The Change

Exciting Changes Coming 

Do you remember this scene in A Bug’s Life? The branch falls and interrupts the line of ants carrying supplies, one of the elders redirects the panicking ants around the wood saying, “this is nothing compared to the twig of ’93.” That branch fell on all of us in March and this week has been harder than most weeks. I can try and blame it on the full moon or the planets moving, but we all know that isn’t true. The weight of everything happening right now is real and breaking our collective backs.

I sat in on the Marin Economic Forum presentation this week and I am sharing a screen shot of one of the slides Mike Blakely shared. Almost 32% of small businesses (at most 25 employees) in Marin have closed this year. What? Yeah. That is crazy. I’d say take a walk and look around, but between the smoke and the pandemic, you don’t need proof. What can you do about it? Be intentional about supporting the shops and restaurants you want to have in your Town in 2021. I didn’t hear estimates for how the year will finish, and when I look at the future it is foggy/cloudy/smokey reminding me to focus on today. 

More important than the dire statistics, Mike and the Marin Economic Forum discussed “the pivot” businesses have to make, reminding us this isn’t “about adding take-out ordering if you are a restaurant,” and encouraging us to aggressively rethink our business models. I agree with Mike 100% on this. Every local business you know has to think about what role it fills in our community, what services to provide and how to deliver those services. Pivot Aggressively.

These words are hauntingly simple and easily dismissed. Yet when I heard them I chuckled, flexed both arms and chortled “Let’s Go!” Why? We are working on something so BIG at MPY that I have to “pump myself up.” Seriously, like a teenager watching Hans and Franz on SNL. Try it, you instantly feel bigger and stronger, and within seconds the pressure diffuses into laughter, especially if you say it with a thick German accent. The jokes flow quickly when I am nervous, can you tell?

Life Support Design. What? YES. We are changing how we engage as a community. Remember the 5 minutes before or after class? Remember how we used to joke, “the hardest part of yoga is getting to class?”    All of us (o.k. – except for like 6 of you), have struggled with setting routines and making progress on our physical and health goals. We have a plan, Life Support Design.

What does it look like? Weekly 30 minute zoom sessions, led by one of our teachers, with a small group of 7-10 members who you grow with for the year. These weekly coaching sessions will empower you to implement positive routines in your life and encourage your usage of our growing OnDemand library of classes. 

How much does it cost? Nothing. O.k, it is included with your membership. We are “Pivoting Aggressively,” that means we are putting a new front end on the MPY experience. We do not want to be an online platform of classes, we know there are too many interesting options out there from Peloton to Planet Fatness (I mean fitness). We want to be your community, the people you share your health and fitness journey with, the people you laugh with and the people you cry with. We can do this, together.

When is it starting? Today. This email is a seed, planted in the cool moist soil, layered with nutrients and protection. I am putting together our initial “weekly schedule” over this holiday weekend and I will be sending out an email to all of our annual Members and Online Members next week with links to pick a session. As sessions fill, we will close them and take them off as an option. The sessions will be a mix of days and times, we want to have enough options that you find a time slot you can commit to weekly.

Is this therapy? NO. We are not working on the past. Everything we do will be focused on today and tomorrow. Are you certified? NO. Our team is committed to listening effectively and growing with you. You don’t need to be certified in that. Will we get better? YES. You witnessed our improvement as teachers and a studio over the last 7 years, this is the success we are going to build upon. Are you scared? YES. I have resisted the idea of coaching at MPY since we started. This isn’t a small step or pivot for us. We are about to sprint and make our best attempt to leap across the Grand Canyon, somewhere between Thelma and Louise and Fried Green Tomatoes. 

People, this is nothing compared to the twig of 93′. While I joke about that, in 1993, I was switching majors from pre-med to linguistics to communications, I was lost, drifting at the University of Michigan in a pool of failure and shame, not knowing “what I wanted to be when I grew up,” and struggling emotionally and physically. Not so funny and yet strangely familiar. I didn’t have the experience or team to navigate that stress and the results were ugly and painful. I was sad, depressed and alone; running until I physically couldn’t and walking/limping for hours to get home, physically hurt and emotionally better. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can transition smoothly with intention, it takes a village for that to happen.

Life Support Design. We are making small teams to grow together, intentionally. 

O.K people. That is my big news and with any luck you will be hearing more about it over the next week. We aren’t doing this to save our business, you can look at the image with statistics to see how risky that is. We are doing this to save our lives, to be with people and grow together. We are democratizing coaching and bring the benefits of small group work directly to you. Pivot Aggressively With Love.

Love and Virtual Hugs,

PS – I am committed to promoting people and events in our community. As you may know, I am doing my M.S. in Organizational Leadership at the University of Redlands, which merged with the Seminary in San Anselmo last year. I am including a message from Ashley below about renting space on Campus. Yes, spoiler alert, we are trying to figure out outdoor events in Town (please note: air quality, think about what we tell you to do, breathe deeply – we will do outdoor classes when the air is clear).

We at the University of Redlands, Marin Campus (home of San Francisco Theological Seminary) are so excited about partnering with Marin Power Yoga. We know mental and physical health is crucial right now – taking a yoga class surrounded by panoramic views at the top of our campus sounds healing for mind, body, and soul. Be on the lookout for upcoming dates! Until then, if you need to take a minute, you are welcome to come up to the very top of the campus and walk the labyrinth. 
In other news – do you know an essential worker who needs housing? Or a Marin resident who has been displaced? We want to support these individuals with priority for our short-term apartment rentals. Whether for a couple nights or a few weeks, these furnished apartments are highly affordable. These are spaces to take time to breathe, cook, sleep, and rest. Any questions? Please contact Ashley Pogue at marin_events@redlands.edu

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