Back in my old version of life, back in Michigan, I taught yoga. I taught several classes a week that were well attended and had such good word-of-mouth that, by the time I left Michigan, I didn't need to expend much out-of-class effort to promote my classes. I showed up and taught. I had several private clients over the years who came to me for such varied issues as how to prevent knee surgery, how to recover from hip replacement, how to run a marathon, how to work toward advanced yoga poses. This was not a hobby for me. It was and is a passion. The income I derived was also a necessity for our family. The success of my yoga teaching allowed me to create and pursue Woolynns. I could felt, apply for the occasional art show, spend a weekend selling my handmade wares. But I did it with the knowledge I'd be back teaching my classes, seeing my clients come Monday.
I am not in that life now. I forgot about the considerable hours outside of teaching required to create a yoga teaching schedule. I forgot about arriving to find only one student in class. I forgot about no one coming to the workshops. It takes time to find the venues where Eishens Yoga can take root; to reach out to the various likely communities to attract students; to promote and promote and promote. But I have also been trying to do this for Woolynns: figure out where the appropriate art shows are, apply, update my etsy store, promote, sell, ship. And in between all the research and the venue/art show hunting and the promotion, there is still the daily work: teaching, practicing, planning workshops and events, felting, creating displays, photographing scarves, cooking, schlepping, grocery shopping, laundry, and lately, the barista work that is helping put groceries on the table.
It hits me finally that I am exhausting myself and with little to show for it. I need more income. I need more time. The most obvious choice is to put Woolynns aside for a while. Once I have a yoga career that can sustain itself without hours of outside work on my part, once my job at the coffee shop is not so vital to our daily survival, I plan to felt again. I have ideas for Woolynns creatively, but I also need to invest in displays, file LLC documentation here in MN, make inroads into the local fiber art community. It occurs to me what a luxury making art is when you are trying to raise a family. It requires a level of security I do not currently have. (Not that it requires wealth; we were hardly wealthy back in MI.)
Years ago, I was struck by an article by a senior yoga instructor who was ending a few classes because she needed time to do laundry. It has stayed with me all these years that everything we do is important to our well-being and should be given its proper amount of time. In an effort to find balance in my own life, Woolynns is officially on hiatus. The shop remains open, the inventory is there for the buying, and the sketches will continue for future creations. But my limited resources are going into yoga.