How did I get here?
That's the question I found myself thinking about as I took my seat in Catie's Restorative Yoga Class this winter and pretended to relax.
At nine months pregnant I was anything but relaxed and the truth is, I loathed restorative yoga.
Restorative yoga asks me to slow down in a way that feels uncomfortable and unfamiliar. As if the slower my body moves the faster my mind goes to make up for all the stillness.
Interestingly, that's precisely why I show up.
Because I've found that it's while I am in the stillness that I can finally arrive, integrating all of me, like a software update to my whole system.
Which is why, despite Catie's gentle voice and kind queues, my mind revved into action and I new a software update was underway. It was in this particular class in that I wrote this entire blog post - in my head, on my mat.
A lot has happened between then and now which is why I've only just put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) to spit out the words to answer the original question bouncing around my mind: how did I end up here?
Here being Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Where my little family was growing alongside my career and a yoga studio I could call my own.
That answer is the story I'd like to share.
I grew up in an ice rink in New Jersey where I developed a deep appreciation for the physical body. For years I measured my success by what my body could, and couldn't, do and my experience as an athlete shaped nearly every choice I made, including the decision to study Exercise Science at Montclair State University. Being the best not on my team but for my team was of chief importance.
Even though I saw it coming, the end of my athletic career upended everything I thought I knew about who I was and what was important to me. As I put the pieces back together (a software update), I started spending less time in an ice rink and more time on my yoga mat in a multipurpose room at my college gym. When I wasn't doing that I got really good at the one thing besides skating that I knew how to be good at...school.
Craving a real studio and the community that came with it, I applied to be a Karma Yogi at Heads and Tails yoga in Clark New Jersey where I spent my summers steaming the studio floor in exchange for taking classes. It was there that I got my first glimpse of what running a yoga studio looked like behind the scenes. A skill I didn't know would be helpful until now.
The more time I spent on my mat the more my attention shifted from my relationship with my body to that of my mind. Mental agility and emotional intelligence growing with each downward facing dog.
I aced my Exercise Physiology classes and knew how to take your blood pressure but found myself infinitely more curious about Sports Psychology, Human Performance, Success and Leadership and began applying what I was learning to leadership roles I held across campus and a little bit of coaching I was doing.
Quickly higher education, not just the classroom parts but the student life parts, were becoming very important to me. Which is why when I learned that I was on track to graduate in three years (I told you I was good at school) I knew I wasn't ready to leave and, as luck would have it, I never would!
In what now feels like like a seemingly unconscious decision I followed what I was go0d at, with the guidance of some important mentors, to grad school at Rowan University.
There I would study counseling and work in student affairs alongside some of the greatest people I'd ever have the pleasure of meeting, all the while continuing to make my way into my mat each week for class in yet another college multipurpose room. The full integration of body and mind was underway.
Looking back, as it turns out, no matter what was happening around me in every stage of life I continue to come back to my mat to recalibrate.
With my career in higher ed well underway, I've continued to follow the desire to be a lifelong student - studying and becoming a Reiki Master as I continued to connect the dots between the body and mind.
Today, as a multi-passionate entrepreneur, educator and new mom, I bring a holistic, wellness-oriented and person centered approach to everything I do.
So whether I'm working with the whole student as they navigate the college application process, running a yoga studio, teaching a four year old to ice skate or leading a guided meditation, the same principles apply.
So here I am, back on my mat - this time as a yoga teacher, studio owner and chief space holder.
Holding space so that, in turn, you can take up the space you need to live you happiest and healthiest life.
For me multi-passionate has served as the magic world that has given me permission to think outside of the box, follow what excites me, solve problems in creative ways and serve my community even if the path is not linear.
Learning, integrating, and recalibrating along the way - oftentimes on my mat, sometimes not
So how did I get here? Well it wouldn't be without the support from those who held space for me along the way: teachers, coaches, mentors, supervisors, friends, family, gurus and guides. Far too many to name who helped my find that here is a pretty nice place to be.
Currently Watching: Ted Lasson Season 3
Currently Reading: Spare by Prince Harry
Currently Listening To: Veggietales