I found IBREA during a frantic search for an internship to get work experience before I graduated college, but what I got was so much more than any other internship could have given me. The weekly brain training sessions I participated in helped me to better manage my stress and emotions. I found myself coming into work energized and focused even after my long commute and longer walks through a steaming hot summer in New York City. I now fully believe in the importance of a strong mind body connection and because of that my lifestyle has improved significantly. I find myself drinking more water, eating mindfully, sitting up straighter, and consistently more aware of signals my body sends to my brain. I am so grateful for the IBREA Foundation because in a world where employees are deduced to their productivity, I was made to feel like my wellbeing was more important than my output. Holistic brain education has changed my life for the better.
In my understanding, mind-body connection was nothing more than just an obvious biological bond. However, after joining IBREA, the things that they talked about gave a slight jerk to some of my beliefs and after a while, it all made sense. Volunteering my time with IBREA helped me understand how much power the human body and mind have and how developing a stronger connection between both can help us become a better thinker, observer and probably better a human.
Never have I worked in an office that has pushed the limits of my potential for creativity and productivity while simultaneously fostering a caring space where your mental and physical health were the primary concerns. IBREA inspires passion in my work and in my character. The majority of my time spent as a summer volunteer was used to prepare for the Youth Mental Well-being Conference we held at the UN on August 3rd, but I never did the same thing for too long. I met and interacted with people from very different countries and backgrounds, but we all worked towards realizing our own potential for change in the world. From designing T-shirts to writing speeches, from reaching out to hundreds of potential participants to petitioning local businesses for sponsorships, my entire skillset was used and appreciated, and I learned many new skills to complement my projects. We all do what we must, and so everyone in the office works together and grows together.
I am Dawa Sherpa, an international student from Nepal. Throughout my time in IBREA, during every training session, it became more evident to me that we are capable of harmonizing our thoughts with actions, we can achieve what we set our mind for – if we learn to do so. The training helped me awake my body awareness with actions like proper breathing techniques and body movement. While working towards that consciousness, I became more aware of my organs and all parts of my body in a way that enabled me to think of myself as an individual working towards a greater good, as a part of a whole. I also feel I’m awakening more my sense of energy as we go through various stages of training. I am more aware of my emotions and how to regulate them. In a broader sense, I see this program as an effective way to help ourselves simplify things and realize the essence of things, what really matters… in this very compartmentalized world that modern society has led us into.
I volunteered with IBREA from August 2012 – December 2012 in El Salvador. The program allowed me to live one of the best experiences of my life because it impacted me forever. During the program I found myself out of my element and for that reason it was somehow challenging during the first weeks; being away from family was not easy but as the weeks passed I felt that in the process I was fulfilling a purpose; I felt that my heart was opening without me even having the intention to do so. Working with the students and teachers and being able to become a witness of their awakening is priceless, and as time kept passing I started to feel this big love for everybody and everything around me, it was something that just happened! By the end of the three months I realized that I was experiencing something I called “detachment”, I was able to picture myself spreading IBREA’s program through the world without thinking too much what I was leaving behind. Even today, three years later my desire is always to go back and volunteer again, it is something that I am currently working on so I can make it happen. My experience with IBREA is a point of reference in my life.
I volunteered for IBREA in the period of spring in 2015 in Costa Rica. Through the experience, I realized how great it is to work in a foreign country and with foreign people. It really helped me open my mind. I also realized the value of this program. Actually, even though I have been training with an affiliated program in Japan for a few years, I had not noticed its true value yet until I went with IBREA to Costa Rica. I could see the incredible changes in the people we worked with, and in myself. IBREA does not just give tools or techniques to people; the program helps people discover or recover their own strength, tools and power. The direct experience with their work helped me gain a deep conviction.
