Our life is made up of moments of all sizes, and a couple of weeks ago was a big one for me. My heart was opened wide when I was invited to spend time with the children of Sussex Avenue School in Newark, NJ. Being in their presence and experiencing the effect yoga and meditation has had on their energy filled me with awe.
When I quit Corporate I wanted to find a way to bring more smiles to people and joy to the world. Visiting the children at Sussex Avenue School was yet another example of how Syd has allowed me to do this. Syd leads the way and the joy follows.
I met Debby Vinokur-Kaminsky, Founder of Newark Yoga Movement, in December. The inspiration was sparked while sipping golden milk lattes at my favorite magical place, “Thought in Motion Water Bar”, in Montclair, NJ. I knew something special was about to unfold.
Of course I had heard of her. She is a force of nature and has done amazing things bringing calm through yoga and meditation to schools in inner cities. I’m so blown away that her 11-year old non-profit has tirelessly brought yoga to over 32,000 children and 5,000 educators.
Within two months of meeting Debby, I would be going to one of her schools, the Sussex Ave School, donating a Big Syd, and talking to these beautiful children:
They all wrote notes to Syd and put them in a “Notes to Syd” box that I brought. (I do this in my own home). When there is something in my heart that I want Syd to help with, I write it out and hand it over to him. If you have a Syd, try it. It really works.
When I explained that Syd is all over the world, but that theirs was the very first school to have one… the looks on their faces were priceless. Big Syd was going to share their space and they screamed with joy! It was a moment I will never forget.
At the end of the day, what I hope Syd does for people is to inspire them to pay the joy forward. Maybe smile at a person having a sad day, if someone is sitting alone at lunch, invite them to your table. If you’re a grown up, buy a coffee for the person in line behind you, donate to a cause near to your heart . . . I promise you the joy is contagious and so needed in our world today.
If you want to learn more about Debby’s organization, get involved and/or make a donation that goes to teaching more children yoga, please visit their website newarkyogamovement.org, and of course start following them on instagram for daily inspirations on how education is being made better @newarkyoga_movement.
Also a special shout out to Sussex Avenue School’s Principal Gearhart, who is truly a force of calm, devoted support and motivation, to this beautiful group of children.
How will you pay it forward?
Please share. I could discuss these things all day.