It has been a while since the last time I took the time to sit down and write. As we all say, life happened and I got actually quite busy. In a great way, but, yes, life’s fullness has left little time for writing.
But, today, I woke up early in earnest, to write; to finally put onto paper (you could say), the story of The Butterfly Landing.
I guess I have procrastinated on this piece because it is such an important one in the grand collections of my journey. I never really knew where to begin; how to intertwine my movements from 2010 at Hacienda del Secreto, to my travels around our beautiful world in my “Yellow Butterfly” spirit, to becoming an Army wife, to a yoga teacher, all the way to my most recent movement…a yoga studio creator. In all actuality, I still don’t know where to begin. But, as I always say to my students, the biggest challenge, sometimes, is just getting to your yoga mat. So, this is me, at my mat.
Life is a magical journey. The road ahead is never certain, but hindsight is 20-20. Looking back, I can exactly see how I manifested the life I am living today. Since the later years of my undergraduate studies, age 21 or 22, I have asked God every night to help me to be a tool of good in this world. I have asked and prayed for him to lead me on a path to help and serve others in my best way. For my existence to be, yes, wild and exciting, traveling around the world, full of LOVE, culture and seeing our earth’s beauty… but, also to serve others along my journey.
My path led me to ditching the normal after college life. I opted for adventure and travel, rather than that first out of college job. Society said I was wrong, even irresponsible. But, I knew that it was the right choice. In my travels around Europe with Anastasia, doors of opportunity began to open. In such a short period of time, the way I looked at the world and the way I saw myself participating in it became different. I no longer saw the need to stay in the US, get a job, move up in the corporate ladder. Instead, I saw an opportunity to broaden my horizons… to live the life I prayed for and dreamt of. So, upon my return home to Texas, I applied for Webster University’s Master of International Relations program in Geneva, Switzerland. This decision was a BIG one. Today, looking back, I see it as a big fork in the road. I chose left, which was right for me.
One decision spurred many others. Moving to Geneva led me to meet my soul mate, Rob (you know him well since he is mentioned in most every one of my blogs) , move to Bangkok, decide to pursue a long-distance relationship with my Dutchman, work for Care International back in Geneva, move to the Netherlands to be with Rob, find work, MARRY him:) , travel around South East Asia for 4 months together, move to the US as The Janssens, and take on Army life as a team. See.. it was a lot of decisions, right?
But, while we did make tons of decisions together, there was one personal destiny, silently drawing me in… Yoga.
I was first introduced to Yoga in 2010, as an off-season exercise during my last year as a collegiate athlete at Saint Edward’s University. Looking back, the amazing man who led us was definitely a Kundalini yogi, dressed in all white, teaching us Kapalabhati breath and kundalini kriyas. The practice planted a seed in my spirit. A year later, I was pulling out my mat in my apartment in Geneva, doing yoga for my workouts and meditation for sleep via youtube videos. Six months after that, I embarked upon a daily practice in Bangkok, Thailand, in a little yoga studio inside Amarin Plaza. It was almost intoxicating, as I reaped so much personal benefits almost immediately. Hooked, six months after that, I had found a studio in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which hosted a sole Bikram practice. Later, as we traveled around SE Asia, I popped into as many practices as I could. After moving to the US, my Mom’s garage became my haven for my personal practice. And, as I wrote about before, when Rob left for basic training, I made another BIG decision for myself, choosing to pursue my Yoga Teacher 200hr Certificate in Koh Lanta, Thailand with Ella Luckett of Jai Yoga Arts. Another big fork in the road.
Since graduation from YTT in May 2015, I have been on the awakening and joyful ride of my personal practice and teaching yoga to students from the white sandy beach of Hacienda del Secreto, to Fort Bragg, NC, to our home now, Fort Benning, GA.
And yes, now that you have the background, I feel I can finally share how my dream of The Butterfly Landing manifested into reality.
In June, 2015, my incredibly inspiring and amazing Grandparents, Jack and Teen Corey, celebrated their 95th and 70th birthdays, June 8th and June 13th. If you know my grandparents, you know they never do anything small. If they are going to do something, well, it is going to be damn near perfect and quite honestly-BIG. Especially, in say European standards. In Texas, their shenanigans is actually quite normal, I believe. Anyways, for my grandparent’s big birthday celebrations, over 25 something family and friends all joined at Hacienda del Secreto, our Mayan Riviera boutique resort. Together, our group spent a week, enjoying the beauty of Playa Secreto and adventuring out to the must-see tourist attractions, such as Vidanta’s Cirque du Soleil and sailing to Puerto Morelos (Thank you Gramma and Papa). Also, during this week of big adventure, I offered to teach morning yoga practice to any, and all who were willing to wake up and meet me on their mats at 8am. Amazingly, about 5 to 8 family members and friends showed each morning! Of course, we were there for a party, so 8am was a little to early for most- but some DID make it!
