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Teresa, Volunteer Mentor (@hopeful33250)

Loving Kindness: Live Healthier and Happier

Mental Health | Last Active: Jun 24, 2019 | Replies (39)

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I just visited Mayo and made a new friend who is a volunteer who plays the piano in the lobby of the Gonda building. When I arrived, I heard lovely melodies in that space and I sat down and listened. After awhile, I moved to the closest chair next to the piano so I could watch him play. I told him how much I was enjoying his music, and he asked me what I would like for him to play, and I said "Sunshine". He asked me to sing, and people around joined in, and so did I.

As he played, there was a lady dancing by herself and twirling around and she saw me watching her and she invited me to dance with her. On the next song, I got up from my chair and we joined hands and circled around like little kids smiling and laughing…then an older lady came close and watched us with a look of joy on her face, so I invited her to join us and I took her hand. All 3 of us circled and twirled around and everyone was watching us. After that a few people came to the piano to sing, so I sang on "Edelweiss" (from The Sound of Music) and the audience grew and it ended with applause. A few more songs and singing followed before the piano player took a break.

It was like being a child again and spinning around and singing for the pure joy of it. The people passing by headed to their appointments let that joy into their hearts and some stayed and watched our circle….savoring the experience. All of it was so spontaneous, and I was surprised myself. It's easy to walk around thinking that you can't do something like this that attracts attention, and I thought I was just going to be a spectator, but I gave myself permission to enjoy myself and play…. to just enjoy myself and not worry about what anyone was thinking.

I visited the lobby several more times between my appointments and I met more of the people who knew my new friend, and he introduced them to me. Kindness is something to give away that becomes a gift that is given again and again. The music touched my heart and was there to give us a space to exist other than where we think we are. Now, I feel inspired to find my music books and practice so next time, I'll be able to sit at the piano and play freely as if no one else is listening.

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Replies to "I just visited Mayo and made a new friend who is a volunteer who plays the..."

What a lovely story, @jenniferhunter . Thanks for sharing it.

@jenniferhunter You painted a wonderful experience with your words! I loved reading this first thing today. While the only instrument I can play is my own voice, my sisters played violin and flute as young people. How fun to set aside thoughts and just "be" for a moment, watching the joy of others coming together.