My name is Jeff Horacek. I am a volunteer and board member for Living Yoga. If you’re like me, it can be nice sometimes to know the impact of your financial contributions. You give an incredible gift to the community with your donations to Living Yoga and I want to share how your financial support is making a real difference in the lives of so many in our community—including my own. I hope that through hearing my story you will be inspired to make a financial contribution to support the life-transforming work of Living Yoga.
Growing up in Oklahoma, I had heard of yoga, but had no idea of the power it had to transform lives. If you had told me even 10 years ago that it would transform my life, I would probably have laughed. But not now…
You see, upon finishing my medical training, I thought I had discovered the formula for success, which went something like this:
Hard Work + Intellectual Accomplishment = Success
Maybe that sounds familiar to you too? That formula worked for me until about five years ago.
Life threw a curve ball that knocked the breath right out of me. I had just come out of a painful divorce and was suffering from compassion fatigue. I realized I didn’t have much to give to anyone, let alone myself. I dreaded going to work. My kids were the only reason I had to keep going… And then came yoga.
Someone mentioned meditation as a possible solution to help me deal with the curveball. And while investigating meditation retreats, I stumbled across a retreat for yoga. I will never completely understand why I signed up and went having never done yoga before. But, that decision changed my life.
Immediately positive effects from the yoga practice came into my life: Self-compassion, mindfulness and a mind-body connection. All of which were surprising and greatly needed.
And then came Living Yoga. As a very busy physician and father, Living Yoga wasn’t even on my radar screen. But friends who saw how powerful yoga had been for me recommended I attend a Living Yoga training, as it was a good way to give back to the community. I really liked the idea of paying forward the benefits I received from yoga so I decided to pursue it. Little did I know that sharing this healing practice with others would transform my life even more.
As a volunteer for Living Yoga at Oregon State Corrections Institution, I encountered men with much more difficult situations than my own, practicing yoga and self-compassion in a way that humbled and inspired me. These men helped me realize the importance of living in alignment with my own values – something I had forgotten to do. It inspired me to make great changes in my own life, personally and professionally. Since then, I have found contentment in running my own practice and have rediscovered compassion for myself and for others.
Being involved in the powerful work of Living Yoga has shown me a different formula to live by which goes something like this:
Yoga + Meaningful Community Work + Compassion for Self and Others =
Because of you, Living Yoga transforms the lives of people in great need during difficult times. It also transforms the lives of those who volunteer. It’s a great exchange and gift to the community that you make possible with your ongoing financial support.
I hope you will join me in donating to Living Yoga with a gift that is meaningful to you. Personally, in addition to my monthly gift, I am pledging to give $500 at this year's gala, Invest in the Human Spirit. You can help me ensure that Living Yoga can continue to transform lives in our community. Your gift of $35, $55, $150 or more can help Living Yoga do great things this year! Thank you in advance for your great support.
Jeff Horacek, M.D.
P.S. Please donate before Oct 4th so we can count your donation towards our community paddle raise!