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The Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Chelsea Ferrel.

Don’t Deny the Magic

Dear me when I get home,

Firstly, you must always remember the moments that took your breath away. The green valleys stretching far beyond the eye can see. The sun setting on the village of Domkhar as you said farewell to its residents, your family. The sharp ridges of the mountains capped with snow, softened by trees, hidden behind clouds. The moment when you realized you had only just met some of your closest friends a month before. Catching your first glimpse of Tiger’s Nest, touching a cloud, witnessing the fire ceremony, feeling the cool rain pounding against your skin. And also the moments where you couldn’t get enough of the Bhutanese air.

You are not allowed to forget the hopelessness you felt after a discussion on the environment, on development, on the distribution of wealth. The feeling of putting a little more of the world’s weight upon your shoulders.

You must think of and learn from the challenges you faced. From the alien feeling of living in a stranger’s home, from taking that next step even when your mind told you you couldn’t, from the ache in your shoulders and marks on your chest from carrying your pack for eight long hours. Because with all of these challenges comes unprecedented rewards. A second family, the unforgettable feeling of accomplishment coupled with exhaustion, the warm taste of tea sliding down your throat as you sit for the first time in hours.

You must be accepting of where you are and reflect on what brought you there because you can always grow. Happiness is being able to persevere despite suffering, and just like you, the feeling will always change.

Continue to seek people, places, things, events, ideas, and experiences that change your mind, challenge your perspective, and never stop learning. There is so much to learn.

And always ponder the unmistakable power of meditation. Don’t deny the magic you find in the world. Never live with expectations. And never question your ability–your responsibility–to change the world. Your world. Our world.


Me in this moment, as I will never again be the same