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