Letter to the folks in Bergen and the surrounding area (on: dealing with disappointment and other stories)

dionne bergen

I´ve been really excitedly planning the autumn/winter schedule for some time now, and was hoping to share a Yoga & Supper Club special event with you this October – however, with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and exploring many different solutions, our last venue just fell through, which is a shame, alas, prices for renting place with a kitchen in Bergen are no joke!

Many of you know my ethos is about making yoga accessible to all. I have taught countless free classes (many at my own expense) and despite my rising rent costs, I have always offered and maintained cost-effective prices as part of my service in the hope that people are able to come along to sessions with me without the barrier of big costs. I feel really strongly about people finding their own way on their journey. I´ve written more on that here.

As much as i´m gagging to share this super special Yoga & Supper Club event with you, I don´t want to have to charge people crazy prices just to cover the rent. It´s just something I don´t want to compromise on (although I totally understand that to many, i´m mad, cést la vie). And I don´t want to have to keep fighting to try to offer something new in the city – something i´m feeling a little tired of doing (some of you relate to those stories…)

For 3.5 years in Norway, I fought to do what I wanted to do, experiencing glass ceilings in most rooms I entered. Told that I was “fake” because I smiled and I was kind. That I shouldn´t be nice to people as Norwegians didn´t want that (…I mean…!), told to “toe the line” and do things as they have always been done. Told that my way of sharing yoga was not the “proper” way. That i should find a guru. Not play music. Not stick out….which was almost certainly a challenge being brown with really big hair! I was stolen from, (wrongfully) accused of stealing , copied (apparently the sincerest form of flattery?), used and ignored. ..It was a confusing, and dare i say, soul-destroying time. But it also made me (forced me!) to get clear on what i was trying to do, why i was doing it, and even more determined to achieve it.

In my humble experience, i fought not only to do what I wanted, but also to be who I was, always with challenges at every level. It does a number on your confidence. But I was lucky. A (for want of a better word) tribe which became a community of amazing people got what I was trying to do and share with the world. They accepted me and were open to exploring something a bit different. They broke down barriers and taught me about the strength in vulnerability and the willingness to be open. And they still continue to get me. Whether they have supported me either from day one, or from yesterday. And I am so grateful and thankful for that. For you. Not wanting to put these folks in any kind of box as those who “follow” in some egotistical kind of fashion but rather, people who I stand with, who show me what is important. Who remind me why it is I want to do this kind of work.

So. For this month, the Yoga & Supper Club event is not to be. But I surely believe that with doors closing, others will open and i´m trusting in that. There is one place i´ll be having a look at on my next visit for an event, plus in November, i´m really excited to announce i´ll be bringing the Yoga Day Retreats to KODE in Bergen City Centre, which is really exciting.

I´ll also be back at Herosalen, something which is super great but has also been a bit uncertain due to other bookings at the venue (hey, i´m glad it´s popular as it was a hidden gem that was hardly used when someone kindly showed it to me. Viva Herosalen!). But in honesty, even maintaining some kind of consistency with that has been a struggle.

I had a fair share of angry emails when I left and hope that a year on the understanding is that for my own health and sanity I needed to move. To not have to keep fighting to survive. Something i´ve written about a little here and there. In order for me to keep doing this, I needed to take care of myself. From there i began to commute each month to continue the projects i love (and out of goodwill, allowed peeps to keep using their klip cards too.)

With this move, it has meant I can focus on developing what i´m offering. On refining and not compromising authenticity. On staying open. And also explore other more flexible ways of sharing.

  • I´m starting to offer a limited number of Skype Yoga sessions where you can practice with me online for a super personal service.
  • And i´m continuing to Kunst + Yoga at KODE – a project that has been ever growing over the last few years. I´m grateful.
  • The Brighton Retreat in January is something we´re considering, but we will only go for it if the demand is there.

I hope to never give up, a mantra my dear friend Helga always reminded me of, despite the darkest times of trying to follow my dreams living in Bergen.

