Ally is the one of the wisest women I know.
She floated into my life like Glinda the Good Witch of the North in a moment of transition and uncertainty. It was 2010 in Nelson, Canada when I was working on an indie thriller film called The Tall Man.
Nelson is a special little mountain town with a population of 10,000 people. Ally had been living between Alberta (where she is from) and Nelson for the past couple years. The tiny hippie haven was her home away from home. She was recommended to me when I was looking for a private yoga instructor. I knew right away that she was magic. Ally provided otherworldly insight about the cosmos and introduced me to the concepts of Saturn Return, Native American animal medicine, and reading Tarot (to name a few). Her perspectives opened my mind up to thinking about the world a little differently.
“I choose to practice connection through prayer, all-night dance, refined asana, meditation, and devotion to the Light and by creating good-relations. ”
We kept in touch on and off. Every time we spoke, Ally's first question was, "How's your heart?" I always thought that was a beautiful way to start a conversation. Then a fateful surprise 2012 Brooklyn run-in pulled her back into my life again. I was walking into a Williamsburg sushi restaurant I had never been to before. She was walking out, and we came nose to nose around a corner. It took us both a few beats to put the facial puzzle pieces together and recognize the person standing opposite *BIG HUG.* Turned out, she had migrated from that bitty Canadian town to the bustling metropolis of NYC!
WE ARE NOW BOTH LIVING IN NEW YORK (I didn't see that coming). This city is so fortunate to have her energy in residence.
1. Get centered.
During one of our epic Nelson yoga sessions, we were in a pose on hands and knees. Right arm raised parallel to the floor, reaching for the front wall. Left leg lifted parallel to the floor, toes stretching toward the back wall.
"Linds, your energy is splaying outward. Find your center. Pull your intentions into your heart center. Focus your energy inward."
Whether or not she meant it, I took the adjustment as a metaphor for my life at the time. I had been a personal assistant to a close actress friend of mine for the four years prior. When you're a natural people pleaser, it's easy to construct a sense of self around providing for others. That pose was the first step in an ongoing process to find my authentic self.
2. Pause, reflect & process.
When we sat down for coffee recently, Ally gave me encouragement to move forward with this project. She liked the idea of fifty coffees being about pause, reflection, and processing. She talked a lot about soul paths, which I still don't understand. So, you'll find me at her yoga class in Chelsea on Saturdays at 9:30am, where I continue a meditation aimed toward creeping closer and closer to my center.