Hello everyone, this is Sister Alma! Here is our newest Postulant (Diversity Rains) recounting his experiences shortly before and after his association with the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
"As I approached my last birthday, I found myself focusing on wanting to re-invent myself upon entering the next decade of my life. Well, actually it was not focusing on re-inventing myself, but more a desire to get closer to being my true myself.
I thought, 'what better way to do so than to stand forward and become an aspirant of the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.'
I figured out the how, the when, and I thought I figured out the where, of what to do to make this happen. After looking the Sisters up online I decided that at the Sister’s next business meeting, I would declare my intentions.
Finally, the second Wednesday of the month arrives. I get off work and hustle to get to the meeting, driving a fair distance into some unknown terrain in the heart of Vancouver, using my trusty google maps to get me there. Initially, all went well and I found some reasonable parking and it looked like everything was going to plan.
I thought to myself, "Please google maps lead me to the meeting."
Well, indeed it did. Goggle maps led me, and led me, and led me, and every where it led me, I could not find the meeting! I would think I was there, but it would just be an apartment building, and not the meeting.
After a few attempts and failures I asked a passerby, "where is Qmunity?"
"About ten blocks that way," they responded.
I found my way to Bute and Davie. I looked to the left! I looked to the right! I could not find it!
Then I looked to the left and up the street a bit—and behold, a Qmunity sign above the door—the Qmunity library.
There at last, but an hour late and the door was locked.
Obviously, my aspirancy was not meant to happen at that meeting, so I went around the corner, and gratified myself with sushi, and began to call to find out if the meeting had changed location.
I spoke to Sr Petunia Encarnata, who unfortunately was in Portland and told her of my plight and woes.
"Not to worry," Petunia told me. I could become an aspirant at the next business meeting, but in the meantime spread as much joy as possible.
Well the next meeting was a month away. Can you imagine how much joy you can spread around in a month? Well, I didn’t at the time. Lo and behold I found myself engaged in occasions where I had no choice but to spread joy—at work, at play, at events, with people, with animals, and all of creation. Wow, what an eyeopener. I was even beginning to feel more filled with joy.
I love to take and share pictures and I found myself determined to be in places such as the “Cool Mom’s” show with Jem ThanksJem and spend some time with the Sisters who were attending and performing in the show. While talking to Alma, Tora, and Pebbles I learned more about what the Sisters' mission is and I also discovered the joy others find in the pictures I take—and that makes me feel good.
Finally, after another month was over I made it to the Business Meeting well in advance and declared that I was an Aspirant. It felt good to receive my Aspirant name tag from Sister Petunia. Let the period of being an Aspirant begin. This was a commitment to attend two Business Meetings in a row and to join with the Sisters for events they would be attending.
"Oh My God," I thought, "how will I ever be able to work all these things into my already busy work and personal schedule?" The world is made of good intentions and good intentions can make anything possible.
I began to learn to be myself and attend personal events by my choice, to request days off work to attend events with the Sisters, and to relax and enjoy life. At work, I suddenly felt more like a member of the team to make things happen and my goal was to spread joy, to acknowledge the contributions of others, and to smile. You know what? It works and it is a lot less effort than to hold back.
I am leaning that inclusion is a big part of what the Sisters do and I think I like it.
I am also learning that making a difference, is just that, making a difference whether it be small or grandiose! Sure, grandiose can be great, but often small is much more rewarding! I have learned this by observing the Sisters in action.
I have been playing Santa Claus at work for the last three weekends. The look of joy I see on the children’s faces, and often the parent’s faces as well, is the same look of joy I see on the faces of people at groups and events where the Sisters spread joy. I think I can become accustomed to seeing that look constantly.
I look forward to what the next month before the next Business Meeting at which I will hopefully accepted as a Postulant. I look forward to accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative and releasing joy everywhere.
Oh, I am also beginning to realize that I can take joy in myself in the sense that if I am enjoying myself, I can share that joy with others without worry."
- Postulant Diversity Rains
“Joy, more joy, always joy”
Sister Alma would like to thank Postulant Diversity Rains for submitting his story for the blog. The Vancouver Abbey is nothing without its new members as they remind us of how simple yet sublime our work can be.
XO Sister Alma