“I feel profoundly changed
by my experience.”
Before beginning her internship at Art Monastery Italia in April, Canadian college student Christina Vani had never ventured beyond her hometown of Montreal for any significant amount of time, and had never lived with strangers. She was so shy that she avoided leaving her comfort zone at all costs – so much so that her yoga teacher once told her she didn’t have to always sit in the corner near the back of the room.
But Christina took a leap of faith to join the Art Monastery for two months before starting her Italian language graduate program, and the risk was worth it.
Speaking Italian to locals and teaching Italian to the Artmonks was fulfilling, but the most important lessons Christina learned were “beyond anything having to do with language,” she said. “There is so much opportunity for learning that’s completely beyond the scope of what you signed up for, and that is really really valuable.”
Christina started to experiment with sitting in different chairs at the dinner table. She started to speaking to people she didn’t know. She started meditating regularly. And she began to think differently about encountering discomfort.
In fact, Christina credits the Art Monastery for helping her adjust to her new life in Toronto. Rather than fear the unknown, she has embraced the new challenge – so much so that she recently gave her phone number to a guy she didn’t know. “I’ve never done that in my life. Ever… You guys really helped me open up.”
“I am grateful every day for having had the opportunity – and what I would consider nothing short of a privilege – to share daily life with the Artmonks.”
Please join the Art Monastery Project in taking a stand to support living life as a work of art. Your tax-deductible donation of $5, $25, $50, $500, or $1500 goes to supporting the creation of world-class art, produced through an inspiring and authentic process that touches the artists, audiences, and volunteers who experience it.
Christina is just one of many people whose lives were touched by the Art Monastery in 2011.
continue to inspire