Posted on September 11th, 2012
It has been six months since I came back from Haiti with my Off the Mat, Into the World family, Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling and other incredible people that took the OTM Global Seva: Haiti challenge and raised $20,000.
I spent 2011 moving out of my comfort zone, as I reached out to my community to gain support and bring awareness to what was still a reality in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. Through the process of the challenge I was forced to face myself, feel an array of emotions and release old patterns that were holding me down. I had to really look at who I was and what I was capable of. With perseverance, inner will and a vision for a better world I raised the $20,000.
The trip dramatically shifted how I see myself and the world around me. Seeing first-hand the difference our efforts had in the communities in Haiti was powerful. Support, guidance and wisdom from Seane Corn and Suzanne Sterling throughout the trip created a deeper experience, as we were invited to look deeper, to open our hearts and feel, and fully experience what we were witnessing. I now believe that all is possible if you dream, believe and take action.
When I returned from Haiti I was full of love, gratitude and eagerness to continue to be of service in some way. In our follow-up phone calls Suzanne Sterling stressed how important it was to take time to process our experience in Haiti. To feel and gain clarity on the trip and let the next step come naturally. This was extremely challenging for me. I am someone who likes to be busy and active, and after coming back from Haiti, I felt at a loss on what to do next. I was forced to stop, listen and take time to go inward, breathe and process the experience. I had to trust that the next step will come. I had to surrender to the journey.
Six months later, I am living a different life. The journey to help free others, led me to free myself, to lead a more authentic life. The intention and purpose was there. I am doing things I never imagined, taking risks, accomplishing things that gratify my heart and allow me to continue to be of service. The more I veered on my true path, the less I actually had to do. Pretty remarkable discovery! I feel freer than ever before, breathing into fears, and taking action instead of holding back. My life is dedicated to giving back, helping others discover and uncover their own inner spirit. I took steps to make my dreams, ideas that have been percolating, into reality.
I started two businesses that I have been dreaming about for some time. A kids yoga business, Stellar Kids Yoga, with a dream to spread sprinkles of yoga magic to more children, in more schools by providing teachers that have a love and passion for children and yoga. As well, I established Prana Retreats, raw food retreats that allow people to experience the bliss of being immersed with yoga and raw food, and feel the health benefits. I am also currently on the committee of Yoga Unite, a yoga initiative created to support local non-profit organizations in Toronto with yoga inspired fundraising events. Dreams becoming reality!
It all started in 2011 when I decided to embark on a challenge to reach out and increase awareness to something so much bigger than myself. Through this journey, I am more open, free and achieving what I once thought was impossible. I am beyond grateful to my family, Off the Mat, Into the World, for creating a challenge that provides support and encourages the inner journey, to awaken the spirit and to continue to achieve and be part of the change long after the challenge is done. Gratitude!
Ella Isakov was a participant of the Global Seva Challenge: Haiti. She travelled to Haiti with Off the Mat, Into the World in Feb 2012 after raising significant funds in her community. Ella is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.