Ozark Mountain Yoga Mindful Living Magazine September 2015 - Page 26

page 26

When Los Angeles based writer, explorer, and motivat-ional speaker, Ryan Ray began his journey he knew there had to be more to life than just working and paying bills until you die. That in order to live a happy and fulfilling life he had to start concentrating on what he wanted instead of what he didn’t want.

He knew that he wanted to travel, but financially he knew it would be difficult. He also knew he had to focus in on the fact that he “wanted” to travel instead of why he “couldn’t travel,” in order to be “able to travel.” This has led to an incredible life that most only dream of.

Ryan is walking across America. With only what he can fit in his back pack, and a true spirit of exploring in his heart, his journey began. Placing his hands in the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, CA, he began his 3,000 mile pilgrimage to New York, New York. He is doing this to remind people to never give up on their dreams, that dreams can come true one step at a time.

It actually began with his moving to Spain to take a job teaching English, it was a way to travel and make some money while doing it. During his time there he made his first pilgrimage from the Mediter-ranean Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in a 1,000 mile walk through France and Spain ending at Cape Finisterre, which was once believed to be the end of the world.

Since that time he has worked on a cruise ship to fulfill his love of travel. He has walked across Asia and India. He has produced and starred in his own syndicated tv talk show with 1.2 million viewers per day.

Now in hopes of inspiring others, he has decided to take a “walking motivational speaking tour” across the US.

On day 116 of his journey (a rest day) 1,918 miles walked, he spent the day in Doniphan, MO. honoring us with his motiv-ational talk that he does in one town per week for free. And this wasn’t just any day, it was his 35 birthday. However, as he answered questions and explained his journey to a packed room of interested Doniphan residents, they soon realized he was wise beyond his years.

Spending the night each night with a stranger that opens their home to him, lets him take a shower and have a nice meal, he is finding that the human spirit and heart is very giving and loving. He is eating different types of food. Many times his hosts will do his laundry, provide him with snacks and water, and a bed to sleep in. But he says it hasn’t always been so easy. In fact, at the beginning of his journey times were tuff. “No one knew about me and what I was doing, I was not being hosted and it became very lonely. In the beginning my knee kept locking up, I could have thrown my hands in the air and said it’s not going to work, but I didn’t, I kept going. Whatever you are trying to do, whether it be in relationships, a business, a goal of any kind, there will always be obstacles but you can’t give up if you want to fulfill your dream.” says Ray

After a while, through the help of social media, he was living in more abundance than he could handle at times, strangers were offering places to stay and at times more than one host would apply and hope to be chosen for the job. He has had those at the poverty level generously share everything they have. Those more fortunate financially would trust this complete stranger alone in their home. “I have pretty much ran the gamut of lifestyles and standards of living. I’ve had to adapt my way of thinking to be open to new experiences and realize that not everyone is going to think like I do. It’s been a very spiritual experience.” says Ray.

His hosts in Doniphan were Adam Hatfield and Justin Henson. “Hosting Ryan was a true privilege. Simply having him in our home for a brief period of time brought such an insurmountable sense of strength and determination to our own personal goals. Ryan is truly fulfilling his wish to inspire others. He is a pleasure to spend time with and leaves in his path a trail of enlightenment for those that take the time to hear what he has to stay.” said Hatfield.

People who would see him walking would stop and give him bottled water. He always takes the time to get a “sweaty” hug and a selfie. Complete strangers would walk with him sometimes for many hours. He is receiving more loving kindness than he could have ever imagined from all kinds of people from all walks of life.

During the town meet and greet he told us how much he loved the desert, but it is hard to say which area so far is his favorite because all of them are his favorite in some way. That he is more afraid of nature than people, although adds that he has never encountered any type of predatory animal. That he can get about 400 miles out of a pair of shoes, which are sponsored by Columbia Footwear. And when asked about family, he replied, “I’m not married and my mom completely supports me. She even walked the first 10 miles with me.”

That evening a wine and cheese reception was held at Active Kat Yoga.

Local resident MaryAnn Bell attended the event and says that he was the most positive person she had ever met. Stating that what touched her the most was his mantra of “Dreams are no accident.”

He also says this has been a wonderful lesson in patients and tolerance. Citing that when he wanted something he wanted it NOW! Since he’s traveling by foot, he has no choice but to be patient. In the past he admits he was very intolerant of those who were not like him. Staying with a new host every night he has had the opportunity to experience different cultures, teaching him a valuable lesson in humanity. Adding that out of 116 days he has only had to pitch his tent 29 times. “Not only is this the ultimate trip outside my own comfort zone, it’s also the perfect metaphor for any goal or even for life itself! More importantly, the beauty of the details—from an oddly shaped cloud, to a colorful worm crawling on a leaf—helps remind my impatient inner-child that the gold is in the journey, not the destination.” states Ray.

He will be visiting the White House on his journey with an intention of shaking President Obama’s hand. Many of the people who walked his first 10 miles with him will be flying to New York to walk the last 10 miles with him. A celebration is planned in Times Square on Oct. 10 when he completes his journey. He also added with a smile and twinkle in his eye that he would be flying home first class with champagne.

On day 117, he continued his journey. Leaving the people of Doniphan with the memory of a solitary seeker, who made them smile, laugh out loud and shed a few tears when the day was over, I personally was Blessed with 13 hours of inspiration from Ryan, the energy he exudes is beyond explanation. He left our town touching so many lives and hearts, truly a day we will never forget. And we will always remember his message, “You have to start seeking what you want, not what you don’t want, one step at a time.”

To learn more about Ryan Ray or to track him on his live GPS visit his website at www.ryanray.com , www.walk2ny.com or connect on FaceBook.

Kat Robinson is the owner of Active Kat Yoga in Doniphan, MO. She is a registered 200 hr. yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance, a certified Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga

instructor and a member of the International Association of Yoga

Therapists. She believes that seva or selfless service is very important in

any community. In Doniphan she is a member of City Council where she

spearheaded the Let's Move program for the community, heads up the

Halloween and Christmas festivities and is a former Chamber of Commerce

Citizen of the Year.

Catching up with Ryan Ray

Day 116: 1,918 miles walked.

Today I'm resting in Doniphan, MO. Tonight...I AM HOSTED.