I've been wondering how to write about this for a week or two now, but haven't been able to put it into words. I'm not sure why, I know I've made the right decision, but I just couldn't find a way to tell people, without sounding like a failure. Because ego gets in the way of everything *face palm*. In 2014, on September 25th, I became a studio owner, something I had never really had in mind but necessity and a random opportunity sort of brought it to my doorstep....
My super supportive husband who always has more faith in me than I can muster as well as a few crazy friends, convinced me I could make it work (I blame you guys haha!) As a private aerial coach at the time, I was working out of two or three places and struggling after an injury sidelined me from my first aerial home, Aerial Divas. My own lack of belief wasn't the only thing holding me back. For starters, the rent itself was more than my usual monthly earnings and the space wasn't ready for aerials in the slightest. I relied on friends, family and the never-ending support from my husband to even begin to start envisioning what this place in Abbottsford would, could become. Because of THEIR faith in ME, I somehow managed to create not only a business, but an IDEA took root and together we created a space that was calm, clear and creative. I didn't know it at the time, but in a way, I set my intention, tried every day to become the genuine teacher I wanted to become and eventually what followed were like-minded students who came to value what I valued, to learn and grow. And in return, they taught me more than they will ever know.
From the get-go, the name Aerial Canvas had to mean something to me personally. Every small business owner knows that to keep yourself driven, the WORK has to mean something to you. So we decided on Canvas - the idea that any apparatus can become a space to express your unique self and that helping others become more 'themselves' was not just something to aspire to, but perhaps even the main goal of the whole thing.
Today, as I look through photos of how my beautiful space evolved, the work, the blood, sweat and tears than went into those walls, the students who have come and gone, and the ones who remain - in many ways I could never have imagined such a perfect space to teach, train and create in. Yet in a way from day one nothing has changed. The people who helped make that space are still with me, still some of my closest friends and family.
What changed was ME.
The way I think, teach, believe, love. I've come to truly understand that learning to love yourself and BE yourself is the only way to help others to do the same. The past 4 years has taught me many lessons; that sometimes you don't get what you deserve, that humans have an almost endless capacity for kindness and ability to grow and evolve, that self-expression inevitably takes us on a journey inward and that performing can be a wonderful way to explore (or escape haha) that process.
So, in that frame of mind, I'm grateful for what this season and this space has taught me, and now is the right time for me to move on. I'm sad to say that Aerial Canvas Abbotsford is no more, that I will not be returning there to teach anymore, but I'm excited for the new opportunities that letting go of my aerial home will create. To use a circus analogy - swinging from that trapeze is fun, but if you really want to learn how to fly, you have to let go with both hands to get to the other side.
I still call Melbourne home, and will be returning to Australia to teach in as many new studio 'homes' as I can, as often as I can. For now I want to focus on developing myself professionally to become the best teacher I can be as I continue to learn from my teachers, muses and students. Thank you to each of you who has visited Aerial Canvas Abbotsford over the years and for supporting me whilst I continue to craft my online library of aerial tutorials and develop the global Aerial Canvas Community :)