GAPs

It is up to us to be a prisoner of our past, by remaining in it; or to be a champion of our future by building it. If your life path was to travel from one of these formations to the next one and so on to the end, how would you do it?
You could climb down and walk to the next peak and scale up and repeat over and over again.
Or, you could become a bridge builder.
Neither way is wrong or right. Just different choices. We could for sake of argument take opposing viewpoints on the better, faster way to walk this path. We could discuss how those that follow us would make better speed with the bridge. Or how scaling up each peak would define us, and make us stronger.
But at the end of the day, the analogy is that each of us has our own path of divine destiny to walk.
Rainer Maria Rilke said, “The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” I love this. This is the synopsis my most recent experience of the past year.
For many years I knew that in my journey in life, I was having one foot on the gas, and one foot on the brake in accomplishing my goals. The pattern began when I was four years old and I walked in on my mom having sex with a man that was not my father. What I took from this experience is that it wasn’t safe to be seen.
So I spent years of my life trying to be invisible, and it worked. Thus one foot on the brake, and one foot on the gas. Every time my foot on the gas caused me to be close to my goals, I slammed on the brakes and hid.
I worked on this and in the past few years thought that I was no longer being invisible. I had widened my circle of comfort and felt that I had my foot off the brakes. Instead of hiding in crowds I am very social. I speak on stages to hundreds without fear. But the chameleon quality of this life pattern came to my attention this past week.
I had been trying very hard to get my website completed, and I realized that I was again driving with one foot on the brake. In the past 6 months I have been the hold up. I am expanding my comfort zone and that invisible foot was being slammed on the brakes. I was being defeated by a “greater” thing.
Many teach that we came into this life to have a certain experience. Mine seems to be dealing with this pattern of foot on the brakes, when I am pushing hard on the gas to accomplish a goal. Now I recognize it has chameleon like qualities. I know that when I feel like I am not progressing towards my goals, I have to go looking for that sneaky lizard.
This life pattern is my GAP – Gods Area of Preparation. This is where I learn about new ways that my life pattern has shifted, and I learn new ways to build bridges to close that gap. Can you see GAPs in your life pattern? Do you see where you need to learn to build bridges to close off the gap to get to your destination?

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When I have one of those days

Sometimes I have a day where every mistake I made in the past year shows up at my doorstep, all at once. It is overwhelming as they are all vying for my attention. All I hear is the screaming inside my head competing with the screaming happening in the chaos around me.

My self-esteem takes a nose dive, as it scrambles away, trying not to get trampled by the growing crowds of people asking if I know what I am doing?

What do you do when you have those days? I decide to make snow angels. If I try to shovel my way out, the snow just keeps falling and in a few minutes I can’t even tell where I was shoveling. 

When I have those days, I can’t dig myself out. So rather than beating myself up, calling myself names like loser, screw up, worthless and so on, I choose to go a different path.

I make snow angels. I give myself a forgiveness pass. I acknowledge that I am only human. I love the Christina Perri “Human” song. Sometimes I crash and fall down. That is the best time to make snow angels.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I wanted to share this because they are looking for inspiring stories to share and I know that many of us have those stories about ourselves, or those loved ones that we lost to Breast Cancer. My mother In-law died from breast cancer over ten years ago, and for me she was the epitome of grace. The cancer had metastasized to her brain and she lost her ability to talk. But looking into her eyes as we took care of her at home, you didn’t need words to see the love she had for us. That experience forever changed me and I was blessed to be there as one of her caregivers.

What stories do you have? I encourage you to reach out and share them with others.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Patch is sharing inspirational stories of breast cancer survivors to help raise awareness for early detection. Would you like to share your story? Email wendy.mitchell@patch.com

See more:  http://patch.com/connecticut/bethel/behind-pink-ribbons-close-encounters-c-word-0

RIP Sam Sarpong

It is so sad when someone so young (35 yrs old) and talented/successful ends their life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they deal with this tragic loss.

I am sure that more will come out as they investigate, but suicidal depression is something that can happen to any of us. It is so important that when the dark thoughts come to us that we seek out help. We present these masks to the world that everything is good and fine, but sometimes those masks slip. So if you ever see that someone you know is slipping into this dark despair about life, help them see how wonderful they are, and encourage them to get help.

This was the post I saw that I think said it best by Wilmer Valderrama, Actor/Director/Producer

“I am so sad & so confused.. Sam did it all, believed in dreaming bigger than anyone around him.. We made memories together that will last us forever, thank you for sharing your talent with me and the world.. You were a light everywhere you went and I couldn’t be more proud of the journey you traveled.. You just left us too early Sam.. We will miss you and pray for you.. Once again thank you for all those years you dedicated to our show, we couldn’t have done it without you! Find your peace my brother! And to everyone in a dark place.. PLEASE, please talk to someone.. Anyone.. Trust me that we WILL listen.. You are not alone, there are so many people that feel the same darkness, let’s help one another, let us shine hope on all those that need our understanding!! Reach out to someone and make your first step towards living a life you deserve. My prayers and heart are with family and friends that were blessed to know his beautiful soul ‪#‎RIPSamSarpong‬ ”

‎Sex trafficking‬ is the new American Slavery

‪#‎Sex_trafficking‬ is the new American Slavery.

