Hello Dear Friends & Family,
Since I know we all lead very busy lives with 100s of emails & multiple responsibilities, I will attempt to keep this letter as short as I can. However, since you all know me pretty well - be prepared for a long email :)
As you all know, this past year has been quite a whirlwind for me. It has been a year of sadness, growth, beauty, love, healing, community and extreme change. Losing Nick is definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. The events of his passing turned my world upside down, both personally and professionally. However, I have found so much in the wake of his death, and continue to every single day. I have discovered so much about myself and my strength. I have found a community in Philly that supports me, loves me and is always there when I need someone. And most importantly, I have continued to use the creative and healing arts to grieve, grow and move on in my life without this dynamic, charismatic, genuine and passionate person. My life will never be the same without him, but I do know that he is always watching over me and pushing me to achieve the things I have always wanted to, and more. He inspires me everyday to find the strength and willpower to work through the hard times, to be successful at whatever it is I do, and to try to find pure happiness & joy at every corner.
One of the main reasons why I am able to continue to get out of bed each day, and find the strength to move forward with my life despite my resistance at times, is the Art of Living (www.artofliving.org) community in Philadelphia. This world wide NGO is active in 151 countries, with millions of people using their practices every day to counter stress, depression and anxiety. The meditation and breathing practices taught by this organization have helped me tremendously, and have allowed me to stay off all prescription medication for depression/anxiety, even in the wake of this past year's events. The ability to use the breath to calm the mind & body, and the power of moving the body in yoga and dance, still blows me away! Even after many years of yoga, 2 years of graduate school for dance/movement therapy and countless personal meditative experiences, I am still shocked at how the use of my own breath and body can facilitate such powerful change in the mind & spirit.
With all that being said, I wanted to share with you an event that I have been planning for the past 6 months. It is called Yoga Rave, and Philly was one of the debut cities in March of this past year. While I had a heavy hand in the first round in Philly, I took on the role of National Director at the beginning of the summer, allowing me the pleasure of coordinating the tour all over the country. This tour is scheduled in San Francisco, LA, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Yoga Rave is essentially a dance party with high vibration music that weaves together aspects of yoga & meditation to allow people to get high naturally without the use of drugs & alcohol. Yoga Rave offers an alternative to traditional party scenes, and helps bring awareness to the power of music, movement and meditation. Yoga Rave was started by 2 Art of Living teachers in Argentina. This dynamic duo started The So What Project! and they have performed all over the world, helping people reach their natural high through electronic kirtan music (ancient old mantras), dance & meditation! Most recently they played for over 100,000 people in Buenos Aires :)
As the date for the Philly concert nears closer (October 20th), I am still looking for sponsors to make this event successful. The pressure is on since this is my first tour as director :) The show in Philly is a small venue of about 400 people - an intimate gathering for my community to experience the power that is the So What Project!
Any little bit helps me bring this unique & transformational experience to the people of this city which I have grown so fond of over the past few years. This event is extremely near and dear to my heart. I worked with strong, passionate and resilient women who struggle with substance abuse for the past year, and have seen the power of community first hand. The use of the arts, whether it be music, movement or art, have proven to do magical things. As many of my friends, I have gone through many tough periods in my life where that party high is the only thing that allows you to escape when the stress, anxiety and facts of life become too much to handle. Unfortunately, sometimes we take that escape too far. I have learned that no matter what, the pure joy and bliss you experience sober while dancing, singing and being your true self amongst judgment free friends, will always outweigh any feeling you get from drugs. It may not always be the easiest path, but the light on the other side is so much brighter. The community I have been welcomed into, and the network I have built in Philly, has saved my life this past year.
Please take a moment to consider donating to this awesome cause, supporting the band who travels the world spreading this love for pennies and helping youth around the country get high naturally :)
You can learn more about Yoga Rave at the links below :)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I appreciate you all and am grateful to have you in my life.
Much love, light & laughter,