The difference begins with me

I heard an amazing woman speak last night. She was exciting. Inspiring. Uplifting. She was herself.

I’ve known Michelle Cameron Coulter for several years through my work with the United Way. I’ve known of her brilliance but never heard her speak. Last night I was blessed to chat with her and listen to her share her story.

Michelle is an Olympic Gold Medalist and six time world Champion in synchronized swimming. Excessively fearful of water, she didn’t start synchronized swimming until she was 13 years old.

It didn’t matter. Age had nothing to do with it. Her fear of water was simply a roadblock to be moved.  Spirit. Commitment. Drive. Determination. And a, ‘can do’ attitude are what counted in her journey to gold.

I went to Women Embracing Brilliance, an event/organization created by the amazing Karen Klassen, out of curiosity and the fact a friend emailed me to ask if I was going. It was kind of a comedy of errors. My friend thought I was going because I was part of the group and had attended before. I thought she was going because she had gone before.

I like mistakes because they’re never really mistakes. We met at the event and spent a good part of the evening chatting and sharing and connecting. And that was the best part — spending time with a brilliant woman I really enjoy and admire.

Karen, the event organizer, is a woman of great heart and enthusiasm. She is committed to celebrating women, to making a difference by encouraging other women to join her in her quest to touch the lives of a million women in the world and open their eyes to see their brilliance. Like Michelle, Karen is committed to reach her goal.

And roadblocks in the way, just don’t matter. They’re meant to be navigated, surmounted, moved and set aside. Roadblocks test us. They must not stop us.

That was the message I got last night. That no matter what appears in your path, look for the way, around it, over it, through it. Do not let it stop you from achieving your goals. Do not lose sight of your dreams.

It was an important message for me to hear.

I have a book I started at the beginning of the year when I finished working at the shelter, “Lessons in Love: Everything I know about being human I learned at a homeless shelter, and I have been stalled.

No time. Too busy. Other ideas to explore. Lots of client work to complete. A life to live. yada yada yada.

You know the drill. Life is happening and I keep letting it get in the way of working on this book.

Roadblocks don’t matter.

I believe in this book.

I believe in the importance of why I’m writing it and the impact it can have.

The book contains 8 very important life lessons — 1. We are all connected. 2. There is no us and them. 3. Forgive and set yourself free. 4. Learn from the broken places. 5. Always begin again. 6.  Giving is receiving. 7. We are all magnificent. 8. Love is the answer.

To highlight each lesson I share stories of my experiences working at the shelter. Human stories. Real stories of lives on the other side of the street that speak to our shared humanity, our common human condition, our forgotten beauty and magnificence.

And I have stalled.

I have let what’s happening all around me pull me from my goal.

Time to get real.

Time to let go of my excuses and step into my power to create that which I want more of in my life — a world of beauty, truth, peace, harmony and joy, within and all around me.

It’s important, for me, that I complete this book. It’s important not just because of the power of these stories to touch hearts and open minds. It’s important because I feel accomplished, happy, fulfilled, satisfied, I feel like a winner when I reach my goals, complete tasks I’ve set out for myself.  I know the impact ‘completion’ has upon my spirit and I am responsible for creating what I want in my world, within and all around me.

Not finishing is a self-defeating game.  Not finishing, or working on it, keeps me in that place where the ‘critter’ gets to whisper in my ear those stories I tell myself when I’m not feeling like I’m living my best — you know, stories like…. loser. You can’t finish anything. You’re a starter, never a finisher…  Stories that would have me live down to my lesser good, forgetting my capacity to live up to my higher greatness.

Enough.  To make a difference in the world I must begin with me.

Time to Breathe and begin again. Always begin again — with a grateful and loving heart.

Thank you Michelle Cameron Coulter and Karen Klassen.  You touched my heart, inspired my imagination and ignited my brilliance.

In sharing your brilliance I am reminded to shine and share mine.

12 thoughts on “The difference begins with me”

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