“What if maybe every broken place I’ve been was a Godsend, I just didn’t know it then.” – Riley Clemmons. This is my favourite lyric from a song I came across and played on a loop the day before my most recent cancer surgery. We live forward but learn backward. After every surgery/treatment, the recovery period isn’t just about having my body heal, it’s also about healing and re-orienting my mind and spirit and during these periods I find reflection to be a useful exercise.
Over the past few years, I’ve reflected a lot on the nature of brokenness and hope. One of my favourite quotes from Vicki is, “everything is broken…what a great time to be alive.” A seed breaks so a flower can be born, a chrysalis breaks so a butterfly can emerge, a mother’s water breaks so a baby can be born. It seems to me that beautiful things can come out of brokenness and that growth, evolution, and reaching toward the light are preceded by darkness.
I think change is a form of breaking. Between January 1, 2020 and now, I’ve experienced a lot of brokenness, some of the change was my choice, and some wasn’t. Within the first seven months of 2020, I changed jobs twice, after being with the same company for almost nine years, until I found the right fit. Then I got cancer. Upon reflection, a major lesson has been on the active, participative nature of hope. I recently heard Dr. Cornel West describe the nature of hope:
“Hope is in the mess, in the muck, in the mire, in the funk and it helps create new evidence; because, when you’re in the funk, in the mess, in the mire, your actions, your attitude, your inspiration, your impact on others can create new evidence. It’s dynamic, it’s forever changing because you are participating. So, from the beginning hope is something much deeper than optimism.”
Then, In the first SheEO finance learning track on Developing a Financial Imagination, hope came up again when Dr. Joy Anderson of Criterion Institute said that, “the role of investors is hope, the hope that by putting your money to work, you can make a difference.”
SheEO is a living example of hope, it’s creating new evidence in the brokenness.
I first joined SheEO as an activator in 2017 because I was looking for a way to support women founders that was attainable as an unaccredited investor. SheEO democratized funding entrepreneurs, for me. After being a two time activator for 2017/2018, and 2018/2019, I took a step back in 2020. I activated to fund, I reactivated in 2022 and will stay because of hope.
My word for 2022 is steward, because I so strongly want to care for the blessings I have been entrusted with – from my voice, to my relationships, to my gifts, to my time, to my money, to my being. I also believe we’re entrusted with our broken places, to care for them in a way that only we can and then share what we’ve learned in service to everyone around us. As I move along my stewardship journey; in hope; learning about regenerative economics, the well-being economy, community economic development, Conscious Capitalism, Just Money, impact investing, Indigencomics…and actively participate in communities like SheEO, Invest for Better, and Women Doing Well, I’m writing my stewardship story with each encounter, each action, each choice, and each step. I’m writing my stewardship story in the broken places, in hope.