By Billy Sadia
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on March 12, 2015
We’re excited to share some incredible insights from one of Africa Yoga Project’s newest additions to the mentorship team: Kelly Skinner!
Kelly lives in Shelbourne Falls, MA and has been partnered with Samson Mahalia over in Nairobi, Kenya. Kelly’s curiosity about Africa Yoga Project stemmed from first learning about it back in 2013 at her Baptiste Level One training. But it wasn’t until listening to AYP’s founder, Paige Elenson, speak about the mentorship program at her Baptiste Level Two training that Kelly knew she had to get involved with our organization and she saw the mentorship program as an amazing opportunity to have a huge impact from halfway around the world..
“It was the way Paige spoke from her heart, showed us raw emotion and expressed how she and Kenya truly needed our help, and that our involvement could make a huge impact in the lives of the yoga teachers in Kenya. She pulled at my heart strings and I left a longing to step up and share in the development of another’s life. It was right then and there that I made a commitment to myself to sign up.
Becoming a mentor has taught me the power of truly being of service to someone else, the power of active listening, and the power of being worlds apart while still creating connection. I am committed to Samson’s growth, and to helping him reach his goals; and I am learning that it is all about the journey and not just the end goal. I am learning that while I am helping Samson discover his path, he is also helping me discover mine. We share very similar goals, which makes us completely relatable and a perfect match for one another!
Becoming a mentor has given Samson an additional support system in his life; he is an amazing man, father, husband and teacher - and by having another teacher stand by him as he makes career and personal decisions, he is able to find a sense of comfort in knowing that he is not alone on his path of spreading yoga.
During our monthly calls, we discuss more personal things like what is going on in our lives, our day-to-day routines, how classes are going, what we love about teaching. And we also talk about where we come from and where we want to go, short and long-term goals, and together we are continuing to create a framework for him to achieve these goals. We determine tangible action steps that help keep him focused and moving forward towards his dreams.
My advice for someone considering becoming a mentor is simple: GO. FOR. IT. Just sign up. Being a mentor for Africa Yoga Project is one of the most gratifying and beautiful experiences I have been a part of. The monthly donation may seem daunting at first, but when you take a step back and consider the meaning and power behind your contribution, it really is quite doable. And let me tell you, you absolutely have what it takes to be a mentor. You have the skills, but more than anything, you have the heart, the drive, the passion, the energy and the excitement that is exactly what your future mentee needs.
You are ready now. Be brave by making an impact in someone else’s life. Be whole by sharing your whole self and releasing any self doubt that holds you back from sharing your greatness. Be you by showing up authentically with all of your flaws and get to the core of what matters. Being brave, being whole, being you is how you become innately flawless and that is how you make an impact and implement change in your own life and in the world.