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On May 22, 2010, I interviewed Marilyn Bray, an advocate in Sexual Assault who also shared her own personal story.

Marilyn Bray serves as the epitome of becoming a huge advocate for non-violence, inspired by her own personal experience and has become a catalyst for the new movement of survivors to talk candidly about their journeys, sharing their experiences and become empowered by the truth. Since 2001, Marilyn’s journey toward empowerment and professional growth evolved into advocating and helping those in anguish from being “victims” or rape and sexual assault. She has become actively involved in SOAR SPA, The Clothesline Project, Take Back the Night, survivor workshops and women’s perspective workshops, among many, many other things. Currently, Marilyn serves on an advisory role to Men Stopping Violence Against Women Intiative, recently started in Tampa by a group of concerned men wanting to be a part of the solution. Her story has been shared in SELF MAGAZINE, as well as more recently in the November issue of MARIE CLAIRE MAGAZINE. Please bring a warm welcome to Marilyn has she shares with us her story of survival and her mission of advocacy.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET MARILYN BRAY 05/22 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On May 8, 2010, I interviewed Lauri Allen, who is a survivor, as well as part of the Private Quarters comapny.  She told an amazing story.  Please feel free to listen to her show when you get a chance:

Unbelievable turn of circumstances is a great way to describe Laurie who will be talking to us today. I have been enjoying getting to know Laurie and learning more about what she is doing today with her role at Private Quarters (an organization supporting domestic violence survivors) and part of a documentary in progress called BY A THREAD, as well as her personal experiences involved in domestic violence and why she has been so adamant to advocate for change. She states that she is on a mission to share her story as how she became safe in her own skin, as well as just her story of domestic violence on a whole. There is a certainly level of abuse and violence that women hear about on the news, in the obituaries, the obvious and repeated, daily and nightly abuse; however, there is another level of abuse that is hidden, forgotten about and not on the radar because it may not be thought of as “that bad”. At what point does it have to be “bad” to do something about it, after all? What about those less than obvious signs that lead you down a path of abuse and violence that young and mature women don’t understand and don’t know to look for? Those are the masses we need to reach and educate, speak to and empower! Please join us on May 8th, 2010, at 2pm CST to hear what Laurie has to say to empower all our listeners to changes in our lives.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET LAURIE 05/08 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On April 3, 2010, I hosted this radio show with Denise Wolford.  Just catching up on what I have been doing in the past few years:

I’m very excited to present to you a show with Denise Wolford who has been dedicated to working towards ending domestic violence through her ministry, All Women Marching for Hope! Denise will share with us her story that led her to where she is today, as well as tell us more about her ministries for hope for freedom from domestic violence in this world. Just about a month ago, on March 6th, she was found marching in the streets of the community of Dallas, along with many supporters and Carolyn Thomas. She will be taking their march in other communities as well. Learn more about domestic violence and some avenues for proactive action. Look forward to seeing you at the show on April 3, 2010!

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET DENISE WOLFORD 04/03 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

 


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(Actually written 1/2/08:)

I saw a bumper sticker the other day and was puzzled slightly by what it said — “Those who abandon their dreams, will discourage others.”  Although I wrote it on my hand, and later on in my datebook journal I received as a Christmas gift, it just didn’t make sense to me until today.  After all, eventhough I haven’t achieved all of my dreams, I am still the cheerleader encouraging and empowering others to be able to move forward with their own dreams.

Today, though, I indeed had a v-8 moment and realized just what the bumper sticker could possibly mean.

For my living, I am an advocate for those who may not necessarily speak up for themselves.  Currently, I have found myself being an advocate for the elderly as part of my vocation and passion and, as a rule, I truly enjoy what I do.  One client though I have been struggling with to keep upbeat about it.

