Love Makes Your Life A Winning Adventure!

always based on love

 

Love Makes Your Life A Winning Adventure!

What does it mean  love makes your life a winning adventure? I received this email today and as I read it I cried. I hope these stories inspire you to think about  LOVE  and CONNECTIONS and what is really important in life. While you are reading them ask yourself the following questions: What do you value? What is your definition of success? Who do you want to spend your time with? Who do you need to thank? Who do you need to forgive? How can you be more loving? When was the last time you said I love you?

1.  Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class.  When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”
 2. Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s- what his top 3 tips are for success.  He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”
 3.   Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to meat the grocery store and gave me a hug.   When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001,  you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
 4.  Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying.  And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
5.  Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
 6. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed.   About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
 7. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling.  I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.”   I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?”  Because that’s where  I keep all my stuff,” she said.
 8. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics,  I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
 9. Today, a boy in a wheelchair  saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the  way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
 10.  Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant.  When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today.  If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”  It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
 11. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy.  Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said  was, “We can share it.”
 As we know, the best sermons are lived, not preached. What is one step you are going to take today to make LOVE  your  winning adventure.?

Volunteering Beats The Holiday Blues

Help Yourself by Helping Others - Words Pinned on Board

Volunteering Beats the Holiday Blues

During the holiday season so many people experience depression and isolation. I remember when I got divorced and the first time I did not have my kids for Thanksgiving, it was devastating. I cried and cried. I went to the movies and sat through a double feature. After 4 hours I could not tell you one thing about the movies.  I was just in this horrible dark place and nothing could get through. I went to a twelve step meeting and they talked about service. When you are depressed do something for someone else. So I took their advice and I went to Michaels and got some art supplies and I took them over to the local hospital.  I did feel better. I talked to some of the nurses at their station and they were so excited to have them. Since then I try and do it every holiday…now I bring cookies to the emergency room.

Over the past two decades there is a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social ones. This research,  “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,”  established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer had lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.

            The Benefits of Volunteering:

  1. Model  civic responsibility for your children
  2. You get to give back to your community
  3. Learn to solve real problems
  4. Connect to others in meaningful ways
  5. Save valuable resources
  6. Build self-esteem and confidence
  7. Reduces stress and make yourself healthier and happier
  8. Get to learn something new
  9. Improve your leadership skills

Finally, you get to transform your own life and make a difference in the world.

volunteering

There is still time to find ways and opportunities to serve over the next month. Look into your heart and see where it will lead. Just ask how may I serve? When you help someone else you help yourself.

Here are a few suggestions to get started.

  1. Call the VA hospital in your area and see what they need or if there any activities you could help with.
  2. Call a homeless shelter and ask what they need.
  3. Bring your dog to a senior center.
  4. Call the Salvation Army to see if they will be delivering meals or serving meals during the holidays and if you could volunteer to help with either activity.
  5. Collect hats, gloves and blankets to distribute to the homeless
  6. Send letters and cards to the armed forces.
  7. Speak with the volunteering coordinator at your local hospital. Ask her if it would be okay for you to make get well cards for all the children in the pediatric unit that will be there during the holiday.
  8. Mentor a child
  9. Make baked goods and, on the holiday, drop by places that might have someone working — animal shelter staff, police, firefighters — and distribute them with your best wishes

 

Take action: Volunteer today. Please share how volunteering made a difference in your life.

 

 

 

 

TEDx: It’s On Us

TEDx: It’s On Us

A week ago I was at an Engaging Speakers conference and someone mentioned that Naperville was looking for speakers for their TEDx talks. I immediately took action. I looked it up on google. I opened the application and called to ask about a deadline. They said just apply it may be for next year and they still have one or two spots open now.

Then it hit me, are you crazy. It is the wrong time, The Creative Activist isn’t’ done….the fear took over and old coping patterns returned with a vengeance. There is not enough food in my house to numb the feelings of terror and overwhelm. Shopping on HSN and QVC did not alleviate the “not good enough” messages that were looping in my head.

I talked with my coach and she that is good your recognizing your patterns. So I began to write and write and write. I have 39 pages scribbled in in my journal. I keep waking up at three AM with another download. My friend Sarah came over and she did some energy work on me. The lump in my throat, the hairball from hell, needed to move or there was no way I was going to be able to do this three minute video application. The burning in my throat and chest eased but it was still tight so she suggested start talking and I did. I felt better.  Expressing my truth, sharing it with another person is healing. Creative expression in whatever form is powerful medicine.

