Hiding from myself


My studio, Red Square Yoga, has been a wonderful venture for the last 10 years. I am grateful for all of the teachers and students who worked with me to create an environment where practice meant much more than exercise. In the tradition of yoga, we became a sangha, a community, of people interested in slowing down and stepping out of the speedway of our daily lives. Much of life goes unnoticed. Yoga is the practice of noticing. Where am I? How am I doing? Am I being genuine? Am I being honest with myself and others? Can I do better?

Yoga is about relationships. The state of our relationships often tells a lot about our lives. A meditation teacher of mine told me that it is his practice to attempt to see people as they are and to love them nonetheless. I deduce from this that others are not always lovable in the raw, nor am I.

Relationships can be fraught, rewarding, wearing, a tonic, or toxic to the heart. The goal is not to perfect all relationships, but to manage the relationships we have the best we can without causing more harm. I've had a hard time accepting myself and others where we are and not demanding more. As a yoga teacher, studio owner, and a human– the hard part is not trying to fix people. In the studio, my job was to provide a quiet haven, to lead a practice, and to offer a 75 minute retreat. The work it turns out is personal for each of us to do on our own and in our own time.

I can't count the times that I have asked people for advice that I didn't follow. It's not that I didn't want to. It's just that lots of things have to be figured out and can't be given or bought. Six months ago, I didn't know that I would be closing the studio. But, after a tough year of losing my father-in-law, my father, my dog, a bike wreck, an infection, and countless other things that I can't remember (thankfully), it came to me that I wanted to turn my attention to writing. ​​ I needed to give myself the space that I was holding for others.I began to reevaluate my relationships and the way that I was showing up in the world. I was over-valuing my worth to others and hiding from myself. It's always been my belief that my work/practice is to be of service. I want to help others stand up for themselves. I want to provide an honest back-drop for conversation. And, I'm happy to call bullshit as needed., I was working harder to fulfill other people's needs than my own. What was I escaping in my own life?

I am now stepping out on a new path. I am currently working to (further) develop the Queen Anne Writers' Studio with the help of the original founders, Jenny Shortridge, Laurie Frankel, and Stacya Silverman. If you are interested in learning more, please follow the Queen Anne Writers' Studio on Facebook, and I'll keep you posted. I will be offering classes, weekend workshops, writing days, readings, and who knows what else. Have any ideas?

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Stacy Lawson, Author and Writer, Seattle, WA