My reason why

We did it, friends. OTY Fresno is here. Today we held our first day of classes, exactly one year after we expanded our Clovis location. Over the last couple months I have been asked repeatedly, “how is everything going?”…“Are you stressed?”…“Aren’t you spreading yourself too thin?”…“Are you biting off more than you can chew?”…you get the idea. The funny thing is, this has been the smoothest undertaking of all three studio openings.

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The initial opening of OTY was obviously terrifying, but expanding last year nearly did me in. I cried for 31 days in a row. IN A ROW, people! I survived though. When I think about why it was so much more stressful to expand, I realized that, by that point, I felt I had something to lose. OTY had an audience watching every move we made and I was terrified to make a wrong one. All signs pointed to the need to expand AND the opportunity was so readily available that it would have been foolish not to go for it.

From the outside though, I was worried that I looked greedy, arrogant and overzealous. All I kept thinking was, “what if this tanks?” I became consumed with that thought and every morning I’d wake up and nearly immediately burst into tears. I have told a handful of friends about this experience and they wonder why I didn’t reach out for help. In retrospect, I could have done a better job of that. Asking for and receiving help is in something I am continually working on.

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.
— Chuck Palahniuk

What finally broke my crying streak was a “coming home” of sorts. After weeks of relentless self-induced suffering, I realized that I had become obsessed with the “what” and “how” of our business. Those are definitely important to know, but what I lost sight of was the “why.” Some of the most transformative moments of my life have been directly connected to my yoga practice. It scares me when I imagine what my life would look like today if I never started practicing.

So, when I say that yoga has completely changed my life, I mean it in wholeheartedly. Yoga has taught me how RICH every day of your life can be. Every moment has limitless potential. YOU have limitless potential. Yoga has shown me how to realize and manifest that potential by simply being with every moment, feeling, thought, and interaction that arises. Sharing this message is my WHY.

I do not have my practice perfected by any means and I am positive I never will, but the glimpses of it working in my life and other’s is the fuel that propels me forward. When I get bogged down with the logistics of scheduling, finding subs, marketing the studio, reviewing our monthly balance sheets, analyzing attendance and blah, blah, blah, that is precisely when I my ability to manage everything deteriorates. Whenever I have my “why” right in front of me though, it is more often than not, smooth sailing. I also know, for better or worse, I am human and I will inevitably lose sight of my “why” over and over. However, with commitment to the repetitive practice of redirecting and remembering, the frequency and duration of getting blown of course will decrease. 

No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.
— Seneca

Just as we build strength and flexibility with consistency and gradually increased intensity, courage and ambition are built in the same way. Without the trials of starting a business and expanding it within a year, I would not have been able to take on opening a completely new location. I believe most experiences, especially the ones you feel you cannot survive, are crucial lessons that shape you into the person you are meant to be. I had a friend recently post something along the lines of, “if life feels like it has gotten harder, that means you’ve leveled up.” If you are feeling that way, it’s GREAT NEWS! You’ve leveled up! What excites, and terrifies me, is thinking about what I’m currently being shaped to face in the coming years. Whatever it is, I know it will be just what I meant for, and whatever you’re facing is molding you for what YOU are meant to do as well.