Giving back and volunteering is important to me. To my great pleasure I found an identical loving spirit in Dia, and it has become a foundation for Workplace Evolved. We both feel that education opens the door for children to experience a brighter future, so we both volunteer with local schools. We also serve on different non-profit boards, as well as jump in for individual volunteer opportunities as they come up. Giving back fills us up.
And now we are overflowing with gratitude from the opportunity to give back using the skills we have teaching yoga and meditation. We are teaming up with the new Wounded Warrior Project office in Colorado Springs to give yoga and meditation to the wounded soldiers and their caregivers in our community. As a military wife, I truly connect with and respect the struggle these soldiers and their caregivers face every day. What a gift for me personally to be a part of their healing process!
Last Sunday was a yoga class and mini-health workshop for just the caregivers. These ladies are simply amazing, and it was an honor to be there to provide a sacred space for their healing. They are moms and wives, caring for wounded spouses, many with traumatic brain injuries, full-time. I felt so many emotions as they explained to me how challenging it was to have a husband with memory loss, chronic confusion, and PTSD. I felt grateful for my husband’s safe return from deployment, humbled by the sacrifice these families had made, and inspired by the tenacious and tender love these women give every day. I wondered to myself how depleted each of these caregivers might feel, with the constant demands of their spouses’ conditions. I questioned whether I would have the strength to do the same. My sense was I couldn’t begin to understand how important this yoga class was for them. It was a rare opportunity to care for themselves.
One caregiver said she was driving 4 hours round trip just to have the chance to do yoga in a caring and supportive environment. A few other caregivers said that they left their children home alone with their husbands for the very first time since their husbands came back home- again, to be able to do yoga in a healing, nurturing, and supportive place. This commitment reaffirms the power of yoga, and of sharing space not just for fitness, but for healing and reconnecting with self. Having the chance to talk with these women and understand how important this project was for them made the class an exceptionally rewarding experience for me.
Of course I still feel so blessed to be able to teach yoga in a studio, corporate environment, community center, or fitness club, but in those classes I mostly wonder what each person struggles with. (We all struggle with something, don’t we?) What was exceptional about this class was that we all came together in a way that outwardly honored each person’s struggle. We were able to put words to the pain, and movement to both the hope and the sorrow. We were able to be still and quiet in a way that provided support and encouragement for a specific, and shared, struggle.
Last Sunday was powerful and inspiring. And it filled me up beyond words to be a part of it. I’m looking forward to giving back to these families who have given so much already.
Friends: What fills you up? Let’s engage in a dialogue about what really matters to us. Please post below causes dear to your heart, how you are involved and why. Is education a passion of yours? Or do you find motivation in helping those with illness such as MS or Leukemia?