Live Big Blog
“Let’s Live Our Best Life Together”
Take THE 12 DAYS TO VALENTINES journey to your heart! I wrote it for social media & I am saving this unique journey on my blog so that we can continue to LOVE BIG in 2019!
THE 12 DAYS TO VALENTINES – A JOURNEY TO OUR HEARTS❤️
This Valentines, let’s celebrate our lives, our dreams, & build a WE community!
For the next 12 days, please, join me on an exciting journey where we celebrate what it means to LOVE BiG! Together, with friends & family, let’s take this journey & share our hopes, our missteps, & our dreams come true. Let’s support each other along the way & together consider how we can DREAM BiG & LOVE BiG in 2019!
ACTION: Put on some good shoes. Go on a walk. Think about taking a journey to your heart. It can change the course of your life – I know it has mine!
Quote: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Steve Jobs
11 DAYS to VALENTINES – AFRICA OPENED MY EYES
In 1997, while in Africa I learned a truth some call A Secret from a wise Tribesman. He explained to me, “Kat, we are all made of a priceless, timeless treasure called Star-dust—It’s the divine spark in each of our heart just waiting to be lit.” He further explained, “When we take the time to light our hearts of stars, we get the extra strength and courage we need to live our best life.”
What if the Tribesman is right? On our journey, let’s consider the possibility of this Secret and try it!
ACTION: Grab a blanket. Go outside. Lay down under a starry sky & take some deep breaths. See if you can feel the power of The Magical, Mystical, Miraculous Stars that are above us, around us, and within us all.
QUOTE: “We all shine on…like the stars and the sun…we all shine on…come on and on and on…” John Lennon
10 DAYS TO VALENTINES – EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW
The Tribesman said The Secret had been passed down for generations. Families understood it’s immense power by watching African Animals achieve dreams beyond their wildest imagination once they discovered ways to light their hearts of stars—
A fat, 16 footed Caterpillar could turn into a beautiful Butterfly. A legless, voiceless Tadpole could become a happy, hopping, singing Frog. A selfish Lion could become a leader who is crowned King of the Beast. A Dung Beetle could turn his poopy situation into something good and even become a hero by turning his home of poop into balls of fertilized fun that save the savannah, making green grass for all to eat.
On our Journey, let’s follow these Animals examples. Find ways we can light our hearts of stars and become the hero of our story too!
ACTION: Study different animals and their extraordinary journey’s here on earth. We can learn so much from their life and the different ways they’ve learned to go after their dreams, work together, and survive.
QUOTE: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein
9 DAYS TO VALENTINES – HEARTACHE TO HOPE
There is no doubt in my life that I’ve needed what the Tribesman’s called extra strength & courage especially when faced with heartache & hardship! I’ve lost a brother, a sister, a brother-in-law, my mother and father all suddenly & at different times. Each time my heart was shattered, like pieces of me were every where. The first couple losses I had no idea what to do or how to hope.
So I studied these African Animals & also sought out two-legged heroes, people, who had risen above immense heartache & hardship. It was clear that they all used The Secret! They all knew how to light their hearts of stars to guide them through the dark & lonely times. They did it by using two powerful learned life skills—to SMILE & BELIEVE—These skills allowed them to fit the pieces of their life together so they could be like the sun who, no matter what happens, always rises above the clouds to shine!!
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in jail. When he was released, he genuinely smiled & worked with the people who put him there unjustly. WOW! He also fully believed in a better South Africa, & at the age of 76, he became the first democratically elected black president – YES! What a way to rise above & shine!
ACTION: With your family, friends, or classroom, take time to get to know your CATCH-M’s, what the African Animal’s call our smiles—smiles that come all the way up from our belly, through our chest, & shine from our face who you are. Draw them, share them, even take them with you throughout the day to remember how special you are.
