After finishing Qoya's fifth retreat in the last year and first New Year's retreat in Hawaii, I was infused with an even deeper sense of gratitude for how beautiful life can be. I spent last night sitting on an island in the middle of the ocean under the light of the full moon fueled by the sparkling stars, decaf chai, strawberries and dark chocolate as I wrote a dozen thank you cards and felt like I could have written a thousand.
From this place of abundance, I feel called to honor the blessings in my life through service with the consciousness of our interconnection. I truly believe that as you get stronger, I get stronger and as I get stronger, you get stronger. So, it is with the desire for all of us to go higher in 2012 that I offer you the chance to give generously from your own abundance and receive the opportunity to come to the next Qoya Retreat to Costa Rica April 21-28, 2012 as my guest.
The fine print: You can win a spot in the next Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica April 21-28, 2012 (an $1,800 value!), but airfare and any other additional costs are not included. To see what is included, look here!
Be entered into the contest by donating $12 to the Flawless Foundation for their $12 for 12 months of good karma in 2012 fundraising campaign. Each dollar up to $25,000 will be matched by a generous donor AND all the funds raised through Qoya will go to yoga programs for children. You can be entered for each increment of $12 you give before midnight on Sunday, January 15th. And there's no limit to how many times you can enter. It is also transferable so you can win and give the retreat spot as a gift! (To men and women~ I guarantee you know at least one woman who would love you for this gift!)
One of my top 12 desires for 2012 is to be a catalyst for charitable giving and so when I saw this final push for a fundraising campaign with Flawless, I had an instant epiphany on how to make that dream come true. Here's why I am choosing to make this donation to Flawless. I know the organization very well as I've been a volunteer and have watched it grow from its inception. I was at their first big event at the Millennium Hotel in NYC in 2009. I was at their memorable event at the Burden Mansion on Fifth Avenue MC'd by Lisa Bloom and with the most inspiring panel of speakers like the Honorable Patrick Kennedy, Karenna Gore Schiff, Garen Staglin among others. I've been to their dinner fundraisers that turned into dance parties and I've been on the phone with founder Janine Francolini when she's gotten big news like Moby is coming to the next event and endorsing Flawless and their mission or while she was on her way to be with the kids for one of their amazing programs that involve healing through gardening, the arts or yoga. I was at their most recent event at Freg Segal in LA, where Flawless partnered with artist Tara Dixon and her business Gratitude Designs. I've been blessed to be a witness to the common thread between all of these events and the work Flawless does. The common thread is love.
Not love you only from a distance love. Not love you only when it's convenient love. Not love only when it's conditional love. Real. Enduring. Soulful-even-when-it's-hard-love. Especially when it's hard love.
There is nothing convenient about trying to raise a child with mental illness. And there is nothing harder than trying to navigate your boundaries to take care of yourself when someone you love is struggling with mental illness. The reaction to the discomfort around mental illness is to look away. The ostrich technique. If I bury my head in the sand and then if I can't see it, maybe it will go away.
However, the totem animal of the Flawless Foundation is not an ostrich. It's a peacock. The Flawless Foundation's mission is to "See the Perfection in Every Child" and take a stand for more humane, compassionate care for children and adolescents who live with mental health and neurodevelopmental challenges.
The Flawless Foundation fulfills its mission by funding holistic healing programs and removing the stigma that holds people back from rallying around this important cause. Whether it is our own challenge or that of someone close to us, a culture that turns away from the reality of suffering that our fellow humans are going through affects all of us.
In a time and place in the world where there are so many worthy healing causes, the Flawless Foundation stands out to me as a brave and soulful warrior stepping towards the tender minds and souls of children and their care takers to love them right where they are at, seeing the perfection not only in every child, but in everyone.
And isn't that what we are all trying to do in our own way? Bring more love and light to this world? I am. I am devoted to leading Qoya classes, retreats and creating an online Qoya studio through which women have the invitation to remember the deepest truth of their soul as they move their body. And the only thing better than experiencing a deep remembering and soulful connection to the divine in my body is the idea of being able to be a catalyst for someone else to experience it and imagine the healing impact that could have for them.
I believe that is possible through the yoga programs that the Flawless Foundation initiates and I invite you to join me in supporting the Flawless Foundation in their courageous work. The ability as an organization to approach children with love restores their dignity, gives them the help they need and acknowledges the divine spark that lives in them as the divine spark that lives in us all. We can open our hearts big enough to hold the complexity of these situations and hold space for them to heal and be loved right where they are.
To enter: Go to the Flawless Foundation website and donate. Send your confirmation email from paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org and write Costa Rica in the title. Every time you donate an increment of $12 you will be entered in the raffle. There is no limit to how many times you can enter. No limit to how much we can love. No limit to how much we can dance. Raffle will be drawn January 16th and all donations must be made by midnight the evening of January 15th to enter.
Ready. Set. Give.
P.S. In the spirit of giving and excitement about launching my online Qoya site, here are links to a free one hour Qoya class online, a 10 minute movement ritual in the spirit of the new year to Dream Bigger Dreams, do a quick 5 minute video to gently open up your body with circling or tap back into the power of your pleasure with a five minute video to explore some sensual movement. The password is qoya. And good luck winning the raffle!