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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra Yancey Succeeding Inspite of Everything

the future

According to Sandra Yancey the Founder and CEO of eWomen Network Inc, International Award Winning Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Movie Producer and a Bestselling Author. “I didn’t realize that I was poor and that my mother was on welfare. I didn’t know  that these two very handsome men in suits that would come to the house once a month with  groceries were from the church, Saint Vincent De Paul, bringing food to the poor.”

Sandra may not have had lots of money but she had lots of love and support from her mom. Her mom inspired her to become a leader. My mom said “Sandra, go out and set yourself on fire. Everyone will come and watch you burn.” And I never really understood what that meant until later in life. We are attracted to those people that are bright, those people that have that glow, that essence, that energy, that vibration that is a quality of a great leader. People are drawn to you. You have to have followers to be a leader.

I first met Sandra at the Lisa Sassevich, Event Profit Secrets. I was so impressed with Sandra’s commitment to serving others is the eWomenNetwork Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit, which supports the financial and emotional health of women and children in need I donated 100 Art From My Heart books and became a member of eWomen. I had the opportunity to interview her for The Winning Adventure.                                                                                                                                                                                                         303

How did you get started in leadership?

My family  wanted me to go to college. So I went on my own, I paid my own way; I worked and was the first one in the family to graduate with a college degree.  And then I went after my advanced degrees. I worked my way up the corporate ladder from the clerical ranks to running a department.

After 13 years of being in corporate America, I moved from the “Little ‘D’” to the “Big ‘D’” – Dayton, Ohio to Dallas, Texas. At that point in time, I started a solo consulting practice, which is when I got my first real taste of what it meant to be really successful. I was making great money but I was just miserable, I mean I was always on a plane and my children were little that’s the time in my life where I wanted to be home– that’s part of the reason why I left Corporate America.

What inspired eWomen?

I started going to networking groups, which were predominately male and I had my “Aha!” moment about the “good old boys” network – I mean this in a good way! These groups focused on best practices, leads, strategic introductions, and me being a female and in the minority felt welcome, but not quite “allowed” to play the game.

I went to a few women’s groups, but they just didn’t compare. I said, “Where are all the women that want to build million-dollar businesses?”  I thought something’s missing that what we need is a hybrid, the integration of the focus and the strategy that I witnessed with the men’s group but in a way that was more comfortable for women, that’s relational.  I wanted to create a system and structure that allowed women to be very clear about monetizing their goals.

We’ve grown from being simply a networking organization to a success system. We have the richest online portal of resources from women subject matter experts that can be accessed at any time, by anyone.

What are the qualities of a great leader?

  What really differentiates great leaders is the secret sauce, relationships. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a really great idea, a great business model,  fancy website with all the bells and whistles today and you have a four color business card and you’ve got the perfect tool or the opportunity that can change the planet.  I mean if you aren’t good at building relationships you really do have nothing, I mean at some level I think we’re all in the relationship business no matter what product or service we sell. 

 

Do you have any secrets for people just starting out?

  Don’t fake it till you make it. I did that and I think that was part of  my early struggles and almost my demise. If someone asked how are you” oh I’m fine, yet I wasn’t sleeping and the doors were to about to close. When you do that you’re being an impostor.  When you’re being an impostor you’re not living your authentic self and I don’t think that you can really create sustainable happiness and success when you are faking it. It doesn’t mean you have to cry and tell everybody your problems but it doesn’t mean you need to tell the people that can help you most that everything is fine because then they can’t help you.

 I think that multitasking for women is the kiss of death.  We think that nobody else can do it quite like us, so we micromanage and struggle.  And that’s for everything, from your business to how you fold your towels. The truth of the matter is if your customer has a great experience does it really have to be done by you? Every towel can be folded slightly different, none of the corners match, but my guess is the customer, which is your family, would be more thrilled to know that the towels are available and they’re clean rather  than the frustration and pain you go through knocking yourself out because you feel like you’ve got to do it all.

What legacy would you like to leave?

I want my legacy to be that she talked her talk. She provided access to others to be able to experience and live their purpose, their greatness and their contribution. I want to be missed. The greatest gift for me, would be that someone would say I’m better as a result of knowing her.

What legacy would you like to leave? Would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity For Social Change

 

Creativity For Social Change                                                                                                                                                                    be the change

 

 I came across this powerful video today, that is the epitome of using creativity for social change. Some brave individuals risked their lives to document human rights atrocities around the world. Because of them things have changed in their countries, some of the worst offenders have been prosecuted..stories have been told that we needed to hear and see. Everyone has the ability to make a difference. Instead of complaining and whining why doesn’t someone do something about a problem… become part of the solution.  Create a legacy that you will proud of. Please take the time to watch this short video and pass it on. You are more powerful then you think.

