Written by Deborah Goldstein
Whenever I think of what a real-life Wonder Woman embodies, concepts like bravery, determination, purpose, strength, focus, fearlessness, resilience, selflessness, and adaptation each come to mind. But rarely does any single person exhibit each of these characteristics. Despite those odds, I’m about to introduce you to one who does!
In 2007, Vero Ruelas’ life steered itself in an exciting and unpredictable direction right in front of her own eyes. It was the year she had lost her job and her relationship. It was also the year she embraced her restless soul, in classic Eat, Pray, Love style. Her autumn immersion in that modern memoir of transcendence left her at a personal crossroads, and eventually led her all the way to Machu Picchu by ‘08. Her aim was to take her talent as an optometrist to those who were most desperately in need of eye care, and to tour this magical part of the world with the inspiration of her newly-embraced practice of meditation. This exploration found Vero as part of an eye care missionary team….the catalyst to the founding of her own mission.
Setting Up Shop
When Vero returned to NYC from Machu Picchu, she resumed her yoga and meditation research, with the intention to combine her vocation with her new passion. She just knew her foray into meditation wasn’t going to be a one-off, and longed to learn more. She discovered the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, which has a NYC center, a Catskills location, and many Ashram’s in India. Attending a meditation weekend in the Catskills inspired her to buy a tent and invest in a 6-week intensive training in the Bahamas. This proved a brief stint since, upon the realization that she had the ability to help people “see” (a fateful play on words, indeed), it became clear that the ideal place to offer her services was India. The Himalayan village of Uttarkashi, an ample journey from the capital of Delhi, is the destination that called to her. It is here that her passion for yoga could be fulfilled, along with her mission towards service, for this was home to a Sivananda Ashram and an existing medical care facility where she would be able to set up shop.
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