What is light?
Light is where you can see everything,
Light is where darkness disappears.
Who is enlightened?
One who can see everything: good, bad and neutral.
One who can see all and see God.
If you cannot see God in all,
You cannot see God at all.
Those who seek God inside, find it.
Those who seek God outside,
Waste their time and waste their lives.
~ Yogi Bhajan

Hey fellow yogis!

Do you crave to travel and roam around different countries as a way to seek freedom and independence? Do you want to experience new and exciting cultures and learn some new languages? Or maybe you want to travel to meet new people and make new friendships?

Well, for me, travel means more than just freedom, exploration, or connection.

Travel means reaching new levels of clarity, consciousness and community.

I saw a glimpse of what reaching my highest and truest self in my relationships, my being and in my practice of yoga looked like when I stayed in Hawaii.

Let me explain.

I worked in a community as a yoga intern for nine weeks in the rainforest of Pahoa, Hawaii. It challenged me in more ways than one, and gave me a fresh perspective on the life I wanted to create for myself. A life rooted in healthy community, healthy communication, healthy food, and healthy movement in nature.

Yoga opened up so many possibilities in my life and acted as a gateway to healing my relationship with food, healing my relationship with my parents, healing my relationship with myself and accepting the slower paced life to allow me to regain my feminine energy. Yoga revealed my true self and the lifestyle that aligned with my truth and my heart.

After experiencing living in community, and being around other conscious and like-minded individuals striving and stretching for spirituality, it made me crave community more and more. Coming back to an individualistic, self-absorbed city left me feeling drained, numb and depressed. I was craving connection … connection to others, connection to God, and connection to my inner being.

That’s when I made the ultimate life-defining decision about my future. What a convenient time … being that I was finishing university, was single and could create a future me that was ready to research, ready to revitalize, and ready to receive.

I recently have been working for an international yoga school, the Kula Collective and started my journey in Peru this August, as I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with them.

I bought a one-way ticket and the biggest backpack I could find.

I am ready for anything and everything to come my way.

But how does one even prepare for such an endeavor?

How does one plan for an adventure of the unknown, an adventure solely planned by God and an adventure built on trust, positivity and hope? How does one prepare for an adventure of learning and growing and expanding … whether that’s on a surfboard, on a cliff or on the top of a mountain??

I don’t plan to go away for a while and then return home … this is not a temporary finding-myself-backpacking-kind-of-trip. This is a journey of conscious-community-seeking filled with work exchanges, with yoga teaching, and with finding beauty in the ordinary and the extraordinary moments.

This is a journey of being both settled and unsettled in the uncomfortable. This is a journey of being a vessel of light to allow for darkness to disappear, and for love and connection to begin. I am on the search maybe not for an end point, but a beginning point … to experience my truest self, being in my elements of nature, community, and yoga. I want to find home everywhere I go, … the feeling of home found in the coziness of people, not places.

I am opened to opportunity. I hope to be inspired to spark initiative, spark change, spark ideas and spark awareness. I hope to create space for others to seek wisdom from within and to reach their highest potential, whether that’s through my teaching, my words or my actions.

So, how have I physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually allowed myself to process such a way of being … such a lifestyle change?

It started with defining what I wanted. Pressured to do a masters and go the traditional route, I had different plans for my future as I have had such a drawn to spirituality and have completely fallen head over heels for yoga. And I know my route is different, however, it is the only route that makes sense for me to experience God from the inside. I don’t want to waste time or waste my life going down a path that isn’t aligned with who I am, what I stand for, and my ultimate life purpose.

I believe that we need to create the life we were meant to live … and that does involve sacrifice and change. We do not grow into the people we need to become when we stay stagnant and in our comfort zones. It’s only when we learn and expand our minds and our hearts do we see the possibilities … and see how we can reach our most joyful and conscious selves.

So here is my blueprint to help you follow your intuition when travelling as a yogi to align you with your dharma, your highest self and the vision God (or the Cosmic Energy, or the Universe … whatever YOU identify with!) has for you:

  1. Ask

Put out your positive and hopeful vibrational energy into the universe and ask for answers. Maybe you don’t know where to start your journey … start by asking and surrendering control. You must trust in the process and release all expectations of what your future looks like to allow for expansion and growth.

  1. Seek

Now don’t just sit there!! Do your research about opportunities around the world that best highlight your skills, your interests, and your values and beliefs. Seek out communities, work exchanges, retreat centers, education or anything that speaks to your soul. Fill out applications, set up Skype interviews … put in the effort without fear, judgment and control of the outcome. But remember to value your worth and your skills so that others value your work and energy too.

  1. Wait

Have a neutral mind towards the outcome of your efforts. See what places return your calls and emails, then sit or go for a walk and meditate on the different places and opportunities. What feels right to you? What are you sensing? What is God telling you? What is aligned with your truth? What signals are you getting internally … not externally from family and friends? What ignites your soul and makes you excited? This is your inner journey … trust your inner guide. 

  1. Allow

Allow yourself to feel. Run to release your anger, cry to release your unease, dance to release your joy, or talk it out to release your anxiety. Allow yourself to process your journey, and process the change that you are about to make. Take time in solitude to be still and silent. Journal it all out to truly understand your intentions, your thoughts, and how you will proceed forward … make a plan for action.

