Monday, September 29, 2008

Moments of wonder

Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things to it. His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
It was a room full of happy people. Very happy. The energy was contagious. The spirit alive.

It was late Friday afternoon as I drove to a hotel in the north east of the city to give a 15 minute presentation about the shelter where I work. The conference was for HUB. It's the first time HUB has held a conference in Canada, and it was, without a doubt, a memorable and fruitful event.

There were about 120 people in the room. The facilitator, Spryte, invited me to the stage, gave me a hug and handed me the microphone. I wasn't prepared for such a warm and loving welcome. I wasn't prepared for a standing ovation. I wasn't prepared for the following morning when all 120 participants arrived at the shelter to be of service.

What an amazing experience. The tasks they were assigned were varied. One third sorted clothing donations. Another group went out and cleaned up the environment around the shelter, and the third group served coffee and chatted with clients on our second floor day area. In the process of doing service, they taught me a valuable lesson.

As an organization, we hesitate to simply invite people in to chat with clients. The shelter is their home. Inviting strangers isn't fair. How will some of our clients respond? How will they behave? How will the visitors react?

Trust in the process. When individuals come with open hearts and minds, when they are there to share and learn, to make a difference, miracles happen. At one point, I stood at the front of the day area with a staff member as we talked about the event. "Wow," he said. "The energy in here is amazing. This is exciting."

I agreed. Move on to chat with a client. "Wow," he said. "This is fun. It's really exciting in here right now. We don't get this enough. It's cool."

When people connect with people through open spirits, miracles happen. Eyes open wide. Hearts break open and minds are freed of limiting beliefs.

There were so many exciting moments of wonder over the weekend it's hard to capsulize all of them in one blog!

Of note, the young man who took up a drawing pencil for the first time in 3 years, sold his drawing of the eagle and warrior. The smile on his face, the beam of pride, his sense of accomplishment. Wow!

Another artist was invited to attend the conference, to spend time with the group as they met and to finish a painting that was then auctioned off at the end of the conference yesterday. I was there yesterday and saw him. He was smiling, ear to ear, even with his wired shut jaw. He'd sold one painting and was working on a second for the auction.

There were tears, or as Brandon, one of the facilitators calls them, 'passion pearls', pouring out. There was laughter. There was joy.

Over the weekend, the group had sponsored an 'extreme makeover' of the lives of two refugee families. On Sunday, each family was brought in separately and presented with their gifts. Beds. Tables. Dressers. Clothes. Toys for the children. A stroller. A crib. Food. Gift certificates. Money.

Isn't it amazing what a group of committed and inspired people can do in 30 hours? Before arriving at the conference on Friday afternoon, none of the attendees knew about the makeover. By Sunday, they had accomplished miracles.

For me, a miracle happened in the form of an invitation to attend a workshop held by Janet Bray Atwood of The Passion Test. She and her partner have created the test and program to help individuals live their lives with passion and purpose. Her focus now is to work with homeless women and youth to help them find their way out of homelessness into lives of passion. "You are making a difference," she told me yesterday afternoon when she invited me to attend her next training workshop for facilitators of the test. "I want to give you some tools that will help you make an even bigger difference. This is my gift to you."

Dreams come true when we get out of the way. Dreams come true when we get clear of our thinking.

It was a weekend of miracles and laughter. Of watching lives open up to the beauty of giving to receive.

It wasn't Choices, but it sure felt like it!

The question is: Are you open to stepping into your day with passion and purpose? Are you limiting your movements with thoughts of what could go wrong? Or, are you stepping into the limitless possibilities of your day with an open heart and mind, consciously creating the life you've always dreamed of?

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