I left my corporate job in 2010 after several yoga retreats, which began with a weekend retreat in London, England with Yogi Aaron.
Why I Gave Up Corporate Security for Service
By Timothy Smith
Yoga became something very special to me. It enabled me to be present in the moment, and when I was able to achieve being present, I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was cutoff from the majority of the world and felt I could be of more use in the community.
It took about six months and a trip to Blue Osa to realize I needed to make drastic changes in my life if I was going to fulfil what I now felt was my purpose in life.
Since I didn’t know where I was heading, I took a blind faith action and quit my job at the beginning of the great recession against the warnings of my friends and family, but I knew deep down I was making the right decision.
I decided to return to school to earn the degree I missed having the first time around, but also promised myself I would work in the community until I formed clearer goals.
An opportunity to work with an at-risk youth program in nutrition and food systems came to me. Teams of teens worked with livestock and agriculture to educate both themselves and the public about proper nutrition.
The program was designed as a minimum wage alternative where sometimes the students were the only wage earners in their family. This inspired me to continue studying the social dynamics of inequality and poverty. I continued in my studies and was accepted at a prestigious northeastern university.
My studies continued in public policy with a focus on inequality and demography. During a community service internship in rural Cameroon, I came into contact with several life-changing opportunities, one of which was in Bekondo, Cameroon.
In Bekondo, the farmers are strapped by a system of corruption, historically false knowledge and a failing infrastructure. I decided to co-found a project called the Bekondo Foundation. Our goal is to break to the idea of the green revolution which promotes chemical usage and return to traditional farming practices which promote community, and the general well-being and a health of the environment.
Since starting this adventure in community engagement we have been able to start a micro-organic teaching farm, hold health and entrepreneurship trainings and have recently addressed the current Ebola outbreak in Africa.
I have learned that my good fortune is just that, luck. I have an obligation to share my experience with those who might not have that same opportunity.
Yoga and self-discovery taught me that anything I keep to myself will be lost. It’s not through fear or obligation that I do this work, but through an honest desire to connect with my fellow man.
It would be silly for me to try and explain the benefits that I’ve received from this transition, but I can tell you that I hope to never go back to where I was before.