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Dream Bigger

Nov 10, 2022

When I published my first book, “Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi,” my student and friend, Cindy, gave me a bracelet that stated, “Dream Bigger.”

I laughed at the time, knowing she was right – that I did have bigger dreams within me.

But, if you’ve ever taken on writing an entire book and get to see it published in front of you – an actual physical object where there was nothing in it’s place before - there is a “What’s next?” kind of feeling for months afterwards.

And, on days when I got down on myself, feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of a bigger dream, I’d slip the bracelet on and allow myself to at least tip-toe into the next phase of my life.

Sitting here now, post COVID, I know that allowing myself to dream bigger has made all of the difference in the life I’m living now.

It would have been super safe to simply stay working at a studio, where I had to negotiate my dreams and ignore the creativity that was pushing against the tedium of teaching the same exact class over and over again. 

But, I decided to take the leap and go for the bigger dream.

Developing my own yoga program, where you, as a member and student, can also dream a little bigger with me, has been one of the biggest joys of my life.

It’s been ridiculously fun to see my students reach for something new each and every day. And, develop a practice that is theirs – with no limits on being in a specific place, insisting on a certain climate, or dependent on a time of day when you must attend, or no yoga for you.

Dreaming of hosting my first retreat last year, I knew it was the right “bigger dream.”

I had never taken the leap into "yoga retreat land" because I had known way too many yoga instructors that insisted on hosting a retreat to say that they had done it – to sound impressive or add it to their resumé.

But, what they weren’t sharing was that they didn’t have enough people attend and were not able to sell out the minimum number of spots required in their contract with the venue. And, they then ended up paying to do the work and to call themselves a retreat leader. 

So, though it was terrifying to do something new, it really was the right leap to take. As soon as  I announced it, the retreat sold out in eight days!

I couldn’t believe it!

And, we had a great time. It was the perfect first retreat. Everyone had fun, connected with each other and we did a ton of yoga.

But, I decided to dream bigger for the next year.

One of my favorite places on the planet is Sedona, Arizona.

It was always a special get-away while I lived in Arizona, working at a regional theater in my 20s and 30s. And, I always felt better – less stressed, more myself – whenever I returned from a weekend there.

But, figuring out how to share this place with the yogis looking to attend this year’s retreat was a huge leap of faith that I knew I had to take.

It was my big dream of 2022.

And, it wasn’t without it’s doubters. Heck, even I doubted I could pull it off more than a couple of times.

But, every time I threw my hands up in the air and looked for an easier place to book a retreat, I would be steered back to Sedona.

So, I took it as a sign and decided to go for it.

I had to go beyond my own doubts and fears. I had to move forward when I received negative feedback. I had to persist and believe in this big, whoppin’ dream.

And, it was worth every tiny struggle.

If I hadn’t taken the risk, I wouldn’t have had the reward of standing with a group of incredibly warm and lovely people with the look of wonder on our faces as we watched the moon over the mountains, the most intense rainbow I’ve ever seen, or the sun rise over the red rocks while sipping our morning coffee.

And, I wouldn't have had the privilege of witnessing amazing yoga moments where students took their practice a little further, finding their limitless potential on and off their yoga mats during our sessions together. 

We laughed our way up Soldier’s Pass, and some of us got a little lost on the way down, only to be found again.

We belly laughed at the bumpiness of a Pink Jeep Tour and ridiculousness of riding on such a rocky road, only to stand in wonder at the summit of the Southern Rim of Verde Valley.

It was the adventure I had in mind – the one I envisioned when hard decisions had to be made or the unexpected came up during the planning of this event.

So, I guess what I want to share with you this week, is the sentiment that Cindy slipped on my wrist all those years ago: Dream Bigger. 

It is completely worth the fear, the doubt, the what ifs that will rebound off every corner of your mind…

Because if you believe in your dream, and, persist, wading through the tougher times, where even you begin think, "What am I doing?" - your dream will come true.

And, probably in a way that is even better than anything you had planned.

So, go for it! I'll be cheering you on every step of the way. 

Sending you love & hugs,

Tori ♡

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