Thursday, December 16, 2010

Much Less Than Perfect Speaking Opportunity

Two days ago, I had the opportunity to speak about victims of Noma to a room of about 50 beauty industry professionals at a Beauty Industry West meeting geared towards the concept of giving. Sitting in a room of individuals in the manufacturing side of the beauty industry, it was welcoming to see some familiar faces and somewhat interesting introducing myself wearing a new hat, and as a guest to a meeting I used to attend quite regularly. As I sat down in a seat that was picked for me, I engaged in a conversation with a pleasant gentleman involved in selling cosmetic product packaging. We conversed about our background, he asked me about sales, and my interest in it, my outlook on selling in the current economy and so forth, as well as, our feelings towards or current lines of work. After some small talk and a few bites of Ravioli, I was called up to the front to share about the work of CreateACTivity, and share the story of victims of Noma. As I stood up at the front, waiting to share with the room one of my biggest passions, I was thrown off by the technical difficulties of a projector that was unable to project my presentation for no other reason than a mismatched plug. Almost at a loss for words, I did the best I could with the lack of resources and near energetic breakdown that I had come over me due to the fact that I would be unable to share images that illuminate the severity of Noma and importance in getting aid to individuals living with the effects of the infection.

Angry at myself for what I felt was a lost opportunity, I slowly realized that the reason for the projector issues may have just been that it was not the appropriate timing for that particular audience in sharing such heavy material. The main gift of the experience was the gentleman sitting next to me that had asked about my past background, and sales interests... when I sat back down at the table, the gentleman looked me straight in the eye and asked me if I founded CreateACTivity, after my short reply of "Yes," he proceeded to ask two more questions. The first question (in a beautiful Australian accent), "Your interest in this is a life choice, isn't it?". My response, "Yes". Second question: "Aren't you scared?" My response, more calm than assured than ever before, "Absolutely not, I know this is what I am supposed to do. I am still in sales, however, now I understand the why the sale is important."

Although it took a while for the anger and frustration of a much less than perfect presentation to brush off my shoulder, I was thankful for the man that sat next to me. For the opportunity to share a little bit about my current adventure with faces of the past, and get to know some fresh new faces within the beauty industry.  I am thankful for Beauty Industry West, and the individuals involved that gave me the opportunity to be present with them during their yearly meeting geared towards giving.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quick, But Essential

This post is going to be quick, but I feel it is essential. I find that it is always easier to write about the triumphs and successes, and a little harder to push myself to the keyboard on those days where the energy feels sucked out of you. Today was one of those energy draining days, but I think the energy was drained so that new energy can flow in.

The day started with a phone call to my father, only to find out that he just so happened to be browsing on a job posting website and found that his boss had posted his position (to hire a new person in his place) on the site. My father (the amazing man that he is, a man who I believe can conquer anything life hands him) had not a sign of stress in his voice. When I asked him how he felt he told me that he asked himself "What would Sara do?" So, I asked him: "What would I do?" His response was perfect. He told me that getting the job allowed him to make a positive shift in his life, and that he was grateful for that, that he had passed his final test and it was time to move on to new opportunities. Without hesitation, he went into work to continue his day, only to be greeted by a customer who "unintentionally," gave him a heads up of a job opening with a competitor down the street.

Following the phone call with my father, I wrote the owner of the boat and let him know I that I was going to have to turn down the opportunity of living in his warn in water cabin. The space just needs too much work, when I am not exactly too sure where the winds of tomorrow will be taking me. Also, the bathrooms and showers next to the dock are out of commission at the moment, and as much as I do not mind roughing it, I do appreciate showers and and flush-able commodes. Long story short, the keys were returned and the boat bid fair well. I do still think I will spend some time on the water in the future, this particular space and time, just wasn't the right lock and key (considering there was no way to lock it with a key, haha).

That is the update of the day, I'm calling it a night.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Un-planning Process

The last time I posted, I was visioning boat life in the marina ... calm and relaxed, in my own space, having the comfort of a regularly paid income, paying some dues for rent like the common folk, and having an area to focus on business plans/visions... slowing things down a bit for the sake of putting together plans for the future of CreaACTivity and attempting to have a place of comfort to bring business related or personal company to  if I so chose.  I had also declined speaking in Singapore due to the conference board's unwillingness in paying for travel expenses, and had accepted the lost opportunity without having any emotional attachment towards going (or not going) to the event. ... I'd love to say that everything is going smoothly and exactly as I planned, but what kind of story would that be?

