This week I learned an enormous amount about the power of authentic storytelling. I founded Compass Yoga to provide yoga and wellness programming to populations dealing with specific health concerns. Given the incredible need, we are focusing our efforts on helping returning veterans, their families, and their caregivers, particularly those who are challenged with PTSD and other stress- and anxiety-induced illnesses. For some people, this is a difficult mission to imagine. They can’t see how veterans will ever take to yoga and other therapeutic treatments outside of traditional Western medicine. I understand their concern, and so storytelling has become a major focus for us.
On Tuesday, I presented to Lawyers Alliance, an amazing nonprofit who mission is to assist existing and would-be nonprofit organizations with legal matters. I requested their help in filing for nonprofit incorporation and 501(c)(3) status. To begin the process, I applied, had a phone interview, and then presented my case to them in-person. I was acutely aware of the my presentation’s dual-purpose – first, I needed to demonstrate the practical need for the organization and the logistics I would put in place to deliver on the mission. Then, they needed to see if I was passionate about the idea; they needed to hear my personal story. In short, they to know why this organization matters – to the world and to me.
I am so happy and grateful to report that on Friday I learned that Lawyers Alliance has agreed to take Compass Yoga on as a client. For a small retainer fee and necessary government filing fees, they will help us through the process of incorporation, set-up, tax-exemption filing, and other associated needs. Now the match-making process begins and they will contract with a pro bono attorney from a firm to work with me and the Compass Yoga Board on these actions.
When I received the notification, I literally started jumping around my apartment. I couldn’t believe this incredible good fortune. Wins like this make me want to work even harder to realize all of the potential for healing we have brewing with Compass Yoga.
A million thanks to so many of you who have sent your good wishes, resources, ideas, suggestions, links, and general goodness in this effort. None of this would be possible without all of you. It takes a village to grow and spread a good story, and I’m honored and humbled to be among you on this road. Today, my heart is full of gladness and sincere appreciation. Through my teaching, I’ll pay it all forward many times over.