It was a Sunday much like this, 28 years ago today. Art and I were watching the football playoffs and I was quite pregnant with Taylor, our firstborn, due to arrive in about a week. My overnight bag was packed and in the trunk of the car. Nine months of waiting, planning, preparing, and imagining was about to come to fruition. I started having contractions and recording them on a notepad. In the middle of the Cowboys vs. 49ers game, my water broke suddenly and I flew off the futon. We grabbed towels, called the doctor, and headed to the hospital. Taylor Brooke was born at 3:30 a.m. on January 24th. The delivery nurse, Lisa, was the true champion that night. She navigated the delivery from the start, with the doctor on call showing up in the last quarter to take it over the finish line.
Over the years, I've seen how the Universe delivers on my dreams when I do my part to imagine, prepare, trust, and let go. Every dream begins in the mind and heart with an idea and a vision. If I want it to be delivered, I need to carry it for as long as it takes, feed it, and prepare for its arrival. I need to pack a bag and put it in the car, as a way of saying, “Yes, I am ready.” I can’t control the when and how, but I can nurture the dream within me and prepare myself and my life to receive it. It takes patience and faith. It may become uncomfortable and even painful in the last stretch, but isn’t that often a sign that it is near?
Last week was the annual convocation at Catholic Charities, an agency-wide gathering in which the Senior Leadership Team shares the successes of the past year and casts a vision for the new one. The event was virtual due to the pandemic, so I was able to tune in from my couch on a very cold day. The CEO laid out the priorities for 2022, starting with “Our People.” The first point was titled “Embrace,” and this is what he said, “We want to make sure that every employee has the opportunity to show up as their authentic self.” I was surprised - Wait, did he really just say that? He went on to spell out several initiatives designed to support the employees physically, mentally, and financially. He emphasized the intention to make this “the best place to work” by ensuring their people are happy, healthy and engaged. The Universe really delivered on this one.
For months I had been asking, imagining, seeking, and preparing for something new. I didn’t know what it would be or how it would show up. I honestly didn’t know if I was ready, even though I was speaking it into the universe. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected, since life is full of surprises. When I heard those words from the CEO, in the same language I have been thinking and speaking for years, I knew I was home. It felt as if the All-Knowing, All-Loving Spirit had scooped me up and placed me there, in an environment that’s even better than I had imagined. What a special delivery!
The convocation wrapped up early, and they told us all to take that extra hour for ourselves. “Don’t make calls or send emails; we are shutting all that down. Take this gift of time for yourself.” Another message of compassion, generosity, support, and respect – core principles and values being demonstrated by the senior leaders. Go forth and give love, starting with yourself, because “our clients need us to be well.”
What hopes, dreams, and ideas are you carrying into this year? How are your thoughts, words, and actions preparing the way? Thoughts become things and our words have wings. Be conscious of what you are creating and calling forth. The Universe responds to your direction and desire. Ask, believe, imagine, affirm, and trust. Give thanks in advance, then get ready to receive surprises and special deliveries!
Elisa J. Juarez