There’s nothing like having a kid to make you grateful. Giving birth has a way of putting things into perspective for you. It’s funny that this big transition of becoming a mom is this life event that typically makes you feel like a real adult, while simultaneously providing this new, curious, childlike lens through which to see the world again.  I think part of this gratitude comes from seeing this little human you created and feeling like you finally did something indisputably worthwhile in your life…being in a place of genuine fulfillment. And part of it might be how parenting can be so freaking hard sometimes that when you get the chance to catch a little break, the relief changes what would typically be ordinary into something extraordinary. I’m not saying that I walk around counting my lucky stars everyday because some days, I still get down on myself. But all in all, I appreciate my life more…from my son’s laughter to my husband’s support to having the chance to take a nap or even sit on the toilet in silence (because toddlers tend to follow you everywhere).

Recently, I have had the chance to work on a project that has brought me the kind of ultimate fulfillment and gratitude that you can never anticipate until you’re in the middle of it. As many of you know, I have been working with the Beyond Asana Yoga Teacher Training group to raise funds through the non-profit, BuildOn, to travel to a rural village in Nicaragua in February 2014 to build a school for the children there. Although I have not made the trip to Nicaragua yet, my journey thus far with this group and my own community during fundraising has made me feel incredibly lucky. In April, I set out to raise money for a cause I felt passionate about and it felt amazing to commit to creating positive change in the world. But what I could have never anticipated was the love and acceptance I would feel as a result of diving into this project. Telling people about my intention to raise this money was like putting all of myself out there–most of all, my heart–and remaining present in the moment despite the risk of rejection from those around me. What I found throughout this journey was that my community of friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances came from all directions to deliver a message to me: “We believe in you and what you’re doing.” In spiraling into my own heart to connect with my passion of working with children in a positive, supportive way, I was able to spiral out into my own community to spread the word about my intention in a grounded and authentic way. And their response was so incredible–they invested in my efforts and cause, boosted my belief in myself, and gave me more strength to go out into the world and live on purpose. And the group of Beyond Asana Yoga Teacher Trainees and fundraisers continue to amaze me, as they are a group of individuals of all different backgrounds who come together with the same intention of creating positive personal, local, and global change. And on top of all of that, they make me feel seen and heard for who I am.

There are tons of people to thank for many things: for their belief in me, for their kind words and vibes, and for their generous donations. Below is a thank you card to show you just how many people helped me along the way:

gratitudeThank you to everyone who helped to make this experience a life-changing one for me thus far…and to think what the trip to Nicaragua will be like! Please know that I will carry you all with me in spirit as we break ground on a village’s new school. Although I have reached my fundraising goal, our group goal is $105,000 to be reached by October 31st. If you did not get the chance to donate or feel the very generous urge to do it again, all additional money raised on my page will go toward the bigger group goal that will enable our group of 24 to travel to Nicaragua in two separate groups to build TWO schools for two needy and deserving villages.

With love and gratitude,