Oh Yeah, Life Goes On

As I sit here reading the Sunday paper — the one hard copy periodical I still read regularly — I begin thinking about when my kids were little. Things weren’t always easy for them, for us.

When my oldest son Ethan was two, we moved across the country, from Los Angeles to Boston. Soon after that, I got ill with a neurological disorder. Noah, my youngest, was only 5 months old when this happened. I was in bed for two years and missed his first steps and many other firsts. Then, when they were in 2nd and 5th grade, their father and I got separated, then divorced. I got remarried a few years later and my sons got a new step-brother out of the deal too. In the middle of all this, I changed careers – went from a journalist to a yoga studio owner.  A lot of changes and I worked a gazillion hours a week. When things were finally starting to settle down, Noah got cast in a Broadway touring show. I was running  two yoga businesses at the time but I knew what I had to do: leave it all behind and go on tour with Noah. But, I also left behind my husband, two other sons, my businesses and my dog.

3 Boys

My big boys

When I came home five months ago and 15 months later, I had a lot of decisions to make and catching up to do. Should I build my businesses back up to where they once were? Should we move out of this house if I no longer need the yoga studio that is on the property? At the same time, I had a lot of catch-up work to do with Ethan on his college applications and visits. Then it hit me: Where did life go and where is it headed?

Honestly, it feels like a blur. Next year this time, Ethan will be out of the house, living at college and starting his adult life. Noah will be a sophomore in high school while pursuing his dreams of a dance and theater career. Yes, I was there for my boys, always encouraging them and supporting them. But yet, I don’t remember a lot of details. Life changed and moved too fast.

Lake Massapoag

when things get quiet, you see clearly

So I decided to put the brakes on – at least in the best way I knew how in this ever moving forward swirl of life. For the past five months I have committed to making no major decisions for myself. That’s right: None. Rebuilding Breathe Joy Yoga was just too big of a decision so I decided against it. Been there, done that. I just wanted to spend some time “being.”

Not rushing, not racing, not having to do a million things at once. For the first three months, this felt, well, weird. I woke up every morning thinking I had to be somewhere, but I didn’t. I raced to my computer to open my email fully expecting messages from yoga students wanting information on classes and workshops. Nothing.  In my new experiment of “nothingness”, I didn’t even practice asana every day or even 4 days a week like I used to. Sure, I exercised BUT I made sure I didn’t take myself too seriously or put pressure on myself to do any one kind of exercise. And, I will admit this openly now: I let my meditation practice go by the wayside. You see, when I meditate and get quiet, I hear what I need to hear and do. I just didn’t want to listen to advice, not even my own. I was afraid of what I’d hear, like “You are spending too much time doing nothing. You should be running a business. You should be making more money. Yadda, yadda, yadda.”

This little experiment has been one of the biggest challenges of my life. I’m a “doer” by nature, not a “be-er.” I had no idea how hard this would be and it doesn’t help when even my kids say: “Mom, what are you going to do next? Are you going to get a job, start a new business, go back to the studio? What do you do every day?” They aren’t used to this new me.

Ironically, this little experiment was not intended to actually be an experiment. I just wanted to slow down. And, in doing so, opportunities have come into my life for myself, my family and my children. Amazing how that happens when you commit to nothingness.  You actually become more receptive to positive change AND you leave room for new opportunities to come into your life. Imagine that?  And, by the way, isn’t this a form of meditation of sorts? Isn’t this being present?

In this moment, this is my yoga – sans asana and all. Seeing life as it is: right here, right now.

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Categories: Accidental Stage Mom, Billy Elliot, business, business of yoga, get real, letting go, Philosophy, That's Life!, Writing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Oh Yeah, Life Goes On

  1. Robin, you continue to write beautifully. Enjoyed reading your article. It’s okay to be officially retired! Have fun! 🌷🌻🌹🌺🎼🎨📚 Steve

  2. I can identify. After many years of teaching & coaching, I had to get away from the rat race, so I retired. After a few months, I had new energy and started a business – which is a new, challenging endeavor for me.

    • So cool Jim! Curious to know what type of coaching you did and what you do now. Rock on!

      • My first college degree was in Marketing, but I spent most of my career in Social Studies Education. I coached basketball (which is quite intense in Indiana – where I live) and baseball. I started an advertising promotions business in Sept. See: indianamarketingllc.com

        Incidentally, I saw Noah perform in BETM in Indianapolis.

      • Jim Daubenheyer

        Check out the cover story in the Feb. 3 issue of TIME, Robyn.

  3. Chris McCormack

    Hi Robyn, we met briefly when Noah was performing in Boston. I was also at his final show in Hartford. This really spoke to me! I took an early retirement at the end of last year. Since then I have been doing much the same as you, taking time to slow down and do nothing. It feels unnatural for me as well, but I realize it is something I have needed to do. It’s great to hear about others going through the same process of slowing down, reexamining their lives, and being open to new opportunities.

    • Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your note here and thanks for coming to see Noah perform. I hope you keep reading and good luck with your “slow down” time.

  4. Darina Huinck

    Hi Robyn, you don’t know me, I happened to stumble upon your blog through facebook, via your husband (I lived with his family for a year in ’88 as an exchange student). I love what you have written, so well described. I recognize it all too well, as I am going through a similar thing and also experience the doubts that come along with it. So your words help me overcome these doubts. A long time ago Ferris Bueller (yes that long ago!) said: “Life moves fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while you might miss it.” So true! All the best and thank you for this post.

    • Hi Darina,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for reading. I hope you continue to read my posts and weigh in. I always respond and welcome comments and insight. I have heard a lot about you from Carol and Paul and love anyone who quotes Ferris Bueller! Be well and I hope to meet you one day soon.

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