Last night, about 7pm California time, the campaign to help Cheri beat cancer reached its $5500 goal. Done. Finished. Final. Complete.
We were celebrating quite joyously this morning over on the campaign page, so you can check that out if you’d like.
Right now, though, I have to admit I feel kind of strange.
It started last night. I had talked to the matching donor in Australia, so I knew the fund was about to be fulfilled, and yet, the whole thing suddenly felt unreal. Like I’d made it all up. Imagined it. Like the numbers on the GoFundMe page were just numbers. Like when you’re learning to invest on the stock market and you start with fake dollars and make fake investments just to see how your decision making plays out.
Even this morning when I opened the computer and saw the neat $5500 tally next to our goal number $5500, it felt unreal. Tidy and lovely, but somehow unreal.
It’s kind of surprising, this feeling. I don’t think I felt it even once while the campaign was in motion. Every donation felt like a gift from Heaven. A miracle. Every time I saw the tally go up, I felt humbled and inspired, incredulous and excited. It felt SO real. Like we’d put ourselves out there and been met with so much support. Which is exactly what happened. The way it felt aligned perfectly with the actual experience.
So today feels super strange because, today, I literally have to remind myself that this happened. It wasn’t someone else that woke up to inspiration, who saw this possibility and grappled with the voices of doubt and criticism. It wasn’t someone else whose commitment to Cheri’s potential caused her to risk the boot. And every one of those numbers is attached to a real person, someone who said yes, I believe in you and I’ll stand for Cheri. And one way or another, it was me who reached out to each of those people, who invited everyone to join together and invest in the journey of one woman, to participate in her healing and evolution for the benefit of untold numbers beyond her. Please forgive my incredulity, but that was me!! And it honestly feels like someone else did all that. Someone out there, and I’m just witnessing this remarkable outcome.
Pretty strange, right?
Cheri is having a similar experience. She’s not been following the campaign as closely as I (you know, distracted with cancer and healing and reinventing her life), so when she randomly checked in last night and saw that we’d met our goal, she wept. But talking to her today, she said she was in shock and also used the word “surreal.” I think for her, the campaign has felt surreal all along though. I can’t really explain why I’ve dropped into it so suddenly.
But regardless, we are definitely celebrating. More than 100 people gave money. More than 200 shared the campaign. That’s extraordinary support, any way you look at it. And Cheri is on fire in her work this week. I so wish you all could hear her. She is focused and empowered in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever heard. This campaign has offered really tangible evidence of how life can be, full of love and care and grace. The show of support has put SO MUCH wind in Cheri’s sail. And she is definitely moving with it. It’s super exciting.
And no matter how strange or disconnected I feel at this moment, running this campaign and doing the work with Cheri has taught me some really important things about myself.
First is that I LOVE fundraising. I never would have expected that. But there is something REALLY satisfying about inspiring a group of people to come together in a meaningful way on behalf of someone else. Not only am I more comfortable doing that than I am trying to inspire individuals to invest in themselves and purchase a service, but I’m SO MUCH better at it. It just seems like a much better fit for who I am, how I work, and what I value.
The other thing I’m seeing — and this is far less surprising — is that I LOVE doing intensive mentoring over a prolonged period of time with someone just coming out of the darkness, someone sitting right at the threshold between who they’ve been and who they’re becoming. In truth, we are all sitting on that threshold every minute of every day. We all have at all times the potential to move into our next evolution. But that moment is more pronounced for some due to circumstance. And being able to really invest myself, to offer significant support such that a woman can follow through on radical change, feels…. Do you know? I don’t even have a word for that. I don’t have a word for that…… something.
Given all this, in the coming weeks I’m going to be seriously exploring reorganizing my coaching practice into a non-profit that can dedicate itself to the empowerment of women sitting on the edge. And I’m dreaming of starting a group in the fall, a small group, maybe four women, that I can support for at least six months. That will mean another fundraiser but I’m already a little excited about the idea. Thinking about bringing Caterpillar Soup out of retirement for the occasion.
So a HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in Cheri’s campaign, everyone who shared and gave and held Cheri in your heart. Extraordinary things are happening to both of us and I can honestly say, it’s because of you.