Thursday, December 09, 2010

Giving the gift of Tranquility to Teen Girls

Here's a note from my friend Kimberly Wilson, of the Tranquil Space Foundation (I'm on the steering committee for the Foundation). Please consider the Tranquil Space Foundation in your year-end giving plans!

Dear friend,

During this hectic holiday season, sometimes we have to remind ourselves to pause, reflect, and take a breath.

Tranquil Space Foundation and its Tranquil Teens program give the gift of pause, reflection, and breath to teenage girls. Girls like Michelle*, whom we learned more about from an adult who is working with her:

Michelle is an amazing survivor. Ridden by anxiety following a lifetime of sexual abuse, she vacillated between periods of depression and violent rages. The sexual abuse left her bereft of self-esteem, so much that she could scarcely make eye contact during conversations. Her emotional and behavioral instability resulted in repeated psychiatric hospitalizations and eventually residential treatment. 

When I learned about the Tranquil Teens workshop, I immediately thought of Michelle. In her fits of rage, she hardly knew where she was. Her breath was absent. She was ungrounded. Tranquil Space Foundation gracefully agreed to come to our long-term residential treatment center in Maryland. 

Michelle kept a quiet, attentive gaze as the facilitator led her through breath work and relaxation exercises. She eagerly opened her journal to note what she was thankful for—to feel safe and to be protected from her abuser. Beginning with the Tranquil Teens workshop, Michelle began journaling about the horrors of childhood abuse. She used breath work to calm herself when she wanted to hurl her anger at innocent bystanders.

As a therapist and yoga devotee, I see the amazing blend of leadership skills, yoga, and creativity that Tranquil Space Foundation offers to girls across the DC metro region. On behalf of Michelle, I would like to thank Tranquil Space Foundation for their incredible work. Namaste.

You know that calm, euphoric feeling you get after a yoga practice, a great run, a round of golf, or a walk among autumn’s changing leaves? That’s the feeling that your donation to Tranquil Space Foundation can help bring to teenage girls at a vulnerable time in their lives. Through its curriculum of yoga, creativity, and leadership, Tranquil Teens helps girls find their breath and their voice.

Tranquil Space Foundation also makes micro-grants to organizations that help women and their families struggling with HIV/AIDS, women artisans in developing countries, homeless women in the DC area, and a host of other women-focused causes.

Your support will help Tranquil Space Foundation continue to lead workshops for teens like Michelle and continue to support organizations that enrich the lives of women and girls.

Please visit to learn more about what we do, and please consider Tranquil Space Foundation in your year-end donation plans.

Wishing you a bright and joyous holiday season,

Kimberly Wilson, and the Tranquil Space Foundation Team

* Name changed

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

One more reason I love Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons, a.k.a. the Godfather of Hip-Hop, a.k.a. co-founder of Def Jam Records and creator of Phat Farm clothing line, a.k.a. major philanthropist and yogi, a.k.a. my entrepreneurial idol, put the following post on Facebook today, re: extension of tax cuts for the wealthy:

As part of the 2 percent, I need my tax cut extended like I need a hole in my head. Whether it's through taxes, philanthropy or service, I always want to give. I wish the wealthy(and the repbulicans doing their bidding) would realize that they can't take it with them and in fact they would be much happier if they would stop trying to hold on to all thier money. it only makes them sick....

I love a celebrity and thought leader who calls it like he sees it. Preach!