Soap Box | November 30, 2013
For several years, I’ve wanted to make changes in my lifestyle. For instance, I have not been happy with how much I drive around town. I used to ride my bike everywhere, but as my schedule filled more and more, I had less and less time to commute, so I drove more. As my biking muscles weakened, it became harder to get anywhere quickly by bike, so I again, I drove more. Now, I ride very little, and I miss it. I miss being outside. I miss breathing and sweating, and sometimes cursing, and feeling the happy effort of my lungs and legs.
In addition to not liking to drive, I am not pleased with my carbon footprint on this planet. I wonder if I could drive less and use less gasoline and pollute less? Certainly, at home, there are issues too–could I buy into renewable energy rather than rely fossil fuels? Could I purchase products solely from local businesses? There are obvious and difficult gaps to bridge in this respect. I can buy local cheese, but not locally produced fabric. Do I want to have a steel mill up the street?
As more and more retail and restaurant spaces go into my near neighborhood that are globally linked, that rely on shipping, or promote unsustainable farming practices, I wonder, why can’t I have an hardware store nearby rather than a third major grocery store? 99% of the stuff in those places is so full of additives and chemicals it doesn’t resemble food at all. Or it is grown with the help of Monsanto whose practices are geared towards ownership of genes and control of world-wide seed and food sources. Again, the health of their products, Round-Up and GMOs, are threatening the health of the planet just as much as the rise in carbon in our atmosphere. I still wish they had built a city dog park in the enormous pit they filled with yet another super Target. I envisioned happy dogs and people walking. Fruit growing for the homeless. Homeless people tending vegetable gardens for the food pantries.
I was talking to Sandy today about how so much of the good advice that we hand out to others, is advice that we ignore for ourselves. Or we just don’t take the time or have access to resources that will allow us to live our lives in accordance with health, with our morals, with our inner wisdom, in a way that doesn’t pollute, that allows happiness to seep into every aspect of our actions. Some space for you. Some space for your family. A way to to eat healthy, to want to eat healthy, to enjoy and savor those flavors. A way to relax and take care of our hearts, to nourish our spirits and community. To say hi to the neighbor that you’ve never met. To talk to that irritating person who’s serving your latte in a way that shows you have compassion and you know what it’s like to feel tired, harried, over-worked, under-paid, and just plain grumpy.
My soap box grows thin, and I tire of my own complaints.
I have sat long and meditated long and listened to my friends, “but what DO you want?” “How can you change anything when the world is set up the way it is?” I don’t have the answers to either of those questions. But I am done not doing anything. I am done with not giving it a go.
And so I start a new endeavor. I invite you to join me in this new endeavor. Create something new for yourself.
January 1, Jules Pilates Studio will open it’s doors. I don’t expect that it will be a perfect place or run entirely smoothly or fulfill all our needs, but here’s where I can start. It is close to my home, so I can bike. It is on the bus route, so I can ride the bus. There is a bike rack near so you can bike and bus too. If you do, or if you walk from work or home, or if you carpool with your classmates, I will put money into your account. A reward for taking care, of yourself, of our world.
I’d like to do a lot of things for you. I’d like to show you how to do yoga and Pilates and meditation in a way that promotes your health, that heals your body, that soothes your anxious nerves. I’d like to promote community and learn from you. I can bring in other teachers for workshops so we all can learn and try new things. I’d like to have Friday donation classes that give back to our local charities and charities that support wildlife and environmental issues. I want this studio to feel comfortable and inviting. Sometimes we’ll have to be quiet. Sometimes we’ll get to be noisy. Sometimes, I know we’ll be working very hard, very seriously, and sometimes, I know the rooms will be filled with our laughter.
There is space here for you. There is understanding. I want to broach the difficult topics–climate change, poverty, eating disorders, illness, cancer, close-mindedness, and sometimes, I don’t. I want to just breathe and enjoy your company. Let’s see what you want and need and make room for that. Let’s see what evolves. I hope that is us. Our sense of community. Our health. I am honored by your presence in my life. Namaste.