I celebrated a huge milestone last week. My yoga studio--Serenity Place DC—has been open for a year! I ordered vegan, gluten-free cupcakes from my friend Tamara’s company and bought some balloons to decorate. I invited my friends, neighbors and students to a simple party as a way to mark this momentous occasion twelve years in the making.
Like most people, I had heard about yoga long before I ever bought a mat or entered a studio. Had it not been for my lupus diagnosis in 2003, I probably would never made the commitment to explore this Eastern practice with so many unknown quantities. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Two weeks in a hospital bed and being forced to quit the only job I ever wanted were two sure signs of desperation.
At first, I practiced alone in my living room with just my Australian guide from the VHS tape I bought at Borders Books in suburban Philadelphia. Over time, when I made more money, I started taking classes and exploring teachers. Eventually, I came to appreciate all the benefits of the practice to my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. The swelling in my joints went down, my flexibility returned, my endurance increased, and I was more even keeled. I even dreamed of maybe, possibly, some day, opening a yoga studio somewhere.
But for years, I didn’t act. I went to class, learned many asanas and explored my own meditation practice. I became a more committed yoga practitioner, but I was afraid of becoming a teacher and studio owner. I hadn’t ever done anything like that and didn’t know normal people who did. Fear kept me from pursuing my dreams for a long time.
I am so grateful to God for sending yoga teachers my way that I got to know personally. Both Angelyn and Faith were great examples of Christian women who believed in God and practiced yoga. I saw Faith, an African American woman like me, open two different yoga studios in Washington, DC. Slowly but surely, my farfetched dream became a bit more realistic.
After more than a decade in the education game, I grew discouraged with the slow rate of change. I wanted to feel more productive--and successful--in how I was contributing to society. When an ed policy job ended unexpectedly last summer, and a developer asked me to consider renting a commercial space from him, my heart finally was ready to consider the possibility of going after this Big Hairy Audacious Goal I had. So, I did. I opened the studio, recruited teachers, and welcomed the students who decided to cross our threshold. I am really proud of myself for taking those first steps and seeing the dream become a reality.
Rather than sitting back on my laurels, it’s time to set a new goal—one equally daunting in its magnitude. I want to write my memoir. About four years ago, a life coach asked me: “If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you do?” I knew the answer without hesitation:
I would be a writer. I would use my talents to inspire, educate, and entertain. I’ve wanted to write for years. I have felt the impulse. But so far, the only thing that comes out is my life story. Does that mean I am destined to write a memoir?
I am so grateful that Crystal’s Wellness Quest is my opportunity to share my writing with the world. I don’t come here as often as I would like. So often, the urgent things of life refuse me a few moments’ opportunity to publish my ramblings. But I will remain committed to posting two blogs a week. I have used some of these posts to craft my very preliminary, only 30-page, first draft of the memoir. It’s called Metamorphosis: A Tale of Letting Go and Learning to Love. It’s the final paper for my yearlong Advanced Yoga Teacher Training program that I am completing. I have shared my heart and my life story in the paper and am eager to receive feedback from my friends and colleagues during the workshop I am presenting this weekend.
I am grateful that God only requires faith the size of a mustard seed. That’s all that I have had during most of this 12-year journey to becoming a yoga studio owner. Fortunately, it has been enough for me to dream, to put one foot in front of the other, and to start walking toward a brighter future. Hopefully, the small mustard seed of faith will be enough for me to see my memoir published some day.
That's my Mondo Beyondo--the dream I allow in my heart when I kick out my fear of failure. What's yours?
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.