CONNECT.CREATE.EXPLORE

Life practice and stuff.

8 lessons from my experience giving to the homeless. — August 25, 2017

8 lessons from my experience giving to the homeless.

After 13 years working and volunteering in community services it almost feels strange for me to say I’ve never had the experience of preparing lunch bags and handing them out to the homeless. I was scared at first, well mostly nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. We teamed up with our friends Kal who runs Compassion in Motion and Monique owner and CEO of 4 Accents clothing. Both women give back to the homeless on a monthly basis so they were experts in my eyes. They gave us advice to be aware that not everyone will be friendly or want what you’re offering but when you get to speak to some of the people and hear their stories you will forever be touched. They also sent some volunteers love notes and tips to help us understand the dynamic a little more as well.

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Two days before, Shawnna, my best friend and I shopped for what was needed we quickly realized just how good it felt to be in the position to give back. Fast forward to Sunday August 20th I felt tired as it was 9 am and I only slept for a few hours but deep inside the butterflies were finding its way back into my stomach while preparing lunch bags with fruits, snacks, juice, water and sandwiches. All these thoughts were building “How will this go?” “What if people are mean?” All these thoughts without any real logic behind it, but it felt sensible enough to get me to second guess a serious effort. Luckily, instead of being derailed the energy of the volunteers and the excitement to give back filled the room and the butterflies left.

Once we completed putting the bags together we drove downtown to Nathan Phillips Square, we met with Randell another volunteer who gave us a rundown of how to outreach and the route we’d take which was short from Nathan Phillips Square to Moss Park but at the same time long because we would meet so many inspiring people along the way. The first person I saw I asked Randell to approach because I wasn’t sure exactly what to do.

She said “Hello, how are you today?”

“I’m Randell whats’s your name?

“We’re handing out lunches, would you like one?”

And the conversation continued.

He was friendly and interested in talking to us. He said he’d be leaving on Wednesday to go to Vancouver, British Columbia and to St. Johns, Newfoundland for the next while because he felt sometimes you need to get out the city for a bit. We definitely could relate! He named about 30 states he had travelled to including visiting Key West but he also expressed his upset with the government for bringing in so many refugees and providing housing to them but not to the homeless. Although he was quite upset he stopped and said thank you for hearing me out and laughed.

“It’s nice what you’re doing I really appreciate it”. As he said that, Shawnna came over and asked what to do if someone wants to give money towards what we’re doing, and there was a lady who was offering $20.

Lesson 1: You don’t have to be on the frontlines to give back or create change, but compassion is an energy that attracts more compassion and people will feel that and want to be involved.

Lesson 2: You don’t need to believe everything, but you don’t have to communicate the energy of not believing. Let people tell their story because their truth doesn’t have to match yours.

Continuing our walk along Queen Street, we stopped at the intersection at Bay St. where I met Jeff.File_004

Jeff had a sign and no teeth, he had an amazing spot to ask for change and he had two notebooks with drawings. He appreciated the lunch bag and what we were doing as well. I asked what he was drawing and he showed us a few pictures explaining that they were skulls but not typical skulls, they were Alien skulls because he wanted to do something different. Randell asked if he ever sold it and he said one guy offered him $50 for it but he wasn’t finished so he said he couldn’t sell it to him, when I asked how come he said it wasn’t about the money it was about his integrity he wouldn’t feel right selling someone an unfinished picture especially because when you give someone your artwork it needs to be complete or they won’t get the entire piece. He also mentioned that he loved outer space, the stars, aliens and planets, he’s always loved that stuff. He said he’s so thankful to be able to draw, so thankful to be here living and able to see.

“I’m so thankful to have eyes to see the beauty of this world, you know we’re so lucky to have eyes.”

Jeff reminded us that we should be thankful to have every single thing we have. He said thank you for the conversation, most people don’t really talk to me but you guys are doing something great.

Lesson 3: Jeff is an Angel, and sometimes the most beautiful things come from seemingly hopeless places. I’m forever thankful to have met Jeff whether he remembers me or not.

Lesson 4: Conversation is an exchange of energy much less an exchange of words. Language should never enable us to limit the exchange of powerful energy as it does typically, feel the conversation and you will always receive a clear message.

