What on Earth am I doing here?

by Mohamed Sarraj, Open Circle Student

University is a transitional period for many. We are exiting the comforts of structured book learning and asked to define a purpose and direction for our lives beyond. This is no easy task, and the academic institution is ill-equipped in helping students find this meaning. Here, Open Circle fills a deep and critical void.

I have found generosity, compassion, and wisdom in Jeff, Marybeth, and their events and circles. I have been part of the Meditation Circle with Jeff since September and what I’ve experienced has since been an indispensable part of my life. Jeff always leads us in interesting and engaging spiritual practices. It was in this circle that I learned to begin to let go of worries, fears, and anxieties. To pay attention to the present and find peace and wellness in the face of life’s uncertainties. Those uncertainties have taken the form of career indecision, doubts about whether I was being true to myself, and questions like “what on earth am I doing in this place?”

It was at the height of this antsiness about monumental questions that I approached Marybeth for a Spiritual Companioning session. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was a bit apprehensive about the ‘spiritual’ part. Would there be a voodoo doll? Ritual sacrifice? Perhaps I’d leave unscathed, with just some prayer. In fact, Marybeth said nearly nothing.  With some expertly crafted guiding questions, she helped me explore what I was nervous about and what I truly valued. I already had the answers to those colossal questions I was asking. They were buried under disparate thoughts; my midterm the next day, my faltering progress on my thesis, or what I was going to have for dinner. I just needed the time and the professional guidance, which in conjunction with Open Circle’s Personal Discovery Course, I was able to access.

Identifying my underlying fears was so valuable, and Open Circle provided critical tools to help me accept them and move forward in a meaningful, purposeful way. Open Circle has helped me live in the present and make peace with the future. It has bred in me a love of self-reflection and spiritual growth, and for that I am ever grateful.