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Come Together: Creating Belonging by Celebrating Differences

It’s our differences, our diversity, that makes us stronger as a unified community. This month, we look to demonstrate just that through an event involving climbing, yoga, meditation and compassion coaching.

Part of our mission statement at Brooklyn Boulders is to create belonging and inspiration for our community. An environment that supports belonging can only exist if everyone feels comfortable and safe enough to be their true selves. It’s our differences, our diversity, that makes us stronger as a unified community. This month, we look to demonstrate just that through an event involving climbing, yoga, meditation and compassion coaching.

Come Together: A VDAY.org Fundraiser is an even to celebrate our differences, and learn how all genders can work together to forge a stronger future. All funds raised for this event will go directly to VDAY.org, an organization working to stop violence against women and girls around the world. All genders are welcome to attend.

We sat down with two of our Come Together hosts to chat about their practice, their self care exercises and what they are hoping guests will learn at this event.

Emily Taylor, Licensed Massage Therapist and Compassion Coach

1) What drives your practice?

My practice is driven by my compassion for others. I have been reaching out to those in pain since the day I was born. It’s in my nature to work to reduce suffering as much as I can. Healing bodywork is just one of the ways I practice my work in the world. At heart, my work is about inspiring others to grow and change, whether that is growing from pain to comfort through my healing work, or inspiring people to make changes in their lives that reduce their suffering. I’m always at work, and it feels GREAT.  

2) What are your favorite exercises for self care?

I love yoga for really treating my body well. Warming up with a few yoga poses before I start work is crucial to having a strong day. I find water to be very healing to my physical and emotional body, so in the summer I swim as much as I can and in winter I practice the sacred art of hot-tubbing. I also try to make sure I get a least one deep tissue massage a month.

3) What are you hoping guests learn from this event?

I want people to understand that having lots of feelings is natural, and we can allow ourselves to experience the “darker” emotions while still having compassion for ourselves and others. Right now we have a lot of information coming at us from many sources and life can feel pretty overwhelmingly bad at times. I want to encourage people to find space for their anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, so they can encounter the teachings these emotions have to offer, and treat themselves with compassion and kindness.

4) What does supporting VDAY.org mean to you?

As a trauma survivor who knows too many trauma survivors, I support the VDay organization for all those who identify as woman. It’s time to put an end to violence against women throughout the world so women can use the energy we have spent surviving to better use. It’s time for us to thrive.

Jenn Falk, Yoga Instructor and Author

1) What drives your practice?

My yoga practice is driven by a number of things, but mainly by the need to feel. Humans have complicated, and at times very sensitive, nervous systems. As a young adult it became clear to me that honoring and releasing emotions through different forms of movement was essential to my well-being. Yoga became a ritual in my life and I haven’t looked back, though the practice has shifted and changed with me as I’ve shifted and changed through different life stages. Practicing yoga, breath, and spiritual rituals by the lunar phases has sustained me for the last 14 years. I look forward to continuing the journey because this form of self-study is such a positive factor in being able to find compassion, understanding, and love for all beings.

2) What are your favorite exercises for self care?

My biggest exercise for self-care tends to be short moments of laying down or standing with hands to my center to take some deep breaths. As a busy mama to 2 young kiddos, sometimes that’s all I get to do for myself. Teaching yoga does force me to connect to my body in consistent ways. When I’m in need of more support, I will practice yin or restorative yoga shapes to slow down even more. I also love receiving bodywork from skilled friends. And I’d say the other big self-care practices for me are the foods I ingest and trying to listen to what my body craves in that way. Finally, good friends and getting to share true feelings with others helps the heart in every way.

3) What are you hoping guests learn from this event?

I’m hoping guests will learn how engaging in mindful movement practices can connect them to their own bodies and their relationship to their emotions, and how that’s related to the ability to find compassion and understanding for all people. We are in a time in this world, and in this country, when this is needed more than ever. Listening. Respecting one another. Even through the disagreements.

4) What does supporting VDAY mean to you?

I’ve been supporting VDAY for many, many years now. So many women and girls around the world still don’t have freedom or any way of moving forward and out of violent situations. To see the shift happening this year in America…through the complexities of it all…it’s inspiring and positive and we must continue to support the groups like VDAY that will keep trying to help.

Join Jenn, Emily and others at Come Together on Tuesday, February 13 from 6PM-9PM

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