How One Legal Secretary Saved Thousands of Lives
This past weekend, I was at the Luxe Sunset delivering an Inspired Work Program. Our participants were there to find a new purpose, new work, and in some cases, new careers.
I like to sit alone at lunch to decompress and that was when I read the news of Peggy Albrecht’s passing. Peggy had become an iconic figure in the recovery community. Thousands of women had gotten sober because of her commitment to the community. The news hit so hard you could have knocked me over with a feather. In some ways, I loosely thought of Peggy as my first client, long before we launched Inspired Work. I met Peggy in my 20’s while I was running a temporary help service in downtown Los Angeles. She had a dignity and kindness about her that was distilled and perfect. I felt honored to be her friend. One day, Peggy called and asked if she could take me to dinner.
At the time, Peggy was working as a legal secretary. At dinner, she told me that the work had little meaning for her and that she felt compelled to find a better fit for her life. I asked her what she enjoyed doing more than anything else. She took a long pause, looked back at me and said, “I most love helping women get sober.”
I smiled and said, “Go do that.” Candidly, I didn’t have enough expertise to say much more and in hindsight, it was intuition, God, a higher power that came through with those three simple words. But, she called me not long after to say she had found a job with a sober living facility called Friendly House. From that day forward, every time that I saw her, whether it was a week, a month or a couple of years, Peggy was happier and more at peace with the world. She had that kind of head-to-toe transformation that can only happen when we define and live the purpose we were born to do.
A few years ago, I ran into Peggy for the last time. Physically, she had become pretty frail but her indomitable spirit beamed joy, contentment, and peace. I told her that I had found my life’s work and fully understood why she was surprisingly more whole and lovely and serene everytime we connected. Her life helped thousands of women find their way. Her being in the world became a testament to all of us of what can happen when we devote our lives to something greater than ourselves.
After lunch, I stepped in front of our participants and opened my mouth; instead of words, tears flowed. So, I told them of Peggy Albrecht, a humble and kind secretary who felt a greater calling in her life. It took one act of courage for her to step into the very place that matched her heart. Today, her body of work is one that lives around us and through us. How much potential did she unleash and bring into reality? The answer is bigger than all of us. I knew where she came from and had a glimpse of what she had become. More than all of it, her love for the work grew that little home into an iconic landmark for healing, supported by thousands including the rich and famous who were moved by this woman’s unmatchable heart.
Peggy Albrecht was one of my favorite people that ever walked the earth. After getting through the initial shock and tears I remember that whenever she looked my way, she had the means of conveying such pride and happiness in what I had become – that look will always be around when I call her name.
Namaste Dear One.
Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.
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