Err, what's the connection between ChantLanta & D*cklit?
The heart of winter was the season for my projects (like workshops and the Numinous Moxie retreat). Since then, I've had some wonderful collaborations. I'm also offering a new workshop! Read on for details...
Chantlanta 2016 raised $7000! The proceeds were donated to Safe Girls Strong Girls, an organization which offers a summer camp to girls who've experienced sexual abuse. The founder, Amy Barth, mentioned that one of her biggest challenges in fundraising is the fact that sexual abuse is so taboo. So it's been particularly gratifying to contribute towards a cause which is overlooked simply due to discomfort. I think we can do better! (And if you're moved to support SGSG, there is a donate button through the above link.)
Lighten Your Load for the Journey: I collaborated with a local pastor to offer mindful movement/meditation sessions during Lent, as a Wednesday night companion to her sermon series. People tend to focus on abstaining from something, like caffeine or alcohol. during Lent. But this series focused on behaviors and attitudes: exhaustion, grudges, shame, expectations, and anger. They were perfect themes to connect to meditation and the embodiment of emotions. I got to focus on the connections between yoga and life, which is what I care about the most!
Dicklit (Exposing the Modern Inbox): I was a reader at this event, which used actual submissions from people who experienced harassment, via text, online messages, emails, etc. And as a writer, of course I believe the implications of language are immense:
"Watch your thoughts; they become WORDS.
Watch your WORDS; they become actions.
Watch you actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
It was entertainment of my favorite kind: that which is both thought-provoking and educational. Everyone laughed a LOT, but not without grasping the bigger, more intense implications behind the words.
Not surprisingly, there was a lot of discussion inspired by the content. That women are often intimidated by violent language, because we fear it is a sign of people willing to assault or abuse. That women are often harassed even when they request to stop the conversation.
What's the connection to Chantlanta? There are 2, actually. First, the fact that violent language is often the gateway towards violent acts. When we condone extreme verbal harassment, we often allow the roots of violent acts to grow.
Also, the fact that SGSG struggles to raise funds because sexual abuse is difficult to talk about. I appreciated the space of this event because humor is such an effective way to create dialogue. The conversations with men that I had afterwards would not have happened without the prior entertainment. So I'm proud to have participated in another opportunity to spread awareness about violence.
My non-collaboration for the spring was a message from spirit, to create a yoga practice space dedicated to facing the challenges of this election cycle and the prevalence of hatred and violence: Raising the Light Vibe, happening April 3. If you're in Atlanta, I'd love to see you there! If not, this is a workshop I hope to offer as I travel more often to teach.
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