Author Archives: erin_legg

Book Cover for Moonrise Anthology

Inspiring Anthology Promotes Balanced Leadership of Women

Modern day feminism is the key to today’s need for environmental and social progress, as is promoted in this book featuring a collection of essays.

Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart features the words and ideas of women (and a few men) who are pioneers in various areas of achievement and guidance.

Through the text, readers are exposed to the ideas that to inspire change and to be an effective leader one needs inner awareness, respect for self and others, and a goal to be sought after with determination.

Progressive Thought on Women Leaders

Author Nina SimonsNina Simons is the co-CEO and co-founder of Bioneers, a nonprofit organization created in 1990 with the intention of starting discussions on environmental and social issues, encouraging progressive research in these areas, and positing solutions to these problems.

Simons strives to promote women and leadership in modern “feminist” ways and seeks to strengthen the effectiveness and authority of women leaders from around the world and within every field.

Anthology Features Essays on Leadership, Justice, and Change

With this goal, Simons served as editor for an anthology of essays written by well-known leaders and achievers from different walks of life. Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart (Park Street Press) consists of 37 thought-provoking essays from mostly women and a few men, ranging from topics political or economical in nature to self-transforming ideas.

Each essay in Moonrise has the goal of making the world a better place in some way. And how is this done? Through leadership that seeks a balance of compassion and caring, or more feminine qualities, with the assertive tendencies of the masculine.

Inspirational Book

Book Cover for Moonrise AnthologyI was pleased to come across the essay contributed by Eve Ensler, a creative woman’s activist whom I admire. Ensler’s essay, “V to the Tenth,” represents how pushing past a fear or a supposed taboo can blow the doors open and start conversations even in areas least expected. It just takes one person to start it. “Saying the word I was not supposed to say is the thing that gave me a voice in the world,” writes Ensler.

Although she writes how speaking up can help one reclaim power in their life, she also points out the areas where society lacks in supporting women’s safety and addressing violence. “The only point of having power, it seems to me, is to give it away, and inspire other people to have it.”

Another essay I enjoyed was “The Color of Sustainability” by LaDonna Redmond, a food activist with a passion for universal accessibility to healthy food. An advocate for “being part of the solution to the issues,” Redmond shares her personal story on becoming a food justice expert—from sustainable agriculture to health food preparation—and the ecological connection between African Americans and farming. Redmond notes that sustainability is not a social welfare issue, and requires diversity and inclusion in order to be attainable.

Moonrise provides for readers an inspired vision. This inspirational book offers concrete evidence in the power of women’s dreams, goals, and accomplishments. While obviously, it’s a must-read for any woman, professional or not, Moonrise is also an essential perspective for men to gain in their paths throughout the world.

For more information, please click > Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart

On Being Authentic: A Visual Meditation & Free Online Course

Non-profit organization Global Mindshifts seeks to inspire a global dialogue that focuses collective interests and collective objectives to foster creative cooperation.

Change comes about from motivation, and motivation can come from many sources—such as our selves, our families, and our communities.

To find motivation within our selves, we must start an intimate conversation about our true, authentic being and intended purpose.

The following is a transcription of a visual meditation on being authentic created and narrated by Virginia Fitton for Global Mindshifts.

Meditation: Being Authentic

Rocks and Flowing WaterBe authentic: So, to begin, let’s try to get our minds around the words be authentic. What does that really mean, be authentic? Be real? What does that mean? Be genuine? What does that mean? Be your true nature?

As you look at the words be authentic you see that it’s addressing a perennial question: who am I really?

And the word authentic is related to the word author, originator.

And is there an original intent, purpose, an authentic purpose, something that you were designed originally to be?

Be authentic.

An Acorn Seed & Potential of Possibility

A Sprouting Acorn Begins to GrowI brought a seed. Look at it. What do you see? It’s an acorn, and all acorns are similar. They have an identity. And each one is unique: there are no two alike.

Look deep. Is there something embedded in the acorn, already there? A true nature? An original intent and purpose?

This acorn seed has the potential of possibility of becoming an oak tree. It has no choice about it. It cannot be a carrot. It cannot be a tomato. It can become an oak tree if it is in right relationship. In right relationship to the earth, to air, water, and sun. And if it is not in right relationship it eventually decays.

Now, what is your authentic nature? Do you have one? Is there something already written into the seed of your very being? Is there a design already given, already there that is in the essence of who you are? If it’s something that you have no choice about, it’s a given, something that you are originally supposed to become.

