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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Doing Good

November 9th, 2009

As sort of a follow-on to last week’s post and in celebration of the upcoming Tweetsgiving season, today’s post is dedicated to highlighting so the ways social media is being harnessed for doing good.

If you have not yet found your way to “do good” on the web, I HIGHLY recommend checking these out!

12 for 12k (http://www.12for12k.org).
This “movement” is the brainchild of @DannyBrown and I’ve been involved with it since my earliest days on twitter. The premise is simple. Each month we choose 1 charity and commit to raising $12,000 for them using social media.  Bloggers volunteer to write posts highlighting each month’s charity, others tweet about it and still others work tirelessly to raise awareness AND $$$.  The thing I love most about 12 for 12k is that everyone can do just a little bit and make a HUGE difference.

Tweetsgiving http://tweetsgiving.epicchange.org/story/
This is an annual online and offline event produced by Epic Change (and12 for 12k’s charity for the month of November).  TweetsGiving is a global celebration that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude.

Scheduled for November 24 – 26, 2009, the 48-hour event created by US nonprofit Epic Change will encourage participants to express their thanks using online tools and at live events. In honor of the people and things that make them grateful, guests will be invited to give to a common cause at events held across the globe.Tweetsgiving

In 2008, Tweetsgiving successfully raised over $10,000 to build a classroom in Arusha, Tanzania in just two days. Proceeds from Tweetsgiving 2009 will, in part, benefit the school, where a dormitory/orphanage, library, school cafeteria and additional classrooms are much needed. In addition, TweetsGiving 2009 seeks to fund new Epic Change partners and fellows in other parts of the world.

It’s super easy to join in this celebration of gratitude. And really, we have so much to be grateful for in our lives, let’s use it to make lives in other parts of the world better. Go here to find out how you can make a difference just by being grateful. 🙂

And no post on Doing Good would be complete without mentioning the work my friend Nate St. Pierre is doing with a movement he is creating called It Starts With Us. The mission is simple: make a positive impact in the lives of the people around us.

Nate emails out simple, weekly “missions” that take all of about 15 minutes and make a SIGNIFICANT difference in the lives of others. For example, a recent mission that arrived in my email inbox was writing a letter to a five year old little girl undergoing the trauma of surgery to remove a massive brain tumor.  If I don’t have time to do that, my priorities are totally screwed up.

I really REALLY encourage you to get involved in It Starts With Us. You may change the lives of others, but YOU will be the one who be changed even more. 🙂 Go here to join “The A Team”: http://www.itstartswith.us/blog/change-the-world/

Other ideas for doing good? This is your open invitation to pimp your favorite charity in the comments of this post. 🙂

Yet ANOTHER Lesson in Gratitude

July 13th, 2009

This is NOT the blog post I intended to write today. I had other plans – as I often do – for my blog.  Then life happened and I can either keep it pent up or I can write about it. I’ve found it’s better for my mental health, and the general well-being of those around me, if I write about it.

Floating by Attempts at Photography.Short and sweet, life threw me a curveball. No need to go into the gory details – maybe later. But I got blindsided with a ball straight to the back of the head. And wow does it smart. 

I tried pretending both a) The ball never hit me (ball? what ball?) or b) It didn’t hurt like he&* when it made contact. I should know better, of course – but hey – avoiding pain is what we humans do.

So then I decided to “feel the pain” because that’s where the lesson is, right? Except that “feeling the pain” threatened to overtake me. I started thinking about the pain ALL THE TIME. Not a valuable solution – at least not to me.

Then I remembered Gratitude.

And just to be clear – I am not one of those consistently serene spiritual people who remembers to pull out the tools that might actually help right away. Apparently I like to struggle with my own avoidance tactics first – which of course never succeed at doing anything but prolonging the problem.

Anyway – back to Gratitude (which, you may notice, is part of my Blueprint For Escaping Mediocrity).  So, after doing battle with the pain of the blow and making ZERO headway, I decided to take my own advice and give being grateful a try.  First I tried just thinking of a few things….my family…my health…my home…but that didn’t help very much.  I REALLY wanted to pain to abate, so I decided to step up the game. Every single time I thought about how I hurt (every other minute sometimes), I countered with something I was grateful for.

The list got interesting. The color of the sky, my son’s laugh, ruby red begonias, cold water to drink, a vacuum cleaner with a clean bag already in…ANYTHING that made me feel just a tiny bit better than thinking about my painful wound.  And I think that’s the secret really. Just consistently feeling a TINY bit better combined with refocusing my mind for a split second on something else.

Am I all better? Sometimes.  It takes a long time for a serious blow to heal – which means I have to tap another one of my weaker skills – Patience.  Will I make it? Absolutely. I’m not one to stay down permanently.

Someday I hope to be highly evolved enough that I don’t have to go through these struggles and these lessons over and over.  Until then, I just keep re-learning the best ones over and over again.  I’m pinning my hopes on the fact that they will put me further along the road to escaping mediocrity.