Gratitude Celebration 51: Expert Guides

 

 “You have your own flavor of Radical Forgiveness coaching. It will be amazing to see that emerge!” 

That was Pamela Black’s encouragement for me as I struggled to find my footing in my new business, Forgiveness Walks. Today, I’m remembering Pamela and some of the other coaches who have helped me realize my business as I celebrate my 60th birthday with 60 posts of gratitude. This is Post 51.

I knew I had a unique way of expressing myself with the tools of transformation that had already worked wonders in my own life and seemed to be seeking a voice through me. Yet, I wrestled with self-doubt that my expression was valid and worthy to share broadly. Pamela, one of the first coaches trained personally by Colin Tipping, author of Radical Forgiveness, was generously coaching me in the early days of my striving to “earn my living hiking.”  She was right! I smile inside when I recall Colin’s words for me several years later, “Regina, YOUR niche is all the green people who want to be outside! See, you even DRESS in green! Talk to them!” read more

Gratitude Celebration 50: Ladies Who Launch

It’s December, 2008 and I’m  googling “women’s business groups Atlanta” or something like that. Up comes “Ladies Who Launch.” With a name like that, this had to be good! And it was!

A couple of months earlier I had been completing my last few miles of my 5 ½ month walk on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. I was saying to myself, “Doing this trail convinces me that I really CAN do anything I want to do!” What I wanted to do was keep walking on long trails like this one and the Appalachian Trail I had completed just the previous year. “What I want to do is earn my living hiking.”  That was in October, 2008. read more

Gratitude Celebration 49: Vibrant Health

I signed up for the 10-day training and detox at The Living Foods Institute on an intuition that this focused experience with raw and living foods would clean out the abscess in my molar. I knew I needed more than the colloidal silver I was taking and thought that clearing my body with food and lifestyle suited me perfectly.

I didn’t even attend a preview session, just registered for the next session. I couldn’t make it to the first two days, however, because the final sales at the Native Plant Garden happened on those days. Jane, the director, said that would be fine to arrive on Day 3, so I registered. read more

Gratitude Celebration 48: Passionate Leadership

“Would you like to work for me tomorrow and pot up all these ferns?” That was the beginning of my six-year job with George Sanko at the Georgia Perimeter College Native Plant Garden. I had been fascinated by the garden when I first went there with John Reiter for the informal Christmas Party when he volunteered there.

It was December, and something called me about that place. “I’d like to work here!” I remember thinking. A few months later, I was! My job at the Waldorf School had abruptly ended, and I was floundering around about what to do. George’s invitation to pot up the hundred or so ferns that he and John and I had just dug up from the nearby quarry really excited me. The next day, I learned how he did it, and, in a few hours had transformed that bag of floppy fern rhizomes into six rows of half-gallon pots. read more

Gratitude Celebration 47: Creative Freedom

When I left the Waldorf School of Atlanta, believing that I had no choice but to resign from my position of Class Teacher of Grade One, I was devastated! My self-esteem plummeted to the floor, and I doubted that I could ever teach again! Thanks for my sister-in-law, Deborah, a door opened to a new possibility.

“You could talk with Deron Davis over at Dunwoody Nature Center. He’s the director there, and probably could use teachers who love the outdoors,”  she suggested when I shared my plight with her.  I set a time to meet him within a week. He, indeed, was delighted to meet me, and practically gave me a job that same day! “I definitely need someone who could take this idea I have and run with it.” He took me over to Brook Run Park, which the County had just purchased, and showed me a musty building with a beautiful deck that overlooked a dense forest. “I’m trying to get this area to use as a demonstration of Outdoor Education. I need a lead teacher, someone who can create a program over here for the summer.” read more

Gratitude Celebration 46: Teacher Friends

 One of the ironies of my life was that when I lived in Evansville, IN I found little connection with other parents in the homeschool community. I resigned to enrolling my children in the public school and got involved there the best I could. While they went to school, I studied to become a Waldorf school teacher, dreaming of having my children at a school where I resonated with the education and my friends were the faculty.

I landed a job in the Waldorf School of Atlanta, Georgia, fulfilling that dream, when the boys were almost finished with their schooling! David was in 11th grade, Adam in 7th, and Simon in 5th. The dream, however, turned into a nightmare, and Adam and Simon stayed in the school just one year. David endured a year at the local high school where he was in a 2% racial minority. read more

Gratitude Celebration 45: Healing Angels

Eleanor Winship called me. “Would you please come interview at the Atlanta Waldorf School?”

That was late May, 1999.

In February, 2000, she stood in my first grade classroom, saying, “I have called my friend to see if he could come take your class, to make it easy for you to get out of this.”

In between those two statements, marking the beginning and the end of my welcome with the Waldorf School of Atlanta, Eleanor played many cards in the game that was my life with the school. Although I was not aware of it at the time,  I am deeply grateful for being introduced to the idea that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that relationships are the medium in which our soul’s mission is dabbled. read more

Gratitude Celebration 44: Living Color

LaVonne Sheets and Van James taught me how to use the properties of light, dark, and color to awaken my heart and reveal my soul and what wanted to be expressed.

I  met LaVonne through the Waldorf School of Louisville initiative. Her painting classes looked so inviting that I drove all the way to Louisville and back weekly for a six-week session. For the first time, I experienced light as a phenomenon that dispelled darkness and then fell either behind or in front of the darkness which was created by forms. How fascinating! read more

Gratitude Celebration 43: Contribution

What a blessing to be a contribution. I had a very strong belief that what I had to offer would not be useful to anyone.  I didn’t think I could create my own program or school for my children. I believed that I had to join one that already existed. When we moved to Evansville, I had just heard about a school that sounded wonderful – Waldorf School. John found out that Becky Trela had a Waldorf daycare in New Harmony, 35 miles from our home.

I could take Adam there! Once a week, she had a playgroup, so I’d drive there and join in. I have no recollection that Adam had a good time, in fact, he may have already been too old for the program, so I just went on my own, first pregnant, and then with Simon. Actually, I don’t remember when I found out about Becky’s school, but it seems that it was right away. read more

Gratitude Celebration 42: Ritual and Song

It’s easy to start feeling unworthy and that I haven’t done enough when I remember Calvin and Nelia Kimbrough, founders of the Patchwork Central Ministry in Evansville, Indiana.

When I think of them, I think of people who have been willing to do what their hearts want, to be clear on a mission and live it out, to be proud of what they do and how they do it to carry it out for decades, for their entire life time.

I know them from two places where they have done the same thing for decades, create rituals and celebrations, create art and photos and take a stand for poor people. read more