Being human sometimes feels so overwhelming for me. As a highly sensitive person, there’s a challenge in letting the tragedies happening around the world slide down my back and not affect me. But lately I’ve met a number of people who are finding their way through the sadness of war and mass shootings. One such person is Brianna Sieberg. Brianna is a yoga teacher at Body & Brain studio and a member of the Earth Citizens Organization.
At a mid-October 2015 training Brianna was asked, “What’s your passion? What’s your joy?” and her reply was:
“I want people to experience joy in their hearts because the world faces so much pain we often don’t know how to respond. For me, what I’ve learned through my practice, tragedy can bring on so many emotions. I want to encourage people to respond to tragedy with joy and love instead of fear an anger, which equals darkness. Joy and love brings more light!”
With the intention of bringing people to a deeper connection to joy and light, she came up with the idea of The Human Banner Experiment; her response to all the tragedies that have happened in the last few months: Bombings, mass international shootings, war, refugees seeking asylum, etc. With the support of Earth Citizens Organization and their affiliate Body & Brain Yoga studio, she began to manifest this passion, this vision of helping others cope. Uniting our community in love and joy would help people resolve the fear of a world in turmoil.
So many in the ECO community jumped in and gave their extra hours each week to help our community lean in to love. Brianna’s been a part of ECO for three years. ECO, founded in 2013, is a non-profit whose main focus is to help develop young leaders who are between ages 18 to 45 to become ambassadors for our planet. As an earth citizen, there is no division between you or me. No class, no race, no opinion…we simply are one group of people living together on this big blue marble out in space.
Brianna is one of the co-founders of the Seattle ECO chapter and does two to three leadership trainings a month. ECO encourages its members to connect to their community through outreach projects such as The Human Banner Experience. Practices around mindfulness and living a balanced, healthy life are key. She has a goal of introducing these leadership trainings into Seattle schools in 2016.
Bringing the first annual Human Banner Experience to the Memorial Stadium seemed a huge feat, but through the generosity of donor Paul Liebert, this was accomplished. KOMO and KING 5 news were on the phone live with Brianna as people began to arrive for the banner assembly.
As a participant in Brianna’s experiment, I can honestly say when I think about my time down on Memorial field a big smile comes to my face, and I do feel an overwhelming sense of joy. With the intention of replacing fear with joy and even though Mother Nature brought an extremely cold morning to our gathering, I feel Brianna’s experiment was an overwhelming success. As we assembled the letters, there was giddiness in the air, and strangers were making contact with each other with pure affection. A deep tenderness.
After the drone took our photo and we celebrated waving and shouting, hooting and hollering, we then formed one large circle at the center of the field. Danielle Gaudette, Seattle Yoga News teacher of the Year 2015, came over the loud speaker and led us through a deeply touching and grounding meditation on joy and feeling the unity of community in our hearts. She has such a powerfully touching voice that froze time. A wave of deep love connected all of us in the circle, and in that moment, we were one.
After the meditation was complete, we each went around the circle one by one hugging each other—now that was a surprise. They weren’t quick hugs. They were intentional heart embraces, soothing away physically and energetically where a hole might be from all the fear and negativity that’s been in the press. Our hearts were so open from the meditation that we just melted into each other. Absolutely unexpectedly beautiful.
Brianna, well done, sista! You led by example in such a beautiful outreach offering and may many more follow by your example in sharing their passion of unity, love and joy with the world. Happy Holidays, everyone. It was such an honor to participate in this experience at this time of year.
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