Thank you to all attendees, volunteers, presenters, donors and sponsors. A conference of this magnitude happens with the dedication and commitment of people who take initiative and do what needs to be done without pause for ego, lack or limitation.
This is the concept of Karma Yoga – a form of Yoga practiced off the mat. It is a true test of caliber and character. When we work for the benefit of others we have the opportunity to do our soul’s deepest work. It’s challenging and it’s rewarding.
Objectively, the Summit met all expectations. We had a beautiful event space at 221 Yonge Street. All presenters were there on time and right on point with the expertise and experience they shared. Global TV and Rogers TV showed up with cameras and we had an amazing write up in the Toronto Star on January 27.
It was an effortless experience. Were there challenges along the way? Yes absolutely – the kind that make us stretch and grow and shine. Were there moments of doubt? Yes a few. I kept using my personal mantra – All details are divinely taken care of. And I trusted.
Like planning any big event – there is that moment of held breath when the appointed time comes and people start arriving – have we done all required to surprise and delight? And more importantly is the mission and the vision clear to everyone who attends?
Yoga Without Borders is a service organization dedicated to eradicating institutionalized violence against women and girls worldwide, permanently and in our lifetime. When my spiritual teacher gave me this organization to run – I freaked out. I didn’t know how to relate to this topic, I didn’t really want to relate to it. And then one day I got on the bus near my home here in Toronto and looked around. I realized that any one of the women sitting close to me might have had her genitals mutilated by her mother or grandmother, or trafficked for sex or tortured or starved as a result of war. It’s on our doorstep. And I could not ignore it any longer.
In December, as I was wading through the planning, contacting speakers, I had a eureka moment. I wasn’t just planning an event (I always left birthday party planning to others). I realized that I was doing God’s work – a way to use my gifts and talents to uplift humanity. In that moment I also found my ethical compass. Every morning and with every decision I ask myself – does this serve the women and girls who have been raped, tortured and maimed? If yes, I proceed. If no. I change directions. It became simple. I appreciate that. Where is your ethical compass? It’s an important question. I am told that having children establishes that, or caring for a loved one who is dying or travelling to developing countries. It is a form of waking enlightenment.
The Summit is now alive. The next one takes place October 11, 2012 – the first ever UN recognized International Day of the Girl. The intention has been set for 200 people. And then look out October 12, 2013 – international delegates and a strategic plan to eradicate institutionalized violence.
Join us. It’s time to make a difference.