Prophets, Like Leaders, are Often Without Honor in Their Hometown

Matthew 13:57: “And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own household is a prophet without honor.”

Whenever I am invited to a community to facilitate presentations and workshops, I always remind the community I am visiting to look around and see their leaders again. Often I will share, ‘I would love to be invited back, but I assure you that there are some, if not many, right here among us that you know well and see every day, that can facilitate this type of presentation or workshop. But you overlook them because you know them. You know their strengths, weaknesses, triumphs and failures, yet they are doing the work every day and night, just like I do. They have the same amount of experience as I do. They can translate decades of experience to a fantastic training, just like me, but they’re from here, they live here, and you’ve known them your entire life, and that’s exactly how you stopped knowing them. You’ve become blinded by the snapshots you hold in your mind about their downfalls, mistakes, and idiosyncrasies and have forgotten how much they’ve overcome, all the valuable wisdom they posses, and the importance of the work they do. It’s time to see them again. Contrary to popular belief, an “expert” does not have to live one-hundred miles or more away, because chances are, there are some, if not many leaders, that are sitting right next to you. See them again. Honor them again. And don’t forget to include yourself in that seeing and honoring.’

Honestly, I don’t even like using the word leadership, because for me, it’s so overused, and somehow, at least for many, it’s become linked to status, money, titles, and get rich quick schemes, which of course have nothing to do with leadership. True leaders are servants, nothing more, nothing less. Not when it’s convenient, or during “normal business hours,” but wherever and whenever service is needed. And I promise you, because I am blessed to serve in 24/7 youth crisis counseling and youth residential services, I work with true leaders every day and night, who stop at nothing to ensure youth and young adults are safe, fed, clothed, working through their pain, taking steps away from the trauma and walking back towards their God-given destinies. Unless you work with me, you probably don’t  know the names of the leaders I am blessed to serve with. Their titles range from residential adviser, prevention specialist, counselor, social worker, director, janitor, groundskeeper, outreach worker, violence interventionist, gang specialist, etc. But none of them care about their titles because they know that their titles are not nearly as important as their testimonies. And in that truly called and anointed position of being a servant, they know the youth and young adults that we are blessed to serve are our leaders, and they treat them that way.

Those I am blessed to serve with are true leaders, and may not be honored as such by some, but I honor them, and the youth we serve certainly know who it is that’s ready and wiling to help in the middle of the night when there is a crisis. You see, when someone is truly in crisis they’re not in need of an “expert,” they’re in need of a willing servant. And you won’t see the leaders I speak of at all the black tie events and fundraisers, not because those things aren’t important, but because they’re facilitating a suicide intervention, sitting in a psychiatric hospital getting a child admitted, sitting in an emergency room waiting for the rape exam to be completed, under a bridge giving youth sleeping bags and food, at the shelter facilitating healing, or they’re sleeping off another shift that lasted nineteen to twenty-four hours, because they don’t go home when it’s time, they go home when the mission at hand is completed.

These leaders may not be honored in terms of recognition by politicians and such, oh but they’re recognized by those they’re called to serve. They’re not interested if someone of so-called prominence recognizes them or what they do. They’re focused on ensuring that the traumatized, marginalized and rejected are being recognized as the sacred blessings, miracles and gifts they are. They’re focused on teaching those who many said are unteachable, and reaching those who many said are unreachable. And guess what? They reach them and teach them, because they understand that as long as adults are willing to learn from the youth, the youth are willing to learn from adults, and that understanding only manifests from a servant’s heart.

Leadership, being a servant isn’t a high standard to achieve. It often begins at a very low place of misfortune, mistakes, loss, pain and tragedy, then in that same low place, on our knees in communion with the Creator of our understanding, a servant is sent to kneel with us, encourage us, and together we rise. And from that experience, another servant, a true leader walks among us, simply giving all that was given to them, understanding both the depths of trauma and the truth of miracles. And this experience brings forth the wellspring of the only necessary qualification of a leader – love.

