Happy April and Happy Spring!
I have been fielding questions about how things are going with me, yoga in general and my biz. And I have been sharing bits and pieces with those that ask. So I decided to share a deeper update with everyone.
I will start by going back a bit to pre-covid: Things were going pretty good (with me and my biz). I was comfortable. Taking my time with tweaking my business as needed. Moving through life in a forward direction. Then covid came. Everything changed (for most of us, in most aspects of our lives). The way that I had operated my yoga biz for the past 15 years no longer worked. There were many times over the past 2 years I had to consider the possibility of letting go of some or all of my classes in order to take on another job - thankfully something always showed up to help me “keep my lights on” and continue holding the space of these on again off again yoga classes.
Then, in mid January of this year, I was offered an interesting job. Decision time! I decided to pause (I’ve been doing that a lot this year). I sat and asked myself a series of questions (I’ve been doing that a lot over the past couple years too).
I had to consider the options:
A) Take this new part-time job. Receive a steady pay cheque. Spend 3 to 6 weeks learning a new job - a new computer system, new line of products, new clientele, etc. If I took this job I would have to let go of many of my yoga classes. If I take this job, is it for 1 month? 6 months? while I wait for the yoga world to return to “normal”.
B) Do I find a different way to support myself while I sort through this current yoga business model? See what is salvageable, what needs to be tossed and then start over. And how long will this take - 6 months? 12 months? What will this new business model look like? How do I figure that out?! And, What if “normal’ never returns?
After a few days of writing, sitting and contemplating, my decision came clearly.
“For now, keep holding the space on these precious and precarious classes. We all need something constant in our lives right now. Trust. And commit some time to redeveloping/redesigning your yoga biz.”
Shortly after this decision, destiny intervened and a great 6 week “get your biz together and how to survive while doing it” course came along - perfect timing! It was out-of-the-box creative, heart-centred and mindful. I was not surprised to see that many of us in attendance were re-designing our businesses for this post-pandemic world. I was very surprised at how much time it took and, how much energy it required! Our course leader kept comparing the re-design part of our business as a marathon and the “what do we do for income in the meantime” as a sprint. And this course was largely about the sprint. How do we pay our bills, keep food on the table, as we navigate this 6 to 12 month journey to our new business models? Well, we were presented with and explored over 30 different ideas!
This is the one I chose to start with:
- (paraphrased) Choose a service to offer that is not your current business. Something like a hobby; something that you do for fun and know really well; something that you would enjoy sharing with others, and have perhaps shared with others already, cuz you love it so much.
What a fantastic idea.
Developing something new or re-designing something old can take months, sometimes years. Sharing something you know really well and could do with your eyes closed? Fast! Right, this fits with the sprint analogy! It might only take 3 to 6 weeks to put together a workshop or course based on a hobby or skill I know and love!
I. Love. This. Idea.
I am not yet ready to share what this new content/course will be. As I mentioned above, the course I took was intense and I need a pause to recharge and then figure out a few more details. It is my intention to send out details in a couple weeks.
The main purpose of this post is to let you know what I’ve been up to…. and what is ahead. I am excited! I will also share here that I have a “later on - it’ll take time” list. Some things on that list are to record some more guided relaxations and meditations (Yes, I am taking suggestions), re-ignite some old offerings like 1/2 day retreats and workshops, and/or develop some new ones (Yep, taking requests for that too).
Lastly, in all of this, I am slowly re-designing the content of my website - please excuse the mess. And check back regularly. My goal is to make things more easily interactive and transparent to help visitors figure out what I offer, how I offer it, why I offer it, and if it is even relevant to them.
So thank you so much for sticking with me! And I hope you are interested in sticking around a little longer to see what new things will be popping up. And, if it is time to move on, or if we are no longer a fit, I get that. No hard feelings.
As always, please feel free to reach out. I am here.
Warmest wishes of well-being your way!
And hugs too.
UPDATE: the course has been announced. See the "dreams" page for details.
It took a few months to get this together. With many stops and starts. I had to continually remind myself of my own advice with this project (click here for that blog post) ; “I do not have the skills, ability, energy or understanding to accomplish this task right now. So be gentle. Do what I can when I can. This IS something that WILL happen because I am passionate about it. BUT it will happen only when it happens and not a moment sooner”.
Well that moment finally arrived.
My first offering is one you might already be aware of in video form. “Guided Relaxation - Savasana”.
I recorded this in audio format specifically for Insight Timer. It is the same script but a few minutes shorter and likely will feel different as it was recorded at a different time. The links are at the bottom of this email.
First, A bit about Insight Timer:
-A smartphone app for meditation, sleep, stress education, relaxing music and so much more.
