Five years ago, around this time, I was finishing my first yoga teacher training in Thailand. After no less than seven years of business studies and a short career in Dnb, I was so lost and confused that I had no choice but to make a change. One night my friend said to me “Tonje, if you hate your job so much, and you always talk about yoga, why don’t you start a yoga businesses instead?” Great idea I thought. Lets do that! So I did. A couple of months later I ran into the Kelsi, who would become my business partner, and a little under a year after we first met we had opened Leela Yoga in Oslo.
Now I’ve found my niche in life I though back then, but little did I know what I got myself into when I decided to step out of the norms of society, and walk down the spiritual path. I know many can think of yoga and spirituality as airy fairy, unicorns and rainbows, but walking the spiritual path is nothing but. It’s blood, sweat and tears. And it requires an extreme amount of bravery and courage. This is what has become my passion in the end. So after three years of working full time as a yoga instructor and running Leela, I came to another fork in the road, and again I had to take an enormous leap of faith.
For three years I had pretty much done nothing but teach, write and talk about the importance of being brave enough to step out of the comfort zone, following your hearts calling and living our passion, but when the time had come for me to change my path again I realized I was scared. “This is your chance to practice what you preach” I said to myself. “You cannot tell everyone else to do it and then stay inside that comfort zone yourself”. So the fall of 2016, I went with what my heart was trying to tell me and decided to step down from managing the studio. The difference this time was that there was no solid plans to hold on to – just a knowing that I was done with that chapter. That there was more. And that I would need more flexibility.
I didn’t know for what yet, and I still don’t know the full picture. I’ll draw the big lines when they come, act when my heart speaks, and fill in the rest as I go. My spiritual growth over the past six years has been a ride I’ve sometimes have had a hard time to hold on to, but it has thought me a lot about living with uncertainty and change and that we never really need to see the full picture as long as we learn to trust our next step. What has become clear to me though, is that my passion is with teaching, guiding and spiritual and emotional healing, as well as with the shamanic practice and other medicine practices of the world, and that’s enough for now.