QUOTE: “Peace begins with a smile.” Mother Teresa
8 DAYTS TO VALENTINES- WE ARE ALL MADE OF A PRICELESS, TIMELESS TREASURE
Remember, we are all born extraordinary! You are made of a priceless, timeless treasure called star-dust! You are the only you who will ever be. Let your light shine! Begin to tap into your possibility. Start with your smile! Feel it’s power! It speaks every language. Touches every heart. It changes your mood, the energy in a room, the events of a day, making better all along the way! It is the stuff fairytales are made of, but it is real! With pieces of me everywhere, I had no clue what to do or how to ask for help. A smile given or shared was like a giant hug from the world, an invitation for good to come back into my life. I call it a “U-Shaped Bridge”. A “bridge” is a span that allows two fixed points that would never meet over chasms or obstacles to connect. A smile did just that! Someone taking the time to smile at me or make me smile when I had no smiles of my own, brought magic into my life. It was like a divine spark filled my heart. Each smile allowing me to connect with good, teaching me that no matter how dark, scary, or thick the clouds or chasm, I too can learn to rise above and shine like the sun. I can reconnect the broken pieces of my heart and thrive!
ACTION: With your family, friends, or in a classroom, put together a puzzle and see how all “the broken” pieces can come together to make a whole, complete, beautiful picture/ story. Or create a mural with your family/ friends/classrooms of your drawn CatchMs & remember we are all in this together 😀
QUOTE: “The noblest art is making other people happy!” P.T. Barnum. (Thanks to soooo many for the brilliant artistry they have brought to my life!)
7 DAYS TO VALENTINES – THE POWER OF A SMILE
YES! Who knew a smile was so powerful—a “U-Shaped Bridge”—connecting us to the great things life has to offer. What a life skill! It is something we can control when the world is spinning around us. We can choose it, use it, or even give it away. Then watch it transform us – the muscles in each of our faces, our energy, and even our thoughts. WOW! Moreover, it is free, no cost, no burden. It’s available at all times.
With my husband at a symphony, I am not sure what you’d call it- God or divine inspiration – but it was like something whacked me over the head and said, “You need to write books about the power of a smile to encourage us all to live our best life.”
Yes, I thought I was crazy. Yes, I ignored it at first. But it was like a bad itch, a constant tapping. It wouldn’t leave me alone. I think the Tribesman’s Secret wanted to be out in the world helping us honor our hearts of stars, hell turn them into the passionate fires they are meant to be! Each and everyone of us is born with gifts that only we posses, with passions only we can use. We are made of magical stars just waiting to be lit. Let’s do it, no matter where we are or what we’ve been through. Let’s set our hearts on fire, and see where our journeys take us!
ACTION: Build a campfire. Watch the power of the flames, and decide for yourself to set your heart on fire, to light the divine spark in your heart, and see it rage and thrive.
QUOTE: ”How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world!” William Shakespeare
6 DAYS TO VALENTINES – SET YOUR HEART ON FIRE
It is a scientific fact that stars live above us, around us, and within us all. The Tribesman was right! We do have hearts of stars. As I studied my heroes further, whose life shined with a raging a brilliance, it was clear that they utilized the African Animal’s skills—to “SMILE & BELIEVE”. No matter the hardship, heartache, or naysayer they met along the way, they still found ways to say YES to life, to get in the arena no matter how dark or scary. They dared. Their hearts blazed with bravery, a vulnerability, and a desire to be all they could be! They BELIEVED in themselves and their dreams! What a way to do life! Daring, living, breathing, sharing, asking for help, failing, getting back up, trying again and again. I wanted that—a heart on fire! They couldn’t be stopped. Walt Disney heard NO over 300 times before he got money to build Disneyland. His heart was on fire! Victor Frankl who lost his family in the concentration camp, yet somehow survived, came home to write a book originally titled, “Nevertheless, Say YES to Life”. WOW! Let’s dare to get in the arena together with our burning brilliance and see what great things we can do!
ACTION: Gather your friends, family, neighbors, classroom, church, around a campfire or anywhere. Tell stories, sing, play drums, take time to connect, to create a WE community. Then with decisive, unwavering words from the heart support each other’s dreams.
QUOTE: “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Ferdinand Foch
5 DAYS TO VALENTINES – HEART ON FIRE—YES! I BELIEVE
Fire is brilliant! It blazes and touches everything in it’s path! No fear! No limitation! No hesitation! It’s continually striving, thriving, trusting the wind, with complete abandon. This kind of trust and dependence shines through each of my heroes choices, like some celestial force from the beginning of time!
Why not BELIEVE! Why not trust in Something Bigger, in ourselves, in each other, and allow this belief to create the constant energy of fire, raging with power deep in our hearts, our souls, reminding us, showing us that we are divine, that we are extraordinary, made of magical stuff that knows no limit, that has the wisdom of time wrapped in its core, that wants to see us succeed, and gives us the energy we need to carry on.
Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, the company he created. But he kept believing—with a heart on fire—no matter the humiliation or hardship! He helped build two more companies, Pixar & Next. Then used those experiences to come back and save Apple from failing, showing us that no matter what happens, if we keep our heart a blaze, we ultimately thrive!
Jim Carrey, comedian, when he was broke with no work, wrote himself a check for ten million dollars for acting services rendered, dated Thanksgiving 1995. He carried it in his wallet, and signed a contract to do a movie for that exact amount a couple of days before the actual date on the check – the power to BELIEVE!
ACTION: TRUST DRILL! Build a dream board with visuals of what it is you want to create in your life. Look at it every day. Write yourself a check. Send yourself a note. Journal! Something! Napoleon Hill says, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve!”
QUOTE: “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Walt Disney
4 DAYS TO VALENTINES – LIFE AS A RAGER
Life is a rager! A party! We love them! Celebrations. Festivities bring fun, connection, and priceless memories! But they also make a mess that someone has to clean up when they’re over just like fire. The remains from a fire in the African savannah some perceive as bad, with the black, burned desolate land. But new, beautiful, vibrant life always emerges. Nature doesn’t judge, whine, or shut down. It rises to meet the challenge, alive, choosing to thrive. The party never ends.
John Mackey, who worked so hard to start Whole Foods, saw it destroyed with the 1981 flood in Austin. His store was under water. The food was ruined with no insurance. But he also looked around and saw people he didn’t even know helping him clean up, helping him rebuild, and a new birth emerged, a community, a reason to fight for his vision—A healthy food chain was something people wanted! It could thrive no matter what, and Mackey carried this torch, this belief and YES! It’s a yummy huge success:)
ACTION: Have a party! Invite those who want to hide, who are shy, scared, alone, & let them shine! Let them know they are wonderfully and perfectly made. They have celestial origins raging inside them. They have new found friends, like Mackey after the flood, to help them smile, believe, & keep their fire lit! Even make a Rhino Horn Party Hat & celebrate a Kindness Pact too-gather 🙂
QUOTE: “Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will & energy to execute your ideas.” Henry Ford
3 DAYS TO VALENTINES – THE PARTY NEVER ENDS
Gas makes a fire grow stronger and brighter, even a piece of paper, a small leaf. A simple step, a choice to choose, is sometimes all we need to keep our fire lit. Life is a grand adventure, hoping we choose, we dare to dream even when we cannot see the road ahead, to take a deep breath and feel our head and heart connect, hear the small still voice inside of us, guiding us, reminding us that we have a reason to be, we are born extraordinary, we can celebrate our life.
I AM EXTRAORDINARY! I AM BORN TO THRIVE! SO ARE YOU!
Amy Purdy lost her legs at 19 due to an infection. At first, she thought life was over, but at the same time she told People Magazine, “I didn’t give up on myself. It’s making the choice on how you want to live your life.” She fulfilled her dream of being an Olympic Medalist in snowboarding winning a medal in the Paralympics in 2014 and 2018. A heart on fire! She is still partying with Dances With The Stars. Her list continues, an inspiration and reminder for me that no matter what happens the party can go on!
ACTION: WHOOSH! WHAM! Light your heart of stars & celebrate your best life no matter what.
QUOTE: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King
2 DAYS TO VALENTINES – DREAM BIG
A surprise! An adventure, who doesn’t love. Even though we crave familiarity & certainty, we come alive with adventure, not knowing what’s around the corner, what surprises life can bring. Lets loose our stomach. Lets get on the roller coaster. Scream our heads off. Remember we’re alive. We’re built for this. Stop judging! Stop questioning! Stop hiding! DREAM BIG! Celebrate the arena. Enjoy the adventure. Let the wind guide us with complete abandon like fire! Rage! Strive! Be alive!
After the symphony, I ignored the call to adventure. I didn’t know how to write a book. I didn’t know anyone who had. The industry was a giant maze. How? Why? I’m too busy. The excuses. My hiding places were brilliant. No one would ever find me, even me.
Somehow these life skills kept rising out of the ashes—to SMILE & BELIEVE! All I can say is take the adventure! No one is really watching you, but you & the wind. Have a blast! Scream! Laugh when you meet a challenge. Trust. Enjoy victory. Ride again & again. Fail. Cry. Hide, but always ask for a hand! Share your adventure. Let someone in! Build a community! Be a WE! Scream together, “WE ARE ALIVE!” Remember what a miracle it is to breathe, sing, & share your DREAMS!
