This morning after waking up I checked my phone for any important emails or texts that I might’ve gotten while I was off in dream land, sourced out the closest location for a Free Stampede Breakfast. Jumped in the shower, got ready and headed to the DDRC Stampede Breakfast.(Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary) Upon arriving I noticed it wasn’t a typical Stampede Breakfast, there was a Welcome tent to the left, with a donation box and Stampede Volunteers to greet you, the crowd was a lot more smaller and intimate than any other breakfast I’d previously hit up, so much so I thought it was a private event. There were tons of smiling faces, people dancing, laughing and having a great time. After the volunteer slapped a wristband on me, I walked through the crowd of dancers to go score some breakfast and find a seat and devour the pancakes and get the hell of there. Attending events alone, sometimes you feel you’re on a pedestal for being a loner or whatever so I usually duck out of things as soon as I arrive to avoid my own uncomfortableness of the judgements I assume others are making.
As I sat down to eat my breakfast a man yelled to get my attention, he was waving his arms and hitting his shirt and pointing to mine. I was wearing a Keith Urban t-shirt from his concert I’d recently hit up. I asked him if he liked my shirt and he nodded enthusiastically. This man was mentally disabled and so the thrill of seeing a giant face of a celebrity/singer on my shirt was all too exciting. I told him he had excellent taste. He shouted back “I know, I know, good taste” While laughing and clapping his hands. I couldn’t help but laugh, there was an innocence but also such truth and conviction in his response. I then looked around and noticed that the people dancing were also Handicapped in their unique way, from Down syndrome to Autism to whatever their disorders were. I had not really paid attention to anyone else when I’d first walked in so this was my first moment to take in the rest of the spectators, which I then realized this was an event held at a Disabilities Centre, I hadn’t heard of it before so I was ignorant to what it was. Many of the folks who benefit from this organization were in attendance.
Instead of bolting after I’d finished I decided to stick around and watch, take in the crowd a bit, observe their interactions between each other, between their care takers and themselves. As I watched I saw the truest form of Love, compassion and living in the moment. I’ve recently read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, which speaks about living in the moment and up until then I never really saw anyone living in the moment. I scanned to the dance floor area, where there were several people busting a move to the best of their ability and enjoying the moment, smiling ear to ear and that’s when it hit me… These people were living in the moment, they didn’t care what others thought of them, so much so they were pulling bystanders into their dance group and encouraging them to dance, grabbing and shaking their arms like a marionette puppet and yelling “Dance!” while they enthusiastically shook their hips and fist pumped the air. It was a beautiful moment, and I can’t thank the Stampede breakfast Organizers for hosting such a wonderful, free event. I left the event so full of gratitude that I was able to see such happy people, to learn from others we assume we’re to teach them how to do things.
It dawned on me that my own mental self sabotage, caring about others seeing me attending the breakfast alone was so insignificant and so irrelevant. However you are, whoever you are, whether you’re in a group, or alone, Everyone Belongs. It wasn’t until I got home to take off the wristband that I realized “Everyone belongs” was printed on the wristband. I couldn’t agree more and love that this was the slogan or motto to the organziation.
I plan to approach the organization to Volunteer some of my time. They taught me a life lesson today and if they can teach me that in 30 minutes there is a plethora of information and life lessons that remain untaught. Please [click here] to learn more and It’d be so awesome if you could make a donation to this amazing organization! [Click here] to do so.
**Also, I apologize in advance if the descriptions or references to people offend anyone as causing offence isn’t my intention, at all.**