I am supposed to be filling everyone in on my thoughts of RecrearMAGNIFY although I don’t know if a few words in the blog-o-sphere can sum up all of the emotions and knowledge gained in the experience of a lifetime. Now that I have been thrusted back into “normal” life the last couple days it has really given me a chance to only just begin to reflect and digest what just happened over this past month. One thing I do know though is that Magnify changed my life! I am not kidding when I say I came out a better person then I was going in.
Our first week at the ashram made me do a lot of self exploration(that wasn’t always easy but was 100% necessary). I also became family with 13 of the most incredible, talented, caring and fun people on the planet! The first three days were an emotional roller coaster and there is nothing I can really say except everyone needs to do YES+, it teaches you so much about yourself and communication with others as well as stress management (not to mention it is tons of fun).
Silence (as anyone who knows me will tell you) has historically not been one of my strong points as I have been told since childhood that I have a black belt in “TONGUE-Kwan-do” so needless to say I was leery going into YES++. This ended up being such an enlightening time for me. I am now more at peace with myself, able to stay in the moment and really listen. I may not practice my Kriya as often as I should, but the lessons I have learned for myself and being with others during that week have far surpassed what I could have ever dreamed of.
Week two was intense. Although I was back home, I was almost never home! We went full force that week with speakers that I don’t think anyone could have planned better for what we all needed to learn to make this conference a success (props to Komal, Mitch and Kirsten). I went into this knowing the basics of international development and running an NGO (more than the average person but as I soon found out not even scratching the surface!). By the end of the week, although still just barely above ground I have such a greater understanding of the world around international development and NGOs. I am sure many of us had moments of sleeping with our eyes open after only having a few hours of sleep each night but the discussions, questions and answers that came out of each of the presentations were phenomenal and really helped shape and prepare us for what we were about to tackle in week three.
Our last and most insane week of the conference was unreal. We split off into our committees and started to work. We would gather together once a day for some training or presentations but other than that it was full days of planning out the next year of Recrear and beyond! I was fortunate enough to have Ryan Bascle as my partner in Local Chapter Development where we worked on how to start and maintain local chapters internationally and threw around ideas of what the Ottawa Chapter and NOLA will be up to this year. There were times we would have rather been chasing black squirrels but we pushed through, as did everyone and finished things we were unsure we could. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be helping me get through that week.
The week ended with our executive board elections and our final gala! I am so proud of everyone for how well we did on Sunday. Everyone who showed up was extremely impressed by the progress we have made and the direction we are going in! It was an amazing afternoon ending with a perfect BBQ.
That is my general and brief overview of Magnify. As I said I really cannot put into words what I experienced. Each hour I think of something else that happened and impacted me in some way. No matter how far apart we are, the magnify family will always be strong. I miss each and every person who was here, and am so excited to start moving forward with our plans for this coming year!!!
Nouha,Valerie, Sifa, Ryan, Kirsten, James, Gioel, Gillian, Ryan, Mitch, Nolan, Sasha and Komal I know I have said it before but you are all outstanding, talented, awesome people! I am so happy that I just spent a big portion of my summer with you all. You have changed my life for the better . Thanks to you all and Recrear I finally feel at home. Keep giving your 100%, no regrets!
I can’t wait to start back to work with all of you. See you on Skype 😛
With love and belonging,