Delight Live

We had such a gorgeous night tonight.  LO friends and teachers- oh I love these women!

I have to admit I was a bit nervous… back on my feet and talking about the book. I’m still a little uncomfortable talking about myself so much… Promoting the book, talking about how I wrote it, reading my own words out loud.. You see, I LOVE to share the beautiful words and thoughts of others. I do this well, all the time. But now, that I have to articulate my own view, opinion and clarify what I stand for and what the journey has been like.. I am actually finding it rather hard.. I woke up this morning to notes and emails and texts from people I love who were not able to be with us last night, but who were with my in spirit, in heart, in soul. And I think about the ripple effects that loving people ACTUALLY has on our life. That reaching out, showing up, saying yes and offering a hug or  a smile, HOW MUCH THAT REALLY MEANS.. and then how we pay it forward. I KNOW people left our event last night hugging their loved ones a bit tighter, waking up today refreshed with a sense of purpose and meaning that NATURALLY happens when we circle. When we take the time to get together live, move and breathe and go deep together- it HELPS US GET BACK ON TRACK or STAY THE COURSE.

oh my loves, I feel scared and excited about this all. I feel like I am opening my heart daily to the community and to supporting others and I’m also dong it without a roadmap, a guide or a final destination. Do you know that I like A PLAN? I mean, I REALLY do.

But this time, I will just keep saying yes.. in a way that feels GOOD. I wrote in my journal this morning, I will trust. I have no idea what lies ahead. Today, I will do good things and laugh and play and be quiet and to all the things on my life list. I will feel all the ways I want to feel and I will participate in activities that bring me and our family joy. And I will plan the week and move my body so that I don’t get STUCK in my head. The moment I drop into my breathe and feel my aliveness, I usually STOP thinking so much. With all the changes and unknowns, it’s a time when that imposter syndrome/ negative self talk likes to come by for a visit.. “WHO ARE YOU TO DO THIS WORK? WHAT DO YOU KNOW THAT IS WORTH SHARING? THIS WONT LAST! ” She says.. I know she is trying to protect me from getting hurt, she is trying to keep me safe and at status quo.. and I tell her SHHHH..

I pull out the journal, I light the candle. I feel my body. I re-calibrate the day, the feeling, the thought, the moment. And I see the small steps. The little things. AHHHH.. there I am. enjoying this. playing with it all. creating the kind of life I want. Okay, Okay. I got it.

I’m not really in control here at all. Yes, I see. In the meantime, having Saylor with me last night was amazing. I love that this is her childhood- hearing us talk about life, being with beautiful women…. DANCING! MOVING! BREATHING! YES!

I do this for me, I do this for her. I have never been a parent of an 8 year old girl before. I don’t know how this goes BUT I do know how to love and breathe and open my heart and do work in the world that is meaningful and interesting and I do know that I can show her love by taking care of myself. That I can model for her my humaness, my values and my integrity by being a person who lives and breathes from her heart, from her soul, from a place of yes- even when it’s SCARY or uncomfortable…

We made these special journals for our DELIGHT LIVE friends. I would love for you to have one, too.  email me pleasance@lilomm.com to learn how.

PLAYLIST from our Party

Breathe Again -Sara Bareilles

Shri Guru Charanam- Krishna Das

Hallelujah- Lindsey Sterling

Around The World- Daft Punk

Roslyn- Bon Iver & St. Vincent

Intro- The XX

 


For all of us facing change ( and aren’t we always?)

Today, I tell everyone about the changes in my life, my day to day, my biz.  At the end of the year, I’ll be closing my studio, as I ‘ve known it and creating something new for 2016. ( more on this coming)

To help me over the past few weeks as this time was drawing near, I read this over and over.

Someone had sent to me a while back, I read it and filed it.

Then it popped up again- and this time it was like WHOA, THANK YOU.

I hope it provides you some clarity, space, and deep, deep exhales for things that you might need to let go of.

( but, just so you know- I DID ask, analyze, cry, bring memories to mind, journal, talk and read)

AND then I was able to do the work only I could do. Make the call, cut the cord, pull the plug.

“She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.  She let go of the judgments.  She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.  She let go of the committee of indecision within her.  She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go.  She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.  She let go of all of the memories that held her back.  She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.  She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore. ”

http://www.lightworkersworld.com/2012/01/she-let-go-a-poem-by-rev-safire-rose/

DSC_5607-final_small

so beautiful

last week, I was gifted an incredible piece of art that will forever be in my memory as one of the most beautiful, touching and meaningful moments in my life. 
we gathered as a lilomm teaching community & Michelle Cohen ( a teacher and friend) gifted me with the most incredible book of notes, pictures & quotes from the past 5 years at lil omm yoga. 

I cannot begin to express to everyone who wrote to me how special this is. I am blow away….overwhelmed with love… and truly delighted to have so many special memories and people I care about all in one place.  thank you to all who wrote and to all who have come through our doors. 

I love the work I do- and you can see why.  I promised teachers and students that I would post pictures of some of the pages…. thank you for this gift, it has given me so much joy- so much to remember….here is to many more… 

                                                     

Ambition

someone I love told me to read this.

What Comes Next And How To Like it

by Abigail Thomas

  

this thing that has been directing my life- this striving, this ambition to be BETTER than, BUSIER than, MORE SUCCESSFUL than, is something I am starting to pay attention to.

what if I stopped playing these games with myself? 

stopped pushing to “the next level” 

I have heard myself tell others, I am ready to take lilomm to the “next level”

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? WHY?