I’ve been volunteering for IBREA since September 2014 in El Salvador. At that time, I didn’t pay much attention to myself even when my body showed me many times that I needed to. I went sick to the first class, and at the end, I was better and the next day even better than before. I continued training by myself, and so many things came out, unhappiness, solitude etc. I finally realized I was always waiting for someone else’s help, when in fact I just need to wake up and heal myself. The decisions I
made in the past paralyzed me in the present, so I was afraid of falling down. But IBREA showed me something else. A hopeful future. I used to reject myself and saw just the face of that world, through people’s words I created my own negativity and I trusted it. I can see now that I want a bright world so I have many things to change and heal. The hardest part of this training for me is to keep that consciousness alive. For a period of time I came back to my the old habits, but once I woke up to my true value, I couldn’t run away. I made many excuses to not listen and to give up. With IBREA’s program, I learned to persist and be more responsible. I’m still learning… to love myself, to change my world and to not give up! My country needs a lot of help, and I realize how through this training, the teachers and students feel just like me and start to change themselves and their community.
Working with IBREA Foundation has been a rewarding experience for me. I actively engaged myself in the IBREA curriculum and for the very first time I experienced how we actually put it into action with IBREA’s project in a public school in New York. After several visits to the school, I saw changes in attitude and an increasing level of cooperation within the students we worked with. Also, with the qualitative data gathered from IBREA’s project in a public school in Hawaii, from their feedback and testimonies, I saw encouraging results on how the curriculum helped their emotional control at home and school. From all the positive energy that IBREA gathers and that I myself received, I felt so proud to find out that what IBREA is doing is meaningful and inspirational. Please keep this good vibe going and I am always willing to contribute whenever possible.
Volunteering at IBREA Foundation has been a rewarding experience for me. I was mostly involved in the preparations of their “Youth Mental Wellbeing” conference at the UN. It was not easy to put everything together for a 600-people conference, but on the day, when I saw people share their life story of struggling and fighting, I was inspired, along with every other participant. I felt everything I did was worthwhile. Besides, during the time I was able to meet people from all over the world, Korea, Pakistan, El Salvador, Nigeria, Japan, France, US and so many more. It is such a privilege to talk, to work, and to share experiences and visions with all these passionate young people. With all the IBREA training and inspiration, I know my goals and future better now. I am happy IBREA has chosen me.
I received IBREA’s program in 2011. Since then, I have changed a lot. From the beginning I realized for the first time, that we have this energy, this precious energy inside, that everybody has and shares. It is a loving energy, and it is not biased by anything. I realized that if we all work hard to find it and use it to change things in our reality, we can truly make great changes in the world. That’s what I realized. I also recovered my dreams and hope to get out of my difficult situation as a single mom. IBREA’s program gave me the courage to make it to University. In my community, the gang violence makes it very difficult for a single mom like me to study further than middle school or high school. But I could do it, and I hope that through my example many other girls and women in my community and country can be inspired and develop confidence to do it too.
My time at IBREA has been incredibly eye-opening. I am the first to admit that I came into the training skeptical, as I have never been someone to do much yoga or focus on holistic health methods. I originally came to IBREA feeling genuinely passionate about its message of mental wellbeing being vital to world peace, and have since come to learn so much more about myself and my body than expected, as well as how important working through my personal boundaries is. I hope to someday travel with IBREA and help others like myself who may not be as open to this kind of training at first, but who could benefit from it as I have. It really all comes down to an open mind and positive attitude! Thanks IBREA!
Since I’ve started working with IBREA, I’ve started to see for myself that the connection between mind and body isn’t just a chemical, scientific fact but also an everyday reality that can actually be felt and harnessed through focus. With enough practice, we can be masters of our own bodies and emotions and take strides towards being generally happier and more generous people. I’ve seen this also through my encounters with other IBREA volunteers & members who give to others so much because it’s what comes naturally to them.
I have been volunteering and training at IBREA since March 2015 to date.Over the past few months I have experienced tremendous personal growth. The training exercises have helped me to feel lighter while at the same time more grounded and connected to the world around me. I am also more flexible not just in terms of my body but also my mind — being open to new experiences and new ways of thinking about the world. Most importantly, I have learned to love my own body and spirit, which in turn allows me to more fully appreciate and love others. IBREA put me on the path of a much needed personal journey and for that I will always be grateful.