I was one of about 100 volunteers giving their time at Choices this weekend — Choices is a personal development program that is founded on the belief it is possible to “assist people in living their lives with clarity and passion,” by providing them with simple tools to help each participant live their dreams with joy, passion, peace and abundance.
Choices is held in Calgary, Vancouver and Dallas, Texas, nine times a year. And every time it’s offered, volunteers come out to give back.
That’s a powerful testament to what Choices offers. It’s also powerful statement of the effectiveness of the processes, the tools, and the community of people who connect through their shared experience and want to keep coming back to give and receive value.
I went through Choices six years ago. Both my daughters went through that same year and they too, as often as possible, come back to assist whenever they can.
Recently, my eldest daughter said, “The tools work, as long as I work the tools.”
She’s wise my daughter. So often, we ‘know’ what we need to do, but…. habit, fear, confusion, all the things we do that get in the way of living rich and fulfilling lives, impede our progress because we forget to use the tools we have to create more of what we want in our life.
The Choices tools are nothing earth-shattering. They’re simple and effective. “If I do what I’ve always done, I’ll get what I’ve always got,” reminds us to ‘change our glasses’ and step outside our comfort zone. “I Hear. Think. Feel” is another tool trainees learn to use to clean up communication and deepen intimacy in relationships.
Coming back to volunteer keeps the tools alive in my life. And, coming back connects me to people eager to live on purpose, excited about being their best, and committed to living with heart.
When I’m in the Choices room I know I am loved, exactly the way I am. I know I add value, have value, and can find value in everything going on around me. In the Choices room, I get ‘real’ without fearing I’m not good enough or I don’t do enough. I know, 100%, I am enough, just the way I am.
And that’s why I volunteer. Yes, it makes a difference in my life to give back, to be part of Choices founder, Thelma Box’s dream of ‘Changing the world one heart at a time”. Yes, it is wonderful to see hearts break open in love, to witness dreams take flight and spirits soar free. And, yes, I love connecting with each person I meet and following the three rules every coach is given at the beginning of each training session, “Love the people when they walk in the room. Love the people when they walk in the room. Love the people when they walk in the room.” And in that loving, in helping hearts break open, in watching dreams take flight and miracles unfold, there is a very selfish reason for volunteering. It makes a difference in my life. It helps me continue to grow and expand and fall deeper in love with me.
I got to make a difference coaching at Choices this weekend. And in the process, I was made different — not in big, sweeping ways — but rather, in those small, incremental happenings where each moment I become richer because of the people I meet, the experiences we share and the love that grows for and with all humanity. In volunteering I deepen my understanding of who I am, how I am and where I am at in the world around me.
In volunteering, I become richer for the experience.