Recently, I was invited to a volunteer appreciation evening for PWA volunteers. I have been part of this organization little over 2 years now, and the immense gratification that I have come to experience is truly beyond all my expectations when I first accepted the opportunity. (you may visit their site and learn more http://www.pwatoronto.org/english/main.php )
PWA strives to offer genuine support, care and guidance to those with HIV/AIDS in the city of Toronto. They not only help with financial matters, but more importantly offer services that encourage wellness, healing, and self care.
I was asked to speak during the event and share my own story and experience as a volunteer holistic practitioner. I give my time, and offer support however I feel that I am given a greater gift each and every time.
I am touched by the trust I am given.
I am honoured to witness their personal growth.
My heart is given the opportunity to become a little more compassionate each time I hear of a struggle or see a tear shed.
My soul becomes ecstatic when it becomes a witness to the joy and optimism so often shared by such glorious warriors.
Its amazing how strong the human spirit can remain when faced with immensely challenging circumstances. That in itself is the most precious thing I have witnessed.
There are days I walk into PWA so caught up in what I think is so horribly wrong in my own life. Then someone shares a personal story of immense hardship, and my perspective shifts instantaneously. I am forced to awaken to the immense blessings of my own life, and all that I have and been given. It really comes right to the forefront and is so clear what is truly important in this life.
My main message to all my clients is that their "disease" (a label we most often integrate intou our own identities) or illness is not who they are. It does not define you. You are not "depression", or cancer, or HIV/AIDS. You are experiencing something that has been given to you for a reason. You have the choice to play the victim and grow small, or you can explore your inner strength and truly realize how grand you really are.
You always have a choice. Always.
I wrote the following poem which I shared with everyone that night. It expresses my experience and gratitude for being given the opportunity to work for an organization so special to the community, the city and my heart.
It is true that
in me and in you
there is a place.
One where we may play, dance, smile and laugh.
There is a place that we may scream, punch, cry and fight
and it is all so beautiful.
It is what makes you the perfect being that you are,
and the magic of becoming so much more.
There is no need to make up your story,
the story you live is the story of glory.
Because the courage to live it,
comes from that place deep in your heart.
That space that expands and expands,
with each single breath.
As you go beyond,
you will see no end to that nurturing love so deeply held within.
Plunge deep into this space,
strongly, boldly, claim it with full face.
Take hold of your dreams and desires,
and to the love that is eternally yours.
For the love that resides in you,
is the love that resides in me.
We are one and the same.
The light within you, shines to reveal the light in me.
And the darkness you see
is only the veil you put between my heart and yours.
I am so blessed for all of this,
and if things were to go amiss
I still know I can return to my place inside
and see you there with a great big smile.
And I would feel love for this, for you and all the rest.
Because there is no place that love does not see best.
It is what brings you to the test,
of finding that place within you that is the same place
Never give up, never give in.
Just give from the love in that place
deep in your heart.
In health always,
Deep poem Piera. I cannot imagine being a PWA. With medical advances life is prolonged, but it is through our safety net that quality of life if improved. Another case when helping helps oneself.ReplyDelete