Always give someone, or somewhere, a second chance to make a first impression

Happy Friday!

from where I sit, the last Friday I shall be here in my cozy little home on Colliery Road, in Wrexham, Wales. Funny to think my time here has come to an end… it’s all gone by so quickly, as it always does. And how differently I feel now about this place than I did when I first arrived…

I had a lovely last week – which is bittersweet in a way, as I was just beginning to feel connected, to feel at home. But isn’t that just the way. I suppose it’s a good thing to leave on a high. And believe it or not, there are some things I’m going to miss about this place.

Power Yoga Jam

The photo above highlights much of what my week was all about. Two power yoga jam sessions (which collectively and impressively raised £250 for Breast Cancer Care!), the straggler glow bracelets, a few leftover goodie bags, lovely cards from lovely students, unexpected gifts of flowers, Cuski bamboo shawl wraps, ‘Canadian’ club and Welsh cakes, a certain somebody’s study notes…

Reflecting on my time in the land of the sheep and the rolling hills, there are a few key lessons I will take away with me and would like to share.

When you find yourself in front of a big puddle, grab your galoshes and go through it anyway.

We often have a choice when it comes to a puddle, or an obstacle, blocking our way. Go the long way around, avoiding it completely, or take the plunge and get in there. Of course it may mean we get a little messy, but somehow we’ll get through it and figure it out. And chances are we’ll experience a lot more living while we’re at it.

I was desperately trying to find a yoga class when I first arrived, and it wasn’t before long I realized Power Yoga hadn’t really hit this nook of Wales yet. I contemplated starting my own classes, but was pretty darn fearful. Would they take off? Would anyone even show up? Who am I to teach here? Well, I felt the fear but I did it anyhow. And although I had only one show up (and accidentally, too!) to that first class, slowly they grew, and I was teaching five classes in three different locations at one point. I just counted… 95 yogis I had try out my classes… and excited to say they will be able to continue on their yoga journeys with various instructors that will be taking over these classes when I’m gone 🙂

Always give someone, or somewhere, a second chance to make a first impression.

I’ll admit I may not have been overly enamored with Wrexham when I first arrived. But it has grown on me. And I have begun to see it, to understand it, and to appreciate it for all that it is (and for all that it isn’t). Sometimes these things take time. But as long as we keep an open mind, and try not to give up, we may just see our situation or environment with a whole new set of eyes.

It’s not the buildings, nor the weather, but the people who make up a place.

Only a few short months ago I felt I had no ‘friends’ here. I wasn’t sure I belonged. I mean, there was no one I had met whom I could call up to go and meet for coffee. I tried attending Welsh classes, found and frequented our local, even invited the neighbours around for coffee and cake. Alas, nothing seemed to work. But when I stopped trying to force it, and just did what I enjoyed doing, in time I was able to really connect with people.

Only when you really share of yourself with those around you, and when they are able to see you for who you truly are, is real connection possible. This week I was so touched my so many, had surprise goodbye gatherings and social engagements every night… and I realized that it really is people who make up a place, and people who make the world go around.

Of course there are many more lessons I have learned and could share, but my eyes are getting sleepy and I have the marathon on Sunday after all! And apparently, the night before the night before matters even more! So, it’s off to dreamland I go.

See you on the other side of the pond!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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