Donna Melanson

When the reality is no one does it alone.

I recently entered a competition called Yoga Warrior, a contest to bring awareness to the Veterans Yoga Project. A nonprofit organization dedicated to the idea that all veterans, service members, and first responders can bridge the gap from post-traumatic stress to post-traumatic growth, from free yoga classes focused on mindful resilience. They are committed to serve and support those who have served and sacrificed.

For the most part, the last six years, I’ve broadcasted LIVE from the beach, 7 days a week yoga and meditation FREE to do my part to help others find the peace within that I have found. Once I realized how easy it is to do this, I felt compelled to share this practice in any way I could after years of feeling miserable, sad, and alone.

That was easy to get up daily and arrive at the beach at sunrise so that people would be inspired by the beautiful view and be soothed by the calming sounds of the ocean as I led a gentle yoga and meditation practice—the perfect way to start your day.

Six years later, however, I felt a change coming. I finally published my book ten years in the making. The broadcast platform that I’ve been live-streaming on went away while leaving broadcasters and viewers scattering to other platforms. I developed a dream of traveling the US on what a viewer of mine declared a Peace Tour, where I would travel to different places and promote this practice of nurturing the mind and body for peace at American Legion posts, bookstores, and yoga studios.

Then this competition popped up – Yoga Warrior. I instantly felt that this contest was created for me. The prize for us yoga influencers is $10,000 and a two-page ad in Yoga Journal Magazine. And how helping others will help me bring awareness to my Peace Tour and the benefits of moving the body, even gently, and how slowing the breath down slows down that mental chatter where we often torture ourselves by our thoughts.

So I had to ask for help from my friends, family, followers, and other broadcasters. Realizing I can’t do this alone, and yet it feels/felt a little icky because I have so much. I have peace. I have happiness. I feel joy. I want everyone to feel this way.

People have rallied around me. People from all over the world, helping me so that I can help others. The outpouring has been huge, and I would never have known how many people supported me if I would never have asked. But, I’ve moved into another round. The quarterfinals and still need more votes. I have to ask again, and I have to ask for more. So I’m sitting in the place of knowing and trusting that the universe has my back, and no matter what, we’re all winners as we’ve all helped the Veterans Yoga Project. That the ask is not just for me.

One of my teachers told me that you must drink what you pour—meaning practice what you teach. Every day, I tell my students at the end of our practice to send peace and love around the world and to know they are giving as one, and yet receiving from many as all of us watching are giving and receiving. We must give with our whole heart, and receive gratefully. Often we forget to receive.

Now I’m asking each of you to please contribute even a free vote and help me help others, as I work on receiving gratefully. Please vote here now.

Wishing you all Abundant Blessings on your path and thanking you for helping me on mine.

Donna Melanson