YEAR END LOCKOUT
I DIDN’T EXPECT TO BE AT THE HOMELESS SHELTER ON NEW YEAR’S EVE: Life often brings the unexpected into my life, and I’ve just been reminded that in every situation the best we can do is go with the flow, and trust that everything will turn out exactly the way it needs to, and if we can stay present, there’s always a lesson to learn.

On this final day of the year, my plans were simple – finish up my home clearing, drop off my donations, and spend some quiet time at Happiness U doing some work (my work is fun so I was looking forward to it). The funny thing is, as I was driving, I actually thought to myself how nothing “exciting” has happened for a while for me to write about. I guess I thought too soon.

Anyway, I get to the school, park, and bring everything inside…my computer, my purse, my dinner, my phone, my keys…everything. As I enter, I notice that are two big jugs of water sitting outside our door. I drop everything inside and go out to bring in the water. As I pick up the first jug, the door closes behind me…CLICK! It takes a moment to sink in. I’m locked out.

I have no money, no keys to my car, business or home, and no phone. It’s dim but not quite dark outside. I literally have nothing but the clothes on my back. It’s New Years Eve and the building is closed early, and the gates are locked. I walk around and there are no lights on – no one working late. I don’t know what to do. I think to myself, if I can just borrow a phone at a business that is open, I can call Val or Erin…they have the keys. With a sinking feeling, I realize I don’t have their numbers memorized since they are programmed into my phone. I can’t call them.

Fortunately, I am a block away from IHS (Institute of Human Services) an awesome organization that serves the homeless community. I decide to walk over there and see if I can get help. It is a busy night and it just happens to be dinner time and everyone is gathered for dinner….so I join in because that looks like the only way in.

I was so warmly greeted and welcomed by everyone around me and it felt surreal. I felt both uncomfortable and strangely comfortable at the same time. At first, though, all I could think of was that I wanted to be working on my presentation, and that I was losing precious time. Then something inside me clicked, and I realized that this happened for a reason, and I forced myself to get present with the moment. I tuned in to those around me and started talking to them, asking them how they are doing, and how their year went…

The first answer I heard was, “Good sistah…was gud, and the next one goin’ be bettah yet.” I thought to myself, “Wow.” Then another lady said to me that her knees don’t hurt as much anymore…and someone else said the year was okay…”I’m still here alive and kicking.” The line is weird because it’s not moving, and I finally realize that I’m not in a line to get in, I’m in a courtyard area where everyone is just hanging out for pre-dinner socializing. LOL

So I find my way in to the cafeteria and ask to borrow a computer. The stars were aligned because they not only said yes, I actually remembered my Facebook password and could send a message to Val and Erin. In just 5 minutes I heard back that Val was driving to her party and was just a few minutes away! SAVED!!! I was so relieved that I could “get back to my life”!

As I walked away from the courtyard after saying goodbye to my group, one person says, “You come back again and bring us that smile.” And all I could think was “thank you” because my smile was inspired by the awareness they brought me. I was brought back to the basics. We really don’t need much, do we? A place to sleep….food to eat….friends to talk to. If we have this, we have a lot.

That night continues to be a night of reflection for sure…Thank you for being in my life. Let’s be in humble gratitude for all we do have in our lives. May 2016 bring you simple yet exquisitely profound awareness that not only brings more love into your heart, but brilliant light onto your destined path.

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