Stories of Hope and Inspiration
My name is Kimberly. I am 43 years old and the mother of five children. I was seriously addicted to drugs and alcohol for many years. I have been incarcerated in prison five times; altogether totaling over ten years of my life spent behind bars.
During my last incarceration, while in a women’s prison near Tampa, Florida, I was enrolled in a program called “Second Chance”. At the first session, I met the presenters, a wonderful couple named Chip and Jan Chipman, and I was introduced to a little book called The Enlightened Gardener, by Sydney Banks. Little did I know that day in March of 2005, this introduction would change my life forever.
I will never forget the first session of Second Chance, when the Chipmans talked about Mr. Banks’ principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought. I didn’t understand at first what was so special about these principles, but when I went back to my bunk that night, I had such a deep insight that my whole world changed instantly.
I had been sitting there thinking my usual worried, negative thoughts about
myself and my life in general, when I suddenly realized that I would never have any happiness in my life if I kept thinking that way. Feelings of joy and hopefulness washed over me, and I cried tears of gratitude.
From that moment on, I began to share what I had found with the other women in the prison. I couldn’t wait to get to the class the following week and share what had happened to me. Other women began to have similar insights, and before long, everyone was talking about The Enlightened Gardener and how it had changed their lives.
The following year, I was released from prison, rejoined my husband and children and started life anew. I have worked for almost three years now as an outreach coordinator, teaching the Three Principles, and helping to make Mr. Banks’ message available to others, including people in prison, or who have been released from prison.
I know without a doubt that this understanding holds the cure to the “revolving door” situation in our prisons and jails, as well as the problems of drug and alcohol abuse.