I’ve always been one to leap forward. No fear honestly. Always known that the Universe has my back – always. My love for bold moves date all the way back to 1991 when I left Detroit and moved to San Diego the first time. Then again in 1996 when I traveled to the other side of the world for a couple of years, living out of one back pack. Then again in 1998 when I moved to Florida with my then boyfriend and worked on yachts. To 2003 when I moved to Portland with a one year old. To 2006 when I opened a yoga studio and again in 2009 when I closed it.
Life always works in our favor when we open our heart and listen intently.
In November 2012 I took a massive leap of faith and moved to the Bay Area. At the time, I was still rummaging through the shrapnel from Kali’s demolition of my life from her loving entrance in 2010, via closure of my studio, divorce, bankruptcy, and loss of my home. I was literally pummeled to the ground. My heart was smashed to pieces. My life came to a screeching halt and I couldn’t catch my breath.
It was first in October 2012 when I took off for San Francisco to see what was outside my community and interviewed with Yoga Tree. I immediately fell in love with the Castro studio. It was love at first sight. But like any love affair, it didn’t come easy. I was offered a job at Yoga Tree but it was to open the new studio in Marin, a mere six weeks later.
I took it.
The Naysayers said, “There’s no way.” And “You can’t leave your girls.” And “Get a real job.” But I went anyway; against every single rational thought, I left. Left my sweet angels for 9 months, which broke my heart to no end. But I was setting up a new life for us and I never looked back. Except of course to cry uncontrollably and barf a few times during my drive from Washington to San Francisco.
The trip was a no joke initiation.
I came to the Bay with what fit in my car, albeit a garage full of stuff left at a friend’s house in Oregon. For 9 months I surfed couches, stayed in vacation homes, slept in my car, showered at the studio, ate protein bars, seeds and nuts and worked my ass off to make it work.
It’s funny what someone does when they are driven to make a new life for themselves and their children. Some would have called me aggressive, pushy, rude and “out for myself”, but you know, they never knew the story. They never knew that all I wanted to do was get my girls back and support them, on my own. They never knew how scared shitless I was. Scared that I would be homeless, that I had made the wrong decision, that I wouldn’t get my girls back, that I was going to fail big time.
They never knew because they never asked. And to be fair, I never offered it up.
Ahimsa. Ahimsa … always, no exception.
So I worked. And worked. And worked, and worked, so flipping hard. And then my girls came to live with me full time. It was humbling to move from a 5 bedroom home with a backyard, to a two bedroom apartment that had a futon, a single bed, my big bed, a purple bean bag, and just enough dishes for us to use. Not sure why I had a bed for my girls. That first six months, they slept with me every single night.
But they never complained. They trusted me. They knew I had their back. They were 8 and 10. We started over in the most challenging city for me to make a living as a yoga teacher.
And I did.
In two years my classes were full, my teacher trainings maxed out, retreats filled up, and my client base had a waiting list for private and coaching sessions. I decided to move to a bigger house so the girls could live closer to friends, walk to school, and have their own room. It was a bit out of my budget but I could do it.
And I did.
But then the health problems started. I was constantly tired and had little time to myself for fun. I was trying to balance my career, parenting, living in Marin, and staying on top of algorithms that seemed to constantly change.
In March 2018 I sprained my ankle teaching class. Then I had emergency surgery and had my ovary removed just one week prior to leaving for Bali. After I returned, just 5 days later, I spilled a pot of boiling water on my hand and acquired second degree burns.
Obviously, the Universe was trying to tell me something.
So while I was in Bali, unable to hike, swim or move really, I had an epiphany – it was time to slow the hell down. This was no joke. Not only were all these health issues trying to tell me something, but so were my sweet daughters. In not so many words, but by actions alone, they were trying to tell me to slow down and be around for them.
So in all of this – since Bali – I’ve had time to think.
To contemplate. To visualize and here’s all I can say.
It’s time to go home.
Time to stop the madness and tend to my own health.
To be there for my children.
To enjoy life.
When I was sitting in that hospital in Marin, unable to breathe and not able to get a hold of my children, all I could think was, I do not want to die here. It was the scariest moment of my life.
To think that me, someone who leads trainings and workshops and
talks about living their best life,
wasn’t living her own.
I love what I do.
I love who I am.
I love what I’ve created.
I’m good at what I “do”.
And, I’m going to keep doing it. Only at a different pace and where I am most at home, in Southern California, Encinitas to be exact, just two miles from the ocean.
So on Wednesday July 11, I will share my final classes at the Yoga Tree Castro. Times and dates are here.
I will be back to run Embody Truth TT 200 hour, meet with clients enrolled in the mentorship program, as well as sub classes at the Castro.
This is a very bittersweet move for me as I am admittedly very attached to this community. It has my heart. It’s the place where I found out who I was as a teacher and a sovereign woman walking her path in this world.
I set out to teach yoga at one of the most amazing yoga studios on the planet!! And I did. Not only that but I built up classes from nothing to something profound in less than 5 years. And it may have something to do with my teaching, yes for sure – I’ll own that. But mostly it has to do with the committed yogis that saunter into this shared space with me and create magic. I’ve never experienced such devoted yogis and I’m praying that with my move, I do.
It’s been like watching artwork in motion.
We learn the most in the letting go and this one is hard for me. To “start over” is a daunting thought for most yoga teachers. But I don’t feel like this is a starting over. Instead I think of this as a expanding circle of our yoga tribe. An opportunity to create a bridge from San Diego to San Francisco where tribes can converge. The world is such a small place and this life is a fast moving river.
If we don’t take the chances to move forward, we miss opportunities and we regret. If we spend too much time grasping to the past or reaching for “what’s next” without enjoying the now, we miss out on what’s real. It’s a delicate balance … one that requires conscious engagement.
Here’s what I know for sure:
- I love my girls something fierce and I want to watch them do what they love.
- My body needs the ocean and it needs to get in it every single day.
- My body loves the heat … it loves the sun.
- I don’t like running so fast and hustling so much. I like to move slower believe it or not.
- I am making time and space for that Divine partnership I have dreamed about
- I don't need to change the way others do things, I just need to shift my perspective.
- My heart needs to see a sunset over the ocean every day.
- There is nothing more important than family and I want to be close to mine.
- If we do what we love, it doesn’t matter where we live. The heart will radiate accordingly.
I love my life, and I’ve spent the last 8 years, post divorce trying to “figure out” what I’m made of and how I can best be of service in this world. I think I did that … in fact I think I did that well. It’s a tall order, being a yoga teacher and living your yoga, not just teaching it. It’s a moment-to-moment check in; one that I take very seriously.
I am going to continue to do what I do, be of service to my children, and teach from a place that is rooted deep in the Divine.
When you follow your heart, things always work out. And when you dance with the Divine you never go wrong. I hope to see you on the mat before I go. And if not, well San Diego is only a short flight away…..
Om Om Om
I love you SF yogis … more than you will ever know.