The Call: June 4th 2019
Aren't we all pulled to a calling in life? Something that we know in our hearts to be true as our path, our way, our future?
This was the sense that we (Michelle and Morgan) felt as we stumbled upon a cute little office space in downtown Buena Vista June 4th 2019. At the time all we could think of was how amazing the location was, right off main street with great views and plenty of parking. It didn't matter what it looked like, to us, we saw the yoga studio already there. We were ecstatic, stoked, and in love with the space.
We had work ahead of us and we thought 'hey, this will be easy'. There was so much momentum in the beginning, we thought we'd be open in less than a month. Everything about the redesign seemed like it would be simple. Just tear down the florescent lights, put up some new ones, and rewire the switches; EASY right?
"It may not be easy, life isn't easy, but dreams keep you alive." John Muir
We were a few days in and had already taken out the carpet squares, blinds, and closet doors. My sister Sam and her hubby Matt were in town that weekend, so we decided to paint with their help. It was exciting, it was happening, and we were so grateful for their energy. Picking out the colors was seemingly 'easy' in True Value, everything under those florescent lights looked great. The original colors were bright (basically neon) orange, bright yellow, and lime green. After we painted a few walls I distinctly remember Jeffrey calling it a "McDonalds Playhouse' and immediately wanted to vomit. It was horrible.
We decided to scrap the colors altogether. WHEW. The next weekend we were gifted by a visit from my stepmom, who just so happens to be a design and color wizard! With her amazing eye for color pairings and design, she picked the perfect palate:
Indian Summer Orange
The feel, vibe, and flow of the colors fit empower yoga perfectly! The momentum was restored and everything was going according to plan.
Doing The Thing(s):
Around early July we had another visit from family and naturally we all went to check out the studio. My brother Andrew and his new wifey Rawan gave us an idea, open up the studio space by taking down the drop ceiling. It was an 'AHA' moment for sure, we all looked around and it made total sense to tear that sucker down. We decided to go for it!
The next day our hired contractors got to work on taking down the entire ceiling. Under that sneaky cover up was a mess of electrical work, unfinished walls, insulation, and a thousand drop ceiling support screws. It didn't matter though, we were all smiles...
Little did we know that our contractors were not actually professionals. I hesitate to share this next bit because it was a huge mistake and oversight.
We paid our contractors up front to finish the space; including the drywall, texture and paint. The next few days they were able to install all the drywall panels. Ahhh it was an amazing feeling to look around at all the new open ceiling space.... AND then we got a shitty curve ball. Our contractors left town with a 'medical emergency' and we never heard from them again.
After that it was really hard for us to go to the studio and stare our mistake (NEVER pay up front) in the face. The phase of emotions was anger, frustration, and sadness. That set us back a few weeks, we could hardly bring ourselves to terms with it. So many questions and doubts came up during that time and it was a struggle to simply clean the space. Every time I'd walk through the door I could hear myself saying fuck, over and over again.
After a period of giving lots of fucks, and not doing anything, something finally changed. We found a few pieces of drywall sanding paper at our house and declared it as a 'sign', WE would finish the project ourselves. With zero drywall experience or heck even basic construction knowledge, we decided to just do it. Hence: DOING THE THING!
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." -Michael Jordan
Luckily the internet exists, so we started by googling how to tape and mud drywall. We watched 1 youtube video and started that day. It was a powerful moment to stand in our space and take that step forward. I remember thinking 'am I doing this right?' and then immediately saying to myself 'I give zero fucks'. The project was no longer about perfection, we had to give that up the first day of mudding. We had to give up expectations. We had to give up 'looking good'. We even gave up straight lines.
The next handful of weeks were dirty, messy, muddy, dusty, and bitchy. We rented a scaffolding and I remember originally saying 'we only need it for 2 days' HA! We ended up renting it for an entire month and boy were we thankful for that 6ft. platform.
After each day of work we were physically and mentally exhausted. It felt like everything was taking forever, and we had to give up ALL timelines. We committed to patience, being along for the ride, the journey, the slowness, and the process. Aches, pains, and sore muscles accompanied this project; it wasn't pretty. What kept us going through all the mudding, taping, texturing, painting, and flooring was our vision for the space and community. To create a special gathering place to practice power yoga, to break old limiting beliefs, and to discover the greatness and power within.
Everyone has heard the saying 'practice what you preach'- well I can 10000% say that is exactly what happened when building Empower Yoga. Who knew when we choose that name how insanely fitting it would be. It lands in our hearts, our minds, and in our working hands. We now know what wanting something so badly looks and feels like. We wanted to share this journey of empowerment to highlight the behind the scenes stuff. In life I think we all focus on the fluffy fun finished project, however, thats not reality. REAL-ity is raw, unfiltered LIFE. It is what we MAKE. Literally and figuratively.
At Empower Yoga we aim to show you- you. The real you. The you that can do ANYTHING. The you with limitless potential and power. The real you.
Will you join us in empowering our community and world? Will you empower your life to inspire others to do the same? and will you show up for you?
A very special thank you to everyone who helped in this journey: lots and lots of family, so many amazing friends, our yoga communities far and near, neighbors, checkout attendants, Robbie at the lumber store, folks who held doors for us, and everyone who contributed their love and support! Gratitude fills our hearts every time we walk into the studio, this was built together, thank you.
We cant wait to celebrate and practice with everyone at the Grand Opening Party on October 12th. Its going to be loaded with powerful classes, community feels, dance parties, a ribbon cutting, and pizza to end the day!
See you soon!