As I sat on my cushion last night to do my Soulful Sadhana kriya practice, I spontaneously opened Spotify to make a playlist. It's a New Moon after all... the best time of the month to set new intentions — and one of my intentions right now is to bring back my love for music.
Music is one element that helps me feel the magic of yoga.
I pressed play and closed my eyes — it was as if no time had passed since my last trip to India. I could see myself, sitting in the front row of a massive yoga hall with my teacher Anand on the stage... music blaring at full tilt — and all of us, all 100+ yogis in that hall, practicing in union. Dancing in union. Feeling... in unison.
Photo below, © Sattva Yoga Academy
Call me sentimental, but I had tears running down my cheeks, thinking of the electric feeling of being side by side with fellow yogis practicing together. And in the same breath, I realized how lucky I am to be practicing kriya yoga with 30 Yoga Hive yogis around the country every day for the next month. From New Moon to New Moon we stick with the same practice, or Sadhana, until it's time to do it all over again the next month — this is the purpose of Soulful Sadhana. It's truly a gift to have a practice and a playlist that — when combined, and when shared — make me feel so alive that I shed tears.
Oops, did I just publicly admit to crying in yoga?
YES! Fun fact you may not know about me: I consider a class complete if I get to cry a little... I love the release I get from crying that much.
If you haven't already, I hope that each and every one of you can experience a yoga class that touches your heart so deeply that you shed tears... because it feels amazing. Magical, even. (And there's always time to join Soulful Sadhana, if you're curious!)
That's the thing about Yoga Hive that I've realized this week... realized (again) what I've known all along. We're not making it to our mats to fix our bodies, or to check a box on a to-do list.
We practice yoga on our mat to feel closer to the magic of everyday life off our mat.
The way I see it, magic isn't a taboo word we save for tricks and woo-woo... magic is tangible. And accessible. And alive. And it feels SO. FRIGGIN. GOOD.
I feel magic when I watch the Northern Lights dance at Arctic Hive:
I feel the magic of community when we welcome a new group of yogis to our 200-hour yoga teacher training (TONIGHT!) Each round of training, I marvel at how the universe so eloquently orchestrated the assembly of exactly the right group at the right time to create... magic. Together.
I've felt the magic of Himalayan wisdom trickle through my head in the past few weeks and come out the other side as our Conscious Leadership course that starts next week! Including the introduction to the course that I'm offering to everyone... for exactly $0. Details below!
Magic... serendipity... connection — it's all out there, waiting for us to see it. So join me this month, if you feel so inclined. Lets commit to feeling the magic of every moment... crying is optional, but you know where I stand. Let it FLOW!
In light and magic,
I can remember the day like it was yesterday. My six-year-old self sat on the bank of the Menomonee River, holding tightly to the arm of my best friend, Lisa.
The two of us had cried that morning as bus pulled out of the parking lot in Waupaca (our Wisconsin hometown), with our faces glued to the window, frantically waving to our parents. We were terrified for this new adventure alone... together. The bus drove around the state picking up more campers, and many hours later, we reached our final destination: Chalk Hills Girl Scout Camp.
Lisa and I would be gone one whole week — but we really just wanted to go home.
...until I saw her.
I couldn't stop staring at her as we walked toward the water and took a seat on the grassy steps leading down to the waterfront. She was a camp counselor, standing to the side of the amphitheater, wearing cutoff denim shorts and a homemade tie-dye T-shirt... guitar cradled in her arms, strumming a tune I'd never heard before with a huge grin on her face.
And she was singing!
I looked around at the other girls from the bus, sitting on the steps beside me, and I realized that everyone was singing. And if my tie-dye icon was singing, I probably should too... in fact, whatever she did, I was immediately committed to doing because I knew she had something that sparkled. If singing camp songs and wearing tie-dye and smiling ear-to-ear would make me sparkle like that, I was in.
The rest is history.
It's probably obvious (especially those of you who've been reading these newsletters for a while now) that I continued to go back and eventually work at summer camp until I was 23 years old. And even after I moved away from Wisconsin, I started a nonprofit that hosts camps for kids with type 1 diabetes, which I still help run today.
Camp shaped (and shapes!) who I am. It has made me empathetic, independent, joyous, silly, and has given me a deep appreciation for the outdoors.
Below: Me, leading a 17-day backpacking trip to Isle Royale, setting up a tent as fast as possible to beat my previous day's record. (Less than 2 minutes!)
Camp staff like Sarah — the woman with the guitar, who I fondly remember by her camp name, Eek — helped me learn what it meant to be a leader. Not just in my 6-year-old effort to be exactly like her, but as the years went on, I returned again and again to learn to muster the courage to stand in front of a crowd of hundreds and sing camp songs. To portage 3 canoes, one at a time, over a mile in the same time it took my campers to make one trip with our Duluth packs...
Below: Summer Camp Mollie, with her signature braids, straw hat, and tie-dye.
