Truth be told, we normally share just about everything - especially travel. While it's not uncommon for us to travel separately or take business trips, we predominantly choose to travel together and to discover new places in each others company.
This wasn't one of those times - Susannah got selected to be on her Seva trip through the Whole Planet Foundation. The timing of the trip wasn't set early on, and there were options for spouses or family members to apply to serve on the trip, as well. So, I did and was accepted.
Then, two heavy revelations followed; the first was that I would have to pay all the expenses to attend (this wasn't made clear up front, and while the folks from WFM who were attending were only required to pay for their airfare, family or guests needed to pay all. The second issue was the timing of the trip was set for the exact same time we had committed to GaneshFest, here in ATX.
Given these two factors, and given that GaneshFest was the fundraiser for my Global Seva Challenge (and if successful, would have me going to do Seva in India in February of 2013), it only seemed prudent at the time to have Susannah do her thing, and me do mine. It was not without some sorrow - neither of us had been to India, and had planned to for quite some time, so to not go together was a little sad and painful.
Then, while GaneshFest was a rocking collaborative and joyful success as an event, as a fundraiser it was not as successful and leaves me and my collaborator quite shy of the goal. As in - potentially not going to happen.
I'm not ashamed to tell you I'm really sad, and I got kinda depressed and shut off. I wasn't with my best friend, I wasn't sharing my experiences and my feelings of shortcoming, and I wasn't getting to share in her experiences and her excitement and new revelations (like hanging with the elephants and those things that only happen in India). I missed her enormously, I wanted to be with her, I wanted to be in India doing Seva, and I was consumed with the thought that I'd made all the wrong choices.
I haven't really felt depressed in decades, and I did my best to stay focused on good things and doing what I needed to do. It didn't help that I felt I'd passed on my chance to go to India - not saying I've given up on my Seva Challenge, but I have been really surprised, and a little disappointed at how difficult it has been to get people's attention for long enough to get them to consider a donation.
And, this is a tough time, with a lot of need, and I get it - it's probably a lot easier to just not think about six-year-old girls getting raped 10-15 times per day but rather just buy some new shoes, go out to a show, drop $50 at Alamo Drafthouse, buy Lotto tickets, or just give another donation to your other causes. I'm not bitter, just really sad that I'm not succeeding at helping.
I'm not used to not succeeding, especially when I put all of my efforts into something. Yet, here I am, 6 months later, teaching classes to 1, 2 or maybe 5 people... having workshops where 1 person shows up, having fundraisers that break even, watching other teachers get classes at studios I've been talking to, and simply wondering when things will break?
They say that the arrow has to feel the backwards draw - the pull back - before it's released into flight. That would be now, and this bow doesn't stretch much farther. And, it's the harvest season; I know I've planted good seeds and I intend to keep tending them. Just looking for that break-through moment.
And, I'm not giving up on my Seva Challenge - and I'm not giving up on asking! So, here's a plea - hit the link and drop a donation! I'd love to serve for you in India, and improve the situation for a small number of the girls there that are in slavery and despondency. Don't make it about me, make it about serving them!!
Thanks and praise!