So there I was, slowly making long, wide turns as I skied down a slope in Bulgaria on my honeymoon over New Year's 2012.
I was trying to keep up with my new hubby Sean (a professional snowboarder) on my first ever powder day. I was — at the time — a novice skier who grew up skiing on tiny hills in central Wisconsin. After meeting him, let's just say my learning curve was steep.
I'd just barely come to a stop next to him on the side of the slope before the words escaped my lips: My quads are on FIRE! His response stuck with me all these years...
"Mollie... that feeling you have in your legs? We like that feeling."
And with that, he rode off — effortlessly — through the choppy, powder-mogul-covered slope.
My quads hummed, but I laughed as I considered whether or not this was a feeling I could ever... enjoy?
“Negative twenty degrees!” Sean grins as he reads the inside temperature from cabin thermometer aloud.
I sigh, willing the oil drip stove to work it’s magic (faster!).
Ten minutes pass as we focus solely on the mechanics of the stove, lighter, fuel, flame.
Sean: “Only -6 degrees!”
I allow a smile to cross my lips as the frost stops accumulating on my neck gaiter. I know the warmth is on its way.
Another 20 minutes and we’re above zero… hallelujah! I sigh again with relief, and peel off a layer before starting the long process of unpacking.
Getting back to the Arctic after a few days spent in town is interesting. Getting back to the Arctic for the first time in over a month? I’ll call it “an adjustment.” After tending to business in the lower 48, and getting used to plug-and-play life on the grid, I knew I was in for an awakening, returning home up north when Sean came to pick me up from quarantine.
Last night was our final live Zoom Q&A from our first Conscious Leadership course. One of the participants shared how she was so grateful finally master a daily meditation practice— something she'd wanted for years.
She smiled and admitted: It finally feels EASY.
Yoga/meditation truly finds us at the exact right moment, doesn't it? I bet you can agree with me if you're practicing yoga regularly, the moment you finally decided, "Wow, I love how this makes me feel!" something inside you committed. You wanted to feel that way more often... and then BOOM. Your regular practice (whatever that is) was born.
There's the initial struggle phase as you determine what aspects of yoga you love/need the most. You seek out different studios and styles and schedules. And then one day... when you least expect it... you land in a place that feels like home. With people who seek what you seek. With a community who sees you for exactly who you are, and because of that, lifts you up so you can become a brighter version of yourself.
You find your yoga home.
As I sat on my cushion last night to do my Soulful Sadhana kriya practice, I spontaneously opened Spotify to make a playlist. It's a New Moon after all... the best time of the month to set new intentions — and one of my intentions right now is to bring back my love for music.
Music is one element that helps me feel the magic of yoga.
I pressed play and closed my eyes — it was as if no time had passed since my last trip to India. I could see myself, sitting in the front row of a massive yoga hall with my teacher Anand on the stage... music blaring at full tilt — and all of us, all 100+ yogis in that hall, practicing in union. Dancing in union. Feeling... in unison.
Photo below, © Sattva Yoga Academy
I can remember the day like it was yesterday. My six-year-old self sat on the bank of the Menomonee River, holding tightly to the arm of my best friend, Lisa.
The two of us had cried that morning as bus pulled out of the parking lot in Waupaca (our Wisconsin hometown), with our faces glued to the window, frantically waving to our parents. We were terrified for this new adventure alone... together. The bus drove around the state picking up more campers, and many hours later, we reached our final destination: Chalk Hills Girl Scout Camp.
Lisa and I would be gone one whole week — but we really just wanted to go home.
...until I saw her.
I couldn't stop staring at her as we walked toward the water and took a seat on the grassy steps leading down to the waterfront. She was a camp counselor, standing to the side of the amphitheater, wearing cutoff denim shorts and a homemade tie-dye T-shirt... guitar cradled in her arms, strumming a tune I'd never heard before with a huge grin on her face.
And she was singing!
Yesterday, as I was working on the curriculum for the upcoming Conscious Leadership course, I brushed the dust off the manuscript of my first book, The Yoga of Business.
I wrote it in November of last year, but haven't touched it since, because... well, COVID.
The book is written how I speak to you in these newsletters. I take my life experience as an entrepreneur and as a human, and apply that yogic mentality to the wild world of business — which is precisely the foundation for Conscious Leadership!