Since the last update, the boat was "cleaned" out, and the keys were handed over. Turns out my perception of clean is a lot different than the boat owners perception of clean. What was described to me as a lovely, comfortable, Tempur-Pedic mattress, is actually two moldy pieces of Tempur-Pedic mattress material. What was described to me as bleached and watered down, is actually dusty, un-swept or vacuumed, and not wiped down at all. But to say the least, I still love the guy for his adventurous attitude and desire to keep his worn in water vessel by renting it out to an adventurous/semi crazy individual such as myself. After leaving the boat and thinking about how much it would cost me to get the thing into, by my standards, a livable condition I started contemplating if it would be worth the effort and began to walk to my car currently packed with all of my belongings. As I left the dock, my telephone rang, and up pops a phone number that I haven't seen in months from the lovely gentleman that invited a friend of mine and I to Haiti in May of this past year. The reason for the call... to derail my planning process. For the third time this year, I was asked if I would be willing to move to Haiti to do some on the ground work in helping provide the necessities needed to survive the dire circumstances many are currently living with in Port Au Prince. The necessity I would be working with this time around ... sanitary water. My response to the phone call... "When do I leave?"

Obviously, there are matters here that I can't just leave behind. With the possibility of CreateACTivity gaining some publicity, donors, and getting our first project off the ground along with potential website upgrade ... there is a lot to be done, and a lot to think about if I was to take off to Haiti. However, there is a lot that I can learn from the experience as well that would only give me a larger understanding to helping those in poverty, and gaining connections to powerful people capable of creating positive change. A lot to think about, but I know all will happen as it is supposed to. I am realizing that  I am really not in charge of any of this, but merely along for the ride.

Another random "by chance" moment happened at work the other day as well, when a co-worker mentioned to me that most of my clients seem to be involved with non-profits. Not thinking too much of it, I went to greet my next client only to find out that she had just spent the previous day volunteering for Habitat For Humanity. I'd love to say it was coincidence, however, the client  that followed her just so happened to worked with a company that matches celebrities and professional athletes with charities. One of the athletes she currently works with is Yao Ming, of the Houston Rockets....who I  happened to (literally) bump into last week in the elevator of the hotel I was staying at because the house I was living in was, by chance, being renovated due to a leaky roof and pipes.

Now for the update on the Singapore conference. Yes, I know, I didn't think there would be an update in regards to this either. I sent the conference board a message declining the speaking opportunity without any expectation of a response back, only to be greeted with their desire to explore cross marketing opportunities. Let the exploration begin.

I also am rocking crooked glasses because I seem to have lost one of my last contacts down the drain... which is probably a blessing because I think it was giving me an eye infection. Can't totally afford new glasses or contacts... but figure the lesson is that I am not supposed to see to far ahead.

More updates soon,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Attempting to Commit to My Promise!

In attempt to commit to my promise, here I am again, blogging away. 

So yesterday, yesterday was interesting (as is everyday). 

It started out with a little part time work to pay the bills, which was fun. A 6'5 guy with a broken arm, (clothing that looked pretty new) came in to our spa to get a massage, so we have him fill out some medical paperwork and got him into session. He then chooses to upgrade his session to a longer length of time. After about five minutes into his session, the security guard for our complex comes in and asks where the guy is, I respond to him that he is in session. The security guard then asked me how he was going to pay, and let me know that he just walked out of the hair salon up the street after his hair cut, and notified the salon that he didn't have any money. We stopped his session, and the guy walks out, hangs out with the security guard for a bit, and then chats with the cops for a little while before they take him to jail. Too tell you the truth, can't blame the guy for trying ... free haircut, free massage, little "cab ride" around LA, a free meal, and I'm pretty sure jail is warmer than where he stayed the night previous.. Couldn't have been too bad of a day!

After work, I went to work, answering emails, balancing finances for CreateACTivity, and communicating with some interns on our newest project. Long story short, I contact a gentleman that saw me speak at the Medical Tourism Congress, only to find out that he is interested in helping fund the current project that we are working on! Turns out he will be heading to Las Vegas this month, and there just so happens to be deals on flights to Vegas right now( according to the email from Jet Blue and Southwest that I received in my inbox last night). Thank you universe, yet another verification that I am where I am supposed to be. 

Mid afternoon, I went to check out the boat. Met the owner of the boat at the dock, he was wearing almost the exact same outfit as myself (jeans, black leather jacket, and some checkered print underneath), so to say the least, I could tell we would get a long. Finding out that one can't "live" on a boat in the marina, but you can hang out on a boat and sleep on a boat, and spend four nights a week on a boat, I learned that there will be no living on a boat, however, I may choose to watch the boat for a bit. As you can see by the picture below, it does need some work, a feminine touch per say. 

