Updated: Feb 27
I am sitting in this meeting with the real human heroes and sheroes of the snowpocalypse. There are 24 people here. All leaders in their own worlds, discussing the nourishing, the housing and care of some 400 house-less neighbors.
There is this problem my city says is an impossible problem, the problem of house-lessness. And yet, in under 12 hours these brilliant people, a group of volunteers with teams of people who have never worked together solved that problem. These volunteers! Not the city. Not FEMA. Not red fucking cross. These volunteers saved over 400 people from freezing to death, finding them housing, food, transportation, and advocates.
My buttons are bursting because not only am I completely in love with at least 5 of them (number steadily growing) 3 of them are Mindlight students. And they are walking the talk! They are talking about mental wellness and talking about visioning what is possible, they are being resilient, and full of hope, and in touch with their own emotional worlds. Its 11pm, they are going into breakout rooms. Their first meeting today was at 9. Most of them are smiling and loving on each other.
When I was in my early 20s and figuring out if I was going to be a professional healer or freediver or maybe an artist or maybe something else, I figured, if I become a healer, I can save the world. Then I grew up, was humbled, let go of the idea that the world needed saving and just focused on giving what I have to people who want it... And then here I am in this room with these healers that I trained and they are saving the freaking world!
When I show up in service. I do it for myself. I like being part of a community. I like having relationships with people who are resilient and real, who are courageous and generous and the easiest way to find those people and build relationships with them is to show up in service. They are the people serving and they are the people receiving. These are the people mixing it up with other humans. Getting involved as if our happiness and well being are intertwined. They know what is up and I like them.
This week was traumatizing in a way. It was scary and exhausting and intense. As soon as my family was safe and warm the awareness of the trauma of my neighbors hit me. I think if I had sat still I would be fairly fucked up from this whole experience. Once again service... it just worked it right out of me.
I played a few different roles this week, out in the cold, or from the comfort of my house, or in the warm sunny days that followed. I have been a hotel liaison, mental wellness organizer, mental wellness hotline person, food distributor, and host (we had all kinds of people come through for showers and meals). Bobby and Sierra drove me around in some fairly sketchy conditions. The boys and Sierra and I lugged water bottles, filled cars with food and passed out meals in camps. Melanie and John made meals for me. I feel like I'm saving myself when I see I see my students being amazing, I feel like I am saving myself when I am being part of this community. I'm rescuing myself into a world that I want to live in.
Also, if I ask the boys to clean their rooms, whining and crying about it all dang day. If I ask them to serve food to 400 people for 6 hours, cart heavy waterbottles, run supplies back and forth across a rec center, they are into it and begging to be the last ones to leave.