I'm here to facilitate the Off the Mat, Into the World (OTM) Bare Witness Humanitarian Tour. With me are my co-facilitator Suzanne Sterling, our logistics team headed by Dr. Sally Brown and the 21 people whom succeeded in raising the necessary funds to award them two weeks of working with some of the most impoverished and underserved people in the world. All totaled, there are 24 of us, all women, embarking on this journey. It's taken me three planes, a bout of laryngitis and a decade of wanting to make a difference to get here.
Being of service has become a natural extension of my yoga practice. It took thousands of downward dogs, buckets of sweat, hours of meditation and prayer for me to understand that yoga is about the collective, not just the individual. Service is my way of experiencing this unity through outreach and action. In yoga, the word "seva" refers to selfless service, and although I have been deeply committed to different social and global issues, including sex trafficking and HIV/AIDS, I have yet to experience the selfless part of seva. This is because I know I continue to receive more than I could ever possibly give. I do not believe there is enough money, food or shelter that I could provide that could equal the gifts that I've been given. Each time I have been permitted to share in another person's life and support them in their health, healing or even survival, I am rewarded riches unimaginable. I have healed my trauma, reclaimed my disowned self, learned to celebrate my shadow, become more empathic, grown and experienced spirit in ways remarkable because of the opportunity to be a part of another being's life and experience.