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Finding My Flow

I sat down at the computer this morning to begin working. On my blog editorial schedule for today I had “Zoetry review” and while that is coming (soon!), I felt like I wanted to share something else instead.

jen eddins - photo wanda koch

Photo Wanda Koch

Over the last couple of months I’ve felt more ease, joy and flow than I have in a long time. 2016 was a tough year. The demands of getting the new studio off of the ground along with the death of my brother left me questioning, drained, sad and overall really blah.

Although the new studio opened in late February 2015, it has required an intense amount of work to bring everything together. Y2 Yoga grew from a tiny 2,300 square foot studio to a space with over 12,000 square feet, three practice studios, a restaurant and a spa. While we knew how to run a yoga studio like the back of our hands, learning the restaurant and spa business was a whole other story. It nearly broke us. We were newly engaged and doing everything we could to keep the business running. There were so many late nights and weekends spent doing everything from sending out marketing promotions to painting the studio walls to washing dishes in the restaurant. I can truly say that I’ve never seen someone work as tirelessly as Tanner during this time despite the fact that the resulting stress of it all was tough on our relationship.

And then just as we emerged from summer which is understandably the slowest season of the year for a hot yoga studio, I received news on September 19 that my brother had passed away. The months that followed were truly terrible. Instead of turning towards Tanner for support, I often found myself turning away. I was terrible about speaking my needs and talking about my feelings openly. I can’t tell you how many times I dissolved into tears while standing in the kitchen making dinner at the end of a long day. When Tanner would prompt me on what was wrong I would almost always just mummer something like, “my brother” without adding much other detail. I felt really lonely even though I didn’t have to be. It’s crazy how we sometimes turn away from the people who are closest to us in times of crisis. I just didn’t feel like he could possibly understand what I was going through or feeling.

sunset with mom

And then in November my uncle passed away after a battle with cancer. My mom lost her brother too. It was overwhelming to comprehend. I don’t even have the words to tell you what it felt like to hold my mom as we spread her brother’s ashes at sea at sunset in early December. My mom has lost both of her parents and both of her brothers. I have held such incredible grief and sadness for her alongside my own.

For the first few months I shared my journey through grief on my blog but then it felt like I had used that card up and it was time to get back to normal. I felt anything but normal and seven months later, it’s still something that weighs heavily on my heart every day although the intensity has subsided. I am fortunate to have a strong network of support and an amazing therapist to talk to.

Lately there has been a shift in the flow of life. Over the last couple of months I’ve had numerous friends, co-workers and students tell me completely unprompted and out of the blue that I seem really happy and overall just “good.” I’ve taken a step back and realized that I feel better and happier right now than I have in a very, very long time.

jen eddins and tanner bazemore

Photo Wanda Koch

Tanner and I are connecting on such a deeper level and our relationship feels stronger and more solid than ever. We are finally talking about wedding plans and big picture future stuff. <3

y2 yoga charlotte

Photo Wanda Koch

Things at the studio have clicked and it’s finally up and running the way that we dreamed and hoped. We have a seriously amazing management team in place and we are so grateful for our dedicated staff and clients. It truly feels like a big happy community. We’re actually launching a new strength training class next week that is the brainchild of yours truly. Our clients have been asking for it forever!

namastay kitchen charlotte

Photo Wanda Koch

The restaurant was rebranded from “The Y2 Cafe” to Namastay Kitchen and we hired a seasoned full-time manager along with an extremely talented chef. Their leadership has turned the ship around and together they’ve made a name for Namastay Kitchen. Follow us on Instagram to see all of the delicious things coming out of our kitchen!

And perhaps the biggest news is that we’re expecting…

y2 yoga fort mill

Another yoga studio. 😉 A couple of weeks ago we announced that we are opening a second location in Fort Mill and I realized I hadn’t shared the news here! You can read the full announcement here and also check out this story that the Charlotte Five wrote. You might be like, “are you crazy?” after what I just shared. Yes, we are. Haha. But this is seriously an amazing opportunity for us and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Rest assured this studio will be small and yoga only! No restaurant or spa included. (praise the lord) Fort Mill is just over the NC/SC border and about 30 minutes from our current studio. It’s a fast-growing suburb of Charlotte and a perfect place for us to expand outside of the crowded Charlotte yoga market. We’re sending a strong leadership team in there to open and run the studio and we can’t wait to see where it goes!