Becoming authentic.

Being in Right Relationship

Perhaps your authentic nature is to become as loving as the system that produced you. And what does being in right relationship have to do with it?

Right relationship with the earth, right relationship with others, right relationship to yourself.

What are the consequences of not being in right relationship?

We are certainly presented with an evolutionary challenge, an emergent challenge to become authentic.

Follow Along, Listen to Being Authentic Meditation

We are delighted to share this thought-provoking meditation with you. You’re also encouraged to check out this free online course that takes you through a series of discovery steps to help you flow through life with greater authenticity.

Click to experience the free > Discovering Your Authentic Self Series.

Discover The Gift: A Self-Discovery Film for Unlocking Your Unlimited Potential

Everyone has a purpose. Everyone has a contribution to make. Everyone has a place in this world. When these realizations are made, our global community is enhanced with joy, knowledge, love, and endless opportunity.

From what began as an honest quest of his own personal transformation, award-winning filmmaker Demian Lichtenstein, along with his sister Shajen Joy Aziz, created Discover The Gift (Equilibrium Entertainment).

This has since manifested into a movement of self-illumination for everyone to experience the extraordinary and powerful journey of self-discovery.

Create Your Own Reality

Discover the Gift's Shajen Joy Aziz & Demian LichtensteinWhat happens when one starts questioning the purpose of their life’s purpose? For Lichtenstein, this questioning led to Discover The Gift, a powerful documentary film illustrating the realization that each person on earth is here to release special gifts and powers that lay within.

In the film, Lichtenstein notes that individuals are a “singular manifestation of a cosmic destiny,” and as each person realizes his or her gift, they graduate to the next stage of their own evolution. This, in turn, stimulates the gifts in others.

The stunningly written and produced film depicts Lichtenstein’s admission—and that of Aziz—of not being present in their own presence and the struggle to emerge as true, authentic beings. Through a series of honest discussions, both Lichtenstein and Aziz come together after years of separation and discovered they individually have gifts to offer the world. And, through the process, they realized a gift they can share in unison: so began Discover The Gift.

The Process of Enlightenment

On the path of discovering life purpose, one will discover how to intentionally change their thoughts to manifest an honest and pure existence. It’s a discovery of living a life not made by one’s parents, clergy, or even politicians, but of finding the thing that makes one think, “I was born for this!”

How can one find his or her gift? It can come about in many different ways. For example, silence and solitude can help one become more in tune with themselves. This is an opportunity to give one’s self permission to dream, to forgive, and to love one’s self and others.

Process of EnlightenmentLife is just like a mirror: this is one of the most profound message delivered in the film. The human mind creates life for us. Life is the process of what we pay attention to or what we focus on. Lichtenstein advises viewers to follow their hearts in order to discover the greatest gift and adventures that could come their way. The only obstacle in life is ourselves!

Eight Universal Spiritual Laws to Change Your Life

The film and corresponding book by the same title discuss eight simple, yet profound, principles that help individuals discover their true potential:

  1. receptivity
  2. intention
  3. interaction
  4. feedback
  5. vibration
  6. gratitude
  7. compassion
  8. unity

This beautifully-created film includes the inspirational guidance from over 40 global leaders, each who offers their spiritual wisdom and guidance to viewers. Discover The Gift is about the possibilities that exist within every individual and society as a whole. This film delivers a powerful, universal message that will leave a lasting impression with everyone who watches and takes its meaning to heart.

The Second Annual Awareness Film Festival

Discover the Gift Dvd and BookDiscover The Gift made its debut at the second annual Awareness Festival, held early May, 2011 in Hollywood, CA. The mission of the Awareness Festival is to present films that bring awareness and open viewers’ eyes to some of the world’s most pressing issues regarding ecological perspectives, political impacts, the understanding of health and wellbeing, and scientific progress.

The Awareness Festival was created by the non-profit charity organization HealOneWorld.org. Funds generated from the event go to support the organization’s mission to help people learn about and receive preventative and alternative health care approaches to wellness.

Inspirational Words

Both the film and book of Discover the Gift is available for preorder prior to their release on June 14, 2011.

Discover The Gift (Harmony) is also a book of inspiration designed to show readers how each one has a special purpose in life that must be shared with the world. The book complements the movie, and unfolds the authors’ personal self-journeys of discovery while offering guidance for readers to do the same. The book is available in hardcover, as a Kindle download, or an audio CD.

The Discover The Gift book and video are a powerful combination and serve as a collective catalyst for unlocking individual and combined potential for creating more love, joy, and happiness in the world.

