A screenshot of my MacbookPro desktop.
I'm taking a special class this week that I'd like to tell you about.
But first, I want to give you some context for how the class came into my life so that you'll understand why I'm doubly excited to be taking the class: because the class itself is amazing, but also because it seems evident I'm meant to focus on it right now.
So here's the backstory.
I've been following a great gal's blog for some time now. Her name is Marianne Elliot, and she calls herself a Zen Peacekeeper. (Isn't that a great name? That's also her name on Twitter.) I started reading Marianne's blog about a year or so ago, when I was relatively early in my exploration of peacemaking and nonviolence. At the time, she had a blog called Zen and the Art of Peacekeeping, and I voraciously devoured every single post in her archives when I discovered it. I loved learning about this remarkable woman who had worked in the Gaza Strip, in Afghanistan, and for the United Nations for human rights and who carried a fierce yet tender compassion inside of her.
I knew she had a lot to teach me.
Since that time, I've watched Marianne embrace yet another beautiful role for herself: that of teacher, and specifically a teacher of yoga. Sometime earlier this year she launched something called "30 Days of Yoga" that utterly intrigued me, as it was a class that customized your personal needs with a daily yoga practice Marianne created for you to do over the course of 30 days. It combined mindfulness, exercise, and community with a very personal touch, and I love the creative way Marianne found to use her expertise and experience as a yoga teacher to reach people all over the world in this personal and helpful way.
I've been wanting to take Marianne's "30 Days of Yoga" class for a while now, but the timing just never seems to work out right for me. And then last month she announced a very special edition` of the class she was calling the "Karma Edition." Not only was it special in its pricing -- you could pay what you wanted based on what you were able to do or personally thought the class was worth to you -- but 100 percent of the revenue generated by this version of the class in October would also be donated entirely to the Global Seva Challenge supporting people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
Except, no. Somehow with the trip to Portland and the flurry of activity due to my transition season, I totally missed the open window of registration.
But it's all worked out okay because the next thing I knew, a new and increasingly dear friend of mine, Christine Mason Miller, was blogging about a class she was going to teach the week of October 13th and would be donating the proceeds from the class to Marianne's Seva Challenge, too.
Now, here is something special about what greeted me when I clicked on the link for Christine's course. Not only was I greeted with the course title, but I was greeted with the same image you see at the top of this post. Here it is again:
You see, many months ago, Christine made available for free download a desktop wallpaper. Its beauty and simplicity really spoke to me, and it's been sitting on my desktop for almost the entirety of the intervening months. Every once in a while, I completely clear out the windows from my desktop on my screen just so I can stare at the print. It creates a still point for me inside myself. I love that.
And that desktop wallpaper? It was the same image and title used for this course. Here was an opportunity to take a class with the creator of the print, someone who has also become a friend in recent months . . . plus, I totally got inspired by the course description:
Online ~ 2 Hour Workshop ~ $25
Participants will give a dream, a project, or a creative idea some time and attention, with exercises to create a working to-do list, make a commitment to taking the first step, and then create an inspiring piece of encouragement. The purpose is to explore all the things that are holding you back from taking the first step and to encourage you to create your own "perfect time" to begin, rather than continuing to wait for some other magic moment.
First of all, does that not just sound wonderful??
Yes, I agree that it does. :-)
But even more than that, it meets me in a perfect place in my journey. I do have a creative idea that's been staying with me in recent months, and it is requiring a little faith, some intuition, some creativity, and a bit of space to outline what needs to be done to bring it to life.
It needs some space to just begin.
So, voila! I'm taking the course this week. It will require about two hours of dedicated time, and I look forward to carving out that time in the next couple days to give this new and creative and special idea some wings.