ACTION: Throw your hands up in complete abandon like a roller coastatier! Have a blast! Get in the arena! Dare! Celebrate your best life! Theodore Roosevelt says, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, & who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his high place shall never be with those cold & timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.”
QUOTE: “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” Oprah Winfrey
VALENTINES DAY IS HERE SO LET’S LOVE BIG
Let’s LOVE BIG & start a R-EVOL-UTION! Revolution is defined as a sudden, radical, complete change in social order, in favor of a better way—note, the word, LOVE, is right smack in the middle of the word r-EVOL-ution. The Tribesman/ The African Animals showed us that all we need is the power of our SMILE. A bridge. Our hope. And to BELIEVE—they are things we can control. They’re our choice! We are all on this journey together, so let’s choose to have a blast, partying, starting a r-EVOL-ution where we all shine brighter, laugh harder, share, connect with each other, helping each other, remembering none of us stands alone. You cannot hide fire under a bushel. We are not isolated. We are all meant to shine, so let’s have some fun and encourage each other to celebrate our best lives together! Life is a rager, so let’s shine and LOVE BIG in 2019!
ACTION: Do something kind for someone you love today, a note, a hug, a coffee! Surprise a stranger, buy their lunch, pay their parking. Stand up to a bully with over the top kindness. Feel the breeze. Watch a dog greet his family. Remember. Celebrate the power of LOVE today. It changes us, and makes everything better!
QUOTE: “Revolution isn’t smashing something, it is bringing forth something.” Joseph Campbell
A new school year marks the thrill of beginning a great new adventure! We have the chance to reevaluate, redefine who we are, what we want, and how we plan to live our best life.
One of my favorite ways to start a new year is to update my DREAM BOARD which I gave the nickname, “My Life’s Treasure Map”.
For me, A DREAM BOARD is a visual reminder and motivator for the hopes, dreams, and goals I set for my life. My life is filled with potential, I call buried treasure, that I want to find, explore, and share with the world!
But I do have to seek it out! I am the only one who can, and as I do I have learned if “I SEE IT! BELIEVE IT! I CAN ACHIEVE IT!”—
1. What is the first IT – “I SEE IT” is knowing who I am, what I like, what my God-given talents are, what areas I need to develop and examine honestly to be able to show up authentically and completely as I pursue the goals I set for my life!
2. What is the second IT— “BELIEVE IT” is to believe in THE MIRACLE OF ME that I have come to know and see. Also, it’s to believe so deeply in my God-given talents, ideas, and dreams that I feel them as if they have already happened!
3. What is the third IT—“I CAN ACHIEVE IT” is my best life! A life filled with achieved-dreams beyond my wildest imagination!
As Walt Disney, one of my heroes said, “If you can dream it! You can do it!… All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
My DREAM BOARD has been a great tool to help me see my dreams and stay courageous. The incredible, mysterious wonder and thrill of IT has been to never give up the pursuit!
In the above photo, I am at my desk with my DREAM BOARD so that I am reminded daily of all that I can do, be, and contribute in my lifetime! And YES! The majority of the dreams on my board for 2017 have come true!
My boys and their friends that are about to graduate from High School made their own DREAM BOARDS, so that they can begin to SEE IT and BELIEVE IT!
And I have no doubt that they will all ACHIEVE IT—A well-lived life beyond their wildest imaginations!
This past year, one of my highlights was sharing my book Dream Big with the incredible High School and Middle School students from Harmony School of Political Science in Austin.
The students spent weeks before I got there, building their own Dream Boards. I could have spent hours with these students hearing about their vision for their lives. They were amazing! They were inspiring! They will, no doubt, become some of the great leaders we need for our country!
Thank you HARMONY for your courage!
Now, go to the DREAM BOARD PAGE on my website to learn more about this activity.
Videos are another great tool I like to use. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face marred by dust, and sweat, and blood, who strives valiantly…” Here is one of my favorite videos by Denzel Washington that will hopefully encourage you to stay in the arena too. I love to watch it while I work on my DREAM BOARD.
IN 2018, LET’S ALL DARE TO STRIVE VALIANTLY IN THE ARENA OF LIFE AS WE EACH CELEBRATE THE THRILL OF PURSUING OUR DREAMS TOGETHER!
