forever? Let’s honor them today. Let’s celebrate the “chaos” that ensued from those seemingly small, but momentous interactions. And, if you have five minutes, write to me and share your tale. I’d love to hear from you.
With so much love,
P.S. If you’re struggling to find the time to acknowledge your own story, please know that this is exactly the sort of thing we discuss during Yoga Teacher Training. Yoga is an inward journey of your own Self, facilitated through the teachings of a 5000 year old practice. If you’ve felt the pull to learn more about yoga and want to understand how its teachings have affected your life, please let me know and we can make a time to talk about any questions you have. We welcome those who are interested in teaching yoga as well as those who simply want to learn for their own self-study. Early Bird rates end June 30, 2018.