What if I told you there’s a community who felt passionately about changing the world by coming together, accepting each other’s differences, really listening to understand the struggles of others, and having the courage to exploring our own issues, prejudices and privileges and then sharing and owning our gifts, voices and shame all in the name to be the change we want to see in the world? Well, there is!
(Photo Copyright © 2013 Kristin Adair www.kristinadair.com)
This community is called Off the Mat into The World and they held their first Global Action Summit July 16-17, 2013 in Squaw Valley, CA. Off the Mat (OTM) was founded by Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling and Hala Khouri, and the summit was the vision of their Executive Director, Kerri Kelly.
During the two day summit, I had the opportunity to meet, share with and learn from many amazing change makers such as Melody Moore, PhD, founder of Embody Love Movement, Terri Cooper, founder of Yoga Gangsters, and Nikki Myers, founder of Y12SR, The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery.
Melody defines dignity as, “Knowing your best is good enough.” Nikki believes that “The issues live in our tissues.” And after witnessing huge budget cuts to low income area elementary schools re-allocated to building new prisons in her home state of Florida, Terri says, “The personal is political.”
Mike De La Rocha, a musician, writer, speaker and activist was also in attendance at the summit and left us with Four Steps to Help to change culture:
1. Improve yourself.
2. Share your story. (healing)
3. On the other side of pain is our gift (i.e. the only way out is through)
4. Continue to build loving spaces of community.
This community believes in being in service to something larger than yourself and Seane Corn shares that “the revolution begins within.” This community believes that all voices matter, that the faces, bodies, cultures, backgrounds and stories look different and that each one of these faces, bodies, cultures, backgrounds and stories matter. For if we believe that we don’t matter, than we can’t show up on purpose in the world. Let go of the paradigm of control and bow into service.