I have never felt as vibrantly, emphatically alive as I did on February 27th, over a lunch of baby corn with chicken and rice. Sitting alone at the Little Mermaid restaurant on Ko Samui, Thailand, the weight of how much I absorbed during my prior month at The Yoga Retreat on Ko Phanang sunk in.
For a few moments, I felt complete and total joy, my mind still and my thoughts blank. All I could feel was happiness and calm and inner peace. Though this state of suspended thought must have lasted a mere five minutes (more specifically, until a motorbike determinedly crashed into the fruit stall across the way), it is permanently etched into my memory.
Those of you readers who know me well know that I suffer from what my best friend Nadia affectionately refers to as “Jodi Brain”, i.e. a complete and utter inability to relax, even when the situation merits it. I'm not sure where this dearth of zen comes from, but it was certainly exacerbated by my years in NYC. When the perpetual motion of the city I called home never ceased, how could I find personal calm? As I have stated in prior posts, a big goal of this trip was to learn to enjoy the present. That's not to say I never appreciated what I was doing – I did and do – but oftentimes a large part of my brain was off thinking of what I had to do next or where I wanted to go in the forthcoming days whilst the rest of it was like “lovely sunset!”
Since the first part of this trip was about climbing mountains and physical activity (South America) and the second part was about experiencing cultures firsthand without getting sick again (Mongolia, China and the North of Thailand), I figured that I owed it to myself to make Part III of this journey about finding a semblance of inner peace. And thus, I found myself at The Yoga Retreat on Ko Phanang for a 10-day Chakra and Yoga course, ultimately enjoying it – and the lush jungles of northwest Ko Phanang – enough to stay put for an additional 14 days.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Jodi Ettenberg is a former new media and technology lawyer who quit her job after 5+ years of working…
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