Kripalu Guest Stories: Daren S.
Life, Part Two
A new fortysomething embarks on a second chapter.
I came to Kripalu at the age of 42 to attend the Rejuvenate and Reclaim Life After 40 program with Maria Sirois. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
After the dissolution of my 15-year marriage, I was living a pretty simple life with no set goals, and definitely not much concern for my health. Having been an independent painting contractor for more than 16 years, my mind and body ached: the former from underuse, the latter from overuse. I had grown to strongly dislike my job. Aside from kayaking and hiking, I just didn’t know how to take care of myself properly.
Then I became reacquainted with an old friend from high school who was living in New Hampshire. Over the course of many months of communication, we fell in love. We visited one another a few times, and, eventually, she and her two children moved to central Virginia to join me and my two children, and we were married. My wife, a yoga instructor and Phoenix Rising yoga therapist, had been at Kripalu before and found the information about the Rejuvenate program.
In the weeks leading up to the program, I grew increasingly nervous. A weeklong retreat to focus on myself and my well-being was far outside my comfort zone. I sent an e-mail to Maria to voice my concerns—she called and totally put me at ease about making this journey.
The Rejuvenate program is brilliantly designed. I witnessed an openness, honesty, and warmth that I’d never experienced before. Some of the most valuable lessons I learned from Maria were about happiness, and cultivating the tools to pursue the things that truly make us happy. What I took away from this week goes beyond words. I learned how to walk in my own footsteps, and was given the encouragement to do so. I learned to respect my mind and body and to work harder to take care of both. I learned to love myself.
Thanks to this program, I’ve decided to leave my painting career behind and enroll in a life-coaching school—I want to help others the way that I was helped by those at Kripalu. I wish that everyone over 40 could attend this program with these truly inspirational and knowledgeable people. I look forward to visiting Kripalu again soon; there’s a magic there that’s hard to describe, but very easy to embrace.
—Daren S., Charlottesville, Virginia