I remember it as clear as day. It was April 2011, and I was working at Merck as an art director for the asthma team. Singulair and Nasonex brochures, asthma trigger posters and lots and lots of meetings. Clocking in at 8 a.m. and clocking out on the dot every day at 5:00. Every day felt the same but it was a paycheck. It was stability… until I got let go. LOL. I didn’t love it but looking back, it was a stepping stone.
What I LOVED was teaching yoga. I loved seeing people come in after a long day of work but leaving all smiley and happy. Leaving a little bit lighter than when they first came into class and rolled out their mats. There was a magic that happened on that mat. I knew it and so did they.
My friend Carolyn highly spoke of a spiritual healer, Cristina Leeson, that she talked to on the phone every couple of months. She encouraged me to call. So that day, on my lunch break, I decided to do it. What I didn’t know was that phone call was going to change my life.
The first thing she said to me was “Are you a manager?” I said no. She said, “You need to be a manager. There are a lot of managers out there. The good managers are people people. That’s you.” Stunned, I let her continue. She proceeded to tell me to move forward and open a studio. Something I said for years until my sister finally said to me one day, “Ang, you’ve been saying this for 5 years. When are you going to do it?” Well, Cristina was the kick in the butt I needed and it was go time from that point on.
Rewind back a few months to my grandmother passing on September 6, 2010. I was super close to her (otherwise known as Diamond Lil) and missed her terribly. I still miss hearing her voice calling my Angel every time I picked up the phone to call her. Anyhow, Cristina told me she was going to be with me throughout the whole planning process, and that she will especially have a presence at the open house. What Cristina didn’t know is that my grandmother LOVED butterflies. Every occasion we got her something with butterflies on it. At her funeral, all the grandkids wore butterfly necklaces. Well, Cristina was right. The color we picked for the walls at Sol was called Social Butterfly. Ironic? I think not. I could have fallen over when I first read the name after picking the perfect color. But wait, there is more.
I hung up the phone, after that initial phone call back in April 2011, and after work drove straight to Phyllis Bucci’s place, Holistic Apothecary in Ambler. I remember it was a rainy Tuesday night but I felt alive and amped up. I told her I was opening a yoga studio, with really no plan in place and the next thing I knew she had me on the phone about a space that was available! That space is still the place we call home, 7 years later.
September 6, 2011, exactly one year after my grandmother passed we hosted the open house, that Cristina encouraged me to have. It was bittersweet but seemed perfect. It was another rainy Tuesday night, but over 100 people showed up. And get this… The very last person to come that night was a dear friend of mine, Jeff Dukes. He came in and gave me a big hug. If you know Jeff, you know he has the best smile. He handed me a little package and when I opened it it was a BLUE BUTTERFLY. I started trembling and asked if he knew about the significance of the butterfly and he innocently said, “No. I just thought you would like it.” To this day, that butterfly hangs above the door in room 4. And makes me smile every day because man was Cristina right, yet again!
So that’s pretty much how Sol was born. I knew people needed Power Yoga, and I knew I was meant to share it in some way or another. Today, on the 7th anniversary of the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken, I am completely humbled and grateful for all the experiences Sol has brought into my life. For the powerhouse team of instructors we have at Sol that share their passion day in and day out! For the amazing community of people. For the strength of each of our members for showing up and working hard. For the nice messages/testimonials/reviews of how power yoga has changed their life for the better. I could go on and on but I am also grateful for the MANY lessons I have learned over the years. In honor of this anniversary, I have highlighted just 7 of them below, not in any particular order…
- Love what you do. Life is too short to be anything but happy. My dad used to say you spend most of your days living at your job. If you don’t love it, make a change.
- Trust your gut. Always. It will never lead you wrong. And don’t doubt it. Ever.
- Set backs really are step forwards. Because that is exactly what they are. You may not realize it right away, but you will someday.
- Get to know people’s names. It is the least you can do for someone who is paying for your services.
- You can do anything you put your mind to. Get out of your own way and trust that you can do ANYTHING. Ya never know unless you try, right?
- The only thing that is constant in life is change. Embrace it. Don’t focus on it, complain about it or tell everyone you know about it. Just embrace it because as one door opens or closes, another always opens.
- Don’t let anyone steal your happy. Ever.