Contributed by: Benef Verell, CEO
I’m retired Army and I care deeply about the well-being of service members. I’m also a Kripalu yoga instructor since 2012. I used to think these two things, Army and yoga, didn’t go together and downplayed my yoga practice with my military tribe.
Now I know better.
The mindfulness that yoga and meditation cultivate is exactly what the military needs. The military asks a lot of its women and men and spends a great deal of effort training them in tactical skills, physical endurance, operational readiness, and strategic thinking.
Maintenance of the mind, however, gets left behind. I believe mindfulness improves leadership, the ability to be present in the moment, and the ease of the mind to focus. I know this based on personal experience. I know research on this topic is out there.
Beneficial, A Mindful Travel Company, is a sustainable way of generating revenue to fund research and programs that bring mindfulness, meditation, and yoga to service members starting in basic training.
We connect with inspirational leaders and then design and plan group retreats/vacations for the leader and his or her followers, clients, employees, family, or friends.
Why focus on groups?
Groups provide the biggest return on the investment for our time in planning the trip. We could earn a five or six figure commission on a luxury group trip traveling to Asia.
We use a portion of these proceeds to donate to organizations that bring mindfulness practices to the military; Warriors At Ease, Exalted Warrior Foundation, Semper Fi Odyssey, and eventually our own nonprofit private foundation - Military & Mindful.
How are we earning money to operate the business and pay ourselves a salary if we’re donating some of our proceeds?
We charge a planning fee per person or couple. Planning a detailed itinerary for a group isn’t all unicorns and rainbows, and we value our time. We also offer subscription based services for our expertise in travel and mindfulness teachings; together these fees keep the business lights burning bright.
Why would an inspirational group leader use Beneficial? Couldn’t they just plan it themselves?
1. We’re not working alone. We have an entire community behind us which starts with our host agency, Gifted Travel Network; continues with our consortia, Travel Savers; and includes numerous travel suppliers and travel industry companies.
Many of these time honored and vetted companies only work directly with travel agents. They specialize and operate in all areas of the world providing us access to more knowledge and reliable resources than any single person can find on the internet. For the luxury traveler, it only makes sense to use professionals.
2. We care about people. We genuinely enjoy connecting with and helping people. We know firsthand the benefits of traveling in a group and we work with the group leader to design the best vacation/retreat for that group’s needs and desires. Each trip is its own journey from start to finish. We’ll never come to the group leader with a predetermined trip or package in mind.
What’s in it for the group leader who’s spending their valuable time on the trip?
We negotiate with each group leader to determine acceptable compensation for his or her time. Some may be comfortable donating their time and receiving a paid vacation with a chance to spread their positive message. Others may desire a little more. We do not judge, but look for the best solution based on the individual circumstances.
Our end goal is to help service members, connect with people, plan amazing luxury vacations, and serve happy travelers. Connect with us and share your ideas for group leaders, bringing mindfulness to the military, or just to say hello.