... To inspire a school group of tweens to discover their voice using ropes courses and ice-breakers. To not freak out with mice or spiders. To be OK with showering every three days... or less. To see the pride on a young woman's face when she realizes she just made the best cinnamon rolls of her life over the coals of a campfire that she started. To remain calm when a camper sprains her ankle 1.5 miles from the nearest Ranger Station in the wilderness in the middle of Lake Superior as you piggy-back her down a mountain. (True story)
As I was reminiscing with camp friends a few years ago about the "good old days," I had a liberating thought: The good old days of summer camp haven't really ended.
In all those 17 years of physically being at summer camp, I cultivated exactly what Yoga Hive continues to teach me every single day:
It makes all the difference in life when you have a community that inspires you become a brighter version of yourself.
And while at first we follow those we admire, over time we learn to lead from our own heart, in our own way. I've learned firsthand that leadership isn't simply a skill you pick up like cooking, or riding a bike. You can't find it in a certificate or a book or an expensive business coach.
Leadership is an active culture; it's a vibration at the core of your being. It's the ability to open your pores and let the light within you shine out — and be seen.
Leading is not saying the same things your teacher would say. It's not looking like your role model. It's not selling the same product as your peers.
True leadership means saying your words, looking exactly like you do, selling whatever flows through you most naturally in the moment — even if that means being a follower for a while.
And when you're — as we say — "living your truth," the world can't help but notice you, standing there with your tie-dye shirt and guitar.
With that in mind, let me remind you: It's January, folks. A new year — and it's time for us to get to work as we prepare to lead our teams, households, friends, and family into this new era of life on Earth. In the spirit of our Yoga Hive motto, Come as you are, leave as you want to be, we've got so many offerings launching this month to support you on your path to beeeee-ing your best self (couldn't help it!)... hope to see you on your mat, one way or another!
Be a Conscious Leader: I've distilled a framework of yoga teachings, practices and leadership principles into a course called Conscious Leadership. It's more of a lecture/meditation based course, rather than movement, and if you consider yourself a leader in any aspect of your life, this self-paced course is for you. CLICK FOR DETAILS.
Be a steward of the Himalayan yogic tradition: I can't believe it's time to embark on another YTT journey. We only have one spot left for our 7-month LIVE virtual training starting next week. If you're hearing the whisper, now is your last chance to hop in for the season. Click here for details,
Already an RYT200? Consider taking our Himalayan Kriya Yoga Teacher Training, and join Yoga Hive's lineage of leaders bringing timeless technologies from our roots in India into our modern world of yoga. Click here for details!
Be accountable to a daily practice: Really, if no one watches you practice, did it really happen?! Of course... but research tells us that tasks are a smidge easier (and more fun!) when you're held accountable by a group. When Blaine and I heard the call in our own lives to dive into more structured daily yoga practice, we decided to bring everyone along for the ride. Soulful Sadhana was born, a monthly membership and community of yogis committed to their personal transformation, one daily practice at a time. This starts on Monday and we're diving into the Divine Feminine and all about the Cosmic Womb — and we'd love to have you! Start with one month, or commit to six. The choice is yours... Click here for details!
Be adventurous: Join us at Arctic Hive this spring for a life-changing retreat experience bordering Gates of the Arctic National Park. We only have two spots left for each of the dates in March/April. Dog mushing, the chance to see the Northern Lights, peace and quiet above the arctic circle in the Brooks Range, and of course, yoga... what could be more ideal for 2021? CLICK HERE FOR RETREAT DETAILS
Aerial Yoga Teacher Training will be offering LIVE online via Zoom this month with me! Have a rig in your home? Dive in with us... those who've taken Aerial Training with me (Mollie) in the past are eligible for a refresh price of $125. DETAILS ARE HERE
Wishing you all the joy of tie-dye and camp songs,
Yesterday, as I was working on the curriculum for the upcoming Conscious Leadership course, I brushed the dust off the manuscript of my first book, The Yoga of Business.
I wrote it in November of last year, but haven't touched it since, because... well, COVID.
The book is written how I speak to you in these newsletters. I take my life experience as an entrepreneur and as a human, and apply that yogic mentality to the wild world of business — which is precisely the foundation for Conscious Leadership!
Pre-COVID, I was determined to get it published, but then the Virus of the Year arrived, and sent me back to real-life business bootcamp, once again.
Knowing what I know now about 2020, I was both surprised and relieved that my words in the book still ring true — maybe more-so than they did before. A true testament to the timeless nature of yoga. Here's an excerpt from the Preface that really stuck with me as we face a new year, starting tomorrow:
Growing up, my dad was a stand-in pastor at our church. He gave sermons when the actual pastor was out of town. Apparently, he knew a thing or two about inspiring folks. Through his words, impeccable attendance record and willingness to volunteer, he showed the congregation what devotion looks like.
Me, on the other hand?
