Life is good when you let it be…

Life is good when you let it be.

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Peering through a window to the past…

Nearly ten years ago I was living in an apartment just off of Union Street in San Francisco.  My business card read, “Jill R. Allen, Relationship Manager, Financial Intermediaries” and I was employed by RCM Capital Management. I worked for an asset manager and had an office overlooking the Bay Bridge at Four Embarcadero. I’d been working in various capacities in the financial services industry for over 13 years — since I was 22.  I held the Series 7, 63, 24 and all annuities and insurance licenses. I was making great money and on the surface it appeared that I had it all figured out.

The truth? I DID have a few things figured out. I had figured out that I despised my job, Idreaded going to work each day, I was desperately depressed and I had never felt more alone or lost in my life.

I’d spent nearly 15 years working very hard to build a life that I loathed.

I felt a powerful call to create change.

It was so powerful that it felt as though if I ignored it, I would die.

So what did I do?

Over the course of a year or so…

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I rescued a puppy from the SPCA.
I traded in my sports car for a truck.
I bought a house in Portland, Oregon.
I quit my financial services job and relocated.
I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program.
I applied to massage school.
I converted my dilapidated garage into a private yoga and massage studio.

I created a life I wanted to LIVE.

I began choosing what made me feel happy, light and ALIVE.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi

Fast forward to now…I have been immensely blessed!

On July 5th, I was so happy and fortunate to get to kick off this season of Yoga Rocks the Park teaching close to 200 of my favorite yogis in Laurelhurst Park, all to the incredible music of my sweet friend, Rara Avis. Gratitude to Rara for sharing his artistry and also for his peaceful, loving presence. Thanks to all the volunteers who bring great organization and big ol’ smiles to every awesome event! Yoga Rocks the Park is such a powerful community builder and I am honored to be a part of it each year.

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Less than a week later, after collaborating with Tyler Tervooren of WDS (andhttp://riskology.co/).  We strategized and planned how we were going to pull off breaking the world record for the longest yoga chain.

And, on July 11th, WE DID IT.  With amazing vision and brilliant team work we gathered over 1,000 awesome humans together in Pioneer Courthouse Square – 808 mats fit in the square (and on the stage!) to make up the sum total and official head count.  We blew the WORLD record for the longest yoga chain OUT OF THE WATER!  Once set with 696 people, we rocked it out with 808 people and 5 successive poses.  I got to lead the charge with one of my very best friends, Jen Johnson and a bunch of om-azing participants and rockin’ volunteers.  Here’s a cool 30 second video of the event created by Oliver Asis.

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And, the WDS fun continued….

On July  12th, with WDS in full swing, we recreated Yoga Rocks the Park in the Portland park blocks and I had the great pleasure of teaching yoga to the rockin’ beats of DJ Drez.

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And there were more “firsts”…after nearly ten years living in Portland, my husband and I joined hundreds of other WDS’rs on the Portland Spirit!  We enjoyed food, wine, great conversation with new and old friends like Shawn Moddess, Ian Hyman aka DJ HyFi and Taya Smythe, Shelley Hawkins, Marli Williams and Sara Stibitz.
At the WDS closing party, we road in a hot air balloon with Beau Blackwell, had wine in the tiny house of Dee Williams, danced our hearts out to the Bollywood beats of Prashant while a festival of colors ensued!
It was EPIC!

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Three days after the amazingness of WDS wound down, we were on a plane headed for Wanderlust Tahoe where I was teaching five classes.  I got to teach Balancing the Four Winds of Change, Talkin’ About a Revolution, High Voltage Vinyasa, Yo-Ma and Anahata Bliss.  All of these classes were collaborations with amazing artists including Kevin Paris, Philip Steir, DJ HyFi, Jeff Liffman & Friends and the incredibly talented Hannah Thiem.

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Thank you for joining the adventures at Wanderlust!  I absolutely loved all of the new connections I made there.  And, there was a HUGE Portland contingency in Tahoe which made it feel like HOME!

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Photo cred: Kari Baker- Portland!

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