Last night, we had graduation at the Dale Carnegie course I have been taking. It was a beautiful event, filled with heart-filled stories of people's lives becoming more than every imagined possible. Of hearts learning the words to songs they've yearned to sing. Of eyes opening wide to the beauty within. Of minds listening to the unique voice behind the speaker.
The assignment for last night was to talk about a specific time during the training where one of Dale Carnegie's principles helped each of us do something differently. And then, to spend a minute talking about six months from now as if six months from now was reality.
For me, I talked about the form I had to fill in when registering for the course. One of the questions was -- What's your vision of your life?
Now, I have always resisted dreaming. Always resisted setting goals. Not that I haven't had any, but my fear of articulating them kept me from actually putting them to paper and then taking the necessary steps to move towards them. Too many voices from childhood clamoured to overrun my dreams with their insistence that I was stupid, or dumb, or simply wrong for dreaming. My fear kept me mired in building sandcastles in the air because I was terrified that anything I did to make my dreams concrete would be washed away beneath the laughter of others. I was afraid of falling and never gave myself the chance to learn how to fly.
Last night, I stood up in front of the group and claimed my dreams. I stepped into the centre of my light, and cast away my fear of standing in the darkness of my dreams vanishing into thin air because I was afraid of living them. Last night, I spoke of my dreams and claimed my right to create them as the centre piece of my very own wild and precious life.
Last night, I was privileged to share in my classmates doing the same. What a powerful, moving and inspiring event. To witness wings unfold. To watch in awe as they expanded into the delicate and vibrant beauty of their owner's light shining for all to see. To sit humbled in the glow of the greatness and the magnificence of the hearts beating around me to the beautiful sound of their dreams awakening and their unique voices singing a song of love and joy.
It was magnificent.
For these past three months I have been privileged to hear the stories and to see into the hearts of people who give themselves everyday to the care of those who have lost their voices. Like our clients at the homeless shelter where we work, however, for many of us, we never knew how beautiful our voices were. For some, because somewhere in the past someone told them they sang off-key, or perhaps because someone silenced their voices through fear and intimidation and abuse, their voices had never been heard.
Last night, I heard voices in song so pure my tears flowed in awe. My heart beat a wild tattoo of joy.
There is nothing more beautiful than the human spirit opening itself up to love. Nothing more inspiring than passionate voices rising above the cacophony of the past and singing out in joy for the freedom to be all that they are meant to be.
I was in awe last night. These are my co-workers. These are my friends. These are people I admire. I care for. People who inspire me. Who challenge me and who, through their example, teach me the meaning of being a magnificent human being filled with gratitude, humility and love.
The question is: Whose song are you singing?