On October 2, the U.N. observes the International Day of NonViolence which is fitting, as October 2 is the birthday of Mahatma (literally translated as”Great Soul”) Gandhi the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India throughout the Indian independence movement. A pioneer of satyagraha, or resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world, then and today. The anniversary gives the world a chance to consider the power and promise of non-violent means to resolving conflicts in the world today.
On this day i’m drawn to consider so much of my life. Am I doing enough? Am I making a difference? In the past these questions would send me in to what I lovingly refer to as brick layer mode…a place where it is much easier to stack stone and mortar over the issue, imprisoning it somewhere in the back of my heart instead of in the forefront of the mind. It always seemed easier to avoid the issue than to actually face it. In those times where life was all I could handle it seemed futile to get myself all in a tizzy over something like making a difference.
Now, however I have my practice. I have my time, on my mat, that allows me to truly contemplate it all. And today on the morning so many decades ago that a great soul entered our history books, I can’t help but think just how much has changed in my thinking. I realize now that making a difference doesn’t appear grandiose for everyone. For some, being the change takes the form of a smile to a friend having a hard day, choosing a sustainable and ethical meal, carving out time to meditate and send good intentions to ones-self and the world every day, walking a mile instead of driving, spreading seeds in the community that support other change makers. These seemingly small acts and so many more, if practiced by many would make tsunami size waves in the world. Waves of light, peace, grace and compassion. After all “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching” -Ghandi.
This is not to say that bigger things aren’t on the horizon. While I commit to living more authentically every day I also continue to make BIG goals for my path. I plan, in ten years, to have a non-profit mindfulness and wellness center that provides yoga, meditation, mindfulness training, healthy eating education and Eastern Medicine to the community. Right now i’m cultivating my practice both as a teacher and student and making connections around the community (local and national) to have the ability to do so. This goal and vision will continue to evolve but the important thing is that it is a passion, a fire, and like Ghandi I will make it happen along with my fellow friends, family and teachers. “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” I will not let fear of failure stand in my way…regardless of the end result, seeds of light and change will be spread.
So on this day i’d love to hear your waves. What do you do that may seem small to effect change in yourself and the world on a regular basis? Realize that nothing is small. Every decision you make to be authentic in your life will have a snow ball effect around the world if that is your intention. Send ego a note to take a break for the day and let us know what your story holds… what whispers from the past, glimpses into the future and exhales into the PRESENT moment show your intention and vision to the world? Lets support eachother. Let your response be an inspiration for us all to show up in every moment :)
Local Change Makers:
- Lori Burgwyn- Franklin Street Yoga animal activism
- Jill Sockman- Blue Lotus Yoga community growth and awareness
- Jen Bluestone- Evolve Movement kids yoga activism
National Change Makers:
- Seane Corne, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling- Off the Mat Into the World Just check them out. AMAZING.
- Gil Elhart and Meaghan DeRoos: Stretch Reach Rise Yoga Embodying and Empowering Change through national workshops and teachings at their home in VA Beach