Sometimes I get stuck on things that can seem so simple. Last week the Heartworkers organizing our January 22nd fundraiser asked me for words and short sayings to be displayed around the room on the night of the event. “Short sayings” are tough for me…I’m a talker, a processor and the depth of what Heartworks offers hidden inside short words and phrases can paralyze me at times. I would do better if someone said to me “Hey Megan, give me a four hour long explanation on the phrase “receive with grace”.
OHHHHHH I LOVE TALKING ABOUT RECEIVING WITH GRACE! WHAT TIME DO YOU WANT TO MEET?!!”
So the assignment of short sayings has had me perplexed. We used a phrase on a poster the other day that said, “Think like a Heartworker this Holiday Season” and it was suggested to me that I come up with 3 short works that describes thinking like a Heartworker. Hmmmmm….two words immediately came to mind- PERSPECTIVE AND GRATITUDE. Two words that would help anyone out in any situation, the third word was escaping me…until Sunday night.
Sunday night I went to a Viewing Party with the Blink Now organization to watch my friend, the founder, Maggie Doyne, receive the CNN Hero of the Year Award. I had one of those nights that I was so filled with gratitude and perspective these two words settled deep in my bones.
When I first walked into the viewing party, it took me a good half an hour just to move through the foyer…each person I met was so loving and full of purpose. I could have spoken to each person all night! Their sense of purpose for the work being done by Blink Now, or local foundations they have created or support, lifted me up from the moment I walked through the door. My heart was already beating out of my chest from the love and energy in the room even before I made my way over to hug Maggie.
I think this house was so full of people like this because my brave friend Maggie only attracts purposeful hearts. Hearts that are either seeking purpose or hearts that have found purpose and so automatically identify with hers. I noticed this because I see it in my own life, I see how women who may not even know what we are all about, crave Heartworks. Sometimes they start to cry when they walk through the door.
As they see an Advisory Board member come towards them to greet them, they nervously say, “Why am I crying? What’s wrong with me??” Nothings wrong with you Heartworker…it’s your purpose rising above the distraction and chaos. Your soul is finding a place to rest. Sometimes, when I see women crying at meetings, I have to bite the insides of my mouth to keep from smiling from excitement for them. I know they are being cracked open and I know how awesome this is for the perhaps long buried struggles of their life. But I also know, first hand, how agonizing and frightening this “cracking open” process can be the first time around, because we don’t even realize we need it.
I was reminded once again, before even moving out of the foyer Sunday night, that
Purpose sucks the life out ego.
Purpose sucks the life out of apathy and “stuckness.”
Purpose sucks the life out of insecurity, gossip and judgment
Purpose opens our eyes to the needs of the world around us.
Purpose gives us a focus beyond the ordinary illusions of our small hometown.
I thought about all this as I sat next to Maggie and watched the ten CNN Heroes nominees tell their stories. I noticed how clear their eyes were. How alive they all seemed. How even though they do the type of daily work that you would think would exhaust and defeat them, they all seemed more peaceful than people I know who have waaaay more comfortable and luxurious jobs. Each of these ten people seemed to embody the words I had chosen so far for the fundraiser as well as the one I was missing-
gratitude and perspective…gratitude and perspective…gratitude and perspective….and PURPOSE.
As we sat there last night and watched Anderson Cooper (love him!) take the stage I turned from the TV to see Maggie giggling and covering her face. It reminded me of 2008 at the Dolan’s house, waaaaaaaay before Heartworks had an office space with a filing cabinet and a sign on the front lawn. My friend Jeanine had read about Maggie in the Mendham paper and we called her and asked her to come speak at Heartworks about her purpose. She stood at our meeting in front of about 40 Heartworkers with this little ponytail in the back of her head and her hands stuffed into the pockets of her jeans and spoke about the work she was headed off to Nepal to do. How her friends were going to college but her calling is different.
She was headed to Nepal to help children have a school or home to go to each day. She sounded like a wise old woman instead of this young 20 something standing before us. This was back before she shared the stage with Hollywood stars, before the cover of The New York Times magazine and television interviews. And yet last night, her eyes, her heart, her giggle remained the same as when I first met her. This is because she has never lost track of the purpose. The work has never become about anything else other than the work. It has never become about anything else other than her children. This is so rare in this day and age. She is changing the world just by being herself and following her purpose, even though she was unsure, afraid and was going in a direction most of the people around her were not. She is showing people that we all have the potential to change things if we get clear enough in our own lives to use every extra hour we have to help someone else.
Why not? Many days I wonder what else is there to do? Especially in a place like Bernardsville where we are so blessed with comforts and safety and “extras”. It’s why Heartworks believes so strongly in women doing our own personal growth work. What more could we each be doing if we just get over ourselves and reach out…get involved…listen to the purpose in our hearts. I know for sure that the more we heal ourselves the less we need to do so much running around and crazy making. The more we heal ourselves the “busy-ness” makes less sense and we want to be at Heartworks House instead of in places or with people that do little more than make us feel unsure about ourselves and less than. The people gathered to support Maggie all had a sense of purpose bigger and wider than their shopping list this Christmas…and it is all because Maggie Doyne allowed her bigger soul purpose to guide her life all those years ago.
Thank you Maggie, Blink Now and to the nine other CNN Hero nominees, for a night of gratitude, perspective and the third word I was searching for…purpose. It made me feel like I must not be a jackass if I was included in such a night…it humbled me and inspired me to keep showing up at Heartworks and to follow my purpose… with gratitude and perspective
What is something purposeful you can do this week instead of buying into the chaos? Be aware of how it makes you feel and what it changes in you.
If you are feeling like you are getting sucked into the madness of the season, give yourself some time to watch what the 10 CNN Hero award nominees are doing and it will reconnect you with something deeper within yourself and snap you out of it 🙂