Never underestimate the power of a new beginning.
This past Monday, as my Bears settled in for our opening Savasana to prepare for our practice, I guided their attention to their exhale. Instead of guiding them into a particular breath pattern or pace, I asked them to focus on completely letting go of their breath - letting all the air go, even facilitating the exit of their breath with a gentle squeeze of their belly in towards their spine. And then.... allowing the inhale to happen - passively - as truly it's intended. I described the space we create in our lungs when we get rid of all that old, stale breath. Space for new, fresh oxygen. And with this biological understanding of the breath, I directed their attention to this same energy in their lives...
When in your life have you put your energy into an ending, really watched and celebrated, even facilitated it? Have you ever? Endings are powerful, beautiful, life-altering things. Even the small ones. They are also hard, challenging, often painful things. But, no matter how hard or easy, how small or big, endings create much needed space in our lives.
Space for newness. Space for the next thing. Space for the next adventure, the next journey, the next great love.
It's hard to see it that way, when you're in it.
Ending sometimes start to feel very, very permanent. And yes, that's the whole point of an ending. But that feeling that it's never going to end - that feeling? That's a lie. Because at a certain point, the ending is complete. You've exhaled out all that can be exhaled and now, all that's left is space - space to take in.
I closed my studio a little over a year ago. It was a difficult ending for many reasons, as I've written about before. But what I only recently realized, is how hard I was holding on to the process of it ending. I was grasping and holding on to it, to associated feelings of guilt and of frustration and disillusionment. I was ACTIVELY trying to let go, to move forward. I was trying to force a process that can not be forced. I was trying to tell myself I was 'over it', when I wasn't. But I also felt helpless to change how I was feeling. I was confused. I was left with all this uncertainty, asking myself - would I ever be into teaching again like I was before I opened the studio?
I have so much passion for this practice and for the body image work that's so important to me, it seemed so strange to feel so ... well... "meh"... about it. So, I had quite a few false starts. I did a few projects, dabbled... enjoyed the doing of things, but lacked the energetic lift I was used to that could carry me forward.
And then, we moved.
You see, two years ago, we'd moved to the same town as the studio, so that I could be close enough to spend a LOT of time there, so I could pour my heart and soul into it and then pour my body into bed at the end of a long day. The sole reason for the move, was to support the business.
And so, I suppose it should be no great surprise that living there after the studio closed, just blocks away, might have gotten in the way of me finishing the process of letting it go. But here I am, surprised. ;)
My wife and I moved out of that town exactly two weeks ago, and I feel like I've undergone a HUGE energetic overhaul. New home, back in the same town we lived before we moved to be closer to the studio, and a huge part of the move was making sure there were open spaces I could practice, and maybe teach in. Space to film videos.
There were other factors of course, factors I told myself were more important - a shorter commute, room for the dogs to play and be comfortable, more room to have company, to entertain friends. And all of these things are great....
But, funny enough, almost all I've been talking and thinking about since we started the moving process is all the ways this move facilitates me teaching and pursuing my passions. Now that I'm settled in, I'm bursting with excitement and energy for projects that have been simmering in my heart and are now at a full rolling boil.
Not false-start back. Like, back back! :) And back in a totally new way.
Because, what I realized I have now, is absolute freedom. Freedom to teach from my heart, to focus on my passions, without the anxiety of what will pay the bills for a studio space. I can focus on my body image work, on training teachers, on partnering with studios and other teachers who are aligned with what is authentic for me and what I have to share. I can record videos. I can offer online courses. I can try and do whatever I want and not feel like a failure if something doesn't work out.
Because, here's the thing.... I opened and closed a brick & mortar business, and I don't feel like a failure. There's no such thing. As cliche as it sounds, the failure would have been not trying. And I have learned SO much about what lights me up, and what doesn't. I've learned where I shine, where it works and is effortless, and I've discovered some hidden passions I never knew existed (like public speaking!).
All those "false starts", I mentioned? They weren't false after all. They were just starts. Explorations. Adventures. And now, I have some amazing things to share with all of you.
I've just allowed the biggest, freshest, breath in - and it feels amazing! See you soon.