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: http://gtlius.blogspot.com/ . 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.