-An amazing free basic version with over 35,000 titles (music, talks and meditations) provided by experts such as neuroscientists, psychologists, mindfulness & yoga teachers, lecturers and professors.
-A paid option that provides access to 400 courses and additional features like rewind, repeat and download.
Teachers CAN earn an income on Insight Timer “We calculate who earns what based on two metrics only; Total play count (75%) and Teacher engagement (25%). As well, teachers can receive donations from their listeners.”
This means that you can support teachers by
You don’t have the app, but you want it....
1. On your smartphone, click on the Google Play Store app and search for “Insight Timer”. Download and start using! (if you need help with this step, or how to use the app, let me know and i will walk you through it.)
2. On your computer, head over to https://insighttimer.com/. And you will see a floating button at the bottom of the page that says “download our app”. If you click on that, you can enter your cell phone # and they will send you a text message with the link to download. (I have not used this option so i am not entirely sure of the steps. If you have, and you’d be willing to share some details, then i will pass them along too).
And if you are reading this on your phone, and you have the Insight Timer app, click on the links below and (you should) be taken directly there.
I look forward to practicing with you in the new way!
I had a few hours this morning with an empty house so I decided to record a video. Long story short, the universe was testing me today… “How many things can we mess with until she losses her cool? Until she says I give up?” Well the answer is I don’t know.
Many, many things went wrong
So the lesson in all this?
I AM COMMITTED to making these videos!
I AM COMMITTED to sharing!
I am still feeling a little raw so I won’t look at the videos today. I need some space. But if something was salvageable from my 3.50 hours of work, I will post it!
Tendinitis still alive and well in my right arm so this will be short...
Script in hand, i decided to record an audio practice (way less set up). So how to hold the script up at eye level (so i can read without having to tip my head down to read at a table - not good for my neck). Introducing..... The Script Holder 2000! Ha ha. I blue goo-ed a long ruler to my tripod and then blue goo-ed my script to the ruler. Success!!
NOTE: no, my walls and carpet are not hot pink, i just needed to add some fun colour to a drab image.
So this means, i have an audio practice to edit now. My intention is to upload it to Insight Timer. And this statement should help give me a nudge to complete my account set up and take this next plunge.
Today is a writing day. I have some notes on a few meditations and guided practices i'd like to record so i now i need to sit down and write the scripts.
What does that process look like? Well, it happens a couple ways:
Today is "Way #2". A few days ago I recorded a Savasana idea i had after a Yoga in Bed practice. Today i will transcribe. And we will see where i get to. Wish me luck!
and Happy Tuesday!
Happy Friday everyone! i have 3 things to chat about today...
1. My field trip was fairly painless - only minor confusion at both pick up locations (with them, trying to find the item i ordered/reserved).
Here they are...... A lovely, light, very adjustable tripod and the phone holder attachment! Thanks again to everyone that contributed!
2. I uploaded a video guided meditation/relaxation/breathing practice last night. Head over to the "expand" page to check it out or click here. And, i learned how to edit things out of the middle of a video too! There was a goof while i was recording so i decided to start that part over and then see if i could snip it out later. And i did! Hooray! This new skill/tool, i think, will create a little more ease in me while i am recording now.
3. I am excited to start using my new tools BUT the tripod is super stinky- strong chemical &/or plastic smell. I will wipe it down later but for now it is outside airing out. AND.... It is an admin day. I need to put my excitement of new toys to the side and finish some other important tasks.
So have a fabulous day! I send all you good vibes and big virtual hugs!
And, May all good things come your way!
I awoke full of beans again today and started work around 9:00am What?! Yup. This not a morning person was up early again! I knew that i would have at least an hour with an empty house in the late morning so i knew i had to take advantage (and be prepared). My goal was to shoot one video and record one meditation. I also knew that set up would take just as long as the recording itself (see yesterday’s post) so i had to "get on it".
I have been teaching a monthly chair yoga class to a lovely group of people for almost 10 years and i really missed seeing them in March. And i don't know when we will see each other next! It is a short, gentle routine that we do, and it is all sitting on a chair. (I thought) set up would be easy and I know the routine in and out, so I hoped it would be a quick process. HA HA HA! My chair-pod (see Day 6 - a bull clip, blue goo & an office chair) is too tall for recording a chair yoga session so time to MacGyver a new phone holder. The recording went smoothly, I think. For what ever reason, during playback, my phone no longer plays the audio (only the video). So I will have to disassemble my phone and check the recording on my computer, but I will leave that for tomorrow.
