By Ernie McNally
Ernie is asking people to donate to The Haven’s Financial Aid Program to celebrate his 60th birthday!
This June marks my 60th birthday. I am normally not one for ‘landmark’ dates, and for whatever reason this is different. I have become increasingly aware over the past few years of the preciousness of all life, and the endless opportunities to truly live that surround me every day. From this ever-rising viewpoint I give pause to reflect on the pathways I have taken, and not, and the gifts (though many didn’t seem so at the time!) I have found along the way.
I believe the greatest, and most abundant, gifts I have encountered have been with people. And I don’t think it has ever been more apparent to me than now. People who go out of their way to lend me a hand; take the time to stay in with me when I struggle; offer me heartfelt, and often tough, loving; grace me with challenge and kindness; sit in the quiet and stand in celebration with me; bless me with a word, a look, a touch, a laugh, a tear, a shake, and a safe harbour in the storm.
As I’m writing, warm, gentle tears are waiting at the corner of my eyes, and if reverent appreciation is a feeling, it is this breathing, rolling tug easing through my belly. The words that come have me asking “so what am I learning from all this?” Many lessons are occurring to me in response, and running through all of them for me is this…
I have more to give and receive than I ever thought possible. I can create lasting, rippling impact with the simplest of actions. It is my nature to care. I am never more than a few courageous leaps-of-faith away from what I want. Everyone matters, everyone makes a difference—and what I say about ‘I’ here, I believe about ‘we’.
Throughout my years of learning at The Haven, I have witnessed countless times when participants have risked opening to each other, and have discovered a quality of loving and connection deeper than they ever imagined. In the weeks, months and years that followed, I have witnessed these people transforming their lives, buoyed by their own strength and commitment to have more, be more, and give more. And I believe to my core that each time this happens we all live in a better world.
So what does all this have to do with me turning 60?
This: some of the courageous people I have been with at The Haven were able to participate, contribute and grow at a time when they did not have the funds, thanks to people like you and me who have donated to the Financial Aid Program. I have seen these people turn their appreciation for the opportunity into heartfelt commitment to dive in and go for it. I have been moved as they express their ‘thank you’ in their own words and actions. And I have been honoured to be with them as they seize the moment with a soul-driven determination to get and give everything they can.
I want as many people as possible to be able to transform their lives through their experiences at The Haven, and contribute to making our world a better, more human place through greater clarity, stronger relationships, and deeper connections. I can think of no more loving, impactful gift… one that pays forward, and forward, and forward…
So, for my 60th birthday, I am asking you to donate to ‘6-T-Rocks!’ for The Haven’s Financial Aid Program. If you are already a donor, I am asking you to consider making this additional one-time donation. You will make a difference, however much you give. I have no particular goal amount in mind, and I would like all of us to be pleased and surprised with what we create together!
As thanks, and as my gift to you, I will send each person who donates to ‘6-T-Rocks’ an mp3 of one of the Beebrothers Music Personal Songs I have co-written with my brother Steve.
So, there it is. I had been quite shy and awkward when I first thought of this, and imagined writing to you, and frankly I procrastinated while I attempted to get-it-perfect. As I began, I found I could hardly keep up with what I wanted to say! That I type with two fingers may have something to do with that, and more so, I think it is because I truly believe in what I am sharing with you, and asking for.
Thank you for taking the time to read all this, and hopefully being part of the coolest 60th birthday I’ll ever have!
Contact Louise Amuir on 1 877 247 9238 ext 222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.