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the Heartstrings...

I definitely feel like had I had the waves crashing in my ears and the wet sand beneath my feet whenever I needed it, there would have been a lot less "growing pains" (and i use that term loosely bc most days it felt like utter wreckage) the past ten years of my life. I have always felt a "pull" to the shore. It is so hard to explain, but i was finally able to articulate it in words a few days ago. 

This place, and this beach is the one I walked so much as a child with my family. It was time time of deep breaths and nurturing smiles from my mother. 

But that all ended in 5th grade when she started cheating on my father and then drinking excessively from the guilt. Her straying forced my father back home from his building homes here. 

It stopped the ocean visits. 

I have never...

never been able to release the ache and pull to be back here. To the place when things were good in my life. Its seems almost divine intervention that my dear friend Holly offered her beach house to our YTT class at Oak Island two years ago. Imagine my surprise when I realized that THIS was Long Beach. 

This was my soul home. So, as I progressed thru my cracking open with my husband...

and life, 

this last year, 

I had a huge decision to make. 

My silent, unheard pleas for my husband to reengage with our family... the pleas to just be loved, unheard...that old ache for Long Beach that I had suppressed had resurfaced. Reading Hardwiring Happiness and Gifts from the Sea changed something in me. My life and my daughter's were more valuable and worth saving than my husband could possibly understand, even if he wanted to. He is just not capable or wired that way. Over these last few years, I have cracked...exuded craziness, forgetfulness, anger at times... 

and frustrations. 

Despite sound advice and that ache and the pull to the waves...

I clung tightly to the memories of what I thought my life SHOULD be.  I didn't want to start over. Move my studio? Give my students to someone else? No one had a right, nor desire to take care of my yoga students they way Holly and I did. 

No one had a right to walk into a ready made student base, Holly and I worked so hard to attain. I begged Holly, my lead teacher, to take over. 

Pleaded. Someone who loved our students as much as me needed to keep Tree of Life's doors open for our students. But she could not.  I trust Holly implicitly. 

There are others I do not.  I made the decision to close the studio. I would not comprise my integrity or love for my students, hiring teachers I knew were less than worthy to lead these beautiful spirits just to keep a paycheck. 

Many teachers express no gratitude to students for the gift of being able to lead them on their yoga journey. Many know that we simply need teachers on the mat. They focus on bettering her own practice. 

You have seen these teachers... walk in, never look back, call poses with no regard to how students feel within them. They are not "teaching". 

They simply spill out a laundry list of poses. 

So I packed my studio and threw caution to the wind and moved to the island. 

Let the healing begin...right? 

Not so fast...

I have been so frustrated with my inability to progress with my new studio, that I had not fully let go of the Treehouse or my students. I have questioned the decisions of my truest friend. 

I walked on the beach. 

I bitched and threw a fit. 

I cried and even questioned my friendships back home. 

That was when I knew something was wrong. My heart hardened with resent and anger.  Every day I walk on the beach. I look for heart stones. I have only found a few since I have been here. But one day as I fumed and walked and got pissed off...

every time I looked down...

there was a heart stone. Then another. 

I came home with 5! 

These stones were pulling me back...

to my heart center.... 

to my friend back home... 

to this healing place of sand and sea... 

and they told me to let go. Just let go. 

So I am... 

my studio, its students, its love... is now Holly's.  She will make it grow and shine and be a beacon of light for those around her as she has always been for me. I am always here for her and my students as a mentor and friend and hope they will look to me in times of need or advice. 

"Heart Strings" is defined as the nerves once believed to sustain the heart and the deepest emotions or affections. Often torn, brusied and battered, in yoga we encourage confronting our heart's speakings and walking thru the pain to contentment.

We must allow our breath, our minds and our bodies' asanas to let our heart strings once again find gratitude for life and love. If we open our eyes, we see the signs... Holly has thrown her heart and soul into rebranding our studio. A true refection of her inner sunshine. 

And with this new studio, 

a new heart emerges in the belly of Sanford. 

Forever reach your heartstrings outward, dear friend and may we connect across this great expanse. 


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