Journey to Vulnerability


Contributed by Natasha Aquin [Owner & Co-Founder, Crown + Bliss]


Let me tell you about the most vulnerable I’ve ever been - it only happened a couple weeks ago. I quit my stable full-time job in advertising, sold my things, and booked a one-way ticket to India.

Leading up to the time I left on this journey, I naturally questioned if I was doing the right thing. It took a lot of courage to actually go through with my decision. Nevertheless, the core of me always knew that this was something I needed to do.

Now… I’m on the otherside the world with a 28L bag with all of my possessions and my yoga mat in tow.

Prior to leaving there was no time to think, let alone plan any major component of this journey. Perhaps this is an excuse because anything that is truly important you make the time for. I must have thought that booking my first night of accommodation and ensuring I had my travel visa and up to date medical shots was adequate enough. And to be honest it was.

Being an organized, rigid, inflexible planner – as I and others would describe my style, usually is the norm for me. Every hour of my life in Toronto was more or less booked and scheduled into my calendar each day. This was part of the problem.

So, you’re probably thinking... I’ve come to India on an Eat. Pray. Love journey. Well, not quite but kind of. My motivation for this journey came from wanting more fulfillment and meaning in my life. I wasn’t satisfied. I don’t know how else to describe it. Something was missing and I for some reason was drawn to coming to India to figure it out. Please note that I am not writing this from an ashram but a little beach village in South India called Varkala. I don’t need to spend my whole time chanting in uniform with hundreds of other people trying to find myself while they try to find themselves. BUT I am looking forward to checking out what this whole ashram business is all about.

 Varkala Beach, Kerala, South India

Varkala Beach, Kerala, South India

Why India? Five years earlier I had travelled here on a six-month touristy backpacking trip I did around the world. It was one of the only countries that I felt was far removed enough from Western culture. On this trip, I want to separate myself from the comforts, standards, and expectations we have in North America and focus inwards on myself with the basics. Pretty frickin’ vulnerable wouldn’t you say?

Back home I was tired of the routine. The daily commute to work. The cold Canadian winters. Working my butt off all week just to look forward to the weekend or a booked vacation on a beach. Weekends in the city would come around and the majority of my time would be spent socializing and drinking wine because my weekdays were so stressful. It was a hamster wheel and I knew I couldn’t see myself doing this in 5, 10 or even 15 years’ time. I felt robotic. Numb. Unhealthy. I was living but I wasn’t alive.

There are instances that happen to you throughout your lifetime, we’ve all had them, where the appreciation for life and being alive is so precious. It’s that simple. I refuse to spend the rest of my time on this planet being on a hamster wheel settling and being unsatisfied just because it’s “safe”.

I’m not implying everyone should follow suit and come find themselves in India. Namaste. If you’re happy and fulfilled then you’re living the right life for you.

I don’t have all the answers. Not yet anyways. Maybe after the ashram I will. But what I can say is that there is not an ounce of regret or worry in my decision to come here. It hasn’t been perfect. I’ve felt lonely. Confused. Anxious. But the more time that passes, the happier I become. The calmer I feel. And the more alive I am.

It’s only after you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform. Being my most vulnerable self has allowed just that. This is only the beginning.