That’s Everything

It’s so easy to miss you.

To lose myself in no, don’t, hurry up, let’s go.

I don’t want to blink.

Or waste time not loving enough.

You are becoming at a speed I can’t fathom.

Once you were a part of me.

That’s history.

You belong to no one but yourself.

Your heart is tender.

Your eyes see beauty.

You shed tears for emotions.

Your anger is fierce.

You push and test and demand.

You love and teach and nurture.

You forgive.

To witness you, right now, stirs in me a knowing.

Within you is an energy unlike any other.

Pure.

Swirling and thunderous.

It is amazing and heartbreaking.

It is life.

It is hope.

It is fear and not knowing and wanting to know and needing to know.

It is wanting more.

It is a fire for what lies ahead.

Hunger to know and be and become who you are, who you choose.

I vow to feed your hunger.

To stand aside as you discover.

To honor your life with mine.

To continue my own journey alongside you.

For you and I,

half a decade of breaths, that’s all.

That’s everything.

Join Water.org’s 10 Day Challenge

Brushing my teeth, flushing the toilet, making tea, taking a shower, running the laundry – I can’t tell you precisely how much water I use every morning but it’s a lot.

I didn’t give my water consumption much thought until the amazing women at The Mission List put out the Bat signal for a campaign with Water.org, a non-profit organization focused on making clean water accessible. The graphic above is from their site and it’s just a small glimpse of the tragic way access to clean water is affecting millions of people around the world.

In our comfy lives it can be easy to forget how much suffering is taking place because basic human needs aren’t being me. It can also be easy to feel helpless. How can one person really affect any change?

Easy peasey. Join me and Water.org over the next ten days to raise $2,500 to save 25 lives. A single donation of $25 is enough to provide clean water for one person for a lifetime. A LIFETIME, people!

Come along for a life saving ride over the next 10 days. I’ll be sharing on social media, posting on the blog and hoping to make more than a dent in our $2,500 goal. If you’re in the mood to save a life, click here to access our fundraising page. The Caterpillar Foundation has generously offered to match all gifts during the campaign up to $200,000. So technically, you get to save two lives!

 

How To Save The Lives Of 31 Children

How many hours do you spend online in a day?

What if just one minute of those hours could save a child’s life?

Lucky for you, throughout the month of August, you can do just that.

If you’re like me, then it’s easy to be skeptical about how much good a small gesture or donation can make to save a life. I want to be on the front lines not in front of a computer screen. But when I pause to think about what it really means to give a child the gift of  many days on this earth – I knock that front lines nonsense right out of my head.

The folks behind the Shot@Life Campaign also believe in the power of small actions to create tremendous good. It’s the catalyst behind their latest life saving campaign, Blogust.

The Shot@Life campaign travels across the country to rally the American public, Members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together we can help save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines.

Blogust is their month long blog post relay where $20 is donated for every comment. Why $20? Because

$20 is what it costs for one child to receive 4 life-saving vaccines: measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio; preventable diseases like these take the life of a child every 20 seconds.

So if you’re anything like me, you spend a good chunk of time online – checking email, reading celebrity gossip, getting your daily dose of national and world news, working, writing, watching TED talks – easily a few hours. Imagine if you carved out a few minutes from those hours to leave comment on a Blogust post?

A sentence or two, under a handful of minutes and a child gets to celebrate another birthday. I would say that’s tremendously more valuable than reading yet another article about the presidential race, right?

What has me really excited, though, beyond SAVING A LIFE (hello, do you need more motivation?), is being able to share this massive act of kindness with my daughters. I want my daughters to grow up realizing small gestures can make a huge impact. So something like this, where we sit together and type out a few words on my computer and then I explain to them a child just like them gets to ward off death, is a wonderful way for them to feel empowered to affect someone’s life.

If you’re looking for an easy way to do some good in the world, then get yourself and your kids over to the Shot@Life blog where you can find all the Blogust posts. While August is coming to a close, you’ll be relieved to know you have until August 31st to leave a comment on any and all of the Blogust posts, no worries if you missed a day! With younger kids, you can get their input for what to type or write something out for them to type out. With older kids, you can double, triple, quadruple the impact by having each family member leave a comment.

Don’t waste any time. There are lives to be saved!

 

Thinking About Japan

Original image from The Daily Beast media gallery. Here young children are tested for radiation.

I can barely bring myself to turn on the TV. All these awful images from Japan are too much to bear. Last night we were watching CNN and they kept playing the same images over and over again. I was weighed down but couldn’t turn away.

Events like these always leave me with a gazillion and one thoughts so in a mind clearing effort, some thoughts (if you just want informative links, skip this mind dump and keep reading):

  • I know it’s never easy for anyone to survive something of this magnitude. Even if they didn’t lose any loved ones, their reality is forever shaken. How do they ever take a confident step without worrying their world might collapse at a moment’s notice? It’s an entire generation changed.
  • I watched rescue workers on TV and it was agonizing as the anchor chimed in to say these workers were no longer on a rescue mission but more of a retrieval mission. Strength and love and hope to the people who have the job of finding the dead.
  • It fascinates me the realness of images of world changing events. Just ten years ago I don’t think images were so clear and sharp. It’s like watching a movie in HD. I’m not making light of it but it disturbs me and fascinates me. I also wonder if people make more financial contributions because they get such a real life look at the intensity of it all. If they’re drawn in more emotionally, by the images, the immediacy of the information, the firsthandness of the events, do people open their pockets more?
  • I imagine in a few weeks, Japan will fall from the front pages. We won’t be connected to it on a constant basis. But how long will it take for life for these people to regain any semblance of normal?
  • I don’t know much about the history of tsunami occurrences but their ferocity scares me to pieces. The ocean rising to mammoth heights and rushing inland. Biblical type sh*t.
  • What happens to people who are in the hospital receiving care, going under the knife when an earthquake hits? Then when things settle and a tsunami rolls in? How does the doctor, the nurse hold it together?
  • Animals. I don’t know why but the story of pets being lost and killed in natural disasters always breaks me.

