One month each year I get an easy out on trying to come up with something interesting, thought-provoking, or simply readable for the monthly newsletter. But it’s February again, which means it’s the blue’s birthday, or the 13th anniversary of this community we created in 2007. I’m never sure which one is right, but that doesn’t really matter. Let’s reminisce…

Each February, I think back to the first time I crossed the threshold of what is now blue lotus. The original Glenwood South neighborhood hardly resembles its current self. No The West condos, no Smoky Hollow. No Tiki Bar. No traffic. Lots of parking. Those who know me well- especially those who work with me- know that I have a terrible memory. But I remember with crystal clarity the first day I stepped into 401-105 N. West Street. Curious about the new glass storefronts on the old Creamery Warehouse, I push the door. It opens. Part cement and part dirt floor. Cold dark shell. I see my younger self as though there had been a skylight overhead. I hear the words as clearly as if someone had been in the space with me: “This is it.” And then my response, “this is what?”

I was not looking to open a yoga studio. I was mostly just in a painful season of life trying to get by. But the universe had other plans. A community was needed. A refuge, a gathering place, a sanctuary to hold awakening, seeking hearts and minds. It was a privilege to get to birth this thing that the universe had in mind, and I can’t take much credit for the doing. So many people stepped up to help. So many people shared their time and talents. So many people taught me, guided me, helped me. I was in the right place at the right time, and I said yes. I guess this is all we are really asked to do when the universe comes calling. It is, without question, the thing I’ve gotten the most right in my whole life.

So, thanks to all of you who were there before we opened our doors. Who believed in me and this idea of a space for community and yoga, service and friendship and study. Thanks to those who have come and moved on over these many years. Your footprints and heartbeats are still present. Thanks to those who are with me today, teaching, sharing, guiding, cleaning, answering e-mail, making flyers, getting the HVAC serviced. All the things. I couldn’t ever possibly do it alone, and I wouldn’t want to even if I could. While I never wanted it to be “mine” I couldn’t have known how many people would come to take a bit of ownership in this shared space and call it home.

Most of all, I have so much gratitude for our student community. I get that we are not for everyone. But those whom we are for? You’re our people. When I talk to teachers and studio owner friends across the country who lament about their community only wanting a workout, how they can’t get people in engage in deeper study, self inquiry or selfless service, I can’t add anything to the conversation, because that’s not been my experience. Not ever. Not once. This community shows up over and over again in ways that inspire and astound me. I feel humble and full of gratitude.

Thanks for supporting our amazing, incredible, better-than-anywhere-else-I-know teaching staff. Thanks for making 42 circuits around the block in the mess of construction and paying to park your car to come to class. Thanks for making space when the room is full, and taking up space when it’s not. Thanks for welcoming new faces like old friends. Thanks for doing this work in a dedicated and consistent way because what I know about the nature of this practice is that it brings the light that lives deep inside us to the surface; and that means with every mindful breath you—we— are bringing more light into this dark world. 

People rarely comment on these posts, but if you got this far, I’d so love for you to share how you came to be at blue, or a special story, or a personal share of how this community has made an impact in your life. Because the beauty and transformation that has happened in those four walls bears recording. That is if we can fix the glitch that is apparently not letting you post. 🙂

Happy Birthday, blue. Thanks to you.