Twenty hours ago I departed from the Entebbe Airport in Uganda and I'm still one flight away from home. As I sit here in the Newark airport Starbucks I'm filled with a flood of emotions and memories: the joy of being only hours away from seeing my family, the sadness of leaving so many behind, the smiles of the Shanti Uganda women in Kasana who danced and sang for us, the looks in the eyes of the HIV/Aids positive children at the New Hope orphanage when we said good bye to them, watching my fellow seva challengers work so hard in the mud and rain side by side with the men, women and children of the surrounding villages to help build a school through Building Tomorrow.
Going to Uganda through The Off The Mat Into The World 2010 Seva Challenge was a little like doing a strong shot of Tequila. It was fast and furious, incredibly powerful and once it began there was no turning back. And like downing a strong shot, while I felt the initial jolt of the experience immediately, I have a feeling that my strongest responses are still to come. Not only am I certain that we made a difference in the lives of so many, but that I gained invaluable insight into myself: both where I shine and where I need to continue to work to break down the walls that keep me from truly stepping into my own power, my own truth.
I look forward to the days, weeks, months, and perhaps even years that I will spend digesting these past 2 weeks. I know that the ripples of this experience will carry me to new and beautiful places filled with the deep waves of joy and inner peace that can only be felt through our continuous efforts to serve others and to serve the God that dwells within each one of us.
If anyone out there reading this blog is trying to decided wether or not to participate in next years 2011 Seva Challenge, I would like to put in a strong vote for, "Do It!". The process of fund raising can be difficult at times but as Krishna teaches us in chapter 2 of the the Bhagavad Gita:
"On this path of Yoga, no effort is wasted and there is no failure. Even a little effort towards spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fears"
In other words, any amount money and awareness you raise will carry with it them karmic seeds of positive change both for the recipient of your efforts and for you. Take that first step. Make the commitment to try and see where the universe leads you.
May Peace Prevail,