Gabby was introduced to Playback Memphis as a Lifeline to Success participant in Performing the Peace, our hallmark program bringing together justice impacted, formerly incarcerated individuals with law enforcement officers. Before the pandemic Gabby regularly attended our Wholehearted Leadership Circles, a monthly session for sharing and support for past Performing the Peace participants. At the time, she was in a difficult spot- without a home, a stable job or a steady income beyond the revenue she generated from Playback as an actor. She also had a debilitating health issue, and wasn’t comfortable seeking care because she didn’t trust the system. Even with these challenging realities, Gabby was continuing to grow awareness and skills that would help her transform her life within the community of care that is Playback.
Today Gabby has a full time job with benefits at Aluma-Form Inc, an electric supply store in Memphis. She has a trusting, caring relationship with her supervisor and generates enough income to pay rent on her own apartment. After Playback Memphis’ advocacy to seek out care through Christ Community Health Services, Gabby also has her health again. And her dreams, to own her own home and support others on their journeys to stable housing.
I caught up with Gabby recently and asked her what was the most important thing she learned from Playback that has been helpful to her in making such positive changes in her life. She surprised me when she said “ turning to wonder.” This is one of our Performing the Peace touchstones. Gabby explained that keeping a curious mindset helps her not ‘shoot off’ and get tangled up in judgment, blame, and reactivity. Can you imagine how much healthier and peaceful our world would be if everyone invested in growing a more curious mindset like Gabby? And now Gabby shares this mindset and skill with those around her creating a ripple of impact.