I had to be persuaded every week to go to Sunday School! Egg McMuffin Happy Meals were my bribe of choice — and it didn't matter who was in the pulpit during the sermon. And despite my pushback on whether it was realistic to turn water into wine, my dad never forced me to learn anything I wasn’t willing to learn — he just asked that I show up.
And I did.
What I (nor my dad) didn’t know then, was that he was my first yoga teacher. Not by making poses like down dog and Warrior 2. My dad was teaching me through his actions what it meant to show up, to study, and to learn.
Although he's given me many nuggets of wisdom as my spiritual identity has evolved, perhaps the one I remember most is: “God never gives you anything you can’t handle.” And despite my constant search for a spiritual landing zone, that idea has been an anchor through my whole life.
What in the world — you might be asking — do God, church and Happy Meals have to do with business?
The answer is everything. My entire life has prepared me for this moment, right now.
And so has yours — all the hard times, the scary times, the euphoric experiences and memorable moments.
I believe that with my whole heart, and you’ll be hearing many stories in this book that seemingly have nothing to do with running a business… and yet they have everything to do with who I am, which is everything to do with running my businesses.
I believe the same might apply to you, too.
As I reflect on how far I've come since my Happy Meal Sundays, my thoughts drift to all the things 2020 has taught me. This year has truly been my great guru (teacher).
I learned that nothing — no business, or ambition, or travel plan — is more important to me than my family. I officially moved to Alaska to be with my hubby, Sean, and haven't been on an airplane in eight months! The universe (and an incredible team around the country) made it possible to still teach yoga remotely, uniting our communities from Montana, Wisconsin, Colorado and beyond. This has been a true gift to do what I love, with the human and pups I love, and I couldn't be more grateful.
Also: I learned the supreme art of letting go (aparigraha, in Sanskrit) when I made an incredibly difficult decision to close two of our beloved Yoga Hive locations due to the hardships associated with COVID. Seeing so many of your faces, and air-hugging you from a distance as I loaded the Uhaul with years of studio stuff... those moments and hugs and helping hands meant so much to me.
And: I learned what it means to build a wilderness retreat center above the Arctic Circle in the Alaskan bush. I have the strength to haul materials — yes, nearly every single thing you see in the photo below — by hand, either partially or the entire way to our build site when the mud was too thick, or the ice too slick ... and then smile for the camera at the end of the day!
...among many, many other things.
To think... if I judged the "quality" of 2020 based on my initial expectations in February, I'd be so disappointed because the last year has been one giant pivot.
But — I was ready to see (or perhaps, be shown) the path of least resistance, without being attached to what life "should" look like... and I will tell you: That is the secret to success right there:
When we grip life less tightly, magic happens.And so, as you collect yourself, and your resolutions and a bubbly beverage of your choice, I invite you to remind yourself (as I have) that your ENTIRE LIFE has prepared you for this moment. This new chapter. This new year.
2020 has been our collective great guru.
And whether you're smiling in remembrance, or cannot WAIT to be in 2021 (or perhaps somewhere in the middle!), the age-old practice of honoring the guru within and without is indeed something to raise a glass to.
Cheers — happy new year, friends!
Ever since spending another summer in the Midnight Sun, Sean and I have been looking forward to experiencing our first Polar Night in the Arctic. It lasts from November 30th - January 9th here at Arctic Hive. It’s a time that only happens above the Arctic Circle when the sun stays below the horizon during the day. There are just varying shades of twilight blue “light” during a short period each “day”, before darkness settles in again and northern lights dance in the sky.
Here's a good diagram I found on timeanddate.com that really shows how it works:
My body has been feeling it. I’m grateful to be taking A LOT of vitamin D — but I’ve been witnessing myself turning inward more often, sleeping a little longer than usual, and indulging in more self care routines before bed. Truly, I feel like a hibernating animal sometimes!
Then on Monday this week, as Sean and I enjoyed a quiet night watching the Northern Lights, I could feel the incredible energy from so many of you, experiencing Shelle’s Yin + Sound Bath in the Whitefish studio with Meghan. I could feel those of you in Wisconsin, Colorado and beyond unwinding from the comfort of your home with Blaine in her virtual Solstice class. And as we put the finishing touches on Arctic Hive before our Northern Lights + Adventure retreats this March/April, I was imagining our guests witnessing the magic of this sacred place.
I could feel a collective sigh of relief from all of us in this Yoga Hive community, far and wide, past, present and future. (Yes, you!)
We’re letting the light back in.
Then on today’s Yoga Hive staff call, we debrief’ed all the amazing feels from Monday’s classes, and how we want to create that space more often. We spoke about how experiences like that give us permission to feel. Not in a superficial way. We’re talking true, intentional experiences that empower us — even help us — to feel the emotions that need to flow through us. It’s these experiences that bring tears to our eyes or a smile to our lips for no other reason than to release what’s no longer serving us inside.
