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“We Are Because We Belong.”

If you don’t know me already, my name is Mara Richardson and I work at the front desk at Octopus Garden. I have been a member for a few years now, ever since falling in love with the studio during my free first week, and am a graduate of the 200 hour, 300 hour, and Restorative teacher training. I’m sure many of you can relate when I say – walking through the doors of OG feels like home to me.
The summer of 2013 did not unfold the way I had anticipated it would. On a beautiful June day, my bike tire twisted (in the worst of ways) with a street car track. In a split second I was thrown over my handle bars landing directly on my chin. As you can imagine, it was a painful fall that broke my jaw in three places. I was taken to the hospital and had jaw surgery that night.
The recovery has been quite a journey of many ups and downs, that are less obvious now, but still continue. The reason I’m sharing all of this is to express my gratitude.  This unexpected detour was hard to handle at times but with the support of my community here at Octopus Garden, I was helped and loved in the big and small ways that I needed most.
From Pat regularly checking in over email and asking if she could visit me, to the staff who sent flowers to my parents home where I was resting after surgery, to my fellow yogis at the studio asking me how I’m doing, to therapists from the clinic offering to see me for free throughout my recovery, to insightful reflective conversations with Scott, and to my amazing manager, Taryn, and the desk staff who stepped up and covered my shifts until I was able to come back to work! I have learned so much from your incredible reactions and unconditional support. I am so grateful to you all!
Every bit of all of this has left me smiling in the embrace of my loving community here at Octopus Garden. I knew this bond between us existed without such proof, but the silver lining of this bumpy road is the light I’ve seen in all of you, and my deepened gratitude for the extended family we all have here at the studio.
With the first Fall Sangha class coming up this week, Wednesday September 11th, I couldn’t think of a better time to thank all of you and to reflect on our community.
“What was said to the rose that made it open, was said to me here in my chest.” – Rumi 
Written by Mara Richardson

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