Last Saturday concluded my first volunteer experience with Workaway. The previous three weeks spent in Stege, Denmark flew by quicker than I had anticipated. Leading up to my final days, I was extremely antsy to move on to the next chapter of my trip. However, during one of our group meditation sessions, I realized how precious the rest of my time here was and wanted to spend my last days reflecting on my experience.
Here’s what I took away from this volunteer experience and what I hope to keep with me throughout the rest of my life:
Daily Reflection has it’s benefits.
My hosts were persistent on the importance of delegating a period of time during the day to refocus and center yourself. For them, it was a chance to pause their work and focus on connecting with their god and their yoga master. For me, I took this time to reflect on where I was, what beauty surrounded me, and focus on what is most important in my life. Doing this every day brought about a sense of peace and calmness that I haven’t felt in a while and improved my mood overall. As someone who easily gets stressed out, I hope to combat that by continuing to incorporate reflection/mediation time into my day.
Enjoy the beauty around you.
Situated on an island that has a population of 5,000, there really isn’t a whole lot to do in the way of entertainment. So I turned to nature and, honestly, that’s all I needed. The host’s house was located right on Hjem Bay with the beach a 10 minute walk away. A small forest was nearby to venture through as well. What amazed me the most was that every time I stepped out for a walk or to explore, I noticed something new in the landscape that wasn’t there previously. That’s when I realized just how magnificent nature can be. From now on, I’ll think twice about sitting inside to watch TV all day rather than going outside to enjoy the life around me.
Patience, patience, patience.
As you may have read from my previous Annie’s Take Away Tuesday post, patience is not my strong suit. Whether in my personal or professional life, I always struggle with remaining patient when things are not going at the speed I prefer. Working at this Retreat Center with people who have different native languages, different work ethics and business practices, and different communication styles has taught me how crucial patience can be. What I’ve realized is that it’s okay to invest more time into your work to ensure accuracy and proficiency rather than speed through and risk someone misinterpreting or misunderstanding the assignment and doing it incorrectly.
Overall, I found this to be a fantastic experience and one that I will never forget. I am extremely appreciative for my host family opening up their home for me to experience their way of life and being so generous and inclusive.