There’s an old saying that Anand always reminds us of: “What you resist will persist.” Monday night felt as if we all recognized this new chapter — the path of least resistance, and we witnessed the page turn, together.
And if you’re anything like me, you’re not taking this next chapter for granted. Our promise to you, here at Yoga Hive, is that we’re not turning back from this path of seeking a more spiritual connection with life through yoga.
We don’t teach yoga classes to make you sweat. We don’t run trainings to teach you how to make the “right shapes” on your mat. We aren’t here to run yoga retreats without depth.
No, no. We’re here to hold space for what this community needs. And the honest truth? We’re not just creating what you need. We’re creating what WE need, because we are right there with you. We’re ready to see the beauty in our lives, tap into the abundance of spiritual connection through yoga, and keep our inner fire burning bright.
And my prayer for all of us this holiday season, as we look to the horizon of 2021 is that we can see that sacred intelligence within ourselves. Your flame isn’t inside your yoga teacher. It’s not in the right yoga pants or yoga shapes. The flame — your flame — is within you. We’re not creating it for you. We’re not even the ones holding up the candle for you. It’s you, dear friends, that fans the flame within yourself.
And if you need some kindling for your fire in 2021, we’ve got you covered. We would be so honored to have you learn with us:
...Throw this unattainable idea of work/life balance out the window in 2021. Instead, seek an optimal state of unity within and without by applying liberating yoga philosophy to your entire life. It's professional development that's worth every penny!
An online course with Mollie Busby
How it works:
--->> CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR SPOT NOW!
I was chatting with one of our Yoga Teacher Trainees this past week for her podcast. Jen and I were discussing how I became an entrepreneur, the Yoga Hive story, Sean and my adventures building Arctic Hive, and we dove into the details of our retreats happening this March.
And she suggested something that surprised me: "You should talk about the spiritual component of your retreats. That's what hooks me."
I paused. Spiritual?
Am I creating a spiritual experience? I can't say the word s-p-i-r-i-t-u-a-l and expect people to show up... can I?
Seriously, this was something I had to chew on.
Flash forward to Sunday. Jen and her YTT cohort graduated from their 100% virtual training, and after our closing ceremony (my all-time favorite part of the YTT experience), one of our other grads thanked me. I had tears brimming in my eyes as she said: "Thank you for having the courage to teach this lineage of kriya yoga. I can't imagine it's been easy being different, but it's important. It's life-changing."
And with that spiritual bug in my ear, my wheels started spinning again. Could I be so bold as to admit that we're facilitating a spiritual experience in Yoga Hive classes? In our trainings? On our retreats?
I mean... how can you see something like the Northern Lights, or the majesty of the Brooks Range (or BOTH at Arctic Hive!) from the comfort of your yoga mat, and NOT feel a spiritual connection to Mother Earth?
Or... how could you NOT sit in a room packed with yogis (ahh, pre-COVID times!) and —in electrifying unison —pound your fists against an imaginary wall and you breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth, working all negativity and frustration out of your body with a kriya we call Prana Shakti?
Or... how can you NOT experience joy and exhilaration as you drop all the structured poses and DANCE your heart out in the middle of a yoga class?
I love it. I seriously love all of these things, and what we've created at Yoga Hive.
But... because a spiritual experience on a yoga mat might seriously confuse a lot of people who think yoga = group fitness. I had to Google the word spirituality to make sure I understood it:
Spirituality: the quality of being concerned with
the human spirit or soul as opposed
to material or physical things.
THAT. IS. IT.
It's like that quote... Instead of human beings having a spiritual experience, we — through our work at Yoga Hive and retreats at Arctic Hive — learn to see ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience. Using kriya, breathwork, a relatable approach to ancient philosophy, and Energy Medicine Yoga, we're exploring ourselves and learning about ourselves on a deeper level than a fitness regimen would ever take us.
Sure, we incorporate vinyasa/power flow. We do yin, and restorative, and hatha flow. But combine all that with the mantra, mudras, kriya, breathwork, philosophy, and EMYoga ... and you've got more than a 60-minute yoga class.
You've got a yoga journey.
Not a group fitness class. Not a seminar where you listen to someone explain how you should live, or how you should move. Not a workout focused on your bum, or your thighs, or any one body part in particular. It's a yoga journey where you dive deep and realize yourself, through yourself.
And in this season of giving stuff, getting stuff, and wanting more material stuff to fill our lives with, I know I speak for myself, and our entire team at Yoga Hive. We want to rise above the noise, and dive deep. This is one of the most incredible times in our life to heed the call to learn. To study. To bring more to the table for our students who need us most.
Me? I'm right there with you. I'm seeking deeper meaning through my morning meditation, an intimate connection with Mother Earth as I build our nest here at Arctic Hive, and I seek more union with my body and my life experiences as I flow on my mat and beyond.
I'm ready to share the lineage of Kriya Yoga with more of you.
