WLVT 2014There came a time when staying tight within the bud became more painful than the strain it took to bloom.

– Anais Nin

I did not have to ask my heart what it wanted,
because of all the desires I have ever known just one did I cling to
for it was the essence of
all desire:

to hold beauty in
my soul’s
arms.

– St. John of the Cross

If my life is a mythological tale
then my art is all around me waiting to be formed
my freedom is demanding that I keep my eyes open
my demons are protective dragons swirling in my home
and my choices are doorways into potential realms…
a sliding door moment with each breath
what will I choose next?

if there is no tomorrow, so let me fly forth in this moment
for there is not art born of a moderate soul

what if I spoke my truth
what if I raged against the way things are
not accepting them like a good girl
would I be too much for you then?

how wild is too wild?
how free is too free?

I long to be wild as the wild horses
thundering and biting
racing under an untamed moon

I long to be on fire with flames song
torching my tongue
my lips split open

I long to stand on the wildest mountain
with my arms flung wide
fingers prying the heavens

I long to run through woods in the rain
dive into the rivers and
be born in Her oceans again

I am naked as I write this
I stand in the cold truth of my flesh
Curves and scars and sacred breath
I trace my ribs my belly my neck
Coming home to myself

Her mark…
Her mark is upon my skin
The broken open and the opening
Light is slowly trickling in
And a secret longing dares to begin
I tremble with immortal yearnings

– me:)

Greetings!

As the days turn colder and we feel the winds of the season change, may we remember that our lives are mythological adventures and that in each breath and in each transition we have a choice to open more fully, even when the outer world is seducing us into comfort, withdrawal and fear. As many of you know, I am currently designing an initiative/training called Voice of Change (more on that soon) and have been watching the many tests to my own courage and commitment that are a result of that declaration. It is my belief that when we make a declaration about our lives, our true strength gets challenged until we can stand firmly and unshakably in the power of our intention. I am absolutely certain that I came to stand for authenticity and truth telling in a time that is asking us to be the voice for those who have no voice…and I am ready. What is your commitment in these dark times? How will you stand in your own life’s work and speak your own truth? Can you see the world that you would want to inhabit? And who are your allies in this great work? Let’s tell these stories out loud and stand together.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES!!

Last month I finished (with Christopher Krotky) the music for Seane Corn’s “The Yoga of Awakening” 3 DVD series on Sounds True. The first, titled “Body Mind Flow” has been released. The second, “Chakra Flow” is being released soon with a companion CD titled “Chakra Flow Music.” The album drops on October 18th and can be purchased from Sounds True!!! This is music designed for yoga/meditaion practice with tracks for each of the 7 chakras and some added bonus tracks as well. We hope you enjoy it!

Also – I have self published an album of short English language chants called “Wings – Simple Chants for Everyday Rituals” which is available through me and will soon be on CD Baby. This is an album of chants that you can use to get groups of folks singing together…a collection of my many years in the field (both in the states and abroad) seeing how simple singing can unite us across many boundaries and barriers. To order a copy, Please contact April@suzannesterling.com

Remember – ALL of my albums are available on ITUNES (along with some other wonderful albums that I have guested on) so please check them out there!

SEVA KENYA LAUNCH!!

Off The Mat, Into the World is very pleased to announce the launch of our next Seva Adventure: Seva Kenya 2015, which will be jointly hosted by Off The Mat and The Village Experience (our trip coordinator for past Seva Challenges and Seva Legacy partner).  

As many of you have already discovered, the Seva Challenge is an incredibly inspiring and empowering journey that takes participants from fundraising and awareness building through to life changing experiences in the field and in many cases a life long commitment to conscious activism and service.  

We have had 7 years of successful Challenges bringing us to Cambodia, Africa, India, Ecuador and Haiti and raising over 3 million dollars for organizations doing long term, on the ground work that matters.  We have built schools, birthing centers, gardens, safe houses, micro loan programs, libraries, health care centers and more.  Perhaps even more importantly, we have become a voice of awareness for global issues such as social, economic and environmental justice, extreme poverty, access to education, human trafficking, global health care, deforestation and more.  

This year, we turn our collective attention to solutions for an endemic and deeply rooted “tradition” that is dangerous, oppressive and potentially fatal for millions of girls worldwide.  We will be partnering with two organizations in Kenya who are creating safe houses and alternative rites of passage to girls who would otherwise be subjected to the practice of Early Childhood Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation.  It is estimated that, in Kenya alone, more than 40 per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 19, and over half of women above the age of 35, have been subjected to some form of the practice.  

OTM will be working with The Tasaru Ntomonok Initiave and Samburu Girls Foundation – both of whose primary objectives are to rescue girls from child marriage, circumcision, domestic violence and physical/sexual abuse as well as offering and educating groups on alternative rites of passage ceremonies.  OTM funds will support the construction of a rescue center in each location that will provide health care, education, and protection from abuse and exploitation.

The Trip:  October 1-12 2015 with Seane Corn and Suzanne Sterling

The Training:  online Cultural Competency training offered for all trip participants – see the OTM website for details

The Cost:  The total cost of this trip is $10,000 USD.  (please note that this has changed from past Seva Challenges) 
Partner Donation: $5,000 USD per person tax-deductible donation, a portion of which goes to support OTM funded projects and partners in Kenya.  Ground cost: $5,000 USD per person based on double occupancy ($500 deposit due upon registration; final balance due by July 1, 2015).
 
Next steps: 
Leaders who are committed to joining the trip and raising the $5,000 to support our programs in Kenya can learn more by visiting http://offthematintotheworld.org/global-seva-challenge.html. 

WLVT 2014That’s all for now….see you in the Divine Flow

Suzanne