Through sharing these struggles and the healing it is my aspiration to give others hope and faith that any darkness can be transformed into extraordinary beauty, and that no matter what you’ve been through you can have a life filled with success, joy, health abundance and community. Also, through sharing my life experience it gives people real life evidence that you can choose to take any experience no matter how tragic and see the blessing within it. My darkest experiences have been blessings in disguise that have given me the gifts to feel so deeply, to care so intently and to empathize to the magnitude of hardship that is experienced on the adventure of life.
My Life Story video was made with the highest intention and with healing for all beings at the forefront.This accident that happened in 2007 and caused the death of a 16 year old girl, Samara. I take full responsibility for this accident and I am at the core of my being deeply sorry for causing her death. To be real, formulating words to describe how much remorse I feel is ineffable. So I sit here asking myself “Why am I sharing this?" Because of the naive decisions I chose to make it caused a death which as you can imagine (or may actually know) created so much anger, confusion and chaos amongst an entire community of people. So I share this story with the hopes that it will prevent tragedies like this from happening again, and raise awareness of the power we all have within us to come out of something extremely difficult as a healthier, wiser and transformed person.
Publicly sharing a part of my raw human experience for the first time makes me feel like I want to retract and hide. Whooo deep breaths…
As a child and young teen I learned to be good at keeping secrets- to good. To the point where I suppressed huge traumatic experiences for over a decade- subconsciously masking them over an "everything is fine attitude."
Meanwhile growing up I was a rebellious teen who felt really out of place, uncomfortable in her skin with a low self esteem. I didn't know where or how to fit in so I opted to being absent in most of my high school classes and tried to fit in by being party rebel girl, because somehow that meant I was cool. I started taking drugs, drinking alcohol, having sex, shoplifting, ditching school and sneaking out. As I shoved the feelings and secrets further away the shame and guilt grew stronger. As a result I slipped further into rebelling, seeking sensual pleasure to escape ordinary reality eventually spiraling downhill quickly and soon I found myself in a medium security youth prison.
At the age of 16 years old I was charged as an adult with 2 felonies: Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular assault amongst a list of many other charges. I had a 12 year sentence in a adult facility hanging over my head. My lawyer worked out a plea bargain with the DA to serve 4 years at YOS, the Youth Offender System- a medium security prison for youth from ages 14-21 years old located in Pueblo, Colorado. The first 30 days at YOS I went through the intake program of 30 day military style bootcamp. My long blonde hair was cut into a bowl cut and I was in a 10 x 10 sell with no outside contact for 2 weeks. Obeying strict codes of conducts and participating in extremely difficult physical drills. I spent the age of 18- 21 years living at this facility living with 6-10 other women at any given time and 200-300 boys lived across the parking lot in a separate building. I did really well in their program and was released for parole in 2011. I spent one year with an ankle monitor taking weekly UAs, obeying nightly curfews and following many other guidelines and rules. In 2012 I successfully completed the sentence.
Backing up, right before I went to youth prison I was going to school at an alternative high school which is where yoga and I first fell in love. Yoga is one of the only things that has stayed constant in my life...yoga saved my life. While I was in prison it was my place of peace within a very unstable, unpredictable & unsafe environment. It allowed me to feel meaning in life when life was shitty, scary and stagnant.
Since 2012 I have been on a journey of healing and self discovery...I have completely transformed and I owe it to Yoga. Through my dedication of living yoga as a foundation of core values and life principals it became clear that it is my life's work to share yoga as real life skills to prevent tragedies like this from happening, to prevent harm and to cultivate sustainable, long term, self healing for all!
This is an extremely short glimpse into my life but even through this mere glimpse it easy to grasp that came on the fast track this life and I had to grow up very quickly in order to be a facilitator and teacher of healing. If you've read this far thank you for being a supporter in my life and to my business. I love you and honor you wherever you are on your journey. Life is a fuckin' trip! So keep smiling.
Much love & Namaste
-Naga lakshmi Devi
P.S Sharing my life's story & dharma through video was made possible because of the AMAZING team I've had supporting me the whole way through: Andria Shultz for her fearless dreaming that gave me the courage to do this, Freeman Lafleur for his creative vision, business support, and seamless video production/editing, Gabby Jesse for wardrobe styling, location scouting, and her positive attitude through and through!Thank you for believing in me, accepting me, saying yes and surrounding me with positivity! I love you!