Oh yea! And I declined Singapore, they were only willing to wave fees for the conference, but not pay travel expenses. The cost of going to Singapore would easily be about five facial reconstructions for victims living with the effects of Noma, and I can't justify the expenses it would take to get me there. 

Well, I am off to start todays adventure. I will keep you posted. 

Loving Life, 


Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Little Inspiration From My Father

Thanksgiving now past, and having a few spare moments to reflect on all of the things I am thankful for within this past year and in my life, I write this blog post with gratitude for my number one support system, my Father. Called my dad up tonight to let him know which couch, and in what city, I am sleeping in for the night, and with a boast of laughter he asked me if I have been writing "this all" down. I informed him I have here and there, and he encouraged me to write more often because "people are going to want to read it" and I "need to write a book for people to share the experience." He shared with me that he loves listening to my stories so that he can learn how to do it himself. So with gratitude to my father, I am picking up where I left off.

Last time I wrote, I had just spoke at the International Medical Tourism Congress in Los Angeles. Since then, the communal living situation that I had joined last November has came to an end. One of the girls I lived with took off to bike across the Middle East with dreams of a destination in Nepal, the other roommate took  on a month exploration in Brazil and plans to return home for a bit of couch surfing til' she books a flight to Europe, and as for the lovely and kind mother and daughter duo... well, they needed some alone time, free of late night entrances, broken appliances, and vanishing honey and peanut butter jars. As for me, I just checked out a place for rent with a chicken coop in the back yard, looking at a sailboat for rent tomorrow, and at one point I stayed in six different cities in six days without considering myself "out of town."

On a the business side of things, since the Los Angeles International Medical Tourism Congress, I have been asked to speak in Singapore and Costa Rica this upcoming year, as well as, being considered to deliver my information and presentation to the marketing department at University of Las Vegas and an unannounced college in Florida. I have started a new project for CreateACTivity (the non profit I started in November) and look forward to bridging my love for the skin care industry together to with a great cause that provides facial reconstructions to people suffering from the effects of Noma.

As far as adventures, I am not sure I have that much to share other than a random trip to NYC to see the Big Apple for the first time with a close friend and sister from another life. Had the pleasure of taking a stroll though central park, seeing my first Broadway play, meeting up with a friend for a stroll along the "Skyline", and hopping on the subways just to see where I'd end up.

Thanksgiving now past, I have a lot to be thankful for. For this post and updates to come, "Thank you" to my father for believing in my desire to help the lives of others, and supporting my altered vision of success... single father of two, incredible artist, rarely serious, always sarcastic, embarrassingly sarcastic, dear friend... you are an inspiration.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reflecting Forward

To say the least, I have procrastinated horribly at updating regularly. I believe this is because when I started this endeavor, the vision of what I thought it would be, is completely different than what the journey has become. I took the time recently to read back through my first blog posts, and to be quite honest have wanted to delete them and start over. However, if I were to do that the story would not be authentic, so with much embrace they will remain. I started with some stories of individuals doing amazing things to do much good in this world, and somehow faulted into blogs of self reflection. The truth is, eleven months ago I was naive. I had a picture in my head of how I thought this process would progress and a vision of what the road would look like. The truth is, I am still naive. The only difference is, I believe I have learned to embrace it.

Part of the beautiful thing about life is that we can not predict it nor control it. Part of my hesitation in following my passions was, one, the fear of failing, and two, the fear that the reality would be different than the dream that I had created in my head. Well, lucky for me, within the past eleven months, both have happened. I have failed several times as far as how to accomplish simple business related tasks, but am thankful because through each failure I have been able to utilize it as an opportunity to turn the failure into a success. Secondly, I am learning to let go of any expectations that I might have created, because although the dream and reality share commonalities, they are never the same and the reality is never happens in the way that we have imagined.

This past week I had the opportunity to speak at the 3rd Annual Medical and Wellness Tourism Congress at the Hyatt in Los Angeles.  On September 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, about 2,000+ medical and wellness professionals from around the world came together to network, to share information, and to build relationships to expand in the arena of medical and welness tourism. Speaking in front of people regarding particular world issues is something that I had pictured myself doing, however, I quite honestly pictured the path being more of a struggle. I guess I pictured a few failures before people became willing to listen and be receptive to the information that I  have to share. Much different than the image I had created, it has been a beautiful and heart-warming experience to see the connections that have been built off of a twenty minute presentation regarding cause-related marketing.