My “Holiday Hope” this season is that people see and experience just how incredible they really are! We are all heroes full of possibility, made of something so powerful, so magical that we really can be, do, or have anything!
During Thanksgiving break, my “Holiday Hope” was ignited! We went to the beautiful island of Hawaii for my son to see the University and for me to do a reading at the incredible, Waikiki Elementary School. While we were on the island, I had the honor to meet a stranger who will forever be A HERO in my heart.
We took our kid’s zip lining through The North Shore of Oahu. We were making small talk with the other tourist, and a woman from California with her twin boys said, “Your book DREAM BIG is one of our favorites.” I was elated!
There is no greater gift to receive as an author, but the truly thrilling part for me was hearing her story. She has truly lived the embodiment of what DREAM BIG means:
She was born in Nigeria. Her father died when she was five, so her mom moved her to the United States. In elementary school when a teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, her response was a doctor. The teacher told her she might come up with a more realistic ambition. The next day the woman’s mother set up a meeting for them to sit down with her teacher, and her mom explained very kindly that “MY DAUGHTER CAN DO ANYTHING SHE PUTS HER MIND, HEART, AND BELIEVE TO!”
The woman’s mother died when she was fifteen. The woman was alone, left to raise herself. But the woman said, “The belief that I CAN DO ANYTHING was a seed my mom nourished deep within me. I put myself through college, Stanford, and Medical School. I am now a doctor with a thriving private practice in spite of all the naysayers along the way that said I could never do these things.” Hearing her story, then seeing the fantastic life she built for herself full of love, fun, friends, and family; it will always be a heroic inspiration for me. When I start to think I can’t, or someone tells me I can’t, I know the “I CAN DO ANYTHING” stardust seed is also planted deep within me.
So let’s have some fun making memories this holiday by taking the time to nourish the stardust seed of “I CAN DO ANYTHING” in others. The Termites in DREAM BIG chose to encourage us by writing “U K-N” on their backs—To say what? They also wrote on the side of their castle “B E U — To say “Smile and be you!”
There are more codes and riddles on my website.
Or come up with your own to help encourage a fantastic life that nourishes the possibility in all of our lives, filling it with love, fun, friends, and family! My granddaughters and I had a blast creating one for the inside flap of my book. We may have taken it to an extreme, but it is a priceless memory that I will always hold dear. Our message to you in the photo is, “BELIEVE ‘YOU CAN’! SMILE, ‘BE YOU’ & JUMP FOR JOY AS YOU DO!”
The stardust seed in each of our hearts is just waiting to be lit! So this holiday lets have fun living a life that radiates what it means to DREAM BIG and encourage others too. The woman I met in Hawaii will forever motivate me to continue to believe in myself and my dreams.
Summer time fun with your kids! CREATE MEMORIES AND OPPORTUNITY FOR CONNECTION!
YES! On my website, you can find all kinds of activities that will capture their imagination, inspire their dreams, and enrich them to raise their ambitions as you spend priceless time together.
Here are two of our favorites below:
Make “You Can Drums” fill them with the “You Can Download” from mywebsite, where they can declare the dream they hope to achieve, write or draw ideas on how they can make it come true, people they can meet or books they can read to learn more, quotes to keep them encouraged on their quest, etc..
Once you complete your “You Can Drum” have some fun! Make Drum Circles and create your own group beat and rhythm as you all get excited about pursuing your dreams. Or play “A-BUN-DANCE GAME” where everyone pulls out tutus, pompoms, headbands, anything grand. Then rock, shake, swing, “A Big Booty Dance” while singing someone’s “Boom Shake Song” and end the performance with the shout out, “MY LIFE IS FULL OF ABUNDANCE!”
Anywhere you go, with or without supplies, except maybe a pen or crayon, you can have fun with this activity—Create Your CATCH-M—”Your very own Magical, Mystical, Miraculous Smile that comes all the way up from your belly, through your chest, and shines so bright that it is your ‘Rainbow Bridge’ to all that is—To yourself, to others, and to Something Bigger which in Dream Big is your wished-upon star that is always watching over you.
You can even come up with fun ways to make someone smile. You can use the “Surprise Smile Download” or come up with your own ideas. But whatever you do, take the time to make memories, and share in your dreams.
