When I decided to open a yoga studio, the idea was exciting and daunting — at the same time. I didn't have a degree in studio management, I was a relatively new yoga teacher and I hadn't even considered the fact that I didn't have a ton of time on my hands to make it all happen.
But what I did know is that it felt good. As in yoga when we bow our head to our heart, I surrendered my brain's "reasoning" to my heart's desire — and with the power of intention, I took one step at a time. (Many times through complete darkness!)
And look at what we've created today: A welcoming studio with a second location in Columbia Falls set to open on May 19th (606 Nucleus Ave.!) — both of which have changed, and will continue to change people's outlook on their physical fitness and body awareness, and empowering our community to live meditative, mindful and purposeful lives.
The outcome didn't happen as a result of me knowing a whole bunch of stuff about running a yoga studio. It happened because I set my intention and attention on it.
The fact is — and here's the big secret: No one really knows what they're doing.
In business... in life... probably in parenting, too (although my experience goes as far as a Weimaraner and a Border Collie Mix — so I'll leave it to you moms and dads to nod/shake your heads to this one). No one really knows what to expect or how to prepare for everything. Sure we gain useful experience with the first biz or the first dog. We learn from mistakes and listen to mentors. But at the start, we're just like everyone else who has ever fumbled through an obstacle. We have no clue what we're doing.
And that precious fact is what keeps me moving forward, pushing boundaries, taking risks, and pursuing every single passion and goal that my husband, Sean and I have in life.
If you're like me, and enjoy setting intentions for future goals (or perhaps you'd like to start!), join me at our Mala Making workshop on May 1st from 3:30-5:30! Commonly strung with 108 beads, Malas serve as meditative talismans with each bead representing a repetition of a mantra or intention. Making your own Mala infuses YOUR energy into the beads and encourages you to have a Mindful Experience in connection to the Power of Intention... we only have 15 spots available at the workshop, $45/person ($40 for YH Monthly Members!) covers all your beads and materials — first come first serve! (Can't make it on Sunday? Reply to this email to schedule a quick tutorial with me this week so you can still register and make your mala at home!)
Cheers to venturing into the unknown with intention,
Y'all know I travel. Many times, for weeks at a time. And I'll get to that explanation.
But first, let me tell you about last week. There I was ... just me, a few volunteers and seven teenage boys, totally shredding the gnar in the back bowls of Breckenridge Resort — hucking kickers, plowing through powder, and soaking up every bit of high altitude sunshine possible, for five days straight. No lift lines... no parents to hover over the kids' shoulders... no stress whatsoever. Just pure, unadulterated joy.
It was one of the most rewarding weeks I've ever spent on my full time job as the Executive Director of an international nonprofit called Riding On Insulin. This is, in fact, what I do for a living... my "full time job." My husband, Sean, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 19, in 2004. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes (or sometimes just "diabetes"), that we hear about in the media, Type 1 (or T1D) is an autoimmune disease with no cure. No diet or exercise regimen can cure it. Essentially, Sean's pancreas is broken, and can't deliver to him the life-sustaining hormone called insulin. So Sean — and millions of other kids, teens and adults around the world — have to manually deliver insulin to their bodies with syringes and insulin pumps for the rest of their lives, or until a cure is found.
As a professional snowboarder, Sean started Riding On Insulin after he was diagnosed to show kids everywhere that they're not alone, and they can do anything they put their mind to... even learn how to ski and ride with T1D. So flash forward to me incorporating Riding On Insulin in 2010 to be a legitimate nonprofit, and flash forward to today, when our team runs over 20 programs (including our core 1-day ski/snowboard camps for kids) in 4 countries around the world, serving over 500 kids, teens and adults annually, and impacting tens of thousands of people in the T1D community.
The business not only has its international headquarters here in Whitefish (where myself and two other employees work), but supports two additional employees... one in Wisconsin and one in Toronto, Canada. It's a tall order running the show with ease and grace, but I'll tell you what: The team I have working for this organization is the best of the best — and it's because I get to work with such great people that we're feeling such a success today.
And those seven boys, from the beginning of my story? Not only do they live and shred the gnar with T1D, but they were also wearing devices as a part of a clinical trial for a device called the Artificial Pancreas — a system that is set to come out in the next 5 years that will revolutionize the management of this disease and is heralded as the mechanical cure to T1D. Scientists and researchers from around the world are testing this device on sets of kids — and we were fortunate enough to be roped into this on-snow clinical trial.
Shredding in the name of science? Sure. But even more importantly — shredding with others who are just like them... assuring them, and everyone else in the world that no matter what you live with, or deal with in life, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
So I've surely missed being in the studio regularly... but now you know where I spend my time and energy when I'm not sharing time on the mat or in the silk. And if you know any families in our community who could use a T1D network, you know where to send them!
Cheers to empowerment — see you on Monday!
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.