Pre-COVID, I was determined to get it published, but then the Virus of the Year arrived, and sent me back to real-life business bootcamp, once again.
Knowing what I know now about 2020, I was both surprised and relieved that my words in the book still ring true — maybe more-so than they did before. A true testament to the timeless nature of yoga. Here's an excerpt from the Preface that really stuck with me as we face a new year, starting tomorrow:
Ever since spending another summer in the Midnight Sun, Sean and I have been looking forward to experiencing our first Polar Night in the Arctic. It lasts from November 30th - January 9th here at Arctic Hive. It’s a time that only happens above the Arctic Circle when the sun stays below the horizon during the day. There are just varying shades of twilight blue “light” during a short period each “day”, before darkness settles in again and northern lights dance in the sky.
Here's a good diagram I found on timeanddate.com that really shows how it works:
My body has been feeling it. I’m grateful to be taking A LOT of vitamin D — but I’ve been witnessing myself turning inward more often, sleeping a little longer than usual, and indulging in more self care routines before bed. Truly, I feel like a hibernating animal sometimes!
I was chatting with one of our Yoga Teacher Trainees this past week for her podcast. Jen and I were discussing how I became an entrepreneur, the Yoga Hive story, Sean and my adventures building Arctic Hive, and we dove into the details of our retreats happening this March.
And she suggested something that surprised me: "You should talk about the spiritual component of your retreats. That's what hooks me."
I paused. Spiritual?
Am I creating a spiritual experience? I can't say the word s-p-i-r-i-t-u-a-l and expect people to show up... can I?
Seriously, this was something I had to chew on.
Flash forward to Sunday. Jen and her YTT cohort graduated from their 100% virtual training, and after our closing ceremony (my all-time favorite part of the YTT experience), one of our other grads thanked me. I had tears brimming in my eyes as she said: "Thank you for having the courage to teach this lineage of kriya yoga. I can't imagine it's been easy being different, but it's important. It's life-changing."
And with that spiritual bug in my ear, my wheels started spinning again. Could I be so bold as to admit that we're facilitating a spiritual experience in Yoga Hive classes? In our trainings? On our retreats?
The first time I decided to go to India, I told Sean it would be a one-and-done. Don't worry, honey! I was checking a box on a yoga-related bucket list at the foothills of the Himalayas. I got the e-visa (which is the same price as the 10-year visa) because I was so sure I'd never need it again.
Once I arrived, I'll never forget Blaine and my first interaction with a new friend.
As a gal from the midwest, I'll talk to just about anyone — and I smiled at a man who had just grabbed a coffee from the cafe. I introduced myself, and I learned his name was Thomas (pronounced to-MAS). Hearing his accent, I inquired, "Where are you from?"
Thomas replied casually, "Planet Earth!" He smiled and continued on his way, wherever he was off to. Blaine and I exchanged looks.
What on (Planet) Earth did we get ourselves into?
Isn’t it amazing how much power is behind the phrase, “You can’t.”
So much beauty has been born from the spark of someone saying a version of that phrase to me.
Me: “I’m going to be a fashion journalist!”
Naysayer: “You can’t. There’s no money in journalism.”
✅ Did it for three years after college, where I had a salary and benefits in Madison, Wisconsin and loved every minute.
Me: “I think I’m going to start a nonprofit and make that my full time job.”
Naysayer: “You can’t. That will never work because nonprofits can’t afford employees.”
✅ Founded the nonprofit in 2010, volunteered my time for two years and by 2012 our nonprofit corporation had a board of directors around the country and a growing team of staff. It was my full time job and Riding On Insulin still exists today 😜
Me: “I’m want another dog for dogsledding.”
Naysayer: “You can’t. Five dogs is already too many.”
✅ ... what do you think happened?! Her name is Tundra and she’s the cutest little nugget and I've never once thought to myself that six is too many!
So that’s all fine and good. I’ve learned to weed through the naysayers. But... what if the naysayer isn’t someone outside yourself? What happens when the naysayer from inside says, I can’t?
Mollie Busby is the owner of Yoga Hive, and writes inspirational musings for our newsletter, which we post here, along with upcoming trainings and workshops. To filter, navigate using the links above to see the category you're interested in. If you have questions, or wish to get in touch with Mollie, drop in to a class, or connect online: