Like I’m part of a family

Art from Creativity Circle by Christy

by Christy, student

For many of us, this past summer may not have been the best experience due to the global pandemic. It just so happened that I had a personal challenge I was trying to overcome at the same time. I’ll admit it was one of the most difficult times in my life.

Above image: Art by Christy from our weekly Creativity Circle, where we guide students in creative activities as spiritual reflection practices

Even though the weekly Reflection Circles run on a drop-in basis, I have attended most sessions for the past 2.5 years, unless I had a time conflict. Thanks to Open Circle quickly transitioning their events to online, I’m able to continue participating in Reflection Circles, even after moving back home. Despite the time difference, which means waking up earlier than usual, I decided to make it a weekly commitment due to the many benefits. I find it nurturing for my soul. After one hour, I usually feel good and at ease. Sometimes I leave feeling confused, but that just means something sparked deeper reflection, which is also good.

During my lowest point, I remember wanting to close myself off from others. I even seriously considered skipping Body, Mind, Spirit Circle, but I didn’t because I knew it would be good for me and I’m happy about my decision. I was not necessarily looking for a solution to my problem, and I knew I would not get that from Open Circle because we tend to not give advice unless it’s specifically asked for. However, I think Open Circle did help to make the tough times a bit easier. It’s so nice to be part of a community that welcomes and appreciates each other’s presence. Seeing familiar faces each week makes me feel like I’m part of a family. I am happy to see them and they seem happy to see me too. It’s something I look forward to each week.

Thank you to Marybeth and Jeff for holding a non-judging space, and thank you to my peers for sharing and listening in that space. Thank you to those who support Student Open Circles because it has a positive impact on people like me. Your contribution means a lot.