After reading the book Dream Big, you can hopefully see the importance of finding the treasure in your own chest. We are all made of a priceless, timeless treasure called stardust, even animals, and the animals discovered a long time ago that we can light the gift of stardust in our chest to give us the extra bit of courage, strength, and guidance we need to be able to achieve our dreams. It is how the first caterpillar turned into a butterfly, the first tadpole into a frog, and it is how I turned into a writer. I felt led to write a book about the power of a smile to help us live our best life, and for more than 10 years, I chased this dream. At times especially when the naysayers were around, I would cocoon, swim around in a pool of negative thoughts, consider running away I’d get so afraid, but like the animals in Dream Big, I chose to SMILE big and believe in myself and my dream instead.
And YES! My dream came true. My book Dream Big is a #1 New Release on Amazon and has sold out of its first printing within 2 months.
Now I am an official TREASURE HUNTER 🙂 I have had a blast learning to find the treasure in my own chest and watching my dream come true. So I want to practice, learn, and have as much fun as possible Treasure Hunting. That is how I found GEOCACHING!
For you guys who don’t know, Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt for hidden caches/ treasures throughout the world using A Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device to play. To learn more you can go to the Geocaching page of my website.
I have had so much fun with my family and friends Geocaching that we decided to partner with The Geocaching Team to create our own special Dream Big Treasure Hunt using CATCH-M Trackables (CATCH-M is The Magical, Mystical, Wished-Upon Star in Dream Big that lights the treasured stardust in our chest):
Here is the link to The Dream Big Adventure. We created 1400 CATCH-M Trackables to go out into the Geocaching World, and I have to say I am absolutely blown away by this incredible community! Nearly 5000 people signed up to play. WOW! I could not be more excited that I found such an amazing group of Treasure Seekers!
For The Dream Big Treasure Hunt, we also created A CONTEST where you can win $1000 and an autographed 1st Edition of my book Dream Big. To play all you need to do is take a photo with A CATCH-M Trackable and A BIG SMILE and post it on social media with #GeoCachersDreamBig #Contest. We will pick the best 3 each month, and enter them into the pool of winners to select the Grand Prize Winner of $1000 and 3 more autographed books on WORLD SMILE DAY, October 6, 2017.
Our hope is that together people will have a blast hunting treasure, making memories, and even encouraging one another along the way to chase their dreams.
WHAT IF WE ALL EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF LIGHTING THE TREASURED GIFT OF STARDUST IN OUR CHESTS TOO AND WATCH EACH OTHER’S WILDEST DREAMS COME TRUE!
Wow, Africa! What an extraordinary adventure. Where to even begin?
I could not compile a list long enough, or even begin to measure the incredible impact the last 16 years has had on the Maasai and Kispigis communities in Kenya since We Charity partnered with them. But I can share photos and the thrill of what I got to see first hand in the 5 areas WE uses to help break the cycle of poverty.
First, We Charity has effected EDUCATION by building 20 new schools, accommodations for their teachers, and my favorite, libraries that are filling up fast with books. They also provide educational programming, teacher training, agricultural education, and the creation of math, reading, and other clubs of interest for the students.
Second, they have effected HEALTH CARE by constructing the first hospital in the area with fantastic doctors, pharmaceuticals, and an ambulance to help insure the safe delivery of babies. According to the United Nations, the risk of death for pregnant women is about 1 in 38, and Red Cross statistics state that nearly 1 out of every 100 children dies before the age of five.
Third, WE has provided CLEAN WATER by drilling holes for fresh water wells and creating rain catchment systems which frees families from only having dirty river water that they must carry sometimes for miles on their heads.
Fourth, they have built a large farm for FOOD to provide free school lunches along with independent school farms to help educate students on how to cultivate their own food.
Fifth, WE created OPPORTUNITY with Women Empowerment Centers where hundreds of women come together to make goods such as bracelets, belts, necklaces for The Me to We Store. Most of these women are the first in generations to be able to contribute financially to their families. A majority of Kenyans in the area live on less than $1.25 a day, which the World Bank classifies as extreme poverty. As a result, these women take great pride in their work and the knowledge that they can help keep their children in school, away from the statistic that twenty-six percent of Kenyan children between the ages of 5 and 14 are forced into child labor.
The children in this area are full of energy and their vitality in the face of adversity, as well as, opportunity is contagious. I learned way more from them, than they could ever learn from me. And all this was happening because one 12 year old boy, over 20 years ago dared to dream. Craig Kielburger dared to get in the arena of life and fight for people he hadn’t even met yet, but he knew had limited means to change their realities.
