Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 8: Bring Hope Home

Based on my 30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry I went looking for my Day 8 $1 donation opportunity, and found the Bring Hope Home

The campaign is being spearheaded by Talia Castellano. If you didn't know, Talia has become quite the internet star for her candor and personality and make up tutorials. She and her family have been beneficiaries of B.A.S.E. Camp, an organization that tries to bring some normalcy into the lives of those kids affected by cancer and their families. Talia's sister, Mattia, speaks to the need for a permanent home for the organization.

One thing I love about their campaign is their awareness and enthusiasm for $1 donations. There was even a story on their Facebook page today about someone who usually plays the lottery, but instead opted to give go their cause instead, thinking it might have a better overall use. I love when people consider other possibilities...especially when something so seemingly small can help another.

If you get a chance, check out their campaign, and if you know of any people in need, please let me know. Have a great night.

Beautiful Story

I found this amongst my papers. It is a beautiful story. Again, I don't know if there is a copyright issue, however it is from 1988, so I am hoping it is OK to post. If there is an issue, just let me know. In the meantime, I wanted to share. Click to see it larger.

I Empower People... (From the Archives)

I posted an image recently and said I thought it had something to do with a nail. Well it actually had to do with a pin. And this was the image that applied to that. I just found it. I said this back in 2006 and I think it is very much me.

Quote | Buddha | Love

I am not sure where this picture came from.
If it is copyrighted, and there is an issue, please let me know.
I love it. :) 

Just Trying to Survive (Feeling Overwhelmed & Grateful & Making Progress)

I have been trying to sort through things. It has been laborious and painful. It is amazing how much of a mess I have accumulated the last couple of years. Much of it, sadly, is paperwork. I need to save everything, being in business for myself. Plus there are a ton of papers from medical matters. All of which is one huge mess that I am trying to sort through on a bigger level before I try to tackle it on a smaller one.

I have been close to tears more than once.

In the basement are a number of boxes that were never unpacked. I go back and forth in my mind about what to do with the stuff. There are a number of things that - if I was to have my own place again - would be nice to have. I really hate the idea of getting rid of a lot of it. But I may not have a choice. I don't know what to think. I don't want to regret doing anything.

I touched those boxes a bit. But I have been focusing more lately on the unboxed stuff. Until I know what is going to happen/where I am going to move too much is up in the air outside of just getting rid of stuff. But at the same time, there would be things I would keep if I could.

It is a big, overwhelming mess.

In the middle of the mess I have other things I need to deal with, as well. And, so far, except for the needle mix up the first day, the Mistletoe treatment has been going OK. I haven't hit the "jackpot" vial yet - the one that my body reacts to enough to say "this is the one" it needs. I am amazed that I have been remembering to take it.

I have also begun an outside writing project that I had wanted to do every day, and had intended to. Well. It hasn't happened. However in the 9 days since I started it, I think I have done 7. With all that has been going on, I am going to give myself credit for doing it at all.

Plus I have the added "pressure" of my #303030 30 Days. 30 Causes. 30 Dollars. I need to remember to do one new one every day.

Why do I do this to myself? I also have a business idea that I would love to start/implement but I just don't think I can. It would wind up a mess and add to my already big mess.

I don't know how I am going to get out of this.

In addition in a couple of months one credit card with a large amount of debt is going from an interest rate of 1.99% up to 14.99%. I am scared. It means a larger monthly payment and significant more debt. I have only been paying the minimum for months, for what are likely obvious reasons. And that is on top of the fact that I have charged another credit card recently because I wanted to conserve some of my cash for the types of bills I can't charge (like my nearly $700/mo health insurance premium bill).

And then...

My mind wanders.

It thinks about how many people know what is going on with me these days, but I haven't heard from them. And then a few that I do act like the world is as it ever was. They act like everything is normal and OK. And it is soooo not.

It thinks about the things I have been posting. It thinks about how my life has been. It thinks about the on-going challenges to live into whatever I am supposed to live into. It thinks about how I have so much I could offer the "right" people, if only I knew how to find them. And how little energy I feel I have most days. But how I have to push, as my friend will need me to move and I am going to need to be ready.

And then...

I think about how grateful I am for Ken Newman and Michael Banks and Nathan Trebes and Chris Hardy for what they have done or will be doing in terms of the Fundraising Event that is being held in my honor from 3p-6p in San Francisco (click above banner or sidebar image for details). Even if it nets me $1 more than I have, I am grateful. However, I am really hoping for ALOT more - more because I would like for them to be able to see something come from their efforts.

When all goes well, there should be both a video of the event and an audio recording.

In the midst of the mess that is my life right now I am grateful for the small miracles for without them I would not have gotten this far. I certainly wouldn't mind some bigger ones, though. Anyone got an in with the Big Guy?

I am exhausted. I wouldn't mind getting some much needed breathing room. It is not like I would sit back and do nothing. If anything it would help me do more as I wouldn't be spending so much time and energy just trying to survive.


I think I wrote this in 2008. I have felt along these lines more than once in my life. I share it mainly because of the last lines.

I am sick to my stomach. I am numb. I feel very lost. Misplaced. I find it hard to believe that I feel so down, so forlorn  I don't know what to think, or feel. I don't know why I am here. I don't know why I was put on this earth, as it seems I haven't found my way. I haven't found my thing. All my life seems to be spiraling downward. Why am I here? I can't seem to control the spiral. I hear a laugh. Who thinks the spiral should be controlled? Or can be controlled?

Poem: Dear Lord

I am not a religious person. My belief is that there is something greater than us, that is also us. It's anyone's guess if I am right - or if anyone of a differing opinion is. Of course opinions on that will vary greatly.

Even with what I believe, I have incredible moments of struggle and frustration from not being able to see the big picture, from not being able to tell if I am headed in the right direction. There have been many times in the absence of understanding that I have sought to have at least a feeling of peace about what is happening.

I don't usually talk about this, as I know it is a hot topic that usually winds up veering off into territory that is not particularly helpful, which is kind of ironic, really, as those who are having the discussion I would like to think want to be helpful and have the best of intentions.

Having said that, I wrote the following at some point. Sadly there is no date so I don't have a point of reference for what I was thinking and feeling at the time. But I believe it was while I was in California. I don't think I really liked it at the time. But now it is something interesting for me to see. Perhaps it will be interesting for you as well.

Dear Lord, thank you
for one more day
I really don't understand
when so many go away
There must be a reason
so many must cry
But it's not easy
not knowing why
Your plan for me is not so clear
But as I live each day,
please help me to persevere
Let me have the strength I need
to do the good deed
for a friend in need
To be the best I can be
to live up to what
you see
in me.
- Elizabeth Alraune

The Things You Think About

For a brief time I was a licensed New York State Real Estate Agent. I did it at a time when I didn't know what was next, and I was trying to find a solution.  It never really worked out. I was going to try to hold onto the license, but since it cost money and wasn't making me money, I let it go.

