Outreach is one of the most commonly used terms and one of the most important tactics used to create impacts within all of the realms of work and purpose I engage in – nonprofits, leadership, community building, social change, the healing arts – and in fact, outreach has within it elements of a larger orientation and mindset that is a foundation for much of our society and culture.
Outreach. To reach outward. To reach outside – beyond – in search for ‘something else,’ or ‘something more.’ To run out here, and so, to search and reach for more out there.
Sound like something you were taught – explicitly or implicitly, by your family or the media – growing up? It sure is familiar to me!
My big ‘a-ha’ around outreach – well, actually its opposite – arose earlier this evening as I was having a serious conversation about ‘outreach networks’ only minutes before teaching a yin yoga class. Those of you who are familiar with yoga in general and yin yoga in particular are giggling to yourselves at this point, because yoga, and especially yin yoga, is not at all about reaching outward, and instead, is very much about reaching inward. It is about exploring our internal landscapes, our internal lives, our connection with the Divine. So in the tension represented and brought about by this particular conversation and this particular yoga class, it occurred to me that during this time – during theses days leading up to the Winter Solstice and 12.21.12 – we are not meant to do outreach.
We are meant to do in-reach.
To go inward. To break cycles of always looking and reaching outside of ourselves, and instead, to peer and dig into the depths of our hearts and souls. It is all there – right here. Everything we need. All of our worthiness. All of our gifts. All of what we have to offer and contribute to the world. And even if we are too afraid or busy to recognize it, or even take a peek, we all have a sense, an intuition and a deep knowing about that which lies within the depths of our dynamic humanity and that which gives substance to our essence and animates us in our physical bodies. Our souls.
So friends, today…tomorrow…the day following…as we prepare for what the ancients predicted will be the birth of a new kind of world, which resembles and is simultaneously much different than this one…give yourself a gift.
Give yourself the gift of in-reach this solstice and holiday season. Explore you with the same awe, curiosity and vivacity you would have if you were exploring a new hiking trail, a new city, or a country you have always wanted to visit.
You are the most exciting and precious adventure you will ever embark on. So look within. Dig deep. Reach inward. Invest. Embrace both the light and the dark. Fan your inner fire, and curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea in the company of your shadows. It is all you and it is all beautiful.
Spend some time reflecting, meditating or journaling using the following prompts to get started:
If you could reach inside and grab ahold of what is on the very top of your heart, what would it be?
What is something you are ready and willing to release, let go of or forgive?
What is a quality or trait your closest family members or friends would say they admire about you? Turn it into and use it as an affirmation through the beginning of 2013 (example: my mom admires my curiosity —-> I am perfect in my curiosity and I role model curiosity for others).
Or, let me be your in-reach guide by signing up for a private yoga lesson or individual Reiki healing session by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.