As my email box continues to grow with encouragement from individuals from the Medical and Wellness Tourism Congress, or individuals that have heard about the cause after the event from someone who attended event, I look forward to the new conversations of progression. And as a reflection forward, choose to embrace the un-dreamed journey in order (or in many cases disorder) to provide knowledge about particular situations of people in poverty and work to integrate ways that current and upcoming challenges can subside and be resolved through passion, talent,  and creativity.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Trust In The Process

Wow! It's been a while since I have written on my reflections of this process and I feel there are so many things I could write about. I just spent some time looking over my past blog posts and it is extremely interesting not only to look back at portions of this journey, but also realizing the shift in my actions and how I process information. One of the most beautiful things about this process is that it is an exploration. As I look at old blog posts I remember having a vision of how I imagined all of this unfolding, and although some events have mimicked those visions, nothing happens the way it is planned out by the conscious mind.

This blog was basically the beginning of making a dream a reality. It was the easiest way for me to put the intentions of my life desires and desires to raise awareness about particular causes into a more physical state and push them out into the world. On a deeper level,  (although I had no idea at the time this blog was created) it was the beginning of my ability to allow the power of thought and intention to create my current surroundings, stepping into different perspectives, and trusting that thoughts and intentions facilitate actuality.

After I returned from Haiti, I felt the need to shut the outside world out for a while, to think, to write, to process, to focus on the information presented on the trip, and how I wanted to proceed in using that information to move forward. After seeing the destruction in Haiti, I can see how one might question their ability to make a difference. However, for me, my thought process was the opposite, it solidified a knowing/comfort within myself that I am "supposed" to be in this line of work. Long story short, with putting the intention out there for some time of solitude, I found myself in the country side of  Northern California for a few weeks. After some much needed alone time, I was able to sit on my emotions and further spread the fruit of my intentions through meditation and self reflection.

Subsequently after return to Los Angeles from Northern California there has been many shifts. After returning, I managed to manifest a change in living situation. It is exciting to know that I will be moving within the next few months, yet have no idea where, with who, for how long, with very minimal funds... oddly enough, I am overwhelmed with the feeling that I am supposed to get rid of more belongings. I'm looking forward to a time of new energy and with new energy will come new adventures. The other change that has come from my return is a cascade of new and seemingly never ending contacts. From beauty pageant contestants, to university professors, to founders of NGO's throughout Africa ... contacts on top of contacts of people that want to help my somewhat crazy visions and ideas have been flooding in. These new contacts are only reasurance that all will work as it is supposed. Although learning to trust the process has been a process in itself, it is exciting to whole heartedly accept the open road I have stepped onto, embrace the fears that have surfaced and will eventually subside, and welcome the expedition that lies ahead.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Hope In The Smiles Of Haiti


It's been several days of attempting to write this blog post, finally here it is. I guess you can say that I am at loss of words, however, I am not sure words are capable of describing the emotions and experiences of the days I recently spent in Haiti. As I flew into Port Au Prince without any expectations of what might touch my eyes and mind, I knew that there was no way to prepare for the type of enlightenment that I was about to encounter. Greeted by heart-felt, soulful Hatian music as we descended down the elevator of the airport for-shadowing the journey that was about to follow, I embraced the vivacity of the vibrations as the music absorbed into my skin.

Embarking on a four and a half hour bus ride from Port Au Prince to Les Cayes, the visuals were more shocking than ever expected. However, the smiles and the waving hands of civilians as we traveled through the streets overpowered the overwhelming destruction of buildings. Emersed with penetrating views of buildings decimated to the extent that you can not help but think of the lives that struggled underneath the rubble, tent city after tent city, people diligently working to rebuild their community, and determined faces with big bright eyes filled with endurance and strength. Taking in these views it was clear to see the importance and need for the work of Life Giving Force ( and World Orphan Project ( in Haiti.

Apon arrival of at the orphanage in Les Cayes we received a warm welcome from children chasing our bus up the hill until we came to a stop, waiting patiently for the doors of the bus to open, and looking in with smiling eyes. The kids slightly shy as first when given an extended arm, but within just a few minutes they latched on to any extended limb that they could grab onto. Pointing out my freckles, pushing my skin to watch the color change from slightly tan, to pink, to white, and back to its original color, braiding my hair, moving my hair out of my face, and pointing any exposed scars or bug bites. They were mesmerized by the smallest details and studied every characteristic. This particular orphanage had an estimated 230 kids before the earthquake, and now has approximately 345 kids. Looking into the eyes of these children, seeing their ability to love unconditionally and their craving for touch and attention, it was difficult to imagine the journey and circumstances that lead them to surround me outside of the bus. The amazing part of this experience though, is that one usually would want to exert sympathy or remorse to the situation of these kids, but I have to say my emotions were quite different. These kids have some of the biggest, brightest smiles that I have ever seen and laughs that could shatter any frown of sadness or destitute.  They found happiness in the simplest pleasures, shared when given the smallest portion of something to share, and watched out for each others well beings. These kids are survivors, and many (with the help of creditable organizations working for their health and education) are future leaders not only to their community, but possible examples to the world if we continue to believe in them.

