This Experience Changed My World


We Are The World

Forty-seven stranger’s faces stared back at me, not hostile but not accepting either. Their skin ranged from the darkest black to various shades of brown, then white, like me. Their eyes held stories from the past and thoughts that shaded their perception of the present. About 1/3 of the men and women staring at me spoke a different language, and would have to wait on the translation to understand me.

The microphone felt like a lead weight in my hand. I took a deep breath and spoke several words that were too quiet. My Trainer mimicked holding the microphone closer to my mouth, and I found my voice.

“I am here to become myself,” I began, my voice stronger but still trembling. “I am here to release my past and step into my power.” I paused as a single tear welled up and fell slowly down my cheek. A deep breath in steadied me enough to add, “Thank you for seeing me through.”

I handed the microphone to the next person in line, and walked back to my chair, glancing at several people along the way. I expected to see blank stares, but what I actually saw in their eyes was startling.

Understanding. Compassion. Acceptance.

The next two days were physically stamina-draining and emotionally devastating. I faced my old, limiting stories and realized how small I was living. The “me” I had created, based on false beliefs and negative interpretations of the past, was no longer acceptable.

But if I could no longer live as that limited “me,” then who was I?

Fear raised its ugly head as it hit me. I was stepping off the cliff of the known, into the vast, open space of the unknown. Who would I discover at the end of this process? That question was always in the back of my mind as forty-six other humans moved through the same process of evaluating, releasing the old to make space for the new.

My world view shifted permanently on Day 4. We had learned to center ourselves and source our experience, connecting in ways that were unimaginable at the beginning of this journey. We had become known to each other, regardless of background, race, language or culture. The fact that every word was translated from English to Spanish, or Spanish to English, no longer mattered. We breathed, thought and acted as a team, each member valued and respected.

A question came from Alberto (not his real name) after we had just finished creating our Team Vision Statement. He felt that his suggestion to use the word “Liberation” was not heard. He also felt that the Spanish speakers in the group were slighted and disregarded.

We were gathered in a circle around Alberto and our Trainer, Francine. She took a moment to get centered. Each person held their breath, because we knew that this was a pivotal moment for our team. Could we stay unified in the face of Alberto’s comments, which happened to be true?

Francine spoke softly and touched our hearts. She showed us how our belief that we are separate from each other is the cause of so much pain, anger and hurt. She reminded us that we are the source of our experience, and it is up to each one of us to drop our beliefs of separation and reach out to others from a place of common needs.

As Francine shared her vision of the world, my own shifted and morphed into a knowing that I was part of Team Earth. I am so much more than an American, middle-aged white woman. I am a spiritual being living a human experience, just as everyone else on the planet. I had been holding tight to my gifts and now was the time to step up and give.

That moment of crystallized clarity is now my definition of my life.

Every person in that room felt something similar. Every heart opened to the possibility of change in the world, because we had changed.

These experiences occurred in the container called Gratitude Training. Our team is now moving into Part 3, called Masterful Living. The goal is to have 100% move on to Masterful Living, but several members need help financially.

The owners of Gratitude Training, LLC have generously offered a Black Friday Sale. From now through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 26, 2018, the tuition for Masterful Living is 50% off. The urgency to help our team members is hyper-increased!

That is where you come in. A Go Fund Me campaign has been created to help our team join Masterful Living. The visionary and impactful training received in Masterful Living transforms the participants to become the source of a new world.

We are ML36/Tres. We have declared ourselves to be the team that is loving, powerful, visionary and impactful group of leaders. We are dedicated to creating a lasting impact on ourselves and the world.

Won’t you join us?

 

 

What Can a Grasshopper Teach You About Life?


Moving through a milestone birthday sparks introspection, analysis and hopefully, forgiveness of yourself and others. The stories you created about past events and the people involved shaped your idea of self. These are the stories through which you filter reality.

When you step back and look at these shaping stories from a different perspective, you suddenly realize that they are no longer true. You have grown past the limiting stories from your childhood or young adulthood, and you didn’t even realize it!

