“Thanks for not giving up.”

“THANKS FOR NOT GIVING UP.” This was written on a card we received for Teacher’s Appreciation Day in May, from one of our 10 year old students. My husband Dorian and I own Lugo Leadership Academy, LLC in San Jose, California. We teach Self-Mastery through Martial Arts and Yoga, and guide local retreats, with the mission of enhancing leadership in our communities. We opened for just one year before most businesses were closed in March. We immediately pivoted to live online classes to maintain a connection, making the best out of technology to keep our students fit and on track for their goals. But the time in lockdown began adding up to eight months away! Happily, we recently started teaching in person outdoors (socially distanced), which has been a breath of fresh air.

It would have been very easy to give up. Even easier would have been not to start in the first place. After a lifetime of study and teaching, to go out on our own meant incorporation costs, Business licenses, taxes, and insurance just to start. Then you add the high cost of commercial real estate in the Bay Area to the challenge.

Now, COVID-19 has changed what we are accustomed to. We are unable to teach and learn or receive services in the ways we previously knew. If we look at the world with our old lenses, we might be convinced that we are limited in our ability to grow. But if we look at the world from the viewpoint of someone who is rooting for us, depending on us to succeed for their own growth and future, we can trust creativity and acknowledge patience as a virtue.

We are not going to give up because we know people are in need more than ever of leadership and a deeper connection with other people and with ourselves. We see it in the eyes of our community, behind the masks we are reaching out to each other. That’s why we’re grateful to have the opportunity to share our path as we navigate the ways we can continue to share ideas and encourage conversations about leadership, Self-Mastery, and wellness.

Now more than ever we are called to leadership, to take care of those in our homes, on our streets. But everyone is asking more of us and we are collectively exhausted. So it’s important to keep going and not give up, especially in our visions of community care and self-care. It starts in little ways, the kind we remember when we are with our wisest ones. We need an energy that is filled with support for each other that acknowledges what a tough time we are going through. We need a love that comes through in supportive messages rather than task lists and harsh expectations.

I shared this note so you can also be supported in Z’s words every step that you need to hear them. Tell them to your feet and tell them to your heart: Thanks for not giving up.


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“Thanks for not giving up.”

“THANKS FOR NOT GIVING UP.” This was written on a card we received for Teacher’s Appreciation Day in May, from one of our 10...