The Happy List: How I Found My Path, Passion, and Purpose

Guess what day it is? It is Monday… And this is me listening to Alex & Sierra’s “Scarecrow” and writing these lines. No stress, no rush, no Monday blues. I am in Thailand working as a Yoga and Meditation Instructor and putting my marketing and business development skills to work for a fitness, yoga and detox center. My feet are hanging in the pool and the sun is shining on my face. It is my day off, today. My current life situation is a real blessing. Everyday I can create a beautiful balance of business thinking, movement, mindfulness and yoga on and off the mat. Yoga has changed my life in so many different ways it is almost unbelievable to me – and I was there for every step of the way. So how did I get here?

Thinking back to days in the office in Berlin, Germany with snow storms outside and only approximately 2 hours of daylight (that’s how it felt) each day – I am now more than DCIM103GOPROG3799553.happy with every decision I have made in the last two years to take a leap and change my life according to my needs and my life callings. How did this all come together? I remember one winter day, when I sat in my room in Berlin on the wooden floor listening to music and feeling a little blue. Things were going well overall with my job, friends, family and I had my free time well organized to be a balanced mix of sports, teaching yoga, farmers market visits, art and music shows, and cooking dates with my flat mates. Pretty good life, but why does it feel heavy and strange at times? Is that just how it is? My decision was to explore this situation and find answers. I took out a piece of paper and wrote down EVERYTHING that makes me happy, makes me smile, things that energize me. My ‘Happy List’ was born.

The list was long and everything was allowed on there, everything that came to mind right in that moment – materialistic wishes or belongings, feelings, random words, colors, people, surroundings and so on. After about 5 minutes I decided I was done for the time being and when I looked at my list I realized that my everyday life here in Berlin is not really a reflection of the things that make me happy. How can that be? I chose this life. I made it all happen.

For a while I forgot about my ‘Happy List’ again. Also, unconsciously I knew every single word on that list and how much meaning it had to me. One more flashback: (hang in there) One Monday morning back in the office in Berlin I found a YogaTrade IMG_5837Newsletter with a job opening popping up in my inbox: Yoga Instructor Wanted AND Retreat Manager Wanted. Two positions that sparked my fire! ‘If I could do both, I could create a great balanced life for myself.’ And needless to say it wasn’t located anywhere close to the German winter but in sunny Cambodia. Traveling and exploring new countries happened to be things on my ‘Happy List’. In 5 minutes total I put all my power into an email to this center in Cambodia, explaining why I was perfect for both positions and sent all my information over. As I was typing the words seemed to jump on the screen and very effortlessly formed this lightly put direct email. It simply felt right. Click: SEND. Done. A smile flickered over my face before I had to rush off to a new project at work, phone calls, meetings and work emails.

For the next few weeks I didn’t think much about the job in Cambodia, as I was very busy and I didn’t really want to get my hopes up. This whole thing felt so far away from where I was and what I was doing. Emails are a funny thing to me as well – it doesn’t feel very personal to me sending emails. You send it off and wait. Maybe I haven’t fully adapted to the cyber age of communication and other elements of life.

Long story short, I was offered the position a few weeks later! Basically both positions and it made me jump. It was very exciting. I looked at my piece of paper and the only thing this job didn’t include from my ‘Happy List ‘ was water close by, a lake, or the sea. But that was fine with me, all the other 20 things are part of this new life. I quit my job the next day and prepared for my trip. Flights, insurance, canceling my contracts in Germany and full of anticipation started to get very light in my everyday life in Berlin.

Ever since, I began living a life that I love with all my heart. A life that took me to Cambodia, Bali, Gili Islands, Thailand and so many other places. I found a healthy lifestyle with enough room for my personal development, yoga, and a job. A life full of purpose, connection and sun, based on a piece of white plane paper with black maker scribbles all over it. It has been a journey of self discovery and love. Something very simple like the ‘Happy List’ and the world’s timing changed my life. The ‘Happy List’ and a moment of pausing and digging deep to understand the true motivation of my heart and spirit.

Get to know yourself and write a ‘Happy List’.

What is on your ‘Happy List’ and where will it take you?

Thank you Yoga Trade for great opportunities and connection. It is a true inspiration.




Maike, from YogaWithMaike, is a traveling yoga-entrepreneur, a seeker, inventor, and life lover. She has been teaching yoga in many forms and shapes. Her love for holistic living and balance leads her to new adventures every day.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Yoga Trade
You might also like...
How to Maintain Work-Life Balance as a Busy Yoga Teacher

Yoga instructors frequently discover that their own balance between work and life is collapsing in the rush of balancing chakras and mastering poses for others. Ironic much? Preaching mindfulness and actually doing it can, after all, be at opposite extremes of the spectrum, particularly if you have training sessions, workshops,…

Transformative Travel: Blossoming Abroad

I always wanted to live in Europe. Ever since I was a kid studying world maps in geography class I knew I would move to Spain, specifically. It was a dream, turned into a plan, turned into reality of transformative travel. After years of wanting, wishing, and waiting, my seven-year-old…

Mask of Light and Ho’oponopono

Lately my sister will call me on a video chat while she’s driving home in the evening, phone is in the hands free stand on her dash, and as the sun is setting the light that hits her face with the visor down, illuminates only her mouth, cheeks and nose,…

Can Yoga Lead the Way to Sustainable Tourism?

As I walk through the streets of Zurich, Switzerland, on a sunny Saturday in early June – about a month after the Swiss Covid-19 lockdown ended – I overhear two women sitting in a café talking about the summer vacation plans they had to cancel (“Well, I guess we can…

Yoga Trade Membership

Connect with worldwide wellness opportunities and transformative ways to travel, work, live, and learn.