I was pretty proud of myself when I got this certificate. I think I got the best score on the final exam of anyone else in the class. It feels funny to say that, but I have this thing about not feeling too smart. I remember when I was six I had gone to be assessed for school. The person who was assessing me asked me if I saw something. I didn't. She walked over to it, and when I saw it, I felt stupid that I hadn't seen it. She told me it was no big deal. But the fact is, all of these years later I still remember it. So it very much was a big deal. 

I sometimes can't help but wonder if that situation somehow unconsciously set me up to feel inferior/stupid as compared to others. The fact is I often don't see something right in front of me, but it doesn't mean I am stupid, it just means I process things differently. Maybe that is all she was trying to determine - how I process things. But it came off in a way that I think meant much more to me. It might have been better had she explained what she was doing and why, rather than telling me it didn't matter/was no big deal.

The things you think about.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 7: Brian Hernandez Burial Cost Fund

Based on my 30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry I went looking for my Day7 $1 donation opportunity, and found the Brian Hernandez Burial Cost Fund

Brian died of Luekemia this month, and his family is seeking to raise $10K for his burial.As I looked at this, I wondered how many people would look at the scenario and think, "Well, they should have had life insurance," or think that he doesn't deserve to be buried a certain way, if they cannot afford it.

While both things might be true, there are all kinds of reasons why they didn't have what they needed. Who is anyone to sit back and make a judgment about another? It could be some - like me - wish they had known they could get an insurance policy that covers being diagnosed with cancer. Or kicks themselves for being so caught up in life and trying to make things work, did not investigate some helpful option before disaster struck.

Does that mean another shouldn't help, if they can? I hardly think that should ever be the case.If one doesn't want to help, don't. But don't do it while sitting on a high horse. People don't always know what they don't know. And even when they do know, it doesn't always mean they can do something about it. And even if they can do something about it, we all make mistakes. Some of us just get more lucky in that we don't make the kinds of mistakes that require the help of others which may or may not be offered in conjunction with harsh condemnation and judgment.

Finding this journey of 30 Days. 30 Causes. 30 Dollars. is bringing out some very interesting blog posts. How much really goes into the choices we make or don't make? It would seem there is an awful lot. How much of it is unconscious and goes unnoticed/unaddressed?

My guess? A lot.

If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com. Still am behind over there...I'll manage to catch up, eventually, or change my mind.

Interesting Personality Assessment

I had taken a seminar at one point, and the teacher gave us this test/assessment. I made it into something "pretty" to share several years ago. I just scanned it to share here. Do yourself a favor and follow the directions for the most interesting impact/results. :)

Protecting the Inside

From the Archives

After September 11, 2001 I was trying to find ways to help the overall consciousness of fear that many had developed. This was one of those things I tried. I had made these cards up and was handing them out. The domain name is still active if you want to see what I did.

From the Archives

Click to see a Larger Image
In 2006, I went to a number of Peak Potential Seminars. In one of them I broke a board with my hand, in another I broke an arrow with the hollow of my neck, and in another I did this image. I don't quite remember what the background was on it, but I think it had to do with breaking through obstacles to get to where you want to be. I think I smushed a small nail on a board with this. But I don't remember for certain, if it was this - or something else.

Any which way, it is interesting to see the things that HAVE evolved since then. It is also interesting to see the things that haven't. In particular the one that stands out is "healthy." It is also interesting to see some of the things that might still be germinating....like the books. I think this was supposed to be over the next year...so I think the timing was a bit off. And some things may never happen as I thought they might, but might have happened in another way (like New Mexico).

The one thing that hasn't changed is that at the core of everything is having a heart/Love.


"I" wrote this right before I left California. I don't think I have read it since - until today. I thought it was pretty profound, and spoke to a lot of what I have been dealing with, and thought I would share it with you, too:

These tears you shed are a release. They are not sadness, but rather a watering of your soul, enabling your soul's growth. Tears are as integral to your soul's growth as the rain is to a plant's growth.

I know there is more in what I am looking at...but I just don't think I can get into it now. I am going to try to put these papers somewhere I can get to them and go back and revisit.

(Oh, and in case you wondered why "I" looks the way it does, what I wrote was written in very much the same way "I" write the Letters of Love.)

Poem (Love)

It is love so tender
love so blind
that makes what
we have

- Elizabeth Alraune

(Holiday) Stress Pack

click to see larger version

Another thing I have had for years. I thought it was pretty awesome. So I saved the paper. Sadly, though, I do not remember who gave it to me so that I could give credit.

And while it is not Christmas, I am sure it would be a great for any time of year.

One less paper to pack now.

Manhattan Address Locator

I had this for years. It was from an old cityguideny.com book. It was handy for a while, as I was going all over the city for interviews.

I scanned it to have one less piece of paper, and hopefully cityguideny.com is Ok with the fact that I have put it here. I could have just re-typed the info, but this seemed easier, plus I get to give them credit and some advertisement.  (If anyone has an issue with it, please contact me).

Anyway, I thought I would share. The Internet makes it so easy to find things, but I thought it might still be helpful to some. And, the fact of the matter is, if you are seeing this, the Internet is what is helping you out. :)

Have fun with wherever you area going. NYC is one of my most favorite places in the world.

Thoughts from my Past

Back in 2002 I was working through one of those books that take you through several journaling exercises. I don't remember the name of the book, and am not even sure if I have it any more. But what I do have are some of my journaling from it.

Given that it is 11 years ago, plus, I find it interesting to view some of the things I wrote. As I re-read them, I am not sure what everything means myself, so I am not sure how much sense it will make to you. Much of it was a response the questions asked in the book. It is in very rough form.

I can see progress within me in some respects as I read this. In other ways, maybe not so much. I need to come back to this at some point when I can fully and completely look at it. But that time is not now...too many other things I need to be doing.

?? = unknown date

I find myself wondering about my life accomplishments - almost as if - are there any? I look at how I am viewed by my family - and feel as though they think I have nothing. Friends  however, will think otherwise. I DO have so much. I have exactly the life I need to have. Nothing is permanent! I know what truly matters - in heart and soul.

I always wanted to hide - almost disempowering - as in hiding, it was like I did not exist! My financial problems aren't letting me hide! I am angry. I want to hide, but I need to stop.

As a child, I felt powerless, as an adolescent, I didn't want the responsibility of power. It left me vulnerable, but not in a position that i wanted to be in - and yet it was exactly what I wanted. It was a Catch-22! I wanted power but couldn't allow it because I couldn't accept the responsibility of the power, but I wanted the power, but couldn't allow it...and in the meantime, my life was happening! it was caught in a whirlwind of no focus.

