Please welcome new blogger Jamie Shane to FN Online!  Jamie is a crossfitter and yogi, and regular FN online contributor. She is making the huge leap from fitness enthusiast to combining her fitness love and knowledge with a home and work environment as she moves into a new home and begins teaching yoga and providing Thai massage from that same space.  In a series of blog posts, we will follow her from the beginning planning stages to the final reflection stages of the project.

I have a Talking Heads song stuck in my head. Perpetually. Go ahead, sing it with me…you know the words….”Well, how did I get here?”

Here: In a 5 bedroom house in a town I swore I was going to leave starting a home based business. Here: Converting my finished garage into another yoga studio and healing space. Here: Transitioning 2 of my bedrooms into Thai Massage and Life Coaching treatment rooms. Here: Laying down a militantly organic garden of raised beds in my little backyard. Here: Designing a menu of services for this amazing space that range from yoga to cooking classes. Here: Doing it all in partnership with the man I love.

And, finally. Here: Doing 80% of it for barter/trade, or what is sometimes called a love donation.

Sometimes I think this makes me insane. And many of you who know me are surely nodding your heads at that statement. To do this is absolutely crazy. The amount of time, energy and work to pull this off is incredible. There are about a zillion things that could go horribly, horribly wrong. And don’t think that those thoughts don’t sometimes keep me up at night.

But when the clock strikes 3 am and I am wide awake with worries in my head, I come back to one simple truth that puts me right back to sleep. This whole project is my version of living the dream. It is the once in a lifetime cliff jump. It is my first viable chance to have complete say in how I want to live, contribute and experience my beliefs.

For instance, I believe in whole foods. But I think it is ridiculous that I can’t trust an ear of corn at the grocery store. Simply for the love of money, a corporation has turned a simple ear of corn into a Franken-death-vegetable, and nobody wants to tell me about it. If I didn’t do my research, I could easily and ignorantly poison my family. The fact that anybody should have to research the dangers of food that grows from the ground hurts my feelings. Come on. Mother Earth stuff should be reliable. Because, you know, it comes from Mother Earth. But until now, I didn’t have enough freedom to plant my own. Now I do, and you can bet your bippy there will be corn growing there. Non-GMO, pesticide-free, economically produced, environmentally friendly corn. As well as plenty of other truly healthy things that I can then turn into amazing, healthy meals.

For instance, I believe in working towards a peaceful mind. But I have learned that the only time I am angry is when I am driving the car. In order to get to work–so that I can contribute–I have to wade through a swamp of poorly timed traffic lights, inconsiderate drivers, and miles of badly planned city planning. Because I don’t work from a schedule, but rather a calendar, I spend a ton of my day tooling around from point A to point B. I figured it out. For every hour of “work” that I do, I spend an average of 20 minutes in the car. That’s just stupid. And wasteful. And expensive. Tack onto that the fact that almost every second of those twenty minutes is spent in seething frustration and now the idea of working at home brings perfect peace. It’s an energy saver, a money saver, a time saver and a soul saver.

Now multiply that by two, because I’m not in this alone.

With the extra energy and time from just those two simple changes, we can not only be a better teachers and healers, but better people as well. What is saved in base dollars from growing some of our own food, making some of our own goods and not filling up our tanks with $75 worth of gas a week can be passed on. Neither one of us got into yoga or thai massage for the money. We do it because we love it. We do it because they are both healing arts that help people manage their lives. Without the burning push to have money, we can better address those needs in a more compassionate way. I know I’m not the only person in the world to look at the household bills and find that some sacrifices have to be made. And I know for sure that I’m not the first person to put my own care at the top of the “maybe later” list. It just shouldn’t be like that. Nobody should have to sacrifice their own health care to pay for the phone

If by making a few changes to how we live creates a space where others don’t have to make those kinds of choices, if taking a yoga class in exchange for a dozen eggs (organic, please, 🙂 instead of a $20 bill makes you feel better about your body and your life, then every second of this effort will be worth it. We will have been successful in creating a truly symbiotic relationship with the community where everybody gets what they need.

I really think that it will work. And that might be crazy. But it’s a beautiful kind of crazy….

…don’t you think?