City of Angels – City of Heroes
Los Angeles in Spanish is translated into English as “The Angels.” And these particular Angels most likely are as stressed as their human charge since they watch over a city embroiled in too much, too fast or too little, too late. But this blog is NOT about Los Angeles, though a well deserved City for Angels. Instead it is about a small corner in the universe of joy – CLEVELAND, Ohio – a city of Heroes.
With the taste of victory for their hero Cavaliers, Monsters and Indians still lingering in the city’s cavernous streets like a great malted scotch ready to be poured for the next round, there were other unseen heroes awaiting discovery.
In Cleveland to deliver a talk to a convention audience on my theory of management, I knew from years of experience that there would be a few in the audience who would be moved toward some form of transformation in the priority management of self, personal relationships and the meaning of work. And in fact, that did occur. But while that type of an encounter with large groups of people is what I have done for 50 years, it is always the individual encounters of those outside the event, those along the way to and from the event, that are the greatest blessing for me. Here are three who I consider new models for managing change – from the City of Heroes.
Holly Woods (not the L.A. suburb) is a radiant young African-American woman who was working at the trade show where I was to speak. Clearly a bright light of energy and joy among very somber and tired looking employees, I fluttered toward her as a moth does toward light. We began our exchange as if we were two travelers on the same path who had not seen each other in centuries. Unpacking her history for her in full detail as told to me by the voice of intuition, I also relayed some instruction about ways to better manage her relationships and care and protect herself for better using her gifts for the greater good. While unnerved by the clarity of this channeled insight, she expressed the deepest gratitude for the wisdom and tearfully thanked me for the unsolicited insight by issuing the request: “Tell me more”.
Though Holly Woods was the recipient of some practical guidance, I was the one who was equally blessed – by the joy of her radiance – and the reality of her story. As a single working mother of a 10 year child, this soul is not daunted by the demand of responsibility that comes with such a strenuous role. Ready to live out her purpose and claim her work for the greater good, Holly has begun to remove any remaining obstacles that formerly prevented her from wholeness. She is an angel – and a hero.
Richard Rivera, for 24 years has been the doorman at a major hotel that has served as his pulpit for praise and positivism. While enjoying an hour long cigar by the hotel’s front door, I observed him greet and care for every individual who made their way into his sanctuary. While no comfortable pews cluttered his workspace, like a great organ without keys, the music of his voice filled his cathedral of connection. Guests called him by name indicating having previously been touched by his care. Others sought him for direction unaware that he could easily also provide them direction to a deeper understanding of living fully if they were to take the time and inquire. Troubled by the silence of a son who has rejected him for untruth; he remains undaunted and committed to what is true and is vigilant for a reconciliation that he is manifesting.
As I drew this luminescent being toward the cigar generated cloud of unknowing, he discovered a soul mate and like mindedness. Discussing everything from quantum physics, Holy Scripture and the power of energy, I discovered also a servant of The Greater Good. Of his own initiative, and many attempts at breaking through entropic systems, he finally is allowed to visit and mentor 18 incarcerated juveniles who are being blessed with his message of hope. Richard is indeed an angel – and has joined my personal collection of heroes.
Natalie: I did not get her last name but as I sat in her taxi for my return to the airport, first names only mattered as we bonded initially over a meal – a hot dog from a corner stand. After openly announcing my ravenous desire for a roadside dog, she never hesitated to “pull over” and create her own version of “drive through.” When I later asked her to define her life purpose (my typical level of questioning vs. “chit chat,”) she unpacked a story of her passion: buying derelict homes in the inner city for renovation and sale at a minimal price for the city’s poor. Dedicating her time and limited financial resources, Natalie is making a difference in the lives of those in need – thus also claiming a seat in my Council of Heroes.
We can change the way we live, work, play and learn through people like these three – they are all angels in my mind – and Heroes of Cleveland.