Working from home – it’s not what you think…

Last month, I shared about my experience of finding “home” in the last place I’d thought to look… inside myself. Rather than home being a town or a house or even within another person, I found that home was actually a place within me. When I’d been looking everywhere else, I had never really felt that feeling of home. When I learned to look inside and found home there, I learned that rather than being an elusive and hard to find place, home was always available to me, no matter where I was in the world. All I had to do is remember to look. Which is simple yes, but not as I had expected!

This first realisation/recognition/awakening came in December 2019. The four and a half years since have been a beautiful adventure of dozens of spirals consisting of remembering and forgetting, remembering and forgetting. In each remembering is a deep sense of relief followed by joy and deep peace. In each forgetting there is suffering, of many different varieties and flavours. I remember sooner now and suffer less. I’ve also come to realise that sometimes the suffering is helpful because it so often works as a signpost back to remembering. I have learned to combine a fierce sense of gratitude for this life and for the experience of being a human with an acceptance and surrender regarding the specifics of how this life will unfold. I know I don’t control any of it and I’ve stopped trying to, which has been a form of liberation in itself.

The initial vision for Santosha Rose came to me in January 2020 while I was still in India. Images, ideas, shapes, structures, offerings. I didn’t know if I was dreaming a world into being or if I was downloading something that already existed and had been waiting for me to be ready to bring it into form. During this time in early 2020, I was fully grounded in that place of home within me. Everything felt like bubbling potential. Everything felt exciting and clear. I saw the range of things that Santosha Rose could offer… classes, workshops, retreats, courses, videos, writings, poems. But all of these things were just vehicles that people could take towards the real purpose of Santosha Rose… guideposts to help people find their own way home. To help others to find within themselves this place of unshakeable peace and abiding contentment (the meaning of the Sanskrit word Santosha).  

Early 2020 was an important time for bringing some of these visions of Santosha Rose into form in the world. A flurry of activity making logos, websites, videos, social media content. Writing articles, sharing my ideas with others and starting to teach classes. I had so many ideas and so much inspiration and wonderful support from some beautiful souls who helped me turn visions in reality (Hannah, Jam, Chris and Lucie I will be forever grateful for your generosity and support). It was the pandemic, and everything was being done remotely and online. Looking back now, I realise I was “working from home” in more ways than one… as well as doing the work from my flat, everything that came through was flowing from the place of home within me. I was truly working from home!

After this initial energy of launching and creating and connecting in the cocoon of a global pandemic, the energy of the world began to change. I reached a cross-roads where I realised that I couldn’t sustain this momentum alongside my full-time job. It was a job I felt a lot of responsibility towards, and where I had the privilege of leading an incredible and inspiring team. There was tremendous grief in pulling back from some of the Santosha Rose offerings I had started to build, but it was the right choice at that time. The work that I carried on doing in the nooks and crannies of my life was part of what sustained me and kept the dream of Santosha Rose alive during what would be two years of balancing these two very different lives.

I truly believe that if there is something we are supposed to do, the universe will keep nudging us in that direction. The weekly classes I taught and the connection with those students became a highlight of my week. The occasional day retreats I taught on Sundays felt like a homecoming. I couldn’t believe how natural they felt and how wonderful it felt to be sharing all the things I had learned (& continue learning), with incredible fellow humans who chose to come along and spend their Sundays with us. The final nudge came when I got a real truth-bomb from a yoga teacher trainer who reminded me that the story I told myself about why I wasn’t doing what my heart yearned to do was just that, a story. And ultimately, I needed to remember I only got one go at this life and needed to be happy with how I chose to spend it.

 Within one week of this conversation, I had handed in my notice. It was time for me to release the safely and security that an anchored life in the harbour had given me and start to venture out into the open sea. I had a rough map of the territory, but no route planned and no destination I was sailing towards. I wanted to see the world! I wanted to explore the coastlines and the islands and develop my skills as a sailor. I had few rules, but the ones I had were important. I wanted to do work that came from that place of home within me. I wanted to collaborate with people I respected and who inspired me and who I loved working with. I wanted to create things that would be helpful in guiding others back to the place of home within themselves. Things that were empowering and transformational, even if just in tiny ways. I wanted to make everything I did as accessible as possible. And I wanted to keep growing and learning and being kind to myself in the process.

And that’s what I’ve done during these first two years since sailing away from a full-time job. I’ve said yes to many things and found the things that light me up and feel aligned and resonant and some things that didn’t feel like quite the right fit. I have collaborated with some truly inspiring people and am so grateful to have met them and for the opportunities to create amazing things together. I’ve taught over 450 classes, 10 retreat days and co-led 3 international retreats in Sweden. I’ve created and delivered a dozen specialist courses in wellbeing, resilience and what it means to “thrive.” I’ve given talks, led corporate wellbeing training sessions and designed and delivered workshops on mental health, nervous system regulation and yoga philosophy. But perhaps the most amazing thing that I’ve done is connect with hundreds of beautiful souls who are also here living out adventures in human form. And to witness their journeys of awareness, opening and awakening.

I feel like I am still at the very beginning of this adventure to bring into the world the vision that I first wrote down in a notebook all those years ago. Since that day, my life has changed in ways I could not have foreseen and so much has been a result of serendipity totally out of my control. I don’t yet know all the details, but I feel like Santosha Rose is moving into a new stage of its evolution and growth. There will be new and different offerings from the Autumn and moving into 2025. New collaborations and more opportunities for people to join us on this journey home, alongside other beautiful souls doing the same. More than anything I am so grateful to be on the journey together and excited to see how what the universe has in store for us all.