I had the pleasure of talking with Vanessa Reid, a yogini and former colleague from ascent magazine. After the magazine closed in 2009, Vanessa moved to Jerusalem because she fell in love and has since become involved with some paradigm-changing global projects based out of Israel, London and Greece.
Vanessa’s work is creating space for people and institutions to have conversations and tap into the collective intelligence. She collaborates with other internationals (who call themselves “the amoeba”) and their friendship is an important part of their work. While it’s not explicitly “yogic,” the values and language reflect those of yoga and she is grounded in her long-standing yoga practice and connection to a community of yogi innovators. She explains her work in our conversation, and talks openly and frankly about how her yoga practice changed when she left North American soil for Israel, and how she had to adapt to different reference points and ways of being in her body.
The work that she is doing has strong parallels with the Occupy Movement: it’s about collective creativity, asking for new systems, not-knowing, and participating in our own lives. From her home in Israel, she watched the spark and spread of both the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement and offers a big picture perspective on what’s happening in the world.
Relationship is a common thread through all of Vanessa’s work: the relationship between self and other, between ourselves and the earth, and between friends. She cites an economy of the heart, and recognizes that is where she is most wealthy. And so are we all.