I am so confronted! I want to walk away from this, get distracted. I can and do focus on my power in this world. I am no longer willing to accept my life without power and without responsibility. I see the two go hand in hand, and I accept them both, so that I may dwell in my life powerfully.

Growing up I needed to be an adult, but couldn't be responsible like an adult - it was imbalanced. I was an adult without full "card privileges." So I am needing to be an adult, but do not have the power to do what I need to do. Like being a figurehead? Being trapped in expectations. As a child I got that I was powerless and that never shifted.

As a teen it wasn't safe to express my emotions. Just had an image of grandma and OJ & drugs and G. forcing me to do something - feeling smushed down - have no power. Is power the ability to choose? If so, I have no power as a child and pick a man I have no power with either - because it's comfortable to be uncomfortable??


If someone loves me they'll believe and protect me? With that comes trust - and that trust was broken as a child. SO can I ever truly trust (read: love and be loved) again? I have collapsed love and trust and protection. It's not save to love or be loved?


I wouldn't have thought so, but I think I am afraid of love.
At times I am concerned about where love will take me (where being loving will take me).
I know God is love and that he loves me, but believe I am numb to the feeling of the love.
I believe love is a beautiful thing in its purest form.
I sometimes can get caught in my emotions which can sabotage the expression of love.
Power lives in my heart. It's red and it's a heart that holds the world.
Love lives in my stomach, and resembles a gift. It's yellow (emotions!) - emotions as a gift?!

I see how love and power relate. The symbol for power is after all a heart! They are equals in size, and both come from colors from the lower chakras... however, power lives in the heart chakra! It would see that while love lives in the emotional center. I will do anything but be emotional when it comes to love?!a


What is my metal process? Often scattered - everywhere and no where. Tired, at times...doesn't want to deal - but can be very clear, very succinct, very creative.

I was an "adult" child. I react to the child and teenager as inapproprriate and yet I can be silly...very much like a chld? I don't think I ever got to be a child - and yet the child lives within me. I was unaccpetable as a child or a teenager. As a child, unwanted, as a teenager, inappropriate expressions of emotions - a pushing down. At times I feel as though I need to have it all together. Many times. But then, I often do? I wanted to be an adult when I was a child - as I felt as I had no say in my life as a chld - but never really learned what it meant to be an adult - that taking responsibility was more than just "doing" things. I was a great manipulator - which is a way of disempowering myself. I couldn't be who I needed to be - so I manipulated the way others were -??

I ignore my body, the physical. I just skim the surface of the physical world. I also "hide" in the world...often soft, silent, hidden. My spirit is strong, but heaven forbid anyone know, or noitce!

My power lives in my heart.
I do not physically express my power. If I do, it is with trepidation, with quaking in my boots.
I am uncomfotable with my physcial power.
I only express power through really sad emotions and even then I want to crumble up.
When I contemplate power, I feel anxiety - a butterfly feeling - anger??
I am afraid of power.
On some level, I am afraid of what it means to be a person sof power.
I am comfortable with the power of God.
I own my own power, but do not use it.
Power and spirit can and do exist.
I do not always trust the power of my mind.
I think power is abused - and that it does not often do the positive things that it can to aid people.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Feeling Self Conscious & Insecure

Well. I got my hair cut at the right time. Today I think has been one of the hottest - if not THE hottest - days of the spring so far. I was grateful not to feel like I had to wear a wig.


The thing is it is raising up my insecurities. I am terribly self-conscious.  It is raising up the younger me who felt ugly and unattractive. It is raising up the part of me that used to get paid attention to because she was picked on.

If people look at me now, it has to be because I am so ugly.

Amazing what a difference there can be when you feel confident in your own skin. The wigs seem to do that for me. I feel more at home in myself and more at peace with myself when I like what I see in the reflection the world sees.

It doesn't matter how many people tell me they think I look good. There is a part of me that doesn't believe it. I am really sad about this. I am really sad I feel this way about myself. But I guess it is good that it is coming out. I have a chance to heal it.

The problem is that the timing sucks. I already am dealing with more than I can handle.

Day 6: I Want to Lichtenstein You!

Based on my 30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry I went looking for my Day 6 $1 donation opportunity, and found Will Lund: I Want to Lichtenstein You!

Will is a graphic artist. He had a project in which he took photographs and remade them in the style of the artist Roy Lichtenstein. Once the project was completed, he kept going.

If you look at his Facebook page - Lichtenstein You - he has done many at this point. He put up a fundraising page in case some might want to thank him for the work that he seems to do a lot of for free.

It is unclear to me (and really none of my business) how much he manages to make off of his work. I would hope that he does make something. It is really hard to always give away things for free. Yes; they can serve another purpose, but we all have bills to pay and things that require that we make some sort of money and make a living.

Even though the "campaign" has run since January, there is very little activity on the Fundrazr page.

I chose him because I can relate to a desire to do and at the same time figure out how to make a living in the process. I also chose him because I admire his work. I think it is fabulous. I also chose him because I wanted to highlight how difficult it can be for some in the world we live in to make a living because so many want something for free and are unwilling to even donate when asked.

Once again, I want to point out that if each and every person he spent 3-4 hours on creating his work even contributed a $1, he would likely have a significant amount of money. I don't know about you, but acknowledging something you value - something that involved someone's time and effort - seems like it would be a steal, especially at the name your own price of a whopping $1.

What if part of the problem we have fiscally now has something to do with many walking around not valuing the things and people they interact with? If everything is free, no one can make a living. Our society is based on the idea that things have value and we express our understanding of that when we trade something of value for something of value that someone else has.

I am not sure it is about the money, exactly. After all, money is a conduit. I don't know what the answer is. I am just really good at asking questions.

I could also totally be making up what I think his reality is - based on mine. Either way, I think it serves a point.

If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com. Still am behind over there...I'll manage to catch up, eventually, or change my mind.

Guess time will tell which.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 5: Help the 5th Graders Get to Six Flags

Based on my 30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry, each day I donate $1 to a cause. Today I didn't have to go looking for my Day 5 $1 donation opportunity. It had been posted by a Facebook friend: Help the 5th Graders Get to Six Flags.

A group of disadvantaged students were promised a trip if certain conditions were met, but then for some reason, they were told that it would not happen.

Their teacher is seeking $3,000 to make that happen.

When I first saw the posting I reached out to the poster to find out if the campaign was legit. Did she know the person? I never heard back. I could have made more of an effort to find out, but quite frankly, I decided it wasn't worth it. And then I got to thinking about the many scams out there and how people are reluctant to give if they don't know the person.

In some ways I understand. At the same time, it is making us so guarded that we don't even want to give to those who are in genuine need. I have gone out of my way to be open and honest here about my situation because I thought it would help. But, quite frankly, I am not sure that it has. In addition, the donation sites often tell you to give only to those you know. I can understand why, sort of.

