In addition to the regular scheduled missions, the five Women of Wonder were all assigned a theme to reflect on. I had opted for “community,” but since it was a popular choice among the wonderful women, I got stuck with “happiness.”

As I said in the video, I wasn’t particularly happy about having to talk about happiness, since it’s not something I’m really interested in. I thought about how happiness fits in the yoga system and realized that it’s not a big topic. Yoga is concerned with the cessation of suffering and the idea of bliss, but happiness is seen as impermanent, an emotion, and something that we are futilely chasing after.

While I was sitting in the park on a sunny Sunday morning in Montreal, yakking about bliss, an amazing and beautiful thing happened (you’ll have to watch the video to see). It was a perfect combination of timing and serendipity.

I posted this little video on my Facebook profile page, and it struck up an interesting conversation among my friends. They liked the video but were dismayed that I concluded by saying I was speaking “for WonderBra.” Some of them observed strong reactions in themselves, and while they’re supportive of my work, they’re still baffled (even, perhaps, “repulsed”) by the sponsorship thing.

My wish is to use this opportunity as a way to get my voice out, to inspire women and to have some fun. So far I feel that I’ve been doing that. But I’m also aware that I’m doing this “for WonderBra,” even though I (and hopefully, my readers) am benefiting. As much as I love the idea of riding in a helicopter for fun, I wouldn’t have done it unless something like WonderBra was footing the bill. I didn’t want to sit in a park and talk about happiness ~ that was WonderBra’s idea (well, the happiness part at least ~ the park was my brilliant idea).

But my content is still my content, and I am still me. I don’t feel that has been compromised or co-opted. But I’m wondering: Does corporate sponsorship undermine the content of this blog? Does this Women of Wonder campaign resonate with you, engage you, or repel you? How does it compare to other high-profile “empowering” campaigns, such as Dove’s campaign for “Real Beauty”?

 

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