Learn more, visit Amazon > Discover the Gift DVD

View the book, click > Discover the Gift Book

View the Discover The Gift Trailer

Learn more, visit Amazon > Discover the Gift DVD

View the book, click > Discover the Gift Book

The Boo-Boo Zoo: Big Hearts Save the Lives of Injured, Orphaned, and Sick Animals

Two incredible people operate an amazing, life-saving refuge for animals. The East Maui Animal Refuge (EMAR)—also known as the Boo-Boo Zoo—is operated by Sylvan and Suzie Schwab.

At EMAR, domestic and wild animals are cared for with love by these two and their team of passionate volunteers.

Sylvan and Suzie are perfect examples of what is possible when one follows a path of true joy. Without their intervention, hundreds of animals each year would suffer and die.

Please scroll to the bottom, and read the latest News Bulliten.

The “Boo-Boo Zoo”

Boo-Boo Zoo on Maui, HiEMAR is a safe and nurturing place for injured, orphaned, or sick animals to reside. As the only place on the island of Maui to take in orphaned or injured wildlife, the Boo-Boo Zoo is a sanctuary for all animals regardless of what has happened to them. Animals are euthanized only if the volunteer veterinarian determines the animal is in irreversible pain.

The volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Moyer, is only one of several individuals that pitch in to make sure the not-for-profit EMAR is operating efficiently. Volunteers assist by cleaning kennels, feeding the animals—some of which require specialized feeding methods—and with general maintenance around the property.

EMAR is funded entirely through private donations. With a $20,000 to $25,000 monthly operating cost associated with caring for the approximately 500 animals that reside at EMAR, the Boo-Boo Zoo is always grateful for the generous donations by individuals and businesses. These donations cover the costs of vet supplies and medications, food for the animals, lease costs, and utilities.

In the Beginning: A Self-Rehabilitation Program

Suzie was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the 1970s. She decided to live the last of her days somewhere new, and ended up living next door to Sylvan in Maui. Once the two began dating, Sylvan noticed how much joy Suzie radiated when caring for sick or injured animals, despite her own pain and illness. He started presenting her with more and more animals in need of her caring touch, and eventually EMAR started in 1977.

Sylvan studied with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to learn all the different methods and elements of caring for all types of animals. EMAR operates under licenses granted by both state and federal departments of Fish and Wildlife, giving the Boo-Boo Zoo permission to rehabilitate animals.

Sylvan and Suzie always maintain that because of the opportunities to care for and save the lives of these animals, Suzie’s own life was saved; today she is cancer-free.

Not-For-Profit Animal Sanctuary

Two acres of land near Haiku, Maui, is dedicated to the nurturing and caring for a variety of injured and orphaned animals. From cows to ducks, cats to deer, horses to dogs, and owls to pigs, EMAR takes in approximately 500 animals per year, half of which are wildlife. Each of the critters has his or her own incredible animal story that as led them to the Boo-Boo Zoo, just like this one:

An Owl Story of SurvialMy name is Kuuipo, which means Sweetheart in Hawaiian. I am a pueo,  an endangered Hawaiian owl. I was hit by a truck, so my legs don’t work. I love people to hold me, talk to me, and I am very loving back. I am especially thankful to Lynn, a wonderful volunteer here, for her undying love and care for me.

EMAR operates to complement other rescue organizations rather than duplicate services. For example, EMAR is different from the Humane Society as it accepts and cares for injured wild animals. Without the existence of the Boo-Boo Zoo, these animals would die. On rare occasions EMAR has adopted out animals, but encourages people to adopt from the Human Society as an act to “save a life.”

All donations made to the EMAR are tax deductible. The not-for-profit organization has in place several different East Maui Animal Refuge donation options, including an animal sponsorship program. EMAR also gratefully encourages people to volunteer and care for the animals (as with volunteer Lynn, who was nursed Kuuipo back to health).

For more information on the Boo-Boo Zoo, watch the video below, and visit the East Maui Animal Refuge (aka The Boo-Boo Zoo) website.

Watch the Boo-Boo Zoo Video

NEWS BULLETIN 2011 – Animal Confiscation

The wildlife permits for the East Maui Animal Refuge have been suddenly suspended due to The Refuge’s No-Kill policy, which is and for nearly 30 years has openly been in conflict with Wildlife Rehabilitation laws.

