“Negative twenty degrees!” Sean grins as he reads the inside temperature from cabin thermometer aloud.
I sigh, willing the oil drip stove to work it’s magic (faster!).
Ten minutes pass as we focus solely on the mechanics of the stove, lighter, fuel, flame.
Sean: “Only -6 degrees!”
I allow a smile to cross my lips as the frost stops accumulating on my neck gaiter. I know the warmth is on its way.
Another 20 minutes and we’re above zero… hallelujah! I sigh again with relief, and peel off a layer before starting the long process of unpacking.
Getting back to the Arctic after a few days spent in town is interesting. Getting back to the Arctic for the first time in over a month? I’ll call it “an adjustment.” After tending to business in the lower 48, and getting used to plug-and-play life on the grid, I knew I was in for an awakening, returning home up north when Sean came to pick me up from quarantine.
I’ve learned over the years... whether I’m a month on the road, or one day on the road, it doesn’t matter how efficient I feel, or how many pro-tips I remember before making the long journey up the Haul Road. I’ve come to know that something WILL break and I WILL receive a swift kick in the rear end, compliments of Mother Nature.
This is a promise.
On this week’s butt-kicking menu was a typical sunny, gorgeous winter day with the standard subzero temps — the kind where you can’t have your fingers out for more than a minute, and your eyelashes develop a white, frosty mascara. You need at least three layers on bottom and four on top. Anything plastic must be handled with extreme care or it breaks like a tiny twig. Daytime temps typically range from -20 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit at latitude 67 during the winter. When we hit -10, it feels like a heat wave! That polar vortex that slammed the rest of the country and Texas? Yeah, just a little gift that originated right here in the Arctic.
So after a long night of hauling, warming, arranging the dogs and feeding them so they can crawl in their straw-filled dog boxes, followed by a 10pm dinner for Sean and I... I fell into bed, which was still hard as a rock— downside of me insisting we have memory foam mattresses! Regardless, I had no problem drifting to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I looked outside and remembered why I love this life. Why I put myself through the hassle of being our own utility company to live in the wild.
I do it specifically for that reason. When I disconnect from life’s utilities, I can reconnect with the moment. The mountains. And myself, without all the noise. And that reconnection happens all day long... the wild surrounds us 24/7... we have the privilege of spending each moment in sync with Mother Nature. And for Sean and I, that’s what’s required to live our best life
And the first taste of 2021 has been anything but quiet— am I right? If you’re feeling anything close to what I felt for a month on the road, it’s time to disconnect from the noise, and reconnect with my inner wild... my inner voice... my true self. Join me, won’t you?
Mindful March starts this Sunday! It features all the tools for a complete re-connection with your body, mind and spirit — tools that I, myself, use every single day of my life. You can work through our instructions at your own pace to embark on a month of plant-based eating (full instructions provided), take on a daily meditation practice (complete with instruction video AND two pre-recorded meditations with Blaine and I to help you get started), and a membership to the Morning Buzz — join our crew every day, Monday through Friday, for 20 minutes of yoga.
This is the optimum TRIFECTA of infusing yoga into your life. We have three Q&A Zoom calls throughout the month to answer questions and share stories of how it’s going. You’ll stay connected and supported on our Yoga Hive Connect Community (our platform functions like Facebook, but it’s not Facebook!).
Did I mention it's only $44 for all this? If you're currently a member at Yoga Hive, reach out for your discount!
Or... for a more extreme overhaul, you could book yourself into one of two remaining spots for a Northern Lights, Yoga + Adventure retreat here at Arctic Hive (March 24-28). We had a few folks shift from the first set of dates to the second, so the second retreat is now completely full.
For a longer immersion this fall sans snow, consider joining SheWild, a women’s only yoga teacher training for a small, intimate group up here at Arctic Hive in the backyard of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It will be my first in person yoga teacher training in almost two years due to COVID!
Whatever you do, commit to staying plugged into the heartbeat of the earth this month. As much as we want to hibernate when the temps get cold, we need that fresh air and connection outside our four walls. Appreciate the weather. Honor the season. Notice how your senses absorb what She offers.
Here’s what you need to know is happening at Yoga Hive this month:
Sending love and connection,
Last night was our final live Zoom Q&A from our first Conscious Leadership course. One of the participants shared how she was so grateful to finally master a daily meditation practice— something she'd wanted for years.
She smiled and admitted: It finally feels EASY.
Yoga/meditation truly finds us at the exact right moment, doesn't it? I bet you can agree with me if you're practicing yoga regularly, the moment you finally decided, "Wow, I love how this makes me feel!" something inside you committed. You wanted to feel that way more often... and then BOOM. Your regular practice (whatever that is) was born.
There's the initial struggle phase as you determine what aspects of yoga you love/need the most. You seek out different studios and styles and schedules. And then one day... when you least expect it... you land in a place that feels like home. With people who seek what you seek. With a community who sees you for exactly who you are, and because of that, lifts you up so you can become a brighter version of yourself.
You find your yoga home.
My first yoga class as a student was one of the worst experiences. I felt zero connection with the teacher, I felt out of place in my baggy T-shirt and gym shorts (even though exactly NO ONE in the room cared), and afterward resolved never to do it again.
Flash forward a few years and I picked yoga back up ONLY for the purpose of making friends. A girl that I wanted to be friends with loved yoga, and so I decided to do it to become friends with her... and not a moment too soon, my love affair with yoga started that first day back on my mat.
Yoga found me. (And I made a best friend that I still have today!)
There's this phrase I love... all in perfect time. And truly, it's become a mantra to me. When life gets busy and my to-do list seems a mile long, I remind myself that I'm doing my best, I'm aware of what needs to get done, and everything in my life, my family, and my business are happening in perfect time.
Yoga happens all in perfect time.
Business happens all in perfect time.
Relationships happen all in perfect time.
Life happens all in perfect time.
From this lens, life — with all it's twists and turns, ups and downs — feels like the most incredible symphony. If I can stay consistent with my daily practices, I earn my own trust each time I commit to showing up to my mat.
So in absolutely perfect time, I have a few big announcements, since it's been FIVE whole weeks since I last wrote a newsletter!
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.