The Journey Outward and Inward - By Audrey Marie Conn

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2017

      Two years ago I sat with my friends Darby and Julia in their quaint home on Garden Street. We were chatting around the table when I expressed my desire to grow food. I said to them, "I wish someone would teach me how to grow food, live off the land, and live a more sustainable life. I don't want to be paid. I want to exchange my time for experience." To my utter joy, there are such people and organizations! They told me about WWOOF and Workaway. Both organizations have connects with hosts around the world! All of which are willing to accommodate your stay for work exchange. Click on the links above to read more about these organizations and what they have to offer.
     Little did I know...that conversation was the beginning for me. Those words planted seeds into my brain that continued to sprout and grow into heartfelt purpose and desire. It started slowly. Reading articles, talking with friends, helping out in my mother's garden. Eventually, I planted, grew, and harvested my first vegetable and herb garden. What a milestone! That gave me a real good taste of the amount of work that goes into growing food, it's a lot. Fortunately, I had the help of my roommate and neighbor to tend the garden. It was a great experience and I got a lot of enjoyment working in the soil and with the plants. The process is very rewarding.  Most importantly I rekindled my relationship with Mother...Earth that is!
     Meanwhile, I was being mentored by Valerie Powers and working at The Powers of One Yoga Studio. Here, I was able to explore my Yoga practice and learn under some extremely amazing instructors. One of which being Belinda Fischer. She introduced me to Song of The Morning. She mentioned her “home away from home” at least 10 times before I decided to check it out for myself. Upon searching their website, I found they hosted an annual Yoga festival over a 4 day/3 night period. Immediately, I knew I had to go. I bought the ticket months ahead of time before I even knew how I was going to get there. If there is a will, there is a way! I find that phrase to be alarmingly true. Most decisions don't come that easily for me. But there have been a few moments in my life where I felt utterly and completely drawn in by something, and in that moment, I know my soul is speaking to me.
     So, I went. The festival blew all expectations out of the water. It was an absolutely amazing experience and no doubt the highlight of my summer. I knew it wouldn’t be my last visit. I left with my heart overflowing and arrived back in Fort Wayne glowing.
*If you want to read more about my YogaFest experience click HERE.*
     Since the festival, I’ve been following SOM on Facebook and receive monthly email newsletters. They host workshops and retreats throughout the entire year and always have interesting news to share. Fast forward 6 months and I see a Facebook post from SOM asking for summer interns. Organic gardening interns to be exact! How fantastic?! I thought it over for a few days before I applied. But it became very apparent over those days that my soul was speaking to me again, telling me to go.
     So I sent in my application with a copy of my resume and it wasn’t long before I received a response. They wanted to start with a phone interview. I was nervous. I had never participated in a phone interview. But the day came and the process was relatively painless. That was apparently true for both sides because they immediately set a date for a video interview. If I thought a phone interview was nerve racking, my opinion has changed. I have realized over time however that we must put ourselves in uncomfortable situations in order to grow.
     So, we did the interview. I was very uncomfortable and even had to change my shirt afterward because apparently, I have developed a nervous sweat.  Two long weeks passed and I heard nothing. Dis-appointment had all but set in when I received my confirmation. Wooo! I’m moving to Michigan!!! Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I was ready to leave in that moment. Patience is not my strong suit and that has become more apparent these past couple months. I've gone through a roller coaster of emotions trying to process this new chapter of my life. It has been exciting, terrifying, humbling, encouraging, sentimental, and maybe a little dramatic. I'm a few days out now and I'm feeling slightly more balanced. The fear and doubt have subsided. My desire to learn and grow has overtaken the negative thoughts and emotions. I am ready for this next step, whatever the outcome may be.
     This is my intention. To be present. To be open. To be patient. To be compassionate to both myself and others. I am here to learn. I am here to share. I am here to receive. I am here to work. I am here to heal. I am here to deepen my spiritual practice. I am here to embrace community. I am here to further develop my own self-awareness.
     If time permits I hope to share my experience through writing. Follow the Powers of One to stay up to date on my adventures. And if you feel so inclined...come visit! Song of the morning hosts amazing workshops that are accessible to all people no matter your yoga experience. And if you don't come for the yoga, come for the scenery! It is a magical place that can be appreciated by all.
See you all soon :)

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