Thursday, January 22, 2009

Off the Mat and to Cambodia!

Thursday, 2/5/09 - 7:20pm
So here I sit on the plane beginning my "physical" journey to Cambodia. Not sure if it has really sunk in yet. So many flights and hours of travel ahead of me, my thought right now is may I make my connectinf flight in San Francisco to Taipei. Delayed 1 hour in Newark I must surrender to being where I am suppose to be. (smiling) As I sit, going to the unknown, I reflect on how I arrived "here". I remember when I first heard of the Cambodia Challenge from Seane Corn in November, 2007 at a Yoga Conferecne in Florida. My heart filled with excitement knowing I will take action to help save the lives of these children. As I learned more about the project my excitement turned to sadness, fear and hope. Sadness for the children; fear for myself wondering if I could reach "the goal"; hope that I may make a significant difference.
[The pilot just came on and said we will be delayed another hour - just smile.]I realized quickly why it was called a challenge - not only how to raise the $20,000 but the challenges that came up for me personally. So many times throughout the year my emotions went from excitement, joy, hope and courage to fear, sadness, doubt. I constantly reminded myself it wasn't about the end result, - no mattter how much money was raised it will help those children. Very challenging for me who is so goal oriented - to truly practice non-attachment to the the end result was a constant reminder to enjoy the journey. Many ideas swarmed in my head on how to raise the money. So much in my head - it inhibited me from taking action. As I spread the word the support and encouragement as well as money began to flow in. Excitement and hope filled my soul knowing this money will help the Cambodian children. Between generous donations, a yard sale, yoga classes generously given by yoga teachers, furniture sold, sales of t-shirts and
home-made cards, donation boxes in local cleaners, salons and bakery - money and awareness continued to grow. And the more I grew the more the awareness grew. My "voice" began to get "louder" and "louder", the more I shared my compassion for these children, the more people heard. As I listened to my radio interview without any judgement or fear knowing I spoke from my heart believing it's truly not about me, it's to bring awareness of these poor, undernourished children in Cambodia - I smiled. The smile came because along this journey I thought I was helping these children but surprisingly enough or not they brought the "voice" out of me and helped me. By "them" (the children) teaching me to speak, the money and awareness was once again flourishing. My fear, my doubt melted away and more and more people wanted to help. Many events in the Fall once again opened people's hearts. From John's Golf Outing, Rox & Tony's Fun Nite, Cathy's Yoga Meet Dance class, Mary's Mary Kay Party, Anni's SOUPerBOWLfest, and to Lu's dancers beautiful performance of the South County Nutcracker, taught me another lesson. As I heard myself asking people for help, people listened. The friendships created and deepened touched my soul and will continue to share my journey. I was amazed when people come together what could be done - or was it when I asked for help? My picture and story covered local newspapers - very unlike me but it wasn't about me - my intention was to bring awareness of the situation in Cambodia to as many peoples as possible - why not the local paper? As I responded to the reporter's question of "How did you get involved with yoga?" and heard myself say after I lost my partner, John of 15 years on 9/11 I felt more of the armour around my heart chip away. For these children to be able to open up my heart filled with love, compassion and kindness I knew I was listening to my soul. My tears filled my eyes as I spoke to people about this project sharing my "heart" with them. This is a "huge" step for me as I share much love with Ed, my family and friends - the thin layer of protection still there slowly melting away. The awareness and the money began to come in from so many directions - Our Lady of Snow dress down day, sales of rice tote bags and donations in lieu of Christmas gifts. I shared my heart, I spoke my truth, asked for help from "old" friends and new friends and together we raised $21,400. [smile] - filled with an abudance of gratitude and love.
[Also smiling because I'm finally departing Newark at 9:20pm - approximately 3 hours later - hmmm - where will I be sleeping tonight? - smiling, laughing - practicing yoga.]

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