After my second serious relationship ended I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and a sadness I had never felt before. Feeling like a failure and questioning myself I decided to get "real" and start peeling away at all the layers that made up Mari. I wanted to know what the heck was wrong with me.
Of course when relationships end we automatically think something is wrong with someone. We never think it's just not the right connection or right time or that along the way plans and ideas changed. Just like we at times go into a store with one thought and as we walk the aisles we turn to another thought such can happen in a relationship.
illustration by pinterest
This peeling away and dissecting of my layers took a full year. I read books, I wrote lists, I talked, I watched videos, I cried, I read some more, I cried some more then I just stopped one day and said "this is not who I am this is not who I am meant to be" " this person's view of me is not my end but my beginning".
No one is right or wrong, just different. No one is lacking we are both good enough just not good enough together.
During this time I began to physically do something that for many years I always wanted to do. Volunteer. I wanted to invest my time not waste my time or spend my time. I wanted to make a difference, make someone smile or laugh, use my hands to help something grow, use my eyes to see the good in life. My BFF steered me in the right direction by ntroducing me to an amazing organization called New York Cares.
It's been almost three years since I became a volunteer at NY Cares. I've had fantastic opportunities to contribute to wonderful things and meet wonderful people. To feel love and give love, to share in smiles and sometimes tears. To Live with Purpose.
illustration by facebook
My most resent experience was with Kids of various ages who have Special Needs. It was a two hour music class. A real music teacher came to teach the class. I had no clue what to expect, I just love music so thought it would be fun and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to practice what I have learned about life, gratitude and patience. When I got there everyone was so welcoming and friendly. My team leader gave us a briefing on do's and don'ts. Major don't was no touching! Some of the kids are very sensitive to a lot of stimulation so she suggested we let the kids guide us in how we connected with them.
I learned to sign the number's 1-10 and the alphabet A-J, the teacher suggested that basic sign was a great tool to know and use with our kids in case of an emergency. I learned to use eye contact better to maintain the kids engaged with the activities. We sang, danced and played instruments. At the end of class we did a little ribbon dance and everyone loved it! The flow of the ribbons seemed to soothe the kids and ended the class on a high note.
I am definitely making this one of my other set assignments for sure. The smile on their faces though many didn't even speak was priceless. I began small conversations with some of the parents and hope to learn more about the kids and what I can do in general to better their experience in the class. Live with Purpose.
Volunteering started as something that I could do to help others but it quickly turned into something that healed me from the inside out. That I received from more than I gave because with all my assignments I have rec'd so much love, more than I could have ever imagined. If volunteer work is not possible because of time etc...find something! Give back in your lowest moment, in your time of need and you will see how much of a reward it will be. Live with Purpose.
illustration by vinspired.com
What are some ways you live with purpose? Have you passed that on to your children? Have a great program you think I should try out?
Always stress free xo.