By Bethany Lyons, Founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga
Dedicated to my husband John
Some of you, I know, were blown away by "On Supporting A Strong Woman," a love letter written to me, by my husband John, and published by The Sweat Life in December 2014. If you have not read it — trust me — stop reading this right now, and come back to me in a few minutes.
It has been inspiring to me to see how many others have been inspired by my partner-in-crime. Clearly, I chose well.
Now, how does one respond to a letter like this?
Before I respond to John, let me first tell all of you reading this: I have been the recipient of letters from John Murray since the year 2000 when we were undergrads at Syracuse University. Some have been funny, some poignant, some soul-searching, some heartbreaking, and others downright dirty (we will not be publishing those). His words have made me laugh out loud and cry tears of joy. His words have caused inquiry about what I want in my life and in a partner. His words have forced me to confront big decisions. His words have hurt, a lot. His words have made me love him more than I thought possible. And one letter in particular made me walk directly from the mailbox to my car to drive four hours without plan or hesitation. Letters written from me to him and him to me were used as readings at our wedding ceremony. So believe me when I say, I know firsthand the power of the John Murray letter.
I love words, and words create our realities in a lot of ways — what we say to ourselves, what we say about ourselves, what we say to others, what we say about others, how we communicate with the world — it matters. Repeat something enough times and you will believe it. Change your words, and change your relationships in huge, powerful, and life-altering ways.
But, what do I love, crave, and celebrate more than words? Actions.
John knows this. And so, I will not respond with many words - just a few.
What I promise, in actions, to you:
To rock the boat, to stand on my own two feet, and to bring the fire - as I always have.
To show up, to show my vulnerability, and continue to let you in.
To dance, laugh, raise hell, drink good wine, sweat, unplug, plug in, not sleep, dream, and do the work with you.
To challenge you to be the best version of yourself.
To own up to, and call out broken promises and move forward without burden.
To be honest, even when it seems like it's not the easiest road.
To find any and all items you have lost or cannot see directly in front of you, with my expert wife-vision, on a daily basis.
To choose my choice of you and of us every day.
You support me like no one else ever has. I will do the same.
And to bring this full circle ... what, in actions, will I hold you to?
You, I love.
My actions will speak louder than this letter ever could.
Bethany Lyons is a powerful leader, creator, community builder, and co-founder of the only Baptiste-style yoga studio in Manhattan: Lyons Den Power Yoga. Bethany is a classically trained ballet dancer, Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher, and Master Instructor at SoulCycle. She has appeared as a yoga and fitness expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, TLC, and CNN, and has been featured in Forbes, New York Magazine, US Weekly, SELF, Shape, Fitness Magazine, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, and Well+Good, among many other publications. In co-founding Lyons Den Power Yoga, Bethany seeks to showcase the endless possibilities all around us, and to show up in a big way for her students and in her life.