Aspiring Blogger

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I'm at the door way into the next phase of a big life plan.  The yoga studio is a huge part of the ultimate life goals and the next phase is big time blogger.  Not a post here or there, but someone that is actually bringing you content that you can use and rely on.

For years I've aspired to be a "real blogger"  in the way that the velveteen rabbit or Pinocchio want to be real.  I have my blogging idols of course, Dannielle LaPorte, Bonnie Christine, and Kimberly Wilson to name a few.  These ladies rock the blogging world.  They've inspired me for years, and I hope that one day I can join their ranks.

All of them have their own personal vibe, and flavor.  I'm building my brand right now too with the help of the wonderful Courtney Malone at Broad and Main Design.

You've seen the beautiful inspiration boardshe brought together from images I think accurately represent what I'm trying to create for you at Yoke and Abundance.  That was just the first step.

Next step is the logo.

This morning I got the sneak peak, and WOWZA!!!  I'm impressed. Courtney found a way to bring out and connect all of the ideas I have for the blog.  Everything that I want to share with you in the way of yoga, creativity, art, and mindfulness, it's all there.

In the mean time, I'm honing new skills, photography, writing, yoga, learning photo shop (yikes!!) and trying to do it all mindfully.  There are big things in store for all of you and I can't wait to share it.

Lies and compromise

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Want to know what's breaking my heart and making me really angry?  Watching you play small and compromise yourself away at  a job that's not really the right fit, you not pushing your idea harder and standing up for what you want.  Every day you tell yourself little lies and if that wasn't bad enough you cover them up by calling them compromises.  You're sweeping your dreams, wishes, and desires under the rug and every time you do it another part of you is lost.  It's as if you're strangling yourself slowly by blotting out what your heart is asking for one request at a time.

Why?  Don't you know that what you water grows, what you neglect will wither.  It's that simple.  Every time you tell yourself "I'll travel when I retire, I'll write that novel when the kids have grown, I'll paint when I take vacations" you're telling yourself what you love, what you're passionate about is less important than anything and everything else.  Why? because if you fail at something you don't love you can chalk it up to it not being your passion, " my heart wasn't really in that pivot table anyway".  Didn't land that big client? "Oh well at least my novel idea didn't get rejected by a publisher".  That dream job you decided not to apply to, yeah you can't be disappointed you didn't even get a call if you didn't try.  If you don't try you can't get burned.

If you don't actually work for what you want you're only wishing.  A boyfriend once said "You can shit in one had and wish in another and see which one get's filled faster." crude I know, but it certainly get's the point across, so much that it's stuck with me for almost 15 years.  Wishing doesn't make dreams come true.  Only you can do that and to do that you must actually put yourself out there on the line.  I'm asking you to do something that's super scary.  I get it, pursing your dream and desires can cause anxiety and stress, I won't sugar coat reality.

Think about it this way, what if Picasso had said "I can't paint because it's not a practical profession".  Shakespeare said "writing doesn't put food on the table"?  What if Phillip Glass thought that programing would have been a more "secure" career choice?  Wow, the world would have really missed out.  The point is that those greats didn't lie to themselves or make compromises.  No they worked their craft, and they went for it!  All out, balls to the wall, went for it. They didn't play small, they worked hard with what they were authentically good at.  You've heard the question "What are you the best in the world at"?  We know that the more time you spend do something the better you become.  If you have a love and an aptitude for your dream, why not try?  What could you spend hours doing and not even know a minute's past?

I'm not saying you need to quit your job and write a novel tomorrow, I'm asking you to look seriously at your choices and ask yourself if you're lying.  Actions speak louder than words.  Could you set aside 20 minutes at the end of every day to practice the guitar, write a few pages in your book, work on your business plan, paint?  Don't put it on hold, all you have is now.

Seeing you compromise makes me angry because this world, our country, cities and communities would be so much stronger, innovative, and fresh if you stopped playing safe.  If people stopped playing safe the old empty car dealer ship by my yoga studio would have been developed into an awesome space with a boutique butcher shop, a super healthy juice store, there'd be a 3D print shop, an art gallery, and  lots of stuff I can't even think of because it's so authentic and neat.  Get it?

What's your vision?

You must do something to make the world more beautiful

IMG_4867 Once upon a time there was a little girl named Alice, who lived by the sea so Barbara Cooney's book begins.  Alice wanted to be like her grandfather who traveled the world, and lived by the sea.  He said "That is all fine and good little Alice, but you also must do something to make the world a more beautiful place".

If you want to read an inspiring children's book, with beautiful illustrations and a message that will keep you thinking for a lifetime  this short book is for you.

My mother read this book to me many times as a little girl.  It's had a profound effect on how I pursue goals and dreams.  For a long time I did what Alice did, traveled to different places, saw different things.  I wanted to live by the sea (although I'm not sure I need to live closer than I am now), and I often wonderful if what I'm doing day to day is making the world a more beautiful place.

