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Off the Mat, Into the World: Linking Personal Development with Social Change
Britt Bravo, 9 Jul 09
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My attention grant goes to Off the Mat Into the World.

Off the Mat, Into the World™ (OTM) is a program that aims to inspire and guide you to find and define your purpose and become active in your local or global community in an effective, sustainable and joyful way. OTM is an educational, experiential and motivational process for those interested in conscious activism and service. We combine yoga asanas, meditation in-depth self-exploration which culminates in the formation of a group project that is real and in service to the community.

Although I've never completed one of their programs, I think their emphasis on the connection between social change and personal development is crucial.

How many social changemakers do you know who are doing incredible work out in the world, but don't take care of their own bodies, minds and spirits? Who give time, energy and love to the issues they want to change, but not to themselves, or their friends and family?

On the other hand, there are lots of people who are completely focused on their own well-being and pursuit of personal wellness and happiness, but who are unaware of the positive impact they could have on their communities, and the happiness and well-being that comes from being of service.

Programs like Off the Mat, Into the World that balance inner work and outer work are so important, and I think they are the next important evolution of the social change movement.

In my April interview with Seane Corn, one of Off the Mat Into the World's co-founders, she described it best when she said,

We want to support anyone who is interested in engagement, but we want to help them do it in a way that is healthy for them, creates community, and creates longevity, so that everyone wins, and no one gets burnt out or sick. That is not what service should be about. It should be about joy, on every level.

This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

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