The WellHouse Fit's first SocialSweat's event in nearly 3 months held at Summerfield Farms
In the book 'Polishing The Mirror' by the great yogi and guru, Ram Dass, he says that we can feel everything all at once: "The art of life is to stay wide open and be vulnerable, yet at the same time to sit with the mystery and the awe and with the unbearable pain - to just be with it all." And the last 3 months has been a perfect example of this - an emotional roller coaster of every kind of feeling. I don't think I have ever felt happy, sad, and mad all at once until now. But, that is exactly Ram Dass' point, and when you truly immerse yourself into the moment, it's living truth. The amount of global events that have taken place is enough for an entire lifetime. But, it's all happening right now, and there doesn't seem any end in sight. For me however, it's time I personally accept these changes, adapt, and work to help create a better place. In order to move forward, I need to release what I cannot control and deal with this sense of helplessness, because truth be told, I am not helpless. None of us are.
Never one to shy away from tough subject matter, I often encourage these difficult conversations and have even blogged about them before. If my studio, The WellHouse Fit, was allowed to be open, my amazing clients and staff would still be discussing, debating, and conversing on all that is happening in our world. I imagine our discussions would take place either propped up on equipment, congregating in our lobby, or hanging out in the parking lot after class. We would share our fears, stories of experiences, offer advice, and talk about what could be done to create a positive change. All smart minds, good souls, and amazing people, speaking on all that is going on... and I would be, as I often am, left enlightened and a little more educated. These types of conversations are a great way to develop empathy on subject matters and experiences you may know little about - such as sexual assault, mental illness, racism, global health pandemics, etc. It is uncomfortable and hard to do. It's not meant to be easy, but these current global events are happening, and they are impacting everyone, and we have to start talking about them with compassion and empathy in order to begin to create plans for a change.
I wish I had the talent of a beautifully skilled and poignant writer, but I do not, and I lack the ability to put my thoughts down in that way. But, I hope to share some insight. I am a business owner who has had to physically close my studio doors due to this pandemic. I am also a mother of 3 children, who are privileged beyond measure because they are white. I have had to close my business, but still be accountable to the financial commitments. With my husband, I have had to home-school my children, go up against the most epic meltdowns caused by my poor explanation of fractions, tell them "no" 1200 times to going over to a friend's house, and struggle with my 3 year old that "all ninjas wear masks." I have cried over the strong possibility of having to close my business permanently and worry about what kind of personal financial ruin it will have on my family.
But, more important than business and finances, I have had my 12 year old son ask, "what happened to George Floyd," and sat him down along with my 9 year old daughter to discuss an already started conversation, and to continue to a more mature level of what "white privilege" is. I shared how my son's friend who lives just across the street, how his parents have to have a much different conversation about growing older all because he is Black. The worries I have as a mother of white children are different than being a mother of Black children. It is unfair and unjust.
Through all of these scary and unsure times, I have also had some pretty incredible moments. One has been that, even despite all of the frustrations that can hit throughout the days, it has been absolutely wonderful to spend more time with my husband and our three children. I have missed them and they had missed me. When you own your own business, and are so invested in it, one can lose sight and underestimate how much time has gotten away. That has definitely happened over the last 3 years. I knew when opening The WellHouse that there'd be a lot of sacrifices, but when the entire world came to an abrupt halt and made my family stop, we discovered just how much we had missed each other. Dinner back at the dining room table, cooking and dancing in the kitchen, learning how to play chess, falling in love with my husband all over again - it's been kinda amazing. Feeling amazing one minute then would lead to feeling guilty for being happy - I mean, my difficulties don't measure up to 400 years of Black oppression, and my happiness has increased as it seems the Black community is at the apex of despair. It's hard. But, it's exactly how Ram Dass sums up life - feeling everything at once. When walking through the thick and dark tree covered path, that light can still shine down.
What I have come to realize is that there's beauty in the madness of it all and people will still fight for the good of humanity. People will stand up for what is right. I decided to have my children witness these acts for themselves, because I could never, ever put into words the ability to share how powerful people's will to fight for a better life is. I had to show them. I showed them that even though bad will always be there, people will fight for the good. People will put on their face masks to protect the vulnerable while marching and hold up their Black Lives Matter signs, because it's the right thing to do, and because Black lives do matter. People will come together after a night of riots and looting in our downtown to help their fellow small business owners pick up the broken glass, repair the kicked in doors and help board up their store front windows, all while painting beautiful messages of hope for the future of our Black brethren. They will write the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, and Greensboro's own Marcus Smith, and show their support and respect for what is happening and fight against the oppression of people of color.
I don't know what my next step is exactly and I know I am not alone in that. This pandemic is here for a while. What I do know is that I want to continue to help people feel better through movement. I want to prove that the fitness industry can be safe while we help people work through both their physical and mental obstacles. I want my little WellHouse community's conversations to continue to happen and be shared on this blog. I know I want to continue to educate myself and my family on what our privilege means and how we can help be part of the change for a better and more equal life for all. I know that I want to fight for my business and for the fitness industry and have it be better supported and protected, because we need it to survive. I know I want to continue to be a voice and advocate for mental health and provide outlets for people who struggle with it. I hope I can make all of these desires my reality. I believe in myself, I believe in my family, friends, and you - that we can be the good and create the change. Doing so all while wearing a mask and holding my Black Lives Matter sign. Be good. Do good. And feel all the things in each and every moment. Living and thriving.