On Leaving Home

On Leaving Home

There's something special about finding a home. A

real home, not just the place you happen to live. Somewhere that draws you back in, that fills you up and makes you bubble over with inspiration and contentment. Somewhere that is as soft and comforting as it is challenging and evolving. When I found Just Be, I found more than a yoga studio. I was asked to reflect on what Just Be means to me a few months ago, and I wrote this:

Just Be was, from the best of my understanding, created to be more than a yoga studio. It has never felt like a place designed to pull in as many students as possible to make a profit or be "successful" by common standards. Its intention can be felt by anyone who walks in the door- Just Be is a home both by design and in practice. It was created to be a blank slate, filled in by the community that is drawn to it, colored by the people who come to their mats for inspiration, support, and connection.

Students can expect to be welcomed for who they are, no matter their background, age, gender, ability, or experience. While the teachers at Just Be are knowledgeable and skilled at leading a dynamic yoga class, the emphasis at the studio transcends the physical elements of the practice. Students can explore every facet of yoga, and the studio offers an incomparable setting for personal growth and self-exploration.

Just Be has offered me more than anything I could have ever imagined. Finding Just Be completely redirected the path and direction of my life- the studio, and it's community, has quite literally saved my life. I love this studio because it is a place of new beginnings, both big and small.

And it's true. This is a yoga studio that acts as a cocoon for its students, a place where growth and transformation on an incredible scale happens every day. I've never been anywhere where it's okay to sob on your mat or laugh during class or poke your neighbor with your toe during three-legged dog. I've never been anywhere where hugging feels natural and not an obligation, or where kisses on the cheek feel sincere, or where kindness is not an expectation, but rather an intuition. The energy of Just Be draws the best out of everyone who steps in the door, and I couldn't be more grateful that I've found it.

And yet, in less than a year, I may be leaving it.

I love teaching. I love teaching anywhere, anyone. Privates, small classes, big classes- I love it all. But teaching a class at Just Be in particular means so much to me. It pulls out a side of myself I want to see more often, a confident, intuitive, passionate version of myself that I believe to be my best self. There's something so beautiful about teaching in a space that harbored my healing, and now is the space where I help heal others.

But I'm going away to college, and I don't know where yet. It's scary to think that I may be leaving my beloved studio and community. Since December 2013, a week has not passed where I haven't been in the studio at least once. That's how powerful my attraction to the space, people, and practice is. How could I leave that behind?

I know that there are other great studios out there, and wherever I go I'll find the community I'm meant to be with, but it won't be this one. It won't be the place where it all started, and where it has all just begun.

I heard a quote this morning that was something along the lines of;

Don't be afraid to leave a good thing.

A simple quote, but it means so much. We hear the flip side all the time- "don't be afraid to leave something that's not serving you." But what does this mean? Why would you leave a good thing?

The fact is, growth does not happen without change. And change means shedding yourself of old things in order to create room for the new. That's why change is so scary- the vast majority of us (me in particular) are comforted by the familiar. The unknown is paralyzing because it leaves room for error, leaves room for doubt. When we're asked to let go of the things we carry, we fear what we will be handed instead.

And truly, Just Be has become a part of my identity. I don't know who I am without that community, without who I am there. I was the yogi who came to class every day, and then I was the girl behind the front desk, and then I was the teacher trainer, and then I was the teacher...I don't remember who I was before I had these titles, these labels. I don't think I was anyone before. I had nothing concrete to hold onto until I found myself at Just Be, falling in love with the practice and with the new self that was emerging. Part of me fears that my love it too intertwined with this space to be carried out elsewhere.

Everyone tells me that I am young, that this is only the beginning. That I have only met a handful of the people who I'm meant to meet. But that doesn't make it any easier to imagine saying goodbye. What do I fear more, leaving Just Be behind? Or wondering what I could miss out on by staying nearby? Both worry me, both seem impossible. I've seen just a touch of the world but I'm so enamored by what I've already found. What if I'm just a lucky one who found their people early in life? Or what if this is only a taste of how good it gets?

Part of me wonders if I've become too attached. But for the first time, I feel incredibly happy. I feel like I have a place, a home, a community. I have an outlet and a passion. I have an identity that finally feels like it suits who I am and what I want to be and achieve.

I asked my students in class today, "Why are you here?"

Not why they were in my class, but why they were here. On this planet. I told them it was a remarkable improbability that they are where there are- well fed, clothed, housed, able to go to a yoga class at 9:00 in the morning. And that must mean something. There's a reason why something or someone, whatever you believe in, gave you this life. And it's because they want you to be able to change the world.

And I realized as I was talking that as much as I was talking to my students, I was talking to myself. That's what needed to hear.

I'm meant to do something. To help. To heal. To create.

Does that mean leaving what I love so much?