This brings leads me to a quick side note: Haiti needs more than just "donations". Before I left for my trip, many people did not want me to go, they told me that they donated to Haiti, and that it would be better for me to have the expense of my flight, food, etc. donated. In many cases I believe this is true, however, there is also a need for organizations that have a sustainable plan that can be implemented to increase the longevity of donations given without utilizing the money in ways that use valuable resources or only provide a quick fix. In order to create sustainable solutions, it takes groups of people (minds) coming together and discussing ideas and possibilities... weighing out possible threats and challenges that might waste time, energy, and valuable resources. I was lucky to engage in some of this activity during this trip, adding input to an educational training for the children to learn how to use computers, learning about sustainable water solutions for the orphanage other locations dedicated to disaster relief, adding a different perspective, input, and/or knowledge from experience to any ideas that were discussed during the trip, and most of all connecting with the extremely talented and knowledgeable people that make up Life Giving Force and World Orphan Project leading to friendships, productivity, and connections that will last much longer than the dates that defined our trip.

Still absorbing and analyzing many of the emotions that came from this trip, there are many experiences that will remain unwritten to the public eye. This is not due to shock factor or extreme emotion, but merely the fact that  I do not feel that I can accurately describe these experiences without projecting a false image of the beautiful country of Haiti. New realizations and deeper understandings arise whenever I bring myself back to these experiences. Nonetheless, there are some very concrete messages that I do have from the trip, that can be simplified into acknowledging the pure strength of Haiti. Acknowledge the beauty of the land and the people, the potency of the potential triumph to overcome the destruction, and the bright futures that are embedded in the eyes of the orphans. With this, there is a need to give more than a donation, keep them in your thoughts, read their stories, use the power of thought to send positive reinforcement, and support and encourage organizations with sustainable plans and solutions that helping these individuals rise over the challenges that are currently facing. Haiti is strong, is beautiful, is powerful, and with help and encouragement will continued to share the stories of triumph and shine its bright light.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Quick Get A Way

I recently had the privilege to go on a funded trip to Cabo San Lucas to stay at a beautiful resort that was built into the cliffs along the Pacific Ocean. I had the opportunity to relax, clear my head, and get the creative juices flowing again. Throughout my short life I have been very privileged to get to see and experience some very luxurious resorts, hotels, restaurants, houses, and venues. For all of these experiences I am extremely thankful because it has opened my eyes to a lot of different perspectives. It always amazes me to see how man creates structures to allude and determine a sense of royalty and luxury. It is no doubt that these places are often built with views of some of the most beautiful landscapes and views of the ocean.  Whenever I have had the opportunity to go to these "luxurious" places, a reoccurring thought seems to always come to me as I sit and look at the architecture of the buildings, the columns, the illuminated pool, or the position of the window to the kitchen or dining room to accentuate the most valued view. That reoccurring thought seems to take me through a sense of amazement that humans have the ability to create such a massive or intricate structure, to the amount of hard work, dedication, and attentiveness to detail that it took to plan and build the structure, to my final thought of how quickly a greater force than man-kind has the ability to wipe the structure away in as little as a few seconds.

On this particular trip, I looked at the beautiful landscape of the property and the view, and then imagined what the land would look and feel like without the massive structure. Without the lights. Under the stars. With nothing but the soil under my feet. The same views, only surrounded by nothing but nature. I thought to myself of the power that the ladscape held with the structure versus and the power that the of the landscape held without the structure. It was interesting to feel the difference of both possibilities and surprisingly found that I was more empowered by the idea of the landscape without the structure that seemed to hold a false impression of luxury.  One seemed to hold the power of man, the other appeared to hold a force much greater than man could ever create.

Don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate the opportunity to experience the lifestyle of going to a very luxurious destination and indulging in what some believe to be "the finer things in life," for if I did not have this opportunity I may have always wondered what it would be like or have a false impression or judgement of the people who prefer the luxurious destination resort vacation. I can tell you that it was once easy for me to cast judgments on others that choose to live a different lifestyle, and that whenever I have chosen to make judgements on people, I am usually always proven wrong. On this particular trip I met a very creditable doctor located in Los Angeles that was very interested in connecting me with people who he felt would be able to help me with my organization and helping victims of Noma, a newly wed that desires to start a non-profit to help children in need, and nurse who hopes to advance into educating women about the skills of nursing internationally so that they can utilize the knowledge within their communities that lack medical attention and infrastructure.