When I first started going to this client a few weeks ago, I was shocked by the care of his room.  While he may have incontinence, his room reaked of urine all over newspapers, bed linens, clothes, and such.  Apparently, he can’t remember to wear his “briefs”, the depends.  That, in itself is one thing, and makes my job enduring as each week I have to spend 3 hours waiting for the loads to wash through and I don’t feel like I can do this client justice fully because I don’t feel like I have as much time to visit with him, but he tends to stick things in the toilet and stops it up as well (ie, apparently he doesn’t like carrots so they end up in the toilet, which is very disgusting.  I end up having to call maintenance of the facility to come fix the toilet.  It shouldn’t get to the point it does.  The client has a phone; he could call for maintenance himself.  He also walks to the dining room each day; he could tell the management office his needs as well, but he chooses not to.  So, each week I return and I encounter much of the same thing.  You would think that someone wouldn’t want to stay in a room that smells like urine, much less sleep in wet sheets and covers each night.  Each week I keep thinking to myself, “Why, then, do I put myself through such turmoil?”

The answer lays in the fact that I continue to hope that I can make a difference in this man’s life, although, it appears that his level of care needs to be much higher.  This man, who used to not even move out of the bed, does now greet me at his door each week so I am doing something right, it would appear.

Too, while waiting for the clothese to be washed and dried, I’ve met other residents that walk (or, ride) by and they either wave or stop to talk to me for a bit.  I think that they are just happy to see someone else available to hear what they have to say about their day.  Some of them are now even introducing themselves to me with their names and inviting me to go visit them in their rooms — so many are just anxious to have company and companionship.  Even in an assisted living facility, so many residents keep to themselves, which is a shame.

Earlier this morning, I checked my Fubar page just as anyone might check their MySpace page or emails, and saw one of my best friends indicate that he was having trouble waking up this morning.  I called him and told him that, while he was having trouble waking up, I was having a great deal of trouble just motivating myself to move forward to go see this client this morning.  We were talking about why I was having trouble in particular today and he set a positive tone for me by saying to me, “At least, you will have lots to blog about today,” and he was right.

Although I am discouraged by this man’s seemingly giving up on his dreams of having a great life in spite of his health problems, I am discouraged (just like the bumper sticker says).  However, what relights my enthusiasm for returning each week is the brightened eyees and smiles of others I see each week at this facility.  Today, I was surprised, too, in that this man didn’t stay in his room while I was tending to his laundry down the hall.  He actually got up and took the trash to the laundry room area and later he came down to the sitting area and talked with me for a bit telling me that the maintenance has come while I was down here.  Not only once though, but three times!  Maybe next week, he’ll actually sit down and talk to me?  At any rate, any progress made is certainly making way for encouragement that my advocacy is making a difference.

I’ll certainly have to remind myself that, as I crawl out of bed next Wednesday morning, while advocacy work can indeed be very discouraging, it is encouraging to see when folks be able to crawl out of their hinderances (sometime created by themselves) and start getting a little more excited about life.  That is the reward I get in lieu of great monetary salaries, a richness more fulfilling to living a life than making a huge income and not being able to stop and observe life for what it is.  Humanity is a precious regard on this earth; unfortunately, most people are too focused on making the big bucks that they often forget the joys that would surround them if they would just stop and look!

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Although I have run across this blogger, known as “Midnight Dancer”, on another social site (currently called Fubar and fka Cherry Tap & fka Lost Cherry), his blog entitled “Let’s Dance Through Life: Love, Honestly, and the Internet” has a posting called “No Guts, No Glory” and poignantly states:

It has been said many ways: No guts, no glory. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Life is full of chances and opportunities. But to take a chance .. to reach for an opportunity … there is risk involved.

Some people like to play it safe. They don’t want to take a risk. They have been hurt before and are afraid of being hurt again.

That is totally understandable. I have taken many risks in my life, and I have been hurt. The question one has to ask themselves is, “is the risk worth the reward?”

I have always answered this question, “yes!” Because I know that the reward is the best thing I would ever dream of, and I have said that I will go through anything to get that. And if I quit, then all that I have gone through in the past would be for nothing.

But sometimes … I waver in this. My courage begins to falter. Sometimes I think, “Not again. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s too much.”

Then I try to take a deep breath, and think, maybe the next risk will be the one that pays off. And I remind myself; I repeat it to myself like some kind of mantra. “No guts, no glory.”

I had responded by stating that…. “Hmmm… I am sure that my crisis callers may not all appreciate that motto or mantra; however, it is certainly one to keep in mind indeed for all of us who have ever taken risks — or about to! :D”

Don’t you think???