I wanted to write this post today because I appreciate those of you who follow along. I talk to my yoga students all the time about how the practice opens and strengthens not only our physical bodies but also our hearts and our minds. As I navigate my way through both struggles and triumphs and learn more and more about myself and the world around me, I feel more called to share it with others. It’s lonely to feel like you’re the only one feeling what you’re feeling or to feel like there’s something wrong with you for feeling it. (that was a lot of feels) Sometimes I can’t believe how much my yoga practice has changed me in this way.

So whether you’re currently in a time of struggle or sorrow or a time of flow and happiness, I hope you know that you’re exactly where you need to be and learning what you need to learn to get to the next thing. And I’m here to hold all of you in support and ride the waves with you.

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{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Katherine April 27, 2017, 12:48 pm

    Jen, I am SO happy for you! I am a long time reader and I’ve always appreciated your honesty, even during the hard seasons of life. I’m so glad you’ve arrived at such a great place. Congrats on the new studio and good luck with wedding planning 🙂

  • Lauren C April 27, 2017, 1:01 pm

    Reading this post, I found myself getting emotional and very moved by not just what you were saying, but also the honesty, courage, and openness it took to share it. Thank you for that.

    We all have baggage and heartache and happiness in our lives, and we all struggle with feeling alone with our feelings. Your post is a great reminder that we aren’t. And even though we don’t know each other, I’m so happy for you to have found your way back to a place of happiness and contentment after a long, hard year.

    And I know this is a long, somewhat rambling comment, but something in your words just opened an internal door this afternoon so I can’t help it (lol): thank you for all of the wonderful writing about yoga that brought me back to practicing, both at Y2 and Yoga One. It’s been such a wonderful gift to myself an I’m so grateful to have been inspired by your blog to come back to it. Thank you!

  • Anon April 27, 2017, 1:03 pm

    Thank you for your honesty and generosity of spirit. I silently “rode the wave” with you as I went through a miscarriage, and your writing was such a comfort. I am delighted that things are improving, and I wish you so much happiness!

    • Alicia April 28, 2017, 11:58 am

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Been there. Miscarriage is deeply emotional and, yet, rarely discussed. I hope you’re doing okay.

  • Juliette | Namastay Traveling April 27, 2017, 1:25 pm

    I always appreciate your honesty and perspective on life’s challenges. This got me very emotional and sparked a lot of feelings for me. Inspired by your journey and looking forward to seeing where you go! Your light is shining brightly!

  • Debi April 27, 2017, 1:31 pm

    Jen. You are so amazing. Love the transparency. So very touched by this. That man of yours is pretty spectacular too. D

  • julie April 27, 2017, 1:34 pm

    I am so, so happy that YOU are happy. <3 You are such a kind, thoughtful person and I'm grateful our blogs connected us! Congratulations on the new studio. I know it will be a huge success!!! xoxo

  • Julie April 27, 2017, 2:05 pm

    Congrats on the new studio & the overall peace & happiness you’re feeling now! XO

  • Jenny @ growingfromthegroundup April 27, 2017, 2:20 pm

    This is just amazing Jen! Congratulations on all the good things happening right now.

  • LeeAnn April 27, 2017, 2:28 pm

    Hey Jen – I feel like I have been on the journey with you, as I have navigated through so many changes in my own life along with you. Your last paragraph made me tear up – such incredibly wise words. I am grateful for your energy and spirit in my life – and I look forward to the time when our paths cross to the extent that we get to meet in person. Congratulations and such good wishes on the new studio! Sending love, LeeAnn

  • Elizabeth April 27, 2017, 2:43 pm

    First, congratulations for all the positive things happening in your life. Second, this post is exactly what I needed today! Thank you!!

  • Christina April 27, 2017, 3:55 pm

    I love this. Thank you for continuing to be real, for continuing to be thoughtful in your posts and for writing what’s on your heart :).

  • Robin Robinson April 27, 2017, 4:02 pm

    Wow Fort Mill! 🙂 I am such a yoga/PB runner fan girl (and fellow Mom of 2 goldens!)and my parents just moved there this year! I will definitely check it out when I am visiting them!!!!

