I’m not gonna lie. Getting on a plane to teach workshops in Houston after my studio was destroyed by Hurricane Florence was not an easy thing to do last Thursday. The majority of the work being done to get In Balance operating by Monday was scheduled to happen while I was gone. Not being there while the work was being done didn’t feel right. Cancelling on 6 enthusiastic participants waiting to take three of my workshops didn’t feel quite right either, so I got on the plane and flew to Houston.
The morning I left I felt hopeless and empty and sad. In my lifetime I have never been through a natural disaster. It’s horrible. The county north of me still hasn’t started school and driving through our small town gets more and more depressing everyday. As I passed piles of debris stacked taller than my car on my way to the airport, I actually felt relieved that I would have a break from seeing the devastation for a few days.
Taking the trip to Houston was without a doubt the best thing I could have ever done. Along with teaching workshops I got to reunite with my dearest friend from when I was in teacher training. She is hands down one of my favorite people in the world, and I’m confident that I laughed more in the first 6 hours we spent together than I had in the last month.
I also did my first Pilates workout in 4 weeks in her peaceful, private studio. I felt lighter, and free-er, and had a little more hope after my workout than I did before it. Things were starting to shift. I was reminded that Pilates works. My soul was beginning to heal.
On Friday I drive my rental car to Bay Area Pilates Texas to meet the teachers I’d be working with for the next 2 days. They were amazing, eager, receptive and lovely, and I was emotional.
This storm has confirmed for me that I DEEPLY love what I do. For me teaching Pilates is not about counting reps and teaching an order. Its not about classical or contemporary. It’s not about teaching it right or wrong. As a matter of fact I realized this weekend that it’s not about exercises at all. It’s about getting lost in being fully present for someone else. When I cue my clients while looking them in the eye, they know they’re safe. I tell them they’re moving beautifully knowing they may not have heard that in a while. I make sure they know that I believe in them and hope that soon they’ll believe in themselves. I’m not doing it consciously. I’m not checking off a list. I sense what my students need, and I deliver it with all of my heart. I’m in the moment with them, and you know what happens when you’re fully present for someone else? You forget about your worries, stressors and sadness.
The moment I cued that first breath on Friday the emptiness I had been feeling started to float away, my hope meter began to rise, and my sadness vanished. I was experiencing the rewards of being fully present and committed to others for the first time since the storm. Teaching was instantly healing my heart. I’m not sure I’m ready to say that I’m grateful for the storm, but I will say I’m grateful for my shift in perspective of my career.
Thank you to everyone in Houston for giving me the opportunity to find my happy place again. Thank you for helping me completely clarify that I love my job. My trip was amazing, and I’ll never forget it.
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