Then I asked, Kathy Eldon, of Creative Visions http://www.creativevisions.org/ who has given two TED talks what she thought. She said tell your story….they are looking for a heroes’ journey. So more panic, more food, numb myself with television.  I have shared my story of healing from childhood sexual abuse in numerous places but not on a big stage. I worry about how much I divulge. There seem to be two philosophies among speakers; just mention you were abused or paint a picture and experience.  Will my art work distract people or help them understand? It is so much easier to talk about the people I interviewed then myself.002

So I went back to my three year mission and vision statement that I wrote a few months ago.” Last month Hillary Clinton introduced me at the Clinton Foundation and I shared the “best creative expression practices “including Bajalia jewelry http://bajalia.com which employs women in India and Pakistan only if they agree to educate their daughters. One man came up to me afterwards and said I am going to change my business model. I can see the changes that are happening in churches and synagogues. They are creating safe spaces for people to share their stories of abuse or being an abuser. It is a community concern now not just a family problem. I have to tell you I had the biggest grin on my face last October when I saw football players’ wearing purple for domestic violence awareness. We are blessed to be living in a time where it is freely talked about and so many are committed to making a loving, peaceful, respectful and safe world for women and children. This or something better.”

Child abuse and domestic violence are all over the news recently. In a speech yesterday, the president announced “It’s on Us,” a nationwide public service campaign aimed at urging young people to do more to prevent campus sexual assaults. Mr. Obama called for a “fundamental shift in our culture” in the way women are treated and in the response to victims of sexual assault.

Commissioner Goodell said that effective immediately any N.F.L. employee or player who is found to have engaged in assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault will be suspended without pay for six games for a first offense. Second-time offenders will be banished from the league for at least one year.

It is time for me to step forward on whatever stage I command (hopefully TEDx: It’s On Us) and talk about the things that matter to me; creative expression and service which nurture self-esteem, resilience and healing.  We need to create more engaging education and awareness campaigns. We need to bring together community leaders, service providers, creatives and business people to create new initiatives that spark conversation.  Develop best practices that encourage safe, loving supporting communities where it is OUR collective problem. It is time for football players to wear blue (child abuse awareness) and purple (domestic violence awareness) and when someone asks what does this mean. What does this have to do with me?  We will have the answers. IT’S ON US.

Here is my first take for the application I would really like your feedback and create a talk that speaks to you where I can really be of service. Thanks so much

 

I Am A Woman Who Matters

I Am A Woman Who Matters                                                                            you matter

 

I am a woman who matters I change the world.

Stand in my magnificence and powerful dreams

Connected to Source, dwell in faith, compassion and peace

Love and accept myself and the truth of my being.

I am perfect, whole and complete.

 

I am divine love expressing itself through life

Reaching out and letting family and friends know I care

Write thank you notes and words of appreciation

Hugs, a pat on the back and a compassionate ear

I put a smile on my face and a smile in my heart.

Showing you that you matter.

 

 

I am a woman that matters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love to   explore different points of view.

Minimize differences and discord with you.

Reach for consensus and harmony,

I clearly respect boundaries and priorities

What I know for sure

We all want to be seen, understood and heard.

 

I nurture my body with nutritious whole live food.

Balance my time with rest, relaxation and renewal.

I am flexible and strong, healthy and whole

Determined and resilient I walk 10000 steps proud and tall.

Dress with a bit of pizzas, glitter and glitz.

Love my curves .Love my laugh lines.

Love my self.

 

I meditate, pray and journal daily.

Take a walk in nature and tranquility.

Read words of world wisdom traditions

Centered in silence listening deeply to God

Daring greatly listening to the call

Do something brave every day

Give thanks for my bounty and blessings.

 

As a woman who matters I improve every situation and vision the best.

Disengage the voice of I can’t, not good enough

Staying fully present

Patiently look to repattern

Raise my vibration with a new life enhancing vision of health, happiness, wealth and peace.

Believe in the power of faith and love to create miracles now.

 

Clear clutter from home and heart.

Keep my finances in order.

A gratitude journal details the gifts of beauty, love, time, energy and attention

Conscious the universe is conspiring for my success

A celebration of noted wins and action steps.

