On September 21, 2019 I checked off a bucket list goal. I stood on that BIG RED DOT on the TedxSaltLakeCity stage and delivered a talk about my work in the Utah State Prison. It was an honor to say the least, and an experience I will forever treasure. The other 13 speakers and I were treated to world-class coaching on presentation, pausing, what to do with our hands, how to engage the audience, and how to get rid of the dreaded “finger quotes”.
My message was about going back to your wounds as a way to find your Dharma, your lifes’ purpose. My pain was prison, a place my Dad lived for 15 years. I found personal healing and growth when I finally went back there…to serve. But I found a lot more than that. I found women who are changing the world…their world…in that unlikely place. Stay tuned to see and hear the talks on YouTube soon.
Since this talk, I have a lot of people asking me…how do you know which past hurt to go back to? There are many! My answer is this. It’s right in front of you.
For years, I volunteered in areas of addiction. Treatment facilities, AA groups, halfway houses. And because my Dad was an alcoholic, it made sense, and was rewarding work. But it never really felt like my Dharma. And then one day, when I was driving past the prison, I noticed a pit in my stomach. I realized I felt that every time I drove by that place. I almost couldn’t even look at those buildings, that’s how much it hurt to remember. And then I knew. Go back to your wounds. I said out loud, “No Way. There’s no way”. And then I cried. It was right in front of me. There was no turning back.
I sent out an email and heard back right away from the volunteer coordinator. He connected me with Jane Wallace, a wonderful woman who has been teaching yoga inside the Timpanogos Women’s Facility for 13 years. She opened a spot for me to teach a class, and the rest is history. Now, 2 years later, we have 10 amazing women certified to teach yoga. Some still inside doing great things, some out here with us, doing great things.
So where to start? Which pain to choose? Which wound? That one. The one that causes a pit in your stomach. The one that you just said “No Way” to. That one. It’s right in front of you. Your life is about to change in ways you never imagined. And it’s so so good.