So many of you who took your 200-hour training elsewhere have asked how you add kriyas into your classes. The thing is: Kriyas can only be received by willing students from trained Sattva Yoga Master Teachers, and there are only a handful of us running teacher trainings here in the USA.
Maybe you have no clue what kriya is, and maybe you're not even using your teaching credential in the classroom, but all this talk about being more spiritual is intriguing to you? Listen to the whisper, my friend.
Himalayan Kriya Yoga Teacher Training... happening February 10th-14th, 2021 — the missing link for any 200-hour Yoga Alliance-certified yoga teacher who wants to up-level their teaching, and impact students with more than just asana.
(All held on Zoom with plenty of breaks and a balance between activity and sitting still!)
--->> CLICK HERE TO PAY YOUR $250 DEPOSIT NOW!
--->> CLICK HERE TO PAY IN FULL, EARLY BIRD PRICING NOW!
Mollie, what if I'm ineligible for the kriya weekend training because I haven't taken a Yoga Alliance-certified 200-hour training yet?
You're in luck! In Yoga Hive's 7-month 200-Hour YTT, you get everything listed above (yes, everything) ... and much, MUCH more. Early bird deadline coming up is December 31st! Save $250 by registering between now and then, and paying on a payment plan of your choice. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to reply to this email. I will make myself available for questions and concerns you may have! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
A few more things you don't want to miss:
In love and spirituality,
The first time I decided to go to India, I told Sean it would be a one-and-done. Don't worry, honey! I was checking a box on a yoga-related bucket list at the foothills of the Himalayas. I got the e-visa (which is the same price as the 10-year visa) because I was so sure I'd never need it again.
Once I arrived, I'll never forget Blaine and my first interaction with a new friend.
As a gal from the midwest, I'll talk to just about anyone — and I smiled at a man who had just grabbed a coffee from the cafe. I introduced myself, and I learned his name was Thomas (pronounced to-MAS). Hearing his accent, I inquired, "Where are you from?"
Thomas replied casually, "Planet Earth!" He smiled and continued on his way, wherever he was off to. Blaine and I exchanged looks.
What on (Planet) Earth did we get ourselves into?
That evening at the opening ceremony, we each took a flower from a beautiful mandala display in the yoga hall, and walked down to the river as a group to place it in the river and offer up our intention for the training. We were chanting a mantra that was new to me — the Tara mantra — which is all about connecting in with the earth and grounding down, but keeping a connection open with our higher self — balancing between the two is the great act of life.
There I was, in the foothills of a mountain range I'd never been to before, chanting words I'd never used before, with over 100 other seekers like myself—interested in learning yoga from the source, having no idea what was in store for me the next day, let alone the next month of my life... I set my intention as I watched my flower drift downstream:
Let go of what I think I know.
My intention was so fitting — because as our teacher, Anand, always says, "The only obstacle to knowledge is knowledge." When we think we know, then we know. But, when we realize we know less than we don't know, THAT is when the true seeking can begin. The idea is to experience all things within our own universe — or perhaps our own version of "Planet Earth" — so that we can realize it for ourselves.
Thomas was onto something!
This won't surprise you at all. By day two of training, it occurred to me that I was DEFINITELY going back to India. With my 10-year visa officially stamped, I went back to Sattva in April of 2019 for Master Training, diving even deeper into Kriya, flow state, advanced meditation and mantra.
November of last year, I returned for a third time on a scouting mission. I picked out the routes, transport and logistics for — what will be — Yoga Hive’s annual Retreats to India with Blaine and myself. I stayed for a week longer for a master teacher module with my teacher, Anand, about Conscious Leadership.
When COVID hit and we cancelled said retreat to India, I enrolled in many different online courses both with Anand and other new teachers to study yogic history, philosophy, and texts — trying my best to take advantage of this unique time to learn online. In all, I’ve spent more than 1,200 hours studying yoga at the source and (thanks COVID) from the comfort of home in the far north of Alaska.
And all this learning... for what?
For access to wisdom — not simply information to fill my brain. But how can I be sure? Because when we encounter true wisdom (unlike encounters with basic information) we experience a shift. We change. We cannot go back to being the same person we were before.
Wisdom changes us for the better. And you can bet I've come a long way since my first trip to India.
This is where you come in... I’ve been integrating all my learnings and have some big programs for 2021 that I think you're going to love— and I'm so proud to lead this first program alongside Blaine. Since our trip to India, she's been on her own journey, becoming an Energy Medicine Yoga Master Teacher, and is on her way to becoming an Eden Energy Practitioner. Using the feedback we’ve received from you in this post-COVID world, we are answering your request for more in-depth study and deeper connections made virtually.
You want accountability to commit to change. You've told us that you want to go deep. Our answer?
Introducing: Soulful Sadhana
... an online course and community that weaves ancient yogic wisdom with a manageable monthly practice aimed at transforming your life and the way you live it.