But think about this: If you "just" give a $1 you aren't risking much if you don't know if it is true or not. You have likely wasted a lot more money on other things that didn't have the potential to help someone.

In addition, you can do what you can to try to tell if something is legit, or not. Of course, unless you have proof of a situation, there is no way to be sure. But if you see a number of people giving money, the hope is that it is legitimate. You could always reach out and ask for more information. More than once I have offered to show records, and would go as far as necessary to prove something if I had a reason to.

Lastly, if someone is indeed scamming, it is very possible that they truly do have a need of some sort, but just aren't going about taking care of it in the healthiest or best way. It is one humane way to look at it. Of course, I understand one doesn't want to give their hard earned money away just like that. But if we use a combination of our gut and heart and head, we will have the best shot of doing something worthwhile for both us and the person we affect.

I think it is likely better to take a $1 risk on something you don't know for certain (if it speaks to you in some way) than to do nothing at all because I think the overall risk to a society who doesn't help out its members is greater than the one that seeks to, and does.

If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com

To see previous days, please click here.

I Feel Naked

So today I had my first "official" haircut since chemo. I had intended to tell the person who cut my hair that she should not take whatever my reaction would be in any way negatively.

But I forgot.

It didn't matter, though, as she understood what I meant and said, "I hate it."

As you can see from the image, it doesn't look much different than it was. The back was what needed the most work. Apparently I did a good job trimming the front. She shaped it some. It was a very simple haircut that was almost unnecessary.

Sadly, for me, it is all I have to work with right now. So it is what it will need to be for the summer. I suppose the plusses are that I won't have to worry about a wig and the heat and I won't have to worry if it rains and my hair gets wet. If the weather is cool enough, you may still see me in wigs. I prefer the way I look in them. Even though they are getting a bit annoying. There is just no way to have it all, sadly enough.

I am used to no wig at home, but being out and about without one was very strange. I really did feel kind of naked and exposed. I have felt since the beginning that my short hair was making a statement, "cancer." I realize that many won't know anything unless I tell them. But *I* know, and it is not my choice. It was/is so not my choice.

Interestingly my hairdresser who has been cutting hair for 16 (if I remember correctly) years, only found out fairly recently that a wig is uncomfortable to wear on a bald head. She was surprised. For that reason, it was probably good I never shaved my head, despite others encouraging me to do so. See? It is good to listen to your own self sometimes.

There is a lot people don't know about cancer and the experience of cancer. There is a lot people don't know, period. I knew nothing about wigs before I had to wear them. I even shared with her today that I found out in the process of everything that the proper hairline for a wig is 4 fingers above the eyebrow.

I kinda wish I didn't have to know that, though.

My First Haircut (Video)

Monday, May 27, 2013

#303030 30 Days. 30 Causes. 30 Dollars.

If you want to know more about what I am doing, and what this is about, click here.

I am going to post this in the sidebar to highlight what I am doing. It will keep a running list of the entries that I make every day. In this way, everything will be in one place. If you want to keep up with it, just be sure to click the link in the sidebar and you will have a shortcut to getting what you are looking for.

Day 30:
Day 29:
Day 28:
Day 27:
Day 26:
Day 25:
Day 24:
Day 23:
Day 22:
Day 21:
Day 20:
Day 19:
Day 18:
Day 17:
Day 16: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2014/01/30-days.html (Mario)
Day 15: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/09/day-15-lakisha-mitchell.html
Day 14: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/09/day-14-303030-kristina-kleczko.html
Day 13: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/08/day-13-303030-fundraiser-for-anita-for.html
Day 12: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/08/day-12-303030-mother-of-3-raising-funds.html
Day 11: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/08/day-11-303030-3-cats-in-need.html
Day 10: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/08/day-10-303030-dave-rudbarg-album-number.html
Day 9: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/06/day-9-small-dog-collar-business.html
Day 8: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-8-bring-hope-home.html
Day 7: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-7-bran-hernandez-burial-cost-fund.html

Day 6: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-6-i-want-to-lichtenstein-you.html
Day 5: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-5-help-5th-graders-get-to-six-flags.html
Day 4: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-4-rico-relief-effort.html
Day 3: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-3-liana-williams.html
Day 2: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-2-project-liza.html
Day 1: http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-1-baby-casen-buswell-fund.html

Benefit Flyer

Look at me. I am on a flyer!

Ken is planning to hand these out in a few places before Friday.
If you, or someone you know, would like a version to print
so you can do the same, click here.

While the event is being held in the SF area, 
anyone who wants to and is able might be able 
to do something to coordinate efforts with what he is doing
to maximize the overall event.

If you are so inspired - or have any ideas - please let me know.

It feels funny to promote my own benefit.
But when you have a need, you do what you gotta do.

It feels a bit surreal, really.

(People sometimes think, "oh that's not for me," and then it stops there, as they proceed to ignore it. What they don't consider is that it might benefit, or be of interest to a friend of a friend. You never know who knows somebody who knows somebody that it might matter to. Even though the benefit for me on Friday is in the SF area, there may be someone you know in Florida who has lots of family there. You also don't know who might see what is going on and want to help me in some way. Please consider that when you view the flyer, and please consider passing it along like it was someone you loved and cared about who was in great need. I know it is awkward and uncomfortable, but the rules and limitations change when it personally affects you. If you want to help me, I appreciate you considering these words, and passing them along as you see fit. TY.)

So Much.

I am so tired today.  Last night I went with a friend to a park to view the alignment of Venus, Mercury and Jupiter. He took his fancy-schmancy 16mp camera and I took my iPad. The above new image was from last night. His fancy camera took some images of the dots in the sky which I may try to post later.

It was such a beautiful evening. Even the bugs agreed. 

The walk around the lake wasn't that much of a walk, but it is more than I have been doing. I wonder if I am paying the price somewhat today, as I am exhausted. I really hate this rollercoaster of energy issues that stems in great part from the chemo. I hate being knocked for a loop any time I extend myself. And it is not like I am doing all that much. 

I should probably try to do more, but when this happens, it makes it a bit (who am I kidding? ALOT) more difficult to contemplate.

In addition, I have been stressed and stretched. Ken Newman and Michael Banks have been working quite diligently to make a successful fundraiser happen on Friday. Ken asked me about texting for donations. I have looked into it a bit, and I am not sure if it is doable. However, it is worth investigating. But it also takes my energy. So does working with them to create some of what they will be doing to advertise and promote the event. 

There are things I am not certain about, but I am saying some things and letting others go. Some are not worth the trouble. Plus they're both stretching themselves on my behalf, and I don't want to drive them too crazy. There are just times that I have a feeling about something, and it is hard to let it go. And there is one thing in this case that keeps bugging the heck out of me. I have wanted to just let it go, but haven't. It may not matter, or be a big deal, but it is something that is definitely nudging me enough not to just let it go without making an effort.

