I can feel it.
The nation is buzzing… waiting for someone, ANYONE, to give the green light to go back to “normal.”
And normal was on my mind a lot last weekend. There were a solid four hours on Sunday (FOUR HOURS!) where nothing related to coronavirus, the state of this business, or the weight of strategizing reopening the studios felt heavy on my shoulders.
It was bliss.
Sean and I returned Monday after a long weekend up at Arctic Hive — 63 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of the Brooks Range, locking up so many things we’d left open and exposed in anticipation for our yoga + northern lights retreat that couldn't happen earlier this month. I felt so grateful to be able to ski up a snow-covered trail into Gates of the Arctic National Park… It felt so good to sit around the wood stove with snow falling outside and dream about our plans for a fall retreat this September. It was amazing to just sit in stillness, inside and outside. The quiet of that place never ceases to take my breath away.
And before I get to the meat of this story, check out these photos...
Ahh. Takes me back. (Click here if you want to be the first to know when we launch dates for the next retreat!)
On Monday, as we rolled back into town, I could feel the shift. Having had my own taste of “normal” over the weekend, it’s as if I could feel the rest of the world yearning for the same. More than usual. Wanting things to be comfortable again. Get us OUT of this uncertainty and take us back to the way things were.
Here is what I know: We cannot unsee what we’ve seen over the last month.
We will never go back to the way things were because the fact is: Everything has changed. And despite the best efforts of the media and Big Marketing Companies to convince us to drown ourselves in all the old vices we had to create “normal” outside of ourselves pre-COVID, it’s not going to work.
Greed, gluttony, deception… those motives won’t fly anymore.
We’re different. We’ve experienced The Great Pause, 2020. We’ve gotten a glimpse of your life on the slow side. We’ve felt — either willingly, or kicking and screaming — the immense power of pausing. Of stillness. Sure, uncertainty is there. Loss is there. Different and uncomfortableness is there. But you are there.
You are here.
And when everything that makes you comfortable gets stripped away, you get to choose how to rebuild. Let me repeat: You have the ability to choose how you rebuild your life and your priorities.
This is a fundamental teaching of yoga: When we strip away all our earthly desires and see life for what it is — a divine play — we realize that we don’t need all the “stuff” to survive. We are the audience and the actor and the entire experience of the great play of life. Nothing outside of ourselves is within our control, and nothing outside of ourselves is needed to self-realize.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The only way out of this giant pickle… is in.
Choose wisely. Spend wisely. Recognize what makes you feel good from the inside out… not just what just makes you “feel good” for a minute before you throw it out. See the people in your life and recognize who lights you up, who you’re grateful for, and who you’re allowing to weigh you down. Choose who you want to rebuild with.
Not when businesses reopen. Not when you can walk the streets again with friends. Not when you can have dinner parties again.
Now does not happen in some future you’re waiting for. Here’s the secret: The future will come to you. Best not to wait for it, because it’s coming whether you like it or not. It’s what you do right now that shapes which future comes your way. If you don’t change the way you live, love, do business, shop, eat, and make decisions after the biggest global shut down the world has ever seen… right now… you will spend your days wondering when your life will get better. When your bank account will get a boost. When you’ll stop fearing for your life, or the lives of your loved ones. Wondering why life can’t just go back to the way it used to be.
This endless worrying and fear is suffering. When we resist change (which is inevitable) we are resisting the very nature of being human. Time is the definition of change, and time is all we have as a constant, always moving… nature shows us this in her seasons, her moon cycles, her weather patterns — both destructive and beautiful on the same day. Another word for this phenomenon? Evolution.
As humans, we have the choice to evolve, or suffer. And nothing is inherently wrong with deciding to suffer! The choice is yours.
(But you can bet I’m going to opt for evolution.)
Cheers to having virtual classes happen long after we start seeing some of you again in person!
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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.