The Sanskrit word, Sadhana, can be translated to "tuning." And Anand explains, without access to wisdom, applications for that wisdom in our daily life, and the dedication to commit, we exist in disharmony with our environment. We're out of tune. Out of touch. Life is burdensome instead of blissful. Then, when we finally get the courage to take on a practice — or sadhana, our commitment transforms our commitment to life itself. We tune in.
And hello! We'd much rather live BLISS than BURDEN, yes?
If we've learned anything since that first trip to India, having each other to lean on is imperative to success. No one should have to do it without the support of a group — we aim to create a tight-knit community of sincere seekers so we can deep dive together. Join Blaine and I this January for one, three, or six months of Soulful Sadhana — you'll find more details of this program below!
Other things we don't want you to forget:
In love and service,
Isn’t it amazing how much power is behind the phrase, “You can’t.”
So much beauty has been born from the spark of someone saying a version of that phrase to me.
Me: “I’m going to be a fashion journalist!”
Naysayer: “You can’t. There’s no money in journalism.”
✅ Did it for three years after college, where I had a salary and benefits in Madison, Wisconsin and loved every minute.
Me: “I think I’m going to start a nonprofit and make that my full time job.”
Naysayer: “You can’t. That will never work because nonprofits can’t afford employees.”
✅ Founded the nonprofit in 2010, volunteered my time for two years and by 2012 our nonprofit corporation had a board of directors around the country and a growing team of staff. It was my full time job and Riding On Insulin still exists today 😜
Me: “I’m want another dog for dogsledding.”
Naysayer: “You can’t. Five dogs is already too many.”
✅ ... what do you think happened?! Her name is Tundra and she’s the cutest little nugget and I've never once thought to myself that six is too many!
So that’s all fine and good. I’ve learned to weed through the naysayers. But... what if the naysayer isn’t someone outside yourself? What happens when the naysayer from inside says, I can’t.
Woa, different vibe, isn't it? I've been there, too.
When Sean and I first visited the Brooks Range last April and scouted (now) Arctic Hive on skis, surveying the property the old fashioned way, with a compass and a looooong surveying tape measure to span the distance of a borderline, we started dreaming. It sounded nice. And simple!
Build a retreat center!
Bring people above the Arctic Circle!
But you can imagine my mind created a list of excuses a mile long...
I can’t — There’s no solid access trail to haul in gear.
I can’t -- I don’t have enough time with all the other businesses.
I can’t — It’s 271 miles from the nearest grocery store.
That’s a whole lot of doubts!
So what changed? What makes someone just send it off the metaphorical “I can’t” cliff and reach for a dream?
However complicated the journey has been, the decision was simple. The decision to build in the Arctic with Sean came from a moment of silence.
All the I can'ts happen in the chatter. In yoga/Sanskrit, we call them vrittis... the busy mindstuff that swirls in circles of indecision. So much so, that we can convince ourselves (many times out of fear or practicality) to not dive head first into the thrill of a lifetime. The vrittis get in the way of us taking the lead role in our own life — they keep us from being conscious of the silence from which dreams are born. The silence from which we can hear the whisper of our true self.
In short, we need to think less, and sit in silence more. Too much thinking and the vrittis take on a life of their own. (And that's not the version of life that I want to live!)
When we listen to that inner whisper (we call it chitta, or pure consciousness) more and more, it becomes second nature... like a dear friend and confidant we come to know and count on. A friend who always steers us far away from “I can’t” and always toward the higher good for all concerned, which is often in the direction of our wildest dreams, whether we know it at the time, or not.
Conscious Leadership is born in our moments of silence and stillness.
This leads me to a SUPER exciting announcement I’ll be making next week about a new 5-week course I’m offering this January called Conscious Leadership. It’s a self-paced course with twice weekly pre-recorded lectures, once weekly live Q&A’s with me, and homework outside the virtual classroom to help you get focused on YOUR ability to hear your own whisper. I don’t want to say too much, because this newsletter is getting long already. Just look forward to next week for all the details!
For now, you need to know that the early bird deadline for our 7-month online 200-hour yoga teacher training is Thanksgiving Day — TOMORROW! Save big bucks ($528 to be exact!) by registering now and paying in full. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to reply to this email. I will make myself available for questions and concerns you may have! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
The early bird deadline to save $250 on your trip to Arctic Hive this March is also approaching... TOMORROW! Secure your spot on this adventure of a lifetime with us. CLICK HERE FOR ARCITC HIVE RETREAT DETAILS
Blaine and I are hosting a virtual Malas and Mantra workshop on December 9th! This is a fantastic opportunity to make something meaningful for yourself or a loved one this holiday season. DETAILS
Aerial Yoga Teacher Training will be offering LIVE online via Zoom this January with me! Have a rig in your home? Dive in with us... DETAILS
And... in case you haven't seen our special deal yet, snap it up before it's gone:
TODAY'S SPECIAL DEAL: Unlimited two weeks of livestream yoga for just $1
CLICK HERE TO GET THE DEAL
In light (and a big healthy YES I CAN!),
Here’s a thing about me: I hate making two trips.