Ayngel has been busy with the film festival and the premiere of the documentary she was in (Uranium Drive In). She has written several blog entries in the last few days. The crew who filmed the documentary were drawn to the story by something Ayngel had written. Boy. Talk about doing something and making a difference. Ayngel had no idea what was going to happen when she wrote what she did. It sounds like she opened up a conversation in a big way by doing something that probably seemed pretty insignificant at the time (although I would need to check with her to be sure that I am right about that).

Ayngel has been on quite a journey the last several years. She has been doing things people didn't want her to do. Things people thought she shouldn't do. Things she knew she needed to do. And now it seems that she is being rewarded for listening to that inner voice. Among other things, she and her family wanted to be able to have a mobile business, and someone recently donated $5,000 for that purpose.

I am so glad to see everything coming to some sort of ripening for her. She has worked very hard, believing in something without much support, and now...and now, who knows? But something happened in a big way this weekend.

It is so hard to do things and not know why I am doing them. I have so many things I try to do. I have so many things that don't get completed. I have so many things that beg me to get done. It is very difficult to know what to do and when to do and how to do it. It is hard enough when you think you are well and you feel there is lots of life ahead of you. It is even harder when you take not even a day for granted.

Day 4: Rico Relief Effort

Based on my 30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry I went looking for my Day 4 $1 donation opportunity, and found Rico Relief Effort.

Rico Walder is dealing with brain cancer, and is about a third of the way to his goal. One thing that was said in an update was

"He still needs your help! This charity will soon be coming to an end and I want to make sure Rico has enough funds to continue with his medical treatment and to support himself and his business." 

In my experience of dealing with cancer, I can say he will be a very fortunate man to get what he needs to help him. It is incredibly difficult to manage a business and an illness. I was fortunate enough to get through treatment, but I had to start working almost as soon as it was over.

Physically it was (and still is) challenging. If you have never had treatment, let me tell you - it is not easy to do. There has to be healing from the treatment that is almost harder than the treatment itself. And I am not sure that the pressure is helping my physically, either.

I don't think many people realize how difficult it really is. So many have expected me to be who I was before treatment. Many expect me to be as anyone would be, normally. It is part of the reason I feel I need to talk about this stuff. I hate - in some ways - to have to keep repeating myself to new people. It almost makes me feel defensive. I should be able to handle things, shouldn't I? I can see why many wouldn't do anything, or be concerned about addressing it with others. It is, among other things, incredibly awkward.

Something else I noticed today, which I have noticed other days, but haven't yet addressed is that if someone who is asking for help is from a public event/disaster, I skip over them. Why? Because I feel that many are going to go to them and help them first before helping someone else with a more "every day" kind of need. Some people will only help in an extreme situation like that, too.

So even with my $1, I have been discriminating. Imagine what it is like for someone who has a lot more to spend? How do they decide how much is going to whom? I imagine that the things that people relate to are precipitating factors. Currently I am focusing on GiveForward.com because I can give a $1, but I wouldn't mind helping elsewhere. I am sure there are many who are trying to launch a project, a product and/or get a business going who are just as much in need.  I may check out IndieGoGo and see if I can give $1 there.

If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com. I am behind over there...the things I set out to do so often don't get done these days. It is really hard to reach to do something, but not be able. In a way, I would say it is good. It gives me something to aspire to. But in another way it frustrates a bit, as I so often don't meet the desired outcome.

But I am trying.

Really feeling...

outta sorts tonight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

So easy to say...

Several years ago, I was reading a book about Past Life Regression. The author suggested that the only people who should perform one with you is someone with experience. He had stumbled into it accidentally one day, and never turned back. But he was once new to it, too. One must be a novice before he becomes an expert, and there is no way to skip the experiences that create that level of expertise. But that doesn't mean you couldn't start out one way, and just get better. And how does one get better, but by doing? I am guessing he never realized the irony (and potential arrogance?) of what he wrote.

Today I saw a quote about picking only people who are successful in all areas of their life. That doesn't seem quite right to me, either. We are all a work in progress. And each piece and each level works out however it works - often on its own schedule. A person who doesn't yet have it all figured out might sometimes be a better choice than someone who thinks he does.

It is not an absolute, of course, it is...just a thought.

Begin Again (From the History Books)

(Anika) Tank Burt did a short film several years ago called Begin Again. This was the postcard from the movie. She had asked me to be her Production Manager, and I did a few lines of voiceover for the film for an unseen character.

Right before I had worked on another film set and hated it. I hated the way I was treated. I hated the way things were handled, and I knew that if I was going to do anything with anyone else, it had to be on better terms - not just theirs.

We worked very well together. It was very difficult to manage all of the facets, given that there wasn't much of a crew. I was Craft Services (food) as well, and I am sure some other things I might have forgotten (perhaps chosen to forget?)

There was one person in particular who rubbed me the wrong way. Anika said she had never seen me so upset! It was someone who was used to working on bigger sets and expected that I would be as other Production Managers were, basically allowing no room for me to mess up in the midst of everything else I was doing. Fortunately everything DID work out.

As I think about it, I remember now, too, that in the process of that film being made I met someone who introduced me to a small 2-person company who was looking for help. I was able to freelance with them for several months. At one point I knew things weren't going well, and I had asked them to please give me some warning if they were going to let me go. 

I left before the break for Labor Day, and they said nothing. I came back in afterward to them giving me the boot. Yet another example in my life of asking people to communicate, and them choosing not to - ultimately affecting me in a major way in the process.

They told me that I could come into the office and do things there if I wanted to. One day I was going to head into the city (NYC) and there was an announcement that the trains weren't going. I called into the office and I found out it was probably better for me not to go in. Apparently a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Towers. 

homemade trail mix

Sunflower Seeds
Slivered Almonds
Slivered Brazil Nuts
Pine Nuts
Cashew Nuts
Mini Chocolate Chips

How much per mix?

3 Brazil Nuts
5 cashews
a palm (about 1 oz each)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pine Nuts
- Almonds
- Raisins
- Mini chocolate chips

If you click the links above, you can see some info as to why some of the ingredients are good for you - in moderation. You will want to be aware of the fact that some nuts can cause some problems if taken in too big of a quantity. I did not know that when I started to eat Brazil Nuts, but I decided 3 would be a good number. Apparently, I guessed in the approximate right neighborhood. It is approximate because the amount of daily recommended Selenium can be in about that many, depending on how they are grown. Apparently, it can vary a considerable amount.

It is a yummy mix. I don't always add the chocolate, but when I do, I try to use the best chocolate I can find, with the most basic ingredients possible. (I have used these.)

