This Blog was originally posted in the summer of 2020 in the midst of dealing with the pandemic and the heart ache of losing something so important to me. I removed it shortly after because I was basically told I had to. However, I feel now like my voice was silenced, and I'm not comfortable with that. I feel like this is not meant to be held inside of me. These are my personal thoughts and feelings and I stand by them.
I've been sitting with something for a long time now and only had the guts to tell a few. I guess I didn't say anything because I didn't really want it to be true? Or I just didn't want to share it because somehow I felt like it felt like I did something wrong? I didn't want to talk about how it felt or how things would go forward, but I realize now that is more harmful to me than it is any good. I committed three years to a business and a best friend that had just come to an end and to be honest, at first I was in complete shock and extremely hurt.
The last few months have been difficult to say the least. On March 16 my life completely changed, but maybe more than I've actually shared. In early March word of the the Corona Virus started to emerge within the city and people started to get nervous about it spreading. Some businesses had closed for two weeks after an employee had been diagnosed with the virus and everyone was starting to fear this possibility.
Since, at the time, I was teaching English at a University and teaching Yoga in a hot yoga studio, I was in two pretty high risk industries while not really knowing it at the time. When everything started to happen, no one really knew what was happening or what could possibly happen. We had no idea at the time that the entire city.... or what feels like the entire world, would shut down almost immediately. The university moved the end of the winter semester online to finish, which was a crazy frantic and stressful transition for me. Little did we know at the time that we would start the next semester in April online and continue with what looks like the remainder of the year to be taught online for safety. At the same time, yoga studios, and all fitness studios and gyms, had to make the decision to close for what was thought would just be for a couple of weeks.
Everyone was in fear. No one knew what was happening or what might happen. Some people thought it would be life back to normal in a couple of weeks, but at the same time the school boards closed school for the remainder of the school year. The news changed information by the hour or even by the minute at times and life was starting to feel like we were entering the Twilight Zone. It was like this big black cloud was hanging over us with impending doom. We all know that when stress like this starts to happen people start to react... and maybe not always in the best way.
This is where things get difficult for me. At the time that this happened, I was teaching seven yoga classes a week, and I was also managing the studio that I worked for. I was hired at this studio three years ago prior to it opening and it was a huge part of my life. One of the studio owners became my very close friend. I considered her a sister that wasn't by birth. She was a friend I was meant to find and was a huge part of my life, and honestly a huge part of me being able to reach a lot of my personal goals over the last three years. While I was at this studio, I took on the challenge of getting my 500 hour teacher training designation. I built a community that still continues to thrive, and I miss everyday. I was voted one of the top 5 yoga teachers in the city. I was able to take extra training in leadership and go to conferences that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to go to. I made friends that will be a part of my life for a long time to come, and I started my journey into Yoga Teacher Training, and I couldn't be more grateful for all of this!
Being part of this studio was more than a job, this was a family. I worked with my best friend and this relationship was what made this studio become so important to me.... and possibly to the community.
Unfortunately, shortly after we decided to close the studio due to the virus, the owners decided that they no longer wanted to have me as part of the community. We did not know at the time how long this closure would last, but it was their choice at that time to remove me from the community immediately without reason or notice with no choice to return.
As you can imagine I was in shock, hurt, and confused. It's been months since this occurred, and I've processed a lot during this time of being alone. I can see now that it was a very stressful time and the reaction was probably one out of fear, and I respect that. However, I actually don't know for sure. I just understand that in times like these people make decisions that they need to make for how they're feeling at the moment, and this was their decision to make. I've come to terms with that.
I've accepted that I will not be returning to this community at this time and although I'm extremely sad about this, I need to let it go. It's no longer mine to hold on to and holding on to this for this long hasn't completely allowed me the ability to let it go and move on.
I've been afraid of what people would think. I wonder about the community and how this will be received once I finally share this with everyone. I wonder what my future will be in yoga. I think about how I want people to know that everyone should be treated with kindness. I wonder when and where I will teach again in a studio situation.
I don't know what the future holds, but this experience has taught me a lot. I have a passion for what I do, and without passion for doing something, why do you do it? I love yoga and everything that it has brought into my life. The lessons are all part of learning and moving forward through the universe.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The word that I chose for this year was Isvara Pranidhana which is known as surrendering to a higher power. This is the 5th Niyama and one that I keep going back to as this crazy year unfolds. As much as I have very mixed feelings about sharing this, I trust that I'm on the right path and that once all of the dust settles, I'll be able to see the purpose.
The skills of being able to be present with my thoughts, feelings, and my breath (along with a lot of tears) are what have gotten me through this time. I truly don't know what will happen or where this path will take me. Many studios are still unable to open due to the restrictions put in place by Health Services, so there aren't actually many teaching options available, but.... that's ok. I will take my time and follow what is right for me. If I have to let go of this to find what is meant to find me, then that is what I will do.
One of the main lessons that I took away from my first yoga teacher training is that not everyone will love me, but.... if I am true to who I am and being authentically myself, the people who do love me will be there for me. In other words, if I build it, they will come. I work on myself constantly and believe in self reflection and learning from my mistakes. I also know that I need to stand up for myself because who I am is authentic and the people who love me.... will continue to love me for me.
So.... With gratitude for you being here and reading my words, and with gratitude for my body that continues to do what I need and helps me feel alllll the feels, for the breath that keeps me alive and for my mind that gives me the ability to think my own thoughts and process them how I need... I say thank you. And as always.... From my heart to yours.... Namaste
P.S. being alone in this situation, I would love any words of support or encouragement that you might have. Post them in the comments here on the blog, post them to social media, or if you prefer to keep it private send me a private message. It would really mean a lot to me to hear and feel the support.
oxox ~ Nicole Leona