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January 2016

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Full circle moment

Full Circle

Have you ever had a full circle moment? A moment when you can’t believe that your life started at one point and somehow came all the way back around? Last week, I had that moment. I was invited back to speak at my alma mater, USC’s Annenberg School of Communication, as a guest lecturer.

As I stood in front of the class full of freshman Communication majors, I really couldn’t believe that I was no longer the student. How was I standing here? When what seemed like moments before, I had been working full-time to put myself thru USC. Trying to hold down a job, my full class schedule, a social life and find direction in my life.

Now, here I was sharing my journey of life, loss, growth and philanthropy with the class. It was surreal. I spoke about failing, struggling, not knowing what to do, which way to go and trying on so many things until I found the right fit. My message was the biggest roadblocks, were my greatest gifts.

The students asked me about so many great things, but one question that I loved was, “How did you find your voice?” They were referring to Charity Matters and I almost laughed at loud when the professor rephrased the question as, “your journalistic voice”. It took everything I had not to look over my shoulder to see if a journalist had entered the room.

After a pause, the answer to the question was, listening to myself. Giving myself time to reflect on what was true, honest, what fit and felt right. As I sat in that class room and looked at those fresh faces, I realized that it was that gift of listening and knowing what felt right that brought me to this moment. Full circle.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

What to do when the dream is a reality

whenthedreamisreal

We all dream. Sometimes we don’t remember them, sometimes we wake up feeling like we are falling and sometimes we just dream big. But it is those moments when we are awake and realize that our dream is real and really happening…well there just are not words to describe.

That is exactly what happened last friday at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The dream became real, not only for me, but for thousands of patients and families that will now have a place to go, to think, to pray, to meditate or just to be. Over twelve years ago we set out to build a non-profit to provide chaplains of ALL faiths 24 hours a day 7 days a week at CHLA, and we did it!

Then once the hospital had chaplains, we realized they didn’t have a chapel that could accommodate more than one person at a time. So a journey began to create a beautiful space where people of all faiths or none at all, could come and be. Patients, families, doctors, nurses, a place for all.

Last Friday morning, as I watched civic and religious leaders from all over Los Angeles, open and bless the new InterFaith Center at Childrens Hospital, I knew the dream was real. It took a village and years to make it happen, but it did. Standing there in that moment, my heart filled with pride in being a tiny part of this incredible legacy of compassion.

I was reminded that dreams do come true, especially when you dream big.

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Finding your self uncluttered

finding your seld under the clutter

As the New Year begins, I am reading the best seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up, a book on the Japanese method of decluttering. A state that many of us find ourselves in this time of year, cleaning and clearing out. And sadly, a book I found later instead of sooner.

In the book, the author poses three questions to ask yourselves about your possessions:

1. Do I love it?

2. Do I need it?

3. Does it bring me joy?

These questions are the beginnings of my New Years resolutions. While the questions are meant for stuff, they are questions for our lives. As I begin to ask myself these questions, in regards to more than possessions, I begin to declutter my life. Under the clutter I find myself, my truth, my voice and little by little, like a bad sunburn, the fresh layers of self begin to reveal.

As the fresh layers appear, so does the spring in the step, the smile reveals itself and more than that, the light within begins to shine brighter. Decluttered and raw like new skin, that is when I am true, my best self and on the path to a bright New Year.

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

 

 

 

A day of service and rememberance

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing in service for others?”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK day 2016

 

Today is the day we honor and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A visionary, man of peace and an inspiration. It is fitting that this great man is honored in a day of service, it is a day “on” rather than a day off. A day where millions of Americans will come together to honor his legacy by serving others.

Many will serve in their communities, churches or schools and for those who do not know where to begin, Volunteer match is the way to start. http://www.volunteermatch.org/seasonsofservice/mlkday/ there are thousands of service opportunities by location to choose from.  So, make today a “day on” to honor through service this remarkable man and ask yourself, “What are you doing in service for others?”

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Home

home fob

Home.

What is that place?

It is roots. It is stability. It is the foundation of our lives.

Home is where we start and end each day.

It is what grounds, builds and nurtures us, and gives us a place.

A place to belong, to be ourselves and to be true to who we are.

As I establish a new home, I am mindful that it is not what is physically inside our house, but rather what we house emotionally.

