Entrepreneurs face incredible challenges and obstacles as we give our all to build our dreams.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and we wanna just give up and go back to what’s easy, familiar, comfortable. I’ve been there many times. But my vision keeps calling me, reminding me that I have a contribution to make. A unique gift to offer the world. It comes from deep within me and I cannot stop until I have manifested the vision. Sound familiar?
Sometimes, just when we need it, we get an unexpected blessing that reminds us why we are doing this work.
Maybe a client calls with a surprise “thank you” or a huge win. Maybe someone who has been watching us lets us know they are impressed and to keep going. When these moments happen, it’s like a breath of fresh air. It helps us stand a little taller. Withstand the storm a bit stronger. And keep moving despite the difficulties.
Recently, I got one of these reminders and it came from a very unexpected source.
In 2004 I recorded several songs on a CD for an educational program called Full-Circle Learning. The songs were both educational and motivational and were designed to be used as part of the character development portion of the program.
I got an email from my dear friend, Teresa Langness, the founder and designer of the Full-Circle Learning program. She just returned from Liberia where there are currently 81 schools using her program and there are 3000 more teachers to be trained in August of this year.
The teachers who were training to be in the program wanted her to tell me that their favorite song was one that I recorded called Consider This. It’s a beautifully written song with powerful lyrics that address the hardships of war while providing a vision of a world united. As I was listening to this song in preparation for this post, I was overwhelmed with emotion thinking about the many challenges, hardships and disparities that are going on in the world today. This amazing song written by my dear friend, Teresa Langness, is very needed today.
Discovering that one of the many songs that I sang for this program had travelled all the way to Liberia and moved the hearts of people in a country where my feet have never touched ground stirred my soul in a profound way.
I felt inspired, uplifted and incredibly blessed.
I actually started my career in education by becoming the Director of the Full-Circle Learning after school program in 1995. I had no track record in education and wasn’t even sure if what I had to give was enough. But I knew I loved kids and decided to go for it. That decision changed my world in ways I could never have imagined.
My son, Kahlil Franklin, was a participant for several years, He even returned after he graduated High School to participate in Alumni events and give back. The program had a profound impact on his life. To this day he still loves working with kids and youth. Full-Circle Learning made him a more compassionate man, a more loving big brother and now an incredibly gentle father.
Full-Circle Learning made my son a more compassionate man, a more loving big brother and now an incredibly gentle father.
Later on I became a member of the Board of Directors and then a Music Teacher when she opened up the first Full-Day school in Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles. When I said yes to being the Director of the after school program, I had no idea it would become a more than 10-year relationship. I feel truly blessed to have been able to participate in such a profoundly important program. The contributions I made decades ago are still making a difference today.
As amazing as it felt to hear this news, imagine being the one who started this incredible movement in the first place.
Teresa Langness started Full-Circle Learning in 1991 in response to the Los Angeles Riots after the Rodney King incident. King is an African-American man who was beaten by police after a car chase. Regardless of how you feel about that incident or the ones that have occurred recently, it is clear that America has some real work to do. Teresa saw a need and filled it.
Full-Circle Learning has grown from a small after school program in Los Angeles to several full-day schools all over the world. There are programs in Haiti, Liberia, Zambia, Chad, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Kenya, S. Africa, China, India, Japan, Tonga, Brazil, Panama and several US States.
This one woman started a movement that is LITERALLY changing the world!
These words from the website explain much better than I can what Full Circle Learning is about.
“Full-Circle Learning, a non-profit organization, seeks to develop a generation of people who will see the relationship between self-mastery, human kindness, skills development and the greater social goals of curing disease, preventing war, addressing poverty, advocating equity, and preserving the planet. Its programs offer young people the chance to become the leaders of their generation by each making a unique contribution to a more whole and sustainable society.”
I am humbled to have played a part, however small, in this incredible movement. When Teresa asked me to record songs for the CDs for this program, all I was thinking was that I wanted to support my amazing friend and the work she was doing. I had no idea how far the winds would carry my voice.
So keep doing your work.
You have a gift to offer this world.
It’s not up to you to determine when, where or how it will all happen. Your job is to keep contributing no matter how small or insignificant it may feel to you.
Whether you know it or not, your actions are making an impact on the world. Don’t worry about what you feel you don’t have or can’t do. Start with what’s available to you right now. Keep moving. Give what you have to give. You never know where the winds will carry it.
Take a moment and reflect on a moment when you made a difference. A client who had a breakthrough. Your children or family who felt your support. A friend who you uplifted in a difficult time. Let yourself feel that moment. Remember how amazing it feels when you offer your help and it is received. Let yourself feel the blessings in what you have to give. Share a moment in the comments below.
If you would like to hear more of the music created for this program, click here.
To keep in touch with what Full-Circle Learning is up to, follow them on Facebook.