Robyn Liston - Marketing Manager
One of my monk friends from Thailand, Tiger, told me that one of the key elements to leading a good life is to be mindful in everything that you do. When it's time to listen, listen 100%. When you're required to give advice, be absolutely aware of the power of words. If it's time to eat, be mindful of all the flavors and elements you invite into your body. At every turn, life gives us something to enjoy...so slow down and pay attention so you don't miss it. So I try to live my life mindfully.
Coming home from Peru and re-entering my daily life in San Francisco was a challenging adjustment period. The moment I walked back into my flat I barely recognized my own life. I had changed and everything now seemed so foreign. My first emotion was the desire to go straight back "home" to Peru. I desperately missed the kids and the other volunteers. But then I realized that what I had learned and how I lived in Peru was something I needed to incorporate into my own daily practice.
In Peru, my routine consisted of comforting as well as laughing with children who have nothing. My priorities shifted greatly which allowed me to see that my life was bigger and wasn't meant just for me. All of my personal "challenges" that I temporarily left behind still existed but my experience has allowed me to approach the roadblocks with compassion, gratitude, and loving-kindness. I am still and will forever be a work in progress. But I thank God every day for the seven weeks in Peru that have changed me inside.
At one time or another we all ask ourselves what our purpose is. When you hit that point I encourage you to go outside of yourself and give. You don't have to leave the country but perhaps it's a simple act of kindness during your day. You will see your own value and that each of us has a part to play in changing this world. That gives each of us a purpose and importance.
To the kids who have granted me the opportunity to be a sister, a mother and a friend to them, I thank you for changing me and letting me see what having a joyful heart means. To my fellow volunteers, I thank each of you for being who you are...absolutely amazing. And to my loved ones...I'm learning to love you more with an unexplainable eternal love that goes well beyond human comprehension.
Now go out there and do good things!