Forgiveness Challenge

 Forgiveness Challenge


Do you wait for other people to apologize?

Have you turned unforgivness into a habit?

Are you able to forgive yourself?

According to Fred Luskin, Ph.D. a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University and the co-founder of the Forgiveness Project. “Unresolved hurt and anger prevents you from being flexible and adaptive and ultimately less capable of generating and optimal response.”

Sometimes the stuff we carry around for years affects how we conduct ourselves from day to day. “Every time you’re reminded of someone or something that caused you emotional distress, it’s another reminder of your helplessness, says Luskin who also teaches forgiveness classes.

Researchers in the field of positive psychology have given considerable attention to the matter of forgiveness. Their findings show that forgiveness does not entail forgetting, nor does it entail pardoning or condoning. The goal of forgiveness is not reconciliation. The goal of is to replace the wounds, restore and increase personal wellbeing for the one who forgives.

You can choose to stay stuck, bitter and a victim, or you can do yourself a favor by willingly forgiving what happened in the past; letting it go; and then moving on to create a joyful, meaningful and fulfilling life. You have the freedom to make your life anything you want it to be because you have freedom of choice.

Let’s explore, experiment and play in the realm of forgiveness for the next week.

  1. Writing a letter of forgiveness is a powerful tool of transformation. In the letter, describe an incident where someone wronged you. Be sure to include the emotions that you were feeling at the time of the incident. Do not feel compelled to actually share the contents of the letter with the actual person you are imagining. You can keep it, burn it or release it to the water. If you decide to send it be prepared for feedback and consequences. You might get a call, text or email or absolutely nothing.


  1. Answer the following prompts: When I forgive others I change in the following positive ways…When I forgive myself I will….


  1. Create an affirmation of forgiveness, keep it in your purse, put it on your tablet, put it in your car or mirror. Repeat it several times during the day. Some examples: Forgiving other allows me to accept people for who they are rather than what I want them to be. I forgive myself for not being perfect. I release myself from my anger and let the past go. I forgive everyone from my life and love myself. I move beyond forgiveness to understanding and I have compassion and kindness for all. I am forgiving, loving, gentle and kind and am safe in the knowledge that life loves me. Forgiveness is a gift I give to myself over and over again. When I make a mistake, I realize that it is only part of the learning process.


  1. Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu have developed a four step process to teach you how to forgive. Desmond Tutu knows a few things about forgiveness. As one of the spearheading members of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commissionthat provided a platform for victims and perpetrators of apartheid, Tutu believes that forgiveness is “the way we stop our human community from unraveling.” Listen to this video now.

It is time to dive into forgiveness because you will:                                                                

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Be more empathetic
  • Increase your capacity for joy
  • Bring peace to the world

I am Rae Luskin, the author of ART from my HEART, and the award winning book, The Creative Activist: Make the World Better, One Person, One Action at a Time. My vision is create world where women and children are safe. They are free to step into their brilliance, power and purpose. They have access to quality education and healthcare. They have the freedom to be, do, have, and create anything they want. Forgiveness is a cornerstone of personal responsibility and global healing and change.

I would love to hear about your forgiveness experiences and tools below.


If you are interested in receiving the forgiveness mandala practice that I use sign up here.

You Make A Difference


in big world you make a differnce

You Make A Difference

The Problem:

1 out of 3 Americans have low self esteem

1 out of 3 teens are bullied each year

30% of kids in America drop out of high school

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year old.

Teen suicide has risen 400% in the last 30 years.

How can we make a difference?

Mary Robinson Reynolds. M.S. is the author numerous books and the producer of the internet videos and the Acknowledgement which have been viewed over ten million time. Mary is a creative activist and she makes a difference. 

What is the creative activist?                                mary robinson reynolds
The creative activist opens doors, raises public awareness as a call to action for social change. They use creativity as a tool to teach, bridge gaps, to foster understanding and social justice.  They support the development of capacities, skills and talents that activate both individuals and groups. They encourage inventiveness, originality and creativity to raise self-esteem and solve community problems.




Mary spent her early professional years as a k-8 teacher and then as a k-12 counselor. She had tremendous and measurable academic success with kids that had been written off by the system. She developed “attitudinal” energy techniques to empower students and their parents to effectively bridge communications and leadership within the educational system.

