I am famished after a morning of errands and work, including buying various goodies at the weekly farmer’s market and then hurrying the loot home before I bike over to a hotel to teach a yoga class, but finally I am home.

I also started my second book this morning (the first being in the editing stages).  It isn’t quite what you think it would be about…but more on that another day.

The air is heavy, which makes it harder for me to catch my breath.  No matter, I set my bike against the gate and enter my humble little abode in the jungle, immediately swinging open the shutters (always my first order of business upon arriving home). The birds are chirping and a blue butterfly elegantly flaps its wings through the air, as if to wave.  “Good morning, Melanie.”

I immediately go for the loaf of homemade bread that is sitting on my counter; one of the many items I purchased this morning.  The farmer’s market is always a bit of a challenge when I have a time crunch (something that rarely happens these days, thank goodness) because it is the social event of the week.  I can’t seem to walk two paces without running into someone I know.  Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t one person I’ve seen at the market that I’ve not been delighted to run into, but it does add a bit of stress, knowing that I don’t have the luxury of talking to each person as long as I want…but I suppose that’s what coffee dates and dinners are for!

As I slice into the slightly sticky bread and coat my pan with coconut oil (I don’t own a toaster), I reflect back on the constantly fluctuating state of affairs in my life and how they have evolved.

Long story short: I used to spend my days plugged into various computer systems, trying to keep my head above water while feeling overwhelmingly inadequate and out of place.  Eventually, I hit a bottom, forcing me to change my idea of ‘success.’  This is when I moved to Costa Rica and subsequently started my own coaching business.  This, however, evolved into another side of the same coin.  Feeling inadequate and overwhelmed with my new choices, I turned to drugs, leading to another, even lower, bottom.

Though the work has not been easy and I have had many times that have definitely not been pretty, I am now grateful for them all, because they have allowed me to see the extremes of my downfalls, offering me a wider range of observation of my own human experience.

That said, I am also very grateful to say that, today, I feel like I am evolving in a very different and more sustainable way, thanks to an awareness and acceptance of my individual set of character defects and assets.

When the toast is perfectly brown, I remove it from the pan and smother it with fresh avocado, cream cheese and raw garlic.  A sprinkle of salt, a glass of fresh coconut water and a book in tow, I move to the table and, as I take that first bite into this decadent toast, I smile, noticing (as I often do these days) that THIS is the type success that works for me.

It is not big and grand, as I had previously defined success to be.  The world doesn’t know my name.  There is no one staring up at me, waiting to be inspired by what I do next.  Instead, this success is quiet, subtle, humble and simple.  I live in the jungle, I teach yoga, I write books and blogs, I go to the beach, I eat yummy food, I spend time with friends and discuss travel, relationships and feelings in most honest and vulnerable of ways.

I didn’t make the bread I am eating, nor grow the avocado.  I didn’t build the roof of my home nor orchestrate a blue butterfly to enter my line of vision.  I didn’t teach myself how to share yoga with others, nor am I editing the book I wrote.  Success to me now is not only what happens in my life, but it is acknowledging that it takes a village to get me here.

 

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