Oh how I miss my blog. One of my intentions for this summer is to spend a little more time writing here, in this space. My Gemini Rising and Moon (and the parts of me that love to communicate with you) will thank me for it!
One of my all time favorite analogies is The Flying Trapeze, so beautifully captured in this piece by Danaan Parry which my spiritually-minded mother gave me at a very young age. I still have the tattered paper on which it is printed, in my files. It begins with, 'Sometimes, I feel my life is a series of trapeze swings...'
And, goes on to explain that we might be hanging on to our current 'bar' of choice, which is familiar and comfortable. But in order to reach for the new- for what is swinging toward us from off in the distance- we have to find the courage to release our grip on the current 'bar of choice' and be willing to hurtle across the void to the new life that awaits us. Here's a quote from the piece...
"But once in a while, as I’m merrily, or not so merrily, swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar looking at me. It’s empty. And I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me." - Danaan Parry
Corona Virus has collectively turned our worlds upside down. Being cast into this liminal space has caused me to sift, sort and contemplate everything. Things that I was already beginning to feel, sense and know have come (through the cocoon of lockdown) into bright clear relief. I have been shedding the old ways, listening deeply to my soul, sifting and sorting through this crisis and am now coming out the other side with new visions, dreams and a 'knowing' about my next steps on the journey. And, I recognize this space and time to contemplate life as a true privilege.
I chose the photo above for this post because I recognize in me a readiness, an aliveness that is both me, and calling out to me like the trapeze bar with my name on it. I feel myself moving toward a new chapter of my life. On a spiritual level this change feels true and timely, yet on a more practical level it feels challenging, uncomfortable and (in moments) anxiety producing. However, I realize that when you are hurtling across an unknown void for a few breaths, that is how it is meant to be.
I started out on the path to becoming a yoga teacher about 25 years ago. What an amazing journey it has been! A big part of this path has been teaching under the security & umbrella of many amazing yoga studios, including the studio I created, then becoming an employee of that studio under new ownership. This has had both its joys and challenges. Overall, I am extremely grateful that I have been able to be a part of the metamorphosis of a thriving business that has adapted with the times, VT labor laws, new awarenesses about yoga and cultural appropriation, and now this uncharted territory of Covid-19.
I have never wavered in feeling proud to be both an employer and employee of a business run with integrity and grace. I am especially grateful to Lindsay Armstrong (owner of Embodied/ formerly Yoga Mountain Center) for guiding this ship through many rocky seas. Her dedication and commitment to our small community and studio has truly kept the ship afloat. And, she has kindly and patiently embraced me on staff, as former owner, which requires grounded leadership & openness. Thank you Linz, for your friendship, collaboration and patience over all these years.
Having been cradled and held by the yoga studio model for the past 20 years (beginning in Burlington), I feel it's time to spread my wings and fly toward that next best step, that aliveness that is calling out to me. And, I'm feeling in my heart that I want to do this on my own for a time, beyond the studio walls. Like clothing that doesn't quite fit anymore, and always feels a little too tight, I've outgrown this known way of being and evolved. I'm allowing myself to set forth into the unknown, leaving the shelter and safe harbor of what I have known. I have made the decision to step back from teaching my drop in classes at Embodied.
Something that I have tried to pay attention to in life is the natural rhythms and cycles of leadership, opportunity and passing on opportunity. Sometimes we need to step back to let others step into a role and pick up what we feel ready to release. I do believe that if we listen, we will hear the right and true timing for our choices, changes, and transformations. Sometimes we gift others with opportunity to take our place or space and other times we are humbly granted that gift. Sometimes, we want more space to allow other parts of our being to come into light. And, other times, it's just a simple, 'I'm ready to move on and spread my wings.' In my case, I feel like it's all of this.
So, my dear students and clients, what does this mean for me and YOU on a practical level? What the heck's going to happen with my yoga teaching schedule and classes? I'm in the delicate process of figuring that all out. Trying to find my way in a 'wild new world' to borrow the title of one of Martha Beck's lovely books. This is uncharted territory so I'd love to ask for your patience while I feel my way through these waters. My plan is to take 2 weeks off from teaching my on-line drop in classes, so that I can recalibrate, set up new payment systems and listen to what needs to happen. There is so much out there in yoga space, and I want to be sure I am offering what is truly needed, not just shoving more options your way. I also want to represent the yoga tradition in a just and thoughtful way. I have already started getting feedback from a few of you about what you want and need. Thank you!
More feedback is most welcome!
In the meantime, here is what I do know for sure, so you can stay informed:
* My coaching practice will continue as usual, with exciting new programs coming your way- stay tuned!
I am revamping my Soul Support Program, for those who are interested in a group coaching program that you can do at your own pace.
* My drop-in classes at Embodied will continue until June 3. Sign up through Embodied until then.
* After a short hiatus (until Summer Solstice) I will be back to teaching on-line Zoom classes. I have been loving the zoom format, it has worked remarkably well for me, and has allowed students from near and far to participate in classes from their living rooms. I want to thank each of you who have participated in my on-line classes as it's been a true blessing for me to connect with you weekly in this way. And, I want to thank Embodied for all the coordination and dedicated 'behind the scenes' efforts.
Finally, I want to offer gratitude: Gratitude to the beautiful yoga studio (and it's many forms) that has held me gently and been a truly safe and welcome HOME for me since 2003. Gratitude to all of the students who have passed through the doors and into my classes. Gratitude for the many classes and workshops I have participated in there. Gratitude to the highs and lows that both ignite and humble me. Gratitude to this pandemic, which has dismantled the ingrained ways of being and opened me to a myriad of of other shining truths and possibilities. Gratitude to the young me, who always wanted to practice yoga and offer it to my community. Gratitude to you, for putting your faith and trust in me as a teacher, coach, leader and friend.
Brightest blessings to everyone as we sail toward summer. May you have the courage to reach out for that next Trapeze Bar that has your name emblazoned on it. And, in the words of Danaan Parry, "Hurdling through the void, we just may learn to fly." I support you in taking flight, even if it feels big or scary. Feel free to email me any thoughts, ideas or feedback or make a comment here by hitting the comments button. And, don't forget to join my mailing list!
Love & JOY-
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For The Time of Necessary Decision
by John O'Donohue:
The mind of time is hard to read.
We can never predict what it will bring,
Nor even from all that is already gone
Can we say what form it finally takes;
For time gathers its moments secretly.
Often we only know it’s time to change
When a force has built inside the heart
That leaves us uneasy as we are.
Perhaps the work we do has lost its soul
Or the love where we once belonged
Calls nothing alive in us anymore.
We drift through this gray, increasing nowhere
Until we stand before a threshold we know
We have to cross to come alive once more.
May we have the courage to take the step
Into the unknown that beckons us;
Trust that a richer life awaits us there,
That we will lose nothing
But what has already died;
Feel the deeper knowing in us sure
Of all that is about to be born beyond
The pale frames where we stayed confined,
Not realizing how such vacant endurance
Was bleaching our soul’s desire.