I dwell in possibility. Emily Dickinson
It came to me on a walk two days ago, on an afternoon brisk enough to haul out the cross-country skies, a snow-less gray-sky day in which I had to settle for boots and the paved bikepath in Marquette, instead of the groomed ski trails that I am eager to push off on. It came to me as I worked my arm and leg muscles to stay warm, as I worked my mind’s muscles to stay positive. At first it was a flash of memory from last Friday, how a friend, in the midst of a discussion concerning the Election, had said that she is choosing to release old beliefs that keep us stuck in the status quo, beliefs that don’t feel good to her, or limit her thinking, and to turn her attention forward, to what is possible. And this flash of memory felt warm against my wind-stung cheeks and it attracted to me another warm flash of memory. The same friend had left me a phone message a month ago with a quote that she had heard on a broadcast: “Don’t argue for your limitations; argue for your possibilities.” At the time, I had written this quote down, had filed it as a good one in “the good-quotes-file-cabinet” in my mind. It was yesterday, however, as I braced myself against the November wind, that I began to embody its powerful message.
I felt energized as I headed back along Superior’s shore toward the warmth of my car. How empowering it is to let go of our limitations, the ways in which we grind our tires into the muck and stay stuck, not only as a nation, but, also as individuals. How empowering it is to rev up our imaginations and feel our engines humming and drumming and our tires moving us forward and new possibilities rising up right in front of us and beckoning us into places more wonderful than we had previously considered possible.
That’s what happened five years ago when I turned my attention from my limitations and dreamed Joy Center into being. I had loved my small yoga business, the one that had thrived in the renovated basement of Cam’s dental office. It had been a perfect set-up, as our two businesses co-existed in the same building for several years. It was only in the late spring of the seventh year that I began to feel antsy. I wanted more space, a place where I could teach yoga more often, and writing workshops, a place to perform, a place where others could perform as well. And that’s when things began to change, when I stopped feeling stifled, and turned my attention, instead, to what might be possible. I made an appointment with a realtor to look at a small business for sale. And that appointment led to more clarity – and, to the brainstorm, one stifling June afternoon, when I remembered that Cam and I already owned a piece of property, a deer path away from our house in Ishpeming Township. And a wild possibility, one more expansive and wonderful than I had previously considered do-able, rose up that June day like a fiery phoenix. And I shared it with a friend, this wild-winged dream, and it began to take form. And this is the best part of the Joy Center-being-born story; this is the part that we forget to remember. It was easy. I didn’t have to figure it all out, how, this dream, that seemed so expansive to me, and overwhelming, was going to become a physical reality. I just had to follow the inspired steps forward. One at a time. So I made an appointment with our financial advisor, and, not only did he become a cheerleader for my new endeavor; he also led me to Paul, the young builder who was eager to jump on board and dream this dream into being. And that’s what we did, Paul and I, and his band of young brothers and friends; we dreamed Joy Center into being, one step at a time. And you can feel it, five years later – it’s in the foundation and it’s in the walls and it’s in the banners that gloriously sweep across the ceiling of Joy Center’s main room – the way that this place holds the vision of possibility.
So, the other day on my bikepath walk, I felt an aria of possibility growing inside of me. As I headed back on the homestretch, I felt light inside, almost as if I was skate-skiing on that bare pavement. I love remembering the Joy Center Story. I love dwelling in the deliciousness of possibility. I love wondering what else is possible and what else and what else and what else.