September 2020

Dear Homegrown Yogis,

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” as Stanford economist Paul Romer once said.  Sounds a little crazy, right?  Yet what Romer is suggesting makes complete sense –  a crisis gives (or maybe even forces) companies to evolve, recognize priorities and hopefully grow from them.  I’ve drawn on this idea again and again over the last few months to make sense and give meaning to the crises, both large and small, in my own life.  It’s helped me to cut down on spending, refine Homegrown Yoga’s mission and focus, and become smarter and more efficient as a business owner.  Yet these crises’ real impact has been on me as a human being rather than simply a business owner. 

Crisis:  Although paying rent on two spaces, we still don’t have the space we need to operate right now.  With 20 current teacher trainees, we are unable to safely hold our teacher training weekends at either of our studios.  Beyond that, we can’t access our Perry Arts studio anytime the City holds a meeting in the building, forcing us to cancel about 25% of our Perry classes.  The situation has left us searching each month for people and places that are willing to open their doors to us.  And although I know us yogis are supposed to be the wandering type, it’s been ridiculously challenging and stressful lately.  

Lesson I won’t waste:  Help people whenever you can.  The process of reaching out to people and asking for help has not been an easy one for me, and it’s made me realize that when people ask me for help it’s probably not easy for them either.  The least that I can do is to help when I am able: to extend expiration dates for mamas at home doing virtual school, to help advertise and promote good causes through our network, to say “yes” to doing something free for the community.  People are going through so much right now, and I firmly believe that our willingness (or unwillingness) to help each other is what will determine what’s left standing after this pandemic.  

Crisis: I fell off an electric scooter (no laughing at me!) and now I’m a yoga teacher that can’t put weight in my hands. 

Lesson I won’t waste:  I can show up a total mess and still be absolutely good enough.  I was so stressed when I showed up to teach for the first time with my wrist wrapped and road rash.  I couldn’t chaturanga or handstand or crow.  And you know what?  Nobody judged me, nobody noticed and nobody even cared (and I mean that in the best possible way!).  Even more surprising – I felt so incredibly good after I taught even though I didn’t do anything.  After this, I made a mental note to myself – I will never refuse to show up somewhere because I don’t feel ready or in my best form.  Because there is power in just showing up, and the people who matter to me will love me no matter what I look like at the moment.   

Crisis:  I had a 6 year old home with me around the clock while I was trying to save a small business.

Lesson I won’t waste:  Getting work done is important.  People are much much more important.   I love my work.  And when I work, I like to work in quiet – no TV, no music, no talking.  I’m most efficient when it’s just me and my list of things to-do and my computer.  Yet over the last 6 months, I’ve learned that being efficient isn’t my top priority – the people in my life are.  Now every time I’m tempted to hush Freida or hit ignore when my best friend calls me because I’m in the middle of Quickbooks, I remind myself.  Getting things done is important, but people – they are much more important to me.

If your life has been anything like mine lately, I have a feeling that you have also faced a crisis or two over the last few months.  I would love to hear from you:  how are you not going to waste these amazing opportunities (I mean crises!) in your life?   

With love,

Rachel


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