One Person Can Make A Difference

be the change

Do you believe one person can make a difference to the world?

Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only people like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, or celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Oprah or George Clooney are capable of making a difference.

The truth is, every one of us is put on this earth to contribute and make a difference to the world in our own unique way. It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale, it just has to be with the intention of making the world a better place, doing a little bit of good.

Here are some of my favorite quotes to inspire you.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. – Mother Teresa
If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
A tiny change today brings a dramatically different tomorrow. – Richard Bach
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. – William James
You really can change the world if you care enough. – Marian Wright Edelman.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. – Leo Tolstoy
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better it’s not. Dr. Seuss

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. – Richard Buckminster Fuller

 Look into your child’s eyes. Stop what you are doing, sit down, and just look into them. Do that every day and you will change the world. Noel Cocca
It takes a better man to acknowledge goodness in others than it does to merely be good oneself. Anyone can criticize or accept praise, but initiating a positive exchange is a hallmark of a difference maker. Scott Berkun

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank

Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama

change-the-world steve jobs

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. – Mother Theresa

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own– Benjamin Disraeli
There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world. Terry Pratchett
I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference. Ellen Goodman

What is one small difference you can make?  We all have a sphere of influence. Every day we interact with people, the bus driver, the cashier, our families and co-workers. Smile, say hello, and bless them silently with the good health, happiness and peace.  Become a messenger of peace.  firmly believe one person can make a difference.

 

Do you have other suggestions on how we can make a difference to the world? Please share them in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

What is the Creative Activist?

?????????????

What is the creative activist?

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 think like a global citizen. They appreciate different cultures and stories.They are curious and delight in  being a life long learner. They believe it is our problem not your problem.They look for the common humanity rather than what separates us.   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.

Lisa Albrecht, an activist educator and writer, is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work of the University of Minnesota, where she founded an undergraduate program in Social Justice. Previously, she taught writing in the General College of the University of Minnesota for 19 years. She is the recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Community Service Award and Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award.  Lisa sees the need to pursue peace and justice with “beloved community,” a term used by Martin Luther King, Jr. that encompasses not only one’s blood family, but also a circle of loved ones who care for one another and hold one another accountable. She believes that change builds from the bottom up, and she is encouraged by the way today’s social activists are engaging the community through social media and other tools that were not available to us a generation ago.

When we talked she told me about creative activist, John Noltner, a freelance photographer based in Minnesota who uses his art to explore the basic goodness that reside in each of us. He helps communities understand the ways we judge, categorize and separate through religion, political differences and cultures.Founded in 2009, A Peace of Mind, a multi- media project includes 50 compelling stories of what peace means, how  people work toward it in their lives, and some of the obstacles they have encountered along the way. We have an opportunity to share our common humanity through these engaging stories from  the homeless man, the holocaust survivor, the Somalia refugee, artists, volunteers , business leaders and Lisa herself.http://vimeo.com/66858595 . AlbrechtL-2010

A Peace of My Mind expanded into the public forum with the production of a traveling exhibit,.peace of mind exhibit Since its 2010 premier, more than 80,000 people have viewed the exhibit at private galleries, community centers, places of worship, libraries, and universities. In 2011, A Peace of My Mind won support from 92 backers to produce a book from the series with a foreword written by Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter, Ela Gandhi. The book, now in its second printing, earned first place in the Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards and a silver IPPY from the Independent Publishers Association  A Peace of My Mind was presented at the 2011 Peace and Justice Studies Association National Conference and the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Forum. www.noltner.com

I would love for you to share creative activists you  think we should know about.

 

 

 

 

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.

Creating Calm In The Middle Of Chaos

you can ride it

Don’t you hate it when you can’t turn off the  internal chatter in your head?

Yesterday was one of those days. From the moment I woke up I was muddled. My  mind was in chaos. I have been busy redoing my website and thinking “it is not quite right, I don’t know what to do.” This  chatter got so loud I was not able to really focus on the conversations I was having at a networking event.