Dept. of The Interior US Fish and Wildlife Service confiscated 5 Hawaiian Pueo, 4 Barn owls, Two Cattle Egret, a baby cardinal, 3 sparrows and 2 house finches.
Most of these birds, certainly all of the owls, have been euthanized.

Fearing a similar fate to our small herd of Axis deer, EMAR immediately negotiated a “stay of execution” for our remaining animals.
Thanks to the outcry of the public Sylvan has attained a “grandfather” clause for our existing herd.

The Dept. of Land & Natural resources (DLNR) has inspected the property and assured us that as long as we are actively working to come into compliance no further actions will be taken against us.
We now begin the process of creating a deer enclosure within DLNR’s specifications. The initial estimate for the fence alone is approximately $20,000.00, material and labor.

To regain our original as well as important additional licenses and permits and to be able to continue the important services of EMAR to Maui Community and it’s animals, very expensive, labor intensive changes must be made to the existing enclosures and habitats of our Refuge as well as building a facility that can house all wildlife separate from the domestic animals and establish a program that complies with the law in order to regain wildlife rehabilitation permits.

Please, Help us Help the Helpless.

EMAR is desperately trying to find a way within these laws to continue as a No-Kill Sanctuary but if we are to be able to take in any injured wild life in the future we must come into compliance with State and Federal law.

To do this EMAR needs financial support, skilled labor as well as expert wild life re-habbers and legal advisors.

EAST MAUI ANIMAL REFUGE
25 Maluaina Pl, Haiku, HI 96708
808-572-8308

Power of 3 X 3: Paying it Forward a Growing Global Social Movement

Based upon a novel written by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Pay It Forward (Simon & Schuster), the Pay It Forward Foundation promotes the global social movement based on a simple plan of action.

The idea upon which the foundation was created is simple: anyone can change the world.

The Pay It Forward Foundation seeks to educate students of its mission and works with teachers on developing strategies of how they too can pay it forward.

Catherine Ryan Hyde is an example of what happens when we follow our inner urges, and how one small thought turned into an action can ripple to make a vast difference in many other people’s lives.

The Pay It Forward Foundation

Image From Pay It Forward FoundationStaffed mostly by volunteers committed to its simple but profound mission, the Pay It Forward Foundation encourages everyone to do a simple act at any time for anyone in any place. Paying it forward means doing a favor for someone without any expectation of being paid back—save for encouraging the recipient of the favor to in turn to pay it forward to someone else.

The idea behind his movement is to never assume a favor you pay is too small or too insignificant, as to someone else it could mean the world. How do you know that this exact opportunity won’t change the life of a complete stranger in ways you can’t even imagine?

Catherine Ryan Hyde, Esteemed Writer and Inspiration

Catherine Ryan Hyde is an established author with several acclaimed books to her name, including Second Hand Heart (Transworld UK) and Jumpstart the World (Knopf). Her short stories have been featured in several prominent literary journals, and many have gone on to win top literary awards.

Her 2000 novel Pay It Forward was developed into a popular movie of the same name, and was acknowledged by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list. The novel appeared on several national bestsellers lists. The message of the book has inspired many people to try paying it forward in their own lives, and serves as the basis for the Pay It Forward Foundation.

Beside writing, Hyde also delivers public speaking addresses, including ones based on her pay it forward idea. The following is a transcript of Hyde candidly discussing her inspiration for paying it forward.

Setting: Echo Park, Late at Night

Catherine Ryan Hyde PictureSo, here I am in this bad section of Echo Park . . . I don’t know, does anyone know Echo Park in Los Angeles? Some of you actually do! And if you don’t, don’t run and check it out, just take my word for it, okay? It’s not really the place to be late at night. However, I lived there, which narrowed my options.

So, I’m driving home, and I should tell you that the car I was driving was not in good condition, because—at least I’m pleased to be able to say that I was young 24 years ago (I know, it’s hard to imagine)—I had this theory about cars when I was younger. I thought it cost less money if you didn’t take your car to the mechanic. It’s a logical theory when you think about it, because mechanics cost money, so you don’t go, you save money, you know? That’s one of those theories that works very well until the day it doesn’t anymore. So this is a story about the day it stopped working.

So, I’m coming home late. I get to the end of the ramp, you know, the freeway ramp where there’s a stop sign at Echo Park Lane. And I put my foot on the brake, and the engine stalled—which may sound unusual to you, but it always did every time I put my foot on the brake. That’s what happens when you don’t go to the mechanic! And then something that had never happened before: headlights, dash lights, all of the electric on my car, out.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

So, now I’m out there in the dark. That’s a new one. And while I’m pondering this, I noticed that there’s a curled smoke—right away you know this is not good news, right? Where ever the smoke is, however the smoke is, right away you’re thinking, “That’s not good news!”—coming through the firewall from the engine side. And it’s curling up under the dashboard, and it’s beginning to fill up the passenger compartment where I sit.

