First Jumpf for Joy! Photo Project Newsletter - Welcome!

Jump for Joy! Photo Project
Showcasing the beauty of the human spirit - in mid air - around the world

Jump for Joy! Photo Project

Showcasing the beauty of the human spirit - in mid air - around the world

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” - Patanjali



Featured jumper of the week: CHRISTINE MICHELLELike Jump for Joy! Featuring Christine Michelle on Facebook

From: Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada.
Live: The last 7 years I have been dividing my time between Vancouver and East Africa; Primarily Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo and more recently, Kampala, Uganda.

Q: What inspires you to jump for joy?
A: Life! Life is given every day and if we are blessed with tomorrow we ought to use it for celebrating the gifts and abilities we've been given and then use that as a mirror for the people around us to see their own beauty reflected. The young people and women we work with in East Africa make me jump for joy, they show me knew things about myself and humanity everyday.

Q. Your experience doing jumping photos?
A: It was such a great experience, Jumping for Joy! I think it does two things; it allows us to be silly and laugh where as most photo shoots require us to be serious and self aware... And it raises your heart rate which gets the blood flowing and makes the body feel vibrant. I left feeling empowered, happy and rejuvenated.  

Q: What inspires you in life?
A: Perspective altering, revolutionary souls who have gone before me inspire me to be innovative and transformative in my leadership approach and the incredibly gifted, energetic and resilient people I work with in Africa inspire me to be attuned, balanced and humble in my leadership approach. 
And stories! People's stories inspire me a great deal because there is always something unique to learn from others.

Q: Your greatest passion?
A: Holistic healing. I believe when we nourish and care for the body, have a deeply rooted and ever present spiritual life and feed the soul, we heal. Art as a form of expression and healing is the soul part for me and I am so passionate about it because I have seen it's outcomes.. People who have experienced extremes in their lives often can't express in words (or wouldn't want to describe) their experiences. Counseling can work in certain situations but in my observation, art breaks the boundaries that words can sometimes frame around us and allow the feelings, hurt, angst, beauty, enjoyment, life to leak out in very unique ways.

For me personally, I could try and talk to someone about how I'm feeling and have the conversation drag on for hours only to end up more disheveled than when we started... OR I could pick up my guitar and close my eyes and let my voice sound from the deepest crevasse of my gut and forget whatever notion I was caught up on to begin with.

Q: Your driving force?
A: When I was a youth I saw the world through rose coloured glasses, everything was fun, happy, lovely, beautiful.. And then my path took me to Goma and I went through several years of trying to balance my innate view point with all of the darkness that was then in front of me. Now, after battling between between the light and the darkness for several years I have come to realize that the duality of it all is what's perfect.

My driving life force is acceptance of the things I don't understand (the violence, abuse, rape, separation) and the upliftment of the things that I do understand (the peace, joy, healing, love, unity). The acceptance allows no room for distraction from the things we are meant to do and the change that WILL happen; it allows a greater understanding or as we like to say, an 'overstanding'.  

Q: Your philosophy?
A: I knew a very passionate woman, wife, mother for too short a time. She was dying of cancer and was using the last months of her life to make sure her young children and husband and their community were left with everything she could give them. At the request of her church she agreed to make a speech for the women's group and when word got out they ended up having to book a room that could accommodate 600 people. Her message was longer than this but what it came down to was "Know yourself, Know God and Know your purpose." Those words will never leave me and I believe this gives us all enough to work on for the rest of our lives. Knowledge of self, relationship with and guidance of the Lord and an openness to our calling and purpose.  

Q: Anything in the world?
A: I want to break down the walls.. What walls? All of them! That means racial, tribal, religious, gender and any other boundary that prevents people from seeing the oneness we are destined for. I believe this is all so, so, so temporary.. I might not know every philosophical detail about what that means but I've seen, felt and experienced the spiritual realm, the presence that we are all derived from and I can tell you this; there is nothing that separates us, human to human, outside of societal conditioning and our own perceptions.

I presently work on this by trying my best every day to love others the way I am loved. Regardless of what they've done or might do wrong in the future. Just to love and to hear and share stories that also draw out the similarities in us all as people.   

Q: What are you working on?
A: My partner in the Merita Movement,
Silas Balabyekkubo and I just finished a documentary film entitled 'Our Beloved Land' which takes a look into the crossroad at which our stories all meet. With Silas' lifetime of experience between here and Uganda and my last 7 years on and off the Continent of Africa we have met some incredible souls who's stories we have encountered a mutual love with. These young people are the inspiration behind what we do and the method in which we approach community transformation.

You can find the trailer and teaser with original song "Mercy" by Ugandan artists Richy, Babaluku, Kingsley and Phila here:

Q: Mini bio, interesting facts about you or something special you want to share.
A: The quote that best sums up my desire for all of us as the human family is: “Peace not war, generosity not greed. Empathy not hate. Creativity not destruction. Every body not just us.”

To organize a screening or get involved with the Merita Movement please visit our website: or email us:

Photos of Christine were taken in the back ally ways of Gastown in Vancouver, BC Canada. Like Jump for Joy! Featuring Christine Michelle on Facebook


It is such a pleasure hearing from you! Please, do stop by and say hello on my facebook page or twitter account :)

Help me to keep spreading the JOY! SUPPORT JUMP FOR JOY!!

Have a great week, with lots of fun and filled with joy!
Much love, Eyoälha

Jumping self-portrait photo of Eyoälha in Hollywood, California.
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