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A HUGE “Thank You” for Ten Years of Donation Yoga!

April 11-14, 2020

OH, MY GOD!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  This week is ten whole years of me “running” a donation yoga studio.  (And on a side-note, our oldest son turns 18!)  Certainly I have done my work to keep this process going, but it seriously would not have been able to continue without everyone who has been here and shared their energy—yogic, financial, and otherwise—in the three locations I’ve been over this past decade.  This is my time to reflect on those years and to continually and repeatedly give thanks to all of you for your love and generosity and dedication to your yoga exploration.  No words can convey the depth of the feeling of gratitude that I have for all of you, and for the Divine for allowing this sharing to continue for so long.

I’ve been thinking of and anticipating writing this particular blog for a few months now, feeling so thankful and humbled and amazed, and being surprisingly excited about sharing my joy, appreciation and heart-feeling with all of you.  The feelings were building over the weeks, and I felt a little like being a kid with Christmas approaching; this anniversary felt so special and meaningful.  Then the “plague” hit, and I was forced to close my doors.  (Yes, it was the right thing to do, but even if I’d wanted to keep them open, I couldn’t.)  

As my ten-year anniversary of sharing yoga without a cost attached was approaching, I found myself in a similar place to where I had been those ten years ago.  As my long-time job was taken away from me by natural forces, there was a striking parallel to a decade ago when I was consciously and purposely choosing to leave a decent, predictable income that had been supporting my family, in exchange for an unknown:  offering yoga by donation!  This time I had to, I chose to, “retool” on VERY short notice, to follow the Flow, as I had done ten years back with some similarities and some differences.  Both times I was doing what I felt was right, and what was ultimately the only thing I could do to move forward following my Heart and in the spirit of service to all beings that I endeavor to live by.  This time I had to embrace technology that I had long resisted AND in the process, to spend many hours doing online research and work to get it to happen.  (It’s not done yet either!)

Over these weeks, basically I opened a new business, one that I didn’t even know if it would work, or how it would work, just like in 2010.  Combine that with the fact that I thought that I had no idea how to share and offer “my” yoga without anyone else in the room with me, with no energy or bodies or minds to co-create with.  If you’ve been in class with me, you know what I’m talking about.  

However, given the world crisis we are in and the high-level of anxiety and darkness that I perceive as an forbidding cloud over the Earth when I stretch my feelings out, I felt it was important that I get over any issues I have.  If I can continue to offer something, ANYTHING—if I can offer any support to this community and the people who have supported me over the years—then I have to do what I can.  In this critical time, what the world and the human beings need so dearly are introspection and deep reflection, honest and unflinching soul-searching, humility and conscious, positive change, as well as healing and peace; certainly these are all things that regular yoga practice promotes and facilitates!  

As an aside, we’ve been in a world-crisis for as long as I can remember; it just wasn’t popularly acknowledged.  Sadly, the view from the top is taking the current situation as yet another war, the last idea that will help right now, an idea that will bring no lasting or meaningful change, one that will not ever get to the root of the matter.  Taking NOW as an opportunity, both personal and societal, or, even more appropriately as a wake-up call or as a mirror, is a much more functional perspective that will potentially allow us to address the actual CAUSE of what’s happening.  It’s important that those of us who are inclined to self-reflect to self-reflect, and to try to look for leaders to elect who have some semblance of a capacity to self-reflect, since too much of the world is intent on avoiding that at all costs and trying just to get back to “normal,” to the previous, familiar, yet oh-so-unnecessary world-crisis.  

So here we are now, three weeks after classes are online only, and I feel tears and emotion welling up as I type this (and each time I’ve reread it in the editing of this).  Apparently it’s working for people from the amazing feedback and experiences people have shared; AND people (you) have been so generous in their (your) financial contributions that I feel confident that I, we, and Loving Kindness Yoga School the business, will weather this situation and whatever happens in its aftermath.  It’s always an exercise in faith, operating from the assumption that the right amount of income will be there at the right time, but I do admit it was a little harder while seeing my doors closing but the downtown-Carrboro rent still being due.  

I bow to you locals for making the shift away from in-class yoga and keeping showing up to classes virtually; I thank the many of you coming back to yoga with me after moving away to far-away places, like London, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Boston, Hillsborough and Durham to mention a few.  And I honor the many of you who felt called to give a donation just because you wanted to share and help keep the studio open.  The love and gifts and good energy that you all give me has been painfully cleansing to let in, it feels so good and intense.  

On a practical level, if you ever have tips or insights or feedback on classes and your experiences, or on the technology side—how it’s working, or not, and suggestions to improve it—please let me know.  It’s a continuing learning experience and work-in-progress.

If there’s one for-sure take-away from Covid, it’s that the future is uncertain!  Given that fact, I’ll still say, “Here’s to 10 more years working together, ‘digging the hole deeper,’ getting more and more clear inside and loving and compassionate in our relationships with ourself and with all others…in WHATEVER way that happens to show up and HOWEVER it looks!”  Thanks again, still, always, for joining me on this part of the Path.  You are in my Heart and prayers, always.  

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