Sunday, March 30, 2014

Don't Tell me I'm not Raising Awareness

Have you posted your bare face yet? For a few days, it seems like everyone was doing it. But alas, within a few more days, multiple people are posting rebuttals about the validity of the campaign. Yes, it doesn't save anyone who currently has cancer. It doesn't directly raise money to fund research. After reading some of the argument I can see how it can offend survivors. If you are making that point, you are completely 100% correct. You know what, though? I'm a little annoyed.

My bare face selfie, captioned with "Get your Cancer Screenings"

I'll admit I hesitated before posting the selfie of myself. Not because I was nervous about people seeing me without makeup but because I questioned the validity too.  Does this really do anything to raise awareness? Who does this help? Is it really just about puffing out your chest with a claim "I helped fighting cancer!"? Is this actually brave....(I don't even wear makeup most days)?  I did it anyway.

Before you dawn on your judicial robes, hear me out. I'm fully aware of what it doesn't do. My husband's side of the family has had several bouts with cancer: Leukemia,
thyroid, and breast. I have an extreme amount of empathy for cancer patients. I am not claiming that I know what they've gone through--by any means. However, here is why I posted my bare face.

1. Future Cancer Patients:  Breast Cancer is still taking the lives of about 40,000 women a year . That's just women (yes, men can get it too), and just in a year! Getting regular screening tests (along with treatment if diagnosed) lowers the risk of dying from breast cancer.  The best way we can encourage people to go to regular screenings, is simply talking about it. You can't tell me that people haven't been talking about it the past few days.

2. Funding Research: Ok, I'll give you that posting a selfie doesn't directly donate anything to research. In the mists of talk though, people are making points.... "If you really want to help, donate".... "This doesn't do anything to help research." ....and others are responding. Did you know that it actually started specifically to raise money in the UK? Boy, did it ever! It may have got lost in the shuffle, but it still raised money!

3. Current Cancer Patients: As much as I dislike the controversy itself, the response about the validity brings up an excellent opportunity to connect with our survivors. I'm not saying offending them is a good thing-- but there is no possible way we can understand every aspect of how they feel, what they've gone through. I can't imagine the depth of emotion and stress. But regardless, survivors are standing up, and giving us a glimpse into the ugliness of the experience. -- so let me just say-- let's come back to the best of intentions. This wasn't meant to be a slap in the face, our intention was to do something small to help-- and shouldn't that at least be appreciated?

One of the many times I've donated hair.

For those who have stood up and expressed their feelings on why no-makeup faces isn't a good idea.-- I hear you, and I cheer you on! It is so important to converse, it's the best way to understand each other. I don't feel what I did was brave. You are the brave ones. I just wanted to clear up our intentions. We love you. We're tying our best to support you. Now let's get out there and make a real difference.

All my love and respect,


Friday, April 19, 2013

Where does Kindness Come from?

First and Foremost I want to send my thoughts and prayers to everyone effected by the Boston Marathon Bombing. I know it might be cliché to blog about it, but it seems to fit right in with this topic. I feel the sorrow, and mourning for the troubled of this tragic event, but I also have to say, it's inspiring, and hopeful to see all those that come to help. It's astronomical to understand the amount of courage it takes to get back up when you are directly effected by something so catastrophic as this, and then look to see where you can lend a hand. Kindness is not for pussies, everyone: It takes courage, it takes empathy; and it means you have to act!

I know a lot of nice people. They smile, say please, thank you, and generally avoid making others uncomfortable. It is so good to have people like this. However, I'd also like to point out; nice is not the same thing as being kind, at least not in my opinion.  Think about the word "kind".  Two of a Kind. What Kind of shows do you like? What kind are these?

Kind comes from the word comes from the old English word Cynd, meaning generation, or in Germanic origin : relation of kin. It's a word that recognizes our ability to relate objects (people, animals, etc) together. As if we are family-- and really, everything on this earth is our family (BTW, 'ness' stands for state of, kindness= state of being akin to). That's why I have such a strong attachment to the idea of community.

Don't get me wrong-- My kids bicker and fight all the time. I am not saying that family is the example of kindness 24/7. Heck, I even have relatives that aren't speaking to each other at any given time.  What it really comes down to is what you will do for family in general, in the name of family...because they are your kin. It means a non-judgmental supportive action from the relationship of being the same.

These people who gathered in Boston, came from all walks of life, different areas, and with different goals. But they all came to run in or support those in the marathon. The actions following bombing came from being family. The point is Kindness doesn't come from knowing where or who it's going to. It comes from inside us, recognizing that we are all, on some level, the same and creating a action that acknowledges it to the other person.

What is even more glorifying, is the fact the kindness (or anything emotionally provoked) snowballs. It may seem small at first, but with each rotation the power is growing. Just the day after the bombing, runners all over facebook pledged to wear a marathon shirt in honor of the victims.  Next year, Boston will have more runners and supporters than it will ever had in the past, simply to stand up for our kind. If you want to see the brighter side of the tragic event, it is seeing how much kindness overpowers the destruction. It might knock us down, but someone pulls us up, and we rebuild. The good news is we don't need things like bombings for us to see the kindness we have. I that's what I feel is worth finding, and encouraging everyday.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Post It Confidently

So Here's a new segment I'm calling "Post It Confident" . Quotes to purposely lift the reader's confidence when looking in the mirror. These are spontaneously placed--on local businesses ladies rest room's mirror.  I choose mirrors because it is a moment when we have the opportunity to look ourselves directly in the eye, and be honest.

Here is the first one, which I placed at a local supermarket:

Remember the odds of you being born are so unlikely. You are a miracle.

Are you a business in the Puget Sound area with an available public mirror (restroom) ? You're invited to host a Post It Confidently! Drop us a line at and we'll bring a post it to you and share it here!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Event ideas for the pet lovin community

From the dog and cats to horses and bunnies, people are finding all sorts of ways to connect by their pet's common interests. If you are seeking out ways to meet with other people in your area with a heart for your furbabies, feather friends, or the like, here are some original event ideas to keep the momentum going!

1. Nature Walks/Rides- If you have pooches and leashes getting together for a pack walk is a great socialization treat; or ramp it up for the energized dogs; Go roller blading instead! Horseback riding is also an easy activity for the horse lovers.

2. Making Pet Treats- There are many homemade recipes for your pets of all kind, available all throughout the Internet, find a few good ones and ok them with the vet, and then invite your animal loving friends for a bake treats day!

3. Guest Speakers- From the vet, groomer and trainer, these people are filled with knowledge and ready to share. If you have a group that meets regularly, these professionals might even come out and do a Q&A, you can even leave the pets at home, proving you can still bond with other animal lovers without them in tow.

3. Making accessories- From collars, to embellishing your riding reins, to making bird toys, there are cute crafts that are easy to do for your animals. Your crafty members will get to bond on two levels with this idea- pets and crafting!

4. Pet portrait/memorabilia prints- Know a local photographer? Perhaps someone that does clay impressions, or prints? Your friends will get to take home a very special keepsake at this event!

(Check out!)

5. Habitat Building- If someone in your group is looking to expand their pack/flock, your group can take advantage of it! Make a day of it by helping them building a larger kennel, or fence.

6. Fundraising for animals- From raising awareness about adopting pets, to saving the whales, any animal cause is certainly worthy of this type of group. This is another way to create community with a common interest and still keep the pets at home (if desired!)

7.  Talent Show- This can even be done virtually with sites like youtube, or facebook, but in person is always fun! If you parrot says some crazy things or your mouse runs through some tough obstacles to get to that cheese, share it with your friends in person or online.

8. Pet Parade - Whether you just stroll through the sidewalk, down the block or make it a full-fledged parade (check with city officials for requirements), dressing up your pet and placing them on a float is the ultimate high point of showing off your furbabies.
(credit to the Atlanta Humane Society)

9. Holiday Parties- Look out they have Halloween and Holiday costumes for animals too! Makes for a fun get together!

10. Pet Fair- Several Metropolitan Cities have fairs designed specifically for pets. Vendors, Samples, and activities are carefully designed with you (and your pet in mind!). A search on can lead the way, so all you have to do is grab your friends and go!!!!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Charms for Kindness!

I spent several hours this month with my fingers wrapped up in embroidery thread, making friendship bracelets. Every bracelet I succeeded in making fell short of my expectations. Also, I learned for once and for all, you can't force yourself to like something you never have. With a tight budget (a result of an underwater mortgage we are trying to off load), I wanted to come up with a way to make something inexpensive to give to those whom I catch giving acts of kindness in the city. It didn't work. I haven't been happy with it; mostly because I don't like making friendship bracelets.

So my plans with sharing my friendship bracelets with you did not work out. Nevertheless, my plan B (albeit, the 'more expensive' plan) is taking it's place, and I'm much more enthused about it.

I have always had  fascination with charms. The simplistic nature of charms has always appealed to me. Last week I purchased just over 100 pairs of them. This week, I will be making the pairs into a keychain and add on charm set. When I catch someone in an act of kindness, they will get the keychain--and I will add the identical charm to my bracelet.  It will become my little way of carrying the people's kindness everywhere I go.

I can't wait to actually get out there and start passing these out. Until then!