The first time I met Crystal Moore, I had no idea what just happened. Who was this strong, confident New Yorker who strode into our serene early morning Bible Study group and knocked us back on our heels with her bold questions and an even bigger laugh? Fast forward, and I can't remember life before her!
I am thrilled to introduce you to this yoga studio owner, education entrepreneur, and most of all - dear friend. To hear an inspiring story of courage and resilience in her own words, read on...
How did you know it was time to make a change?
In the spring of 2012, I was working in a high-needs DCPS elementary school east of the Anacostia River. The students were years behind where they needed to be academically, and it was my job to help their teachers be more effective in the classrooms and ultimately bring up test scores. Five of my teachers were brand new and did not have teaching degrees. They had completed a five-week, intensive teacher prep program earlier that summer. Three others had less than two years of teaching experience. I was overwhelmed with the needs before me and did not have a very sympathetic boss. As much as I believed those children deserved a high-quality education, I knew that I was in way over my head. I needed out!
That same spring, a small group of Christian women with whom I had been meeting regularly read a book called The Circle Maker. It’s all about catching wind of the dreams for your life, especially those inspired by God. Once you have a vision of the future, you go after what you want and believe God wants for you, praying for wisdom and assistance and letting Him be responsible for the outcomes. I knew I needed to leave my job, but I wasn’t exactly sure where I should go next. I prayed a great deal over the next two years for direction and wisdom. When my “dream job” ended unexpectedly last summer, I decided it was time to do something very different professionally. Instead of looking for another full-time job, I would start working for myself. I opened a yoga studio and relaunched my education company in August 2014.
What gave you the confidence you needed to move forward?
My faith in God provides all the confidence I need to move forward in life. I believe He loves me and wants to make all my dreams come true. I continue to pray for wisdom and discernment. As I was planning the yoga studio last summer, I would take hour-long prayer walks through my neighborhood asking God for faith, courage and wisdom. I always ended with “May your will be done.” My yoga practice has shown me how to be able to surrender everything to God in prayer.
Who/what inspires you today?
Thinking back on how far I have come inspires me today. I recently wrote a 30-page paper about my journey of transformation as part of an Advanced Yoga Teacher Training. I had to go back in time to revisit the hardest moments in my life—discovering I had an autoimmune disease, dealing with a divorce, battling with depression. When I see the amazing joy and blessings in my life today—living a full life with lupus, opening myself up to love again, healing my anxiety and depression with yoga—I am inspired.
What are you dreaming about now?
I am dreaming about my future. I love to travel and want to visit a few places in the coming years—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Morocco and South Africa. I also want to remarry and have children. I always have wanted to adopt a child and give him/her a shot at a decent life. I also dream of the expansion of my yoga studio, Serenity Place DC. We need to move into a bigger space very soon.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
The best advice I ever received was in the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Always do your best—no more and no less. We have to recognize our best will change from minute to minute and day to day, so our best isn’t always the same. Just do the best with what you have at any moment, and you can live satisfied.
What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started?
I wish I had known how long the process of opening a yoga studio would take. I would have been less anxious and more patient with myself. As a result, I could have enjoyed the journey a bit more.
What encouragement can you offer someone who wants to make a change but is apprehensive?
You don't have to change everything overnight. Even huge transformations happen one step at a time. Begin with a dream and a plan. Then keep adding up all those little steps until reality has shifted.
What book(s) have provided guidance or inspiration for your New Beginning?
The Circle Maker definitely is at the top of the list. I also appreciate The Artist Way by Julia Cameron, In the Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant, and The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi.