Wednesday, February 29, 2012
What Inspires Me: YogiTunes CEO Alex King-Harris
Hi all... I got the chance to hang with the Gaiam crew at the SF Yoga Journal Conference just last month... which was super cool btw!
They do this really cool video blog series called "What Inspires You?" - a couple minutes to talk about the thing that you find to be most inspiring to you in life.
I chose to talk about kids... one of the things I do outside of running YogiTunes and being a music producer/performer, is work with kids as a mentor. I have an 11 year old step-son, and am actively involved in kids aged 8-18 in a local program called 'Boys to Men'.
We run Rites of Passage weekends for boys and look to develop positive mentoring relationships with youth through weekly meetings that involve playing games, and sharing what's going on in our lives while we sit in circle. Emotional transparency, respect, kindness, honesty, and authenticity are shared in a non-blame, non-judgmental format that seeks to establish meaningful dialog with kids who are often surrounded by adults who are constantly telling them how to behave and what to do with their time.
Unfortunately behavior modification is deeply embedded in our culture... many people experience tremendous anger, sadness and grief when they have to look at the ways in which they've been told in their lives how to behave. I've learned as a mentor that it's this issue that lies at the root of many peoples' negative self-views and/or views about the world they live in.
True freedom doesn't mean living without boundaries or consequence, it means having a meaningful dialogue and connection with oneself and those around us. Experiencing trust and safety at the deepest level of our beings. It's only through disconnection and shut-down that we can continue to act in a way that harms ourselves or others.
Thus, mentoring means maintaining dialogue. If your child or a child you know is 'acting out' - try figuring out what's underneath the action. Usually it's feelings of not being loved enough, not being seen, heard, trusted, or it's based on experiences in life that they find to be overwhelming. With guidance and love, and by using the seemingly chaotic ways of a child as an opportunity to connect in a meaningful way, children, (and adults for that matter) will alter their own behavior based on an unconditional sense of being accepted, and of belonging in this world.
That is the kind of world I want to live in. One where people do what's best because they are seen heard, and truly appreciated for the wonderful, loving, caring soul that they are.
No one deserves to be pushed aside...
We are all here to love and be loved.
Even when I find myself stuck in patterns of old school 'i'm gonna cast you out because you hurt me' type mentality... it's through the love, kindness, and support of others that I return to my center... to my truth where the whole word can live inside my heart. No exceptions.
You killed me, so I'm gonna love you even more.
You hate me, so I want to get to know you better.
Help your fellow human out - show them some love and the world takes another step towards being whole.
There are often many mentoring programs in your local community - it just takes a quick search on Google to find them... if you feel drawn, it's because mentoring is one of the most amazing opportunities to love and be loved. Don't wait another day!