In Walking with Justice, I share the story of how a cardiac virus wreaked havoc on my ability to function. I was confined to bed for weeks. At times, I lost my ability to walk and I couldn’t talk clearly. On a few terrifying mornings, I woke up in a cloud of gray, unable to see the world around me.
Slowly I began to build up the amount of time that I could get out of bed to be with my family or simply to take a shower. Yet I was weak and exhausted and nowhere near able to work or even drive a car.
One day, when my husband was off entertaining our kids, I slowly got out of bed to make a cup of tea. My laptop was sitting in the corner, long untouched. I was drawn to it. When I opened my email, an announcement of a business seminar by a consultant from Pennsylvania appeared at the top of my inbox.
It was as if the invitation had hands that reached out, grabbed my shirt, and pulled me right into the computer. I felt certain that something about the seminar was going to help me heal. With the cautious support of my husband and against medical advice, I decided to fly across the country to attend the seminar.
As told in the book, the seminar itself did not carry my answers, but the wisdom of a man I met in the hotel restaurant forever shifted my understanding and put me on a powerful path of healing.
Another part of the story goes like this…
On the flight home, my head pounding with the expansiveness of new understandings, I pulled out my journal. I wrote and wrote, penning my experiences across the pages. From a deep calm after the mass purge of emotions, I found myself writing 5 words across the top of a new page. “What is my highest calling?”
With little hesitation, my pen continued to write an answer… “Help the children.” As I was adding a period to this 3 word sentence, the airplane banked slightly and the sun blazed in through the partially lifted window screen. Words jumped off the page, bathed in a golden spotlight.
Help the children.
I returned home, trying to make sense of these words. I’ve always loved kids and knew I wanted to be a mom. But I never felt drawn toward being a teacher or spending my days working with children. I was more of an academic type. A researcher. A writer. A teacher…of big people.
Sharing this experience with my team, the best explanation we could see at that time was that Best Life Design was intended to help kids through our Do Good focus. We tweaked our Do Good to call for all to contribute to a world in which children feel valued and respected so that they can go on to value and respect others. We partnered with a charity that was bringing safety, security, and support to the poorest of our world’s children.
And yet we felt this explanation was incomplete in some way…
The answer showed up months later. In the form of a community in desperate need of healing after the loss of three of its children to suicide.
The leadership role I stepped into as part of this healing work led to my decision to move beyond Best Life Design to focus on the Community Resiliency Project.
It has become even clearer over the past six months that this is my “Help the Children” work. It doesn’t seem to matter that my education isn’t about working with kids. It doesn’t seem to matter that I have no history of running a non-profit organization. It doesn’t seem to matter…[fill in with a very long list of “but…but…but!”s].
Yet a work in progress, I’ve become better at trusting more and arguing less against “what is”. For example, I truly thought that we’d be hosting Make an Impact LIVE! again this fall. Yet, it has become clear that this is not the best path to further our “Help the Children” mission. Our ongoing community resiliency work needs our focus and hands on attention. (We do have plans for virtual events and creative ways to stay connected…and we’ll see how those unfold).
Our main message to you at this time?
YOU have a great and unique purpose. It is giving you clues. Right now. You may not have all of the answers but you do have a best next step. Identify it. Take it. Trust that it will lead you to another.
Allow the teachers and experiences that are coming into your life to continue to guide you toward your greatest work. We’re leaving this site up for now so you can revisit and learn from all of the wise guidance provided by our contributors.
Perhaps these pages contain a clue for you…something you need to hear…a question you need to ask…that will move you closer toward your truth.