September marks the studio’s 14 year anniversary – wowza! I’m quite certain it parallels many things in life when I say, “It feels just like yesterday….”
Just yesterday it seems, I was accepting the universe’s call to open a yoga studio, even though it was never a part of my plan. In fact, I would have told you during my yoga teacher training when discussions around yoga studios would surface, that I had no interest in owning/operating one. I simply wanted to teach. My only motivation was to share with others what yoga had shared with me. Even to this day, it still shocks me at times that I ever opened a studio.
From the very beginning – suggestions from others to open one, to the abundant signs I was receiving from Spirit, I was terrified. Terrified for lots of reasons.
First, I didn’t have experience in running a yoga studio (only experiences as a student in them). I also didn’t have the money to start one and it was daunting for a person like me who prefers to have every detail planned out ahead of time, how I was just supposed to figure it out along the way. Then there was the lurking fear of failure. It wasn’t so much the idea of failing in the traditional business sense, rather it was a fear of disappointing the universe in what it was asking me to do, and even greater, the fear of falling short of my ability to show up and say yes. For one thing was clear: when you say yes to a calling, you must say yes with all of your being. There is no room for stepping in hesitantly, or going just part of the way. It’s one of those “all or nothing” kind of deals, and that is what terrified me the most.
So I set my own parameter with the universe in accepting the call. I agreed to say yes, fully and completely, but with the request that the universe would back me up every step of the way. I was not asking for it to be easy, but rather I wanted commitment from the universe that if this is what I was meant to do, that it would walk every step of the way with me. Understanding that I was not making this “deal” with a specific person or entity on this earth that could directly assist me, I knew this is where I was required to have faith. Faith in the unknown. Faith knowing there are no guarantees. Faith that I would be carried and given the strength and courage to carry myself.
Seaside Yoga Sanctuary has had many ups and downs along the way, but I feel blessed through it all. Blessed to have encountered so many wonderful people, literally from all around the world, creating and sharing community. To feel and see the blessings of our practice ripple out into the world. Blessed to witness those that felt lost, then remembering that they were never lost as they came home to themselves. All of this assisted me in keeping my end of the agreement – to show up completely and serve fully from my heart.
When I look back on my adult life, I see how I learned to do this through the support of my practice, the day to day responsibilities in running a business, walking through devastating grief, and commitment to faith. More specifically I learned how to show up first for myself which is what enables us to show up to life and each other.
“Showing up” will look different from day to day, but at the most basic level, it is a consciousness willingness to meet and accept each and every single day. It doesn’t mean we have to like the day or what the day brings, but it’s a choice to show up anyway. Is it not an agreement we make to living when we awake each day with breath?
In the act of consciously showing up, we have to honor what it is that we need. Some days require that we are gentler with ourselves, acknowledging that today we may need to do less. We may be facing struggle and need time for rest or quietness. I will argue every time that dismissing or denying what our physical, mental, and emotional needs are, is not showing up for ourselves. How often do we leap out of bed to rush off into our day, without checking in with our self first? How can we truly show up anywhere and with anyone in an integral way and to be of service without doing that? Our attempts to fulfill our responsibilities and the way in which we do so, are compromised simply because we were unable to be fully present, constricting the ability to serve from the heart.
There will be days in which we feel energized by life and are capable of showing up in greater capacities. But once again we still need to check in with ourselves first. The days in which we feel uplifted and enthused about what we are doing will exceed our expectations if we begin from a connected, centered, and grounded place.
I’ve shown up with a heavy heart, a broken heart, a most joyful and exuberant heart, and everything in between. But each day, even the days where it did not seem possible, I found a way to accept breath and accept life. Never underestimate the significance of simply accepting life.
Saying yes to being alive is a most profound thing.
Even under the crushing weight of hardship, there is a force of Grace that moves through us the moment we say, “Yes. I am here.” In time, this force of Grace grows stronger and stronger, carrying you to places you never thought you could go, with the ability to do things you never thought you could do.
With an ever loving and grateful heart, I invite you to say, “Yes.”