Anyone who knows me knows I love the end of winter, otherwise known as “spring” 🙂

I love the change in nature as it starts to awaken and bloom.

I love being able to spend time outside and connect to the all the elements of the Earth.

It literally feeds my soul and makes me feel alive.

While this kind of seasonal change is exciting and exhilarating for me, change can also have a less predictable side — an uncomfortable side.

And while not all change is welcomed, wanted, or embraced … one thing remains: it is inevitable.

Change will happen whether we are prepared for it or not.

It got me thinking about our little studio and the changes that we’ve gone through as a community, as well as the changes we will continue to have.

Our studio has come so far over the years and many changes have taken place. Change is good for us in that it stretches us and pushes us outside our comfort zones.

At the same time, it can be hard to adapt to.

I was having a conversation with one of our original members last week, Brooke (who also happens to be going through our first yoga teacher training). She was kind enough to openly share her [at times] uncomfortable growth with the studio and the changes that it brings.

I appreciated her vulnerable perspective and wanted to share it with all of you.

Here are Brooke’s words:

“Growth in our small little community – it’s exciting, it’s scary, and it requires us to surrender our personal definition of who the studio is.

We often have new faces, and these changes can be uncomfortable. It’s like coming to church to find that someone took your spot in the pew. It might make you feel awkward, anxious, and thrown off.

Aparigraha, or non-hoarding/non-possessiveness, is one of the yamas from the eight limbs of yoga. Aparigraha means to overcome greed. It implies letting go of our attachments. It means understanding that impermanence and God are the ONLY constants.

Clinging to what we know and what’s familiar weighs us down and makes for more disappointing experiences.

Aparigraha, on the other hand, invites us to enjoy the fruits of our labor, open the studio to new souls, be open to growth and change, and to use this space as a vessel to reach others. We appreciate our long-standing members and your commitment to our core beliefs at Studio 4:8. At the same time, we welcome our newcomers with wide-open arms and an eagerness to immerse you in our community.

1 John 3:17 – ‘But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?’

Exodus 23:9 – ‘You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.'”

(Bonnie here again)

Having had the privilege to be one of Brooke’s instructors in yoga teacher training, I was glad to see how she referenced one of the eight limbs, Aparigraha. We just recently finished that segment in our training and it’s beautiful to see reflections on its significance.

I loved even more how she referenced both the OLD and NEW Testament, seeing as how change always involves an eye on the old and new alongside one another.

Most of all, I appreciated so much how Brooke was completely honest about her initial “This is my studio” feeling.

And, guys, … I get it.

One of the pillars of Studio 4:8 is COMMUNITY.

We have a small, intimate space. We try to be tight-knit and vulnerable. You can’t NOT be seen here.

And sometimes we are stretched by the changes in our community:

For those of you “old schoolers” … Perhaps you show up at your usual class only to find someone new in your “spot” (I KNOW someone of you have one!).

Or perhaps you come to a class prepared to shoot the breeze and share your practice with familiar faces only to discover that you don’t recognize ANYONE.

But guess what? We’ve all been that person.

We’ve all stepped outside our comfort zones to face change head-on. We’ve all been in situations where we weren’t 100 percent sure of ourselves.

I concluded my conversation with Brooke by saying this to her:

“Think of what the studio has done for you.

This is not YOUR studio.

This is not Laura’s studio.

This is not Kristin’s studio.

This is not even MY studio.

This. Is. Jesus’s. Studio.

His, and His alone.

And truthfully…I pray that He may forever keep bringing new faces here.

He is USING me, Joy, Kristin, Laura, Hugh, Topher (and soon to be others) to bless His people with our yoga offerings.

He is using our comfortable members to welcome all the new faces and show them how beloved and appreciated they are as God’s children in our studio.

We are called not just to look forward to the Kingdom of God… but, rather, we are called to BE the Kingdom of God.

May our studio always embrace this vocation, blessed by His goodness.”

Amen.

Love, Bonnie

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