True leaders are servants, nothing more, nothing less. And like prophets, true leaders, servants, may not always be recognized or honored in their hometown because the labels of “former gang member,” “former addict,” and all of the other past tense stigmas mask the reality of who these leaders are today by those who claim to know them, but really only knew a moment in time of them. There is not one human being in existence, that if we were to live with them or work with them day in and day out, that we wouldn’t soon realize that all the frailties we want to crucify some for, are the same frailties we willingly overlook in others. We choose who we honor as leaders, and we choose who we overlook, including ourselves.

Honor is not something we as human beings receive, honor is something we live. Honor is something that cannot be bestowed or taken by anyone or anything outside of ourselves. So instead of asking you to honor those servants among you, I will simply encourage you to follow their example. And by doing so, everyone is honored and leadership is reframed back to what it truly is – service.







Your Gifts Are Not a Gamble, They’re a Sure Thing When You Share Them

The Seventeen Inch Walk is a workshop I’ve been blessed to facilitate for many years now. Below is a small portion from The Seventeen Inch Walk workshop that was placed upon my heart to share with you here. May it bless you and whomever you are led to share it with.
~ Walk in Beauty,
Anthony Goulet

Have you ever purchased a lottery ticket and then dreamt about what you’d do if you were the one who held the winning lottery ticket? Most of us have. We think how much easier our lives would be with the instant millions of dollars. We think about how many people we could help, especially those who’ve made sacrifices for us. It’s fun to think about being in a position to be of more service. It’s fun to think about how much more fun, joy and passion we could have in our lives that instantly having millions of dollars could bring us. And the fun of that fantasy all stops at the time they draw the winning numbers, then poof! The dreaming is gone. Imagination is disengaged and the focus is back on the needs of the day – daily survival.

The big, instant dream of a huge avalanche of abundance pouring from a winning lottery ticket into our lives and out into the lives of others generates so many conversations about fun, future, giving and living. And people can’t help but join in the imaginings when asked the question, what would you do with the money if you have the winning lottery ticket? When asked that question, so many people are momentarily filled with passion and can tell you in great detail what they’d do, the changes they’d make, and how their lives would be better, if only by some remote chance they were holding the winning lottery ticket.

Years ago, I had a friend who purchased a Powerball lottery ticket and during the drawing their ticket matched all five numbers of the first numbers, but not the Powerball number. He held that ticket in his hand and asked some of his friends and family in the room, “Did I win? Is this a winning ticket?” His family and friends assured him that he did not win anything. His family and friends convinced him with complete sincerity that his one-hundred thousand dollar winning lottery ticket was worthless. His friends and family may have been sincere, but they were sincerely wrong. Nonetheless, he accepted their answers and threw his winning ticket in the garbage. A few days later after doing his own research, he discovered that he had won one-hundred thousand dollars. It was garbage day in his neighborhood, so he hurried home in the middle of the day from work to pull all of his garbage cans from the curb and go through each bag to find his winning lottery ticket. When he arrived home, he saw that the garbage had already been picked up, so he went to the garbage dump and knew his one-hundred thousand dollar ticket was somewhere in the middle of tons of garbage. He searched for hours in hopes of finding his winning lottery ticket. He never found his winning lottery ticket, and was severely depressed for several weeks, but after he came out on the other side of his depression, he was mostly upset with himself, because in the moment he won, he didn’t listen to his own, deep level instinct letting him know he won; he listened to everyone in the room that told him his ticket was worthless, and he allowed their voices to drown out the voice inside of him that was screaming, They’re wrong! You are holding a winning lottery ticket!