  1. Action

Now it’s time to take the risk and make it happen. Book the plane ticket, accept the offer, get the backpack and start packing!

So I encourage you to live the simple life … live the nomadic life … live the lifestyle your soul is longing for … and don’t be scared to be different, to be bold and to be a trailblazer.

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

PLEASE SHARE YOUR JOURNEY! Comment below about how you are being a trailblazer and following your passion and your dreams!!

And don’t forget to follow my upcoming Peru adventures and life journey on my Instagram @theveggievillager!

Hey my veggie villagers!

It’s soon to be New Year’s Eve … and with a new year comes with a list of goals that we set and keep for exactly 4 minutes. How pathetic. Why are we never able to translate what we write on paper to wellness habits for our daily lives?

I think it begins with being more reflective, accountable and using the resources around us.

It all starts with goal setting.

So here’s how to IMPLEMENT your New Year’s resolutions to be the BEST version of YOU:

Use SMART Goals.

  •  SPECIFIC – define exactly what you want to accomplish! Your goal to be healthier should include HOW? Want to change your eating habits? – HOW do you plan on doing that? Exercise more? WHAT exercise, program, does this include a membership?
  • MEASURABLE – use quantitative measures to see your progress for encouragement and satisfaction when achieving goals – Maybe exercise for 30 minutes everyday, spend 10 minutes a day meditating … get creative!
  • ADJUSTABLE – you can choose to adjust your goals in order to not discourage you during your progress. Don’t let this be a free pass to keep pushing back your goals to a later date – procrastination won’t get you anywhere!
  • REALISTIC – okay …. if you haven’t exercised in the past year and want to run a marathon by the end of January … let’s be real. You need to work up to achieving a balance of your mind, body and soul in your daily life, including your daily exercise routine and training. Big goals like these need the right mindset and tools. It will probably take more than a month … just saying!
  • TIMELY – Set short-term and long-term goals within a specific time frame to make you accountable to reach your goal deadline! Even procrastinators crunch when they have a deadline they have to meet! This could be a month, 6 months, a year …. whatever is individual to you and your personal goals towards wellness!

Be positive and reflective.

While taking time to write down your SMART goals, also take time to pray and meditate in order to keep a positive and motivated mindset. Sit cross legged, close your eyes, and use VISUALIZATION to see yourself achieving your end goal – it’s a powerful tool that uses all of your senses! Taste, smell, hear, feel, and see your future rockin’ self!

Make sure you are also ACCOUNTABLE for your actions! I keep my positive mantras and goals on my wall so I see them everyday when I get ready as a reminder. You can also keep a food diary, exercise log, use your Fitbit, or a new app that was developed by Marni and Jesse called Habits!

By reminding yourself, you can become accountable in changing your habits and keeping them long-term! This app sends alerts to you on your phone to remind you of your healthy habits you want to implement, being custom or from a great list of them for the mind, body and soul. Their list also includes all of their podcasts that I absolutely LOVE listening to! Once you implement your healthy practice for 30 days – it truly becomes a habit!!

*Make sure you take time to reward yourself for achieving small steps to your end goal! You will see progressive change in your new body, mind and spirit – and this deserves CELEBRATION! The closer you are to your goals, the closer you are to daily wellness habits that become second nature. (It took about a year for me – I continue to develop on my own health and wellness journey – I will discuss my own journey below!)

Use your friends, family, and yourself as support!

The best way to keep your goals for the New Year is to tell those around you! Surround yourself with motivational people and use as many tools and resources as possible! Start a running group, go to Springz with your friends, take a walk or make dinner together – fill your daily life with  goodness, while being gratitude for the journey and progress! 

Stock your fridge with local, lively produce, dust off your running shoes, get a deal on a gym or yoga membership, put your weights and yoga mat out next to your exercising DVD (I don’t know about you … but going outside in the winter to exercise is a bit of a STRETCH for me – no pun intended), have your food diary next to the fridge …. anyway that YOU can support your goals and turn your INTENTION into ACTION*. REMEMBER – Be KIND to yourself and forgive yourself for setbacks and mistakes – continue to challenge yourself in order to reach your fullest potential!! 

While I have some time off from school, I will be studying to be a certified personal trainer, reading health books, meeting with knowledgeable friends – anyway that I can expand my knowledge and growth in the health field! Some of the new books I have started to read that fascinate me (Thanks to Mom and an Indigo gift card in my stocking!) are the Blue Zones by Dan Buettner and Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein.

Blue Zones are SO interesting – they are places in the world where people live the longest and have the best quality of life!! I plan on visiting each one of them – and possibly living there!!!

Also, Miracles Now gives you 108 Life-changing tools for less stress, more flow and finding your true purpose – and we ALL could use some of those!

I encourage each one of you to continue to have a growth mindset and expand your knowledge about food, exercise, how to develop your mind, and find your purpose in your work, relationships and in your daily routine.

Please let me know what your goals are for the New Year and how YOU plan to keep them!! Stay optimistic, enthusiastic, accountable and motivate and support yourself in order to achieve the BEST NEW YOU!!

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx




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