Maybe it’s just the springtime, the flowers and birds and increasingly sublime weather that’s been teasing Tacoma, but from where I am things feel somehow like they’re just beginning at SKY. We recently reworked our class schedule with lots of community input, the fantabulous Kate Fontana just wrassled a $10,000 grant (!) that we now have the joy of redistributing into the studio community, and we’ve got our yearly communal fundraising shindig—the Yoga in the Park festival at Wright Park—on the not-so-distant summertime horizon. If, as we often do here, we think of the studio as an entity unto itself, as something that moves and evolves and has inclinations independent of any one person or group of people, I’d say the community that surrounds SKY is experiencing a moment of coming into its own. Things feel good here.
On the other hand, however, I’d also say that this kind of collective flourishing isn’t something that’s new to this place at all—it’s been built into the ideas and structures of SKY from the very beginning.
Anyone who’s heard the origin story of SKY knows that it grows from Pamela and Vania’s turning their own healing outward as a way to both extend it to others and deepen it for themselves. That the recent paths we’ve been on—the continued signups of people for Partnerships in Healing, January’s switch to a collective leadership model, and SKY’s existing and emerging ties with other community-oriented organizations in Tacoma and elsewhere—have been benefiting anyone who comes to the studio door has been no real surprise, then, though it has been exciting.
The resources that SKY offers all of us aren’t only financial, either. More than once recently I’ve been on the receiving end of this place’s frankly incredible capacity to allow for emotional struggle, confusion, and growth to occur and be processed in a healing way. Often I feel like I’ve applied for social-emotional (rather than financial) aid and been granted a lifelong scholarship, no strings attached. It really is baffling how often any given person at any given time can come through for you here. And beyond my own experience, I hear this sentiment in the classes we offer, particularly those through our outreach partners. All the time, I’m around people as they move from incredulity to amazement to empowerment and gratitude when they experience some aspect of the work SKY does.
All this is to encourage those reading this to consider, as we move toward our peak fundraising season this summer, not just what SKY does—the partnerships, the grants, the accessibility, the affordability—but also why this place exists. In other words, consider not only the content here, but the purpose too—the love, connection, and mutual healing that brought it all into existence to begin with. And we practice that in the best way we know--learning, messing up, getting help, trying again, evolving. Throughout, that founding purpose has continued to work and grow for communities around Tacoma and elsewhere to the present day. The more we put into it, the more everyone will flourish through it—it’s set up that way.