Continuing along Queen Street, we stopped a few times to provide a water or a lunchbag, not everyone wanted to chat, we respected their wishes and moved along. When we arrived at Metropolitan Park there was a combination of patients from St. Micheal’s Hospital next door, the homeless and some people just grabbing a seat because it was a hot day. We walked up to a few people and stopped to say hello to Will and Tyrone aka Funky Tyrone (stage name). Will actually had an assortment of gifts for us to give Kal, because he wanted to show how much of an impact she had made on him. Tyrone was one of those cool cats, at least that’s the only way I could describe him so you get the picture he looked like a musician (which he was) and told us that he would be doing a show this Friday at Yonge and Eglinton. You could see they had a genuine friendship, Will shared that Tyrone taught him to play Chess and Tyrone chuckled that Will still can’t play but he was pretty bad before. They both had such a warm energy to them.

Will spoke about finding the church in front of us about 9 years ago when he was at his worst and it changed his life forever, he asked me if I believed in Jesus and I said, well I’m not sure but I believe he exists, and he said well I know everyone believes Jesus is so great but I believe Moses is really the one whose great because he had more powers. I said I understand what you mean by that I just believe we all can access the power of God within ourselves and that we can pull on different powers like superheroes, he said that’s right because we’re all energy and God is energy! See that’s why I like Batman, he was even stronger than superman. We continued to talk for at least 20 minutes before realizing the rest of the group left.

Lesson 5: The truth is quite simple, but our perspectives adjust it to become truer to ourselves and coupled with language we complicate it in a way where we find it difficult to understand and even harder to understand each other. Strip away the words and what you will always find is the word, the truth is that simple.

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Randell was caught up in a conversation with a man by the name of Olu (an older homeless man she met some years back) I joined her after saying goodbye to Will and Tyrone. We listened to Olu for another 10 minutes before we realized we were down to two lunch bags so we said goodbye with the intention to meet up with the rest of the group to get more. We continued walking only to stop a few steps later where we met Greg, who was grateful for an extra bag of chips, something in his eyes and his thanks let me know that he needed it more than I’ll ever know. We chatted with Bala, Tony and Jim, three guys having a nice and easy conversation about working for what you want.  They reminisced on different parts of their life and bickered the way a couple would, you could see that it didn’t matter where they were, they had each other’s’ back, that’s what you call community.

Lesson 6: In the eyes and the energy you can sense gratitude. Sometimes you never know what impact a person can make on you and what impact you can make on them.  

Lesson 7: True communities are formed through understanding of a common experience, we cannot fake community due to location only but we must share something in common or at least share understanding.

We met back up with the group and exchanged stories and experiences, everyone smiled, you could see their hearts were filled and so was mine. Each of us touched by the experience and forever changed. Thank you to Compassion in Motion and 4 Accents for the partnership, Thank you to ShawnnaMelonTV for coming up with Small Change Big impact and a huge thank you to Lobely, Diyanah, Alicia, Randell, Shawnna, Odain and Noah for working together to give back.20170820_143757

Lastly and lesson 8 of this experience is that I am super thankful for being able to give  and to have, Thank you God, my spirit squad  and the universe for making this possible and pairing me with the best people to share compassion.

 

Stay tuned because there will be another!

Recap: Sharing Circle — June 16, 2017

Recap: Sharing Circle

“Sharing circles are an essential part of the oral tradition of Aboriginal communities.
The Traditional Native Feather Wand or Talking Stick is used in these circles
when meetings take place and when decisions have to be made. We learn information
about our culture through our Elders, families, friends, and other community members
who share stories about what their lives were like, why we do things certain ways and to
seek the wisdom of their experiences.”

http://www.ravenspeaks.ca

With one Elder among us, sharing the importance of family as the tool that has helped her to connect and heal, Merlyn James, my mom, started off the circle on the best note. IMG-20170612-WA0012She was unsure what to expect when she made her way into the backyard, knowing only that her daughter was stepping into her purpose and that she needed to be there to support. Thank you mom for being who you are and reminding all the women in attendance that they are part of a family that began that day, also known as the sharing circle community.

 

Being a mom of three young children she was in need of adult time and felt it was time to get out more and make connections with great people. Lauren traveled from Etobicoke to get to the sharing circle with her youngest son. Ready to remind us of the ways Father Yah has transformed her life, her marriage and her family. She spoke about the word of Yah, the truth and shared the importance of his word and keeping his covenant. No judgement existed towards others and no judgement sent to her, as we often see when discussing different lifestyles, the sharing circle was a place to share equally in love and pull what was necessary to help us become our best.

