About 16 years ago, I was on a streetcar, going to teach my Pilates classes at a studio in Toronto. I was sitting down, deep in my thoughts. After a couple of stops, I became aware of my surroundings and looked out the window. And that is when a powerful moment of truth and awareness descended upon me. What I saw out the window was the great catalyst for the transformation that started right then and there and that will continue until the day I am ready to leave my physical body. What I saw when I looked out the window was the most spectacular fall day: leaves of green and yellow, gold, red and burgundy, all dancing together in a calm breeze under the bluest of skies. There was a shimmer of divine beauty in the air and I gasped. The fall didn’t just start that day; for the leaves to have all their fall colors, it must have been going on for a while.
How come I did not notice? It is my favorite season after all, and that year I almost missed it. Why? Where was I? Did I miss last fall too? I tried to remember the previous year’s fall and could not. This defining moment led me to ask a deep question: “AM I MISSING MY LIFE? If I have no idea that it was fall already and I can’t remember last year’s fall either, what have I been doing?”
I realized that I was being devoured by my own unhappiness, un-fulfillment, thoughts, emotions and fears. I was not living my life. I was being lived by how I felt inside. It was such a powerful moment of awareness and truth that I made a promise to myself to not waste any more time:
“I do not know how or why I am in a place inside myself that causes me miss my favorite season. What I know is that from now on I am committed to LIVE my life fully. I do not care what I have to look at, see inside myself and others or bring out from deep inside myself. I will face my fears and memories, one by one until there will be none left. I will face my hurts and my emotions. I will live fully as myself. I will create the life of my dreams! I will not miss fall again.”
I felt like a thunderbolt had just ripped through illusion and allowed me to find a voice to ask for a great life. That moment on the streetcar on St. Clair Street in Toronto was a moment of choice, amplified by the intensity of my feelings and the power of my intention. As a result of this experience, my life started to change. It did not change overnight, all challenges and fears did not miraculously disappear, and I did not feel instantly powerful and clear, creative and free. But what I felt was a deep seated courage to listen to myself, to look inside my being and heal the wounds of the past; to face the coming changes with courage and patience and with more understanding for myself.