Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Heart and Path + Breath and Stillness

Thanks to Louka Leppard for sharing this photo!

Lucky me.

A few months ago, two things happened. I started a year-long study of Reiki with Sundar Kadayam and Baxter Bell turned me on to the spiritual author Mark Nepo.

My homework for Reiki is to meditate. We have specifics about techniques and we have moved from 5 minutes a day to 10 minutes a day to a 30 minute practice. There are some precepts to consider in the meditation. And I have ended each with a reading from Mark Nepo's "The Book of Awakening." Today's reading begins with a quote from Carlos Castenada.

Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone ... Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.

Fifteen years ago I cozied up to the discipline of "not being a drunken idiot" and began an immersion in the study of a few simple steps (okay, 12 total) to rethink my universe. I also took on a disciplined practice of restoring myself, limb by limb and joint by joint, via Pilates.

Today, I am so grateful for learning to pick the path with the heart. I am grateful to have discovered what it means to work toward your better self, your future self, rather than to go for the easy fix in the here and now.

So I hope you slow down and breath today. Or move today. Or read something beautiful today. Or reach out to someone in need today. There is some discipline to it. But the path with the heart is right there. Today.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Half of the Sky

I am so pleased to report that I have entered the fall of 2012 with so many wonderful True Body Project excursions and immersions on the books. This means I get to do my part as a learner and contributor toward making the world a better place for girls and women.

Here is the update:

True Body Project After School Project for AWL Girls

From an AWL participant's True Body Project Journal, 2012
We have just started a 10 week session with 4th and 5th grade girls at the Academy of World Languages. They have a large refugee population and some of the girls are learning the language, a new culture and about how they fit in. Claire Autran, teen True Body alum, is assisting me.

True Body Project After School Project for Withrow Teen Girls

In two weeks, we pilot an 8 week after school project for Withrow High School Teens. I was visiting the school for a meeting when they went into a full lock down due to a gun man in the neighborhood being perceived by police as a threat to the school. So I learned first hand about some of the new kinds of stressors for teens.
Flyer for True Body Program at Withrow High School
True Body Project and Transitions in Cambodia

Thanks to the generous support of Jeff Syroney and his frequent flyer status, I return to Cambodia in January for the third year to work with Transitions. This year, I will work with the staff and house mothers on staff management and craft a workshop for the girls too.

Here are a few photos from my past experiences with these amazing young women who are working to overcome the trauma of having been sex trafficked from a young age.

True Body girls in Cambodia, 2011

Learning language, emotions and identity.

True Body Visits Yorn Chea!

I will visit Yorn Chea's school in Siem Reap again, bearing donations from area friends, and copies of the True Body Project Journal for his classes to use.

Boys and girls alike love learning to write about who they are.

Some of Yorn Chea's students at his free school.
True Body Workshops in Asia

I return to NataRaj Yoga in Phnom Penh and the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali this coming January to lead workshops on how stress and trauma habituate in the body.

Workshop at NataRaj in Phnom Penh
Teaching at the Yoga Barn in Ubud.

True Body Workshop with Balinese Orphans

I borrowed this photo from a wonderful photographer. Check out the work. 

Last year I met Natalia Perry, founder of Sacred Childhoods. So this year, I will do a True Body workshop for orphans in Gianyar while visiting, getting to know the particular challenges of their world better on my first visit to the orphanage. 

True Body Come To Your Senses Retreat in Bali

Want to experience your own half of the sky? Come to Bali in June 2013 and find your best self plus do some service work in Bali.  Check out the details


I you would like to know more about the True Body Project and/or to make a donation toward one of these service projects, contact me at stacy@truebodyproject.org. We will also host a leadership training program in Spring 2013 for those who wish to lead workshops and programs. 

It's a big world out there. Let's get to it. And don't forget, local is global so you can make a difference in your own community.