We all strive to live a life of purpose and meaning. We wish for fulfilling work, healthy relationships and a rich inner life. Along the way, life happens. There are detours, U turns and surprises.
One way or another, we survive childhood and enter adulthood. At some point, we begin to suspect that there’s more to us that we know and we embark on a treasure hunt; in search of our authentic self! Not that we were ever lost – it just feels this way. Who we are is always there, waiting to be rediscovered and claimed.
I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. My life evolved in a culture based on old beliefs and customs. As a child, I remember hot summer evenings playing in the yard while the adults gathered under the grape arbor. The air was hot, filled with the smell of jasmine and the song of locusts. The women kept busy with their knitting or embroidery while talking about all sorts of things. The children hang around, playing, listening, observing. I suppose that’s when my curiosity about people’s personal stories was born. That was also the time when I started developing my creativity.
I was raised in a household where people always created something beautiful. My dad built our home and my mother never sat idle. She was a creative force. She taught me how to knit and embroider. She hardly ever used a recipe when she cooked. I picked up where she left of. For me, cooking nutritious, wholesome food to share with family and friends, is a creative outlet.
My grandfather would be up in the wee hours of the morning to tend his garden and fruit trees and most days I’d trail along. There’s nothing more gratifying than watching my garden spring to life after a long, dark winter.
We are all the result of our upbringing: the stories we heard as children, the messages we absorbed, the obstacles we faced, whatever we experienced on our way to present time.
I am now a long way from those hot summer evenings under the grape arbor in my childhood home. Life unraveled and took me thousands of miles away. In my early twenties, I came to the United States to do my field work experience as an occupational therapist. Here, I met my husband to be, we fell in love and got married.
There was a new culture, a new language, my role as a wife, the New England weather, and a whole new set of relationships to contend with. It was at this time that I met my meditation teacher and embarked on my spiritual journey. Life became deeper, richer, more rewarding and meaningful. Transition wasn’t easy but time passed and I started growing into my new life.
After a ten year stint in corporate, the birth of my twin daughters and numerous twists and turns along the way, I’m still learning and growing. I’ve come to love and appreciate this crazy journey, called life. I’m learning to recognize and accept what is. It all starts with me, right where I am. The rest is up to forces I don’t really understand and I’m OK with that!