have been home here in Leesburg enjoying this much-needed rain,
listening to the rain pattering on my roof, nursing a head cold and
writing a haiku. I have also been watching a turtle slowly trek his way
to our pond. He has a long way to go, but I am betting that he will make
it, eventually! I like his quiet, but strong determination. I
appreciate his deliberate, mindful pace, and the fact that he takes
frequent breaks to chill out when necessary. So far on his commute he
has traveled 45 feet in seven hours. No accident on the beltway or
subway shutdown is slowing him down; he is a turtle, doing what turtles
naturally do, taking his time. After a considerable journey, and at the
rate he is going, it’s probably safe to say that he will make it to the
pond sometime in the near future, and I for one will be cheering him on from the sidelines, envious of his leisurely trip and laid-back demeanor.
“Rumor travels faster,
but it don’t stay put as long as truth.” --Will Roger
As I was entering the
studio to teach one morning, The ABC’s of
Life, a wall plaque hanging in the reception area caught my eye, and one of
the sayings jumped out at me; Quell Rumors. I don’t use the word quell very
often in my vocabulary, so I looked it up. I assumed it meant to end or stop
something, but it also means to calm something such as fear and worry. Recently
it was brought to my attention that some rumors regarding the future of Body
Grace have been spreading around town, so I’d like to share with you the truth,
and calm the situation; quelling the rumors.
The building that Body
Grace is in and the long, red brick building next door were sold to new owners
in the fall of 2015. Therefore, I have a new landlord who is honoring my
existing lease to 2018. The new owners, a development group, do have plans to
tear down the buildings, and as is the case with much of Vienna, begin
revamping the Mill Street area. It is my understanding, after meeting with my
landlord a couple of weeks ago, that they are probably three to five years from
doing that. Getting plans drawn, and zoning approved, as many of you know, can
be a long, drawn-out process of countless meetings and bureaucracy, so there is
no truth to the rumor that the buildings are coming down anytime soon.
Dear friends, Body Grace
is open for business, and thanks to you doing just fine! I promise to be
transparent, and let you know should any new developments come up. Armed with
the truth, is how we quell rumors, so please don’t ever hesitate to contact me
if you hear something that you question, or you have a concern. I love Body
Grace and our community, so it is important to me that the rumors are put to
rest and the truth be shared.
Let me address the rumors that are going around, as some of you have seen the sign that is up in
my front yard, that Bob and I are indeed moving; we are relocating to
Leesburg. And to put your mind at rest, Body Grace is not closing, and
will continue to be part of the Vienna community. I’ll be commuting to
the studio a few days per week to keep the studio open, and to teach.
35 years ago, Bob Crerie and Jan Gilliam drove up to a little, brick
house in Vienna, with an inviting front porch, in a friendly
neighborhood, and knew instinctively that this was the place
we had been looking for to start a life together. We rented at first
but eventually ended up buying the place, adding on and renovating it. I
addressed our wedding invitations in this house;
we raised two beautiful daughters here, and three German Shepherds, and
in the last few years, our grandsons have come to know this house and
the town of Vienna. I can honestly say that we have walked in Glyndon
Park just about every day for the last 35 years. Saying good-bye to our
home is extremely sad, but we are also excited about our move.
God-incidence is a word Bob, and I use for when circumstances align so
perfectly there is no denying that a higher power is at work. It is not
happenstance or a fluke, but those times when we feel like something is
just meant to be. We felt
it 35 years ago with our sweet little house in Vienna, and recently we
felt it again with a piece of property outside of Leesburg.
came to the realization over the summer that our original plan of
rebuilding our house here in Vienna to better suit our needs was going
to be hard on us financially, especially if Bob wants to retire in a few
years. Living in the country, with trees and nature around us, has
always been attractive to us, so we changed our plans and started
looking for a little piece of country life that was affordable. On a
whim, our daughter sent us a listing for a place just outside of
Leesburg; and on a whim, Bob and Jan Crerie drove up to a modest
rambler, sitting atop a hill, overlooking ten, picturesque acres and a
gorgeous pond. We knew instinctively that this is where the next
adventure of our life together will begin. A God-incidence.
now we are tackling the purging of stuff from our house, which includes
scary closets, a particularly frightening room, and a terrifying attic!