Some people believe you should stay away from sugar all together when you are dealing with cancer, but I have been advised that sugar taken with protein can be Ok...again, in moderation. I like the way that the people I deal with think. Too many times I hear contrasting info. There are some very health conscious people who have had to deal with cancer. So I just don't know where the lines can truly be drawn universally - if they can.

In the meantime, enjoy the mix. It is pretty hardy. You could even have it as a meal.

Day 3: Liana Williams

Based on my 30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry I went looking for my Day 3 $1 donation opportunity, and found Liana Williams.

In looking for people to donate to, I find my eye drawn to images with someone else in it. I have been saying for a while that I do not think I have the most compelling "cancer story." Interestingly enough Liana's picture shows her husband and her children. She is fighting an aggressive form of lymphoma, and while they have raised a considerable amount of money, they have raised the amount asked for, due to almost being out of money. And this is despite getting some help. Her husband lost his job. I picked them, in part, because their campaign is about to end on May 31st, and they are just a little over 50% there.

There are way too many people challenged - and devastated - by things like this. It is all too easy to turn a blind eye. At the same time, it is the type of thing most people have to trip over to see. No one wants to see the pain. No one wants to know. I know. I was one of them. Why go looking for something you know will cause discomfort?

On top of that, so many people are empathic, and do not know it. They pick up what others feel. And for many, it sucks so much they unconsciously avoid dealing with anything that has them feel it. I tend to stay away from large crowds, and really don't like places like malls.

If we could somehow harness that empathy and turn it around we might be able to stop avoiding, and start helping. Maybe that is why we are empathic in the first place. Maybe it is a way for us to connect so we will help, but instead we unconsciously take on the pain and feel a need to avoid what is causing it, leaving those we love and others we could help to struggle with their situation on their own. And the deeper the depths of their despair, the more we want to avoid it. If only we would have helped in the earlier stages, maybe it would not have gotten as bad.

How many people think of that, I wonder.

If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com.

Taking the journey of making a difference one dollar at a time.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Poem (of Mine)

It just so happens this is also blog entry #600!

I wrote this to someone I cared very much for,
and was also very scared about what was happening
and what would happen next.


I love your arms
wrapped around me

I love your kisses
caressing me

I love what
you do to me...

If only nothing else mattered,
My heart wouldn't feel so tattered.

I try to sort my feelings out
and tell you what I'm all about.

But it's not as easy as black and white.

Internally bruised from the fight,
My words tell you I want to take flight.

If only risking loving you
didn't mean risking losing me.

If only the magic of a moment
brought us more than a
magnificent memory.

If only I knew how to reconcile
these tears
with my fears.

- Elizabeth Alraune

A Poem: Veronica A. Shoffstall

Found this amongst my papers, too.

From Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats 
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learn tho build all your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans - and futures have
A way of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn
With every goodbye you learn.

Quote: W. Somerset Maugham

I am not sure if I am quoting this correctly, as I have seen it differently elsewhere. I had it on a piece of paper that I wrote it on from a long time ago. It is from  W. Somerset Maugham, and it is from The Razor's Edge. If anyone happens to see this and have it, please feel free to correct me, it. Thanks.

"It is very difficult to know people. For men and women are not only themselves, they are also the region in which they were born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learned to walk, the games they played a children, the old wives' tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. You can know them only if you are them."

Award Winning (From the History Books)

This is the cover of the Literary Magazine that I was Editor, artist, and contributor.
It won an award. I don't remember what. But it won something. LOL.

Another year I was the Business Manager 
and a different year I typed up the pages.

When I was a Sophomore, this was a contribution of mine:

Once Upon A TIme

Once upon a Time, I was a Domestic Goddess. I lived with someone, and he definitely got the better end of the deal. I moved in with him and paid half the expenses, cooked, did laundry, cleaned. Pretty much everything around the house. I even thought - at first - that I was happy to do it.

I spent a lot of time collecting recipes. At one point I had about 12 file boxes like the one you see full of all kinds of recipes. I was always trying something new. I loved experimenting. As a child we had the same things all of the time, so I wanted to branch out. He, the one I lived with, had the same things as a child, and found comfort in the consistency. 

Interesting how we do that, isn't it?

As I am going through things I went through the last box that had made it with me. It was one I may have touched a time or two since I have been here. I looked through it to make sure there were no recipes that I had made in the past that I enjoyed and might go looking for at some point. The Internet makes finding things so simple now, there is hardly a need. In addition, my diet is much different these days. There were several recipes I probably would no longer pull out to make.

One that I found was to melt 2T of semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler along with 1T of oil. You take it and put it on a frozen banana. I never did it before. But, I did it tonight. I treated myself to 1/2 of one. It was quite yummy.

There have been some goodies over the years, but the number of recipes I once had was crazy. I was also crazy about spending hours almost every weekend in the kitchen trying to make something. I made cinnamon rolls, soft pretzels, bread...all kinds of stuff.

There is still a piece of that interest inside of me, as I still enjoy the idea of cooking, and do it occasionally, but it seems like a whole other lifetime ago.

From the History Books (Mr & Mrs "L")

In a previous blog entry I talked about working it the kitchen as a Foreman and Prefect. Mr. & Mrs. "L." were two people I spent a great deal of time around. I wanted to make a lap blanket for my grandmother for Christmas, and Mrs. L. taught me how to double crochet.

They were very special people to me. If you saw my Senior picture page, what was signed there was from Mr. L.

I have had many dreams that have taken me back to that Dining Hall. Not sure why, but when I do go back there, it is often associated with the piece of me that was at peace there. I think I go back to try to find it.

From the Archives (Sr Year)

 click and see it larger

I went to a small, private boarding school 8th through 12th grades. My grandmother thought it would be good for me. I hadn't gone to school much in the 7th grade, and it was only due to a kind German teacher, Dorothy Moskowitz, that brought me assignments, and taught me at home, I don't know that I would have made it to the next year.

As I am going through my stuff, it is hard to see pieces of my life, but not for the reasons you may think. It is hard because I find myself wondering if my yearbooks that once meant so much to me will wind up in the trash because they don't mean anything to anyone else. In a way, it feels like my life would be thrown there, too.

Ever since being diagnosed, I feel a stronger need than ever to make sure I leave an imprint here. I don't know if it is my ego talking, or just my soul taking hold and doing what I was supposed to be doing all along. 

It is an interesting question to contemplate.

I just did a bunch of scans from my Senior Yearbook. It is interesting to see the book, and be reminded of how much *I* touched it. There were pictures I took. There were images I was in. I was on the Yearbook Staff. I drew some images. I wrote content. But I may be one of the few who knows what I did personally, as it is not clearly labelled. 

A lot of life is like that. Things happen, but we don't necessarily know how they got there, who was responsible. That, I would imagine, is sometimes good and sometimes not so good.

