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Monday, August 25, 2014

Lessons from Them

I knew I was going to learn a lot at the camp for adults with intellectual disabilities that I work at. But I never imagined that the biggest lessons I would learn would be from my campers.

 Mark called his name out from across the field, to let his counselors know that it was time to say goodbye. But before he headed up to the parking lot, he stopped by the volleyball court to give me a quick hug. After pulling away, he looked me in the eye and said “Don’t let anyone hurt you. I hate when people I love get hurt.” Floored by his kindness and sincerity, and I could only smile and reply. “I won’t. Don’t let anyone hurt you either.”

Only you can decide who hurts you. Don’t let anyone.

About a month before, camp started up again, I received a letter from a male camper, who’s name, I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t recognize. It was a typical, I-did-this-today-type letter. But it ended differently than most notes: “Keep hanging on. Don’t let go. I’m hanging on. I won’t let go.” It was as if he read my mind and knew that I was going through a rough patch at that moment. It wasn’t until recently that I realized, of course he knew: everyone’s going through something right now.

Keep hanging on. Don’t let go. You’re not alone.

One of my favorite week eight campers was having a rough day one time. I was comforting her as she cried on my shoulder: “I hate when people call me the r-word”

Your words will be remembered. 

I love when campers make me things and I wear them everywhere. So I was so excited when one of my ladies made me a bead necklace before she left for the week. But this particular craft came with a message: “Wear it to remember who you are.” And I promised I would.

Remember who you are. You are the best you in the world.

Friday, May 30, 2014

10 Life Lessons from a Navy Seal

So I found this on Facebook and thought it was really interesting - A Navy Seal speaks about his basic training in terms of changing the world. Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Extraordinary


"At this point in my life, I'm trying to figure out the things I truly care about."
"What's something you care about less than you did ten years ago?"
"Being extraordinary."
- Humans of New York


What if this is me in 10 years? That scares me. But I guess in ten years, I won’t care that it used to scare me. That scares me even more. Perhaps, I need to do everything possible to chase my dreams before this becomes me.
My last post laid out my plan for the rest of 2014. But, as pointed out by Caduceus, "plans too often just remain plans." To him, I admitted I was scared of that, but I'm going to try anyway. I figure, it's better to fail while trying than to not try at all. So far, I can check both numbers 3 and 4 off my list :)

Besides the fact that I need to continue my changing-the-world efforts, I've learned something else recently. Even though perhaps I haven't been completely on track with my goals, I have still been doing something. Kindness is kindness. It doesn't matter whether it's given because of my goals, or because of my personality. Even on the days where I forget about this blog, I still spread smiles, simply because that's who I am and what makes me happy. Perhaps I can be extraordinary even when I'm not meaning to.

What about yourself? If you're goals are so important to you, perhaps they are ingrained in your head and you're working on them without even realizing it. If you wish to become a writer one day, and your goals are write a chapter of your new story each day, but you fail one day, its not the end of the world: you still wrote that journal entry and a three page paper for that English class of yours. Writing is writing: all of it gives you practice regardless of whether you realize it or not.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, all you readers, dreamers, and doers, have one thing in common: you are extraordinary. and don't you ever forget that.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Goals


https://twitter.com/You_Will_Fly/status/459863691274768384

Thanks, Beautiful. I really needed that.

“Hi I really like your blog but you haven't posted anything in a while. Are you still bloging or have you switched to a different site???” - Anonymous

Thanks, Anonymous, I really needed that too.

I don’t know how to change the world. In fact, I kind of stink at it, don’t I? I haven’t blogged in forever.  And I’m really sorry. But I’m not going to let my past define my future. Simply because I failed in the past does not mean I have to fail again in the now or the now to come. I am big enough to learn from mistakes and hardships and become a better person and world-changer because of them.  Life knocks everyone down sometimes, and I am no different. But when this happens, unlike some, I will not assume that the world is telling me that this is not meant to be.  This is not what I should do with my life. Instead, I know that the world is testing me. She is asking how much it really means to me, to be a world changer.  And I’ll scream my answer at the top of my lungs. I’ll scream it for the whole world to hear: I can do this. This means the world to me. This is what I want to do with the rest for my life. Bring it on.

I’ve struggled a lot this past year with some anxiety and depression.  The transition between high school and college has been a bit rough for me and I am just figuring out how to deal with all of this away from home. As the semester closes, I have a few goals I’d like to share with you that I intend to complete before the close of 2014. So here they are:

1.       Blog every week.  I want to write more letters to people who are struggling, I want to write more creative pieces, and I want to write more about my own experiences about changing the world.  The fact that I will resume blogging every week will push me to look for and participate new experiences to write about.

2.       Keep up with my email. I really love conversing with people and helping them to understand their life goals as well as life in general. For the rest of the year, I really want to focus on continuing to build relationships with the people who email me. Also, I want to encourage anyone who wishes to contact me about their world-changing goals, or just wants to talk to do so.

3.       Do well on both of my Middle Earth finals. This semester, I have participated in a training program at my university called Middle Earth. In this program I have been trained to work on the university hotline with basic listening and problem solving skills. I have a written final and a roleplay final next Tuesday which I hope to do well on. Passing this final will secure my place in Middle Earth as a hotline volunteer next semester.

