Loving Yourself…. in small and big ways everyday…
Clare House is a 24-hour shelter for women and children and serves a population in Anchorage that many would not know are homeless. As I do more work with the shelter, I have come to the understanding that any one of us could become homeless through a series of events that do not go our way, a major medical situation without having the right insurance, the list of life altering events is endless. While the women in these situations have incredible challenges in front of them, all of them have built up superhero type resiliency skills–challenges that would shut me down, these women have taken on!
During the month of February the board of Clare House, which I serve on, came up with the idea to host a series called “Love Yourself.” The inspiration behind this theme comes from an idea that I have personally grappled with truly understanding until I needed to really understand it. Having healed from a divorce three years ago, I can relate to some of the pain that I feel when I walk into Clare House. I have empathy toward the women needing to restart their life, as it was something I did on a different level. Recently I have more women in my life that are experiencing painful events in their life that will require large doses of self-love.
Getting back to the series at Clare House…The first guest that we brought in was Blaze Bell, who is a life coach, singer, nutritionist, friend, but most importantly SURVIVOR. Blaze sat humbly in the family room as the women in the shelter trickled in. Many very unsure about what this “love yourself” class was all about. Once everyone sat down in a talking circle type environment, I look around the room. I noticed the diversity of women–some were refugees having left their country, others were Alaska Native struggling with the city of Anchorage, and others who could have been raised in Anchorage–but all of these women had tiredness and struggle worn into their face. Blaze began talking and immediately shared she was a survivor of many things that took vulnerability from her heart to choose to share the stories and words that she did. I could almost visibly see the women let their guard down and connect with her. Blaze went over things like manifesting what you want in life, seeking out positive beings to surround you, drinking less soda, going after the life you want no matter how big or small your dream. As I sat there and reflected that I may not be a women who is homeless but there wasn’t much separating me from the message that Loving Yourself was so essential no matter what path one walks in life. In about the middle of the workshop I asked Blaze to sing, just so the women could hear her voice. She laughed and said, “Clare I knew you were going to do this.” One of the women at the shelter asked her to sing “Amazing Graze.” Blaze cleared her throat and began singing…. it was then most of us got tears in our eyes and all of the women felt inspired to leave the room and immediately start loving themselves. Blaze gave all of the women the gift of hope, to try one more time to think of what they can do to restart their path in life.
Thank you to Blaze for sharing her story. Thank you to the community for supporting Clare House. While I chose to “volunteer” that night, I think I may have exited the room having gotten the most out of that evening.
You can find out more about Clare House and how to support them here: https://www.cssalaska.org/our-programs/clare-house/
To read about Blaze: http://blazebell.com/
Shared on 2017-03-12 17:55:33.