Week 21: Carve Your Own Path

Enveloped by lush foliage and singing birds en route to this morning’s 7am yoga class, I had a deep sense of gratitude for taking a different career path.

Nearly 15 years ago I did the unthinkable and quit my full-time job with health insurance and a 401K to pursue teaching yoga full-time.

This was before Christy Turlington graced the cover of Time magazine doing yoga. Before neighborhoods {even cities} had yoga studios within reach. Before I had any data beyond a gut instinct that I could become an entrepreneur.

Honestly, I’m not even sure I know what an entrepreneur was or that it was French! I simply knew it was time to pursue opportunities outside of a fluorescent-lit cubicle.

This week I’m teaching yoga in Costa Rica for the 10th time. When I set out on this self-employment journey in 2000, I never dreamed it would lead me to such exotic places or to connect with such beautiful souls. Repeatedly.

Growing up in Oklahoma, exotic was a trip to the Oklahoma City mall—an entire two-hour journey from my hometown to the big city. As you can imagine, my definition has evolved dramatically over the years.

Choosing a path different than what seems sensible, aligned with your family’s {or society’s} expectations, or in the same direction you’ve been headed can be scary. Even isolating.

If I hadn’t given my two-week notice in my mid-twenties, I wouldn’t be sitting here in Costa Rica today. I’d probably be processing higher profile trademarks for large corporations, managing accounts, and wondering if there was more.

I’m here to tell you, there is more.

While I know my journey is not for everyone and I don’t dare believe I have all the answers, I do know that carving my own scary, winding, and at times muddy path has given my Oklahoma-rooted life meaning. And passport stamps.

When we allow ourselves the opportunity to step off the hamster wheel of daily life, we may be met with sorrow because we no longer recognize ourselves. Or who were has withered and died. Or that we hadn’t heard that deep longing to change course because we were too busy.

Take a moment this week to reflect on your path. Have you chosen the path less or well traveled? How’s it working for you? Do you see a fork in the road beckoning you down it? Do you see a clearing up ahead promising open space to try something new?

Sometimes the course change is as simple as a new addition to your morning routine or a new beauty product. Other times it may involve setting clear boundaries, adjusting expectations, or going on an Artist Date. Or it may be a bold change in career, a relationship, living situation, or education.

Carve your own path and know there’s a community rooting for you. It may be winding, but it’s worth the twists and turns.

Share insights and photos in our Facebook group and/or using #52weekstranquility via other social media channels.

Watch for Week 22 of 52 Weeks of Tranquility here next week. Thank you for being here with us. Bisous. x

52 Weeks of Tranquility

This complimentary program is designed to help us stay motivated and engaged in 2015. Each week I’ll send inspiration to your inbox via Love Notes.

Joining later in the year? No worries, read previous weeks here.

To find support and community, join the private Facebook group and use hashtag #52weekstranquility to create additional online connections.

Connect live by calling in to seasonal Tranquilosophy podcasts. Can’t join us live? Recordings are available.

May we savor deep moments of tranquility.


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Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens
to allow in more light
.—Vera Nazarian

While rain poured down on our tin Costa Rican roof last night, I closed My Year with Eleanor for the last time. Fini. My journey conquering fears culminating with the author’s summit of Kilimanjaro was over. Four years ago she moved to St. John to scoop ice cream.

Above is a sampling of the many books on my summer to-read list—memoirs, self-help, and writing. Some books were gifts, most were self-procured. All enticing reads.

Better Than Before is our spring online book club pick so I need to finish it. I’ve heard rave reviews of Joan Didion’s My Year of Magical Thinking. Dying to read Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own. Betsy Lerner offers wonderful writing insights in The Forest for the Trees, yet I remain halfway through.

Grieving Mindfully continues to be a worthy go-to as I work through grief yet again. Shannon Ables will be back on the podcast this summer discussing her book Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life. Another tome I’m reading for an upcoming Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher training is Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. You know, just a puny 600+ pages!

Last week’s 52 Weeks of Tranquility focused on reading and many participants their current consumption in our Facebook group. Seeing someone’s stack of books is a generous peek into their soul, don’t you think?

So I’m wondering, what’s on your summer reading list? Bisous. x


Bonjour. Welcome to the 338th edition of Tranquility du Jour: All About the Pretty. Today’s show features writer, yogi, consultant Julia Coney. Be inspired by her favorite face oil, summer beauty routine, and nail care regime.




juliaFeatured Guest:

Julia Coney is the editor of All About the Pretty a niche lifestyle website dedicated to curated information on beauty, travel, food, and yoga. Created in 2006, All About the Pretty has been featured in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, Glamour Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, a Celebrity Cruise advertisement, Essence.com, Glamour.com and the Washingtonian. All About the Pretty is your lifestyle and travel guide.

If you want exclusive beauty products from Paris, the best sushi in Barbados, koshary in Cairo, fashion week in New York, fry jacks in Belize, crawfish in New Orleans, and custom lotion in Capri stay awhile reading All About the Pretty as your personal lifestyle and travel guide.

Julia believes Paris is always a good idea, handwritten notes, memorable food and wine, art, culture, foreign films, languages, and multiple stamps in her passport. She was born in Louisiana, raised in Texas, and is a Southern Girl at heart. Julia is a Francophile and resides in the Washington, DC area with her husband.

Savvy Sources:


A new feature to answer your questions and/or comments received via email or social media.

nicolenevermore I’m on my second read through Shannon Able’s book. The first time I went through it quickly and now I’m taking my time, reading each section and, even if the topic doesn’t apply to me directly, trying to really soak up the lessons she writes about. Chapter 8 is an especially relevant bit for where I am in life right now. I’d love to know your thoughts when you’ve gotten to it!

Sarah: So, he’s “Tim” now — not “le beau.” Why the change? Whatever the reason, I like it — everyone knows who he is, so he deserves to be called by his name. “Le beau” always seemed like you were trying to hide his identity (best case) or only allow him an identity as a function of his relationship to you (worst case). Long live Tim! RIP le beau!

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