My experiment today was to record a relaxation/meditation audio, but in video format. I am curious if it will be an easier way to upload meditations to my YouTube channel. I figured I would not be moving and “you” would not need to see me so I set up my new desk decor (the photo included in today's post) as the visual. Again, I had to MacGyver a way to hold the phone in front of the flowers and I would hold the mic. I did several takes - I jumbled up my words a few times and had to start over. I have no idea if it worked. This item will also go on to tomorrow’s list.
Just do it already! I have my plan (see yesterday) so i am going to get on it! It is research time!
But first I need to go put my room back together now that recording is complete for the day.
I send you all big hugs!
And I hope you are well!
I had another brain storming session with myself today. I needed to look back at what i have done so far and assess. I asked myself the following questions:
my biggest challenges/priorities:
1. I have been frustrated with the time it takes to set up my phone for recording videos. I don't seem to have the right type of "things" to create an easy to use, fast set up, flexible camera holder at home. Set up is agonizingly slow and often takes just as long (or longer) than the actual recording does!!
2. I have an ancient mic that plugs into my phone. It works pretty well considering its age (I’ve had it for at least 4 years and it is 2nd hand). It is a tiny mic and I need to hold it while I speak into it - I usually get a hand cramp part way in and have to switch hands, and it usually picks up the noise from this simple switch. I have tried to make a mic stand and I have one set up that works when I sit at my desk, but it is not transferable.
So what is my plan?
I am going to use the gifts from you, my dear ones, to buy a phone tripod and possibly a new mic (that comes with a tripod). I have done a bit of research on a couple mics that will work. Next I will research a phone tripod. Hopefully someone has them in stock and can ship/deliver or maybe locally and I can pick up soon! I am ready ready!
So keep on sending those good vibes!
Some days are easier than others.
Some days i am able to just go with the flow.
Some days i can comfortably sit with discomfort.
Today is one of those days.
All messages pointed towards "no work" so i listened. After that, a whole pile of "lovely" flowed into my life.
I had a great phone walk with a friend only to come home and have an offer of a coffee phone date, followed by another lovely phone date.
So blessed am I to have these experiences!!! So grateful for the gift of still being able to connect with friends even though i can't see them face-to-face.
So today i share the pretty scene at my work desk, that will hopefully stay fresh for one more day, until i return.
hugs to all!!
A couple people have offered to loan out some equipment to me during this "at home" time.
Also, i jumped in, downloaded and tried out Zoom the other day. It was a last minute and hurried adventure because Pema Chodron was offering a meditation and Q&A through Tricyle - The Buddhist Review. I had signed up for it the week before but as i am not on a schedule for much these days, it slipped my mind. Thankfully a friend sent me a reminder text a few minutes before it started. I do not yet have a web cam, so i joined in "silently". Practicing "live" with Pema has been on my "Ooo that'd be special" list for many years. It was eerie and good at the same time. Although i am not Buddhist, her wise words have helped to guide me through many times, joyful and uncomfortable, in my adult life. I feel recharged and inspired. She reminds me of why i do what i do. Woo hoo!
Here is my favourite snippet from many years ago that i watch when i need a laugh and a nudge:
HA HA HA HA!
Yesterday was not the "forward" motion day i was hoping it to be:
Happy Monday everyone!
It was not my intention, but i ended up stepping away from the "on-line" production for a few days. I realized that i had fallen behind on my admin and accounting work. I am all caught up and ready to return to the on-line world. The time away was a good thing. I had time to process where i've been and where i am going.
Here are my updates:
So what is on my list for today:
Thanks again for joining me on this ride! and yes, Please do keep posting comments here, and sending me emails. It is nice to know that someone out there is reading some of the words i am sharing!
First, a YouTube update:
I read a lot more and then made a test account with an old email address. I used a funny video of our dog as the test video to upload. THAT was very helpful process - it cleared up some questions i had about a couple features. I got stuck on "how to make it private but still share it" so i left it at that as my brain was full. There are some editing features available on YouTube, so i will play with those to see if they are any better than the one i have on my computer.
Today i decided to take advantage of an empty house to dive in and record a yoga video. I learn best by "doing" and "trial and error" so i remained open to the experience and the successes and disasters that would take place. I would be delighted if i actually got a final usable product but i'd also be o.k. with learning by going through the process.
And boy, did i learn...
Problems to fix/lessons learned:
Back in 2019, before this new world was even a blip on our radar, I planned a mini holiday for the end of March. When all this came about, i considered skipping my time off to continue forging ahead into this new learning journey. BUT there was a voice that got louder and louder every day urging me to keep my planned holiday. The other voice would argue, usually with a "ya but..." about making money, keeping the energy flowing, the momentum growing, and of not disappointing my students.