It’s only natural that we worry about stuff, our kids, loved ones, careers, finances, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. However, when these chaotic voices, distracting thoughts, become too loud that we find it difficult to concentrate, we need to let them go. Obviously it would be best if we can sit down and deal with our concerns. Call the teacher, go the bank or talk to your boss about some time off. But if there is no apparent solution in the present moment, it is important you have coping strategies to get you through the day.

 

When it comes to creating calm in the middle of my chaotic mind loop  I use these  tools.

  1. Let go, let God letter. Just start writing, spilling out all the worries and concerns to God. Don’t edit or judge. Just write. Then ask Spirit for guidance. Please show me what it is I need to know about this situation. Then let it go.
  2. Scribble and doodle. Get a box of crayons. Pick out two colors that express what you are feeling. Put the first one in your non-dominate hand and scribble. Then pick up the second crayon and scribble again. Then color and doodle. When it feels complete, title and date it. Research has shown that 20 minutes involved in a creative activity  will lower your blood pressure and your body will release pleasure filled endorphins.
  3. Just Breathe. Sit quietly and focus on your breath.Imagine with each inhale you feel peace and calm. Every exhale you release stress and chaos. 

If I am dealing with a specific  problem I will:

  1. Draw a mandala  Mandala means sacred circle in Sanskrit. It is one small circle inside a larger one.  Define the problem in the center then  draw or  write  everything you know on the subject in the outside circle.
  2. Relax and take a break. Do something mindless such as taking a walk, doing the laundry, watch tv, or take a nap.
  3. Call other people. Sometimes sharing a” brain dump” breaks the endless chatter.

 

 let go

Do you use a specific technique to turn off the chaotic chatter running around in your head? Tell us about your favorite method and how effective it is at “letting thoughts go”.

 

 

Stessed out? Calm, Coloring and Mandalas

There are many ways to reduce stress, including meditation, exercise and diet. Now, extensive scientific research also shows that the use of coloring mandalas inspires creativity, reduces stress and brings balance.  

healing flower

 

Mandala, or sacred circles in Sanskrit, represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself. The circle can be found in nature: the sun, moon, rings on a tree trunk, birds nest and blossoming flowers. It is found in the iris of the eye and every cell of the body.

In Eastern religious practices worldwide, mandalas have been used as meditative tools. They are used as part of healing and trans formative art in Native American sand painting, Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist rituals. They became part of modern psychotherapy when, Carl Jung used them with himself and his patients, who would use them to record dreams and work through their pain and anger issues. Many psychologists, therapists, and cancer centers today, use mandalas with patients as a healing modality.                

Coloring mandalas is a fun way to relax, take a break and get us out of the inner dialogue that we carry on. Research has shown that we have approximately, 60,000 thoughts a day and 75% of them are negative. To do your own test, set the timer for 10 minutes and just write whatever thoughts comes into your head. How much was negative?

Mandala coloring is very simple and straight forward. It has been documented that when you engage in right brain activities like coloring or painting, blood pressure drops and endorphins are released. Through this “no thought” process you can suspend inner dialogue and be in the stillness. This place of stillness allows you to recharge your batteries, to connect with your intuition, to learn about yourself and what you want. healing mandala

Coloring mandalas is affordable and portable. You can create your own mandala or there are mandala coloring books available.http://www.amazon.com/The-Mandala-Coloring-Book-Creativity/dp/1440569983.  I suggest that you get a box of crayons or colored pencils and bring your mandala coloring book wherever you go, especially places that you consider stressful:  waiting at the doctor’s office, traveling or at work. It will give you peace of mind, help you see things more clearly and enhance your overall wellness.

Rae Luskin is an artist, speaker, community activist and the author of Art From My Heart, a self discovery journal. A leader in nurturing self –worth, resilience, healing and social change through creative expression, she is known as the “Healed Heart Expert.” To find more go to www.raeluskin.net.

Look for her new book coming soon Stuck to Unstoppable: Unleash your Passion, Purpose and Possibilities

 tags: art for healing, expressive arts, mandala,  soul drawing,reduce stress, creativity, calm and balance