Sunday, April 11, 2010

A dream realized

Dear readers, Saturday was a very special day, so I have to share it with you. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Michelle Star, realized a dream that has been 30 years in the making. She opened her own yoga studio! I remember when I met Michelle. We worked in a stressful law firm together and she had something I wanted. Intense calm, a clarity of vision and mental discipline. I had never met any one like her. And how did she accomplish her serenity when she was in such a hellish environment? Yoga. Yoga had saved her life. She knew she had to share what she learned with others. I had never met a Yoga teacher before, indeed, in those days Yoga was considered marginal. It had not become popular yet. Over the years I have learned much from her, while we were both dreamers, her dreams were clear. I was always wishy-washy, didn't really know what I wanted, only what I didn't want. I'd flit around from one thing to the next. Not Michelle, she always knew what she wanted. During years of adversity and poverty, she never waivered from her clarity of purpose. And it paid off. She opened her own studio!

I cannot tell you how excited I got when I drove up and saw her name on the sign. She did it! I wanted to jump up and down and scream to the whole world, "SHE DID IT!" I couldn't be happier if it were my own accomplishment. Indeed, in a way it feels partially like my accomplishment too. We've been dreaming and discussing and brainstorming with each other for years. Michelle Star Yoga & Healing Arts is open! (See Michelle's website here.)

Upon entering the studio, you are greeted by this beautiful tapestry. I've always loved this tapestry, because it looks like Michelle.
Here's Michelle looking thoughtful. She's probably talking about her favorite thing.

The halls are a gorgeous shade of lavender. According to Alice Weiner (wife and partner of the amazing artist Lawrence Weiner), lavender is the best color to see upon awakening. (Dwell, April 2010.) It's appropriate that the meditation room is lavender. Upon coming out of meditation you will be surrounded by this sublime color.

The large yoga room is also a beautiful shade of lavender and has wonderful windows.

There's a lovely deck off of the yoga room and this is the view. This will be spectacular in a few weeks when everything is green. Michelle will be offering yoga outdoors as well as walking meditation.

There's a comfy little tea room. Love the dragon divider. It's fun seeing Michelle's pretty touches everywhere.

Gluten-free blueberry muffins were served by Sonny's Kitchen.

Folk musicians Mallory and Pat performed. They are very talented and their joy infectious. Mallory sang a rendition of Priscilla Ahn's Dream, and without warning tears flowed down my face. Give a listen, have tissues ready.

I was touched that Mallory's beautiful father was there to support his talented daughter.

I met a lovely woman named Iris. She did a mesmerizing performance with a crystal singing bowl. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture.

Everyone had a great time! I met so many fascinating people. Roseann Heinrich is an accredited T'ai Chi Chih instructor. I plan to take her class. Angela Minelli is a Holistic Health Counselor with an astonishing breadth of knowledge. Mark Kaplafka is a Certified Herbalist, Reiki Master, Professional Clinical Counselor and an Ordained Minister. Mark has a loving presence, it's a comfort just to stand near him. I was also excited to meet Laura George, the author of Excuse Me, Your Job is Waiting. I definitely need to read her book.
Throughout the day, a theme kept emerging. Everyone I met had either left high paying jobs, or were forced out due to illness. Everyone was attempting to live an authentic life, and were offering what they had learned to others so they might live more authentically as well. This is no easy feat. While extremely satisfying, it requires the letting go of fear and a lot of hard work. (See my previous post regarding Extreme Freelancers.) I kept wondering what our country would be like if authentic living was the norm.

Rainbow Eagle was the speaker. He is a delightful character whose mission is to gently correct some of the misconceptions about Christianity. He also spoke about the Mayan calendars. Fascinating. Michelle Star Yoga & Healing Arts has something for everyone, be sure to check out her calendar of events. Michelle, you go girl!!!

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