Can’t health & service & practice& family& love& friendship and ENOUGH to live and thrive, BE ENOUGH? 

Looking Back ( creating a business that loves me)

I’m writing to you from most most sacred space.
I have a sweet little office, with quotes and pictures, candles and flowers.
On the floor is a large round mat, one side for yoga and one side for our art projects. The windows are old and don’t open, there is nothing fancy or new about it- but it’s mine.
I am surrounded with pictures of my yoga and meditation teachers and people I love….. memories reflected & reminding me of this incredible life. It’s a luxury, I know.
I’m grateful to have this space to cultivate my creativity and support daily operations at the yoga studio, which I own.

My business is now 5 years. I recently have spent some time remembering the early days.. where we started and now I also dream & vision about where we want to go.
I have NOT spent a lot of time looking back or reflecting on the business practices, day to day operations or systems we did NOT have.
I’m proud of where we are today- but it’s been a long road of learning, asking for help and taking action to make it better, to make it work, to make it sustainable and profitable.

Almost 4 years ago, I called Racheal Cook. “ HELP ME!” I said. “ I’m scared and drowning. I just had a baby ( my 2nd), he nurses all night long. I’m exhausted. My yoga studio lost our lease and we have to move to a new location. I don’t know how to structure my life or my business to serve me. I am so tired. My hair is falling out all over the place ( HUGE bald spots) and I’m scared of loosing this community I have created and adore.”

Rach was so patient and direct with me. “Let’s get you a manager. You need help. Let’s get you an updated website, your current one is not working! Let’s get you an office! WHAT?? You are working off your dining room table? That is not going to work. You need systems and structure.” She went through each part of my life with me helping to smooth out the rough parts and point me in the direction of success. If I was going to COMMIT to owning a yoga studio I HAD to take my job a bit more seriously. I had to stop telling people I was working part time, and staying at home with my kids full time, I HAD to create space for me to actually DO the admin work that our yoga studio needed.. I had to pay attention to finances and budgets and I HAD to start paying myself. ( like, yesterday)

I invite collaboration into my life on almost all of my projects- retreats with other yoga teachers, conferences with non- profits, masterminding with yoga friends, co-writing with my grandmother, meditating with my sangha.. working with others is something that totally lights me up. I now have 5+ part time employees, 20+ sub contractors, and 4 people on the lilomm yoga leadership team. I interact with people all the time. I love it. And I have learned how much it can totally drain me and deplete me, leaving me empty and depressed. I have been to the depths of overwhelm many times. I have always done too much. Striving to be superwomen, overcommitted, overworked and jam-packing my schedule with responsibilities for as long as I can remember. This all had to stop. Racheal was one of the first women who told me about self care, who taught me about time off, who encouraged me to rest, to not work so much and to plan time ALONE. Wow. I had never even considered that could be valuable OR to be a proven method for a successful, growing, thriving, profitable business! Now, I spend weekends on meditations retreats, yoga retreats, plan time with my family and friends and make sure that EVERY DAY has some time for ME carved out. I have learned that I TRULY SHINE when I fill my own bucket. When I am nourished, I am able to serve & connect with so many more people in a truly authentic & meaningful way.

I can’t even believe how naive I was to start a yoga studio without any idea of what I was doing.
BUT, here is what I have learned… I am a fantastic problem solver and a creative thinker. I CAN learn about expenses and budget and cash flow, I can hire and train employees and team leaders and yoga teachers. I can grow a business that has a HUGE heart and ALWAYS puts people first. I can support my teachers and my yoga practice WITHOUT sacrificing my integrity, my core values or loosing my hair.

Rachael encouraged me to 1. Find a space in my house to claim as my office. 2. Organize it, clean it up and love it. 3. Create small task lists so that each time I came to my space, I was ready to work! ( I often had things piled up and never made time to organize it so I could just get to work ) I was so overwhelmed with running the business, starting it, and managing day to day! I could NOT catch a breath. So, I slowly started to make time for organizing, planning and filing. I got help to go through files and I found a space in my house where I could work. ( I had to re-arrange the kids art area to make it happen..) I turned all of these into habits, routines and rituals for long term, sustainable growth- rather than QUICK fixes, putting out fires and having my business run me into the ground. I took the reigns back and redesigned how I wanted to live my life AND grow a business I love that is meaningful in my community.

Fast Forward 4 years…. I now have my own office in our new- to- us rental home. When we were looking for a place to move last year, I reminded me husband we needed a space in wherever we moved, for my office. As soon as the moving truck left, I started arranging my sacred space. File cabinets, art supplies, bulletin boards, alters for my candles and meditations and inspirations. My heart was racing with happiness! MY OWN beautiful office and work space. Now I paint in here, practice yoga, meditate, pay bills, file taxes and work with Quickbooks.

The total integration of my work and my practice is what makes this all such a gift. I light a candle before I do payroll. I listen to beautiful Kirtan or devotional music when I login to the tax and revenue website. I do whatever I can to create the kind of space I want to work and live in – all the time! My life is complicated with a thriving growing studio, 2 kiddos, a wild dog, a supportive husband and so many lilomm staff and students BUT I am SO much better prepared for the LIFE I want to have. My intention and purpose for the day to day tasks balanced with the incredible reality of the gifts of family and meaningful work have truly led me to want to share this with others. And I’m painting more! I’m reading more! I’m living a LIFE not just working on my biz. I spend a few hours each week mentoring women & college students to help them create meaningful change in their lives. I share with others the tools and habits that have helped me create a business and a life that I love ( and that loves me!)