Now, when you’re in a car in a bad neighborhood late at night—you probably know this already—you have a very powerful incentive to stay there with the door locked. But now the car’s filling up with smoke, which has got to be a textbook definition of being between a rock and a hard place. Right? So, once again, just so you don’t have to go out and do your own research, I will tell you the smoke wins. You’re going to get out of the car at that point. So I got out of the car.

Now I’m outdoors in this bad neighborhood late at night. And I looked up and I saw that there were two men, two total strangers, running in my direction very fast. And one of them is holding a blanket.

Strangers Help Out of the Blue

Burning CarMany thoughts danced in my head. Not a single which had anything to do with rescue. As a matter of fact, I think the first thought in my head was that I’d never made out a will. And then of course I realized that it didn’t matter because I had nothing to leave to anyone, anyway. Except the car, which is on fire.

So, I really thought that those were going to be the last few moments of my life. I mean, you’ve had that moment where your life flashes before your eyes. Really, never occurred to me that they might have been running to my aid. But oddly enough, that’s exactly what happened.

Apparently they had been driving by—I say apparently because I never really got to talk to them—saw the trouble that I was in, pulled their own car over to the side of the road, took a blanket out of their own trunk, [and] one of them popped the hood of my car. You know, popped it from the inside—the other one actually opened it. [He] leaned his whole upper body into my flaming engine compartment and put the fire out with the blanket.

Total Strangers Save Lives

Now, just to stop and review what I find important in this story: his upper body, my flaming engine compartment. Isn’t that an interesting combination between total strangers?

So, right around the time he got the fire put out the fire department showed up, which I thought was interesting because none of us called them. Okay, so once again, the kids go, “Okay, so someone had a cell phone and you didn’t know it. “ No, not in 1978, I really don’t think so. Apparently some other good Samaritan driving on the freeway behind us had seen what was happening and called the fire department.

Now, I absolutely guarantee you in that situation I would have done that for a stranger. If I had seen you broken down with your car burning I would have stopped at the next call box and called the fire department for you. Not sure about the thing with the upper body in the flames. I don’t know about now, but at the time I don’t think I would have been ready for that.

Life and Death Situation

And, so, to make a long story short—perhaps it’s too late for that, I’m not sure—in the confusion of talking to the fire department . . . and by the way, one of the things that I learned from them is that we all could have been killed. You know, a car on fire is a lot like a Molotov cocktail, when you think about it. You know, you have a big tank of flammable liquid with a fuse that goes into it, and once it’s burning it’s, you know . . . you have some problems.

So, I turned around to thank these men who I thought were standing behind me listening to all of this, thinking, “Boy, this better be a good thank you!” Right? This was the biggest favor I had ever gotten in my life. This had better be a good thank you . . . and discovered that they had already packed up and driven away.

So, I didn’t even say thank you! I mean, I tried, but I didn’t know they’d do that.

The Birth of Paying it Forward

Pay It Forward MovieAnd so what happened as a result of this, you know, people will say to me, “So, if they hadn’t stopped and done that for you, none of this pay-it-forward-thing ever would have happened.” And I like to take it even a step further and say that if they had stayed around to be thanked, maybe the rest of this wouldn’t have happened. If they’d stayed around, you know, I would have gotten their address. I would have sent them a Christmas card every year for the rest of their life. You know, 24 years later, it’s almost December, I would have sent them a Christmas card and maybe that would have felt like enough.

Pay it Forward BookBut as it was I had received this huge favor and I hadn’t done anything to pay it back. So what was I going to do?

So I found myself—for those of you who know anything about the pay-it-forward concept, you are probably guessing where we are going with this story—I found myself on the lookout for someone in trouble. I thought, “Okay, sooner or later I’ll find someone in trouble and I’ll stop and pay that favor to them instead.”

Read 5 Star Reviews of the book > Pay It Forward

Read 5 star reviews of > Pay It Forward Movie

Hear Catherine Tell Her Story

Learn about  > The Pay It Forward Foundation

Read 5 Star reviews of the > Pay It Forward Book, (Now in Paperback)

Read 5 star reviews of the > Pay It Forward Movie