In this moment, I am forced to experience gratitude. Forced you say? How does that work? Well, lemme tell you. Yesterday, we had a visitor. Previously a stranger, John was the deliverer of joy. Joy came in the form of a community rallying around me – and us – by creating a gift so lovely and heart-filled that I can be nothing but grateful this morning even as I sit with cramps and fatigue that makes my eyes feel squinty.
The weekend after the fire, I was supposed to be with my community of healing professionals at a training program created by Jesse and Sharla Jacobs of Rejuvenate Training. Jesse and Sharla have dedicated their life work to empowering and teaching holistic practitioners and coaches a heart-centered way of marketing themselves as us healing types are often not so business savvy. In fact, we prefer to give our services away out of love and due to the fact that we are expressing our passion. That should be free, right? Charge what we are worth, what??? How can you put a price on love?
Sharla and Jesse understand this mindset, as they are holistic practitioners. Sharla trained as an acupuncturist and Jesse as a coach so they both saw the perils of the over-generous spirit in themselves – and in the people they chose to spend time with. Yet, Jesse and Sharla knew something else was possible and invested in thousands of dollars and hours of training to become business savvy. Seeing the ease of creating a successful heart-based business, they vowed to bring this level of ease coupled with success to countless others. Thus the birth of Rejuvenate training.
I found Rejuvenate after hearing Sharla on a tele-seminar and after vowing not to sign up for any more trainings! Yet, something compelled me to register for the course she was offering. Attracted to her warmth as well as her no-nonsense approach, I knew I was on to something. What I had no idea of was the rich and deep community I was entering. A year later, I had attended every course they offered and my business more than quadrupled. I also was part of a family of practitioners who became some of my dearest friends. We eagerly awaited the next weekend training where we would see each other again; we kept in touch in the in between time through social calls as well as small mastermind groups. We cheered each others successes and nurtured each others failures as we got out there in the world to market our businesses. We grew in ways that weren’t expected and our investments in the trainings were made back multi-fold. I found my home, I found my business expression, I found a community of “my peeps”.
As I began packing on the day of the fire, I anticipated first a speaking event in LA, then my weekend where I would be surrounded by my Rejuvenate community. I would reconnect with Megan Walrod my coach extraordinaire, and get to bask in the aura of Jesse and Sharla. What a gift – and a lift – it would be to be around these people. I was still madly in love with my author coaching business but needed a recharge in my marketing efforts. I needed to be reminded it was fun and a natural expression of my love of my work – not the struggle I had started to make it. This course was my favorite from last year and I was nervous (cause that’s how I roll…) but ecstatic to bathe in the glow of the community.
Instead, you know what happened. My home burned to the ground later that day, and my life turned upside down. Megan and I have been talking regularly during this time, having developed a mutual coaching arrangement – me with her book, her with my business – and a deep friendship. Megan flew here to be with me twice and we spent long hours in my lovely home creating visions, worksheets and templates for my business while she wrote some of the most deeply moving words I have ever read. I am so glad she spent time in my space as she now shares the loss of its exquisiteness. Reports of the fun everyone was having at the course came flying in coupled with how often I was mentioned and missed. I felt the support and love over the miles from my community – even those I had never met before. Then Megan told me a gift had been created and a messenger had been chosen to deliver that gift.
John, the messenger, arrived yesterday in a bright yellow rain jacket which was much needed in our Seattle-esque weather. As he emerged from his car, we glimpsed a burly man with a bald head and a twinkle in his eye, and wondered just who this stranger would turn out to be. He was on a road trip through Colorado having come from California and tasking himself with the delivery of my prize. He gingerly carried a brown paper wrapped box into the cozy warmth of Flame. We all sat together eating orange slices and began the getting to know you process. It turned out, that John and David had much in common so the conversation flowed easily. Of course, he and I had a love for our teachers and community so we connected without words.
After a bit of settling in, I began to unwrap this gift which was lovingly transported all the way from San Jose. After wrestling with the ribbon, out of the top, peaked white fabric and twine. I began to pull my prize – and handwritten messages greeted me. “HOPE for the Best, BELIEVE everything happens for a reason. And, KNOW that you have love and support always.” “HOME is where your heart is.” “The sun is still shining.” “LOVE” “Wishing you be filled with love and the knowing that we care.” On and on I pulled this chain of prayers flags from the box until I was buried beneath the love and hugs from afar. Each member of the course had hand made their own flag. All the staff and people assisting each created one too. Jesse and Sharla signed their own. And, their young son Jacob drew a picture. All the flags were painstakingly tied together by none other than Megan Walrod. I still have not stretched them out to see their vast expanse. They sit, as my “goggy” next to me as I type, an undeniable physical representation of a vast community of people who are with me, loving me, near me, hear for me. How could I experience anything but gratitude today? I could not.
To you, my Rejuvenate community, I cherish you. I am moved beyond words to describe my feelings. The gesture, the sentiments, the love that comes off each and every one of the flags is unutterable. I am brimming with the blessings from all of you and of all of you. What makes life bearable is love. What makes tragedy fathomable is connection. What makes me happy today is YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Forever yours, Kristen
If you want to know more about Rejuvenate Training you can check them out here: www.leapintoyourdream.com
You can also listen to my radio interview with Jesse – which eerily was on the day they began the “controlled burn” that ended up raging out of control a mere 4 days later. The interview is at www.whatareyouwaitingforshow.com– just scroll down on the left to the audio player.