On Monday morning, before the tourist crowds descended upon Oia, I climbed atop its blue-domed churches with a new friend who lives in Santorini. I felt like a spider monkey as I crawled, crouched and lept from the white-washed roofs of these beautiful buildings that cling to the caldera’s cliffs. Nobody scolded us or shooed us away. It was a beautiful freedom in a magical setting.
At one point I stood up tall. Grounding my feet firmly onto a white-washed roof, I gazed out at the sparkling blue sea. The rising run played off the waves to create a vibrant shimmering unlike anything I’ve seen before. As I drank in this dazzling natural phenomenon, a gentle breeze fluttered across my face. Then, it seemed to embrace me.
That is when I started to cry.
I erupted with such intense emotion, and I couldn’t stop the tears. For a split second, I tried to restrain myself — to not appear to emotional, to not appear so cliché. But I let go. Why should I give a f%&$ what I looked like. I dismissed it all, including my own inner critic. These tears were authentic and needed to be released. So I let them flow.
It’s true that you needn’t travel halfway around the world to make new discoveries about yourself. But, sometimes the place holds a special energy that can help to foster new revelations. Santorini did that for me. Especially in that moment.
Something about the place, being at the edge of the caldera, that ancient volcano, stirred the volcano within me. Over the course of that last week, I learned that I can be still, can be empty, can catch glimpses of my true spirit — and that I find joy in fostering that for others. It’s part of my dharma. A revelation like that can’t be bottled up. It’s too powerful.
As the tears streamed down my face, and the breeze continued to provide its nurturing embrace, I felt empowered. This strength grew within me as I continued standing tall, radiating my vulnerability amidst a beautiful setting that cradled my emotional and spiritual growth over the past week.
I didn’t want to leave that spot, tethered to such a profound present.
But, I knew and accepted the reality — that I’d be returning to Chicago the next day.
So I rode the emotional tidal wave, to embrace the sensation and saturate my memory with the sense of empowerment rising within me. It’s a primal power that I hope to rekindle in Chicago.
I have been gifted a new confidence in my yoga practice, and ability to inspire others.
As I stood atop that cliff, with my heart exposed, I was saying “Thank you.”
Now it’s time to integrate.