I'm hoping that my example of pursuing my dream of opening and running a yoga studio will help inspire others to follow their dreams.  It's also a hope that the yoga I teach helps people feel better in their bodies, happy people who feel better in their bodies will also hopefully make the world a better place.  I have a third wish or hope, it's to help coach/mentor/lead women to take action towards their goals.  Today I begin formal coaching to help one creative lady follow her dreams.  My wish is that it helps make the world a more beautiful place.

What will you do to make the world a more beautiful place?  Please leave me a comment below I'd love to hear what you're up to. xoxo -Alisha

Faith

IMG_1153 When I opened Greensboro Downtown Yoga, it was a creation based on faith.  There was not a crystal ball telling me I wasn't going to go bankrupt, nothing to re-assure me that I could make this work.  No-one actually saying "Alisha we want a Vinyasa yoga studio in downtown Greensboro".  This was blind faith that I had something others could get behind.  This business is not mine.  Not really, it belongs to the other teachers that teach at my studio, it belongs to the students coming to class and it belongs to the many people who have supported me in one way or another in building this particular creation.  The neat part it is that it's not done growing!!  The momentum is fantastic and the numbers are trending in a way that I think this could be our year.  There still isn't any re-assurance that I can make this work long-term, it's still scary, unnerving and a heck of a lot of work on top of a full-time job.  What keeps me going is that not only do I love yoga, and love teaching yoga, but I know that this studio is bigger than me.   Ultimately the studio doesn't belong to me anymore, not really, it belongs to all of the people who's help and support I've received in building this business.  The studio belongs to all of the teachers I work with at the studio and all of the students that show up on the mat for themselves in the space that has been created at Greensboro Downtown yoga.  All of those people give me faith.

Yoga, it's powerful.  It can rock your world if you let it.  I'll warn you, it can spark destruction and creation, build friendships and help bring relationships to an end, pull out the best in you, shed light on the darkest parts of your being and transform your life, if you are willing to let it.  If you are willing to embrace what it reveals and do the work.  My faith in that lead me to open the studio.  My faith in the power of yoga lead me to open Greensboro Downtown Yoga.

It was faith that has led me to entice my friend Andra into helping me create a teacher training program for the studio.  Faith that the students of Greensboro Downtown Yoga are ready to take their practice to the next level, faith that there are those in our community that feel the calling to share this yoga that they are so passionate about with others.  A teacher training program is a big piece to the puzzle of a successful studio.  So once again I'm creating something based on faith.  I have the faith that you need this program in the way that I needed to create it.  It's not mine anymore.  It's out there now for you to be a part of.  Come be a part of this creation, come deepen your practice, tap into the faith within yourself, that your desire to share yoga with others is legitimate.  Honor the wisdom within yourself.  Take the leap, come be a part of our growing community in a deeper way.

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When I grow up I want to be a yoga teacher

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little alisha

Growing up in Toledo, OH as a child of the 80's I'd never met a yoga instructor.  It's the mid-west, and in the 80's we only liked casseroles, leg warmers in step classes and mass on Sunday's.  Yoga instructors would have seemed like aliens.  By some stroke of luck my mom had taken a yoga class in college and would talk about it on occasion.  That's how I knew yoga and yoga teachers existed.  As a child yoga seemed mystical, elusive,and exotic like a pink unicorn.  I'd ask my mom if I could take a yoga class when she talked about how much she had liked it, she said if we could find one.  I'd scour the YMCA class listings, nada.  Don't forget this was before the days of google search.   It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I found a class being offered.  This class was being offered in the carpeted loft of a new age book store (that no longer exists I might add).  The class was what I had imagined, 10 or so of us in a dimly lit room practicing "Easy does it yoga" together for 6 classes over six weeks.  Lovely class and great people even if I was the youngest by 35 years, but not necessarily something that would  make a 12th grade girl change her "career path."  Looking back now, I know that class was fate flirting with me.

child of the 80's aspiring actress
child of the 80's aspiring actress

After that first "official" class, I forgot about yoga in pursuit of my psychology major and dance minor.  The dance minor was the part of me that knew movement was the key, the part of me that has always known there is wisdom in the body.  I just didn't know how to make a living in artistic expression of the body and that's a problem when even as a young person you view financial stability as big fat hairy deal.  Never one to follow my heart without a way to pay the bills I ignored the desire to double major in dance and art and decided that psychology was a "more practical major".  Yeah, I wish I was making this up.

aspiring actresss
aspiring actresss

As a grade school or high school girl when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the standard reply was "actress, singer or dancer".  ugh.  It's hard for me to look back on that little version of myself and not be frustrated with her generic pursuits and dreams.  To be fair to that little brown-haired girl had I realized yoga teacher was an option, I probably wouldn't have chosen it.  I guess life had to teach me a lot of lessons before I could figure out what I wanted to become when I grew up.  Life had to show me why I needed yoga before I could know that I wanted to teach yoga to others.

I'm grateful to know with 100% certainty that not only do I want to be a yoga teacher and teacher of yoga teachers when I grow up, but I know I actually get to do it.