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!

We are Perfect. Here’s why. — July 20, 2017

We are Perfect. Here’s why.

There are three levels of thinking when it comes to the concept of perfection. But before that I need to get through the fact that society has a very different understanding of what it means than the spirit does. The move towards perfection is not stating we are an ideal or the “standard” of what society tells us we are to be. Instead it’s about knowing oneself and being the love that you are. At this stage we recognize there are no flaws and we have always been perfect but never saw that we were created as perfect by the hands of the creator.

For most of us life began at the perfect stage until guilt, shame, fear, misdirected anger and some other things became tools to determine who is worth more or less than others. We eventually internalized this and started believing that we really were imperfect from the beginning until the very end. There are three areas society has moved through when thinking about perfection: Perfect, Being imperfect is perfect, and no one is perfect, each coming from a good place but ultimately perfection is what we should internalize.

Society told us the story of what constitutes to normal, the story of standards and right fit. No one is perfect came from a place where we understood that most of us could not conform or meet the high standards of society and therefore there is no such thing as perfect. While this statement was meant to empower us to not hold others to impossible standards 20170415_162709and to accept them as they are, in many ways we blanketed the reality that we are in fact perfect. We covered up much of the behaviours and habits that were no longer serving us because we believed that perfect was impossible, soon becoming more of an excuse.

Eventually we began to see how the “no one is perfect” mentality stopped serving our highest good and we moved forward to where I think most of us stand today: being imperfect is perfect. No one is perfect doesn’t quite fit anymore because why can’t we be perfect as we are? Our differences in behaviours are not flaws, rather our perfections. Screw the standard, I am the standard!  We’re mostly here now because we’ve learned that perfect is achievable and that our “flaws” and differences in behaviour are part of the “imperfect package”. Although this mentality welcomes and accepts differences, it becomes a sort of blanket statement for seeing yourself as perfect without understanding the depth of it which ultimately minimizes our ability to integrate our higher selves into ourselves. The key here is remembering that your thoughts become you.

Perfect as a mindset and in embodiment is where we are moving to, despite the scariness and impossibility we’ve ascribed to it. The soul is perfect, our higher selves are perfect so once we decide to integrate our higher self with our ‘selves’ then we become perfect. Even with the difficulties along our journey and the behaviours that fall out of line with our higher selves these things exist as teachers and guidance for us to learn from. As aspects of the creator and as beings of love and light, we are the manifestation of perfection and to suggest that there is an imperfect component suggests that the creator is also imperfect. We cannot achieve perfection without knowing that we are.

The thinking that ‘no one is perfect’ started in the right place but to maintain it as a mentality will forever reduce our ability to be who we truly are and to embody the perfection that exist in us as soulful beings.

Why you don’t look for anything in the dark — July 12, 2017

Why you don’t look for anything in the dark

There’s nothing as profound as the moment you do something tedious or utterly stupid only to discover one key message of the universe. Yesterday I was leaving my house and as usual I picked up my key, walked through the pitch black garage in order to leave through the side door. I’ve done this numerous times without thinking, knowing every step and turn to take, but this time I dropped my key.  Garage’s have all sorts of critters so understand I was very hesitant to rest my hand flat on the floor to feel for the keys, so I lifted my hand slightly above the floor to air-feel for them. After about 12 seconds, I thought to myself, why don’t I just turn on the lights? But I didn’t I just continued air-feeling for the keys. Another 14 seconds passed and I was now feeling that if I stretch my hands further I would surely touch something I don’t want to feel.  Another 10 seconds in what felt like a never-ending search for my keys and as I said “I’m just going to turn on the light”, I felt it. As I stood up and opened the side door, a burst of sunlight entered the garage and I thought to myself. This is why you don’t look for anything in the dark!

As I said that I smiled heavily, feeling the pulse of the greatest revelation going through my body and understanding the simplest power we have access to: light. We have so much of it, endlessly beaming into our lives that we almost forget it’s there and that it is infinite. There’s nothing to lose when you  choose to access the unlimited light of the creator of the universe, yet I seemed to have believed the opposite when searching for my keys. Very simply, we must turn on the light to see what may be inside even if it means taking an extra step to find the light switch

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What if you can’t see the light or the switch?

Before seeing, we know. Have faith in yourself  the way you would have faith in navigating your bedroom to find the light switch or to know the light is there,  and you will be able to turn it on. Souls operate from knowing first and perception second, so go into your knowing, see the light inside of you and you will see your way out of the dark space you sometimes find yourself in. Without light there can only be darkness and it extends as long as you’re willing to keep it that way. Similarly it will be impossible to find yourself as long as you choose to remain in the dark. In such case you must ask the universe to ignite the flame if you feel it has somehow gone away and from there, use your heart and your God given power to fan the flame. Let it take over you and eventually you will see exactly what you are and who you were meant to be.

And that’s why we don’t look for anything in the dark including ourselves.