I found my life purpose through my son when we moved to Singapore. After attending a Soul Kids course my son experienced such a miraculous change in this two-day workshop that I had to learn what happened in this course to cause such a change.
To understand how significant this was to my son's life, you need to understand how his life began. Shaan was born at 25 weeks (15 weeks premature) and weighted 675 grams that is ~1.5 lbs and had a 50% chance of survival and much higher chance of other physical challenges. He spent 94 days at birth in the hospital and over the next 5 years my son had received treatment from the top experts at Emory University and Stanford University as well as many other special therapists (blind baby foundation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, learning specialists). He did extremely well with the many therapies and we were so excited when he entered school along with his peers in a standard classroom. 3rd grade, however, was a turning point. We moved from the U.S. to Singapore, which was a big change for our family. It also meant new friends, new school, and adapting to a foreign country. For the first time he received "grades" on his papers and he began noticing that the other kids were finishing their tests and doing better. He struggled as he had to continually review the same lesson multiple times before he mastered it as he is challenged by short-term memory issues. Even though we explained that learning is harder for him, he was comparing himself to everyone else, it was affecting his self-confidence. In fact his last test before Soul Kids, he only attempted 4 of the 20 math problems on his math test. It was clear he had just given up and not tried.
Thankfully, he is blessed with unending curiosity about the world. Being his ever curious self one day he found a poster displayed in the window of a closed store. Rushing to buy groceries, I called for him as we needed to be home as soon as possible. He wouldn't move and drew my attention to the poster that he was looking at. It had pictures of smiling children having fun advertising a program called SoulKids. Later, researching the course online, I found the Soul Kids blog. It had many pictures of happy kids in real sessions and glowing testimonials from both children and parents. The Soul Kids Book of Self Confidence was a beautiful full color book of stories available at Borders. The focus of the Soul Kids Self Confidence course taught self confidence, happiness, communication skills. I thought it would be great for both of my boys.
Shaan and Dhru attended SoulKids the first day and we were a bit late as the course started at 9:00 on Saturday and we are not generally out of the house on the weekend that early. The SoulKids Mentors were very prepared, professional, invited me to attend the parents meeting the next day. I was reassured that they were in excellent hands for the day. This was confirmed when I returned in the afternoon. Two smiley happy boys had a great time. I really knew how much they liked it the next day. Most mornings are a struggle to get two boys ready to leave the house. However this morning, they woke up early and got themselves ready to go and woke me insisting to go early! Then when I picked them up they asked if they could go again next weekend. (Now as an experienced SoulKids Mentor myself I've learned this reaction is common. Parents and children arrive early in anticipation of Day Two and rarely is anyone late.)
At the SoulKids parent session, I had my own Ah-ha! moment with the realization that all through Shaan's life we had been focusing on Shaan's challenges and limitations more than his talents. All of the therapies were all focused on his weaknesses. And he had some form of therapy each day which left no time for things he liked. In fact it was like a daily dose of "your not good enough" vitamins. So from that day, we have limited his therapies to two days a week. And we started having him do activities he enjoyed and excelled such as dance, art, music and history.
I knew SoulKids had changed him when he arrived home with his math test. He had attempted most of the problems on his math test. And he was excited... why? Not because he got them all right. But because he got 2 more right than last time! He was focused on himself and saw that he had done better than last time.
The defining moment when I really knew that SoulKids had changed both our lives was just a few months later. I experienced my own miracle. It was in a school assembly where I cried in joy and relief. Joy as Shaan danced an amazing performance in front of the entire school assembly. And I cried in relief as I finally realized that this boy that entered this world in an extremely fragile state was going to be all right. I didn't need to worry about him anymore. And this moment came from him following his passion and interest for dance.
With this amazing change following a 2 day program, I just had to know more about the program. I invested in becoming a SoulKids Mentor, devoting 3 months of my weekends to learn to teach this program. Not an easy commitment to a single mom raising two boys in a foreign country, flying frequently across Asia as a software executive. However, it was the best personal development program I've attended. SoulKids Mentor training taught me to be a better person, a better parent as well as teach the SoulKids programs.
The SoulKids Mentor training as well as other courses and workshops at SoulCentre were transformational for me. I learned myself how to be self confident, be more appreciative of my own strengths, and live a happier and more positive life. If I had heard what I had learned as a SoulKids Mentor when I was a child, I would have lead a much more happy life both as a child and an adult.
My experience as a SoulKids Mentor has been AMAZING! Imagine 2 action packed, fun-filled days, with 15 - 20 kids all excited and wanting to come back again? And it is so rewarding to see children transform from shy to confident, from being fearful to fearless, and to learn how to work successfully in a team. And this is affirmed at the end of each class as I read the comments from the children and receive rave reviews from the parents. I cannot even express how rewarding it is to teach SoulKids as a SoulKids Mentor.