My husband asked me tonight, what is it that makes Journey to Hope so special? Why should folks be so inclined to donate to your organization as opposed to someone who is more well known?
I thought about it for a moment and realized that in some senses, we are not different at all. In some senses, we are meant to be among the crowd – to fit in with all the misfits and “normal” people. Journey to Hope is an organization that is all about community. We embody the gathering of resources, sharing, community, love & light. We spread our yoga to better our community and our world.
But the hubby is right: what makes us special?
We are special because we believe in not only healing ourselves and those around us, but also in invigorating each other. As I was creating a video for a kickstarter project this evening (to be revealed shortly!), I mentioned that the Champ House is not just a homeless shelter, but a place folks go who are without a home and need to be reinvigorated. The Champ House lets people live with them, but ONLY is you decide to participate in your own life.
Journey to Hope has the exact same vigor. I want each of you to feel inspired and energized after class. In a way, I am helping to heal ailments, heartbreak, illness, fatigue, loneliness and much more. But I am also there to provide a laugh, a stretch, a smile and a meditation. Trauma is a way of life – it is something that is inevitable. But as the zen yoga saying goes: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice.” I try not to ever choose suffering – I always, always choose laughter & love.
Myself and my volunteers, each have that vigor to not only help heal whatever temporary trauma you have going on within your body, but also to help uplift those spirits and reinvigorate you to want to help yourself.
Patty, Terry & I do not force you to arrive on your mat. You each show up on your yoga mat of your own free will – and there must be a reason. In the beginning it could be your lingering lower back issue, or your recent financial woes. But hopefully you keep coming back to your mat because you realize that the practice of fully arriving in your present body, mind & spirit is awakening something inside of you. Maybe it is something you always held within, or perhaps it is something you just found – but whatever it is, you are there to find it.
When we arrive on our mats, many teachers tell you to connect to the mind, body & spirit. You tap into your ujjai breathing, deepen your connection to yourself and begin to truly listen. I do not heal you. Terry & Patty do not heal you. Journey to Hope does not heal you. YOGA does not heal you. YOU HEAL YOU! You heal yourself by making the commitment to truly arrive. Arrive on your mat, in your life and continuously in each present moment.
I believe what makes Journey to Hope so different is our community. Our individual residents in the shelters & each member of the community who arrives on their mat or donates a few gently worn yoga clothes, mats & blocks. The yogini’s I see in the super market who give me big hugs after class, the simple emails we receive and the daily commitment I see from each of my students who simply arrive.
Journey to Hope is different because of each of you, we exist because of each of you.
Thank you, as always, for being my inspiration to do what I do!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle
(Especially FRIDAY 6pm, our next benefit class!)
p.s. If you could describe Journey to Hope in one sentence, what would it be?