Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Song of Joy

Last Thursday night, we had graduation at the Dale Carnegie course here at the Drop-In. In a gesture of generosity and kindness, John and Faye Fisher, who own the franchise, provided the course as their charitable contribution. They wanted to do something to make a difference and improve the lives of those who give so much every day at the Drop-In.

It was a beautiful event, filled with heart-filled stories of people's lives becoming more than ever 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 for two minutes 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 asked what was my vision for my life? The first lesson in the Dale Carnegie course focuses on building a foundation for success -- thus, it's important to write down dreams and goals and to identify at least one thing I can do differently to be successful -- and then make a plan to do it.

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 thus, told myself I couldn't 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 Thursday night, I was privileged to share in my classmates and co-workers 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 Drop-In, many of us never knew how beautiful our voices were and are. 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 and powerful 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 Thursday night. These are my co-workers. My friends. These are people I admire. I care for. People who inspire me. Who challenge me. They show me how to see and hear the humanity in the people we serve and who, through their example, teach me the meaning of being a magnificent human being filled with gratitude, humility and love.

Thank you to John and Faye, and to the amazing people who assisted in the course -- Matthew, Aaron, Evan, Michael and Patty. Your commitment, dedication and generosity of spirit have created a new world of opportunity for all of us who were privledged to be guided by you through the course of the 12 week program. The difference you have made is seen in the enthusiam and passion we bring to the job every day -- and the fact we can 'take them there' without hesitation! Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great words Louise.