I am happy to report that both parts of me got what they wanted:
I did not check my email for 4 days.
I did not blog or record or test out products.
I did not read any non-fiction.
I lazed about.
I watched cartoons while eating breakfast.
I had baths.
I sat in the sun.
I read fiction.
But I also did “work”, just not the “making a living” kind. I received great pleasure from this work. It is all the stuff I have been wanting to do but have not had the energy to do in a while.
I washed all of my floors,
I rearranged decor,
I cleaned and reorganized my spice drawer & tea shelf,
I coloured…. in my day timer!!
I looked at my day timer the other day and realized how drab it was (I mostly write in pencil so things can changed without making too much of a mess) - so that plus there are a lot of items crossed out. With all the cancellations, it was, to my working mind, depressing. If you have been following my blog, you will know I have not been idle on my working days but none of that stuff is in my day timer, nor do I feel it needs to be. “BUT, but, but!!” my working mind cries, “how will we know we have done things???!!!”
So I let my working mind go at it! I pulled out my markers and let her fill those days with all that I accomplished, both in words and blobs of colour.
The "work" part of me was very satisfied and would like to continue this as a daily practice.
The "fun" part of me liked it too.
O.k. so that was easy....
If you head over to my "expand" page, you will see the fruits of my labour, well, and the labour of some fab people over at the City of Courtenay and the Recreation Department.
And to the right, you will see one of my first viewers.
I am honoured to have had such a lovely participant!!
I have been called MacGyver* on many an occasion. I come by this trait 2 ways:
1. I am creative and impatient. Meaning I want to do something and I don’t have the patience (and sometimes resources) to wait until I have the proper tools or items to do said job. So I will futz around until i can get it to work with what I have available.
And 2. I inherited this trait from my father - ask me some day about how he made a temporary repair on a vehicle’s under frame with kevlar skis from an old snow mobile and tar.
So I have been brain storming ideas of yoga videos and spaces in my home that might work to film them. Today’s experiment was “yoga in bed”. And the main question to answer was “I don’t have a tripod… How do I hold the phone up to shoot?” After much trial and error I MacGyvered a “ChairPod”. I attached a giant bull clip to the back of a hydraulic office chair. The space between the 2 “clips” was way too wide for a stable phone holder so I folded a piece of fabric, attached it with an elastic and then used blue goo to make sure the phone stayed in place.
So, next on my list of things to do?
- get funding for some easier to use equipment!
I will investigate the various crowd-funding sites out there to find the one most suitable to my needs. Have you ever contributed to one? Have you ever used one for fund-raising?
Any suggestions or ones to avoid?
Follow-up from yesterday:
- Yay! I now have a PayPal account!
- Yay! I now have a secure Auto-Deposit e-transfer service!
(i’ll talk more about those in a future post)
Well, I am off to enjoy the sun while it is shining! Happy day to you all!
*MacGyver is a verb meaning "to make, form, or repair (something) with what is conveniently on hand." A term originating from the popular 1980’s T.V. serial where MacGyver (played by the sexy Richard Dean Anderson) gets out of sticky situations, using items like gum and paper clips.
Hi all. I decided to record my first "for public listening" guided meditation today (March 20th, 2020).
I will start by saying that this is not my first guided meditation recording - i have been recording for personal use (on my phone) for many years. I don't worry too much about how smooth they are because i am good at ignoring mistakes for a while and if the importance of the meditation out-lives the quality of the recording, then i will just re-record it. But now the stakes are a little higher. If this recording goes on the internet, it will be there FOREVER! I'd like to to have as few mistakes as possible so that it can be listened to repeatedly without the listener getting annoyed by the glitches.
Set up/prep :
Lessons learned/things to test out:
Hello! and Welcome!
If you are anyone, pretty much living anywhere in the world today, March 19th, 2020, you are aware of the current health and wellness challenge facing, well, most of us! If you have perused my website, then you know that i teach yoga and meditation. Both of the spaces i currently teach in, are closed.
So, what to do? What to do!? I have been getting requests for CD's, or digital recordings of my classes/teachings for many years but have simply not had the time or resources to throw myself into the process. SO MUCH research is required. SO MUCH testing! SO MUCH writing! SO MUCH hardware and software to learn (and buy!).
The plus side of this self-isolating time of ours is, i have time - lots of it. Join me here every day or so and learn what i am learning, use me as a resource, or just come have a good laugh at my technology rants and raves - there will be many!
Being the tactile person i am, i started this process with a mind map. i needed to get all the "stuff" out of my brain and onto paper so that i can decipher what the first step might be.
Come back tomorrow to see what that first step entailed and what disasters i encountered. ;)
germ-free hugs to you all!
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