Now that I have your attention...
an intense feeling of deep affection.
synonyms:deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment;
Love SHOULD NOT HURT!!!
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused in the United States.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional or psychological abuse.
Tuesday morning I shared in class "What I have learned 46 years on this earth".
One thing mentioned was "I have learned to understand why people stay in physically, verbally and mentally abusive relationships". Let me explain.
Over the years, I have had many women tell me their story. The abuse. Mental. Physical. I never understood why they were staying. "Leave". " Just Leave". "WTF are you doing"? "How can you stay"? The answers were all the same: Money. No place to go. I can't do that to the kids.
I never understood why. They were too scared to tell me the real reason.
No one should be. There are places to go. Places that will help.
Two weeks ago I received a call. A call from an Intern at Dottie's House. I was referred to them by a student to teach yoga at their facility. After explaining what Dottie's House was, I immediately accepted.
After mentioning to one of my Sukha friends, turns out he works for the founders husband. We set up a meeting. Carol Wolfe is one of the most inspiring, strong, beautiful, smartest women I have met. We clicked instantly!
What is Dottie's House?
Empowering Women to become Self-Sufficient and FREE FROM Violence
"Because love shouldn't hurt"
Dottie’s House is a long-term, comprehensive program offering a multitude of services to the residents who live here including weekly case management, supportive counseling, domestic violence groups, and therapeutic art classes for the children. They reside in fully furnished apartments, equipped with everything necessary to complete their homes and are able to take everything with them when they successfully graduate from the program.
The residents are assisted with resume writing and interviewing skills in order to help them find full-time employment, or help with completing scholarship applications, if they choose to continue their education. They also receive assistance with budgeting, credit repair and other financial support as well as help with parenting on an individualized basis.
The professional staff at Dottie’s House includes a Clinical Supervisor, Licensed and Masters Level Social Workers, Administrators, an Art Teacher, a Maintenance Supervisor and Master’s Level Interns. Dottie’s House also welcomes volunteers from the community who offer the families everything from babysitting services, life skills coaching and gardening to yoga classes and book clubs.
The families receive ongoing support on a daily basis to ensure their recovery as they work towards, independence and a life free from violence.
Dottie's House is in need of items for the apartments for the women and children. (see list below)
SUKHA South in Brick Township will be a donation drop off for items to go to Dottie's House.
- Twin Bed Frames
- New Twin Mattresses
- Dish Racks
- 2 Hanging Plants
- Smoke Alarms
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- First Aid Kits
- Plastic bins for art supplies
- Plastic dishes - plates, bowls, cups
- Pots and Pans
- Baking Dishes
- Batteries (9 volts)
- Light Bulbs
- Fabuloso Multi-Purpose Cleaner
- Floor Finish (Wax)
- Mop Head
- Bath Matts
- Liquid Hand Soap
- Paper Towels
- Plug-in scents
- Gift Cards to Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, and Target for household items and repairs
To finish off this post, I would like to share with you something inspired by Maria about Karma Yoga! A very important read:
Karma yoga is the yoga of action or work; specifically, karma yoga is the path of dedicated work: renouncing the results of our actions as a spiritual offering rather than hoarding the results for ourselves.
As we mentioned earlier, karma is both action and the result of action. What we experience today is the result of our karma—both good and bad—created by our previous actions. This chain of cause and effect that we ourselves have created can be snapped by karma yoga: fighting fire with fire, we use the sword of karma yoga to stop the chain reaction of cause and effect. By disengaging the ego from the work process, by offering the results up to a higher power—whether a personal God or to the Self within—we stop the whole snowballing process.
Whether we realize it or not, all of us perform actions all the time since even sitting and thinking is action. Since action is inevitable, an integral part of being alive, we need to reorient it into a path to God-realization. As we read in the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s most sacred scriptures:
Whatever your action,
Food or worship;
Whatever the gift
That you give to another;
Whatever you vow
To the work of the spirit. . .
Lay these also
As offerings before Me.
All of us tend to work with expectations in mind: we work hard in our jobs to get respect and appreciation from our colleagues and promotions from the boss. We clean our yards and make them lovely with the hope that our neighbors will be appreciative if not downright envious. We work hard in school to get good grades, anticipating that this will bring us a fine future. We cook a splendid meal with the expectation that it will be received with plaudits and praise. We dress nicely in anticipation of someone’s appreciation. So much of our lives is run simply in expectation of future results that we do it automatically, unconsciously.
This, however, is a perilous pattern. From a spiritual viewpoint, all these expectations and anticipations are Trojan horses that will bring us misery either sooner or later. Misery is inevitable because our expectations and desires are unending and unappeasable. We will live from disappointment to disappointment because our motivation is to gratify and enlarge the ego; instead of breaking the bonds of karma, we are forging fresh chains.
No matter whether we are devotional, intellectual or meditative by temperament, karma yoga can easily be practiced in tandem with the other spiritual paths. Even those who lead a predominantly meditative life benefit from karma yoga, for thoughts can produce bonds just as effectively as physical actions.
Just as devotees offer flowers and incense in their loving worship of God, so can actions and thoughts be offered as divine worship. Knowing that the Lord exists in the hearts of all creatures, devotees can and should worship God by serving all beings as his living manifestations. To paraphrase Jesus Christ: What we do for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do for the Lord himself. “A yogi,” says the Bhagavad Gita, “sees Me in all things, and all things within Me.” The highest of all yogis, the Gita continues, is one “who burns with the bliss and suffers the sorrow of every creature” within his or her own heart.
Jnanis take a different but equally effective tack. They know that although the body or the mind performs action, in reality they do no work at all. In the midst of intense activity, they rest in the deep stillness of the Atman. Maintaining the attitude of a witness, jnanis continually remember that they are not the body, not the mind. They know the Atman is not subject to fatigue or anxiety or excitement; pure, perfect and free, the Atman has no struggle to engage in, no goal to attain.
The point of all the yogas is to spiritualize our entire life instead of compartmentalizing our days into “secular” and “spiritual” zones. Karma yoga is particularly effective at this since it won’t allow us to use activity as an escape. By insisting that life itself can be holy, karma yoga gives us the tools of everyday life to cut our way to freedom. To quote again the Bhagavad Gita regarding karma yoga:
Thus you will free yourself from both the good and the evil effects of your actions. Offer up everything to Me. If your heart is united with Me, you will be set free from karma even in this life, and come to Me at the last.
Karma Yoga written by Vedanta Society