Partners!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is theonly thing that ever has. ~Margaret Meade


yoga circle

As partnership coordinator for the Tranquil Space Foundation, I have the pleasure of speaking with people in our community who work tirelessly to provide opportunities for young women. As a former non-profit junkie, I know the time, sweat, tears, and love that goes into running these organizations. I’d like to thank the staff and volunteers of the organizations we have been fortunate to partner with during the past two years. We wish them the best as continue to nurture the young women in their programs. Their work is inspiring and I would like to share a bit about each of them.


Boys and Girls Club of GW, Clubhouse #14

Strengthening our youth to beat the odds. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington is to help boys and girls of all backgrounds, especially those who need us most, build confidence, develop character and acquire the skills needed to become productive, civic-minded, responsible adults. http://www.bgcgw.org/


DC Council BBYO

With more than 18,000 members and 80 years of experience, BBYO is known as the largest and most effective provider of identity-building and leadership development programs for Jewish teens. www.bbyo.org


Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Located in Washington, DC, the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts was founded in 1974 and is the only DC public high school that provides professional arts training and college preparation to talented DC public school students. www.ellingtonschool.org


Finding Our Wings

The goal of the Finding Our Wings Community Documentary Program is to foster courage in teenage girls, currently ages 12 to 15 years old, who are attending middle school and high school primarily in East Baltimore. We seek to help the girls discover the courage required to fulfill their artistic visions and cultivate their documentarian voices. http://www.communityarts.net/readingroom/archivefiles/2008/11/finding_our_win.php


For the Love of Children

For Love of Children’s mission is to provide young children and high-risk youth with the resources to achieve educational and personal success through a continuum of educational services that prepares them to become confident, life-long learners and contributing members of their communities. http://www.flocdc.org/


Running Start

Running Start is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring young women and girls to run for political office. Our goal is to increase the number of women in the United States who serve in elected office by planting the seed early that women are needed in politics. Our training programs emphasize that political leadership is an attainable and exciting goal for young women to pursue. http://www.runningstartonline.org/home/


SISTERS

S.I.S.T.E.R.S. is an after-school empowerment program offering comprehensive outreach, education, and mentoring for pre-adolescent and adolescent girls in upper elementary, middle, and high schools in the Washington metropolitan area. http://fsc1.org/sisters.htm


Spring Brook High School

Springbrook High School, with its mosaic of cultures, challenges students academically to recognize and appreciate their individual talents. Thus empowered, students become lifelong learners who are culturally inquisitive, technologically adept, and prepared to contribute to and thrive in an interdependent world. http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/springbrookhs/


I love to hear about the amazing work being done in our community – especially work that aligns with the values of the Tranquil Space Foundation. Tranquil Space Foundation focuses on expanding opportunities for yoga, creativity, and leadership among women and girls. Do you know of an organization that empowers young women? Please share their story! To learn how you can have a Tranquil Teens workshop hosted in your community, please email partnerships@pigsandpugs.org

Your Dream Team

Our TSF TranquilTeens program encourages the girls who participate in our programs to seek mentors and guides as a way to blossom mindfully into adulthood.

As business owners, yogis, employees, employers, partners, significant others, friends – we too need support.

A wonderful way to build more support for the goals in your life is to reflect on your “dream team.” If you could pick anyone, alive or dead, to be on your dream team, who would you have join you?

Going even further, what are some of the qualities of people you would like on your dream team? For me, they would be: openness, compassion, innovation, ambition, creativity, joy, playfulness, authenticity, honesty, empowerment, nurturing, intuitive, daring, fulfilled, and happy, among others…

This weekend, try envisioning your dream team that will help you achieve your personal or professional goals, and see what comes up for you. You might discover an abundance of resources, reconnect with an old friend, or make a surprising new connection!

Developing your inner voice

The central purpose of Tranquil Space Foundation is to expand opportunities for girls to develop their inner voice.

How often do you listen to your inner voice? Do you remember what your inner voice sounds like? Here are some tips for getting back in touch with your authentic self…

 

Yoga: Practicing yoga will help you get out of your head and move into your body. By moving out of your head where inner critics and your to-do list may lie, you can listen to your breath, the way your body moves, and the good sensations you feel after your practice. Ten minutes of yoga in the morning at home can be a great way to start your day meaningfully and in touch with your inner voice.

 

Meditation: Many people think they need to find the time for a long, sustained meditation in the perfect quiet environment. The truth is that since we live in a city, there may not be a serenely silent spot to meditate; and even five minutes of meditation can be beneficial for getting in touch with your inner voice. Try practicing one of Kimberly Wilson’s favorite meditation techniques: inhale, say “let”, then exhale, say “go” inside your head. You can do this throughout the day on the bus, at work, or in your living room.

 

Journaling: Every time you take the time to journal, you are signaling to yourself that your inner voice is important. Buy yourself a journal with a gorgeous cover, and just get writing! Five minutes in the morning, mid-day, and a longer reflection in the evening can do wonders for prioritizing and identifying your inner voice.

 

What about you? How do you get in touch with your inner voice?

Always perfect, but never finished


tulipYoga is a fabulous teacher.  It’s one of those rare, gifted teachers that sets the stage for its students to learn their own lessons in their own time.  Just when you think it will never make sense, that you will never fully complete a certain pose, and perhaps you’ve even decided that it’s OK if you don’t, something happens and it “clicks.”  I remember a yoga class a few years ago in which I was having trouble balancing in ardha chandrasana (half-moon pose).  My instructor came over to me and told me to shift my balance more into my big toe.  It sounds minor, and maybe even ridiculous, but I was letting my balance roll onto the outside of my foot, and as she said, “The external is unreliable.”  I needed to focus on the internal before I could open my heart any more.  Now there’s a lesson to take off the mat.  I needed to hear that to move further into the pose, but I left class that day with a greater lesson.  These are the moments that remind us why we practice.  But, despite the sense of accomplishment that comes with a new pose, achievement is not yoga’s true purpose.  Not only is there always a next level of asana aspire to, but there are always new lessons to explore.  This same instructor ended almost every class by telling us that our practices that day were perfect, no matter how much we may have stumbled, or even grumbled under our breaths.  Our practices were our own, a true expression of who we were that day, and as such, always exactly right.  If I was feeling special because I had managed to find a new bind that day, but the person next to me had felt terrible throughout the whole class, it didn’t matter.  Our practices were of equal value because they were each a perfect expression of truth.  Each student is on their own invaluable path, with endless opportunities for surprise at how deeply we can know ourselves, and how far our hearts can open.


photo courtesy of Chris Rief Photography