20170611_183917.jpgMost of us came in unsure of what to expect we all just knew there would be good vibes and information that would move us. The Sun was hot that day but in the circle there was the most pleasant breeze, as though this event had been perfectly situated. We heard your message loud and clear Creator, the circle was perfect. With this being the first sharing circle I’ve ever done I realized there is some to improve but it was so perfect in the way it happened that I almost want to do it exactly the same. And while I will spend some more time to focus on the tradition as an opportunity to share the indigenous knowledge that powers it, I also hope it will be enabled to transform to suit the energy within.

If you didn’t make it to this circle don’t worry there will be more. Remember nothing is missed and everything is perfectly timed. The circle was complete on June 11th even as visitors came and went and it will continue to be an example of completeness personified. Thank you to the women that came out and those that hoped to, we are connected regardless of where we go and where we came from. I will tell you when the next one happens so just come, be open and hopefully you will bring a friend.

The paralyzing power of indecision — June 6, 2017

The paralyzing power of indecision

We find ourselves on the cusp of so many things that we know the answer to. We feel powerful knowing the answer but for some reason doubt creeps in and that challenges what we know to be true. Throughout my life I’ve been successful at many things so I truly can do whatever I  feel strongest about. However, most of the time I allow my thoughts to brew the doubts that have guided my worst decisions and I give them the chance to compete with the feelings that guided my best decisions.

It appears as though my entire body is in competition. My feelings are battling my thoughts, my heart battles my brain and so I can’t come to a single conclusion about the next step to take. Indecision is riddled with a lot more than what meets the eye, for inside we feel like it’s just me, when in actuality there’s an empowerment of this feeling socially.  Socially we have placed too much weight on every single decision we make, because we worry too much about whether we’re making the “right” decision when we need to make the decision that is truest to ourselves. Now the simplest things such as “do I want a sandwich or salad?” or “should I hang with friends or be by myself?”ss become paralyzing questions. Next society throws consequence into the mix, but only in black and white terms – you have to know all the answers OKAY! So now we are affixed with a single story of outcome when we know there is so much more possibilities I couldn’t know till a decision is made. Then socially everyone raises questions of doubt and worry instead of making statements of support or understanding and all of a sudden, we’ve literally stepped out of ourselves and into a space of uncertainty because we left our truth inside. Now I’m undecided. That’s just society but there is also a part of us individually that holds hands with indecision.

Inside we have the ego, but we also have of heart. We have our higher selves, we have our spirit, we have our chakras and everything bundled into this beautiful thing called our ‘self’. We are energetic beings so we are negative and positive (nothing can exist without the two) which means we can carry the most powerful feelings on opposite ends of the spectrum. We have this natural ability to enable one or the other to be more powerful but ultimately our goal is to find balance. Indecision is actually a lack of balance from within though it might appear as middle ground. The imbalance exists when we no longer feel in control or unsafe (fear shows its head again) then we stop feeling the answer and we start thinking about it. If anyone knows a thing about the mind they know it’s powerful enough to create chaos in simplicity, so that’s the last place you want your choices to travel to. To balance it out we can take back control, remember that we are always in safety and be okay with letting our feelings guide us.

Here is indecision presented visually, picture it as you go along. We feel cornered by our options, they keep getting closer and closer, it even grows fangs and becomes scarier than it started, we absolutely have to make a choice so we say, “I choose indecision”  andinde

we go into the fetal position (the safest position a human can take with least exposure, I’ll expand on this another day). When we look up, we still see the choices and we get even more scared and tighten our fetal position forgetting that babies spread out eventually.

The internal imbalance coupled with the weight society puts on making decisions continues to disrupt our ability to come out of the fetal position and make decisions that work best for us. Again I’m saying to you to take back control, remember you’re safe always and be okay with showing YOUR truth which we find in our feelings. Consequence is not black and white and there are endless possibilities you may not have a clue about – don’t waste time going there. As long as you make your decision out of love, truth  and that genuine feeling of knowing that the universe has your back, God has your back, the spirit squad and your higher self has your back the best outcome is sure to manifest. The choice is always yours (unless divine intervention is necessary) let no one, not even your ego self, question that. Indecision is a decision so check in with yourself:  Are you in the fetal position or are you making a choice?

