A Seat at the Table of Dreams
Sister, pull up a chair. Grab a drink and buckle in, because I need to talk to you about my favorite way to Noonday — teaching yoga to inmates of the local county jail.
To be fair, the transition wasn’t immediate. Nothing good of heart ever is. When I settled on the idea of becoming a Noonday Ambassador, all I truly wanted was a goal and a fresh start. I needed something to be mine. I needed a breath of air that wasn’t shared by my significant other, my new baby, my hometown, my college roomie. The simple desire to cling to hope again crept into my bones, and I was restless. The world loves a broken heart, sisters, and mine felt so shattered by the new tiny life I brought into the world that I could hardly hold it all. I needed to feel seen and loved and needed. And Noonday just fit for me.
When I say fit, I mean barely — it was scraping into place like a rusty lock and key. I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety, heading back to work after just six weeks of maternity leave. But when life was grinding, Noonday was adding a little oil. Slowly, relief trickled in. Self-confidence felt like it was something I could own, wield, use to encourage the women around me. And when I wondered how I could possibly use that little spark that was building, it all seemed to fall into place.
Why Sisterhood Matters
We need sisterhood. I am firmly planted in the belief that this is how the human race has survived. We are connected globally by strong women linking arms with other strong women. And when we are weak, we can look behind ourselves and see another sister propelling us forward. The Earth is built on the bones of this, and the Noonday light shines like no other sisterhood has.
When my full-time job felt overwhelming, Noonday lifted my spirits. When I needed an excuse for a ladies’ night, the pull of sustainable income for Artisan Business Partners across the globe rescued me. And when doubts and fear crept in and told me I didn’t match a single one of you, Noonday told me, quite simply, “thank goodness — we still need you here.”
It would be wrong to say I had my doubts — that would imply they are gone for good. But when times are tough, we like to go right back to that heavy suitcase full of them. We pick up the worries: I am not enough. I am not good enough. I don’t fit. She isn’t like me. I can’t do that. NoTalentNoSkillNoConnectionNoGood. But when I choose (yes, it’s a choice we make) to let go of that baggage, I have found so many incredible ways to flourish.
Sisters, my life has not been easy. Is there anyone who will say theirs has? Hardships and struggles have brought me right to the spot where I am today. The beautiful light in the world is that broken people have the amazing ability to connect with other broken people.
When my mind told me my traumas and family life and history made me not good enough, Noonday Collection told me to just show up. Show up, sister. And throw on those statment earrings you would never choose for yourself. And help heal the world.
In 2018 I started saying yes — Yes to an unlikely friendship with recovering addicts. I said yes to joining them at church because I loved their love and searched for examples of Christianity I knew to be true. I said yes to lunch dates again. I said yes to helping hands at work, with my child, to a therapist. I cried. Like, a lot. And when I needed help, there were my fellow Ambassadors waiting to lift me up, cheer me on. And then I said yes again, to the weirdest phrase known to my personal vocabulary… jail yoga.
I’ve not always had a heart for the incarcerated. But when my full-time job led me to a rough pool of candidates and my confidence let me say yes to yoga inside a jail, I could feel my already broken heart tearing at the seams. The boundless hope from a single mom looking for a fresh start brought me to tears. The plight of a homeless man trying to avoid alcohol and jail reduced me to a pool of pity. And somehow my heart knew the way — Jessica, our founder, would soon call this going scared. And when I stepped into the jail for the first time, I was wearing my favorite pair of yoga pants (that had never NEVER been used for yoga!) and the cutest studs I could muster up the courage to wear while praying I didn’t set off the metal detector.
And because I’ve known trauma and triumph, hardship and happiness, I could connect with these women without the ice-breakers. Sometimes we don’t need to know someone else’s trauma — the fact that they will pull up the seat at our table and lean in tells us all we need to know. After two years as an Ambassador for Noonday Collection, I’m just touching the surface of understanding that maybe it was never about the accessories, after all. This journey is about so, so much more.
Meet Chelsea Los
Chelsea is a full-time working mama, coffee enthusiast, bibliophile and recovering Enneagram 3w2. People are Chelsea's passion — pull up a seat at her table!