On Saturday October 1st, I will open the doors of my Yoga Studio - a space that through its creation, was in every facet, just like carrying and birthing a child. For me, the studio is my third.
Just like preparing to conceive, the idea of the studio was a fleeting thought in the back of my mind last fall. As I dove further into my teacher training last year, the idea kept coming back to me, circling, craving my attention. As I went about daily life in my hometown, I noticed a need. Not only for me, but for my community. At some point last winter, I cannot pinpoint exactly when, I jumped in feet first, no turning back. The seed had been planted, and was ready to grow. It could not grow on its own however, it needed a host - it needed me. Human conception is exactly the same, one moment an idea and then reality and your whole world changes.
The plan grew slowly - a space was found, a business plan was created and funding secured.
By the end of June I was entering the third trimester, the time that demands your time and energy full on. The time that demands your blood, sweat and tears and takes you into the heart of an emotional roller coaster. This project was no different. There were many nights spent at the space building walls, putting up and filling drywall and painting - sweat pouring off my brow, blood seeping from cuts, my shins bruised and battered.
There were many days and nights where I became overwhelmed by the incredible amount of work to be done at the space while simultaneously holding down a full time job, raising my children and maintaining a relationship. There were many days where I fell to the floor weeping, wanting to throw in the towel. There were many times I wanted to quit.
But I did not - This project had become so much bigger than the space and myself. I had a vision and a purpose. Because of that, I forged on.
On the other hand, there were many more days that I wanted to cartwheel through the streets and shout it from the rooftops because I am so excited to bring this opportunity to my community.
Just like having and raising a child - this project required community. There are so many people I have to thank for helping this project come together. Too Numerous to name here but you all know who you are. There is no way I could have done this without you!
When all is said and done, this space feels like home. I have found myself thinking and saying that out loud so many times during this process. Every decision I made was directly related to the feel of the space, and I wanted it to feel like Home. I want you to walk into this space and be able to let go of the world at the door. To feel comfortable and free to be creative and inquisitive about you and what you need. In this space, I want you to find what lights you up, I want you to find community, I want you to find wellness and I want you to find yourself.
I want this space to be for you, whatever you need. I want this space to feel like home for you too. A safe space to be yourself and grow.
As you spend time in the space, you may notice an absence of clocks and mirrors in the studio.
My hope for you is that when you are in the space you allow yourself to be free of time constraints and allow yourself to be in the moment, not thinking about what there is to do after your class or massage. It won't be easy, we are hard wired to live by the clock, but over time, it will get easier to let go of the attachment to time and appreciate the time you have devoted to yourself.
There are no mirrors in the studio because this is a space of compassion and lack of judgement, both for yourself and others. At first you will be worried about whether or not you are "doing the pose right". And although there is a "correct" way of expressing each pose, your main goal should be to listen to your body and let the pose be expressed through you in the way that works best for you in that moment. Trust that your body knows what it needs. Your instructor will be there to assist you, but as long as you are not in any danger of hurting yourself, you will be given space to explore and express yourself through yoga.
And there you have it, my third child, my hopes, dreams, and goals for it. I am still sitting on the coach, in stillness, feeling the same as I felt prior to having Bella and Jax. Excited. Terrified. Unprepared. Thankful.
I am feeling a power higher than myself. I am feeling proud and loved, and I am bursting with excitement for you to meet my baby. This is just the start of something amazing. A Tipping point, a shift in vibration, a legacy. And you are the most important part.
If I can't see it, hear it, feel it or manipulate it, it doesn't exist! If science can't explain it there is no way I can believe it.
Yes, the above statement is how I spent the first 26 years of my life. It was drilled into me that if my brain is scientifically inclined that there is no room for art, creativity or anything that cannot be readily explained.
I tirelessly worked to fit into the box that society had created for me. Living under the weight of who I was supposed to be. Achieving every goal that my teachers, professors, parents and I set for myself. You would assume that someone with the world at their feet with endless options and possibilities for a career and life would feel 100% fulfilled.
In that, you would be 100% wrong.
Yes, I love science, but while relentlessly pursuing a science degree there was always something nagging at the back of my brain, something working just as hard as I was to be released from its confines. A part of me who I would never let out for fear of what people would say or think.
I worked feverishly, never slowing down. Never taking a moment to myself. Never looking outside the box that I was in. Feeling the walls closing in tighter and tighter around me.
I knew something was wrong. I knew something had been wrong for a very long time. But would I slow down long enough to figure out what it was? No. I just kept trudging through it.
I have depression and anxiety. Chronic. There, I said it. I let the cat out of the bag. Do I care? No! My condition is not something I am ashamed of. It is not something I will shrink away from talking about. In fact, I love to talk about it! I do not see depression and anxiety any different than someone who has diabetes. My brain is wired differently than yours. I was born this way. I can't do anything to change it. Will I have to take medication for the rest of my life? Maybe. Am I ashamed? No.
Was I always this open and compassionate toward myself about my mental illness? No. Was I always so open to alternate healing methods, spirituality and energy? Definitely not!
So, the questions is, what changed? How does a hard core science loving geek who always needs to know why with depression and anxiety become a reiki healer, a yoga instructor and an avid believe of universal energy?
The answer my friends lies in a moment in December 2012.
Post nervous breakdown. I am out of work and selling Stella and Dot jewelry to try and give myself something to do while I figured things out. My marriage is on the rocks and I have two amazing children.
I am away for 2 days doing a few Stella and Dot shows in New Brunswick for friends. One show gets cancelled last minute and while in Moncton, on a whim, I search out my aunt, who has just recently gone through a separation.
I find her alive and glowing. She has taken life into her own hands. She has found herself and is manifesting an amazing life. I am in shambles. I feel scatted and I tell her so. She sits me down on the coach and tells me to close my eyes. She leads me through a guided meditation - to which I am very resistant at first - she lays her hands on my hands. I can feel her love. I can feel how much she cares about me. Through our touch. Emotion through touch? That can't be. She keeps going. I soften. I cry. My guard is being let down. What is going on?! I am scared. I am way out of my element here. But by the end, I feel better. I feel like some of those scattered pieces have come back together. Feel a bit stronger. I feel a bit more grounded. I feel more connected, more loved. From touch and words? What just happened!
""Let's go to the holistic fair above Mystic Moons! It's on right now, you will love it!"
Yeah, I bet I will. But I try. Something has cracked. A little bit of what had been fighting for 26 years to expose itself has penetrated my missile proof wall.
Enter Pamela Cail. The most significant and intuitive person I have ever met. I call her my catalyst. She made me a believer and drastically altered the course of my life. There is no way I can ever repay her for the gift she has given me. She gave me my life back.
Ok, so, who is this life altering human being? Pamela owns Rainbow Energy Alive and is an incredible artist who creates energy paintings. Sounds crazy right? Thats what I thought too. Boy was I wrong.
I sit down at her table and we begin. This woman has never met me, but she can see right into my soul. Every word that came out of her mouth was on point and shot straight into my heart. I spent 60 minutes bawling my eyes out in a public space while this stranger painted my energy. Her words cracked me wide open, broke me down, rendered me to a puddle on the floor, but at the same time built me up.
She read me like a book, and at the end she told the painting she had just created - of my energy - was the most beautiful she had ever seen. She explained what was in the painting, the reasons for the colours, what images it contained and how it all came together.
In this moment, this mere 60 minutes my whole being changed. I shed a skin. I knew Things had to change. For the first time in my life, I made a very conscious decision to create my life for me. Not what you, my parents or society wanted for me. But what I wanted for me. I was launched into the unknown by this incredible artist. The unknown that had traditionally been the most horrific place for me. But I embraced it.
Did I get it right from the get go? Hell no! I have made some HUGE mistakes in the past 3 years. This admission in itself is a huge step for me. 3 years ago, I would have never bared my soul to you here or admitted my faults.
Am I getting better? Yes! I am building a toolbox full of strategies to help me be my best self. There is no end to the process. I will always be learning and adjusting what I do to keep myself above the line. Through Yoga, Reiki, Meditation and essential oils, I have found freedom. I have found me. And in knowing who I am and what I want, I feel alive and vibrant. I have been re-connected to my True Essence. That connection is mind blowing and is the gift I want to give to my community. It may take a day, weeks, years or decades but we can all find the connection if we are willing to let ourselves be open to the possibility and let love and light into our lives.
Be true to yourself and you will find your path, sometimes in the most unexpected, uncomfortable way.
ps. I STILL LOVE SCIENCE! I am embracing the overlap of science and spiritually and it is incredible!
pps. Check out Pamela's work here http://www.rainbowrea.com
Brittany is the Founder and Owner of Yoga Room of Essence. Yoga and Eastern Healing Methods have made a significant impact on her life. Here she will share knowledge, insight and inquiries into these amazing Healing Methods.