 

I embrace my inner child, a creative channel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              you matter art project

Make regular time to play, write and explore

Indulge in movies, theater and adventure

Laughter and song and natural beauty

Spend time with children in imaginative wonder

Fully awake to scents, texture, taste and color

Express the dance of life, full spectrum living

 

A woman who matters answers the call of the soul

Deep awareness of the sacredness of it all

Love ourselves as we love our friends

Rest in kindness, acceptance and compassion

Practice forgiveness, you did nothing wrong

Wrap yourself in love, the source of happiness and pleasure

 

Visibly, boldly share my divinely inspired vision

Ideas, imagination and creativity flow

A magnet for right people, resources and opportunities to collaborate

I surrender to unlimited abundance and watch my business grow.

Richly rewarded for work that I do.

 

As a woman who matters I make the world change.

See the beauty and Divine nature of your heart.                                                                                                                                                                             

Illuminate, ignite and turn your dreams into gold.

Bring out the unique songs of your soul.

So you stand in your brilliance, power and purpose.

 

As a woman who matters I know the depths of my soul.

That nurtures, blossoms and ever unfolds.

Intuitive awareness, creative expression, encouraging awakening

Clearly committed to a loving, peaceful and respectful world.

I am a woman who matters and changes the world.

I am a woman who matters.

 

I am Rae Luskin a Creative Activist, a woman who matters. To find out more go to www.thewinningadventure.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be The Hero of Your Own Winning Adventure

visionary

 

Be The Hero of Your Own Winning Adventure

 

I recently was channel surfing and came across Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.Looking through fresh eyes I could see the journey we must all take to go from looking inside ourselves to bringing forth our visions into the world.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone draws on English fantasy works that seem to be for children but is in fact an allegory of the Hero’s Journey. Mythologist Joseph Campbell discovered that heroic myths from every culture are essentially the same story. He discovered a pattern in any story in which an ordinary person accomplishes something heroic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 harry potter

 Rowling herself has stated that her book is really about imagination and that practicing wizardry is only a metaphor for developing one’s full potential. On one level, the story is a thriller with a criminal plot. But on a deeper level, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, illustrates the challenges and adventures of growing up, finding mentors, gaining respect from peers, owning your gifts and talents and answering the call.

 At the beginning of the journey we aren’t the hero we need to be in order to reach our goal. We are just ordinary. We usually aren’t smart enough, strong enough or wise enough. We have to face our “shadows” our challenges and fears to become the hero of our own winning adventure. In this case Harry must face Voldemort and destroy the stone. The hero’s journey is ultimately a story of personal transformation from childhood to adulthood, challenges to opportunities and ordinary to extraordinary.

 Harry discovered that there is something uniquely valuable inside him and that he is a great wizard. He overcomes adverse situations while remaining strong and virtuous. It is ultimately his imagination and courage that transforms him from the ordinary forgotten orphan living under the stairs into a hero.

Anybody who has ever changed the world or achieved greatness started out as an ordinary person just like you and me.

I would like to share with you the story of Mary Rockwood Lane, PhD, RN. Mary, is the co-founder and director emeritus of Shands Arts in Medicine program at University of Florida (UF), Gainesville, where she created the first artist-in-residence program of its type in the United States. At a time when art was not integrated in health care, Mary became inspired by her own experience of healing herself through art and created a program which incorporates art, music, poetry, theater, and dance into the medical profession. She directed the nationally-recognized Arts in Medicine program for over 15 years. Today she works to promote a vision for a more creative and transformative nursing practice.

 Mary’s Story

I was a young mother with two young children, my husband ended up leaving me and I crashed. My support network was ripped away and everything shattered. A deep sense of despair and rage took over. Therapy wasn’t working and my therapist said you need to try something different. I had so many fears about not being good enough  but I was willing to try something new… it was almost as if there was a part of me that rose out of the ashes, like the phoenix rising. I had this incredible opportunity of recreating my life.  mary_rockwood_lane_web__large

  I’ve never made art before, but I decided I’m going to be an artist.  I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I went to a studio and picked out a canvas. I didn’t even know how to hold a brush and I started painting. I became excited with the process of painting: the colors, the textures, and the way different shapes swirled together on the canvas. The painting began to transform into an image of my pain and hurt. I forgot about how I felt and instead painted those feelings. I began a series of self portraits which were my despair. They were all distorted with garish backgrounds. They were crying and bleeding. When I finished releasing the image onto canvas, I stepped back and gasped! What I saw was an aspect of myself that I couldn’t face; it was so ugly! I backed away, left the studio and went home.  I realized I had left behind the pain and the past. I was free.

 

  How are you the hero of your own winning adventure?