This is a guest post by a friend who wish to be anonymous but would like to share his very inspiring story in hopes that he would motivate you and inspire you to act on your dreams and never waver. 

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.~ Winston Churchill

I grew up in a farming community on the countryside, waking up to clear, blue skies, breathing the freshest air and sleeping under starry skies. Everyone knew each other in that community, camaraderie was everywhere and the place was just like one big house; people were sharing everything they had, security was never a concern and trust ruled the land.

Life was simple and peaceful there. In the morning, everyone was early to rise, adults worked together in the rice fields and the children went to school. After working on the fields, the adults would go about sun-drying the grains and transacting with rice dealers that brought their crops to the city. After school, the children would play together in the river nearby or play with makeshift toys. When nighttime came, everyone’s day would end and bedtime came early in the night.

It was the same routine every year and that was the practice of several generations before, for as long as anyone could remember. Although children went to school, they were only taught simple math and, how to read and write – all to understand transactions with the rice dealers. School did not exist to give the children a chance to discover their interests and aptitudes because everyone was expected to become farmers eventually.

I was different.

I was always wondering where the rice dealers would end up bringing the grain they bought from our community. Although many people had always wanted to go away from the community to discover a different world, that desire was always frowned upon by the elders, as it was in opposition to the tradition of growing up, living and dying as rice farmers.

Nevertheless, I hatched up a plan to hitch a ride with the grain dealers, but not without first getting the permission of my parents and getting their sad “yes” as an answer.

The rice dealers were always taking a lot of time loading grains onto their trucks, so one day, I asked if I could get a job with them. They knew members of our community were not allowed to go anywhere else but because they were on a tight schedule and needed to depart fast they welcomed me to ride with them.

When we got to the rice mill, I was surprised at all the big rice milling machines – they were the biggest things I had ever seen in my life. When night fell and work was done, I was about to find a spot to sleep on the rice mill grounds but the manager saw me wandering about and asked if I had a place to stay. I told him I didn’t and he graciously offered me to stay with him.

On the way to his house, he asked me to speak about myself, and I ended up telling him my life story and about the place where I grew up. He was shocked at my revelation and offered to help me be a working student, to pay for my studies by working at the mill when I could.

With his graciousness and patience, I was able to graduate with a degree in Banking & Finance. I was eventually offered a position in a prestigious bank and, with diligence and perseverance, I was able to rise above ranks.

My life eventually became monotonous; I did not have time for myself because I was always rushing to meet deadlines. I contracted bronchitis from the severe pollution in the city and I became wary of people I meet. While trust was instilled in me growing up, I couldn’t fight the infection of how urban life makes a person want to take advantage of the person next to him or her by any means – always trying to outsmart everyone while thinking greedily and selfishly.

Chaos took over my life; my phone kept on ringing, while e-mails and letters were always abundant. I never had the time to sit down and think about anything aside from work. Even when I was in the bathroom or about to sleep, I would find myself still planning what to do the next day. The tasks I had not yet accomplished and the meetings I had to go to become the burden I would struggle with as I fell asleep.

Then one day, on my way to the office, I saw a rice delivery van and remembered my folks back home. For years, I had never contacted them and sadly, never even thought about them often because of demands work had on my life.

That triggered me to immediately file for leave to visit my family back home.

My leave was approved within a few days and the next thing I knew, I was on a bus towards the place I once called “home”. On the way there, my mind was racing with negative and worried thoughts of being faced with anger, disappointment and the backlash for having left home, once I arrived.

Surprisingly and contrary to my negative visions previously, warm hugs and welcoming smiles greeted me the moment I laid foot back in my community. Even a welcome party was thrown for the “child of the community” that was at last returning home!

What I learnt from that was that truly and obviously, “home is where the heart is”.

I found peace amidst chaos when I went back to where I grew up, visiting old friends and staying in the place where everyone knew me best. That trip back home really helped set a few really important things in perspective, which was what I needed very much. It helped prepare me for my return to the city.

When I went back to the city again, I was ready to take on life and its challenges. I was at peace with who I was, what I could do and how I could do it.

From that point forward, I was set on the right track and I was happy. I was so happy that I could not contain my happiness, making me become more giving and loving to the people around me. I started to open up to opportunities and finally live fully in each moment, enjoying the place where I was, truly happy and free.

What has helped was my desire to live peacefully and happily. I learned that it’s a choice- a decision that has to be made. My daily yoga class has helped clear my mind and stay focused on positive thoughts. Serene yoga has greatly helped me become aligned to the Universe.