  • Sarah Z April 27, 2017, 4:12 pm

    This makes me smile. It has been an honor to watch you navigate and openly communicate through this time of major transition. Living an inspired life suits you.

  • Nicki April 27, 2017, 5:09 pm

    I absolutely ADORE this post and all the feelings (sad and happy!) – that is life and thank you for sharing. Everyone single one of us is constantly battling something and going through waves of emotions… Of course, a HUGE congratulations to you and Tanner on the new studio!!!!!! 🙂

  • lee April 27, 2017, 5:17 pm

    “It’s lonely to feel like you’re the only one feeling what you’re feeling or to feel like there’s something wrong with you for feeling it.” – Yes. Even with all the “feels” in there (or perhaps because of them?), this is the perfect sentiment for what I’ve been experiencing in my own life in recent months. It’s so easy to convince ourselves that nobody else can relate to our circumstances; and I’ve come to realize how isolating that can be.

    So glad to hear you’re in a healthier, stronger moment; and congratulations on the studio expansion!

  • Tracy April 27, 2017, 6:20 pm

    Congrats on the new studio!
    I am glad you have finally gotten to your “happy” place. Several years ago, I had several family deaths within a short period of time and then some health issues. It was tough and I too, despite having a support network, felt so alone at times. And then one day I woke up and I felt “lighter” somehow, like a huge burden that I didn’t realize I was really carrying, had left me. I physically felt lighter even. And I think this takes a different amounts of time for different people. I just know it’s an amazing feeling when you get there!

  • Emily April 27, 2017, 6:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! It is so important. When I lost my dad, I remember being in shock and disbelief in the weeks after his death and especially at his wake and funeral. i.e.: when you have the most support from people outside your family and when people are checking in often. When it finally started to sink in, it felt like everyone else had already “moved on”, and I had this “But wait! It actually feels real now! And I’m not okay!” feeling. If that makes sense…

    I think all of your readers will agree that you should always write what you are thinking and feeling even if you think it is past the time that you should–because more people than you know will understand, empathize, and connect to what you are saying. <3 <3

    So happy for you and Tanner's success! Hard work pays off and can't wait to see what the future continues to hold!

  • Nina A. April 27, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Congratulations on the new studio. What an exciting time for you and Tanner!

    Now, can you tell me why you put some many save, save, saves at the end of your posts??

  • Holly April 27, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Thank you so much for being so open and honest about your struggles and grief. Congratulations on opening another studio. Can’t wait to check out your studios next time in am in NC!

  • Pam April 28, 2017, 8:20 am

    Jen, thank you for having the courage to be open and transparent. I’ve followed you for several years now and I must say the maturity and strength I see in you is so wonderful! Congratulations on the second studio! Whenever someone tells me they are from the Charlotte area I ask them if they know about Y2! I had one of your clients in Dothan recently and he took my class! He said he practices with Joanna at your studio. It’s a small world😜Keep on being YOU😘

  • Liz N. April 28, 2017, 8:54 am

    Jen, I have been following your blog for years now and I was heartbroken for you and your family during the recent tragedies. I’m so happy to read that you’re healing emotionally and that your outlook has improved in recent months. It has given me hope that I can get through my own difficult and emotional heartache this year. I wish you were opening another studio up north in my area (Mooresville/Huntersville/Davidson). I’ve been resisting turning to yoga because my mind won’t shut off and I’ll get too frustrated to focus. However, I know that my body could use a break from the HIIT/CrossFit style workouts I do and SLOW DOWN, especially during this season in my life. Any tips on how I should begin?

  • JennyV April 28, 2017, 9:29 am

    Your resolve to find a way impresses me. Navigating loss, pain and change — amidst the good of relationships and growth is not easy. I have so much to say, but just know that I respect and honor the way you are processing and showing up. This life isn’t easy and yet there can be beauty within it. I can tell you’re finding it again.

  • acktive life April 28, 2017, 10:53 am

    SO HAPPY for you friend!!! xoxo

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:31 pm

      Thank you. xx

  • Marlene April 28, 2017, 11:08 am

    Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:31 pm

      Thank you Marlene.

