10 Years of Partnership: Our Next Phase by Melissa Paz | Source Yoga
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10 Years of Partnership: Our Next Phase by Melissa Paz

There I was at my first live coaching event standing on the stage in San Diego, California in front of at least 300 coaches of varying types (health, life, and business), leading them in movement to a song by Jason Mraz titled “Living in the moment.” As the music played, I looked at the faces of new friends I had just met hours before. I felt elated, moving my body on stage, which as a dancer I hadn’t done for many years. A part of me was feeling more free, a part of me that had been buried and in more recent months had been edging its way out.

 The entire day I had been thinking about how lucky I was to have an amazing business partnership where we can say anything to each other. We can always come to an agreement when making decisions or facing challenges. And at the same time, there was a feeling of excitement and curiosity that perhaps the gifts I was sharing while running a yoga studio didn’t quite reflect the path I was supposed to be on.

 As I stood on the stage in front of the crowd, I began to feel that my experience in co-owning Source, teaching yoga, and all the myriad jobs and life experiences I had thus far, were now leading up to this moment: A moment of realizing that my best expression and truest gifts were in working with clients–not just on the mat teaching, or through running studios, but off the yoga mat and into a conversation guiding others into what’s possible, what’s holding them back…and then seeing myself as the one to support them.

 I have always been interested in listening to other’s stories and hearing about their challenges and successes: how they face adversity and move through it, what motivates them and excites them, and what scares them and stops them from taking action towards the things they want. In fact, if you attend any of my classes you know what I mean about enjoying conversation. I often wish I had more time to talk before class with each student but it’s just not possible.

 I was loving the conversation, and feeling that there was something more for me. So about a year and a half ago, I finally made the choice to get certified as a Transformational coach and spent dedicated time in this training learning how to help others get to the root of their limiting beliefs and to create new ways of being that helps them take new action. As a result of this certification, I went on my own path of personal growth, letting go of old limiting beliefs, (there will always be more to let go of!) looking at where I was stuck, and learning new tools to get out and create something entirely new.

 As I continued the training and then eventually working with clients, I started seeing where I had been just getting by in my life on many levels in relationship, in finances, and ultimately how I had suppressed some deep desires I wanted to live out but I was afraid of losing something so great. This “something” was two-fold: both my seamless partnership with Erin, and my love of the Source Yoga community, with all the heart and soul that we as owners and the entire staff and community of students have put into it.

 It has been an in-depth process for me in this last year and a half of evaluating, letting go, listening, coaching, being coached, tuning into my feelings, breathing, and then finally making a choice. That choice has come for me and as of this month, I will officially no longer own or run the inner workings of Source Yoga studios. I will continue to be a teacher on staff and am delighted to be able to continue sharing yoga and my love of people with the community.  Just as Erin and I so beautifully began our partnership as dear friends, we will complete our 10 years in partnership here at the studios the same way: friends for life, with an abundance of love, laughter, joy, tears, and gratitude.

 I am more than comforted in knowing that Erin will be sole owner of the studios and know she has chosen her path and I will forever be one of her biggest fans. Although our professional paths may be going separate ways in some respects, our paths are very much united, and will always be tied together. My love for Erin runs deeply. As I write this letter, tears fall in honor of the love and respect I have for her and those twentysomethings we were when we embarked on the journey of bringing yoga to Tacoma: the blood, sweat, tears that went into making not just one studio but two, the baby-making years, growing our families and those we have served and a yoga community that continues to deepen.

 To think this simply all started out as an idea between two best friends who loved yoga and wanted to share it with others! You never really know exactly how life will go. Sometimes you may think you have the exact plans for it but then they don’t quite go as you think, and yet, somehow you end up where you need to be. I know, in this next phase of my life I am exactly where I need to be, using what I know are my gifts, and continuing to support others in their growth while experiencing my own.

 To my parents, who unconditionally love me, taught me to follow my dreams and that by focusing on what I want it simply will come into fruition, to be kind and loving no matter what, to be respectful, and patient, generous, and gracious. My love and gratitude for all you have given me and made possible in my life is beyond words and feeling, it is infinite, and everywhere! I love you.

 To our husbands, the men, who supported our dream and helped it become a reality from the beginning. I know that I wouldn’t be here without them and been able to serve in the way that I have. You truly know what it means to support and treat your woman right!

 To my boys and Erin’s kiddos, the ones who always reminded me what was most important in life, and who helped me become more patient and tolerant. You helped me to let go, and to laugh, to stand my ground, to know when it’s time to give up, to always be true and say it like it is, and to listen with compassion. You, my precious ones, are what love and life is all about. You are whole, complete, and perfect just as you are!

 To our studio manager, Kelly, you know how I think you are a rockstar! Keep shining and working your magic with each one of us!

 To Tamiko (our social media/newsletter queen and outstanding student and friend) I bow to you in gratitude for the way you always make everything seem calm and clear. I know you will continue to inspire!

 To all of the teachers past, present, and future without you there is no yoga studios, your heart, passion, compassion, and enthusiasm in sharing the gifts of yoga is palpable, and I am grateful for all you have given and continue to give!

 To all of you in the community that have supported us throughout the years, words don’t express the gratitude I have for you. You helped me discover myself, to listen more, to trust in myself and others, to believe in the goodness of all people, to forgive, and love, to make mistakes, heal, and embrace the unknown with courage and grace. I don’t need to say goodbye. This is simply a new beginning for myself, for Erin, for all of us and more importantly a celebration of one outstanding, extraordinary, powerful, courageous partnership that started it all nearly ten years ago!

 To the many many people that have made Source Yoga possible all those I have met, or haven’t met yet, simply thank you for supporting this once-upon-a-time dream of a yoga studio that now serves a community of thousands in the South Sound for the past decade and continues to thrive!

 In the deepest of gratitude and love always,

Melissa

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