I may have been wrong about virtual reality.

There were reasons I didn’t love the idea of virtual classes. I thought they were good reasons. Maybe they are in some ways. Lack of connection and more time in front of a computer over in-person interaction, to name just a few of the reasons I had an aversion to online classes. It was more than an aversion, though. I simply was not open-minded to even give it a chance. The community that comes from seeing people in person was something I didn’t want to lose. It is something I cherish. I was afraid that virtual classes would take that away. That they would lose something. In some ways they do. But they give in other ways I would not have known had I not been “forced” to give this a go. Now that “virtually” is the only way we can connect as a group, how quickly my perspective has changed! This is how we are staying connected. This is how we are finding tools to help us in the time of uncertainty. I was wrong. There are many pros to offering things online. I’m offering as many free things as possible and it has been an honor to connect with so many people in such a short period of time. All online. Who knew the virtual connection would be such a gift?

 

 

The studio had already been shifting to smaller class sizes and social distancing when the mandate to close came mid-March. Temporarily closing the physical studio was a given; however, going virtual was met with resistance on my part at first. I lined the ducks up in their “perfect” little row as best I could. There were a lot of moving parts from a business perspective that needed to be handled. I realized there are benefits to virtual classes, it would be worth the effort, and it needed to be done as soon as possible. It could be a great way to bring the tools of yoga, Reiki, meditation, and Zentangle® to people. These are the tools that bring me back to center, groundedness, and calm when my foundation gets shaken. They are the tools that changed my life, inspired me to make different choices, and brought a profound shift in finding myself. The studio “closed” and there I was asking myself, “How could we help? What do we need right now? How can we hold space for each other as the world changes so quickly?” These feelings of unsettledness weren’t unfamiliar. I had felt this type of thing before. But that isn’t why I’m writing this blog.

 

 

Last Thursday evening, in Gentle Flow yoga, I had an emotional release after the smallest movement. I was simply connecting with my breath in crocodile pose and it came on in a wave. I was allowed to let that go in a way I couldn’t have (or wouldn’t have!) in an in-studio class. My mic was muted and no one could see my face. The tears of the pressure that has been building up were able to release at the moment they presented themselves. The virtual world allowed me a release that I would have fought back in the studio only to hope I could come back to it in my own space. It has been my experience that when I stifle an emotional release it takes much longer for it to happen again. I much prefer to let it happen organically.

 

 

Jeff and I filed for divorce a week ago. We got notice they had received all the information we sent and a day later we got word that our divorce is final. While the divorce has been agreed upon and on the horizon for over a year, we were not expecting it to process so quickly. Even when amicable and mutual it’s an emotional life event. It’s surreal. It brings me anxiety and fear. It also brings relief and the opportunity to heal. It makes sense that I had an emotional release coming. Thanks to the virtual world, it happened spontaneously in a sacred space that happened to be my own home. If you know Jeff and I at all, you know that we also laughed at the fact that we found out on April Fool’s Day. I’m so grateful that we are friends. We are quarantined together. We are holding space for each other, being respectful, vulnerable and kind in a world that feels unsettled, yet hopeful and filled with potential. What are our next steps? Taking it one day at a time. Choice by choice to be part of the collective solution. Whether that be in our home or for the world. We are taking everything one step at a time.

 

 

Life has unexpected avenues. Surrendering to the tools I’ve been gifted through the guidance of my teachers, my work, and my community has been incredibly powerful. I am grateful.

Much love,

Michelle

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