In yoga we learn that change is inevitable and everything is temporary. Sometimes change comes easy, and other times it’s a bit more difficult to swallow. This is definitely the case with the latest change at Leap – our amazing manager Jesi is leaving us – making an incredible life change and relocating to Portland, Oregon to be with her new husband Richard. Of course we are THRILLED for Jesi. There is nothing better than being with the one you love. But when we think of the “face” of Leap – Jesi’s beautiful, smiling face immediately comes to mind. She allows students and staff alike to feel at ease and at home at Leap. We will miss her love, her light, her words of support and compassion, but we send her off on her next chapter with a huge hug, endless gratitude and unwavering love. Please take a moment to read a this farewell letter from Jesi, and stop by to give her a hug before she heads off. Her last day in the studio is tomorrow, July the 3rd.
My Darling Leapers,
In the summer of 2011 I found myself a year into running my design company, and I mean really running. I had several clients with large publication projects, plenty of deadlines, and more work than I, nor my employee, could handle. I had reached a level of success with my company: an office on the third floor of the Tomken building, a nice steady flow of projects and revenue, and a corporate filing status. Not too bad for a girl who had earned her business degree the year prior. I, however, was unhappy, and unsatisfied. I would look out my window from the third floor thinking, “Is this it? There’s got to be more.”
The only place that I seemed to be fulfilled was on my yoga mat. It was the only place I could actually breathe.
One night, as I checked my email (which happened pretty much every 10-15 minutes for me at this point in my life, even while in bed), an email from the first yoga studio I had ever visited, Yoga Shala, caught my eye. It was from Tyler Langdale about his upcoming teacher training. The way he worded it touched my heart and spoke to my soul. It was like he wrote it directly to me – which was a long shot since I had never been to any of his classes. In that moment, I imagined myself in his yoga teacher training, then as a yoga teacher. All of the stress of my business melted from my being, and I knew I had to do it.
Then the fear set in. My mind would cry out, “You haven’t practiced long enough to be a teacher… You should use your money on more important things, like your business – you don’t even know if you’ll see a return… Everyone is going to think you’re crazy, business gal to yogi…” I let my mind babble on like this for a good couple weeks, long enough to miss the deadline for teacher training. Though in any moment, the thought of the training excited me, bringing a tinge to my stomach. Finally, I broke down and emailed the Shala, asking if there was still room. There was, and when Tyler called to interview me I told him straight out, “I have some fear about this, which means I probably should do it.” The week leading up to the training left my belly tinging constantly.
It was in this training that I found myself. I learned how to drop my ego, get out of the story, and attempt to put ease and peace into my life (all of these are a constant work in progress for me). It was also in this training that I met Cathy, for which I am forever grateful. Without hesitation, she brought me in to the family that is now known as Leap. Our first volunteer meeting was in the unfinished lobby that was still awaiting the giant beacon-graced desk that now anchors this studio.
As I went from volunteer to keeper of Leap, I have had the luxury of watching so many people grow, unfold, and blossom before my eyes (myself included). I have had the privilege to teach the next generation of yogis in my kids classes, series, and camps. I have received what I deem to be abundance – the friendship, warmth, love and acceptance of others through knowledge and expression of one’s self.
I tell you all of this, as that sneaky tinge has found it’s way back into my belly. My husband and I returned from our honeymoon to find a seed we had planted three years ago manifested itself into an opportunity. This opportunity will allow us to spend everyday together, rather than every other week. The opportunity is riddled with some sadness (and a tinge of fear), as we have to move out of the state in order see it to fruition.
We will begin this new journey – adventure rather – the first week of July. My heart is heavy leaving this studio and all of you Lovely Leapers. Many of you have opened your hearts, shared life’s struggles, and forever impacted my view of the world. I feel such gratitude that I have been able to spend the last year and a half in this space, with you.
Cathy, Corey, Butch and Michéal have been amazing, giving me nothing but blessings and love. If you find yourself needing more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to Corey or Cathy.
What I have found, reflecting from that third floor office, is that yes, there is more. And I found it at Leap. Thank you for all of the abundance you have brought into my life. I feel truly blessed and beyond grateful.