Choosing to Live in Color

This week’s summer showcase post is from my friend and LHF Greenhouse member, Jade.   In addition to being generally awesome, Jade blogs at the Madness of Monotony and recently had a piece about creative uses of snap-pops featured on Freshly Pressed.

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...

Do make time for regular trips to Oz?(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time when my life was overflowing with creativity. Not simply my own, but everyone around me. Writers, artists, actors, musicians, songwriters, designers … I couldn’t throw a paper airplane without hitting someone whose talent filled the space. My spare time was filled with art shows, community theatre in all its forms, or performances of local musicians.

At the time, I didn’t realize how unusual my life was, or how fortunate I was to be surrounded by so many incredibly talented people. I didn’t realize that most people’s reality was so much more … mundane. I know that may sound judgmental, and I truly don’t mean for it to, but it’s like seeing the Wizard of Oz and going from Technicolor back to Kansas in plain old black and white.

Sure, I worked, but it was secondary to everything else. My job didn’t interfere.

Until it did. Continue reading

Brain Cancer Survivor asks Why NOT me?

One of the things I love most about the summer showcase is it gives me a chance to share the stories of people using their lives to prove that no matter what you hear on the news, humans have a great capacity to love and support each other– even through the most difficult of circumstances.  Thanks Mary for helping to make humanity look so good!  

I’m 33 years old. I’m healthy. My blood pressure is 100/65. My BMI is 21.3. My “bad” cholesterol barely registers on the charts. I eat nutritious foods – lots of fruits, veggies, chicken, yogurt. I do have a sweet tooth, but I try to balance it out with some exercise.

Oh yeah, and I’m a brain cancer survivor.

**Cue screeching tires, deer in headlights look, and one or more of the following reactions:

“Are you ok?”
“But you look so healthy…”
“That’s terrible. You don’t deserve that!”

I am OK. I do look healthy and I feel healthy. And, there are over 600,000 people in the United States living with a primary brain tumor and not a single one of them deserves it. Continue reading

Breaking the Cycle of Violence

This week’s summer showcase post tells a difficult but important story about how one woman is using what she learned through her own personal tragedy to make sure her children, and children like hers get the care they need to break the cycle of domestic violence.  Thanks for your bravery, Heather!  For more information about Heather’s work, visit the Generation Hope website.

On the evening of March 11, 2011 my life and the lives of my children were changed forever.

I was brutally attacked, strangled, and beaten so badly by my ex-husband that friends and neighbors didn’t recognize me. It was highly publicized by the media because my injuries were so graphic. During my ex-husband’s sentencing hearing the county attorney stated “that it was the worst beating she had seen in 11 years of doing domestic violence prosecution and that I had looked worse than some victims in homicide cases she had prosecuted.” I was lucky to be alive.

Unfortunately, our children were all present during the attack and watched their father beat me, and then kick and stomp on my face repeatedly. They could do nothing but scream in terror and beg their father to stop hurting me. They were 1, 3, and 5 at the time. At some point during the attack my five year old daughter knocked on a neighbor’s door and they came to our aid saving us physically from the attack.

We had survived….physically. And yet we were so broken emotionally that making it through the day was difficult for all of us. I was forcing myself to take my kids out to do things to get their mind off of things but inside we were all suffering. My children were exhibiting behaviors that were damaging to them and I could see that they needed help I was not able to give them so that they could cope with the damage that was caused from witnessing domestic violence. Continue reading

Permission to be Multi Passionate

I’m so excited  welcome Deanna Lohnes, back to the blog.  You may remember her from last summer’s  Kardashian /Cardasian mix up.  Deanna teaches solopreneurs and small businesses to create effective marketing messages. Deanna owns Parlance Media Stop by the blog and say hello. When she isn’t building success with smart business owners, she is lounging in a boat or on the beach.

When Maureen asked me to write a post about how the world benefits from cognitive surplus efforts, I was thrilled. I have surplus cognition! I have my fingers in lots of business pies! No problem.

No problem, that is, until I sat down to write. Blinking cursor. 218 words too embarrassing to submit. Blinking cursor. Delay, embarrassment, blinking cursor. Finally, I realized why writing a post about spare time efforts was like pulling teeth: I’m multi passionate.

“Hi, I’m Deanna and I’m multi passionate.” It feels like the kind of thing one admits in a church basement surrounded by supportive but similarly afflicted friends. Over the years my many interests have led people to call me flaky, unfocused and indecisive. I’ve been accused of lacking drive, commitment and ambition. In college a friend suggested I get tested for ADD. Once a friend even lamented that I would be happier with my work if I were less intelligent.

I’m just now starting to accept the idea that I’m not flighty and shiftless. I don’t need to settle down and focus. I’m learning to embrace my multi passionate self. Many years ago, Barbara Sher coined the term scanner to describe people who were interested in a dozen things at once. I think my parents bought her book for me because I couldn’t choose a college major. Since then, renaissance man has gone in and out of fashion to describe the same phenomenon. Some of us are just wired to need variety. Having the option to switch between multiple projects keeps things interesting. Continue reading

Why I Mentor

I’m excited to have a repeat poster for this week’s summer showcase story.  You might remember Daryk from her “In your face, Lucy” post from last summer.

If, like me you find her posts to be both hysterically funny, and surprisingly poignant, you’ll also be happy to know you can now follow her on a semi-regular* basis over at her new blog, Mylifesweird.

being a mentor means having this much fun at the drive-in

I never thought of myself as a mentor and frankly, I think many of the lessons I have to offer today’s youth are a bit sketchy.  Sometimes though, you just meet a kid who is so awesome you think, OMG this kid had better succeed in life because wow, what a cool kid.

That’s what happened to me and is why I became a mentor.  I’ve been involved in a mentoring program for going on 2 years now and I must say, it has been a great experience and one I highly recommend for anyone who isn’t a pedophile, criminal, rapist, stalker, or otherwise creepy person.  If you, like me, are just kind of awesome and enjoy having an excuse to go out and do things, seriously, become a mentor. Continue reading