Archive for the ‘Seva’ Category

Grateful and Motivated

It took an elephant to remind me.

Last Friday’s threat to the African elephant snapped me out of my mind-numbing complacency.   There was a planned ruling to reverse a ban on importing elephant ‘trophies’ (and by trophies I mean body parts) from two countries in Africa. The African elephant is classified as ‘vulnerable’ and is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. They are temporarily keeping the ban in place, but no one really knows what that means.

I know what that means: we need to get off our butts and make noise.

THINK GLOBALLY.

Write a congressman.  Write a senator. Contact a wildlife organization, such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  This organization works to protect and preserve the African Wilderness and its inhabitants, particularly endangered species such as elephants.  Do something to be heard for the herd.

So, I did. But then I thought, now what? How do we continue to make a difference, especially as we head into the holiday season? And then it hit me.

ACT LOCALLY.

It sounds so…trite, as you’ve probably heard it so many times it doesn’t even register.  We can all look at the big picture and easily get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the world’s problems.But we have no excuse for not helping out in our own backyards.  Please don’t brush it off and think ‘anything I do won’t matter, it just won’t make a difference, and do I really have the time and energy to do something?’

Actually, you should and yes you do. We need to have the time and energy to make changes. We here at Laughing Elephant Yoga have 3 super easy ideas for you to help make a difference this holiday season:

#1: Lisa Rae teaches Mommy and me/prenatal classes and one of her students approached her about collecting items for  the babies at the Rhode Island Crossroads homeless shelter. YES. Yes, we can help. Details to follow, but there will be 20 ‘giving tree tags’ with specific items coming to the studio within the next week. Please corner Lisa when you see her!

#2: A member of our community recently adopted a puppy through the East Greenwich Animal Protection League. We at Laughing Elephant LOVE this organization, and they kind of fell off our radar this Fall. (our bad) So I took a moment and checked in; they quickly responded, asking for help. We are now collecting donations through the holidays for their animals: gift cards (to pet stores like Petco), puppy collars, martingale collars, small leashes and slip leads, Kong toys, treat puzzles, etc…We will  have a box at the studio if you’d like to drop anything off. Want to make a monetary donation? Click here: http://www.gofundme.com/build-our-animal-shelter  They do so much for our four legged friends and they could really use our help.

Example #3 (in reverse) : Our global jettsetter, Megan Eddy, who always thinks big picture, took a trip to Cambodia last Spring and fell in love with the area and the children at the school where she taught English. She sadly noted these children had nothing, and when she came back, was determined to raise funds to buy them backpacks and bicycles.  She and her friend Debbie Reisert are asking for donations : https://www.gofundme.com/bicyclesandbackpacks/donate

See? Three simple things you can help with…pick one…or all!!!!

Yoga teaches us to reach out when others pull back.   We need to help those that are unseen and  have no voice. Be moved.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Please.

 

Ever grateful,

The Laughing Elephant Yoga family

 

 

 

Seva

 

A member of our community asked me yesterday what Seva meant. Seva is a sanskrit term for selfless service, a tidy explanation for sometimes untidy work. The best example I came up with was a shelter. Those who run shelters do the work most of us turn away from: caring for those that are sick, recovering, unwanted and lost. Those beings, two and four legged, who are UNSEEN.

Shelter workers lean in when most people lean back. They tirelessly do the work no one wants to even acknowledge; they dig into horrifying situations and pull those in need up and out.

Every day.

With no fanfare. No recognition. No glory. They do it because they have a passion for the work.

They rarely look for publicity unless it is for something they need for the shelter.

Which, in the weird timing category, came up yesterday afternoon. Our local animal shelter, the East Greenwich Animal Protection League,  is getting evicted from their present location. Like, Thursday. Tomorrow.  By 5p. To say they are scrambling is an understatement.

The shelter reached out asking for help. They need to quickly place as many animals as they can. Could we possibly host an adoption event on Saturday from 12p-2p on our front lawn? We have no details and frankly we don’t need any.

YES.

When any shelter calls, the answer should always be yes.

When anyone in need calls, the answer should always be yes.

Lean in. You don’t have to be on the front lines if that’s not your jam. But don’t turn away. Don’t ever look away. Do what you can, because every little bit helps.

Find your Seva. And just do it.