Sunday, June 30, 2013

Choices

Everyone has choices.  Everyone has to make a million decisions and choices every day.  The first choice of the day is usually this:  "Do I get up now or sleep for 9 more minutes?" or something along those lines.  Frequently, we will say, "I don't have a choice.  I have to get up."  Actually, you do.  You still have a choice.  The thing in your mind that tells you the pros and cons of your choices has just told you that getting up now is probably the best choice and probably the only one you won't regret tomorrow.  You know that if you don't get up and go to work, you could be fired or miss deadlines or whatever the obvious consequences are for not showing up today.  But still, you DO have choices.

Sometimes, we get ourselves into a financial or legal bind or some other extreme challenge.  We must choose the thing that seems like the only way to go because all of the other options are either illegal, unethical or otherwise no good.  We might then say, "I have to do this.  I have no choice."  When we say this, we become a victim.  We play the situation out feeling powerless and drained.  The world pushed us into a corner and it's over.  The reality is, even in the worse darkest cases, you still have choices.  You may have brainstormed options, but like the sleeping-in example, you have decided that only one choice makes sense.  If instead of saying, "I have no choice," you say, "this is the best I can do," you have upped your ownership and power.  Maybe it still sucks, but life isn't always roses and peaches.  Being a victim of your own life is not empowering.  It is defeating, negative, and as time goes on, the choices you get are more and more narrow, because you don't see them.  You have convinced yourself that you have no choice.  You stop looking for creative ideas and directions and you begin blaming your circumstances.  If you could take control of your situation, see the choices, choose the best one and declare is so, you open your mind to the possibility of seeing choices as events unfold.  You become the navigator of your path, not merely a beaten follower of what has to happen.

If you find yourself at any time saying, "I have no choice," please stop and look around.  Get out a piece of paper and write down ALL the choices you have in this situation even if they are stupid or illegal or unethical options.  You deserve to have power.  You deserve to be creative and in control of your future.  You DO have choices.  Some of them are obvious no-go choices.  No matter what, you have choices and you are smart enough to choose the best option for your life.  That makes you intelligent, strong and powerful.  No one can take that away from you...  except you.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Why a nonprofit?

This is the question I am asking today as I consider insurance.  Wouldn't it be easier to just sit in my little cabin and take care of the animals and live a tidy quiet existence?  Maybe as the years pass, I could build one cabin every couple of years for my own guests.  No agenda, no plan, no lessons, no volunteers, no liability, no asking for money, no wading through IRS forms.  Why not?  Sounds perfect.  Am I over-complicating my life?  I can just give back the money and relax.  Do nothing.  Live simply.  Live for me.

I knew this was going to be complicated.  I knew it would be difficult and that I would need expert advice along the way.  I knew that.  I guess my problem or frustration comes when I don't understand enough to even form a proper question.  Everything breaks down.  So, I'm determined to write an answer to my question.

I want to be a part of something bigger.  I want to help people through confusion and shed some light on things that scare people because of perceived cost and complication.  I want people to find peace and beauty in a place that I can share with them.  I want to share science and nature with children.  I want girls and women to be as empowered in the building world as boys and men.  I want people to trust me and accept my hospitality.  I want people to feel at home in my presence.  I want to pay forward the kindness so many have shared with me.  I want to build things - a business and actual structures.  This mission, this non-profit is the way I think I can do all of these things.  I can do some of them as an individual simply living, but I think I can reach more people and be helpful and hospitable to even more as the ambassador of this organization.