Any one of us, at any phase in life, can also create a ripple effect for hope and for good. We Charity offers many incredible opportunities to travel with your families, your schools, or your offices, so that you too, can leave your own legacy, your own positive impact.
You can also be a part of this global community in your own backyard. WE provides tools, resources, and ideas on how to serve your own communities. WE even hosts global events called WE DAY that brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate the impact the youth are making in the world today. It is “The Celebration of WE”, “The Super Bowl of Doing Good”, “The Academy Awards of Changing The World” with events in stadiums through out our world filled with powerful performances, star studded speakers, stories that will move your heart, and tens of thousands of students who cannot buy tickets for the event. They must earn their tickets by serving their community or abroad. Check out their website to learn more https://www.we.org
Now download the “You Can Page” from my website. Fill it out on your own, with your children, students, neighbors, or friends and decide The Global Legacy “you can” leave on the world.
Together, if we decide to make a difference, our world will become an amazing place beyond all of our wildest dreams so lets DREAM BIG together 🙂
P.S. Know when you buy Dream Big for your family, school, neighbors, friends, or a stranger on the street, YES! A portion of the proceeds will go to support We Charity, and all they are doing to make our world a better place.
AFRICA, a wondrous place that holds a deep fascination for me, is where I’ve always envisioned life began and the first Big Dreams were born.
It is where, I think, that first Caterpillar dared to fly through a vast open sky, and that first tadpole enjoyed the thrill of hopping, dancing, and singing.
I am excited to say I am traveling there this fall to see it all for myself. I am going with the organization, We Charity, www.we.org. (It used to be called Free The Children.)
I have read all their books and find what they have accomplished since 1995 incredible. The group was started by a 12 year old boy, Craig Kielburger, which I think is beyond inspiring, and they continue to grow their vision to empower youth to become socially engaged with service learning opportunities, active citizenship, and an incredible platform to all come together called We Day. I am planning to donate a percentage of the proceeds from my book, Dream Big, to the organization, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to see and learn first-hand more about what they are doing.
So please join me on this great adventure to see what can happen in a community when one person, especially a twelve year old boy, dares to dream.
Click here for an awesome Discussion and Project Guide on Africa, Butterflies, and Tadpoles to also prepare for our shared adventure to learn more about where The Fabulous Five come from, The Heroes in my book, Dream Big. These animals, if we pay close attention, show us all how we can achieve our dreams.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them…And why worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor and spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Matthew 6:25-34.
I am excited to slow down, watch, learn and share with you all the magnificent creations I get to see and all their different dreams that they too have achieved 🙂
YES! Finally, after ten years, two weddings, two grand babies, the loss of both parents, a high school graduation and one quickly approaching, my dream has become a reality! Here is the ARC (…) of my first picture book, DREAM BIG, that launches January 10, 2017.
At a concert with my husband ten years ago, my dream was born. The idea to write a book about a smile that would encourage people to live their best life filled with connection and kindness, hit me over the head like a 2 x 4 and after a lot of trail and error, wise advise, overwhelming moments where I wanted to quit I am actually holding the very first printed version in my hand! So BELIEVE in your dreams and never ever give up no matter how long or how hard it can be!!!
“You can live your dream!”
Now explore my website.
Start to see and believe in your dream by building your own Dream Board. It’s “Your Life’s Treasure Map”. A place you can start to know when, where, and how to live your best life.
My Dream Board sits at my desk to continually remind me to keep striving and believing in my dreams.
My son and his friends, who are about to start their first year of college, are also building their Boards so that they know what their goals and dreams are for their next chapter of life.
Another great way my grandmother encouraged me to chase my dreams was she’d say, “Close your eyes. Take three deep breaths. Envision your dream.” She would then point to my forehead and command, “See it clearly here!” She would then hold my little hands, palms up, and command, “Now, envision your dream down through your chest, into your hands, and out into the world!” She would then lift my arms out to my side, then reach them up to the stars, SMILE big, and whisper, “Soon my dear, it will be out there for you and all the world to enjoy!” MAGIC!
So believe in your dreams and keep striving. It is worth it!
The thrill of seeing my grand babies holding, DREAM BIG, in their little hands is all the proof I need 🙂