by Kristina Holbrook

What a beautiful day it is to be alive. I feel like it’s the first time I’ve opened my eyes and seen the world. My rebirth into this precious life I’ve been given, a resurrection of my spirit. Every day before this has been blessed with challenges and transformations, but I’ve moved through it all as a version of myself, blindfolded and not really there. And with this new light that’s breaking in, that’s opened me up in ways I still can’t fathom. I am me, I am free and able to walk and speak and dance as myself. I never realized before that the reflection I saw all along was a fraction of my whole. There was always parts of myself that rang true but I never realized that I hadn’t embodied all of myself, embraced all of my story; I had never really stood on my own two feet firmly planted in the ground and said “I love you.” And meant it to my core.

SOSA came like a vivid dream that shakes you awake and stays in your mind. I had been lingering in a place in my life that felt uneasy, like a puzzle piece that didn’t quite fit and I couldn’t understand why. I was happy, me and my family were healthy, I am young and have so much ahead, I have wonderful friends and a job that has given me so many great experiences; I felt my life was blessed yet a part of me felt empty and longed for something. SOSA helped me to fill that space myself, to create compassion and forgiveness for things in my past, to open my heart and my mind to experience things more deeply than before. To stand before myself and see who i really was, and to grow in love with that person. To fall back in love with everything I felt I might have lost, but realizing it was always there. In a way, SOSA saved me. Or better put, changed me. Forever. The intimate environment allowed me to feel so safe to let go and dig deeper, to be surrounded by so much acceptance and love from my fellow students, and the undeniable support and knowledge given by my incredible and profound teachers. I still go back to those days; it’s almost 6 months since I graduated and I find strength in every memory I hold so close to my heart from Bali and what we all shared. And to know I have a family, a group of those who understand me this way, is the best support of all. 🙂