 

Lack: where am I creating from? — May 31, 2017

Lack: where am I creating from?

The four letter word, similarly to love, impacts us multi-dimensionally. As I say the word lack, I get a heavy hit to my chest. I don’t know whether it’s this physical space being impacted or my spirit I just know it’s a powerful force. We trust that nothing can be full so we create from this

space of lack. I feel it, I embody it, and I experience nothing short of it in today’s world where lack is the only thing that we enable to exist. Even more powerful is the surrounding belief that we could not possibly have all without someone else losing. Where did this belief come from and why does it continue to prevail. Why did we say okay to feeling less than complete when our soul was always whole.

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I’m not going to battle with lack for to battle is to become, and lack is where I already exist, it’s where I’ve been drawn into combat for a long time. So now I’m going to rise above lack because then I can look back to see what this thing really is and maybe I might be able to help clear it for others. When we create from a space of lack something will always be missing in the same way that when you create from a place of love, love will always be present. We can entangle and enamor a project in lack or love in the same way we can make something that grows in positivity or grow in negativity; we can disable ourselves with one and enable ourselves with the other. We can choose how things grow simply by thinking about where we allow the creation to start. Not how or where it starts but where we start. This is a very different than what they would have us believe.

Example: The picture is drawn in a studio: that is where. The picture starts with a touch of paint hitting the canvas: that’s how. But where we begin could either be with the feeling of hopefulness or hopelessness. Finally, what is created in the end will be a reflection of where we began until we decide to make a change in ourselves.

Let me give you a look into my life, I would really like a family, in fact I look at everyone around me wanting this so much, but I also recognize they look at me wanting what I have so much. Often the troubles we find ourselves in later, come to life only because we decided to create the future based on the lack that existed in the past. I recognize how much I want a relationship but I have to ask: what do I really want? And is this coming from a place of lack or love.

Situations can find love in them. They can start with love and eventually become a place where lack dominates. I’ve been in relationships where there was love everywhere, but then once I realized I was no longer the main actor or I realized I wanted more than what existed, love was a theory and lack was the “reality”, something was always missing for some reason. The lesson I learned at the time however, was that I should choose a better suitor…  haha! When in truth, I should have learned more about where I was creating from.

The bottom line is this, lack creates more lack and love creates more love, very basic. But rather than question what is lacking in effort to seek out an answer, we can just begin to create from love and recognize completeness from its root. If you find that this piece is missing something, take a guess where I wrote it from or maybe take a guess where you understand it from.

How I choose to expose my Self. — April 15, 2017

How I choose to expose my Self.

If your imagination stretches further than what’s covered in the media, where do you put the ideas that are generated? A blog of course. From a young age I had big issues with writing, most words didn’t connect the feelings I felt or the thoughts I’d think. Eventually after much rejection in the writing world aka school, I figured I should just write for myself and so I did. Hello Microsoft Word and eventually Evernote, this amazing cloud app on my Ipad (the very first one Apple came out with – I still have it) I wrote my finest pieces with at least one thousand spelling errors and the worst use of grammar.

Even though I’d be considered basic by any academic and journalistic standards, to me the message was clear and powerful, I can’t spell for shit but I certainly have a message to share with the people feeling alienated by the mainstream. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment the first time I wrote, I thought I uncovered new history, but really I just solidified my knowing before I knew what it meant to truly “know”. I sent my thoughts (that definitely wasn’t “writing”) to my friends Lauren and Shamari, then sent it out to my dad. My dad was impressed, Lauren felt it was very “true”  and Shamari said I should expand. With the feedback I did nothing but continue to write LOL.

Fast forward to 2017 the year of one, where I decide not to be scared anymore and to step into myself, being uncomfortable with exposure, but feeling powerful in my nudity. I will write  about the universe, the social ills and wills, the greatness of God, the power of knowing, and the ability of humans to be more than the limits of our language, I just hope you won’t be afraid to venture into these topics as well in the comment section 🙂 The time to share is now; how dangerous of me, but also how lucrative.  Within the create.blog side of this website you’ll see full exposure of my thoughts and my heart in other words one third of what makes up my life’s bottom line.

I promise I’ll try to keep it short or at least sweet.