“Someone asked me, ‘Why don’t you transform your passion into your work?’ And so the challenge began – far from easy – to create a new professional identity for myself.” Today Mirco Castello is an Art Counsellor, but only after losing his “secure” job in the textile and fashion industry in 2008, after which it became harder and harder to balance the family budget. “I tried to listen to the advice people were giving me, but most of all to a ‘voice’ inside of me which kept prompting me not to miss this opportunity. In fact, for many years I had dedicated my spare time to my real passion: mime, acting and dance. I started looking for ways of transforming this passion into a service which could meet the needs of others, particularly of children. I launched a dance and music play project in a nursery and primary school.” As child psychologists maintain, dance has the power to help children find new balance and harmony within themselves.
But having a good idea and enthusiasm are not enough. To work in a professional educational environment, the right credentials are required. So Mirco went back to college, successfully finishing an Arts Counsellor diploma and a Masters degree in Family Mediation. He then contacted schools across Italy, in both the State and private sectors, set up his own website (www.ledanzedimirco.it), and began offering training for teachers, and sessions for children.
“Since 2008, I’ve been managing – just managing – to make a living for my family, always hoping that no unexpected expense will crop up. But I have to say that we’ve never actually lacked for anything. With the profound relationship of unity with my wife, and with my friends in the Focolare Movement to sustain me, I’ve been able to entrust myself completely to God. I find out that He shows me the steps I have to take. Through my work, I can testify through my own experience, that He loves me and does not abandon me. I consider Him to be my new employer!”
Currently, Mirco is running a project in Italy and other European countries involving 2,000 children annually. “I engage children in play through music and can immediately recognize many forms of unhappiness. How much children suffer these days! So many are lacking in values, the security of boundaries and rules, their own autonomy, or are living through the separation or even conflict between their parents.”
Together with his wife, Mirco also runs a project for adults, facilitating “openness, assertiveness, understanding, and forgiveness.” And Mirco’s horizons continue to widen. “You know, for ten years, my wife and I could not even think about going for a holiday. Now, we’ve been invited to go to Kenya in January, to work with children in two schools and an orphanage. We’ve also received another invitation to go to Russia. Tell me, if this is not the love of my new employer!”