Let me tell you a secret: You are holding a winning lottery ticket. A lottery ticket that is worth more than all of the money the world can make. You may think that your winning lottery ticket is expired, but it has no expiration date. You may think that it is lost, but it’s incapable of being lost. You may think that it’s been thrown away and destroyed, but it’s incapable of being destroyed. It may be buried underneath disappointments, pain, loss, tragedy, and the voices of some who say that it’s worthless, but it can never be lost or destroyed. Your winning lottery ticket isn’t something you can purchase, nor do you have to just imagine all the passion, joy and benefits that it can offer you, others and our world, you simply need to exchange it for all the benefits it holds. And the only way to exchange it and extract all the greatness within it, is by sharing it. Your winning lottery ticket, what you have to exchange for all the fulfillment and riches beyond money and material things that you can possibly imagine is you. The real you. The you that’s created in and with a deep, devoted and passionate vision, mission and purpose. And you’ve been endowed by the Creator with every gift you need to manifest your vision, mission and purpose. Your gifts are not a gamble, they’re a sure thing when you share them.

To exchange your gifts for all the benefits they can offer you, others and our world, the first person you have to share them with is yourself, not dozens of people. If your vision is to write a book, begin writing the book. If your mission is to be a better parent, begin making one simple change that improves the relationship between you and your children. If your purpose is to obtain a degree or diploma, take the first step by registering for your classes. If you want to start a fire that will be a place of comfort, light and hope for yourself, others and our world, begin by gathering the matches and kindling, then lighting the fire in privacy – just you and the Creator of your understanding. After the foundation of the fire is strong enough, slowly and surely, piece by piece, build upon the spark of the vision, mission, dreams and purpose you’ve been given. Allow your vision, mission, purpose and gifts to burn within you first, so that you don’t walk into a room full of people, light a match and allow someone to blow it out and say, “See? You don’t have anything to offer.” If you don’t share your gifts with yourself first, you’ll make the same mistake my friend did. You’ll be in a room, holding a winning ticket, which you are, and attempt to get encouragement and approval from others, but just like my friend, even when you are holding your winning ticket – your gifts – and all the evidence points to the possibilities of something remarkable happening, if you get caught up in external voices and don’t immediately take the next steps in accessing what you’ve been given to share, others will intentionally or unintentionally try to convince you that what you’ve been given to share has no value. Your gifts are not a gamble, they’re a sure thing when you share them.

Don’t confuse your abilities with your gifts, because they are different. I cannot physically perform the martial arts now at age forty-six like I could at age twenty-six, so my physical abilities have dwindled a bit, but my gifts to inspire, motivate, teach, problem solve, and allow God to facilitate healing through me are timeless and eternal, because my gifts, like yours, are forever within the great love that created us exactly like itself – the great love that births our gifts through us to others. Your gifts are not a gamble, they’re a sure thing when you share them.

Just like people give themselves a moment to dream about all they’d do with millions of dollars from a winning lottery ticket, give yourself a moment to dream again, in detail about all you could do with your gifts. Then take the first steps in the presence of only yourself and the Creator. As has been said countless times over decades, people are rewarded in public for what they’ve practiced for years in private. Your rewards, when you follow your vision, mission, dreams and purpose by utilizing all of your God-given gifts will be many. The most important reward you’ll experience is fulfillment. You will always recognize your highest callings by one key trait: That which fills you when you give it away. Yes, when you give it away – that’s why it’s a gift. If you’re living your life to get instead of give, then keep playing the lottery. If you want a peace and fulfillment beyond understanding that no amount of money could ever provide you with, then realize that you’ve already won the lottery – you are the winning ticket! Look in the mirror, remember that you are a sacred blessing, miracle and gift, fully equipped to be a blessing, miracle and gift to others. Success isn’t about how many people love your work, success is about love being your work, whether what you’ve been gifted to give is for one person or one million people. And whether or not you exchange your gifts and live your vision, mission, dreams and purpose is entirely up to you, but I guarantee you that someone, somewhere needs what you have to give. Your gifts are not a gamble, they’re a sure thing when you share them.

The Winning Lottery Ticket

Waking Up or Getting Up?

Don’t just get up, wake up to the truth that you are a sacred blessing, miracle and gift. Vision begins within. The true vision of love extends outward in healing. The distorted vision of fear projects outward in destruction. 