I was quite active in High School. I got my first taste of Stage Managing, and LOVED it. For a time I thought I would do that for a profession. I hated the idea of acting. and despite people always wanting me to act I would always just say, "I don't act. I manage." Although I eventually managed to become a Thespian, due to being in a melodrama. I had to get acting credits to become one, so reluctantly I did it, but I got it in a way that I got to hide myself. I was covered, and in the audience lifting signs to encourage the audience to participate. I also had some fun painting the set for the play we were doing.

All students at school had to be a part of "Work Party," which essentially meant cleaning the campus. But it also meant working in the kitchen being a server, doing dishes, or doing some other needed work. In 8th grade I got to clean bathrooms in the main admin building. In 9th grade I got to be a kitchen foreman, which meant that I was the student in charge of a kitchen crew of 5. I think, if I remember correctly, i had been the youngest one to date. 

It was an awesome experience. I loved it. It may have frustrated me at times. But it was so awesome I did it the next year, and the one after that. In 11th grade I was eligible to become prefect which meant I was the student head of all of the foremen and additional responsibilities. I was told the only reason I didn't get it was because the adult head of the kitchen thought I would not be able to handle it with all of my 11th grade needs. I didn't agree, and sadly, I had no say in the matter.

Senior year everyone knew who was going to be prefect of the kitchen.

I also had been the Editor of our Literary Magazine. I can't remember if that was my Senior or Junior year, though. I know I was involved both years, one year as Business Manager (I think).

I also did not want my own Senior yearbook page and big picture. Even back then I hated my picture being taken. But they told me I HAD to have one. I really don't like the image above. Funny enough my hair there reminds me of my hair now (see recent video to compare). Hopefully I will like my hair better after Tuesday when I get my first "real" cut since my diagnosis.

There will be more to come for anyone interested.

(I also think it interesting to note that my quote is about "patience" and about having a lack of expectations.)

Day 2: Project Liza

Based on my 30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry I went looking for my Day 2 $1 donation opportunity, and found Project Liza.

I have to admit, her name is a great one. But besides that, she has "a liitle friend" that is a brain tumor. As tough as my situation has been, I cannot imagine what that would feel like.

It isn't easy reading about these people's situations. But in some ways, it may be a bit easier - and a bit more difficult - because I can identify with pieces of their situations and dilemmas and concerns. The more we are exposed to something, the more familiar we are with it, and the more comfortable we in some ways become with it.

It is one of the great reasons why I feel it is important for me to talk. To share. Maybe it will encourage others, and ultimately be of greater help to us as a society. The discomfort people feel around illness I believe weakens who we are as a society and culture.

It is also difficult for me on one level because I see the level of help they are receiving as compared to me. It is hard to be this honest, but I feel like it is important for me to flesh my feelings out. I have to wonder if sometimes people might not give another for that reason. Another gets, but not me?

It feels odd to give someone who has more than I do. Some might even call it folly. But, as I have said, this is about a much bigger picture. Whether or not someone else has more, who am I to judge their need? If she says she has a need, then that should be good enough. I am not her. I can't possibly know what it is like to be her. And I am sure that for her, just like me, every dollar counts.

I can already tell this experience is going to be quite a lesson for me.

If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com.

Playing by the Rules (& Communication)

Today I read a status of someone who told another she did not know exactly what she was thinking. The person, she said, was grateful for her honesty and forthrightness.

In reading it, it made me think of "A." It reminded me of how when he decided things were over, he tried to silence my expression. While it is different, and while I did write him several emails as I processed things, It got me thinking about the power of being able to communicate.

It got me thinking about who we communicate for. Did I need to send him all the those emails? I wanted to be heard. I was writing them, hoping he would hear me. There would have been no point in writing them, if he wasn't the recipient. It wasn't enough for me to just write them. I wanted him to know what and how I felt. However he chose to deal with them, was up to him. At least I expressed myself. And he would not have had a choice about what to do regarding the messages they included, had I not sent them.

At one point he tried to stifle me by saying that we handle things differently, and that I was just upsetting him by expressing myself as much as I had. At that point if I remember right, he said we would talk, so I let up. But it took awhile to happen. It was possibly just his way of shutting me up.

I realize it can be overwhelming for someone who isn't expressive to interact with someone who is. If he had just been willing to talk to me from the start, I might not have felt so pressed to go the route I did. The less willing he was to speak to me, the more I felt a need to say what was on my mind.

Now, months later, I still send him a revealing message from time to time. I have no expectation that he will respond. I recently wrote him,

"exhausted...but having trouble sleeping...feeling kind of scared...so much on my mind...a part of me thinks you don't care - given how you have been. Another part recognizes that may not be the case at all and yet another part thinks you don't deserve to know how much you still mean to it...but I guess nothing currently compares to what you were able to give me...what an incredible gift it was while it lasted. I don't care if you respond, and certainly don't expect you to...this message is selfishly motivated...i just felt the need to express what I am feeling...maybe I can try to sleep now with one less prompting in my head...thank you for giving me a reason to love you as much as i did."

There was a lot of freedom in sending him that. I did it, and then I was able to sleep. I meant what I said, and it helped me to release it for the night. I am not sure expression changes the way I feel, but it at least allows me to be me.

I have no control over how another person will react to me and what I say, but I do have control over whether or not I express myself in the first place. As people we do others an incredible disservice by not respecting what they have to say because we don't like it or don't want to hear it.

And as I say this, I think about all the things I do not want to hear and about how difficult it is for me to hear things when I am suffering and overwhelmed. Maybe that is how "A" was feeling. But as I also think about it, I think I can make a distinction between the two similar, yet seemingly different, circumstances.

In the case of "A" I would like to think that what I was doing was expressing how I felt about what had transpired. I would like to think that while I was expressing what I felt it included him, but not in a finger-pointing, blaming way, but more in a way of expressing how I was feeling as a result of all that was - which coukdn't help but include him. After all, I would not have felt the way I did, had he not dome what he did. I did not tell him he was wrong, or that he needed to change. I would like to think I did a good job at that. The unfortunate thing is that even if I sucked at it, and even if he took something in an unintended way, I had no hope of resolving it because he would not talk to me.

While I would like to think I am fairly good at this these days, I am not perfect, and things may come out in an unintended way, or intended, but not necessarily the best choice of words or message. Plus I cannot be responsible for how another person hears what I say, but I can be responsible for doing what I can to communicate differently, if I know there is a misfiring in the initial communication, But I need the other person's engagement for that.

In many cases - especially in the last year - when someone tells me how they feel, but it is only about them to the degree that how who I am and how I am bothers them, and how wrong I am for seeing things as I do, I think it is different than what I described with "A."

I don't want to hear how someone else thinks I should do things - unless I ask. Someone told me recently that I don't listen. I am trying to figure out as I write what the person thinks I wasn't hearing. Maybe there was some intention behind what was said that I was missing while I was interacting with what I think she was saying.

