I was very lucky to have received one of Turning the Wheel’s teen scholarships for Summer Retreat right after I graduated high school in 2008. I firmly believed it changed my life, like a drop in a pool that is still rippling. I was uncomfortable, curious, lonely, and very free at that first camp. And ultimately the freedom led to the greatest change. I only really knew one person, Tanja Asmus, who recommended that I go. She had been my introduction to TTW, facilitating theatre improv at my high school and mentoring me through several projects. Once I was at camp, a stranger even to myself, all the stories that surrounded me at home and at school dropped away.
When I reflect on my time at Turning the Wheel and the empowerment I have in my life now it reminds me of a realization I had shortly after getting my driver’s license. I was working on a project at home and needed glue. We didn’t have any glue. And then it dawned on me that I had a car, and a license, and I didn’t need anyone else’s permission go to the store and get glue. So I went out, bought glue, and completed my project. I felt so free and in control to go out accomplish such a mundane task. The workshops I’ve taken with TTW have been like a driver’s license, but instead of getting out on the road, I’ve learned that I can recreate that moment with the glue in every aspect of my life. I have the means to accomplish anything I want, it’s all just sitting inside of me waiting to get noticed.
I’ve learned so many tools that have given me permission to go and do the greatest things in my life, like a driver’s license for the roadmap of my own inner landscape. I’ve traveled around Europe, fostered my artistic desires, found deep meaningful friendships and romances, and discovered work that feeds my soul. I’m rarely caught in the everyday pitfalls I see others because I have tools that keep me free to evaluate and decide which cultural norms I want to abide by, and which ones I want to recreate/rewrite. I can make educated body-based decisions around money, time, and other modern headaches with with tools like wonder questions, full-body YES, and the power of appreciations. And although I’m by no means perfect, still getting caught in dramas and old stories often, I am empowered to shift through them into health and happiness.
Before that first workshop after high school my belief of what was possible in my life was very narrow- get married, have kids, maybe a dog, find a career- but now, 10 years later with lots of practice and love, I know that my life is limitless in its possibilities. I could drop everything and climb mount everest, I could learn computer programming, I could cure cancer, I could make millions of dollars, I could live on the streets out of a suitcase only supported by the kindness of strangers and so much more. And I choose to be an artist and a dancer, with good friends and loving relationships. I am constantly grateful for my choices and my knowledge.
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Join Khiri, TTW Founder Alana Shaw and several other TTW guides at The Body Now summer workshop on Whidbey Island near Seattle, June 26th - July 2nd. More info HERE