4.       Save another life.

5.       Inspire another person to start changing the world in their own way. If you change the world, whether inspired by me or not, I’d love to hear your story, and I’m sure my other readers would as well. Shoot me an email and I’d love to share it on this blog. If you are interested in being a guest blogger to share your own story and raise awareness of your blog, as long as it goes along with the theme of my blog, I’d love to have you.

6.       Do an honors college presentation about my efforts to change the world. I am in the Honors College at my university and to keep living in preferred housing, we have to attend a certain number of presentations each semester. Usually, professors come to talk about their research, but I got the okay from the head of the college to present for forty minutes about what it means to make a difference in the world. I hope to do this next semester.

7.       Make someone’s day, every day.

8.       Get the job as the pool activity head at the camp I work at. I’ve told you all about my camp before. But regardless of whether I am the pool activity head or a regular counselor, my goal is to put my all into camp again this year and generate some smiles from my amazing campers.

9.       Volunteer more. Over winter break I had the amazing opportunity to work in a soup kitchen. I really enjoyed helping out and next semester, when I’m back at college, I really in interested in continuing volunteer work, either at the kitchen or anther place.

10.   Stay healthy, myself. I know that I cannot keep the world happy if I am not happy, myself.

So there you go: My plan for the rest of 2014. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has to offer and I will be sure to keep you updated along the way. Also, thanks so much for the support and for pulling me up to continue my blog and efforts. For that, I can never repay you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Break it Down

          Changing the world is a pretty lofty goal. Some may say too lofty. I can understand.  Let me put it this way: If you’re standing in front of a cleared lot with plans of a skyscraper in your head, the task in front of you may seem quite daunting. The thought of going from nothing to everything can be a bit overwhelming. 
But what if you take your daunting task apart a bit? Picture the first story of the skyscraper. Then build the first story. Picture the second story; build that. Picture the third story, and so on. The fact of the matter is, buildings don’t go from nothing to everything overnight. They need scaffolding to get there. So do we.

          We don’t achieve our goals overnight either. It’s a process that can take months, years, even lifetimes. And our loft goals may seem unreachable if we don’t take the time to plan it out. So do yourself a favor: add some scaffolding to your project. Plan out the steps you want to take to reach the top of your skyscraper. And maybe, you’ll have a higher chance of getting there.

To give you an example of this, I thought I’d add scaffolding to my own goal:

Goal: To change the world through kindness
Steps:
1    1. Be kind everyday
      2. Go on Blahtherapy everyday
      3. Email people who have questions or problems as much as possible
Goal: To inspire other people to change the world in their own way
Steps:
     1.    Blog every Tuesday (well, not doing so hot at this right now, but I’ll get there)
          2. Speak in front of people whenever I get a chance. (hopefully, I have another speech this spring
     3. Get an inspirational speaking mentor
     4.  Learn how to speak and speak for a living :)


           So if you look at the goals before me, they seem quite lofty and even unattainable. But if you look at the steps instead of the goals, they look very reasonable.  Does this seem like something you might be interested in? Giving your brain a rest from wondering how on earth you’re going to complete your goals?  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's your life purpose?

Sometimes, I'll admit. I lose my way. I forget what I'm doing with my life. I cannot remember why I even started this silly site. One of those sometimes was today. But this video helped me remember. And maybe, if you don't know your life purpose, it can help you out too



Gotta love TED Talks

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Letter for When You Want to Self Harm

Dear Beautiful,

Close your eyes for a second. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Put down the blade.  Put it down and walk away. Put as much distance between it and you as possible. Think of all the people in your life that would cry if you showed them the marks you were planning on making tonight. Picture the tears running down their faces.   Because, when you hurt, they hurt too. And then make butterflies for them. Cover your body with butterflies if necessary. Let them protect you. Let the butterflies protect you, like your loved ones would if they were here with you.

If you think no one would care if you hurt yourself tonight, I promise you, you’re wrong. Someone would care. Maybe they haven’t voiced that concern, but it’s there. And I would care too. So tonight, draw a butterfly for me too.  

The pain you want to inflict on yourself right now isn’t worth it. You are worth more than the difficulties life is throwing at you right now. You deserve happiness and love. You deserve to smile. Hurting yourself is not going to get you there tonight, or any other night.  Life hurts sometimes. It hurts a lot. Don’t add to the hurt. Don’t let the demons creep in and take over you. You are stronger than them. You’ve been through some much. And I know you can get through this too. Because, you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. Prove to yourself how strong you really are tonight. And let go of the thought of the blade. Let go of the urge. Breathe it out with all the strength you have. And fight its return.  

Ten years from now, looking back on this moment, you can either say two things: “I cut again that night. I wish I had figured out how to fight the demons earlier” or “That night was the biggest step in my road to recovery. I’m so proud of myself for putting down the blade.” Which would you rather say?

If you’d rather say the later, distract yourself tonight. Watch TV, study, write, read, sing, call a friend, email me, hug a stuffed animal, or sleep.  Distract yourself to so the urge doesn’t return.  I know you can do this. I believe in you with all my heart.

And I am so incredibly proud of you for not hurting yourself tonight.

Love,

Sheila