This morning, I taught yoga
outside on the lawn next to the hotel where we are staying in Kasana. I gathered the women in a circle, their mats on the earth, and with our palms placed over our hearts in prayer, I offered this intention:
"We invoke into our hearts and into this space the God of our own understanding, be it our higher power, the creative conscious, Mother Earth or the Holy Mother herself. We welcome this essence and grace into our being. May it infuse our practice and this day with the love necessary to make our work meaningful, potent and beneficial for all beings. We ask, dear spirit, that our judgment be transformed into understanding, our resistance into surrender and our fear into faith. May we stand in our power and create space and opportunity so that others may stand in their own. May we stay heart centered and available to all the people we meet and greet them with openness and a willingness to share ideas and experience without judgment, prejudice or fear. Expose our assumptions and limited beliefs so that we may grow, and give us the strength to acknowledge these limitations without shame. May this practice be blessed and may the vibration that exists within each of our hearts be offered outward into this community and our universe as a prayer for healing, unity and peace."
We know our work here in Uganda is not just about the projects we're building, the jobs we're providing or the opportunities that will be possible as a result. Our work is also to be present, show up fully from love, share and connect. We are here to engage with each other and the communities we are being welcomed into. We are here not just to experience a culture unfamiliar to most of us, but to uncover our own hidden landscapes and excavate the hidden jewels, as well as the rocks and stones that often trip us up. To be this present physically and emotionally, we must always center spiritually. So each day, before we go out into Africa, we first connect with God.