War veterans are not the only people at risk from working in war zones. Civilians from around the world work in conflict areas as journalists, aid workers, UN staff, in reconstruction and a wide variety of roles. These people face great dangers, witness horrific and distressing events and shoulder enormous responsibilities. Their workplaces are far from home and loved ones. Their work is often based on compassion and the ideal of supporting peace, yet their personal load is immense.
Tools for Inner Peace retreats are the vision of someone who suffered deeply in the aftermath of UN work in several war zones. Yoga helped her recover, so now she wants others to have the opportunity to heal and learn tools for resilience and inner peace. Bringing together psychologists and yoga teachers who specialise in trauma recovery, these unique retreats are an important development in the search for solutions to the impact traumatic experiences have on people in the course of their working life.
Find out more at www.tools4innerpeace.org
It was a full house at Mates4Mates last Thursday evening as locals came along to meet Hobart's heroes of peace and find out how to help create Hope.
Several war veterans spoke about how yoga has helped them recover and reclaim their lives, while yoga for trauma teachers Helen Cushing (Ahimsa) and Lynn Romeo talked about their work and how this application of yoga is developing and spreading.
The award-winning documentary Heroes of Peace was shown, giving powerful insights into the courageous journey of several war veteran yogis. And everyone had the chance to get to know each while munching on the amazing feast provided by the veterans themselves.
Thanks to all who came and contributed to the fundraiser. It was a happy, positive evening, as the pictures show so well.
It's time to close down the Help Create Hope crowdfund and transform the website into a Life Beyond Trauma resource. 116 generous people around the world have given AUD$21,042 to enable me to publish the book I've worked so hard to produce. I can't express the gratitude I feel for your support. I know many of you but even people I've never met have given in good faith. It's been a big journey for me, writing the book, creating the website, organising the publishing, communicating with as many people as possible, holding a retreat and an event to promote the effort.
However, as they say, this is just the beginning. Now for promotion, distribution and sales. Not to mention traveling far and wide to give workshops, retreats and presentations about how yoga heals the scars of trauma. Those details will be posted on www.lifebeyondtrauma.com and www.gangesyoga.net very soon. The Life Beyond Trauma website will evolve as the applications of yoga for trauma recovery develop.
But for now, I just want to say thank you again and I look forward to sending the beautiful book to all the kindhearted people who have Helped Create Hope.
If you are still getting around to donating, do it now! Friday 4th March is definitely the last day of the Help Create Hope crowdfund. It's been an amazing journey with a grassroots community sprouting around the world to support this beautiful project. The book has been sent to the printers and will be available in May. You can be part of it by donating. Thank you thank thank you for giving.
104 people have given $19,569! We are so close to 108 people giving $20,000! Let's try to make that before closing the crowdfunding. If you are still getting around to donating, now's the time. I'm so very grateful to you all and want to assure you that the money will be used to spread the good news that there is a healthy, holistic solution to posttraumatic stress disorder.
I've been at Rocklyn Yoga Ashram this weekend giving a retreat on Yoga for Trauma Recovery. There were trauma survivors, yoga teachers and mental health professionals all learning, experiencing and sharing together. Simple practices and new ways of thinking brought relief and relaxation, in just 2 days. Think of what can be gained by ongoing practice.
Heroes of Peace was shown to everyone in the ashram, inspiring them with the candid, honest and courageous stories of war veterans who have used yoga to recover after decades of debilitating PTSD.
The design of our beautiful book to be, Hope: How Yoga Heals the Scars of Trauma is finalised and after proofreading this week will be sent for printing. Crowdfunders will be the first to receive copies in May. Do let me know if you can help with distribution, in Australia and internationally. Our next task is to make sure it's available far and wide.
There's still time to book onto the Yoga for Trauma Recovery retreat with Ahimsa at Rocklyn Yoga Ashram, Victoria Feb 19th-21st. It's for everyone who's interested in this topic - trauma survivors, mental health professionals and yoga teachers are all welcome.
You'll learn the principles and practices that enable people to use yoga to heal the nervous system, manage the mind and feel happy and purposeful. You'll also experience yogic lifestyle in the peace of the ashram. It's surrounded by forest and the gardens supply lots of organic fruit and vegetables for the yummy vegetarian meals.
Try to come! There'll be laughter and maybe some tears, because feeling honestly and fully is what it's all about. To find out more and for bookings, go to www.yogavic.org.au/calendar/february
85 people around the world have given AUD$17,453.40 since January 11th!
