Talk about a shift in my perspective! I have been in a tight spot financially. My husband and I decided to sell our home to pay off our debts and school loans. So we moved into a rental (wow moving is crazy!!). 5 months later after making 2 house payments and now being in an even worse spot financially - our home had not sold so we decided to move back in. Working through my own roller coaster of emotions and triggers that have come up in regards to money and my relationship with money caused my vision to get cloudy.
One day I over heard my son and his friend talking. One boy said “are you guys rich?” “No,” my son responded, “we are poor because we didn’t sell our house.” Oh my heart. That is not what a mother wants to hear from her child. To me, there is such a difference between poor and broke. One is a mindset, the other is a financial situation. I had a teaching moment with my son that night to explain the difference.
I had an L-evate retreat scheduled and struggled with the shame of feeling like I couldn’t lead these beautiful people. It is a 3 day event that would change their views on themselves and therefore their lives. I was wondering what I could possibly give them from this place I felt stuck in. The opposition that was setting in and trying to stop me in my tracks I recognized right away. I had to pull on the tools and understandings that I was about to teach the others. What a true test. Isn’t that like life? Testing me to see if I really meant what I was teaching- or if it was just for the others.
I had to face me and myself in the mirror. I had to dig deep. I had to make a decision to either move forward in my mess or lay down in it. I looked into my own eyes (which is what I have my menses and youth do) and sent love, value and trust. I had to choose to believe “I am worth it” even when my bank account is low. To believe what I teach about how my “performance” does not effect my worth. Everything I am encouraging my students to do- it was once again my turn to go first.
I chose to show up. I chose to be vulnerable. I chose to move forward with what felt like such a weight on my shoulders. I chose to believe in myself. I chose to teach, mentor, play, laugh, dance, and cry with these powerful leaders whom were attracted into the L-evate experience. I did my best and accepted all of me. It is exactly the message Shelby Smith and I share with our audience as we Love, Laugh, Live and Learn.
A mentor of ours had suggested this amazing activity to make peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches for the homeless with a group called soul food. Shelby and I arrived as volunteers after our retreat to show our gratitude for all the miracles that had just taken place over the course of our retreat. Little did I know that another miracle was about to happen.
Over 100 volunteers showed up to help make sandwiches, and we all went out to deliver food that had a sticker on it saying “you matter!” As I handed out food and water, taking the hands of the homeless person and looking into their eyes I would remind them that “you matter!” I saw their humbling circumstances and sent them love and light. They were so grateful and so gracious and patient.
Only one man had a different attitude. His ability to receive was not like the others. He yelled and cussed at me for thinking I was better than him and refused my offerings. This is another huge focus of our L-evate retreats is to learn to receive all the goodness that is offered. So many of us are great at giving but have a hard time with the receiving end. So we have activities that help us to be equal in giving and receiving. It is amazing to see the changes in our lives as we learn to receive. This man could have had a meal and yet refused it. I sent him blessings and kept on my journey.
I saw the moms with babes on their hips. I saw the teens without shoes in the street. I saw the pregnant ladies. I saw the grandpas. I immediately understood how incredibly blessed I am. “I have a home!” I thought!! (“In fact I had 2 homes for 5 months” I thought… and I used to see that as a burden- wow.. just wow!!!) I have food. I have family. I have so so very much. These homeless brothers and sisters of mine were in a rough season of their lives and I thanked them for teaching me.
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