Vail Valley Charitable Fund: In the eyes of the phoenix |

Vail Valley Charitable Fund: In the eyes of the phoenix

Brooke Skjonsby
Vail Valley Charitable Fund

There’s a mythological tale about a phoenix rising from the ashes, representing transformation and rebirth anew from something that was destroyed. Emerging from a very challenging year, it may be simpler to forget the past and move forward. However, there’s power in the pause – the act of conscious reflection in order to create a meaningful and intentional path moving forward.

For me:

  • I’ve learned the importance of slowing down to take time to truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds me, in nature as well as in the hearts of those I love.
  • I’ve shifted my perspective to focus on abundance versus absence, honing in on all that is instead of all that isn’t.
  • I’ve spent more time connecting with family and friends, as these are the ties that truly bind us.
  • I’ve discovered that while we can’t choose what happens to us, we can choose how we respond to it.
  • I’ve chosen love over fear, voice over silence, and authentic listening over abundant sharing.
  • I’ve learned the importance of trusting the process, not rushing the process.
  • I’ve found freedom, awakening, and grounding through teaching and practicing at Revolution Power Yoga, my home away from home.
  • I’m continually reminded of how much need exists in our world, even right here in our own backyard.
  • I’ve become more aware of the importance of community and how, through commitment and integrity, we can all play a role in positively changing our world.
  • I’ve witnessed genuine giving through youth closets, food pantries, organizations providing assistance with living expenses and medical bills, and free holiday meals offered by Main Street Grill and SpeakUp ReachOut.
  • I’ve come to see that generosity is a humbling attribute. When you witness it – from the Towns of Vail, Avon, and Eagle, the Eagle County Commissioners, United Way, Vail Valley Cares, the dentists in our Eagle County Smiles program, and our individual donors – you learn to truly appreciate it. And the Vail Valley Charitable Fund was able to help so many locals this year because of it.
  • I’ve seen shifts from competition to collaboration and purpose over power in my work with fellow philanthropic organizations, governmental agencies, and large corporations.
  • I’ve decided that while some say it “takes a village …” I believe it takes a valley — our Valley.

I encourage you to emerge anew this year and be a conscious creator of how you choose to show up and make an impact on our world. The human spirit is meant to face challenges and rise again – just like the phoenix.

Brooke Skjonsby is the Vail Valley Charitable Fund executive director.

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