What inspired me to lead Spirit of South Africa trip May 6-17, 2017

lion_kruger_national_park“Do you want to come to South Africa to speak?” Months ago, I received an invitation to speak about integrative mental health for the inaugural conference for integrative medicine in Cape Town in May 2017. I accepted!

How exciting is that? For me, incredibly exciting! This will be my first time on African soil. Since the invitation, I have had time to ponder how the idea of Africa has had a distinct impact on my life. I had forgotten how much its presence permeated my worldview of that which is special, unusual and exotic.

On Sundays, as I was growing up, we would visit my grandparents, who subscribed to National Geographic. I found all the stories fascinating – stories about the Zulu tribe, the Kalahari desert and the striking, exotic animals living amongst all the tribes of Africa.

I also loved watching the television program Wild Kingdom, captivated by every new adventure that Marlin Perkins would lead into the wilds of Africa. Wild Kingdom came long before Animal Planet and was one of the few programs that explored animal life in detail. I absolutely loved it!

One of the more inspirational biographies I read as a middle school child was the life of Albert Einstein, M.D. He was born near where my mother grew up in Alsace, France. As a young physician, he and his wife (along with his organ as he loved to play) went to Equatorial Africa and created a hospital in the jungle, helping many of the tribespeople. “Reverence for life” was a motto he lived by, holding all in need with high regard. He helped to inspire in me the awareness about how sacred life is…be it humans or the animals around us or the plants that support us. All have a place and are most deserving of respect and honor from each of us as we attempt to walk this planet with a gentle touch.

All of these inspirations led me to invite a few people who may be similarly motivated to join me and yoga instructor Zoreh Asfar for a 12-day trip, Spirit of South Africa: Seeking the Divine, Staying Present with the Sacred, May 6-17, 2017.

First, we’ll tour Cape Town including a trip to see where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. Then we are off to safari at two different locations, with the finale at Victoria Falls on the Zambia side of the falls.

This trip will be full of adventure and excursions, yet there will be time to shop and relax at various points in Cape Town and “JoBurg,” as Johannesburg is called by the locals. Along the way, we will carve out time to offer supportive yoga and share about ways to enhance your travels with a holistic focus.

It’s an opportunity to explore parts of yourself, if you so desire, on this journey. Travel can evoke a sense of wonder and joy that often gets lost in the mundane rhythm of our lives back home. Being out of our routine can be a challenge, but it also is where growth is possible as we are able to see things with a new perspective, if you so choose.

Join us for this exotic blend of adventure, deepening and sacred experience. Deadline is Nov. 15.


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