“People who are having sex with children are not johns and tricks. They are child rapists and pedophiles, so we should call them what they are” ‪#‎Jada_Pinkett_Smith‬. We agree. If all men caught with an underage girls were prosecuted, jailed and labeled as sex offenders, it might make a dent in this horrible exploitation.

Finally some good news with the ‪#‎FBI‬ rescuing nearly 150 underage sex trafficking victims on Wednesday. The sting included children in Atlanta (which is known as a hub for human trafficking), Cleveland, Denver and Detroit. According to a 2014 study by Urban Institute, some traffickers in Atlanta make more than $32,000 a week. 

This was a joint effort with the National Center for ‪#‎Missing_and_Exploited_Children‬ and local law enforcement. They were able to arrest almost 150 of those involved.

So many of these ‪#‎children‬ are lured away because they are looking for attention, unhappy in their lives at home and/or school. They are manipulated and exploited and it is heartbreaking for the girls and their families.

I hope that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is successful in getting these girls the help they so badly need to recover from having their childhoods stripped from them.

See more:  http://www.cnn.com/…/14/us/sex-trafficking-sting/index.html…

Ben Willans fundraising memorial page

Hearing that your young child has ‪#‎cancer‬ is something that most of us will never hear. Being blindsided with Stage 4 of any kind of cancer is the worst kind of diagnosis.

A parents worst nightmare is happening for this family in England. Judy and Brians 4 yr old boy Ben was just diagnosed 4 weeks ago with Stage 4 ‪#‎Neuroblastoma‬ and is undergoing a very aggressive chemo treatment. The treatment has only a 30% success rate and because the UK doesn’t have protocol treatment for a relapse treatment, the family is raising funds to bring him to the United States.

As ‪#‎LemonadeMakers‬ our heart breaks both for this family and the hundred of others who have children battling cancer. Nearly 700 children are diagnosed with this aggressive cancer each year in the United States before the age of five.

So I am encouraging you to remember those in your prayers who are fighting for their children s lives, like Ben’s family. This is a cause I contribute to because cancer has taken many of my family members, and I have several relatives that are cancer survivors. So if you feel called in your heart to contribute to their fund, I have the link below.

Keep fighting Ben – as prayer warriors we are praying for you and your family to keep strong.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/…/showFundraiserProfilePage…

Two hands working together

Redeeming the world sounds like a pretty humongous goal. We all look for ways to give back to our community, to ‪#‎pay_it_forward‬. Social enterprise is something that we can participate in whether you want to enhance your own business into a social enterprise or spend your consumer dollars supporting the businesses who are a social enterprise.

If you were to make a list of businesses who are looking to redeem our world, who would be on that list? They are known as ‪#‎social_enterprises‬ and some may be well known and others you might not recognize. We encourage you to take a look and consider doing business with these social enterprises, who are working hard to redeem our world. There is a link at the end of the article for the Social Venture Network’s list. I am sure that googling can find even more companies.

More and more businesses and organizations are stepping up to ‪#‎giveback‬ to society. There are two ways they are paying it forward, through contributions to charities and through having a business that doubles as a social enterprise.

‪#‎Charities‬ fill one kind of gap being filled of, “the give the man a fish”. They come to a problem with advocacy and policy changes. There is no money to be made in work of most charitable foundations. When there is a natural disaster, they can mobilize and get working much faster than social enterprise can.

With social enterprises, we have the gap being filled of “teach a man to fish”. They believe that what they create needs to create a deep and lasting impact. They want the beneficiary of their work to benefit long term. It is geared towards delivering long-term sustainable changes. They do this by commercializing the skills that the individual who needs assistance learns. They look at the problem and see how they can fix it at the best possible price, and maybe even get paid for the solution.

What we are advocating is the combination of the two hands working together. The right hand – without passion, without compassion, without drive we can’t create social change. The left – without advocacy, without policy, we can’t create social change. I don’t think the right hand or the left hand is better than the other. Combining them together just makes sense, many hands make short work as the saying goes. Sharing resources, values and working together we will serve the short term assistance that is needed and put things in place to see lasting long term change.

We saw this in our post a few weeks back. A college girl saw a short term need with the homeless in Detroit – it was cold and they needed jackets and sleeping blankets to keep warm. She took her skills and created a sample sleeping blanket that converts into a jacket. She then applied for a grant, which she won. She then taught and employed several homeless women to sew the jacket/sleeping blankets. They then had sponsors with local businesses to purchase the jacket/blankets to provide to those who needed them. The charity got the grant and sponsorship’s and provided the needed jackets/sleeping blankets. The social enterprise was created by her employing the homeless to manufacture the jacket/blankets.

We need to think outside the box of how things have always done. Everyone uses the once a year fundraising format. They have the
charity runs, the silent auctions with dinner, or the annual golf tournament. This just makes raising funds way to hard and too much work.

Instead lets think outside the box and look to innovate to create something new, different, and then apply a business model to it so that the service provided becomes self sustaining.

See more:  http://svn.org/meet-our-members/featured-member-profiles