Home is simply place, acceptance and love…..

and why we all need it.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

The best resolutions yet

Best resolutions yet

A dear friend of mine, who is a yoga instructor, as well as a wise and soulful being, recently shared these and I thought they were so inspiring I wanted to do the same. It simply isn’t New Years without great resolutions! So here a few for thought….

1.  Begin. – Remember the feeling you get from taking the first step is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around thinking about it.  So get up and get moving.  Take the first step this year – just one small step forward.  The greatest miracle of your success will not be that you finished, it will be that you had the courage to begin.

2.  Work hard on the essential. – Don’t be busy, be productive.  Don’t track your time, track your results.  Put first things first and get them done.  And don’t expect your goal to be easy; it’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard you would already have it completed, and so would everyone else.  The hard part is what makes it worthwhile.  In life there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

3.  Stay true to your path. – A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.  You have to do what’s right for you; no one else walks in your shoes.  Keep moving forward, beyond the negative rhetoric echoing from the peanut gallery.  Do what you have to do, for you.  Live a life you are proud of.  And the moment you realize you’re not, find the strength to start over again on a new path.

4.  Nurture your self-confidence. – You have everything you need within you to become the best possible version of YOU.  Believe that you CAN.  Believe that you’re capable of pushing harder and farther than you have before.  Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, smart enough and strong enough to achieve your goals.  Don’t let false beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.  And certainly don’t get sidetracked by the people around you who are not on track.

5.  Be sincerely kind to those around you. – Kindness in words creates positivity.  Kindness in thinking creates confidence.  Kindness in giving creates love.  Through kindness you have the ability to make a profound difference in every life you touch, including your own.  When you guide someone who is lost and confused, when you hold someone who is sad and grieving, when you hug someone who has lost all their hope, you too will feel yourself healing and growing stronger.  Remember, the vast majority of positive changes come about in someone’s life simply because one other person cares for them, believes in them, and motivates them.  So be that other person when you can.

6.  Accept the things you can’t change. – What you resist, persists.  If you are resisting something, you are feeding it.  Any energy you actively fight, you are feeding.  If you are using negative energy to push something away, you are inviting it to stay. Choose to accept what is, be positive and proactive, let go of the need to control every tiny detail, and embrace peace in the process.

7.  Set a good example. – It’s not about what you say; it’s about how you live your life every day.  The people who look up to you are watching you all the time.  These people are like sponges – what they see or feel you do, they will imitate.  So remember that your words mean a lot less than what you’re doing.  Choose to believe that you can and will change lives with what you do each day, and you will.  Let your actions speak for themselves.

Angel Chernoff, Mark and Angel Hack Life

 

8. Charity Matters ( couldn’t resist)

 

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Charity Matters Quotes: The resolution

“Always bear in mind, that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”

Abraham Lincoln

happy new year

This new year, I feel as if I am slowly coming out of my cocoon. I am not wildly embracing the New Year, but rather slowly crawling into it. I am cautiously making sure that 2015 has passed and am excited about the new possibilities ahead, including our new cocoon.

So, as I chew on both my professional and personal goals for the year ahead, I am already enjoying the slower pace at which they will arrive. Not rushed, but rather contemplated and thoughtful.

A good start to ensuring that those resolutions are set up for success.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Something old, something new

something old something new

As many of you know we moved over the holidays. What you may not know is that prior to moving to the modern house, we made an offer on another falling down fixer upper that I had fallen hard for. A big 1920s Spanish, that was a crazy money pit. I dreamed of loving it, fixing it, giving it everything I had and making it beautiful again. Just as we had done a few times before. Love, fix, give. A pattern all too familiar.

This time fate spared me the pain and agony of the fixer and we did not get that house but instead a modern glass box that needs nothing but furniture. As I opened my eyes, the first morning in the new house, I stared across the canyon and found myself looking head on with the old Spanish. I laid there in disbelief and thought how bizarre that this fixer is what I will look at everyday.

The more I thought about the old house, I realized that it was a sign and the first gift of the New Year. That old house is a daily reminder of my old self and that I only have so much to give. I will never stop loving, fixing and giving, it is who I am. However, as I wrap up my forties and enter a New Year and decade, I find myself looking inward instead of out for projects and I’m sure there are a few…

So as we enter 2016, I will wake up each day reminded that we only have so much to give. We do what we can, but we need to take care of ourselves. Once we have, everything else simply falls into place. This year my fixer upper is a 49-year-old who is loves loving, fixing and giving.

Its going to be a great new year.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.