Participants in the Sudbury AmbiSHEous workshop earlier this year. Katharine Cornfield in the middle. /Photo submitted by Katharine Cornfield

Twenty years

By Lynda Shadbolt

Published March 21 2017

Twenty years ago in 1997 I was co-organizing a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) conference for 16- to 18-year-olds with some fellow Rotarians and friends. The keynote speaker was talking about goal setting and having vision for your life. He was very engaging and at the end of his talk I announced to the group of young people that I had a goal to become a yoga teacher and working with these keen young people was inspiring me to follow my own dreams.
A couple of months later I was on my way to do my yoga teacher training. I remember that time in my life so well. I was still finding my way after the closure of the Bark Lake Leadership Centre and was exploring and contemplating how to compose my life in Haliburton.

I remember the day I walked into Andy Campbell’s office (Haliburton County Development Corporation) and talked to him about the possibility of being self-employed as a yoga teacher and event planner (after being a provincial government employee at Bark Lake for 10 years). Andy listened to me asked good questions and then was quick to encourage me to write my business plan and apply for a special program for people on unemployment and working towards being self-employed.
Andy and HCDC accepted my business plan and application and so I began the journey of creating my business and life. And here I am all these years later celebrating 20 years of teaching yoga and being self-employed.

I could never have imagined how my life would ebb and flow and twist and turn as I took the route of self-employment. I’ve had the good fortune of working with so many interesting people of all ages and backgrounds. I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve had lots of challenging life circumstances come my way (as we all do) and each one has made me a little stronger and more dedicated to the practice of yoga. I’ve had so much support from so many people over the years.
I am so incredibly grateful to live and work in this county where there is constant inspiration to be creative and collaborative. It seems to me that anything is possible here. I am inspired every day by something or someone. Thank you. We all inspire each other.

This will be my last article for a few weeks. I am heading out on a big (really big) adventure to celebrate my 20 years of teaching and self-employment. I am going to a small quiet Mayan village (boat access only) in Guatemala. I will stay at a “hermitage” on a lake surrounded by volcanoes. I am doing a 21-day yoga retreat that will be mostly in silence with really good vegan food. It is a huge adventure for me and I’m a little nervous and a lot excited. I’m sure I’ll come home full of stories about my retreat. And I’m sure I’ll come home strong and ready for some more great years of yoga and self-employment.
Keep well everyone and think of me on the full pink moon on Tuesday April 11. I’ll be under the full Guatemalan moon thinking of you! Haliburton County is such a great place to live and work.