Someone just asked me this question right as I was busy contemplating it myself:
“How can we continue living our day to day lives when there are so many terrifying things happening in the world?”
My take on it is this:
The world feels like a scary place to live in when we don’t feel safe in our own bodies. Our view of the world is directly reflected by how we feel inside. But if we come together and connect as a community, we are able to hold space for each other, and get through our traumas together.
By connecting and holding space for each other, we are able to share how we are feeling, and each time heal a little bit more. There is so much trauma in the world, which is why we have created the app 29k.
This doesn’t negate the fact that awful things happen everywhere all the time, because that’s a fact. There is war and hatred and abuse and pain all around and the more we look for it, the more of it we will find.
But there is also beauty in this world.
There are toddlers who laugh with their whole bodies. Sunsets that take your breath away. People who are genuinely good.
There are hands to hold and smiling faces and there is kindness and compassion in the most unlikely places.
If the world feels like a scary place, practice feeling into what your body tells you in those moments of fear.
Do you feel safe, here, now?
What’s your relationship with safety been throughout your life? When you were little, was your home a safe place for you to be? Did you feel cared for, supported, and held?
If the answers to these questions are no, chances are that the trauma you experienced in your past is dictating your sense of safety today. Before we can get out there and fight the pain of this world, we have to work on healing the pain within our hearts.
Tell yourself; what was then, is not now. What was then, is not now. I am safe. I am safe. I am so very safe. By navigating my sense of safety in my body, I can navigate it in the world.
What if our pain expands our capacity to feel the full spectrum of emotion? That the deeper the pain, the deeper the feelings of joy?
If we can transmute the pain, acknowledge it, sit with it, have compassion for it, process it and let it go, our capacity to feel joy, serenity and peace is expanded through that process.
How can we help others to navigate their pain? How can we help others to shine a light in the darkness?
For a long time, myself and the Yoga Girl team have pondered the most important question:
How can we bring healing and support to people that truly need it?
We strive to be the net that catches everyone struggling with mental health issues.
Mental health issues have been on the rise for years and depression and anxiety are skyrocketing, especially among young people.
As a society we have never been more connected but at the same time, we are starved for connection. Up until now, tools for mental health, heart healing and personal development have only been accessible to a privileged few.
Having the funds to make your way to transformational healing retreats is something afforded by a very small part of our society.
We know that attending weekly therapy sessions to receive guidance from a professional is a valuable asset, but it is something that simply isn’t accessible to most – especially to those with the biggest need.
What if there was a way to take science-driven healing tools that are proven to create long-lasting positive impact on peoples lives, and make them accessible to ALL?
What if there was a way for you to experience genuine connection, all from the comfort of your own home?
The day has come. I am both proud, nervous and excited to introduce you to a project that’s been several years in the making – and something that is so, so dear to my heart.
Introducing: 29k – the most important initiative I have ever been a part of.
29k is a non-profit dedicated to changing the world through providing tools for meaningful connection and healing. These tools are available to everyone, for free, forever.
It has been so many years in the making. On average, we live 29,000 days, and we would like to help make each and every one of those days count.
The big question that I’ve struggled with for my entire career, for as long as I’ve been teaching yoga, for as long as I’ve been in this field, is the challenge of actually providing the healing tools that I use every day, that have changed my life, that I know can change other people’s lives, and how to use that to scale it, and provide it to a wider audience of people.
It is an absolute truth that using all of the different kinds of self-care tools like going to therapy, having a steady yoga practice, going to retreats and trainings, including attending the retreats that I offer here in Aruba, or going to a Path of Love, or participating in the many other amazing groups that exist in the world...all of these things can 100% play a part in actually changing people’s lives long term.
But it is also a massive privilege to be able to do any of these things.
It takes money, it takes time, takes energy, requires that you have some type of a network of support so that you can leave everything behind.
If you’re a mom and you have kids you can’t just leave your family or your home. There are a lot of things that need to come together for us to be able to have some kind of support, and it is a privilege awarded to very few people.
The whole idea that taking care of your mental health, taking care of yourself, and that you have to be privileged to be able to do that, that is so upside down, so wrong, but that’s the way of the world.
Of course, doing this kind of work costs money, and no one has been able to figure out how to provide these tools to the world on a very large scale, and how to make it affordable, or free.
29k is available to everyone with a smartphone and wifi.
They have worked with the most amazing scientists, psychologists, therapists, experts, trauma healers, and every kind of person you could possibly ever imagine in the field of healing, of happiness, of motivation, and of wellbeing.
Things like human connection, sharing, exposing what’s inside, talking to people about our issues, our pain, our struggles, and having a of component of trust there so that we can actually go into that place of vulnerability, are all proven to make us feel better and heal long term.
We all know that happy, whole people make whole decisions for this planet.
It’s really really hard to make good decisions for the earth, to be kind to other people, or to take care of each other if we don’t know how to first take care of ourselves.
So, we know that to have any kind of chance in creating a sustainable world for future generations, we have to start by doing the work inside.
This is the first time in the history that anyone has been able to combine these amazing components of healing, put them out for the whole world to see, make them accessible for everyone, and have them be available for free.
It’s amazing, very, very vulnerable, and very real. The results and the response that we have seen so far is that it absolutely has helped change lives in a positive way. It actually works.
Here’s how it works:
Go to 29k and download the app.
You will answer a few questions and then there’s a big component of breath work and meditation as a part of really feeling into your body throughout this process.
Immediately after the breathing portion there will be a little sharing or journaling exercise on how you’d like to live your life. Then there will be an 8-week course co-created and hosted by me, to help you develop more self-compassion and self-love for yourself.
Each lesson is about 45 mins to an hour, (although some are a little bit shorter) and for every session that you take you will have some component of journaling, exercises to connect to the body and breath, and the most amazing part: sharing.
You have heard me talking about sharing so much it's probably coming out of my ears, but I don’t teach a single yoga class that doesn’t involve some component of active listening, of holding space for someone, and of having the ability to sit down and share.
Sharing is the practice that has changed my life the absolute most and it’s also been proven to immensely help us with our mental health.
It helps us through moments of anxiety, of panic, of fear, of worry, and in speaking about what’s moving inside of us.
Instead of receiving advice, or someone else telling you what to do, this space is about having someone be there so that you can speak, so that you can share, so that you can open up.
29k has created a truly beautiful space for people to connect all over the world, the way we do in the Luna Shala sitting down face-to-face.
That kind of heart-centered sharing happens via the app.
There is not a single lesson that I have done that hasn’t made me cry, or that hasn’t given me massive realizations and epiphanies about my life.
There’s no one on the other end pulling at me or trying to direct the conversation somewhere or trying to tell me what to do. I already have the answers, I just need someone else to be present for me so that I have enough space to actually get to them.
The connections you’ll make with other people, the sense of belonging, and most of all the feeling of knowing deep in your core that you are not alone that feeling is so incredibly beautiful and a major part of what makes this platform mind-blowingly amazing.
This platform is for everyone.
Whatever you’re going through, whatever hardship you’re facing, however you’re feeling, whatever is challenging in your life, you will be able to find something beautiful from joining this community.
Through taking this course, you will learn how to truly listen to other people when they speak, and will, perhaps for the first time, have other people there to truly, truly listen to you.
It’s a safe space, developed together with our certified teachers and our online Yoga Girl Community on Facebook who are all familiar with trusted sharing. Everyone together has helped make the app what it is right now.
Join us in our goal of changing 5 million lives in 5 years!
Do the first lesson and let me know how you feel. Ask any questions in the comments below! And lastly – share this app with the people in your life who need it most.
None of us walk alone.