Hi there, it’s Prema here (some of you may have known me as Candice from curtisandcandice.com).
Firstly, I want to apologise for not keeping in contact over the last few years and disappearing back in 2014. It’s been quite a journey over the last 2 years and I’ll start where it’s best to start – at the beginning!
Hanging out in limbo
As you may remember from my last contact, I completed my 200hr Vinyasa/Hatha/Yin yoga teacher training in Bali in November 2013 with the School of Sacred Arts. I had been living in the rainforest in far north Queensland and upon completion of my teacher training, I returned to Perth to live permanently. At some point prior to moving back home, I had stumbled across a Buddhist teacher in the hills of Perth. He (Vishrant Prem) was one of the main reasons for moving across the country again, so the day after I returned I went to see him along with Curtis.
I had often questioned who I was and what I was doing here on this planet, but being with Vishrant took this questioning to even greater depths.
I instantly fell in love with the beauty and depth of Vishrant’s teachings as well as the generous and supporting nature of the Sangha around him. I had not seen such care, love and openness in a group of people in my entire life, nor had I experienced such brightness and unconditional love in a teacher before.
I had often questioned who I was and what I was doing here on this planet, but being with Vishrant took this questioning to even greater depths. I began to look at new areas of my life, parts I’d glossed over previously, conveniently ignored or simply had not even been conscious of. I became fascinated with these new areas of reality and put my online presence on hold and went into something of a 2 year Buddhist retreat where I spent every day with my teacher and new-found love of truth.
And so the inward journey begins
During this time, I underwent many life changes, not the least of which was a name change to Deva Prema (or Prema to you guys) which was given to me by Vishrant as a teaching – a pathway to enlightenment. And just in day to day living, the name change was an invitation to let go of my old life and take on a new way of being in this world. Deva meaning divine and Prema meaning Unconditional Love. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful name to learn to embody and then share that divine love with those I come into contact with.
If you were following me previously, you may remember at times leading up to my 2-year retreat that I spoke of a yearning to live a ‘simple Buddhist life’. It’s funny how things work out because I was given a perfect opportunity to do just that. To support my new lifestyle and new-found goals of being open, becoming an oasis of unconditional love and living a life in service to others, I started a natural cleaning business. What was initially just me on my own scrub-a-dub dubbing a few local homes with products I made with essential oils, grew organically and I employed a team of 6 lovely people and acquired a loyal client base across Perth.
In my spare time, I created my own relaxing yoga classes which I guided the Sangha through for many months. I taught every week until the cleaning business took off and required all of my attention and so I put the classes on hold and kept going with a gentle self-practice. In this time, I also signed up to study counselling to further my skills as a coach which I am still currently undertaking. I spent a lot of time self-enquiring, journalling, catching up with the Sangha, meditating, resting, dancing, walking in nature, reading, questioning and reflecting.
Big changes and facing the wild unknown
With a change of name and change of career, also came another big one. Curtis (who was known as Kabir for a while) and I separated. I found as my interests changed, I became more fascinated by the inward journey. I began to crave open communication and wanted to uncover more about how my mind operated, why I was failing and getting tripped up in certain areas, how I could really let go, how I could become unconditionally loving and ultimately how I could be free from my mind… enlightened. Curtis and I increasingly didn’t see eye to eye in many areas and as a result, we drifted apart.
As big a decision it was to make, and as sad as it was, it felt right to separate. The relationship had come to an end and it was time for me to move on. I won’t lie, it was difficult. Everything I thought I knew about myself, my identity, my marriage, my future and my dream of a ‘happily ever after’ was suddenly under a microscope. I was confronted with seeing belief systems, ideas and expectations I’d been unwilling to investigate and let go of, not to mention being faced with feeling the wounding I’d been rafting above with positive thinking and coping mechanisms for many years. This was all part of my inward journey and still is to this day.
Where am I now?
And then… I fell in love with another man. His name is Tao and he’s a Director of the Buddhist Society and Ajahn. Aside from being incredibly supportive, a great conversationalist, fun, insightful, hilarious and an added bonus of being good-looking, Tao’s unwavering passion for truth and love for Vishrant, his teachings and the Sangha is what really attracted me to him. Call it a knowing, but it felt so right to embark on a journey with him. Together, we worked to buy a 5-acre piece of land in the hills where we live a simple life now, right near our friends in amongst the beauty and stillness of nature.
I’ve begun to find more fulfilment and wonder in my life than I’ve ever imagined possible.
The love, support and insight I have received from Vishrant, Dakini (his partner and director of the Vishrant Buddhist Society), Tao and the Sangha could not have a monetary value placed on them. And although I’m still learning about myself, higher consciousness and discovering my true nature, I’ve begun to find more fulfilment and wonder in my life than I’ve ever imagined possible.
Enter, Urban Clarity
With a mutual desire to help people find peace and clarity in their chaotic lives, Tao and I created this online and offline sanctuary to offer relaxing yoga, insightful counselling and share our simple life and experiences on our blog and social media pages. We hope to inspire you to rest deeply, see clearly and live beautifully. Welcome to the inward journey, I hope you’ll join us.
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