The thing is I look at things differently than others do. I so often have. Most of my life, I have been on the outside, looking in. I can not seem to help it, and I am tired of being judged in some way wrong or inferior for it. I may not be the best woman to ever walk this planet, but I have a good heart and I am doing the best I can - just like many others.

I suspect there are others like me who have settled and conformed in some way because it may seem to be easier. But at what cost? Yes, it hurts when people not only don't get me but then give me grief for what they think they get. But at least I still get to be me. I think if I was to deny myself it would hurt more. I spent years fighting who I am thinking there was something wrong with me. I am now thinking that the only thing "wrong" with me is that I haven't been how someone else wanted me to be, or thought I should be.

Some might say, given my circumstances, something must indeed be wrong with me. And the less tactful, more reactional part of me would want to say, "go to hell!" The more calm, reasonably aware part of me looks at it and says it is Ok that they think that. We all have things we label as "right" or "wrong" when in actuality they may just be how they are supposed to be. I don't have to make myself miserable over someone else's label or intrepretation, and just because I feel stymied or stuck or unhappy does not mean that this situation isn't somehow exactly the way it needs to be.

And then there are times I might just want to tell that reasonably aware part of me to go to hell, too. :p

This Game of Life that we play certainly can suck sometimes, but given the myriad of variables, I have a sneaking suspicion that there are times when making up - and more importantly playing by - our own rules lands us exactly where we need to be. The thing is, though, sometimes we may land flat on our back, even though we would haved liked to be like a cat and land on our feet.

But either way - we landed. And it isn't so much how we landed, as much as it is about what we do next. And don't forget the fact that we are even able enough to have a next move.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Don't Stop Yourself Before You Get Started (Video)

See Video for explanation :)

Day 1: Baby Casen Buswell Fund

Based on my last blog entry I went looking for my first $1 donation opportunity. Unfortunately GoFundMe does not allow $1 donations, so I went to GiveForward.com, and found Casen Buswell.

His medical condition is very unique and apparently the family's medical bills are ever increasing. It feels "funny" to give "only" a dollar. I had some interesting feelings come up as I did it. I have to wonder how many others may have the same, and instead of moving through the discomfort, just ignore it all together.

I can also see how difficult it can be in technological terms, too. There are some I would have liked to have helped on GoFundMe, but there was no email address provided for Paypal, and for some reason I couldn't seem to email through the site. I am going to have to go back and add my own email address. It is hard enough for people to get help without potential helpers/donators being thwarted by technology.

I think I am going to be picking those people who have a distance to get to their goal. I am not sure what else I will be using as criteria, if any. I think I am just going to see where this journey takes me. If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com.

This should be an interesting adventure. It's OK though, it's not like I have anything better to do. :P I hope Casen and his family will get through their journey with as few craters as possible. It seems like they have a lot of support.

You May Think This is About Me (You'd be Right and You'd Be Wrong)

Today I received a response to a letter I wrote to someone requesting help. The letter was quite gracious, and it told me that to help the most number of people, funds only went to organizations.

It got me thinking.

I am not sure how I want to say all of this, and I am going to be working it out as I go, so you may have to have some patience if you continue reading (which of course, I hope you do).

I have asked for help several times in the last year. In the process of asking for help, I have restarted my radio show, I have offered hypnosis sessions, coaching sessions, I have spoken to the fact that there is a need for a voice for those dealing with cancer and have reluctantly stepped into it by the sharing of what is going on with me, I have offered help (Relatingtocancer.com) to anyone who is dealing with cancer, and much more.

I share this because my life's work is so not about me. It is about helping others be true to themselves, helping them find their inner peace and their inner voice. It is about helping in any way to have them be the truest version of themselves and feel not only OK about it, but embrace it.

When I am struggling like this, it is difficult for me to do these things. Not impossible. But extraordinarily difficult. And while it may seem that I am "just" one person who needs help like all of the "just" one other people out there, I am offering something tangible in exchange for any help. I am offering something that I believe the people in the world need.

And it is not something that I say just because I want it to sound good. 
I say it because people tell me this.

It is really hard to manage an illness and a business at the same time. Almost impossible. And yet, that is what I find I need to do to try to survive. I am not sitting back hoping that people will help. I am doing everything I can to move forward.

So while this may seem to be about me, it is, and it isn't. I guess I had hoped I had made that clear in the things I have said. At the same time, I know I have had moments when I have been clearer about my needs and circumstances than anything else.

I saw something on Paypal asking people to send something to "those in need," referring to the Oklahoma twister. There are thousands of people in need. In Ayngel's dying town, Nucla, are some of them. Ayngel is one of them. There are people in need on the streets. There are people every day being diagnosed with cancer and other major illnesses whose lives are being turned upside down, who are finding themselves in big holes they may never get out of.

"Those in need" are not just those who have the most immediate news story. There are those in need every day. Those who don't know what to do or how to do it. Those who have something to offer the world, but don't know how to get it out there. Those who are too busy trying to survive to do much more than that.

I hate talking like this. I hate drama. I hate the marketing machine that pulls on your compassion and sympathies. Not that you shouldn't help. It is more that you might want to consider who you are helping and how and, if in a position to do it, perhaps consider helping in a greater way - which may may not always mean money, by the way.

I am sitting here wondering how to put my money where my mouth is. People are giving me money - every dollar incredibly precious - and I would never want to take away from what they do for me. Recently someone had a great need and I gave $1. I had to. In some ways she had a need greater than mine.

It occurs to me that maybe I can find 30 people/needs to give to in the next 30 days, and I will give $1.

If I can do it, there is a good chance most of those reading this can, too.

If you know of any cases of those in need, please let me know. I will post the ones I give money to here. If you don't want to donate to me, perhaps you will consider donating to them.

To anyone who has given me money (and to those who would consider helping me), please understand that I appreciate it more than I could ever say.  I hope that you will understand why I am doing this. Perhaps you could look at it as I am spreading the good will around.

There is a much bigger picture here, and I want to do whatever I can to talk about it and explore it. It is a part of MY personal bigger picture. So many people need help, but don't get it, and don't get the attention of the media. If we all could really, truly appreciate the value of $1 to someone in need, we all might be amazed.

And to anyone who thinks that I must not need money that badly that I am giving some away, you couldn't be more wrong. I just truly believe there is something greater at stake in the world that I am extending myself in the most awkward and uncomfortable of ways in the hope of creating/finding something that will in some way help all of us

Anyone want to commit to doing this with me? Imagine what it would be like...If 30 people gave $30 over 30 days to 30 in need. Some say you need an organization to make an impact. I say we just need individuals to take action. I know how hard it is to give away money when you are dealing with life. I never did before my diagnosis, and I am not proud of it.

But I am going to change that. Starting now.