Putting the compassion in community

It’s official…I’m going to Nairobi, Kenya in January 2013 on a women’s leadership trip. This is a dream (to-be) come true for me. I have had a special place in my heart for Africa since I was a little girl; wanting to see the diverse culture and dynamic flavors of culture there. This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Rafting, safari, school visits, leadership workshop, self-defense training, and all with a powerful group of women who have established a microloan project for Kenyan women in addition to spreading education around AIDS and anti-rape for African women.

Just one week ago, I had no idea I would be surrounded by such passionate women and getting as involved as I had intended to prior to leaving San Francisco. Moving to Tahoe was a big leap for me beyond taking on a responsibility-heavy job. I was scared I wouldn’t find the wide-variety or influential resources the city offers across numerous social services. But for living here for only one month, I have found two things to be true.

1) Small community can mean big change.

2) Intention is everything!!!

In San Francisco, getting involved takes some serious effort, but actually getting to the top of a totem pole in a social group, non-profit, volunteer project, etc. takes more luck than anything. Everyone and their mom has more connections than you and it takes years and lots of networking to be a central member of producing action on a deep, noticeable level. But in Tahoe, the community is so open and so small compared to San Francisco, I already am landing in amazing positive social circles.

This morning, I was asked to teach yoga at my favorite studio in South Tahoe because they think my knowledge would be “valued”…that definitely would not have been noticed in the city. And if it was, I would be at the bottom of some sub-list that I would most likely never get off. Because I have narrowed my playing field, my true talents are now being recognized, and that’s gratifying. What happens after this?

My confidence goes up, my heart opens more, I meet more people, and my intentions expand beyond my last ‘crazy idea’. So when we validate each other for our unique talents, be kind, and be willing to get involved, COMMUNITY BUILDS and GROWTH HAPPENS. I’m now taking what I was doing on a small scale — teaching yoga to youth in the city (very infrequently) and trying to start my own program with at-risk youth here. Because although South Tahoe is not San Francisco, there are still youth who are suffering who can benefit from yoga. Hell, we all can benefit from yoga!

As I look back to first moving here and look forward to Africa, all I can do is laugh out loud and smile with abundant gratitude because my intentions are coming to fruition. I wanted to get involved in the yoga community (check), I wanted to get involved with youth (check) and I wanted to get involved with a women’s group making larger-scale change (check). And I’ve only been here a month. I feel so blessed about the vast space for opportunity.

Whether we live in a city or a small town, discovering and embracing community enhances our quality of life. If you have it, great! HARNESS THE POWER! If you don’t, set your intention of what you are most passionate about and it will find its way into your heart and life…keep making intentions! With community we feel connected, confident, and empowered…and this helps us dream bigger!! Next stop for me — Africa! Dreams really do become reality when we believe (and believe, and believe, no matter how long it takes!).

It’s your dream to make so get to the drawing board and don’t stop!!!

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One thought on “Putting the compassion in community

  1. I love your compassion and drive. I too believe we are here for relationships, that is what life is about. I am a follower of Jesus Christ’s teachings. You will be in my prayers throughout your journey. God Bless!

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