  • Mary April 28, 2017, 11:18 am

    Hi Jen! As a fellow On Being with Krista Tippett listener, did you hear the recent show with Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant about their new book on resilience? It was really great! it sounds as though you have found joy and tapped into your resilience! 😘

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:31 pm

      Hi Mary – I have not listened to that episode yet but I am listening to the audio book. I also heard that Katie Couric did a podcast with Sheryl that’s great as well.

  • Nikki April 28, 2017, 12:54 pm

    I’ve loved following your blog over the years, and feel so happy that you are in a happy place. It’s a great place to be. Thank you, as always, for following your gut when you feel like you should (or shouldn’t) share things in this space. You are not alone! Your words are often comforting to me as a reader, and I can relate to so many things you’ve experienced and shared with us readers. Thanks, Jen! Happy for you.

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:30 pm

      Hey Nikki – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your continued readership and support. I am so lucky to have such strong and supportive readers. xx

  • carrie April 28, 2017, 9:04 pm

    First -so many times I read your post and they just simply help me through the day.
    Second – there is no time limit or “card to use up” on grief. I hate to say it, but it simply never ends. I lost my mom when I was fifteen after she battled cancer and my uncle at 35 when he passed suddenly. It has been 25 and 5 years since I lost them and the grief still comes in waves. I think about my mother daily. Some days I laugh, some days I just acknowledge her and move on and others days it overwhelms with sadness. You, like me seem to have a great support system and that is key. My friends, family, and husband don’t expect me to ever ever be over those losses and accept my highs and lows of grief, and always will.
    This is a favorite quote of mine

    “Grief never ends, but it changes
    It’s a passage, not a place to stay
    Grief isn’t a sign of weakness
    Or lack of faith
    It’s the price of love”

    Congrats on the new studio and stay strong!

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:29 pm

      Hi Carrie – I’m so grateful to read that you found my post helpful in any way big or small.

      I also really appreciate your sentiments on grief and the ebbs and flows. So amazing your point on those who love you never expecting you to be “over it.” I love the quote.

  • Kacy April 29, 2017, 4:49 pm

    LOVE this post! And the last paragraph is everything. There’s so much support through this blog/community and we feel your ups and downs right back!

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:27 pm

      Thank you Kacy. <3

  • Kathryn April 29, 2017, 7:25 pm

    Thanks Jen! I am going to lean in and remember that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. AND celebrate that you are too and that it’s lovely.

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:27 pm

      You’re so welcome Kathryn. Thank you for your comment.

  • adrianna April 30, 2017, 12:57 pm

    i’m so happy for you reading this! you truly deserve all the good things coming your way and will be coming your way. thank you for sharing everything, and although grief will always be present, you are one amazing woman who has a great support system. love this blog <3

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:25 pm

      I appreciate your extremely kind words so much Adrianna. Thank you.

  • tara May 1, 2017, 1:43 pm

    wow…i am so happy you are “good”. i can relate with having a hard time communicating with your partner. relationships take so much work and vulnerability. but when you do both those things really wonderful things can happen ! at least that is my experience. life is all about the journey right ?

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:23 pm

      yes, relationships definitely require work and a lot of introspection to see how you contribute to the problems in them. the work is hard but worth it.

  • Anne May 2, 2017, 9:27 am

    My 3 reactions to this… from a never-commenter. 😉 (1) I really, really appreciate your openness with the good and the more-difficult in life. Part of me wishes, for those bloggers willing to be open and share, that readers would simply navigate away if it was something they didn’t want to read, vs. the bloggers “censoring” themselves. I understand if you DON’T want to share something, but if you do? It’s your site, your blog, your life… Just my $0.02. From a non-blogger. (2) CONGRATS on the new studio – wonderful news! and (3) Reading about your restaurant seriously had me searching for flights to Charlotte so I can check it out in person. Embrace the flow, and celebrate all that you and Tanner have accomplished. It’s amazing!

    • Jen May 3, 2017, 5:09 pm

      Hey Anne – first, THANK YOU for taking a moment to comment.

      Also, thank you for sharing your take on censoring. I have found a lot of freedom in being more open with my ups AND downs. I would love to have you come visit us in Charlotte! The studio and the restaurant are truly special! 🙂

      I appreciate your well wishes more than you know. <3

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