I have recently returned from the Live Again Conference in Barbados where I had the honor to connect with so many beautiful people. From my hostess and bed and breakfast owner, Barbara to the conference organizer Karen McKee, island safari driver Junior (although we are still not sure of his proper name), to our keynote speaker Paul Carrick Brunson and his lovely wife Jill, everyone shared a gift with me. In the moment being with them, it was all consuming and self-actualizing.
Barbara, I call her the original Stress Less Mom. As she took me through her entrepreneurial journey in our first morning talk, I was humbled and enlightened seeing myself in parts of her story. We had a powerful spiritual connection.
Karen, so tirelessly, giving of herself yet willing to also being poured into by joining us on the island safari tour instead of bustling around with details. How often do we just keep going for the sake of ‘getting it all done’ and being unfulfilled in the end? She reminded me of my own words, “Replenish me!”
Junior entertained, educated and protected us from the prickles of the of the bush. Interesting historical fact about the island was how the bridges were constructed. Specifically, we went over a 300 hundred year old bridge impeccably held together with just stone, molasses and egg whites. Whether he was just adopting a persona (the joke about his name) for the tour or truly being himself, the impact of our three hours with him will last a lifetime.
Paul opened his heart to the children on the island and then to us through his actions, ideas and words. Reminds me of a song by Akala, “Yours and My Children”…”kids Iraq, yours and my children, kids in Brazil, yours and my children”…He is the essence of how we should be as humans. Don’t just take from your world experience give back in every place and in every way you can!
Not surprising considering his loving, compassionate, partner in life, Jill who is the ‘molasses and egg whites’ holding together his whole operation. Quietly she observed, listened, smiled a silent knowing and awareness into us…a nudge that we are on the right path…an encouragement that we are as powerful as we think we are.
These amazing souls embody the definition of gratitude. Upon returning this poem awaken in my heart:
Peace in Me
Peace in you
Peace in everything we do
Peace in my food
Peace in my mood
Peace in everything that is good
Peace in my life
Peace without strife
Peace in in everything that is right
And while I am inculcating an environment within that is peace
I am relating to others without cease
Emanating a release of compassion beyond belief
I am grateful for moving outside of my comfort zone. It is a choice that is so freeing. The other morning, I was feeling a little off a cliff not sure whether to create new ground for myself or to go with the float. Today, I have made the decision to create new ground and embody gratitude with these examples.
As Oprah Winfrey says, “When are at home with yourself, you are at your best.” That deep sense of knowing, comes with inner peace often defined as gratitude.