I posted this photo on my Instagram story a while back because it truly captures this essence. We forgot to put the ladder in the trailer? Here, let me carry it — amidst all the other things I’ve packed on this wheeler — like a javelin uncomfortably just so that I don’t have to go back twice.
One and done.
You might imagine that by building three Arctic Hive guest cabins over the last six months, one after the other, repeating every single task not one, not two, but THREE TIMES EACH, I’ve had a lot of time to examine this pattern in my life.
First time through: Fresh energy! Feeling good! I’ve got this!
Second time: [questioning my life decisions]
Third time: JUST. BE. DONE. + this really insane lion’s roar that I’ve been doing when I need to release some of that energy. (Highly recommend letting that sound out!)
In other words: I’ve gotten comfortable with my inevitable intensity when I have to do something over again. This opportunity to roar out frustration, ponder my patterns, and having a willingness to examine my emotions has been amazing.
And in my case with the cabins, I realize that I don’t have to do it over again. I’ve chosen to do it over again. And again. And again.
So as I was applying a coat of stain to the walls of the second cabin today (questioning my life decisions — second time through)… maybe it was the fumes, maybe it was the good vibes I’m feeling because I can see the finish line… maybe it was the six month mark that finally kicked something straight in my head.
I figured it out.
Somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that if you have to do something over again, it’s bad. It means you didn’t learn anything the first time. And as an A+ student who LOVES to sit in the front row and raise my hand and ask all sorts of questions (yep, was totally that kid — still am!)… in my brain, “not learning” is “not OK.”
WHEW! I’m ready to let go of this pattern!
This is the yoga I love most — self study. Always being willing to examine what’s going on in my life, and learning from my own experiences. Years ago, I spent a day with Tim Gunn (of Project Runway fame — a story for another time), and when I asked him if he thought I should keep doing what I was doing or go back to school, he gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
He said, “Mollie, your experience will be your education.”
And ever since, that’s how I’ve lived. So thank you Cabin 1, Cabin 2, and Cabin 3… you’ve shown me that I am — in fact — always learning, even if I’m choosing to repeat the same thing over and over. What makes each round different is the quality of attention I’m paying to my experience. And honestly? My willingness to have fun with it along the way.
All this to say we have some incredible opportunities for YOU to learn with us at Yoga Hive this holiday season. I know there are a lot of excuses for why you don’t have time to prioritize yoga, or join a workshop, or stream a pre-recorded class on Yoga Hive Connect. But my advice? Don’t repeat the same pattern you always do. And definitely don't "wait for 2021" to make a change. Let go of your old patterns and start fresh with us — with ME!
So, a holiday deal for you... it's back:
TODAY'S SPECIAL DEAL: Unlimited two weeks of livestream yoga for just $1
CLICK HERE TO GET THE DEAL
And other things you need to know...
In light and as many trips as it takes,
I’ll never forget the moment I considered what life would be like without eggs, meat and dairy.
Background (which most of you know): I’m originally from Central Wisconsin. I lived there my entire life, up until I met Sean and moved west. My “motherland” is that of milk, sausage, cheese and the Green Bay Packers.
The way I grew up eating wasn’t gluttonous or unhealthy by any means — but the way I thought about “things that go on a dinner plate” was definitely locked in. You cook some sort of meat. A vegetable. And a grain. Done and done. I created that habit long ago, and I’d never considered changing it.
... until I did.
It was the night of my 32nd birthday in 2018 — something shifted.
I was standing in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, and I distinctly remember munching on cheese and crackers. Blaine, the owner of our sister studio, Yoga Hive Colorado, was seated across the room. She’s been plant-based as long as I’ve known her, and long before.
On this day, I was curious. I wanted to know why she was so passionate about eating (and living) this lifestyle.
I expected her to list the reasons humans are cruel to animals (which she did) and be done with it. But then she started to list more reasons like health benefits and the environmental impact — things that, against all odds, intuitively felt right in my brain — and she kept going, and going, and…. the moment happened: As I popped a slice of cheese into my mouth, I had the thought: Maybe I could eat plant-based?
The seed was planted.
The week after I got back to Montana, I hosted Yoga Hive's first 21-day program at the Whitefish studio, and I was excited: I had an excuse to investigate this whole plant-based thing. Part of the program was giving up three things for ONE WEEK, and I had a whole group of people to support me in my decision. To any confused friends and family, I could say “I’m doing it for Yoga Hive!" … the perfect excuse!
So I gave up eggs, meat and dairy for one week. And then, when I realized how easy it was to get creative in the kitchen… one week became two. Two became six, and flash forward over two years later, I’m still eating my own version of a plant-based lifestyle and I couldn’t be happier, healthier, or feel more creative when it comes to what I cook in the kitchen. To really make sure I knew the ropes, I even got my certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition last year.
