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)