I wanted to share with you my journal from monday the 6th of November;
Today I had a very heartfelt, genuine day. It wasn't happy, it was just powerful and raw. I felt I connected to the most simple but commonly ignored human emotions. Compassion.
There's two weeks until my Yog Teacher Training and I'm in Derby for the month. Taking each day as it comes. Accepting work to fill my time and having some free days to sort stuff out before I leave.
But today I was able to do my soul proud - by not silencing it. Even writing this, my eyes tear up. I get tears of freedom when my soul feels open. Like when I deeply connect to nature or when I make an important decision from my heart or when I let my soul speak - apparently.
Despite the butterflies of anxiety in my stomach, I told my boss at a lovely pizza making job I enjoyed that the hours and days he dropped me to were too low for it to be worth my day. I felt compassionate in saying;
''Its not practical for me and I currently don't feel like I'm an essential member of your staff. If it won't be too much of an impact on you, it will be best for me not to come in tomorrow''.
He totally understood which made a sad but smooth goodbye, both of us understanding one another and knowing its for the best.
I walked back to my bike after work and realised that my front light was stolen. In the rawness of the moment I was a bit disappointed but gladly, didn't dwell on it too much and just navigated myself to the nearest bike shop and got bike lights.
On my way back, I saw a homeless man sitting on the side of the street. It made my heart ache, because it was such a freekin freezing night last night! I mean so cold, that when I went for a morning walk, everything including grass was frosted over. I asked Josh when I woke up; ''What do homeless people on nights like this?''. Its such a basic thing that we often overlook. So little are we grateful for it. Not just having a shelter but having a HOME.
I walked past this guy while noticing my mind going; ''If you walk away far enough, the heartache will go''. Thanks to some reading I've been doing recently, I identified this mind voice trying to over-rule my heart and inner child. I had to turn back.
Now I don't know why he's homeless. Some people, including myself, learn to block out this heartache felt when we see another human in distress, by justifying it saying; ''Why doesn't he just get a job?''. And I don't know why he doesn't get a job. But in the rawness I felt today, I couldn't take it upon myself to assume his circumstances, or plan out his life for him. I just know he looked cold, lonely, miserable and muted. I turned back and started talking to him. I knelt down to his level and tried to make gentle conversation. I offered him sandwiches I had with me but he refused. Then he just said; ''Look, this isn't helping. You talking to me. This is where I sleep and if cameras see this, they kick me out. I'm homeless. I need money.'' I felt it wasn't him begging for money, it was him stating the blatant truth.
I apologised and walked away. My ego was hurt a little bit, I mean I was someone talking time out my day to genuinely talk to him. He must be lonely. He can't have that many people stopping to talk to him. But thankfully I was able to observe my ego's voice and have my heart connect to the reality of the situation. It's f***ing freezing outside, he has no home; conversation isn't exactly on his priority list at the moment. Not out of guilt or feeling sorry for him but purely because of my uttermost compassion for him was I able to overlook the 'power pyramid' clearly carved into our minds by society. A pyramid which causes an over-protectiveness of objects and money and a numbness of feelings towards those less powerful than us. So I took out £50 in cash and turned back.
Before he knew I was about to hand him money, he started apologising for being rude before. I said it was OK and gave him the 50 quid. His reaction was priceless. I won't describe in in detail because its something I want to treasure in my heart forever and not on a piece of paper, bounded by the extent of my words. But his eyes, his smile, his big hug instantly bursted something within my soul and my eyes teared up with happy tears.
He knew exactly what to spend it on. A pair of waterproof walking boots that he saw for £30. He said that his trainers were three sizes too big for him and asked me for permission. I said; ''What the hell! Of course!''. He couldn't stop saying thank you, just like a child who just got a Christmas gift. He kept on turning back and smiling at me, saying that they'll last him 2 years! Then he bumped into someone because he wasn't looking where he was going. They said; 'You allright?''. He was like; ''Yeah! This young lady has just given me some money to get some shoes!''
Man , it wasn't happiness I felt. It was the raw and genuine fulfillment of making a change, helping someone and giving without expecting.
I've been sitting in a cafe for the last hour writing this. I was so grateful for having money to buy this cup of tea, the facilities to go to dance classes, having somewhere warm to stay. I looked at everyone else and thought how unaware they probably are to this simple luxury. I realised how widespread this unawareness actually is. And even within the hour of writing this, I noticed within myself how quickly I have got used to it. Its easy to forget about gratitude unless you actively bring your attention back to it.
I later found out that homeless people can't get jobs for a variety of reasons. Including lack of adress, employer pre-conceptions, lack of phone etc. This article explains further.
PS: To add to the eventful day, it turns out I dropped my bike helmet outside the bike shop I got the bike light from. Some kind person handed it into the shop and I redeemed it the day after. Phew! It wasn't even my helmet to loose.
Alara is a WHY discovery coach, NLP practitioner, a Rite of Passage Facilitator and a Yoga/Meditation teacher. She specialises in helping business owners find and articulate their vision.