On this trip I was most thankful for a very specific incident that happened. I recently read a book that inspired me to look into a crowd whenever I was out and about and search for one face/stranger to be thankful for. Ever since I read this book, I have made an effort to do this in my daily life. While taking the bus from the resort to the city I saw a man with Podoconiosis (similar to elephantitis, effecting the foot) crossing the street. I first learned about Podoconiosis through an company named Toms Shoes. About 2 and a half years ago I had the opportunity to join this company in Argentina to give shoes to children in need. When I returned home and found out what they were doing to help increase awareness and stop Podoconiosis, I worked to come up with a treatment to donate to the non profit side of their company to help reduce the discomfort of this particular disease in the individuals that it effects. As I watched this man cross the street, and watched the faces of the other passengers in the bus as they looked at the disfigurement of this man, I was so thankful that he had crossed my path. Because he just so happened to cross the street at the exact moment that our bus was coming down the hill from the resort, I was able to share my knowledge of the disease to the others in the bus so that they might have a better understanding of why this mans leg was enlarged. I watched the man struggle with discomfort to cross the street,  and let my eyes travel up to his face. The man smiled one of the biggest smiles that I have ever seen, and I thanked him for entering my life, allowing me to be even more grateful for how lucky I am, and allowing me to share my story with the other passengers that accompanied me on that particular day.

Now back home, thankful for my trip, the insight that came with the experience, and the opportunity to relax and recollect, I am very motivated to move forward in with all that createACTivity has been working on to increase awareness about Noma. This next week is a very busy week, and I look forward to entering it with a clear and opened mind.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Space In-Between

It seems that life is always taking us on a roller coaster of emotions. Either bursts of exciting and adventurous ups (whether is be a raise, a new car, a breakthrough in a relationship with a loved one) or stuck in a rut, can't seem to get out of it lows ( pay decrease, reality of the new cars higher than expected car payment, or a let down by a loved one). It is these ups and downs of life that keep things interesting, that keep us thinking, and often times fuel our topics of conversations.

So what happens when there are not any events or experiences that lead us neither up nor down? What happens in that very rare and not so frequent in between phase? Well, this was where I was at in my process last week. Since the beginning of starting the non-profit, I have either been in an up phase with meeting significant contacts, engaging in inspirational meetings, or even figuring out something as little as how to control a website page....or a down phase of learning that most donation button servers take a small portion of donations, that 501 c 3 approvals take 8 months or more to be approved, or getting a parking ticket at the post office right after investing money into marketing materials to gain donors for the organization. Not so often are there periods where everything remains stagnant, however, they are there ever so often. I experienced a stand still of events last week, almost to the point where I was wanting a down period to occur for the mere fact that I knew I would learn from it.

So what happens in the stagnant stage of events? The amazing thing that I learned this past week is that ANYTHING can happen. This is the time when our heads are not filled with chatter or  filled with a scheduled list of "to do's", or a playing out a lesson that we are supposed to figure out. This is a time when our brains have the ability to focus on whatever we want, and if the power of thought and intention is as powerful as people say it is....than the in-between time can be extremely valuable.

When I realized the opportunity that I had with being in between events, I focused my energy on what I wanted to see happen in the progression of my business initiatives. After spending a couple days on this I received two emails that took me by surprise. One was from a gentleman who started a successful non profit, consults for profit businesses, and speaks at TED conferences asking me to meet with him and discuss how he might be able to help me move forward with some of my ideas. The second, contained a compliment from a successful, extremely talented, and amazing european singer who has several well selling cd's and played a roll in booking the singers for EVITA. She informed a friend of mine that I am inspiring and would like to help in any way that she could.  (I am inspiring?!... just listen to her music!!!)

The lesson for me this past week has been the power of intention and how strong it can be if you choose to focus on what you would like to see accomplished.

Please check out the following sites in support of those who have put the intention out there to help support me in this mission:

Link: Liberation In North Korea

Miriam Stockley: Singer/Songwriter


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Successful Night At Dr. Neavin's Office

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Tim Neavin's office opening in Beverly Hills. I came in contact with Dr. Neavin via an email conversation. He was kind enough to meet with me and offer his expertise in the future for operations of Noma victims, as well as, the opportunity to attend his opening event to promote createACTivity and raise awareness about Noma. 

