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 garden 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 taught ballet and yoga, and have worked in school districts, dance studios, and with sports groups. I have facilitated 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 and unites 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...

 

KINDNESS

 Anything can be done kindly. Sometimes it just takes a little longer. 

AWE

Defined as a "feeling of reverential respect mixed with wonder," it's how five-year-olds view the world. 

I have found it easier to reach this state when I remove my shoes.

HUMILITY

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, I try to forget everything I think I know about life and human beings.

And that's often when I discover the most fantastic, unexpected things. Which brings me back to awe...