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Received Oprah’s “Today’s Mission Calendar Inspiration” email today wherein in the first paragraph it states about the January issue, “Let the hot air out of the self-esteem balloon–and find a more stable basis for carrying yourself through the world.”  What a great quote!

Wow!  Isn’t that a formidable quest at times???  A more stable basis for carrying oneself through the world???  After all, our world as we might know it gets shaken up all the time — divorce, marriage, becoming pregnant, realizing you can’t have children, in a domestic violence situation (whether it be physically or emotionally OR even if it doesn’t directly involve you but involves someone that you love or have as a friend), illnesses, deaths, etc.  We don’t plan on these events happening in our lives (directly or indirectly) but many are destined to be inevitable to happend, after all wherever there is life, there is also death around us.

For some, it can feel like a never ending cycle.  “Let me off of this roller coaster ride, please!” some will say; others, will not feel the affects of the roller coaster rides of life in general because they live ever so protected lives whereas many of us will feel small in comparison.  After all, how is it that they can have such even keel lives and others don’t?  I certainly don’t see “Hurt me!” written on the foreheads of victims nor do I see “Immortal!” written on the foreheads of those seemingly completely escaping the vast majority of the effects of the rash, bumby roller coaster ride.

How does one truly set out to find oneself more stable for carrying oneself through the world? 

* Having one job that can support yourself and your family?

* Advocating for the future of others?

* Having a job that allows you to afford to be able to spend more time with your family?

* Decluttering life’s “treasures” from one’s home?

* Having an income that will provide for a possibility that you actually have a savings for those emergencies and/or to set aside for retirement — so that one can truly enjoy retirement?

* Vowing to live healthier?

* Having opportunities for vacation time so that one can truly enjoy life?

* Restoring one’s faith in humanity?

* Having an opportunity to make time to enjoy doing things that one enjoys doing besides just working, sleeping, working, and sleeping?

What in the world is it going to take to make one more stable in order to carry themselves in the world?  What would it be for you?

For me, it would be to find that perfect balance in life where I can work to have the bills paid and a bit left over for savings, while having enough time to continue doing the things I enjoy doing — ie,  being with family and friends, blogging (go figure, huh?), artistic endeavors — as well as achieving the things that I want to do — ie, writing the book that is swarming in my head and waiting to be put into print, traveling to other countries that I haven’t been yet to (Belize, Equador, Scotland, Ireland, and Peru), building a modest home in the countryside, and finding a mate to share the rest of my life with one day (someone, that I can see us sitting in our rockers on our porch on our countryside home and just reminiscing about the good things in our lives when we become too old to move around like we had in the last 40-50 years of our lives).   Obviously, though, not all of those things can be accomplished in 2008 — or, can it?  We all must realize our limitations without letting our visions of our limitations stimy our growth. 

I am not sure that one can ever truly find that “perfect balance in life”, but surely one can attempt to try, can’t they?

Goals are nice, but getting them put into action seems daunting at times; sometimes, appropropriately determining one goal in particular is more important that setting many that will merely set us up for failure of being able to accomplish anything.  The purpose of having a New Year’s Resolution, after all, can be to light that fire of inspiration below ourselves to motivate ourselves to move forward from whatever level of instability that we have had in our lives in the past to empower us to move towards the level of stability that we all really truly desire.

Do you have a goal that you are going to put into action?  What might that be???

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I have been having this blog site for about 9 months now.  While it is is still in its infancy of being developed, I love the administrative outlook on this site to see and learn about the readership.  One of those aspects is a section where they tell the blogger what a reader may have keyed into a search engine to find my site.  Here are some of the top ten that were found to find my site yesterday, for example:

1.

 vicks vapor rub on feet
2.  tyra banks
3.  parental alienation synod
4.  emmaus butterfly
5.  analogy list
6.  english teachers metaphor awards
7.  little green giant myspace codes
8.  “vicks vapor rub” feet
9.  bestbuy pre-christmas sales
10.  pensionbook.com

The funniest one I think from yesterday is “little green giant myspace codes”???  It isn’t too often I hear of people talking about the Little Green Giant, much less utilizing it as some MySpace page! 🙂

It is just interesting, don’t you think?

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