this little light of mine…
August 14, 2012
Hello Loveful Human Beings. I’m Nicki and I have the beautiful honor of calling Patience my friend. When she asked if I would do a monthly post on her soul shaking site (while she is creating magic in hardback), before my voice said yes, my heart sang, “oh yeah!” So this is me. Raw. I’m lucky that I get to be raw as part of my job at The Bounce Collective, a leadership development and coaching company. I do the youth development stuff there and have been known to call myself a “love teacher.” (not on paper, just in the moment). Because that’s what it all comes down to. Love.
Ubuntu. I am because we are.
Everyday, I embody this African philosophy a little more fully. Because of the village in which I live—the North Side of Richmond.
Last spring, I was sitting in a circle of women at a North Side coffee shop. These girls have been meeting for coffee and conversation every Friday for years. And I have never been a regular attendee. Most of the time I miss because life gets in the way. And sometimes I miss because I just don’t make it a priority.
On this particular morning, sitting at this round table in the window, the sun shining in to create beacons of light over the heads these vibrant women, I was overcome with emotion. A truth emerged. I was missing my WE.
I navigate life through a me, we, world lens of relationship. And at the end of each day, I do a soul check, of sorts. The big question, “How did I show up today in my relationships with self, other, and community, at large?”
My ME check (just a taste… I dig pretty deep here): How aligned were my body, mind, heart, and spirit today? What did I learn about myself today? What was asking to be seen in the shadows today? How was I better today? How can I be better tomorrow?
And then, generally, I move right into…
My World check: What was calling for my voice today? How did I rise to create impact today? What did I produce today? What ideas are asking to be born in me tomorrow?
And usually (not surprisingly) by this point, my soul needs some rest. And my WE check gets a glimpse, at best.
Who did I reach out to today? What did I contribute to their world? What did they offer me? What was between us?
On that morning in the coffee shop, I sobbed. In the safety of my tribe’s bosom, a painful revelation was born. I had not been reaching out; I was not actively contributing to these relationships; I was not open to receiving the bounty surrounding me; and I was desperately missing the loveful abundance that, despite my neglect, would always exist between us.
My obsessive focus on ME and World was eclipsing my connection to the individual members of my tribe, a tribe that extended beyond this round table to include a whole village of amazing human beings.
And my beautiful friend, Amanda, an aura of white light embracing her, looked deeply into my eyes and said, “You are here. We see you. “
And, in that perfect moment, I realized that the work of ME and World begins with WE. It is in the faces of individual people that we find our mirrors… and our purpose.
Ubuntu. I am because we are.
Fast forward to last week, 2 days before my 40th birthday. I am standing in my kitchen, a deluge of family activity around me. And, as if it were coming from the Heavens, I hear my favorite song, “This Little Light of Mine.”
“Where is that coming from?” I ask in dismay.
And then I glance out my window to see Amy and Suzy (of the coolest girl band in town, “Dirty Blonde”) leading a parade of 50 angels– men, women, children, dogs…singing out their light-filled hearts, strolling down my street with flowers and tears and birthday love…for me.
I sat on my front porch in a puddle of tears, drinking in each divine face. If my heart could have spoken the depth of emotion in that moment, it would have said, “You are here. I see you. Each of you, in your unique brilliance. I am. Because we are. ”
“Nicki done made me cry… I’m gonna let it shine…” was the last verse I heard and it made a permanent imprint on my soul. For it is in the reflection of our tribe’s tears that we can truly see ourselves. That we can heal. That we can know love.
Huge gratitude to my friend Amanda, who birthed this tribute. I have no doubt that its ripple will forever impact ME, WE, and our little North Side World.
Nicki Peasley- I am the CEO of my home, managing a team consisting of a 40 year old, an 11 year old, an 8 year old, and a 6 year old. In my spare time, I am the YOUth development director for Bounce, writing curriculums and working (playing and learning) with elementary and middle school youth.