It started with “what if”?
Sometimes the biggest dreams that you have feel so impossible and yet so appealing, that you can’t help but wonder - what if?
We never meant to stay in Maynard. It was just the best option for a pair of city-dwellers that wanted the feel of a walkable, urban community, but the accessibility and affordability of suburban life.
In 2013, Chris and I, our two dogs, and our 1-year old son moved to Maynard. We were both professional engineering consultants with great companies, and every intention of staying on that path.
Sometimes the universe has other plans for you.
A month after we moved to Maynard, mid-renovation in our home, I found myself guardian to my special needs nephew (age 5 at the time). The following week, I left my corporate job to stay home full time. It was not planned. And it made no economic sense. But it was what we needed at the time.
Years into one of the most challenging times of my life, I sought out yoga as a refuge to the stress which was living in a small house, with two busy kids, and two dogs, trying to piece together joy in between some really hard, emotionally straining circumstances.
Three days into teacher training with my two favorite teachers on this earth, I knew this was it for me. I knew yoga was something I could explore, grow, learn from. It was something I could dedicate my life to.
Sometimes you just know.
Two months after teacher training, I was in the best shape of my life. Finally healing my core after major abdominal separation from my first pregnancy. It was then, of course, that I became pregnant with my daughter.
Two months after she was born, we had a custody trial for my nephew. Six months later, we found out that we had lost custody. And that we would lose a key member of our family.
In my grief, I did a lot of meditation. Contemplation. Writing. A lot of screaming. We hugged and cried a lot. We denied and refused to accept the truth.
But once he left, I knew that I would either wallow in that grief, or choose a new path.
And that’s when Be the Love Yoga was born.
It is through tragedy and heartbreak that you can truly see the full potential of all that you are.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. And I believe that because despite the heartache I have experience in my own life, each time my heart has broken, it has provided me with room to grow.
When we lost our trial, and I lost my nephew, I knew that the only way to show the mark of how much he means to me was to create something beautiful.
This studio is a piece of my heart. It was born from love. It is an act of love.
In the chaos of the years up until that point, I never dared to ask myself what I wanted. In the midst of grief, it was the only way I knew how to build myself back up again.
So I started with “What if I opened a yoga studio?”.
I mentioned it to friends.
I made an appointment to look at a studio space.
I posted on a social media thread.
The space came a few weeks later.
The staff was complete the following week.
Six months later, we opened our doors.
And here we are today.
Every single day I am exceptionally grateful for this studio, for this amazing staff, for the truly wonderful, kind hearted, and tremendous community we have here, and for the opportunity to pursue this dream.
Thank you for reading this.
Thank you to everyone who was there when it was hard.
Thank you to those of you who chose to be the first, to take a chance, and to see what we are all about.
Thank you to those of you that show up every week, sometimes almost daily, to be a part of our community.
Thank you to those of you that are new to yoga, and our town, that are willing to take a chance on a small studio built on persistance, love, and a whole lot of hope.
Thank you for being a part of this dream.
Thank you for being here.
With gratitude and love (it is my name, after all),
Julie Love Gagen, Owner BTLY