Thursday was a successful night in that I had the opportunity to educate about 100 people about a disease that they had never heard about before. Several contacts were gained that want to help the cause, and I very much look forward to connecting back with them to see how they might be able to help raise awareness. Regardless of the outcome, about 100 or more people who knew nothing about Noma, now are awakened to reality of a disease that can be prevented simply by having the bare essentials of what allows us to live, food and water.

Thank you Dr. Tim Neavin for allowing me the opportunity to share my story with your fellow surgeons, vendors, patients, and friends.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Giving and Receiving

 "The path that leads us through the most obstacles, often provides the richest journey."

I started this blog to tell a story, a story of my journey in following my crazy intuitions and following my heart. However, the more meetings I have with people, the more I am finding that I have been leaving an important piece out, somewhat purposefully on my part because it triggers some fears of mine. In order to move forward though, I feel it is important to share the information so that others can connect with it.

A typical reaction I receive when telling my story is: "What happened to you to make you want to do this?" People seem to think that one usually has a life or death experience to make such a drastic shift in lifestyle. My initial response is  usually "nothing." If I continue to respond this way, I would not be telling the truth. After replaying a series of events in my head, I have learned that it was not "nothing". It just was not "one single life changing event", it was a sequence of events that lead up to each decision which has lead me to where I am in my process right now.

As I play the tape back in my head, I can recall the first stepping stone or significant incident (although there are several "coincidences" that have happened throughout my career and education that influenced these decisions as well) that really pushed me to look at the different directions life could take me, and it began with an inner battle within a relationship. I truly believe that relationships with significant others can be some of our biggest lessons. These are the people we choose to bring into our lives, choose to connect with, choose to allow a deeper intimate bond with, and choose to learn from.

Long story short, I was in the kitchen of a boyfriends house after cooking dinner one night and I was cleaning a dish.  I had just returned home from a trip to the mountains and I remember looking around
the beautiful house and really taking the time to recognize the emotions that I was experiencing. I knew that I genuinely loved (as much as I knew how to love) and cared about the relationship that I had chosen to bring into my life, but also felt extremely unfulfilled. As I continued cleaning the dish, I saw myself at 35 and then again at 65 cleaning that same dish (imagining all the possibilities that life could bring if I continued on the path I was going).  Recognizing the comfort and false image of safety in that particular path, yet feeling the extreme discomfort in knowing how utterly unfulfilled I felt and recognizing the sacrifices I was making to live a life that felt complacent. It was then that I subconsciously decided to change directions, recognizing that I was operating out of fear.

Looking back at it now, I think it is valuable to note that I believe I had a false understanding of not only the term love, but also the feeling of love. It was not until doing this work that I have actually opened my eyes (or more importantly my heart) to a different perception of the word and allowed it to take on a new feeling. The valuable lesson for me has been that it is just as much about receiving as it is giving.  And if not for the relationships and experiences that have sprouted along this road,  I am not sure  how long it would have taken me to learn that lesson. I think it is also important to take this into consideration when looking at humanitarian work. It is not just about giving, or about being a "good person", or expressing sympathy, or sacrifice...because the return on investment is so much richer than one can imagine, and it is the exchange of positivity and lessons that provide the balance.

Within the past couple days I have met with two individuals that have helped to amplify these particular lessons and that are doing some really incredible work in this world. I have listed their links below, and I very much look forward to supporting their visions and being a part of their work in the near future.

*Thank you both for your time. I am very excited to see the miracles unfold.

Eaar Oden: Board member of "Go And Do Likewise" and doing some incredible work in Kenya website:

Nick Jordan: Providing wells to the people of Uganda. (Lack of water and sanitation issues are the main causes of most diseases throughout Africa)


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Day That Marks A MIlestone

I officially have my own corporation. Today I received my approval from the Secretary of State for my very own corporation. createACTivity, Inc. Now, one last step. My 501 c 3 approval.

Through the last week I have recognized one main difficulty that I have had in moving from corporate world to starting my own business and/or working without a paycheck for charities that that I believe in. That difficulty is measuring productivity as well as rewarding accomplishments. As many people, I have always been motivated by either the appraisal of a boss, or the tangible act of receiving a paycheck at the end of a pay period. It was not necessarily the money, but the fact something tangible was received for doing work. Through the lack of both of these acts,  I have realized that it is very easy to set unrealistic expectations as well as feel unaccomplished no matter how hard you work.... (even if you are working the 11-16 hour days including weekends to see your dreams come into fruition).

