“We are in this together” has been the rally throughout COVID-19. We are–and I truly believe this. My tears are not from the haircut I can’t get or the restaurants I can’t go out to, but are because, after almost 20 years, I have had to make the hardest decision of my life… I will be closing the very place that has brought me joy, friends, experiences, and my soul family. I never imagined the day would come that I would close my yoga studios… but it has. It is time for me to consider this shift in my life. Call it God or the Universe; it is a deliberate force of energy that has redirected me to create a new life for my students and for myself.
I now have a choice. To be a martyr for the business as it takes me further down the rabbit hole or listen to my soul and create the life I have always dreamed of. COVID has opened my eyes to a much simpler life that is more than a rat race. It was taking all the energy I had to keep up. My soul longs for travel, deep friendships, and time with my family, even if my heart is breaking for the loss of my studios. This location has been a part of me for half of my life. It was the only thing (other that’s Rufus – my dawg) that I didn’t lose in the divorce. This studio wasn’t just a place to practice yoga but my home and my identity. I was known as the yoga lady in Anoka.
I truly believe that all the experiences in my life prepared me for what is going on in our world today. I guess you could say I now have a kind of “street credit.” I have been through some shift in my life, lived to share, and it has prepared me to guide others. A cascade of events led to the beginning of this evolution into forced life changes and deep personal growth.
In 2016 I had a friend commit suicide. My cousin passed due to a heart attack. My mom, grandma, and grandpa all passed within 6 months of each other. I was living at the studio for a bit and then with a friend for a period of time, and I was served divorce papers. All of these things led to a challenging 2017 with the finalization of my divorce, which felt like a loss of my sense of self-worth. All of this led to me suffering from exercise-induced panic attacks and a nervous breakdown that almost took my life. (Read more about my journey: Life’s Muddy Moments, Compassion, Love, and Self-Care, Courage: Braving to Live Life and Out of the Ashes I Emerge: Intermission)
After all of that, I almost closed the studio, but I managed to pull myself together and recreated it. I now see that I was no longer holding onto the studio for me but for everyone else. The energy needed to keep the doors open combined with my exhausted finances… and I don’t have the energy to continue on the race track life. If I do, I will lose the very essence of what I hold dear. I teach my students and fully embrace the practices of awareness and simplicity. How can I live life with awareness and simplicity when I am too busy to spend time with family, friends, and even myself? I am not living my authentic self or my truth. Now I have the opportunity to do just that. I have been given a gift: to move forward on a new adventure and with a base of devoted people who have been with me since I was in my early twenties.
It is time for me to do me. It may be selfish. I am completely okay with that. If selfish means I am healthy and able to have meaningful relationships with my clients, friends, family, and travel, I accept it.
I have owned and operated my little studio in Anoka for almost 20 years. I have expanded and remodeled more than 6 times. In November of 2019, I was offered the main floor space under my two studios upstairs. This was a dream of mine from Day One to offer a full wellness facility. I was excited to offer so much more to my students and have a facility for my “dream team” of instructors and staff. My intention was to offer them the space and studio of their dreams. This was the same space that I grew and poured my blood, sweat, and innumerable tears into. My heart was in the right spot but my soul was crying for freedom. The stress and financial burden were eating away at my sense of being… I was doing, only doing.
I am so grateful for my loyal following and committed students. I couldn’t do this without you. Some of my students have been with me since before I had this studio space. They attend classes at lifetime fitness, my apartment building, and Andover Elementary School so many years ago. I love you dearly and will continue to serve you in a new, but different way. I look forward to knowing you better and for you to experience different parts of my life. I will be traveling more and spending more time on my family farm. For example, a few weeks ago, we had yoga together with baby calves being born in the pasture behind me. It filled my heart to share a very sacred space with a group of people who have known me for many years.
Those of you that are newer to our yoga community, I hope that you will join us on our next journey. I will always teach yoga; its been a huge part of my life. I will be doing education courses and programs on a variety of focuses such as Ayurveda, yoga therapy, cooking, pranayama (breathing), gardening and harvesting, and many other health and wellness topics. Jenna will continue to be a part of the new journey: When Shift Happens. I am so blessed to have her in my life and we will continue to offer the best services and a variety of programs and classes. Please sign up for our free membership!
I am so grateful for my “dream team.” They have brought me joy through their loyalty to the very last day… Karen, Amy, Tom, and Hailey: thank you! I wish you the best and pray that you will continue to find that sacred space within you.
And so now I begin my new life… Stay tuned to the evolution of When Shift Happens…