At the Moksha Yoga Festival in July, yoga teachers, students, and anyone seeking balance and enlightenment gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center to deepen their spiritual awareness and health. Green Lifestyles Network (GLN) joined in on the weekend of meditation with a unique spin on the conventional photo booth. Visitors could pose with not only props, shawls, and scarves, but also placards featuring quotes, such as the one above, that encourage peaceful living. We invited people to reflect on their lives and choose an inspiring quote that impacted them. Visitors enjoyed posing and self-reflecting, while official GLN photographers Gareth and Cholla from Lensology (www.lensology.net) used green screen technology to take their pictures. Here are a couple of the stories from the visitors we interviewed.
Every day, we choose how we will show up for ourselves…and therefore, for those we encounter throughout the day. So we choose whether to be grumpy, discontented, fear-induced, wounded, rage-filled beings or we choose to live in the splendour of our true magnificence…This is the only power that we possess as human beings…everything else is an illusion… — Dorit
Fatima explained with wisdom that there are certain things we can control and other things we cannot. Having been in multiple car accidents, she emphasizes that despite whatever unfortunate circumstances we find ourselves in, we can always control our state of mind and choose what path we are on. Furthermore, as both a realtor and an interior designer running her own businesses, Fatima often struggles with finding balance in her busy life. Although admitting that it can be exhausting to find life balance, she added that we can still have growth by choosing how we view our lives and focusing on the positive aspects of our difficult experiences. Fatima’s story reminds us that our freewill to choose our outlook on life empowers us.
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. — Anaïs Nin
Let us all dedicate our lives for the sake of the entire humanity. With every minute, every breath, every atom of our bodies we should repeat this mantra: ‘dedication, dedication, giving, giving, loving, loving.’ — Sri Swami Satchidananda
On the first quote, Manisha began by differentiating solitude from loneliness. She shared that a few years ago, she became very ill and spent a lot of time alone. Despite the difficulties of this time, experiencing solitude gave her a rare moment where she could “get off the hamster wheel of life.” She explained that with solitude came introspection and the opportunity to explore her dreams while reevaluating her priorities in life.
A professor of Educational Technology at CSULA as well as an active member of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, Manisha revealed her passion in humanitarian work and service. In fact, Manisha has been heavily involved in several international service projects, such as providing solar cookers for families in Mozambique. Explaining her motivation for humanitarian work, Manisha believes that she feels it is selfish to not live for others because in the end, there is only so much a single individual can enjoy. She says with compassion, “If you live in a mansion, you can only live in one room at a time. Even if you have a closet full of clothes, you can only enjoy one outfit at a time, so there is no point in hoarding.” With her compassion, Manisha definitely exemplifies Sri Swami Satchidananda’s mantra of dedication, giving, and loving.
The Green Lifestyles Network photo booth was undoubtedly a success. Visitors not only took home a free photograph of themselves, but were also able to share their stories with us. Our experience with the photo booth and our visitors demonstrated that we are all connected as our words, outlook, and actions influence one another. Following the wisdom shared by the quotes used at our photo booth, let us live and communicate using peaceful methods.