Do you know how lucky you are? Everyday, every moment, we all have an amazing opportunity to forge a new path for ourselves; we hold the power to change our energetic ways, positively affecting the world we live in. I say; take it, embrace it, work it and let your light shine! Through the continued practice of yoga we can elevate ourselves to the absolute brightest version of who we are truly meant to be.
Always so beautifully expressed, my friend Kiersten Mooney, (owner of Bala Vinyasa Yoga Studios) shares with the world her deeply soul-felt experience of what it really means to elevate and unite others, as far away as Nairobi, Kenya, by sharing our love and light through yoga. I have great admiration for the journey that Kiersten has been on the past few years – such a stunning light she has become. Enjoy!
Always Love, Allison
I am in Nairobi, Kenya, co-facilitating Africa Yoga Project’s (AYP’s) first 200-hour teacher training with Paige Elenson, the founder of AYP, and Lisa Taylor, another Senior Baptiste Teacher. There are 150 participants from over 13 countries and tribes around the world partaking in this training. We have people speaking multiple languages with translators and many deaf participants with interpreters.
The meaning of yoga is to unite and this training has provided a groundbreaking opportunity for so many people from many different places and backgrounds to do just that. Through the physical practice, we can level any playing field. People are able to connect to themselves, therefore connect with others. Through the common ground of teaching yoga we are able to put our personal preferences aside allowing space to forge new pathways for education, job creation, communication, connection, tolerance, and acceptance. Whether we are spreading the power of yoga locally or abroad, we all have equal opportunity to expand and elevate others and ourselves.
We are all more similar than different. Our physicality is a perfect reminder of this. Many of us spend so much time comparing the differences that set us apart from another: our weight, clothes, muscle size, hair color, what we have or don’t have, how white someone’s teeth are, etc. Now consider how similar we really are. Look at another person’s body, irrelevant of shape, color, size, or age. We all have hands, fingers, toes, feet, legs, arms, a heart, lungs, and on and on… The magic comes when we can get out of judgment and criticism of self and others and step into a celebration of our differences, seeing them as gifts that we have to share with one another.
Most of us want to fulfill our dreams, be our greatest self, and be of service to others. So how can we best do that? Being of service is never coming from a place where another person is incomplete, or giving from a place of trying to prove something or to be somebody important. Being of service is knowing that we are always in equal receiving when we are giving — always, no matter what it is we are contributing. I see being of service to others as the pathway to being my greatest self because in the purest form of service we are simultaneously being in service to ourselves.
So many of us give from a place of low self-esteem, guilt or sympathy and we try to fulfill something in ourselves to feel better about who we are. When we give to others from this ineffective place, we are perpetuating the vicious cycle of need and needing to be needed. We are not here to fix anyone, we are here to look at humanity in eyes and empower each other where we are at. Never doubt the abundance of love and energy you have to share with others and they with you. The more you open up to that possibility, the more you will be able to give freely; therefore, the more you will receive.
People want to be liberated. In order for us all to be free from suffering, we must see that we are all created equal and are whole, and that we all have the ability to love and share who we are with others. Perhaps in the end that’s what most of us want anyway: to be seen, acknowledged for something, and loved.
As author Neale Donald Walsh says, “We all have a gift to give.” He also says that there are 3 important yet such simple actions you can take to better the planet, because they remind people of who they are:
1. Look at people for more than three seconds. Differences will disappear and you will see the soul of humanity in each and every person.
3. Touch people, lay your hand on someone and let them know that you care and that it is OK to connect.
You are a blessing and have a gift to give with everyone you encounter, and they too have a gift to give you. Be curious how your day will be if you approach it knowing that.
With gratitude and love,