I am home and feeling very inspired by the trip to Copenhagen. Something about being gone from home for that long, in a foreign country and having a lot of time to spend with Kelly seems to have shifted my perspective in a lot of ways. Aside from the jet lag, I actually feel very refreshed and rejuvenated from the trip. I had a wonderful practice yesterday, a lunch with mom and dad, a visit to the lovely lemons of 6th and lamar, a great walk on the greenbelt and managed to do a little work. I still have some emails and projects looming- please have patience with me, those of you out there to whom I own intelligent responses to questions!
One thing on my mind the last couple days is some terrible news I got from a student up in Idaho named Dana. Some of you might remember her as she was in our Tucson immersions and Teacher Training programs over the last two years. She is experiencing a tragic loss of her home, her yoga studio and her husband- all in the same incident, the details of which are very sad and more than a bit shocking. She is now in the midst of having to deal with her grief, confusion and all the many legalities involved in the aftermath of such a crisis.
She and I have been in contact a bit and while she is physically fine, she is more than a little shaken. I asked her for her permission to share a bit about what had happened and if it was okay for her for me to reach out to the larger community for support for her and since she agreed, this is that reaching out. I also asked her if there were some tangible ways we might be of support to her as a community and she told me that she needs some help rebuilding her yoga library, her yoga wardrobe and her puja. I was hoping to organize a care package of items and perhaps start a small collection of funds or gift cards that she might use to at least restore a bit of her personal belongings.
If you are willing to donate any second-hand items or money (You can make the check out to Dana Weigel), please mail them to me. I will collect them over the next week or so and get them to her as soon as possible. My address is:
2805 Sissinghurst Drive
Austin, TX 78745
Clothes: Dana wears a size medium yoga pants and small or medium tops and she lives in Idaho so I think clothes for all seasons would be useful. My first question is- do any of you out there have any hand-me -down yoga clothes in that size range that you would donate?
Also- gift cards to Athleta, Lululemon, prana, etc. might be nice as she could order herself things online. I assume she also needs street clothes as well. Maybe think REI gift card, Gap, Target, etc. She is a down to earth woman in Idaho, vey practical, not fancy, yet with good taste.
Books: If you have any books from your yoga library that you can send her way - Light on Yoga, A Gem for Women, The Teacher Manual, an extra Immersion Manual, any inspirational poetry, any resources for dealing with loss, suicide, tragedy and so forth, send them to me as well and I will put them in the mail to her.
Dana was also concerned about not having her Teacher Training notes so any notes you might have from past trainings that you want to pass along would be great. Or an extra copy of John's DVD training sets.
Again, gift cards to Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, etc. might be a good way to go on this also.
Puja- She also asked specifically for a statue for her puja since all of hers were destroyed. If you have any murtis that need a good home that might bring some light to her in a very dark time, please send them to me and I will get them to her.
Also, cards, letters, and any show of support would be great to send to me and I will make sure she gets it. I am sure that anything will help her right now. She told me she is surrounded by a lot of darkness so prayers and light are very important as well. Dana is a great person- she is kind, compassionate, strong and dedicated. She lives in a remote place and travelled great distances to study and be with the kula. She practiced a lot on her own and is very hard working, disciplined and committed. Any way we can extend ourselves would be great- and if we all band together a little goes a long way.
I remember many years ago at an advanced intensive with John, someone's wallet was stolen. I think the thief took several hundred dollars and John asked each of us in the room to give $20 to the person who had been robbed. What was so cool is that with several hundred of us giving just $20, we more than covered the amount that had been taken, with no major impact on any one person. It was such a powerful lesson in community banding together to bring an elegant solution to misfortune.
Obviously, in this case, we can't so easily "undo the wrong" but by joining forces and everyone giving a little bit, we can bring Light to a dark situation, we can craft an uplifting supportive response in the face of this painful situation.
All right, I look forward to hearing from you. Let me know if you have any questions.