Contributions have ranged from from $7 to $4,000, as your generosity has flowed with faith in the project and the sincere desire to help create hope, save lives and replace looks of worry and tension with smiles and laughter.
If you haven't donated yet, there's still time - take the plunge and help us reach a target of $20,000 by next Sunday. The more you give, the more we can do.
I've seen it again and again, the transformation from a shattered individual to someone who has purpose and joy. They have been my motivation, and now I have the added incentive of the support and encouragement of friends and well wishers who have given their money, their time, their enthusiasm, their facebook shares and likes and so much more to make the crowdfunding campaign a success.
This week we send Hope to the printers. It looks fantastic and I can't wait to show you all.
Now we move into the next stage - promotion, distribution and sales. A book is only worthwhile if people read it. With your donation we can be more effective and spread the message far and wide. If you have ideas, contacts, somewhere you can sell the book, do let me know. I see this as a community project and the world is our community. I'm one person, you are many.
Let's share Hope and see the smiles!
"Yoga offered me hope. It empowered me when I felt hopeless. After 30 years with undiagnosed PTSD, yoga made me feel calm and relaxed. I am still surprised and grateful at the depth of calm I feel after practising yoga."
G suffered from complex posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of a childhood illness, ongoing painful medical treatments and distressing hospitalisations. When she was finally diagnosed with PTSD she started seeing a psychologist. After some time she added regular yoga practice and the pace of healing speeded up as her body memories were processed and replaced with the new, positive information from the experience of yoga. G practised holistic yoga - pranayama breathing, meditation, yoga nidra relaxation, chanting and very simple asanas (postures).
I realised that the asanas had to be ultra simple, because of the associations her body had with physical pain. Previously, practising asanas had proved too upsetting; yet it was essential to find a way of working through that if she was to heal fully. Pawanmuktasana part 1 proved to be the answer.
Although she considered herself to be a fearful person, it was G's courage and hope that brought her through the emotional rollercoaster of facing her old feelings and letting them go. Now she is free of symptoms and no longer sees the psychologist. But yoga is forever. The journey of yoga continues as she discovers the joy that life can hold.
You can help create hope in others by donating to the publishing of Hope: How Yoga Heals the Scars of Trauma. Generous donations from around the world have raised more than AUD$13,000 but more is needed to promote and distribute the book widely. If you haven't given yet, please take another look at the crowdfunding page - just click through on the DONATE NOW button.
Thanks a million!
It's been a hectic few weeks, communicating with everyone about the fundraiser, starting on the book design and sharing the inspiration about this powerful application of yoga to healing post trauma suffering.
The good news is that we are within cooee of raising enough money to meet Target 1 to cover Basic Production Costs. We need $12,000 and you've given $11,756! That means the book will definitely be born and people everywhere can learn how to heal with the gentle processes of yoga.
Every week I see the results of yoga for trauma recovery when I teach classes of war veterans. This, and the support of people around the world is what keeps me going. I don't just mean money, I mean the amazing cheer squad that send me messages, offer to help, share the news and posts and so much more. As I've said before, I can't do this alone. It's a team effort and I'd love you to be part of the team.
But money is important. For this book to be widely used it needs promotion. That comes into budget 2, our next target. I can only do so much using free media. I need to pay for artwork and advertising to get exposure in the book trade and elsewhere. Help me do that by donating. It's easy, just click through and you'll be guided. If you prefer to do a direct debit, let me know.
Mary and Roxy are new to war veterans' yoga but they have quickly learned to love the yoga nidra relaxation!
Roxy is Mary's service dog. She is never alone anymore and always has a companion to help her through difficult moments.
Living with posttraumatic stress disorder is very tough. Now Mary has yoga as well. Yoga helps people with PTSD to retrain their nervous system for relaxation and peace, reducing the need for drugs and counselling.
You can help more people like Mary (and puppies like Roxy!) learn to let go of past pain by donating to our crowdfunding campaign to publish a new book, Hope: How Yoga Heals the Scars of Trauma by Helen Cushing. It's important to get the word out and more money is needed to reach our target. Yoga really does change lives, bringing relief, hope and renewal to those who have been devastated by war, abuse, disaster and so many other traumatic events that are part of life. Please support this effort by donating whatever you can afford. Thank you in advance!