Message from the Executive Director
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest
appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” —John F. Kennedy
November is now upon us, and I am filled with gratitude. Gratitude for what this past year has taught me, gratitude for many of Yoga 4 Change’s supporters, gratitude for each of our students, gratitude for each of our teachers and gratitude for YOU, the person taking the time to read this newsletter.
This week, and everyday leading up to Thanksgiving (and then everyday that follows), I challenge you to start your day by being grateful for what you have. I have started to do that in my own life because of what I teach our students through the Yoga 4 Change curriculum.
The very first theme we teach our students when we go out to the various facilities is gratitude. We ask them, no matter what facility they are in – be it a halfway house, a Duval County Public School, a court ordered residential program or even jail – to think of one thing that makes them grateful.
This powerful lesson sometimes leaves our students without words, because many believe they have nothing to be grateful for. This is not the case. In my teaching, I remind them it does not have to be some grand item. It may be as simple as waking up that morning, or as powerful as being sober. I have learned to live by the words I teach, and by doing so I am filled with gratitude even after I leave my students.
You have something to be grateful for: be it as simple as the device you are using right now to read this newsletter. These simple “things” (or “wins” as I call them when I teach) should be celebrated. I know how easy it is to immediately get bogged down with what is NOT working, and lose focus of what I have. November is about being grateful for what we have.
I’m thankful for my memories from the past of friends and family members who I have lost. I’m grateful for my present, and those of my friends and family who are still flying low and slow, or serving on ships or overseas. I celebrate my future, filled with freedom and the ability to meet more Veterans through the classes Yoga 4 Change offers. I’m grateful for what I have, and plan to filled by this feeling of gratitude for months to come. It is because of what others have given that I’m able to celebrate wins because of their sacrifice, and supporters like you, that I’m able to continue doing this work.
Thank you for supporting Yoga 4 Change. We wouldn’t be who we are today, without people like you.