Transformation through 'Dress a Girl' project
Looking deeply into my motives for creating, whether it be sewing clothes for myself or pursuing quick-drying watercolors rather than time-consuming oil painting, the need for quick validation has always provided me with an abundance of projects. This attachment to quick validation, however, has prevented me from accomplishing many long-term goals in my life.
In June 2019 I discovered Dress A Girl Around the World.* Sewing little girls' dresses seemed a perfect fit as I loved little girl’s dresses, sewing and Swami.
Even armed with a lifetime of sewing experience, progress was slow at first, but soon I was hooked on sewing these adorable little dresses. I would sew with the goal of quickly finishing each dress so that I could admire it and turn it in for distribution, which to me meant validation. Once again, I was seeking the fruits of a finished creative project at the cost of being totally involved in the process.
It was then that I made a personal goal of sewing 108 sundresses for Swami’s 95th Birthday by Nov. 2020, fifteen months away; that meant sewing seven dresses per month.
With some resolve, I was able to consciously slow down and remember who was making the dresses. Eventually I could sew with the awareness of being totally in the process, sewing with the perfection that I was capable of, and being connected to the receiver of the dress–most of the time.
As the months passed, the dresses began to grow in number, and by November 2020, it was easy to see that this was Swami’s divine handiwork and not mine.
Swami is the personal charioteer of each and every one of us, and through setting and accomplishing the goal of making 108 dresses for his 95th birthday, he showed me that I can indeed accomplish a long-term goal by working towards it slowly and patiently, one day at a time. For someone like me who previously desired instant spiritual awakening, this had a profound effect. I realized that in my case, working towards the goal of self-realization was a long-term process, requiring the same day-to-day commitment of sacrifice, dedication, patience and practice.
My spiritual transformation, as well as my gift from working on the DAG project for Sai's 95th Birthday, was that it helped me to bring my goal of realizing and expressing my true nature both more into focus, and more into the realm of daily practice. For this I am truly grateful.
* As part of Hope 4 Women International, DAG's premise is that “every girl deserves at least one dress.” Men and women around the world sew sundresses and distribute them to needy young girls worldwide.
Please note: Other women participated in the 'Dress A Girl' project. Their experiences are shared in below video.