Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars.
- Harriet Tubman
Years ago back in the 90's, I began practicing yoga in my living room with a simple T.V. show. I found that yoga was calming to my mind, energizing to my body, and beneficial to my spirit. At the time my weight was high, my environment was destructive, and my self-esteem was at an all time low. Dreaming to be someone who was different and proactive, I continued to practice despite the impossibility I felt of coming into some of the yoga postures, especially downward facing dog.
The great dream of being a changed person began like a small seed in a deep crevice. As my weight came off through yoga and a walking program, I found the courage to start attending exercise classes, step-aerobics, kick boxing, and what I truly enjoyed yoga. The frustration of not being able to do all the moves was overwhelming at times, but my passion drove me on toward accomplishing the goal. I began running and loved the feeling of strength and empowerment that exercise gives.
As my precious children were moving on to their own individual lives as adults and finishing my master's degree was on the horizon, I needed a new passion to dedicate my extra time. Exercise became the vehicle that moved me forward, empowered me with confidence, and helped overcome my bad habits of overeating to compensate for the stress in my life. The small dream of becoming an exercise instructor lay in that deep crevice partly due to a desire to share my story and help others who struggled with similar issues.
Through several major life disappointments, the seed continued to grow roots despite the adjustment of moving to a large city, changing jobs, and starting all over again in my forties. Yoga classes were like a haven of peace where I felt tranquil as my life moved forward into new places and experiences. The more I practiced, the easier it became to get into the harder postures. The easier the yoga classes were, the more I liked it. Thus, liking it more made me want to practice more frequently, and the dream began to be a seedling as it was watered by encouragement from others.
Instead of criticizing me or making fun of me for yoga, these precious people, especially Brian, helped me to believe in myself and have courage that this tiny seed could grow into a full blown dream. One day early in 2006 as I prepared dinner, Brian came in and laid his entire paycheck on the counter top and said, "This is for your first yoga training. I believe in you! I know this is your dream, and you cannot afford it. Sign up, and if you need more money, let me know." I was amazed by his kindness and generosity for we were only dating. As a public school teacher, my salary only covered my basic needs for housing and car payment and would never have allowed me to pay the high cost of yoga training.
June 17, 2006, I walked into the Thornton YMCA in Tulsa with my little lunch box, in my new yoga clothes, and full of excitement like a kid going off to her first day of kindergarten. When they asked for our names and a little about ourselves, I told them that dreams really do come true. At the time, hardly did I realize how true these words of self-affirmation really were. Our words are such a powerful force.
This past Friday, July 16, 2010, Brian and I completed stage 1 of converting our garage into a yoga studio. Now teaching 15 - 18 classes a week, I am still overwhelmed with gratitude at where I began in my frustrated, overweight past, with such a tiny seed of a dream. As a personal certified trainer, 200 hr. Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, Pilates instructor, I know that dreams really happen not just over the rainbow but in our own lives. I do so appreciate all of the people who have encouraged me and watered my seedling of a dream which has become "Tranquility Yoga" studio in Owasso, Oklahoma. The Thornton YMCA was part of that dream taking classes there and my first training, and I will always want it to be part of my life's work. However, having a yoga studio in my home where peace and tranquility reign is such a precious gift from God. Thank you, especially to my loving husband, Brian, who has believed in me and helped to make this dream come true. Thank you to all the wonderful people who come to my yoga classes here in my home and at the Y; you mean so much to me, and I truly love seeing yoga make a difference in your life. Thank you to God, the Giver of dreams, and the Ultimate One who makes them come true!