Tears dripping again – yes, today is one of “THOSE” days!
When my heart has been stretched so wide, and I am so in awe that I just have no other sane response other than to feel this upwelling of gratitude, awe, joy and simply just that heart energy welling through me…
A couple of days ago my friend Vicki J. O’Grady-Longo wrote on LinkedIn about Scars –
“Some of my scars stem from wounds deep in my spirit that reach into the depths of my soul
Shadows from my past experiences,
etched by heartache, grief, doubt, regrets and remorse…”Vicki J. O’Grady-Longo
She went on and wrote about how her scars remind her that she stayed in the game, and endured the struggles. She persisted. She survived. And how, that misery she experienced now gets to be her ministry…”
Simply a powerful piece of writing that spoke to my heart, and it reminded me… Got me thinking…. About how our deepest vulnerabilities – those wounds that hurt so deep, that can come from a place of hurt, can also become such a strength and place of inspiration to draw upon. That in facing them, we begin to move beyond the limitations put upon us. Perhaps by circumstances, perhaps by work ethics that don’t support or are in conflict to personality. That in the workplace prior to Covid perhaps it “wasn’t done” to talk about deep emotions, wounding, heartache, empathy, gratitude, seeking joy….
And now, I see and encounter more and more people who’s calling is to create a culture of Kindness at work. To act as a “Joy Office” – my friend Vicki is a shining example of a joy officer. To offer experiences of how gratitude can transform the working environment.
I came away from Vicki’s piece of writing smiling, with my heart stretched – thinking of all the sacred wounds I carry that act as a catalyst for me to do more, be more present, offer more into the world…. That seeking to fulfill a role which doesn’t make sense – and yet speaks to my heart.
I jumped on the 7 Day Exploration of Gratitude with Kevin Monroe and realised I had time to join the 60min Gratitude Encounter yesterday – and in so many ways it’s like coming home. Vicki was in the 7 days, I invited some friends to the Encounter – and met people there I hadn’t known before who I just recognise as part of my tribe y’know? And, even more delicious – friends I hadn’t seen for a while were there too! I came away from the hour filled up. I woke up this morning curious to see what others had posted in the 7 Days – and feeling such a sense of celebration at other’s sharing of their wins.
Simple things. Time spent with children. Saying No to say Yes. Taking a pause to reflect on gratitude – to look for the opportunity to feel grateful….
Driving in to work (I have a new part-time, flexible hours job in a co-ordinator role on reducing waste!!), I was aware of how full I felt. Peaceful, nourished, joyful. Nettles for breakfast delicousness on top of the happiness emotions… The worry is still there about bills and practicalities – but I was aware it wasn’t as overwhelming. That there is a sense of facing my own old scars and moving beyond them – and a sense of joy within that. It’s a conscious choice I’ve felt pulling at me the last days or so. To face some old wounds and to go deeper, to go beyond into greater joy & healing….
Sitting in the community hub at Number One, having a chat with Jean about the work to be done – she’s this focal point with a vision, and listening and watching her as she engaged with people, it just struck me. That heart stretching…
She “just” sat there and listened. And people came in and shared. Ideas, worries, concerns, concepts, dreams, visions… Every so often she bounced up and popped a potatoe in someone’s bag or pointed out the tucked away meal kept for so and so. Or the extra jars she’d been putting aside because so and so would be making chutney soon…. (Number One is a “community hub” for want of a better way to describe it. Pop up green grocer, venue to share Supermarket Surplus from, site for a recovery group, and an artists group, kitchen for home cooked meals to be shared from… Its a place of sharing, and community. A place of resilience and hope building, practical action, rhubarb and garden surplus sharing…. And more!)
Jean radiates empathy, and a “can do” perspective.
And, like all of us she has her story, her background. I was in to talk about the new role, ask after logistics and bits and pieces and I found myself wishing I could bottle her up. This amazing fount of energy, empathy, ideas, creativity, experience, wisdom, training and vision…. All the diverse stories that have led her to what she is doing now, and what she is offering into the world – that legacy of who she is and how she chooses to engage with the world. Especially when it tries to say “NO” to her, or limit what she is able to do in terms of community…
Nothing is ever wasted. There is no experience any one of us has that does not have value somehow, somewhere. And we can take those scars of those sacred woundings and turn them to such potential…. Such Joy. And such Hope.
I know I walk around with one foot resting on the question of “What work is happening now to shape the 7 generations?” – with the expectation that we are able to create a positive one for them. I know I am predisposed to see the positive, the hopeful & the inspiration in the work and people I see now. Those seeds of work you and I are doing which creates that future for the 7 generations. I know not everyone has the same experiences or sees the positivity of these seeds in the work we are all doing… I’ve been called a fluffy hippy so many times that sometimes I purposely flaunt that label, and the hat which goes with it…
But I am just so grateful to be surrounded by so many who take the scars of the past, and turn them into this amazing legacy of what they are creating… All those things and doings that they were told 10 years ago, or 14 years ago, or 40 years ago – “That doesn’t make sense. It won’t work. That’s weird. No one will approve.” Just these courageous souls who are taking their scars and their passion and their utmost heart wrenching pull to create something different. Something more…
These people are an amazing, inspiring legacy of turning scars into such beauty…. and I am grateful to each one of them – and many more I’ve not listed here!
And please, please, if you are someone with a sacred wound – that wound that cuts so deep in the face of what’s in your heart, in the face of what speaks to your joy and to your heart – PLEASE keep going. Your scars are beautiful and the stories they tell of what you have survived are so powerful… You are already creating a legacy, planting seeds for a great change and a future which sustains those 7 generations and beyond… Please keep going.
OUR scars are the stories we will tell the grandchildren sometime of how we survived, how we created change and positivity, how we kept hope and dreamed big dreams and chased visions which we then made real in the world around.
I plan to make it beautiful, soft, courageous, welcoming, and full of empathy, compassion, joy….