I will keep striving to share the projects that stem from my deep desire to offer tools and ways for people to explore and deepen their relationship to themselves, and hope that you´ll understand that although i´m currently not as regularly in Bergen, that you´re still in my thoughts and i´m working hard to constantly keep offering what I can. As long as I can afford to keep coming back, I will. It´s in my blood!

Without this becoming an explanation of sorts, this is an offering of intention and remedy to those ever-wonderful life lessons – dealing with disappointment. For me, it is truly about the balance of effort and surrender. I´ve learned that as much as we might plan the hell out of something, think we´re almost at the finish line, something can fall through.  It might not work out. The unexpected can plop on your face. But still, that can be the most wonderful thing to happen to us. To remind us that nothing is really certain. That attaching all our expectations and projections onto something will probably lead to disappointment. And that flexibility in our way of approaching things (even disappointment) can make us a lot happier. I´ll never stop trying or working to create offerings. But i´ll certainly try to be more flexible in the way I read the signs – some things are just not meant to be, for now.

This is one of those “on and off the mat” kinda things. I hope you receive it with love.

Here´s to things working out in ways that were even better than we could imagine. x

4 thoughts on “Letter to the folks in Bergen and the surrounding area (on: dealing with disappointment and other stories)

  1. Hi Dionne!
    I just wanted to say hi, and to say that your post touched me and sometimes I get so embarrassed being norwegian. It is sad that you have been called “fake” and that people don`t want you to be kind, that is the most stupid thing I have ever heard! You have inspired me so much and you are the one that made me start loving yoga in a whole new therapeutic way 😉 I was a student at the time and when you stopped having classes at SIB both me and my cousin followed you to Herosalen. I don`t know if you remember me, I used to go to your classes both in Herosalen and at Kunst yoga before I moved to Stord (I gave you some tea before I left I think ;-)). And my cousin (who was the first to tips me about your fantastic classes) has ended up as a yoga instructer herself 🙂 I just want you to know that you have made a big difference in many lives in Bergen in a lovely way. You are a fantastic person and I wish you all the best in all projects in the future, thank you for been you 🙂
    xxx Susanna

    • Susanna, love, of course i remember you and miss your face- i still have the card you gave me (treasured!) and do hope that life in Stord is sweet! Thank you for sharing your words and your support – so nice to hear that your cousin is teaching too! I hope you don´t feel embarrassed for being Norwegian – it was ridiculous that someone thought it best to advise me on what was best for everyone as a whole, just as it is to label all Norwegians as being the same. I treasure the good people who challenged the negative and showed me sweetness. And i really appreciate you. Sending you much love x x x

  2. Hi Dionne!

    I am really sorry to hear it hasn’t been easy teaching yoga in Bergen 😦 I fell in love with yoga when you held classes at SiB. It was so different than anything else I had tried before, and so refreshing. I remember particularly a day when we had a yoga class outside in the city park one fine morning in May. That was gorgeous, and I ‘flew’ back home inspired and invigorated. Thank you so much for what you are, and I hope things work out for you in Bergen. This rainy city needs more people like you!

    On a different note, I am not sure what locations you have checked already and what the exact requirements were, but there is one I thought could be good: http://www.lyngbo.no/Klubbhuset/default.aspx The place is quite big, has a kitchen and costs 1500 kroner on any day between Monday and Thursday at afternoon hours (until 22.00). It is not in the downtown though, but it is max 15 minutes away by bus, and the bus stop is located very conveniently right outside the club.

    Also, I love to cook vegan, so if there is ever need to help, I am happy to help 🙂

    Best regards,

    • Dear Sasha, So nice to hear from you, i appreciate you sharing that lovely memory…i remember that May day well- thank you for being so supportive and open, i´m glad you felt inspired and invigorated! Takk også for tips and recommendation – it´s really great to know and i´ll add it to my list of special places to look into, sounds great for a project. Also great to know you cook vegan, let´s see what we can do eh? 😉 Much love to you x x x

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