The best kind of hard work

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One of my good friends once told me, “You are a very powerful manifester.” She meant it as a high compliment, so I took it that way. Kidding. I’m not good at taking things for what people mean. I scrutinize the language; one of my many mottos is, “Good intentions aren’t everything. You actually have to think about what you say and do.”

Not that I think she was being an asshole. This friend in particular is incapable of being an asshole. But, I also think she missed the mark in her compliment. I’m actually a terrible “manifester”… if there is such a thing. For years of my life, I wrote down goals, and I repeated mantras, and I asked the Universe to deliver specific results, and I got nowhere with them.

In November of 2015, I was at my wits end. Reid and I decided to sell our home and move as part of our desire to positively change our life and create a fresh start. We worked for months getting our house ready for sale. We sat in parking lots for hours in my Prius with two cats, a dog, and a laptop playing movies during open houses. When our house sold, it seemed like we were on the right trail – finally! Those buyers never closed the purchase. The next one didn’t either. I remember telling my best friend through thick tears and a closing-throat, “I just feel like it’s the end of the road. How many times can you give it your all to create a better future and get knocked down?”

Eventually, with the help of our family, we picked up the pieces and quite literally moved on. Our house sold, we moved, and we started working toward something better. Again.

The following year was the best of our married life. We fell in love with our new house in our (old) new neighborhood. I received the treatment I desperately needed but spent years resisting. And, in the course of that treatment, I told Reid, “I think about my yoga studio every day.”

He replied, “Well, you better open it then.” That day, we started looking at leases for The Yoga Harbor.

Reid has always referred to me as an “Appalachian woman” making the transition into a California lifestyle. He has said we’d be truly California when we drove up to our yoga studio in an electric car. In April, we did just that. It was the manifestation of nearly all our hopes and dreams. In June, I made that drive with our baby in my belly. And that, well, that was the manifestation of everything.

Not one piece of this puzzle simply fell together. We spent years trying different paths to get where we wanted to go. The vast majority of them were dead ends. It was totally exhausting. The Universe was not at all conspiring to help bring us what we desired. The Universe, it seemed, was hell bent on keeping our dreams away.

Today, our life is still exhausting. Growing a business and a baby at the same time requires physical energy I don’t always have. By eight o’clock most nights, I’m as cooked as I was a few years ago. Reid hits the mattress just as tired as me from the effort he puts into every day, and he has still found time to pitch in with cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

People love to tell us how hard it will be to have a baby. Well, I’ve known two types of hard in my life: there is the hard that comes from working your ass off trying to find a way to your dreams, and there is the hard that comes from working your ass off living your dreams. The second type is – without a shred of a doubt – the best kind of hard work.


Today, when you sit on your cushion or go to your mat, plan to work for it. If you don’t get exactly what you want, keep working. The many benefits of the yoga practice – stress reduction, improved posture, enhanced strength, better balance, efficient digestion, connection, community, self-knowledge … and maybe electric cars and studios of your dreams and babies – happen seemingly by magic. The only thing that doesn’t happen by magic is the work. Do the work.

And one day, when the “Universe conspires” to give you everything you dreamt of, plan to keep on doing the work. The best kind of hard work.

*Photo by Dave Getzschman Photography