Often I do think that there might be a great possibility that this project is transforming me much more then any of the young woman engaged in this program. In these months so many horizons have widen, opening new understanding of society we are living in, opening my heart to more compassion and empathy to prisoners, developing my skills in working with very complicated groups and excluded individuals.
I do not know and care less what is the reason(crime, guilt etc.) behind their presence in the prison. Rather seeing that human being with the very same basic needs- longing heart for care, understanding, acceptance, passion for music, painting, dancing, reading, dreams for re-building our families, finding enjoyable work, overcoming our dependencies on drugs, unhealthy relationships, our own weaknesses.
What saddens me is the realization that these young women could have had not gone so far to come to prison, if not for their previous experiences in growing up in alcoholic, aggressive family, impersonal orphanage etc, isolated from the celebration of their human nature and deprived of possibility to experience care and loving relationships. Every day we do encounter those families, children, strangers in need, yet not do much to celebrate our brotherhood and ability to assist each other in finding more joy and happiness around.
Every crime shown in TV is represented as unexpected surprise and showcase. But I do strongly believe that most of those situations are very foreseen, yet ignored. Everyday I do meet many people disconnected from their bodies, unable to sense the long exciting diseases in their bodies, recognize the mind-body connection and influence on their overall wellbeing. We keep running in our lives in the big cities looking for things that in the reality we can find only deep within ourselves, in forests, in high mountains, in conversations with our beloved people or strangers passing in and out of our lives. And here I don't pretend to have the right theory on how to live and what is the right way to be. But I do get very scared on seeing these disconnections increasing in many of the World countries, and in me. Even I do feel much harder to connect with people fully with my heart and presence, searching for some distractions and easy way out of the problems.
Thus I feel that numerous transitions and transformations are happening with me due to unique experiences in the world of prisoners. Recognizing more and more the value of creating peaceful, trustful and accepting environment around me, connecting with people I meet everyday, encountering for the very first and maybe also very last time in my life, appreciating their presence and simply celebrating the different perspectives everyone brings into my life. Looking and seeking for the moments that celebrates our humanity and humanness towards each other. Because there is loads of it in each of us, and we are so ready to share it at these very challenging times. I am sure.
Stretch your body&transform your mind!
This Project is funded by Louis August Jonas Foundation, creating a holistic training experience for 50 young women from Ilguciems women prison and Maras Crisis center. Young women are learning simple peacemaking practices including yoga, non-violent communication, mindful awareness, conscientious social action and good-doing.