I got to participate in an all day conference designed to match me with a mentor, called a Navigator, to help be get more focused and effective about achieving my goals and dreams. There’s a lot of opportunity here to get the kind of coaching, accountability, encouragement and support, that I don’t have the means to pay for – but have needed. To know that someone specifically thought of me to invite me to this event where others are making an investment in me and my future and guiding me on a path where I will be able to constructively learn how to invest in myself, is a huge thing.
It was overwhelmingly awesome.
I briefly met both the speaker, Donna Beegle and Oregon’s First Lady, Cylvia Hayes. Both of them have awe inspiring personal stories and the work they are doing is critical in the poverty war.
I learned a lot, made a LOT of local, f2f connections – both with peers or Neighbors in poverty and with people invested in mentoring/guiding, Navigators, many of whom have experienced similar obstacles, challenges, and struggles.
I have already scheduled a meeting with one to do some brain storming around resolving the things which have prevented me from pursuing a degree in the past.
Another one is interested in collaborating/exchanging info/knowledge about writing. I want to learn grant writing and she hasn’t yet connected her writing and experiences to blogging and social media.
Two others are involved with Early Childhood Education and are willing to help me continue to pursue supportive services for Luna – one of whom is in my neighborhood.
I met someone who is able to help me navigate healthcare systems and help with resources and access to services.
I met a woman who’s “impossible” dream and vision is virtually identical to the one that’s been a smoldering and dormant ember in my heart and mind for about 20 years – she’s in the area one of my church communities is centered in and serving – we both had the thought that we want to have this conference and connections brought into the Milwaukie area within the next year.
I made a new friend who has very similar life experiences. We “clicked!” I think we’ll be able to build a mutually supportive relationship.
I won a $50 gift card to Target AND a very nice and phenomenal professional looking bag/purse and received a few other practical goodies.
I think the biggest and most valuable piece of information I got out of the day is that people are not the cause of their own poverty. The US is the only country in the world that teaches that people are the cause of their own poverty and this false belief creates shame, isolation, distrust, and fear. There is almost always the message, overt or implied, that there is something somehow wrong with the person in poverty and that something fundamental about who they are and where they are from that brought their poverty upon themselves.
There are real, root causes and factors of poverty which need to be acknowledged, recognized, and addressed without shaming, blaming, and treating those in the poverty cycle as if they are somehow deserving of their position of poverty.
After that event was my last class in the attachment parenting group, Circle of Security. This class has helped me so much, and I recommend it to anyone who is in relationship with another human being, not just parents struggling with parenting issues. The things I’ve been learning help me reframe and understand what’s going on in others, as well as myself, and is helping me to choose different responses to old tapes, triggers, and patterns.
I’m ready to put June to rest and see what July has to offer.