VISION & VALUES
"Where there is perfection there is no story to tell." ~ Ben Okri, poet and novelist
My vision is simple: to live in a world where all people are able to share their story. And to be heard.
I have had many different 'jobs' in my life. In South Africa, I taught undergrad English Literature and aerobics. It was the eighties - what can I say? I have been an astrology researcher, tarot reader and reiki practitioner. In the olden days, before computers and spell check, I worked at a publishing house, proofreading and editing. As a journalist, I wrote for a home and gardening magazine. And if you have seen my garden (and my decorating), it will make you wonder what on earth I wrote. In Texas, as a hospice worker, I sat with people as they died. It remains the single sacred experience I have not yet written about. I have worked in school districts and dance studios and with high performance sports groups. I have participated in restorative justice processes with individuals who have harmed and been harmed. I have been a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend and a sister. And in every instance, it is the same - voicing our stories liberates us. Our shared experiences of happiness, grief and imperfection unite us.
The spirit of ubuntu is etched in my bones. Loosely translated, ubuntu means "I am because you are." The way I feel, act, think, react, is so intricately entwined with your thoughts, actions, beliefs and reactions to me, that finding where you start and I end is near impossible. This is the power of community and the need to belong.
During a board strategic planning session a few years ago, I decided it was time to do a little personal strat planning. How do I want to live the rest of my life? What are my values?
It was a messy process. Lots of dancing in circles. But when I looked closely at what truly gives my days meaning, there were three that popped out, like neon fairy lights in a forest at midnight. They don't make a fancy acronym but that's OK.
And so, when I decide what work to do, whether to chat with a stranger, travel during a pandemic, or even whether to get on the back of a motorcycle, these are what guide me...
Anything can be done kindly. Sometimes it just takes a little longer.
Defined as a "feeling of reverential respect mixed with wonder," it's how five-year-olds view the world.
It's easier to reach this state when you remove your shoes.
This is my reminder of how very little I know about others' lives. Of what it is to be someone else.
When I cross paths with someone, it helps me to forget everything I think I know about life and human beings.
And that's when I often discover the most fantastic, unexpected things. Which brings me back to awe...