This morning I walked from my temporary home in the Arts District of Los Angeles to The Giving Keys offices a few winding blocks away. It had been a morning full of deep wisdom and soul filled moments. As I stepped from 6th street to Mateo my thoughts drifted around the edges of the mornings conversations, the words thick like smoke swirling through my mind.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
As I am sure you have gathered through the words strewn across the digital pages of this blog, I (Drew and I) have been in a 'season' of change. Feeling a lot of movement, though unsure of it's direction and intention in my life.
One way I have found perspective and wisdom during this time of so many unknowns has been through the council of twelve incredible, one of a kind women that I have been meeting with every week for the last nine weeks. WE talk about life, love, work, purpose, desire, passion, joy, pain, suffering, you name it we talk about it.
Side Bar- Next to marrying Drew this is the single most impactful thing I have done in my adult life.
Through this transformative season I have seen the top of emotional Everest and the very depths of the Marianas Trench and these women have been at my side. One of those women goes by the name of Court (the Panther*) she works for The Giving Keys and is a general bad ass who has great taste in most everything. WE have become close and our friendship has bloomed, a rare tropical plant in the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles.
It is because of this incredible woman that I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for The Giving Keys Matte Black line just over a month ago. At that time my life, my marriage, my career, were all feeling a bit... upside down. However, I had committed to attending this event, so I put my big girl shoes on and strutted out the door (and by 'strutted' I mean slouched, it had been a long, hard day and I was in no place to be attending a function in public).
When I arrived a sea of unfamiliar faces greeted me and I feared that I had made a mistake. But then...
Every guest at the event was given a card with a word on it, that word was connected to a key and they were to turn in the card for the necklace. I, without looking at the card, gave the lovely girl working the booth my card and when she handed me the beautiful matte black key, I nearly burst into tears.
The words sank into my soul. LET GO. Life has grown too heavy, just let go. Needless to say I lost my shit, found my friends and immediately showed them the key, at which time they too lost their shit.
That was the word I needed. In that moment, in this moment, it is the mantra I wear around my neck every single day.
When I walked into The Giving Keys today I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard a lot about their model, how they employ people and help them transition out of homelessness and give them hope when life has been unkind or particularly hard on them. I also knew that when you get a key with a word you feel you need or feel connected to you wear it until you feel you it no longer belongs to you and then you give the key to someone who needs that word in their life (how good is that!?). I knew how impactful the keys were from personal experience and from the stories of friends who have received and given many keys over the years. Little did I know however, that I would have my life described for me in two words on one key.
At The Giving Keys there is a man named Darnel. He has long dreads, a sly smile and a wall of inspiration in front of his work station, featuring the likenesses of JFK, Seal, and Bob Marley (just to name a few). He is intentional and particular and has a reputation for being able to read people, giving them words that (though obscure or strange) are incredibly impactful. Darnel is The Word Smith. *Darnel gave Court a key that said Panther, for her loyalty and passion... good right?
Court introduced me to Darnel today. He asked me a series of questions- "Who inspires you? When were your born? What is your name? If you could be anywhere in the world where would you want to be? What music do you like? What do you do? What do you care about?" The list of seemingly mundane questions leading to a word that, to most would seem obscure, but instantly brought tears to my eyes.
Darnel smiled, "I don't know why, just seemed like the right word for you."
In addition to being a beautiful song by The Beatles, Penny Lane is a character in the film Almost Famous who is infamous for saying the words, "It's all happening!"
The last month of life has brought about more change, more pain, more joy, more hope, more fear, more faith, more love, more courage, more struggle, than I could have imagined. "It's all happening." and Darnel sensed it.
Life has a strange way of calling you out into the open. It asks you to let go of the past in order to embrace the present and transition into the future. As I look at life and make the transitions that are required of me I will hold tight the the totems hanging next to my heart. Holding things loosely as it all happens.
To the beautiful souls at The Giving Keys- Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for the light you bring into the world and for the gifts you give to so many people across the globe each and every day.
Light and love to each of you.