With this, you can imagine the excitement of opening a tangible piece of paper with signatures stating that your company has been approved. The long days and email exchanges with lawyers (who seem to constantly block creativity with some law that restricts almost any idea that you have, or the mere statement of "I will have to look into that, it has never been done before") has finally paid off. When leads me to my lesson: KEEP GOING. Orchards do not grow overnight, they take a patients, a lot of nourishment, and continuous love to keep them going.

One must also to recognize that when something significant is accomplished, one should reward themselves for that accomplishment. And for me, today deserves reward.

I am so excited to update you about my plans for createACTivty, Inc. once closer to my 501 c 3 approval date. In short, createACTivity will be a sustainable way to generate funds for organizations that are forming ethical solutions for people living in harsh, undesirable, and uncomfortable living conditions caused by extreme poverty through creativity.

With a tangible sense of accomplishment, I am pleased to sign off to a day that marks a milestone.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Global Team for Local Initiatives Meeting on Bainbridge Island

Previously in my blog, I wrote about a party that I had at my house to sell Shikinee bracelets in support of a foundation called Global Team for Local Initiatives who are working to create sustainable solutions for people living in poverty in order to give them a chance to live a healthy life. Well about a week ago, I spent the weekend on Bainbridge Island in Washington and met  the founder of that organization (Lori J. Pappas) and the rest of her team.  The meeting to say the least was very inspirational and I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet the people associated with this organization, as well as, be invited to be a part of it. Because I strongly believe in the ethical work of this group, I have joined their team and  will be working with them on a few different projects.

There are several reasons why I was drawn to Global Team for Local Initiatives. One, is Lori's story, and if at all possible I would love to ask for you to follow her story on her blog: . Her first blog was just posted and I assure you the stories about her experience in the field will be worth reading. Two, I believe in the ethics of the company: where the funding is going, the research that is being done in order to minimize any western influence into the culture of the people they are working to help, as well as, the sustainable solutions that they are working to provide.

As far as my meeting in Bainbridge: I came with anticipation to meet the team and to learn. I have had several conversations with the team members of Global Team for Local Initiatives, and felt as if I had already known them. I left with even more of an appreciation for the organization than I expected, gained motivation, extremely influential insight, and new tasks that I very much look forward to accomplishing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A New Year

It has been a while since I have written. I think I needed some time to process and feel all the change that life is currently bringing. And what fascinating change it is.

Over New Years I took some time to head out to the mountains with some close friends, reflect on 2009, and enjoy the moment. Although our cabin contained nine people in a one bedroom, I managed to take some alone time while on the slopes and also a solo jacuzzi session.  Living in a home with four other girls, sharing a room with two of them, taking group trips to cut costs (the more the merrier anyways), couch surfing when needed, and working everyday from coffee shops with free wifi with several other people straining to get a seat with an electrical outlet, you can imagine how valuable alone time is. One thing that I noticed about my alone time in comparison to the past is that because I am constantly surrounded by people, alone time feels REALLY lonely. But also, allows for some really powerful thought processes to surface.

In attempt to describe one of my many self realizations during my trip: I sat there in the jacuzzi, feeling the heat of the water and the cold from the frost falling from the sky on my face, taking the time to appreciate my alone time and embrace that feeling of loneliness. Recognizing that a similar feeling of loneliness once resinated in several aspects of my life and was one of the major catalysts that drove me to break the complacency of the desk job, focus of becoming a home owner, convenience of anticlimactic relationships, and comfort in the monotony of the suburban lifestyle. Noticing the similarity in the emotions and comparing the two states of "loneliness" was a very interesting process, concluding that the feeling of loneliness now is a much different feeling.  The difference: loneliness is no longer emptiness and the sediments of feeling lost have dispersed. As I sat there, looking out at the white frosted mountains allowing whatever emotions that needed to surface, to surface, I was empowered by the breathtaking picture that good old mother nature had painted before me. Loosing myself in the beauty of the mountain, my thought process brought me back to the remember a book that I read several months back called Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken (see video below). Blessed Unrest outlines the miraculous movement of social change occurring throughout the world, and how it has come to be.

Long story short, it was the remembrance of this book that brought about the realization that no matter the intensity of the feeling of being alone, I am not. There are thousands of people involved in the social change movement that must have experienced at least a fragment of these indescribable feelings. Utilizing my alone time to make new self discoveries and the new year as a an excuse to make new commitments, I'm committing to embrace any feelings of discomfort that may emerge during this journey, to not let fear paralyze potential, and to allow the ambiguity of  how this venture will unfold be held in hands much bigger than my own.