That is the wonder of a milestone birthday. You assess the past to curate the present to create a different future.

What About the Grasshopper?

tobias-knauer-739430-unsplashYou may be wondering when I am going to explain the title of this article. Stay with me and it will become crystal clear.

One way I continue to experience the growth of my self is to read inspirational stories, books or poems in the morning. A poem by Mary Oliver that landed in my inbox this morning is what prompted me to write this post:Grasshopper

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

What a great question to ask at any age, but especially when moving through a milestone birthday!  My answer: to stay awake and aware of the wonder and majesty of everything around me, to allow God’s love to flow through me into the world, and to grab hold of inspired action and see where it takes me.

What’s your answer to that question??? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance.

Kindness Is the Key


We recently spent a lovely week enjoying Paris, France. We only speak a smattering of French, but saying “Bonjour, monsieur” as soon as you walk into a shop or sit at a sidewalk cafe paved the way.

We were treated courteously, politely and distantly. The service was provided with a smile, but with very little personal connection. The language barrier created a ravine that was difficult to cross.

Enter kindness. Kindness showed up in small ways and rather impactful ways. Kindness bridged the ravine and connected us as humans, even though we did not speak the same language.  Allow me to share two examples.

Adventures in Traveling – By the Metro, Trains & a Car

We decided to take a day trip out of Paris to the medieval town of Chartres, home of the famous Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartres. It should have taken an hour by train, but an electrical fire the day before prevented that train from running.

We were sent to a different Metro station, to catch the train to Versailles. Once in Versailles, we were told to take “Bus 409” to La Verriere, and then take the train to Chartres.

It all sounded so simple when we stepped off the train at Versailles. What we failed to consider was that we were not the only people inconvenienced by the cancelled train.

We stood waiting for the bus, until we realized that we needed to buy a ticket. Waiting again with more people than could ever fit on the next bus, it was an hour before we hit upon a solution.

Hire an Uber driver!

We mentioned this idea to a man and woman who were also frustrated with the wait. The man (Peter) was in his early thirties and spoke excellent English. The woman (Margaret) was older and didn’t speak a word. They managed to send for an Uber, but the car never showed up. That request was cancelled and a new driver appeared after another 45 minutes.

Of course, just as the Uber driver appeared, so did Bus 409! People jammed onto the bus, cramming into every conceivable space.

We all fit into the compact car, grateful for the air conditioning. We shared information about ourselves, our lives and our trip to Chartres. By the time we arrived in La Verriere, we were no longer strangers.

Once on the train, Margaret kept trying to tell me something. I finally understood that she was offering her iPhone charger to me, so I could charge my phone. Her thoughtfulness and sincerity were quite touching.

When we finally arrived at Chartres (after 5 hours!), we waived goodbye to our travel companions. Their kindness was the bridge to a wonderful travel adventure!

Waiting at the Airport

Another example of kindness being the universal language occurred at the Charles de eu-france-paris-charles-de-gaulle-international-airport-arrival-hall-FX8MA7Gaulle Airport, as we were waiting to check our luggage.

It was very chaotic going through the steps to check our bags. While we were standing in line, I noticed that we happened to be in the middle of a large family. The older man and woman in front of us were talking with their grandchildren behind us. It was all in French and we couldn’t understand a word.

The line did not move forward quickly and the children were beginning to get restless. Since we had more than enough time to reach our gate, I offered for the people behind us to join their family.

Surprise then gratitude lit up their faces. It didn’t matter that we were from different countries; kindness was given and received.

About five minutes later, the grandmother came up to me and touched my arm to get my attention. When I turned to look at her, she gestured for us to move in front of their entire group! They moved to each side, creating an aisle.

I felt like royalty as we thanked them for their kindness. The only thing missing was the red carpet!

Walking past these people made me realize again that kindness is truly the universal language. It bridges differences in language, culture and religion. It reminds me of a saying that we could all remember:

Kindness is Free

Be kind. It’s your free gift to another soul who may need it.

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance!