As we approach our Yoga Retreat this year, of course, I’m excited; we have a great group of yogis and an amazing itinerary! I am, however, also acutely aware of how lucky we are to have the opportunity and means to be able to be doing this, especially at this time in history as the world continues to grapple with Covid and all its implications, illness, mandates, freedoms lost and altered.
For so many the inability to enjoy life freely let alone travel for leisure to destinations outside their hometown is nearly impossible. Whether it’s because of a matter of finances, obligations, oppression, or it’s just not top of mind when other things in their lives are much more pressing. (Of course, there are those that simply have zero interest to travel. They’re excluded from this. I’ll save them for another time. Lol. I know their gusto doesn’t have to be my gusto, but I don’t get it. If they could, ummm, like why not? )
Seriously though, right now, the people of Afghanistan are literally running for their lives, and are living at this moment with the overwhelming fear that their lives teeter between life and death at any given moment – women and girls especially. Closer to the US, Haitians find themselves in the wake of another devastating earthquake and are just wanting a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. -And, well, much of the rest of the world also have their own struggles. I often say in my classes, “Give gratitude because we have more than like 90% of the rest of the world.” I’m not a statistician, but it just seems that way.
I’m sure a plane ride “out” would be heaven-sent for many of these people. Not for a “vacay”, not because they’re going to experience some awesome adventure, a new culture, or taste new cuisines, but because it could mean a new start and a chance at survival. Yep, it’s easier to consider travel when one is lucky enough to have a life that offers the opportunity for that space to be had.
-But that said, is it pure luck always? Albeit, by comparison, it might seem that way to those less, dare I say, privileged. Even still, for myself and most people, I know we have to work hard at carving out that space to travel. But, being a travel enthusiast I know it’s worth it. So I work hard at making it happen… Ahhh, I guess there’s the rub! I am lucky and privileged enough to be able to have the opportunity to work to make it happen!
That’s it! That’s what I’m feeling at this 48 hours before our escape. I had to stop and sift through these feelings. I suppose there’s also a bit of anxiety in there about hosting a group of 11 people during this time of Covid. (No doubt we’ll need to keep our Yogic spirit close by and on high alert).
So yea, a bit of guilt, that I get to do this while my heart feels for these two nations, especially the women, girls, and children, not to mention the animals that will also suffer tremendously in the weeks to come. With that inkling of guilt, however, there’s also an immense feeling of gratitude for my “luck and privilege.”
As our group boards the plane in a couple of days for this year’s “Energy Enhancement” Retreat, I am very cognizant that there are others that would give anything to just get themselves on a plane “out.” If I could give up my seat for one of them, I would without hesitation.
My heart aches for them, but that won’t be enough. I, through MFMY and its clients and members, hope to put a plan of action as a way to help in the efforts in whatever way we can. Please stay tuned, and if you have any ideas, feel free to reach out to me.
In the meantime, we’ll go on our retreat, no doubt it’ll be great (it always is). We’ll acknowledge all that we have and be grateful, we’ll dedicate our intentions and good wishes towards everyone else in the world that would if they could. Then we’ll return to continue to do the good work and to go beyond ourselves and help others.
As for the allure of traveling, it doesn’t necessarily mean having to get on a plane. As I almost always begin my yoga sessions with– “Let’s close our eyes, and let’s begin to travel inward as we leave the outside world outside…”
Joy-Love-Gratitude, and Peace,