Blog /Transformation Center
Maintaining wellness for me means taking care of my mind, body and soul. For my first workshop at my first Alternatives conference, I decided to get my experience started on a spiritual tip. I attended the panel "Restoring the Spirit: A Celebration of Culturally Diverse Wellness Practices from Lived Experiences."
Catherine Quinerly's presentation resonated with me. She is the community voice policy director for the Transformation Center in Roxbury, Mass. Quinerly is Puerto Rican. Her spirituality is a blend of her Pentecostal and Santeria upbringing. I am a nondenominational Christian. Although our faiths have some differences, we have similar views on living life. Quinerly presented a list of principles to the workshop she lives by which she says feed her spirituality:
- Live your joy
- Take time for self-renewal
- Be Open
- Freedom to Explore
- Inner Goodness
I love these principles because they’re liberating. Quinerly referenced her love for nature when she discussed her principles of openness and taking advantage of our freedom to explore. While attending Alternatives in Anaheim, Calif., last year, she and a friend took some time to hike Laguna Canyon. She said once she reached the peak of hill, she and her friend split off, but not too far and cried. They reconvened. "I can’t believe I'm doing this," her friend told Qunierly. "I can’t believe I’m doing this," she replied.
I know that feeling. I got teary eyed years ago when I arrived to the London flat where I would spend my summer. I was finally living my joy and dream to travel overseas, and giving myself freedom to explore new cultures. And during a time of great anxiety I sought a mindfulness workshop, led by a cool Buddhist priestess, as my self-renewal tool. Everyone in the class took a solo mindful walk in a small garden. The peace my mind and soul desperately needed was truly a God send. That peace allowed me to connect to my inner goodness I had abandoned during all of the commotion in my life. Somehow the silence opened my heart to forgiving others and myself. That moment felt so good, it brought tears of joy and peace.
Sometimes we don't know how our actions will affect others. I never actually wrote down my life's principles. Actually looking at principles on a flip chart that gave both me, and a woman I never met, balance in our lives was a blessing. Thank you Catherine. Thank you God.