It is the first Wednesday of the month. Over my lunch break I make it home just in time to connect with the beginning of the Off the Mat, Into the World conference call. I hear the now familiar voice of Suzanne Sterling and then that of Seane Corn. I hear my new friend Elif on the line from New York. I breathe in the excitement and wonder that is churning through the circuits and get ready to reconnect with the Bare Witness Uganda challenge and listen to what these amazing women have to say and what developments have occurred - the participants of 2008 challenge have just returned from Cambodia.
All over the country individuals are working on ways to raise money for this challenge. In my mind we create a huge mala circling the country, linking communities and people together. 70 people total. 70 individuals have taken on this challenge and decided to see what they could do within their community to create lasting change and living legacy. And from those 70 people the circle grows included all the individuals that are donating their money, time, resources and talents to the cause. I like it - it is good stuff in these dark hours. These conference calls serve as a way for me to reconnect to the challenge that lay before me, reconnect with the purpose and the beauty of it all, and to share my enthusiasm - which is overflowing these days.
Over the last couple of months I have reached out to many individuals, groups, bands, musicians, artists, yoga studios, family and friends - asking them to help, asking them to take part, telling my story and seeing what presents itself, seeing what rises up out of the mystery. The response has been thrilling - and as the challenge progresses my excitement for events to come only grows. I often hear people complaining about living in a small "city" like we do... but it is these moments that small, tight communities shine. Circles overlap, opportunities knock, doors fly open, people want to help - they want to be a part of something bigger then themselves and they want to serve a higher purpose. It is some good good stuff.
I am finding little corners of myself being revisited and reborn. I am finding my voice again. I am reminded that this experience is as much a journey into the self as it is an outreach to others. It reminds me why I love yoga so much. That yoga asanas are a microcosm of the world and how we move through it; what you face within yourself on the mat is magnified once you get off of it and really begin the work. I am reminded of our duty to bare witness to what is going around us - and while doing so bare the inner most part of our souls and our own story. And in the words of Suzanne Stearling "when we think we are serving we are really being served".
Photo of Seane Corn with children in Uganda ~ courtesy of Off the Mat, Into the World