So, today was our official ribbon cutting and first meet and greet! What an amazing turn out and show of support from the Chamber of Commerce and businesses in our community. I was completely blown away by friends and family who rearranged their days to be here with me: my mom drove 3 hours to get here, stayed for the ceremony, then drove home; my best friend and her sister came up from Ft. Smith; my NWA friends and my husband took late or long lunches to be a part of the celebration. My aunt from Missouri sent me a breathtaking lily. I'm going to take great care of it, Aunt Nancy!
This is the celebration! These days are easy days! I know what I am going to do, I've gathered my friends and allies, and I've answered the call (shout out to Chrispy Bhagat Singh from Rockstar Yoga in Austin for bringing the Hero's Journey to the Awaken Yoga Festival in Fayetteville last weekend. Impeccable timing!) What led up to this day was work: the negotiating, the research, the education, the training...that rewarding and fruitful, tireless and diligent work. What's coming next is THE work: learning, connecting, building, and growing, and most of all serving...that fearless and generous, committed and energetic work.
And what exactly does that have to do with a ribbon cutting? It's just to acknowledge that not every day is a ribbon cutting. This day was easy: Texts, phone calls, hand shakes, CAKE!, special deliveries, cheers, and photographs. Tomorrow is the beginning of THE work. I don't get to have a party every day. Let's be honest - some days feel down right lonely; but, I do get to wake up every morning and feel the joy of answering the call, reaching out to friends and allies, and delivering this practice from my heart to anyone who is ready to answer their own call and cross over their own threshold into the life they desire and deserve.
My ribbon cutting speech transcript:
May 11, 2017
What does vitality mean to you? Power, sparkle, punch, zest, spirit, fire, vigor, passion, get-up-and-go, bloom, drive, endurance, spunk, strength, guts. When we find Vitality, we find abundance of strength in body, mind, and spirit. We are not just alive, but we are living fully and abundantly with joy and ease.
My name is Jessica Fowler, and I am a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and trauma informed yoga therapist, and I am bringing this new venture to Northwest Arkansas to expand holistic treatment options for mental wellness and stress reduction.
My background includes over a decade of experience as a registered nurse; thousands of clinical hours as a nurse practitioner; a TIYT certification; and, I am currently pursuing my Doctorate in Nursing Practice at UAMS with a research focus in yoga and mental health. This year, I was named as a “Top 40 under 40 Nurses in Arkansas” recipient for my work with yoga and mental health.
This idea was born in 2014 when I started working as a newly licensed nurse practitioner. Working in community mental health, my patients frequently reported having tried multiple medications and years of talk therapy but they wanted more. They were looking to me for a holistic approach; something more than they had been given before. I thought back to the paragraph I read in one of my advanced psychiatric nursing text books that said yoga has a healing impact on the body and has the ability to rewire the nervous system and create a state of wellness. This was the spark that led to my personal yoga practice and snow balled into acquiring a teacher certification, advanced yoga therapy training, and doctorate level study. In short, I tried it, I researched it, I won an award for it, and now here I am to deliver it to the Northwest Arkansas Community.
This work is so meaningful to me because 2 years ago, I would not have been able to stand in front on anyone and talk about my business or my story. The work that I have personally put into my own practice has led me to overcome a debilitating social anxiety, so I am so proud to stand here today and share Vitality Yoga with you.
To be clear, I am about quality and expert services delivered with compassion and founded in integrity. I am dedicated to the health and well-being of my community. When you walk through these doors feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, at your wit’s end; whether you’ve been trying multiple treatments and providers for years or this is your first time to seek relief, be assured the reason I get out of bed every morning is to put myself out of business by guiding you back to wellness, so you no longer need me. How do you move from autopilot to intentional living? From aimless flailing to easeful productivity? How do you gain the ability to discern what is important and what is a crisis? Vitality Yoga is your bridge. My job is to teach you how to limit the impact of stress and anxiety on your body by empowering you to gain control over your own nervous system and move from a state of reaction to right action.
Vitality Yoga is nurse practitioner owned and dedicated to the art, practice, and science of yoga and holistic wellness for Every. Body. Let me serve you to FIND YOUR VITALITY, NWA