We have all reflected on the last year. Some of us have grieved the loss of people, the lost opportunities to make memories, some aspects to our livelihood, and yet many of us have also found the silver linings of the last twelve months.
Up until March 2020, I had spent the previous six years working seven days a week. I was in and out of long term care centers sharing yoga with low income seniors and individuals with disabilities. I also was teaching yoga in a fancy health club as well as my own studio. I was basically living and breathing Yoga each and everyday. When I wasn’t in front of people sharing Yoga, I was peddling essential oils and helping people change their lives through health, wellness and personal empowerment. Then, I would come home and turn into the primary caregiver for my adult special needs daughter. This went on week after week. Month after month. Year after year.
On March 7th that all changed. My daughter was no longer able to attend her adult day program and every long term care center and health club closed or stopped allowing visitors.
Boom. Just like that.
Thankfully I not just have a strong Capricorn spirit but I also have no other means to survive financially. I have to hustle.
The first four months of switching all my teaching to virtual programming, I was soaking in the complete life change and loving every single day. Recording videos took about 80% less time than driving all over town and I was actually able to enjoy my days. I was home everyday and taking on all the goodness that comes with having time. True time. Before this, I was rarely home and would usually collapse in a heap at the end of the day and not really even enjoy my life. Now, I was building gardens, riding my bicycle, getting to know my neighbors and basically living. My students were more generous with donations for my videos than I could ever imagine. My income more than doubled and my personal happiness more than quadrupled. Big silver lining.
Summer came and went and even though my donations started to drop a bit, I was finding new online agencies to contract with and I was gaining a few new students for my donation videos. I tossed in some summer yoga in the park classes which brought a nice change to isolation. I was still thriving with my new found joyful living and my bursting-at-the-seams-garden was a reflection of my time to nurture things other than my teaching. Another silver lining.
During the fall season I switched gears slightly and started to offer some virtual classes in addition to the ongoing videos. I wanted to keep feeding that hunger for connection with people and reduce just looking at myself on my laptop. I was hanging in there financially and found my rhythm with teaching more, recording videos, and settling into the cooler temperatures with cooking and a slower pace. My major ankle surgery came and was a time to heal and reflect. Yep, a silver lining.
As I entered into 2021 I wanted to refine myself both personally and professionally. Refinement became my focus and that meant making some subtle, yet powerful changes to my life. Through this time I lost a couple contracts for virtual yoga and my donations had dwindled to a handful of dedicated students. And that is perfectly okay. As things began to return to normal, and zoom fatigue had taken over many people’s lives, I got it. I also understood the desire to meet with people at a studio or a gym. I also understood the initial shock to the world which brought the initial heartfelt generosity to me. For that, I am deeply grateful and is a huge silver lining.
As I move into this next quarter, I am looking deeply at all of the good that has come to me, and how I will discover my footing on solid ground for the next quarter, and beyond. I find myself asking some hard questions.
Do I want to keep recording myself teaching Yoga and Pilates and compete with the thousands and thousands of virtual Yoga teachers online? Am I fulfilled teaching this way? Am I doing my best for my students? Am I supposed to be doing this? Is there something in me searching for more? Does any of it matter?
What does this all mean for the coming months? I do not know the answer to that. For now, I plan to sit with the choices ahead of me. To have the time to do that is a definite silver lining.
Of course the biggest silver lining of this year has been accepting the unconditional love and support by people all over the country who subscribe to my videos. The bonus friendships that I have gained are priceless.
Although my life is very different, I am extremely grateful. I have had the space and time to rediscover a relationship with my daughter since her life came to a screeching halt as well. As I sit in my empty, yet very beautiful studio that overlooks my yard, I am reminded that no matter what changes were made, or what changes will be made, I am blessed with an abundance of silver linings.