Exciting News

Posted Posted in My Stories

Hi folks. I have some really awesome news – I’m now officially part of the team at Breathe Yoga and Wellness in Pensacola. Woohoo! I’ll be moving into their downtown office space a mere three blocks away in the next couple of days. I couldn’t be more excited. This is definitely the next step for me as far as the direction I’ve been wanting to take my work all along. And why call it work? I hope more and more to look at it as play. Because that’s how it feels as we learn and practice this stuff more and more deeply. The inner chatterbox is taken less seriously and the real version of us that’s been in there the whole time can continue to rise up and call the shots.

How all of this went down is pretty cool. Two Mondays ago, I looked at my schedule for the week and saw how light it was. It really hit me. It’s been light for a while, and I guess after so many weeks of this, I just had the thought that this was not explainable by any normal means. The work itself, or play, is just going too well. It’s working, and people are learning that they really are resilient. They learn to be their own counselor pretty quickly and then come in less and less, if at all. Some people like to check in monthly or every two months, and others just come in when big things are happening. Still others don’t feel the need to come back in at all. And that’s great, because that means mission accomplished. I’ve said before that I’m trying to work myself out of a job from the initial session. This is not good for business, though, until the word really gets out. And I was looking at my schedule wondering how on earth the word hadn’t gotten out at least a little bit more by now??

Here’s the cool thing, though… I was not angry. In the past, I’ve definitely had that attitude rise up. It’s an easy story to tell that I’m helping people but I can’t pay the bills unless I’m busier, so dammit, send me some more people! It’s a win-win, because they feel better and I can pay the bills. Nice. If you look at that closely, though, there’s the victim story, the unfair story, you name it. But this time I was chilled out and just put it out there, “If I need another gig, that’s fine. I’ll do whatever. Just let me know. But this ain’t working. Please help me out either way!” So the next day, I got a voicemail from my friend Stacey Vann who is one of the super dynamic women behind Breathe Yoga and Wellness. She’s also the founder of the hugely successful Mahabhuta Yoga Festival, which happens to be in its third year and is coming up November 21-23 on beautiful Pensacola Bay. Do it! Back to the story…

The reason she was calling was a sad one. One of their yoga students had recently committed suicide, and they were going to be holding a memorial gathering for her. They wanted a counselor on hand. That’s when I was making my annual October trip up to the North Carolina mountains to visit my mom and step-dad and see some awesome fall leaves, so I was only able to give them some info to hand out. I really wanted to be there, though. Then she said they were looking to bring in a counselor to be part of their team. They had a sweet office ready to go. They’re friends of mine and were actually saying, “I wish Ashley Pennewill would join us” right when the phone rang. And it was me. And when she told me about wanting to bring in a counselor, I said hells yeah!

I’m good at talking to people and sharing this transformative material, and I’m getting better at that all the time, just like we all get better at anything with gentle practice. I don’t seem to be so hot in the marketing department, though. As my grandfather learned in business school 75 years ago, “It doesn’t matter how good you are at something if people don’t know how good you are.” If you can’t pay the bills, it’s not going to work. And this has been very obvious to me lately.

So I’m just totally honored to join their wellness team and let them help fill in the gaps where I lack. They have big plans, and so do I. In joining up, anything can happen. And I’ve wanted to take this work/play in a “deeper” direction all along. That’s why I went back to school and became a counselor in the first place. So to have access to the ever growing community that they’ve built is just amazing. And finally, how funny and scripted is it that I become affiliated with a yoga and wellness center, and it’s called Breathe? Ha! Perfect… So here’s to the future and whatever may unfold. I’m pretty pumped.

Remember Two Things

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

Hi folks! It’s good to be back. I took a bit of a break after an amazing trip to Sedona, AZ last month for a Way of Mastery retreat. It blew my mind pretty wide open, and it’ll take some time to really integrate and implement the main stuff that I learned. And the good news is, there’s no rush. What a beautiful place, too. It’s like a post card everywhere you look.

So I was helping a friend move into his new house last night. I love “moving karma,” by the way. For one thing, I’ve moved a ton and will move again. And I’ll need help from someone. Plus it just feels really good to help someone in that way. Just don’t make me use my brain, though. Don’t make me pack boxes. Don’t make me make decisions. I’m there as another body and that’s it. And it works out really well.

This guy’s dad is a true Jedi, and I’ve always loved hearing stories about him. I was treated to another one last night. If anyone builds a house, and I have not but I’ve heard from others, there are lots of unforeseen issues that crop up. It’s just the nature of doing something like that. And each one needs a solution. And each one requires money. My friend was telling me about one of these issues that came up that was a big stressor at the time, and he was telling his dad about it. His dad glanced up and said something like, “Well, two things are true. You are going to find a solution and the house is going to be built.” And then his dad continued reading the newspaper or doing whatever he was doing like nothing had happened. Ha! I laughed my ass off when I heard this, because it’s classic for this guy’s dad. And here’s the thing… it’s usually true!

The rest of the night I kept laughing as I was seeing how this was true more and more. It’s basically saying that time will move on, period. So something will give at some point. That is a fact. And life will go on and the earth will keep spinning. So quit resisting the situation and just make a decision. And you are free to relax as best you can in the meantime. There’s no need to be bound up in it, even if it’s a big decision with a lot on the line. We tend to make better decisions, in fact, when we’re more open. We’re just more clear that way. So the irony is that the less I worry about something, the better choice I usually make. Win-win. And you just practice this, very gently and without judgment of yourself. Love yourself instead and support yourself. Because you can. And it only takes practice.

Speaking of practice, my friend’s dad has had lots of practice in this area. I don’t know if he came out of the womb this wise or if he had to learn some things the hard way. I’d guess it’s a mix of the two. But he worked his ass off in real estate for decades, so he’s seen it all. And he knows it’s just not worth stressing about. Because there will be a solution, and the house will be built.

So let’s try to remember those two things as challenges show up in life and we have tough decisions to make. And honestly, sometimes the house won’t be built. That’s the decision that has to be made or is made for us. And that’s okay when there’s no other choice. Let’s be honest, though. Most of the time, we tend to go into panic as if the house won’t be built when, in fact, we know that it totally will.

And I borrowed the title of this post, Remember Two Things, from an old Dave Matthews Band album. I think it was their first, in fact. I’ve never been hugely into their sound, but they seem to be great guys and very deserving of their success. So I’m definitely a fan in that way. And I was able to see them from backstage this summer, and they kicked ass. Let’s just say they have it down. I was in college in lovely Lexington, Virginia when they blew up, an hour away from where they were in Charlottesville. So they were playing gigs all over the area. He married a girl from a nearby college who was a good friend of some of my good friends. So I’ve met him a couple of times, and all I can say is that he’s super nice, super cool, and absolutely hilarious. There are lots of jerks in the music biz, and these guys are not like that at all. Very down to earth. And I remember the album cover was one of those 3-D images where you blur your eyes and then it jumps out. Nostalgia can be so nostalgic sometimes… Peace out until the next time, and it won’t be so long. It’s nice to take a break from anything, though. Except from breathing, I guess. Don’t try that. Unless you’re underwater.