Hi folks. I have some really awesome news – I’m now officially part of the team at Breathe Yoga and Wellness in Pensacola. Woohoo! I’ll be moving into their downtown office space a mere three blocks away in the next couple of days. I couldn’t be more excited. This is definitely the next step for me as far as the direction I’ve been wanting to take my work all along. And why call it work? I hope more and more to look at it as play. Because that’s how it feels as we learn and practice this stuff more and more deeply. The inner chatterbox is taken less seriously and the real version of us that’s been in there the whole time can continue to rise up and call the shots.
How all of this went down is pretty cool. Two Mondays ago, I looked at my schedule for the week and saw how light it was. It really hit me. It’s been light for a while, and I guess after so many weeks of this, I just had the thought that this was not explainable by any normal means. The work itself, or play, is just going too well. It’s working, and people are learning that they really are resilient. They learn to be their own counselor pretty quickly and then come in less and less, if at all. Some people like to check in monthly or every two months, and others just come in when big things are happening. Still others don’t feel the need to come back in at all. And that’s great, because that means mission accomplished. I’ve said before that I’m trying to work myself out of a job from the initial session. This is not good for business, though, until the word really gets out. And I was looking at my schedule wondering how on earth the word hadn’t gotten out at least a little bit more by now??
Here’s the cool thing, though… I was not angry. In the past, I’ve definitely had that attitude rise up. It’s an easy story to tell that I’m helping people but I can’t pay the bills unless I’m busier, so dammit, send me some more people! It’s a win-win, because they feel better and I can pay the bills. Nice. If you look at that closely, though, there’s the victim story, the unfair story, you name it. But this time I was chilled out and just put it out there, “If I need another gig, that’s fine. I’ll do whatever. Just let me know. But this ain’t working. Please help me out either way!” So the next day, I got a voicemail from my friend Stacey Vann who is one of the super dynamic women behind Breathe Yoga and Wellness. She’s also the founder of the hugely successful Mahabhuta Yoga Festival, which happens to be in its third year and is coming up November 21-23 on beautiful Pensacola Bay. Do it! Back to the story…
The reason she was calling was a sad one. One of their yoga students had recently committed suicide, and they were going to be holding a memorial gathering for her. They wanted a counselor on hand. That’s when I was making my annual October trip up to the North Carolina mountains to visit my mom and step-dad and see some awesome fall leaves, so I was only able to give them some info to hand out. I really wanted to be there, though. Then she said they were looking to bring in a counselor to be part of their team. They had a sweet office ready to go. They’re friends of mine and were actually saying, “I wish Ashley Pennewill would join us” right when the phone rang. And it was me. And when she told me about wanting to bring in a counselor, I said hells yeah!
I’m good at talking to people and sharing this transformative material, and I’m getting better at that all the time, just like we all get better at anything with gentle practice. I don’t seem to be so hot in the marketing department, though. As my grandfather learned in business school 75 years ago, “It doesn’t matter how good you are at something if people don’t know how good you are.” If you can’t pay the bills, it’s not going to work. And this has been very obvious to me lately.
So I’m just totally honored to join their wellness team and let them help fill in the gaps where I lack. They have big plans, and so do I. In joining up, anything can happen. And I’ve wanted to take this work/play in a “deeper” direction all along. That’s why I went back to school and became a counselor in the first place. So to have access to the ever growing community that they’ve built is just amazing. And finally, how funny and scripted is it that I become affiliated with a yoga and wellness center, and it’s called Breathe? Ha! Perfect… So here’s to the future and whatever may unfold. I’m pretty pumped.