Mind, Body and Soul Project

This past semester I took a class called Woman Artists with Professor Lillian Goudas teaching the course. When I first selected to take this class I was just looking for credits to help fill my art history minor requirement but I ended up learning much more than the what was listed in the course description.

I first want to mention how highly I think of Professor Goudas. This was the second class I took from her and she is everything a professor should be. She is intelligent, passionate and enthusiastic. She works hard to engage her students and get them excited about not only learning her subject but she encourages them to be excited about the entire process of learning.. and she succeeds in doing so. At the end of last semester she invited students from our class to a delicious dinner at her house (which more professors should do). Having dinner in her home gave us a better chance to get to know our professor a little outside of the classroom.

A wall in her dining room is what her family calls the “Art Wall.” Each year she picks a theme she wants her three young children to focus on. This past year the focus was their mind, body and soul. Each day they were to do something that helped either their mind, body or soul grow, then they create an illustration and hang it on the wall. I thought this was such a fantastic idea I thought I should write that down to be something I can do with my future children. Then I thought that maybe I shouldn’t wait to practice this idea but maybe it could be a personal project this summer. Kind of a “practice what you preach” thing.

So I grabbed some pens and paper and I started making some lists of what I would count for each category that I’m doing this summer… (BTW, I love lists).


  • My internship
  •  This blog
  • Reading one book a month (I’ve already finished Nicolas Sparks’ The Wedding and Kathryn Stock’s The Help).


  • Waking up at 5:30 a.m. during the week to go on a morning bike ride before my internship
  • Going to the gym each day on my way home
  • Also, spending as much time as I can doing outdoors exercising including the sailing lessons I just begun last weekend.

When I got to the Soul category and realized that other than to unsuccessfully attend mass each Sunday I didn’t have too much planned for my soul. I wanted to do something to help others but being as I’m a poor college intern I didn’t have much time or money to do so.My original plan was to put my PR skills into practice and plan an event or dinner that would raise money for a cause that I thought was particularly important and that I cared about.  After talking about some of my ideas with my boss, I decided I should focus on something that involved less planning. Since I am new to town, what I had originally had in mind would have been difficult to successfully pull off with my current schedule. I started on researching an organization where I could volunteer once every week or two.

My junior and senior year of high school I volunteered twice a week at a place called Everyday Blessings, which was a home for children from abusive families. Some of the children living there were up for adoption but most of them are only their until their parents are legally allowed to be their guardian again.  During my time there I helped out in the nursery which was the home for up to five newborns to toddlers at a time. I’ll never forget Sean*, a two year old african american boy, who I loved. Whenever I showed up Sean would run and jump to give me a hug and tell me, “I wub wou, Ms. Wibia,” which I believe translates to, “I love you, Ms. Olivia.”  I would always come home and beg my mom to please adopt him so he would be my baby brother. Which I knew was unrealistic but it didn’t stop me from trying. The week I found out that Sean was finally able to return to his mother I went to Everyday Blessings on his last day so I could say goodbye. I stayed as long as I could and cried the whole drive home.  Although he will grow up and probably has already forgotten me I’ll never forget that sweet little boy or my experience volunteering at Everyday Blessings. Since then I have known that one day I will adopt one of my children from one of these types of organizations.

Anyways, didn’t mean to get off topic but I wanted to try and find a similar organization nearby where I could volunteer again. I searched the internet and called different churches in the area and I couldn’t find anything that really seemed to interest me but the idea of volunteering at Hospice kept popping up. In middle school, high school and college I tagged along with my mom almost everyday to hospitals and nursing homes when my Lita (grandmother), Lolo (grandfather) and Tia (great-aunt) got sick. As much as I hate hospitals, I hate seeing sick old people by themselves alone even more.. especially if they’re IN hospitals.

I enjoy talking to people and making others feel happy so I think that the best place for me to spend a little free time this summer will be helping out once a week or every two weeks at Hospice. I still need to sign up and do some more research on the one nearby but that’s the plan as of now.

That’s my Mind, Body and Soul Project.

These are two quotes that I like a lot and wanted to end with:

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” -Audrey Hepburn

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” -Mark Twain


*Name has been changed


One thought on “Mind, Body and Soul Project

  1. Olivia- You are beautiful inside and out! ANd today, you have also encouraged MY soul. You made that class so fantastic and wonderful to me…your class of intelligent, strong young women meant more to me than you all could know.
    I noticed you quotation by Hepburn. I happened to have one from her on my desk all year as well.
    “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; Never throw anyone out.” -Audrey Hepburn
    and then this good one also guides me in what I do as a governing principle in parenting and a gentle reminder in teaching as well:
    “To educate a man in mind but not in morals is to create a menace to society.” -Teddy Roosevelt

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