Over the years she parlayed her phenomenal success with at risk kids into Continuing Education Courses for Portland State University on how to be energetically effective educators. She was also an active network marketing business builder in The People’s Network (TPN) – a Positive Television company. Known as “The Success Channel,” it was one of the most revolutionary concepts ever introduced to the television industry. “In 2006 I discovered online movies as a medium for inspirational storytelling that touches the heart and inspires the spirit,” she says.  “Today is the perfect time for telling everyone you know about the power of meaningful gestures.” In 2007, Mary Robinson Reynolds, Make A Difference flash movie maker, was introduced to Helice “Sparky”  Bridges by one of her own subscribers, and the two women joined their intentions to make the world a better place. Mary and Heart Productions & Publishing then created the version of this powerful and heart grabbing story, which makes me cry every time I watch it. the acknowledgment

Mary says it is critical to the world, our communities and families that we acknowledge three people everyday. She has put forth a challenge that for 30 days you touch someone; it can be a pat on the back, a verbal acknowledgement or a virtual hug.  When she was in grad school she was going through a very rough time, looking for love in all the wrong places, struggling with school and her counselor gave her this assignment. She said it was challenging and painful in the beginning  but then  it changed her life.  She says when we do this, it  transforms your own life and  your circle of influence. When we grow and celebrate each others dreams, goals and accomplishments  people will step into their greatness and their authentic self.  It ignites new conversations. It changes work cultures.

Who you are does make a difference.What you do can change the world. Personally I have created blessing or appreciation cards. I once went to a conference and we all rushed to the food court for lunch. People were hungry and testy. The poor cashier was overwhelmed.  I gave her a card that said you are magnificent. She smiled, held it up for everyone and said I am magnificent at the top of her lungs. She changed and she changed the people in the room. Everyone just relaxed and smiled. Who are you going to acknowledge today? act as if

If you go to website you will also find appreciation cards you can create yourself.



My Favorite 20 Acts of Random Kindness


My favorite 20 Acts of Random Kindness.

I first heard the saying practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty many years ago. Since then I have been the recipient and the giver. I found myself in San Francisco attending a conference. It came down to the last day and I did not have enough cash to take the bus to the airport. I asked the clerk at the hotel could they add money on my bill to cover it and he said no. I was freaking out so he gave me $20 out of his pocket to cover the expenses. I said please give me your address and I will mail it back. He said no PAY IT FORWARD. I did. Here are 20 of my favorite acts of random kindness.

1. Smile at someone. You never know what they are going through and it can make all the difference.

2. Really listen to someones response when you ask how are you?

3. Let someone merge in front of you in traffic.

4. Put your iPhone away and give your child your undivided attention.

5.Speak to the homeless person on the street. Ask them what they need and get it for them.

6. Pay for the person behind you at the cash register.

7. Buy some balloons and pass them out.

8.Give a cold bottle of water to the workmen in your neighborhood.

9. Click for a cause so the organization  can get funds.

10. For one day ride your bike or walk to work to lower your carbon footprint.

11. Read to a child.

12. When you walk your dog pick up some other dog’s poop.

13. Return a stray shopping cart.

14. Write a sticky note thank you and leave it on your plate.kindness2-300x213

15. Start a family  kindness journal.

16.Assist a senior in their garden.

17. Make a build a bear for a local charity.

18. Collect art supplies and books to take to the children’s hospital.

19. Bake some cookies for your neighbor or co-worker.

20. Make some appreciation cards and pay them forward.

What is your favorite act of random kindness?

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



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 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.



The Butterfly Effect: Pay It Forward

The Butterfly Effect

In 1963 mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz presented to the New York Academy of Sciences a theory that said:                     blue butterfly

A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air- eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the world. His ideas were scoffed at and ridiculed for decades. But then 30 years later scientists came to the conclusion that it was accurate and viable.

The same theory applies to the decisions or actions we take now, no matter how small they are. What we think and do matters and plays a huge role in determining the quality  of our lives and the lives of others. We all have a tremendous sphere of influence; family, friends community, co-workers. We have no idea what our impact can have on other people – just smiling  or saying have a great day may start a personal transformation for some people.

This is why Gandhi’s famous quote Be the change you want to see in the world,” is so effective. It shows how one decision to change our personal world can end up inspiring others to do the same.

I am writing today because I just finished delivering holiday cookies to the library. There is a homeless man that sits there every day reading. I brought him a Jewel card. He said thanks and are you the lady who gave me one this summer in the park? I said yes. He said I hope you aren’t mad but I used part of it to buy treats for the other dogs in the park. I said it was a gift you can do anything you want with it. He paid it forward…a man who lives on the streets.

Then I actually sat down and talked with him for fifteen minutes. He is well read and just finished reading Abraham Herschel’s book The Sabbath  and Kaplan’s The History of  Jewish Civilization. I asked him why you don’t go somewhere warmer in the winter. He teared up and said this has been my family home since 1911. I am the last person alive. He told me he gets so mad when people say move to a community with more services for your kind. He said this is one of the wealthiest communities, why go to a poorer area and take from their meager resources. He gave me much to consider. I walked away from our encounter changed. He gave me  the gift.

                                     man and ripple

 This Is A Call To Action.

Pay It Forward.

 A kind word, a smile, a conversation with a lonely person is a gift to yourself.



Rae Luskin is the author of Art From My Heart and coming soon Stuck to Unstoppable: Unleash Your Passion, Purpose and Possibilities.

Tags: pay it forward, butterfly effect, compassion, kindness, legacy