So why did I take me 32 years to discover a way of nourishing my body that feels so good? Two reasons:
These two reasons are my primary motivation for co-hosting The Yoga of Food — a 22-day fully supported plant-based challenge smack in the middle of Halloween and Thanksgiving, with Blaine — my plant-based muse and mentor! If it wasn’t for Blaine’s passion and willingness to answer ALL my questions (and more!), along with a handful of other Yoga Hive community members who also value a plant-based lifestyle (thank you, Erica and Shelle!), I would never have tried.
You're invited to try it with us!
And if you — like me — want to hear Blaine's story, click to hear her tell the story herself!
And please know: This challenge isn't about going cold turkey on the things that you love for the same reasons I did... or Blaine did it... or so many other folks have done it. This challenge is about YOU — spending 22 days with the support of a community to jump outside “what you know” about food to see if there’s another way of living and being that might feel good!
This, my friends, is how we live yoga.
The challenge officially starts Monday, and Blaine and I will host LIVE Zoom Q&As every Tuesday night for four weeks that will be recorded where we answer any questions you email us beforehand, or that you ask live on the Zoom call if you can make it. You don't need to be at all the Q&As, and you'll be paired up with an accountability partner next week to really have someone hold you accountable (and do the same for them!).
To prepare your fridge and pantry over the weekend, we’re sending out a whole beautiful manual with shopping lists, all the info you need to get started, and a pre-recorded welcome video from us.
If you're reading this over the weekend and you want to sign up anytime before Tuesday, no problem at all — enroll yourself and we’ll catch you up to speed as soon as we see you’ve registered.
If you have lingering questions, don't hesitate to reply to this email — I'd love to hear from you and start a conversation!
PLUS: Don't forget these changes to train with us... coming up soon!
PS — Registration is open for our spring retreats at Arctic Hive. We have 5 spots remaining for the first set of dates, and 4 spots for the second set of dates. Click here for all the details (and check out the northern lights a few nights ago during an Aurora Flow in the igloo!)
There, I said it.
And everywhere I look these days, someone is vying for my attention. They want my vote. They want my money. They want my commitment. And I'm tired of hearing empty promises (followed by big asks) from people who don't walk the walk. Talk all day long about how you can heal me, help me, coach me, teach me... but a little sniffing around on social media, listening to your podcast interviews, and reading every email you've sent me?
Yeah. It all feels empty.
That's the thing about yoga — as I've consistently practiced all aspects of movement and stillness, I've become sensitive to people around me. My discernment improves daily. My attention is mastered and re-mastered all the time. I've become more equanimous in daily life — like the eye of the hurricane.
With consistent practice, and increased sensitivity to truth, authenticity in marketing sings out like church bells on a quiet day. Fake news wears a neon sign that says NOT WORTH YOUR TIME. And sales pitches? I'll be blunt: I don't really care what you offer. I care how you — the teacher — live your life. And if I like how you live, and if I want what you're offering, then sign. me. up.
That's really all we're looking for, right? We're looking for a skill, and we need someone to teach us. And we're willing to engage because that person has something we want. And it's not just that they have some knowledge rattling around in their head... they have knowledge, they live the wisdom, and breathe the tradition. They are the living advertisement we're really paying attention to.
The final stage — the confirmation that your discernment is on point — is when you realize your authentic teacher (or in our tradition, guru) doesn't show you the way back to their own teachings, their coaching, their products as the solution to your future growth. Although you may continue to learn with that teacher over and over again, it's primarily because a true guru shows you how to shine a light on your own self. Because the only way we learn more about ourselves is through our own experience. Not the experience of someone else.
All this to say: We've got some incredible opportunities for yogic studies coming up — and as I send these emails every week, regardless of where you live, you can get a nugget of wisdom or two, and know that our actions and our offerings are backed up by true dedication to this way of life. We walk the walk — and we're excited to show you how we do it if you want to learn.
That's the part of Yoga Hive that I love the most: Our team of authentic teachers log on to Zoom and roll out their mat at the studio to show YOU what yoga means to them. And while everyone's approach to the practice is slightly different (which is what yogis often say they love the most about Yoga Hive!), our team all agrees:
Our yoga isn't a fitness routine or an Instagram post. It's a way of life.
Study with us in one of these life-changing opportunities this fall... if you have questions, reply here and let's chat.
PS — We launch official dates and details next week for our late winter Arctic Hive Northern Lights / Yoga / Adventure retreats in the Brooks Range! Just in time to show you the glass panels we installed on the igloo. Space will be limited to only 6 spots per retreat, and we've already reserved some spaces for those who were supposed to attend this past April (which we had to cancel due to COVID), so space is extremely limited. Excited for yoga under a blanket of stars or Northern Lights by the warmth of a wood stove!
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.