On January 1, 2020, I sat in front of 20 beautiful souls who gathered inside the sanctuary of Inspired Change Yoga. As I led the class through meditation, asana and guidance on Intention Setting for the new year, I set my intention upon Letting Go. For me, I had held on excruciatingly tight to pain, heartache, self doubt and so much more, for so many years. I had finally come to the place where letting go became my only option. I embodied this intention. I talked about this intention. I wrote about this intention. I meditated on this intention.
As the year slowly began, the studio and I grew in the expectations of the brilliance that 2020 would become. This was the year that Inspired Change Yoga was going to make a profit. This was the year that I was focused on my yoga knowledge, my practice and clearing all that no longer served me, creating abundance in those clean, empty corners that were once littered with traumas, heartache and challenges. February became March and fear set in around this monstrosity of a virus, as Covid-19 had began to sweep across the United State like a furious storm. Classes began to slow as students and teachers became concerned for their health and safety. March 18th, I closed the studio doors and feverishly shifted all classes to online. Teachers and students did not miss a beat and filled our online classes, for a while. Three weeks grew to six weeks, 6 weeks to 6 months, students and teachers became weary. I worked harder than ever to try to keep yogis engaged in their practice. Cancellations rolled in as businesses stayed closed and funds became tight. I began to focus on growing myself and allowing the studio to just be what it was meant to be, in hopes that we would surface again when the virus dissipates. A Yoga for Eating Disorders course sparked my interest and I began to see a clearing in my wooded path. Talking with my counselor and diving deep in the unknown, I crept into a forgotten passion of mine, prevention. With a Master of Social Work degree, six years of teaching yoga, raising three kids and running a studio, along with my new knowledge, I began to realize that I have valuable knowledge, experience and gifts to give the world. So, I began developing a middle school girl’s course around yoga, meditation, and journaling, hoping to allow young ladies to see who they are meant to be before the world tells them who they think they should be. Prevention of teen angst, eating disorders, and regrets could refresh the studio and even the world. As the ideas grew and letting go kept rearing its head, I began to unblock emotions and fears that had been locked away deep in my subconscious. With my shovel and the time that emerged with Covid shutdowns and several journals, I had time to focus on my being. I listened to podcasts, read, wrote, took free trainings and even paid a coach to help me find clarity in what I am meant to do. What was my Soul’s Next Purpose? Still I held onto the studio, even though the physical space was going to be gone, because my lease was up and the landlord refused to renew due to our inability to pay our rent over the last few months. But I still had a vision of what the next space would look like, become and how I could keep the amazing community, in tact, on the other side. I held on with my teeth, literally, until my jaw and teeth throbbed. I held on with my hands, waking up with clenched fists and achy joints. Maybe it was distraction, hope or karma, but I began to take another training. This time it was more about reestablishing new patterns, letting go of old stories and finding renewed life inside
one’s self. I ravenously listened to Jennie tell her story, and her journey to healing, and her inspirational words fell softly on my heart. I absorbed the information as I began to deepen my meditation practice. One morning I awoke and standing at the kitchen sink, I knew the moment my life shifted, where I begin to make myself shrink, to play small, stepping back to give everyone whatever they needed while denying myself of my needs, wants, desires and destiny. Like a brick, I felt this horror, sorrow, weakness, strength, hollowness and light, all at once, deep in my heart, into my very essence. Upon this revelation, I felt a cord being severed, branches began to snap, as I witnessed a light flicker toward that ever clearing path, the path that had grown thick with briars, dead wood and entangled undergrowth for nearly 50 years. I set my sights on that path. Stepping away from my house, my kids, and my husband for a weekend, I drove to Raleigh and took a few days to myself, to relax into a Yoga Retreat. After rolling my mat out, on a raining Sunday afternoon, we began the retreat with a burning ceremony, where we wrote down on a sliver of paper what we wanted to let go of and then left it behind it in a pile of ashes. My list was long. During the yoga practice, I moved fluidly and felt incredible freedom in my body and mind. Lying in savasana, melting into my mat, I envisioned all that I have held on to for so long flowing out of my soul and being absorbed into the earth. I rose from savasana and wrote the words madly before they left me. As I expressed a cleansing of my heart, my hurt and my doubts, the emotions gushed onto the paper like an exhale from my lungs after holding my breath for years. I had let go, of many things. Driving home from this retreat, I had to deal with a studio upheaval and this is what illuminated for me, my path would not be cleared while holding onto the studio. If I kept clenching hold to this miraculous place, to the people and to other’s expectations. I would stay lost in the entangled path and never manifest the glories of the other side. In that moment, I knew I had to let go of the studio, the amazing teachers, and the beautiful students. I knew I would miss them all, but I also felt a lightness and renewed energy in this decision. A few days later, I announced this to my staff and then to my students. Many pleads to not close the doors fell at my feet. Love and support poured from my community. I knew I had made an impact of my hometown and the people who came through the doors of Inspired Change Yoga. However, I felt certain that I was making the best decision for me, just for me. This was the end of October. It is now almost the end of November, and 3 days until the final lock will be turned, closing Inspired Change Yoga. As I was lying awake just a few nights ago, the memory of January 1, 2020, flooded back to me. My intention of Letting Go had embodied me, embodied my year, filled my trainings and my studio. 2020 has definitely left its mark on me, but has pried my clenching jaw and clutched hands apart, releasing what no longer are my burdens to bare. The earth has become more colorful, the light is brighter, and my soul is more free thanks to that rock solid intention that I spoke on January 1, 2020. So friends, think hard as you set your intentions for 2021. Be careful and clear what you ask of the universe and be prepared for the universe to make you dig deep and work until your hands are bleeding and calloused to realize your intentions, your dreams. When I set my intention of Letting Go in 2020, I had no idea how much I would be letting go of. So, keep in mind, that allowing the universe to take your hand when you are ready, is the most powerful guidance you can request. So speak it with Intention and hold on for the ride!