So, there we were, each morning, our mats in the sand of the volleyball court area of Hacienda del Secreto. We breathed together, moved together, laughed together and started each day with a smile. Outside of Yoga Teacher Training, it was my first time to TEACH and I found it so fulfilling. I felt, for the first time, like I was helping others in a way I best could. I was over-joyed:)
But, while the practices were beautiful, it was actually not the most pleasant to be connecting movement with breath and sweat in the sand. While the softness of sand is nice, its shifty character does not bolster the most sturdy foundation in a yoga practice. Nor, does sand in the mouth taste very good. 😉 So, with these thoughts in mind, I began saying.. if we only had like a 12 by 12 of some flat wood to stand on. Of course, when your Dad is one of Houston’s lead architects, he says, “too easy, Allison.” A few hours later, my Dad, alongside my Grandmother began looking for the perfect place for my 12×12. Little did I know, the simple small shala I was imagining would one day become the Butterfly Landing Yoga and Wellness Studio. But, for the next month, it remained just an idea… something our family business COULD DO. Then, in July, we sat down and had a big family business meeting. There was a number of things to discuss, but a yoga studio was on the table. By the end of our discussion (sparing you these butterfly details), it was decided… we could begin construction in the fall of that year. At this point, I was mostly in shock, disbelieving that a yoga studio at Hacienda del Secreto could actually come to fruition. Of course, I was all in… but I wondered if it was something that would actually be done. I prayed about it, I brewed over it, I manifested it.
Later that same July, I returned to Hacienda del Secreto to meet up with some of my girlfriends. During the week that girlfriends were there, my friend Teresa and I (we did YTT together) practiced yoga together and even taught my other friends who came down from the Netherlands to join us. It again, was so much fun! I was literally jumping anytime someone asked me to guide them in a practice. The girls eventually went on to travel more throughout Mexico. I therefore, spent the next month living and working at Hacienda del Secreto, while Rob was in the advanced portion of his training. During these 30 something days, I spent each day mostly the same. I woke up, did my morning practice, went for an hour long walk down the beach, went for a swim, showered, worked for about 4 hours, blogged for about an hour and spent the rest of my day manifesting what I wanted in the future. If you read my about me section, you will see I tend to do a lot of dreaming at Hacienda del Secreto. I guess my Yellow Butterfly Spirit gets a needed recharge when I return to Mexico.
Anyways, one day, after spending time in silence with my thoughts, I was talking on the phone with my Mom about life and about what a studio could actually do for our Hacienda del Secreto and for so many people. I talked to her about opportunities and how much goodness and healing could come from a yoga space on our grounds. As we chatted, I told her that I was working on changing my blog’s name to something that would one day be the identity of my yoga studio. I was hungry for it all to happen. And as my Mom always does, she supported me. We talked through my thoughts… and eventually, together, came out with the name- The Butterfly Landing.
The Butterfly Landing. Yes!
Because aren’t we all butterflies? Don’t we all go through phases, changes? From caterpillars, to goo in a cocoon, to creating a new a better self, to hatching as someone with a new outlook on life, learning to fly and landing for rest. And woah, don’t we all need rest? A landing space?
The Butterfly Landing was officially completed the morning of October 6, 2016, just a few hours before our first retreaters arrived.
My dream officially grew roots, and out of the dirt had come a tiny sprout. And now, I am all about watering this sprout, growing its leaves and flowers, creating a space for every butterfly who needs a place to land. So come, land with me. Land, rest, and feel gratitude for life with me. I’ll be waiting for you- watering my sprout, creating a place for you to land.
Lastly, The Butterfly Landing Yoga and Wellness Studio was and is my dream. We all have one. And we all have the power to manifest our dreams into reality. It is time to go for it! No doubt, there were times I was fearful of failure. I am also sure, there are times that lie ahead where fear may bubble up again. But, the truth is, we each have a gift to share with our world. Every gift is different and equal. It is time we each rejoice in our own gifts, nurture them, and share them with the world. That my friend, is how we each will be of benefit. How we each will be a tool of good work in this world.