We are also weeding through a whole bunch of memories. We’ve had fun
going through our old junk; we’ve cried and laughed a lot, and we’ve
questioned our judgment on why we saved individual items.
have been trying to practice what I teach during this time of upheaval
and stress. Making time to keep up with my workouts and yoga practices
has helped me keep my energy level up, and my sanity intact! But I must
admit that I have my melancholy days too. Leaning on my family has been
a Godsend, but being at the studio has been a saving grace too. I only
have to step into the peace, warmth, and love that resonates at the
studio and know that I still have a home in Vienna.
trick to the Graceful Exit.
It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage,
a relationship is over - and to let go.
It means leaving what's over without denying its value.”
- Ellen Goodman
“You’ve gotta know when it’s time to turn the page.”
Change and I have never had an easy relationship. I am a
regimented person, any variance from my routine can throw me off kilter, and I
do not make spontaneous decisions well.When I see a big change coming, I’ve been known to run the other way.
But change usually finds me, sometimes sweet-talking me out of hiding,
sometimes dragging me out, reluctantly!Intellectually, I know that change can be good, that change is
inevitable, that progress does not exist without the transformational power of
change, but letting go can be emotionally draining, no matter how spiritually
uplifting or life changing it ends up being. And I also know that change can
have an ugly side, blindsiding us with hard life circumstances. Maybe that’s
the side of change that keeps us humble, letting us know that ultimately we are
not in control of the Universe. Change can be our best friend too; when we feel
comfortable with a new transition; when we intuitively make the right decision;
when it’s time to turn the page. I don’t know about you, but I always feel
physically lighter when that happens. Recently, saying good-bye to a place I
had been teaching at for twenty-five years was not only a big change, but an
emotional one too.
Body Grace was born and raised at Vienna Presbyterian
Church, and for that opportunity I will always
be grateful. But just like the letting go that happens between a parent and a
child, it was time to make a “graceful exit,” moving the final class out of the
church, and into the studio. In 1990, I appeared before the church’s Board of
Trustees to get approval to start a weekly fitness class. There were some board
members and congregants who disapproved. They felt that a fitness class had no
business existing in a place of worship. My presentation, based on passages
from 1 Corinthians, was that our
bodies are temples, that we are connected physically, mentally and spiritually,
and what affects one, can affect them all. I’m sure that sounded a little “New
Age-y” in 1990, but how exciting it is twenty-five years later to see the
scientific evidence backing this up! Permission for a trial session was
granted, and that one class eventually led to the birth of Body Grace. I will forever love and appreciate all the
people who supported me throughout the years, and who spoke up for me when I
needed it the most.
Change can be hard to embrace, particularly when it uproots
us with unexpected life experiences: When it messes with our routines; with our
health; with our faith; with our emotions.But change can also help us undergo positive transformations, like a
spiritual makeover, enlightening us with a new perspective. Change can help
intensify our connection physically, mentally and spiritually, and Body Grace
is a manifestation of that belief; a belief that I have not strayed from in twenty-five years. To me Body Grace is a
sacred place, within the larger community, where all are welcome to take care
of their body, mind and spirit; a place to help deepen our relationships with
others, and with our self.
“In the spring I have counted one
hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside
of four and twenty
(1835 – 1910)
What a prophetic description of March 2015 written by
Mark Twain over a century ago. Spring, you sure can be fickle. Stop teasing us! We humbly acknowledge that you are in
control. We understand that you want to make a dramatic entrance dressed in
your fine couture, and honestly, with all your beauty, who can blame you? But you’ve
already got us in the palm of your hand, sitting at the edge of our seats; we
are a captivated audience. Spring, we’ve
been patient, now show us some mercy, and reward our patience with a steady
performance of warmer, brighter days. We are so ready for the cold, gray curtain
of winter to lift, and your colorful,
spectacular show to begin. Spring, you have a rapt audience, now give us a
reason for a standing ovation.