Until someone can see you as a sacred blessing, miracle and gift, they cannot see you.
Until you can see yourself as a sacred blessing, miracle and gift, you cannot see you.

Decide for Yourself

A rose never decides against itself. It allows all of its beauty to unfold, both receiving and giving all of the perfection that it is. You are a sacred blessing, miracle and gift. Any resistance to this truth is ego. The ego only wants separation. And what a separation it is to loath and condemn yourself, then project that violent separation outward to others.

Who came up with the false image of you that says you’re anything less than a sacred blessing, miracle and gift? As sure as you did not create yourself, you did not create this false image of yourself. This false image reduces the son and daughter of the Most High Creator to a guilty, condemned, disconnected, unworthy, unknown, and insignificant fragment. This false image is violence, both the cause and the symptoms. This violent fragmentation is the opposite of the whole and Holy truth that the ego does not want you to remember, because in this Holy memory the ego dissolves to the nothing it is. Do not bow to this false image of yourself anymore. No matter how temping it may be to say that this is humble, because there is nothing humble about deciding against yourself without the Creator. Humility is deciding for yourself with the Creator.

Arrogance is thinking of yourself as anything other than what you are. What you are is a sacred blessing, miracle and gift, yet even those words are mere sparks compared to the Light of Who you are from and all that is you.

Dear child of the Great One, how great is your memory that needs only one word to dissolve the thin veil you think separates you from your Maker and all of creation. In this instant you are called back to the Creator and yourself. In this instant your ancient Holy name is known again by you, calling you, speaking it clearly in your heart. In this instant you remember that it is not a journey of one thousand miles, but only one step that takes you from hell to heaven.

Lay down your mask. The masks you’ve worn are no longer necessary because you are welcome here.
Lay down your hopelessness. You are not hopeless. You are as certain as God Who created you.

Lay down your perfectionism. You are and have always been perfect.
Lay down your desire to become someone. You are already much more than some one, you are all within the One.
Lay down the desire to become something. You are already more than some thing, you are everything.
Lay down the weapons that ego has forged against you, and then projected towards others.

You are Love. Love is eternal and beyond destruction. The thin veil of false images telling you that you are anything less than a sacred blessing, miracle and gift are mere distortions of your Holy reflection. The false images of ego have painted over the mirror that obscures your Holy reflection, so when you look at the lies, you think it’s you, but it’s not. You’re beyond the lies that blur your vision. You’re beyond the past that the ego uses to justify self-imprisonment. You’re beyond the false images the ego has constructed that blur you from you, God, and all of creation. The Creator Who lovingly hung the earth on nothing manifested you from this same great love.

In this instant you remember that the slate is clear, and always has been.
In this instant you wipe the mirror clean of all the false images that cloud your true reflection.
In this instant you see your true self again and remember you are a sacred blessing, miracle and gift.
In this instant you reach out to the loving life-giving rain and sunshine that nourishes you and allows the beauty of you to unfold.
In this instant you decide for yourself with God and bloom within the sacredness you are.
In this instant you decide for yourself and allow the illusions of the ego to roll off of your flawless petals.
In this holy instant you decide for yourself, with God, and remember that you are Love.

The rose in full bloom
Nourished when open
Magnificence displayed
Never deciding against itself
The rose is humble

Rose with poem II

The Voice of What You Are

The ego only knows how to attack or defend. It wants allies to join in attacks and defense, but it doesn’t want brothers and sisters. It doesnt want brothers and sisters to unite in Truth – in Love.

There’s another Voice within us – the Voice of God that’s always available because It’s what we are. Its Holiness always remebers and reminds ourselves and others that we are all sacred blessings, miracles, and gifts.

We have a choice in which voice we listen to. And the voice we’ve chosen to listen to is evident in what we share – what we teach. And what we teach is what we are choosing to learn.

Take the sacred, seventeen inch walk from your head back to your heart to teach and learn with God in the great, holy love that you are, always have been, and will always be.

~ Walk in Beauty,

Anthony Goulet