I get asked what I do for a living a lot. I tell strangers I founded and own a yoga studio franchise call Yoga Hive. Unless they're already doing yoga, their response is the same, 99.9% of the time:
"Oh, I could never do yoga, but good for you!"
This idea that someone COULD NEVER DO YOGA baffles/amuses/intrigues me. It's simply not true for most of the population. Sure, you can CHOOSE not to do yoga. But "could never do yoga" just doesn't make sense.
So lets throw everything out the window that the world supposedly "knows" about yoga, and bust down all barriers to entry, including cost. I'm going to break this down once and for all so that you're clear on where I stand.
What is yoga?
Literally, the word YOGA means "union," or "to join". To me? Yoga is moving my body in a way that keeps my mind focused on the present moment. That translates practically as: Me staying sane, no matter what life throws at me. (Sounds nice, right?) Now lets get clear on the two sides.
What yoga is NOT:
What yoga is:
...see what I mean? Who can't do those things when we drop all the barriers?
Living the Dream. The Holy Grail. Freedom.
How are we supposed to pursue our passions and dreams while still participating in the daily grind? It’s a hard question to answer when “logic” takes over. We create mental roadblocks. “I won’t have enough money,” or “My family won’t be supportive,” or “I’ll never find what I’m looking for.”
Re-read that last paragraph. Those three statements are observations (perhaps with bits of truth woven in) but not necessarily proven facts... right?
Sure, all those things could be true. Keyword: Could. Meaning “could not” is also probable.
The ocean is salty. Fact.
The sun will rise. Fact.
I won’t have enough money to support myself if I choose to live a certain way. Opinion. Or... insecurity?
What I know for sure about the roadblocks we're SO GOOD at building: The LEAST risky bet I’m willing to gamble on is Myself. Especially when the stakes are high, I’ve proven to myself over and over again that I'm capable, resourceful and creative. Even in the hard times, with one hand on my forehead and no clue what the heck I’m going to do... I will STILL bet on myself. Because a day later, a month later, or years later, the significance of that perceived “mistake” ends up changing the course of my life for the better.
I think often about a particular email I sent last year. It was long, intense, and extremely confidential. When I clicked send, I had a moment of doubt, but there was no turning back. Turns out a handful of people read the email that I didn’t anticipate. I was mortified, angry, sorry, worried... all the emotions. FOR MONTHS. All for one stinkin’ email!
Flash forward to where I am today in that part of my life. No joke: That email was a massive catalyst for SO many people. There was plenty of pain in the process of reading it, discussing it, confronting it. Ugh. But as far as I can tell today (nearly a year later), everyone’s life has morphed into something more beautiful. We were somehow “set free” when I put those words out there. Could I see that beauty in the moment? DEFINITELY NOT.
But the moment came when I did see the beauty. And in times like that, I know that the magic of life is real.
If you reframe those moments of stumbling as “magic at work,” instead of “defining failures,” maybe you’ll be as excited as I am to attend The School of Life every day, cozy up to the poker table, and place a big fat bet on yourself.
Because YOU are the only thing you have control over 😜
WHEW! 🙌 Tuesday morning vibes
A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Salt Lake City for an essential oils convention, and I had the honor of hearing Immaculee Ilibagiza speak about her life, and her experience surviving Rwanda's genocide.
The folks in the BeYou program have heard this story, but it has moved me in so many ways that I want to share with all of you. I had zero expectations for her talk, and I was admittedly a bit surprised as her story was very centered on her faith in God.
(I'm not going to get into religion in this email. Please stay with me till the end!)
After meeting one of the men that killed her entire family (yeah, pause and read that phrase one more time and let it sink in), she was able to say to his face that she forgave him.
And I sat there listening, thinking "What the?" How could she do that? I'm someone who talks to my students a lot about these high level concepts — let go. Be free. Forgive. Be you. But until we (as teachers) get the words right, or speak the "language" of our individual practitioners, the cues may not land. I think about that a lot when I hear people speak. When I get really inspired/moved/weepy, it's a tangible reaction that tells me the speaker got their cues right.
Well I wanted to share with you her cue that landed. The one that really hit home for me on forgiveness. She cited the Bible. And regardless of your belief system or feelings about any Bible, I think we can all appreciate the words... which is exactly what I reference when I teach a class about the Hindi gods and goddesses... take the story for what it is. If it doesn't resonate, let it go.
The verse was, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."
I've heard this sentence a million times growing up, but the way she explained it sounded so reasonable. And when you're listening to someone who spent over 90 days in a tiny 3'5' bathroom in Rwanda with eight other women, knowing that at any moment they could be found and killed — and also knowing their entire families were already dead... somehow the words stick a little more.
She said, "It wasn't the first part. Because 'Forgive them?', I have no idea how to do that. That's what I'm trying to figure out, and I was just so angry."
She went on, "It was the second part that I could feel in my heart. 'They know not what they do.'"
She explained how it resonated with her so deeply, this idea of people — people with love in their hearts — there's no way they could knowingly kill men, women, children, neighbors... unless they didn't truly understand what they were doing. And sure enough, when people — even those with love in their hearts — are commanded by the government to go out and kill, then they might just do what they're told.
They know not what they do.
So if you're anything like me, and that lands just a little bit in your heart, perhaps you can take that out into your world today. Its a heavy concept. One that might not land with you. But for me? When I get frustrated, or hurt in my life — big or small, my hope is to come back to this idea. To recognize that however hurtful something is — through words, texts, emails, any mode of communication — on some level, I can work toward forgiveness because if they knew the level of hurt I'm experiencing, there's no way they truly know what they're doing.
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.