Happy New Year Radiant

What a beautiful celebration we had last Friday evening

Thank you to all that came and made it so truly magical

Please see the link to take you to access all the great photos that were captured. In case you could not make it, please take a moment to read what I shared on Friday evening.Thank you all for coming. I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. I have dreamed of this celebration for over a decade. I am humbled. I want to thank God for all of this abundance, love & for each of you. It is said that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love; what I feel I was called on this earth to do. Thank you for receiving me into your hearts. Over the past ten years, many people have come to me saying that this practice and I, personally, have helped heal them. but let me sincerely say, it is all of you who have healed me.

Many of us stumbled onto our yoga mats somewhat broken, maybe even fragmented as I was years ago when I discovered my yoga mat. Yoga has saved my life over and over again. That is why I have devoted my life to this practice. I am a devoted lifelong student & teacher of practice.

I want to share with you a short story of how Radiant Hot Yoga began. It was a dream and a vision of mine to have a yoga studio to heal myself and my children from all the challenges and traumas that we have been through.

It has been just the 3, Skyler, Savanna & myself for a very long time. I lost the rest of my family a while ago and the 3 of us is all we had. With no living family I wanted to give my children roots. I would create an extended family for them. I wanted to create a healing place where they could go and feel my Spirit even after i was gone.

99.9% of everyone I knew told me I would fail, even my mentor laughed at me and told me that no one would ever come to my studio, to not even try to open one. Despite the naysayers I decided to find a location, and go for it. I remember thinking there is no Plan B Darlene, so give it your all!!!

It was September 2012 when I started the build out here, I put every dollar I had into it. About a month in I had undergone surgery that went sideways and contracted a staph infection that went into my kidneys. I was in the hospital for a couple weeks; the staff infection would not heal. I remember a priest coming to pray over me in the hospital.  I was scared, thinking what a failure I was to leave my children with nothing. No family, no roots and now in debt. Eventually the hospital sent me home with a PICC line into my heart and gave me the strongest antibiotics to pump into it daily. I had to walk with a cane and could hardly get up on my own.  It was a very challenging and sad time in my life, not knowing if I would come out of this. Time went by without avail.  It was 7 days before Xmas 2012 when the Dr called and said, “Darlene come in and get the PICC line out. Your infection is healed!”

I cried tears of joy. Two weeks later on Jan 1, 2013 I opened Radiant Hot Yoga. Still weak from the infection crippling my kidneys, I could not hold a plank even for a moment or stand on one leg.

I remember opening day, sitting at the front desk with two little girls doing their homework in the zen den wondering, is anyone going to walk through these doors? Was my mentor right and no one would come to my yoga studio?  Thinking to myself if it doesn’t work out and I can’t afford my house rent, I will just have to live in the zen den. We ate Tuna Helper and Top Ramen every day. We lived here from 7am to 9pm daily, seriously I thought someone would call child protective services on me. People would bring us food and were so kind and loving.

Even though I just recovered from almost dying, I was so motivated to make this dream come to fruition. My soul was on fire to have my dream come true. I taught my butt off, 14 – 80-minute classes a week. Week after week. I found my strength and poured everything that I had inside me into this place as did my beautiful daughters.

Growing up people told me that the reason I’ve gone through such traumatic and challenging situations from such a young age was that I was being prepared to do something great with my life.

I couldn’t understand it then, nor did I want to. I wanted the pain to end. Now I understand what I was being prepared for. As I stand before you, I can say with 100% truth, life is not happening to you it is 100% absolutely happening to you even if you don’t understand the struggles, there is greatness on the other side of it. I wouldn’t change a single day, hour or second of it, as it brought me right here to all of you.

My gratitude is abundant and words do not seem to suffice but let me try. Thank you for choosing Radiant. Thank you for sharing your life with us; the ups, the downs and the in-between.

Thank you for allowing me to be there for you. Thank you for letting me love you and loving me in return. It is because of each and every single one of you; your smiles, your tears, your cheers, your energy. For that is what makes Radiant all that it is; a home, a sanctuary, a magical space filled with love, a place unlike anything or anywhere else. My heart is filled with so much gratitude.