 

upworthy.com

I would love to hear about other projects that use creativity for social change.

Creative Leaders Spark Change Around The World

Creative Leaders spark change around the world.

In my last blog I introduced the concept of the creative edge. It is the way you live your life. It is the way you parent, solve problems, and make a difference in the world. It is being resilient, inventive and original. It is supporting your unique visions and going to the creative edge. The  qualities of a  creative leader are:  Courageous, Resourceful, Enthusiastic, Authentic, Tenacious, Inspired, Vibrant, Empowered.

Meet Jonny Imerman

 

  imerman

Jonny Imerman was a typical college graduate, working in real estate during the day and attending classes at night for his MBA. Jonny played basketball, worked out at the gym and hung out with friends. Then at 26 his life changed.

 Jonny was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After doctors surgically removed one of his testicles, he underwent five months of chemotherapy and was declared clear. But almost a year later, four tumors popped up again near his spine which required another surgery, an 11-inch incision and three months of recovery.

Jonny has been cancer-free since 2003. He left the business world behind and began Imerman Angels a not-for-profit organization that connects a person fighting with cancer with someone who has survived and beaten the same type of cancer. The mission is to provide a big brother or sister to help inspire, provide tips and knowledge. They have created a global healing community of over 4000 survivors and 1500 caregivers . The service is available to anyone touched by any type of cancer living in 60 countries around the world for free.

Rae: What inspired you to create Imerman Angels?

Jonny: “I had made a vow to myself during the time that I was battling cancer. I had looked at others in the oncology clinic and realized that I was different. Each day, my mom was there.She was there every step of the way.  My room was filled with family and friends. As I walked down the hall with my chemotherapy IV-pole on the way to the bathroom, I saw other people fighting cancer alone. They were lying in bed, motionless, watching television or staring in space.  I knew this was not right. It really upset me. So I started chatting with other cancer patients.I’ d say hi my name is Jonny. We could talk about our emotions, our experiences, things our family couldn’t get like sucking on lemonheads to get the metallic taste out of our mouth.

“I wondered: “What if every cancer fighter could talk to a cancer survivor who was uniquely familiar with their experience; who not only had beaten the same type and stage of cancer, but who also was the same age and gender as the fighter?” The cancer survivor would be an angel- walking, living proof that the fighter could win, too. What an amazing connection. “

“Let’s say a 19 year old girl at University of Richmond get’s sick, she is alone and afraid. She can go on facebook and talk to an angel  to find out know what is going to happen to her,” how sick will I get, will I be able to have kids?   Also cancer caregivers, family members and friends also benefit from one-on-one connections with other caregivers and survivors.

 Rae: How would you define courage?

 Jonny:  Courage, when you reach a certain point where you absolutely have no fear of failure.You don’t listen to other people saying others have had that idea. Ultimately courage is listening to your own voice and believing that you can do it.

Rae:     What are the qualities of a great leader?catalyst of change

Johnny:   I think a great leader, number one is focused on a mission. A great leader believes in the service for the product that they’re delivering.  They believe in their soul, every part of their body, everything about them screams that they get it. They’re so fired up to build it and that’s what creates a movement. They have unwavering passion.

Rae: What is your definition of success?

 Jonny:” For me it’s really simply we’re changing lives, we’re improving lives in cancer, we’re making a difference.  I think the most successful people in the world are the people in social enterprise that are building a for-profit company that has a social component that makes the world a better place or nonprofits that simply make the world a better place. 

Rae: What continues to drive you?

Jonny: I love people. Everyone’s got a story. Everyone has been through challenges. I always say that if you talk to somebody for five minutes there’s always something that you don’t know that they do. You can learn from their experiences.

Rae:  What would you say to somebody who said they don’t know how make a difference but would like to?

 Johnny:    I think what you need to do is to dig deep and you think about what your family  has been touched by. It could be diabetes or cancer. Get in touch with one of the groups  that serve people in those arenas and start volunteering.  Be part of the solution.


If you want to be part of the solution visit www.ImermanAngels.org for information on how to support or join the network of cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.

Cancer used to be said in a whisper. Now we have football players marching down the field in pink. How did that happen? We have people sharing their story or their families challenges. We have  creative leaders like Jonny Imerman  who brought to light the problems young adults face with cancer and did something about it .

If you know a Creative Leader who I should feature…please write me.