Catastrophic events always awe me. They crush my heart and shake my spirit. They leave my mind reeling. So I do what I’ve always done and drown the emotion with information.

Are you thinking about Japan?

Designing My Life With Intention: A Personal Manifesto In Detail

I wish I could remember how I discovered Jess at Make Under My Life. From the first time I clicked over, I’ve been addicted. Her motto to “design a life with intention” captures perfectly how I want to live.

Her blog reads like a diary slash guidebook slash how-to slash inspiration well on how to consciously carve out your best self.

By far, my favorite is her Design Your Life series which features interviews with folks looking to design a life with intention. It is crazy inspiring to read through the archives and discover how different people pursue the life of their dreams.

Today I’m excited to be jumping in on the Design Your Life fun and taking part in Jess’ Do-It-Yourself Design Your Life series. I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately about crafting a waking life so this comes at a perfect time.

I wrote about my personal manifesto here but today I want to get into the nitty gritty.

Respect and honor this body. It’s the only one I’ve got.

Original photography by Philippe Halsman found via Pinterest.

Breastfeeding my daughters, having a c-section with my first daughter and then a drug free vaginal birth with my second daughter has taught me my body is capable of anything. My job is to nourish, strengthen and pamper it so I can vibrantly enjoy this journey. To do: return to hot yoga, get dancing, keep at the detox plan, sleep more, pamper yourself, listen

Be a student for life. There’s always more to learn.

Original photography by Alfred Eisenstaedt found here.

When I’m not challenged or learning or questioning, I’m just not having fun. It’s my nature to question and explore. Curiosity is my middle name (not really, how weird would that be!). Thus my major in Philosophy. To do: read more, pay off your library fines, take a class, ask those who know, challenge, learn and share it

Smile through it. I’m still breathing, right?

Found via Krissy R‘s Pinterest board here.

I can’t tell you why but I’m an eternal optimist. In the worst of times, I’m the one most people want to punch in the face. I don’t see the point in worrying or stressing out. Life’s too short to waste time on things that don’t move you forward. To do: keep smiling, up and onward, surround yourself with positive people, focus on what you want to have flourish, ixnay on the negative people-ay

Write through it all. It’s how I highlight the pages of my story.

Found via Nikki Rappaport’s Pinterest board here.

For a few years there I let writing take a back seat to the rest of my life. Who am I kidding, I kicked it out of the car and made it take a bus. The ride was never right without it. It was like driving with crappy windshield wipers. I want newbies. Like I say in my about page, “I write to remember…cherish…breathe…it’s the only way I know how.” To do: write

Pursue simplicity. Less is more.

Found via Leah Williams‘ Pinterest board here.

This little nugget of wisdom hit me like a ton of bricks. There was a fire drill in our condo complex over a year ago and as I rushed out the door, I realized there was nothing I’d truly miss if it were to burn to ashes. My most prized possessions – my husband, my daughters and my wedding ring – are all I need. Why then is our house always a cluttered mess? Who/what is all this stuff for? I’m realizing it applies to all areas of life. To do: toss it, donate it, reimagine it, check yo’self before you bring it in the house/into your life

Experience beauty everyday. It feeds the soul & inspires.

Photo found via MissBGD’s Pinterest board here.

Shortly after college and just after entering corporate America, I stopped looking for beauty everyday. I never actively sought it out but in college, with time and leisure on my side, it seemed to be at every corner. I’d find myself at the museum or at a great indie film or in a beautiful garden or with amazing people. Inspiration was in abundance. I realize it’s necessary for life. It makes me smile brighter and dream harder. To do: read more, drown yourself in poetry, lock yourself up with beautiful movies, take a walk without a final destination, look around, twirl, dance when you hear music, smile at strangers, create beauty and you’ll find beauty

Share this ride with people who light my fire.

Photo found via Caroline Richards’ Pinterest board here.

I’m lucky beyond the stars for the loves I have in my life. Luckier still they never abandon me despite my bad friend M.O. No time to be pulled down. No time for drama. Only time to support, encourage, listen to, cheerlead for, lend a shoulder to, high five and be nothing but silly with the ones who matter. To do: call, email, facebook, lunch, cocktails, sleepover, shop, getaways – on the regular, let them know you love them, let your daughters learn from example – friends and family are everything

Surrender. I believe it’s my big life lesson.

Image found here.

Motherhood has been such a great teacher. I’ve learned surrender is the lesson of my life. I’m a control freak. Parenting and marriage have been my greatest teachers. I have to focus on me and let everything else be. To do: live and let live

Inspired? Share your intentions for a waking life.

Like I said before, if you don’t put it out there into the universe, no one – not the universe or even yourself – will know what kind of life you’re trying to live.

Declare it, then live it.

ps. doing this DIY DYL made me realize I don’t really have many pictures of myself…add that to the life list…but I’m a real person, pinky promise…if you must here’s a pic my mug