At the beginning of 2005 and three weeks before my 30th birthday I was alone, vulnerable and with a heartbreak so vast it consumed every fibre of my being. My six-year relationship had just ended. And while it had started off full of love and promises for the future, it ended with me a mere shell of the person I used to be. My ex was an incredibly jealous person. We started dating shortly after I graduated University, I was also in my early 20s and my world revolved around raving and clubbing and with that an enormous network of friends (and this was long before the days of social media). But through the years, bit by bit, to save the fight or make him happy, I began to extricate myself from that world and lost touch with my friends. I turned, as always, to work and at the time I was running my first business which was the very best distraction to that inner voice that kept trying to tell me this wasn’t right. When we finally broke up, and I have to say – he ended it, I had no confidence, no voice, and four friends (one of whom was my sister, so I don’t even think it counts). I was broken.
In the beautiful and strange ways of the universe, I had however three months previously found just a sip of courage to quit my corporate job which I hated and jump on the opportunity to go into fitness full-time. So, while the world seemed to fall apart around me, a tiny lifeline was there. It was with a new group of co-workers at a brand-new boutique style women’s only club, where the power of community began to help me heal. We worked together, spent hours talking together, went to parties together and long-lasting friendships were formed. Those 6am shifts at the gym, bleary eyed and chugging coffee was where I met my best friend Sarah who would listen to me ramble as the caffeine kicked in, and who has since introduced me to many more friends including my best friend, Andrew who has become a brother to me. It was at this same time of hustling to get my fitness career going that I randomly met another very important person in my life. I arrived late to a training (shocking I know!), taking the last seat available at the front and sat beside Catherine, my future best friend. I helped her get a job at GoodLife, she helped me by building out a whole new community of what was then “steppers” to now my dearest friends in the world. To say these two groups of friends saved me is an understatement. We went out every weekend. We talked, we danced, we laughed, we drank (yes lots of that too) and by simply being together, I became me again. Someone who loves the sweetness of life, has a ton of friends and is inspired, creative and motivated to make the world a better place through friendship.
This has become my driving force since then, whether I properly understood it until now I’m not sure. Sangha – the healing power of community. (Sangha means community in Sanskrit). When I first met my husband, the continuous joke between us was how many best friends I actually have, and him trying to keep track of all my groups of friends and who was connected to who, related to who and never mind names! To be honest, I’m not sure he still entirely knows, but he’s super good at the smile and nod lol. This makes my heart swell. My friends are probably what I’m most proud of in this world. When I look back at my time with YogaFit, what always made me happiest was watching new friendships form between staff and students. The space we created together to make this happen. As I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out my why, what my path is, what my next big project will be, what it all keeps coming back to is the power of community. The power of friendships.
THIS IS MY WHY! This is my dharma. Creating space to bring people together to heal. This is what Sangha is to me. So, in a small for now, but who only knows what we can do together, way I am happy to share my next venture with you. Combining all the things I love and hold dear. Sangha Wellness Retreats. Retreats big and small, all over the world where we come together as a community. To eat, sleep, play, exercise, meditate and share. This is the vision. The one thing I have learned is with a little patience, by following your heart the universe will provide. I am following my heart. Every day, in everything.
Our first official event under Sangha Wellness Retreats will be in Georgian Bay, Ontario. A weekend retreat: Healing in Nature, that I am co-leading with my husband. For now registrations for my retreats are listed on my personal website: https://lisagreenbaum.com but in their own due time social media pages, a community group and a central website will be built out. I will continue to write as it feeds my soul, and I’m so grateful that you read these words from my humble heart. I have also just launched pre-sales for my first E-Book, Chakra Journey with plans to provide more content and teaching tools soon.
Thank you for reading, thank you for holding me in your heart over this last year of soul searching. Let’s build this together. A place to go away from it all, to fill our cups, to support each other, to solidify friendships and make new ones. To create memories through shared experience and sangha.