All posts by christine

Awe, wonder and giving back

American White Pelicans at Briones Reservoir in the East Bay hills
American White Pelicans at Briones Reservoir in the East Bay hills

Can you recall times when you have felt a tremendous sense of awe or wonder? Where were you? What was happening? What did those moments inspire in you?

I oftentimes gain this sense of awe and wonder in the outdoors — whether its marveling at the iconic granite features of Kings Canyon or Yosemite National Park, exhilarated by the discovery of a new bike path, or hiking in a local Bay Area watershed. The feeling gives me a sense of hope about the world and inspires ideas in support of my work.

Galloping Goose Regional Trail is a rail-to-trail conversion on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The trail connects the city of Victoria with the wilderness.
Galloping Goose Regional Trail is a rail-to-trail conversion on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The 55-km multi-use trail meanders through urban and rural landscapes on its way to the wilderness.

When I ponder how fortunate I am to experience these exhilarating and sublime places, I also feel gratitude for my friends and colleagues who are changing lives, advocating for positive social change and protecting open spaces and wild places through their work, service, volunteerism and philanthropy.

Take for example, this story shared by Jennifer Meek, one of my favorite yoga teachers. Through her work with the Niroga Institute, Jen teaches yoga once a week at Alameda County’s Juvenile Hall in a maximum-security unit for older youth. In her post she describes a “major breakthrough”. I promise you will find words that resonate. Her story reflects the challenges of social change work yet offers the reminder that you can help to change a life by believing in someone’s true potential.

Dusy Basin and LeConte Canyon in Kings Canyon National Park
Dusy Basin and LeConte Canyon in Kings Canyon National Park

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, will you join me and thousands more on #GivingTuesday and throughout the holidays to give back to your favorite nonprofits and causes? There is so much more to be done.