Help One, Help Many

Today I was at a “Future of Marketing” conference being held in Boston. As you could guess, there was lots of discussion going on in regards to marketing, branding, content creation, digital influencers, etc. But this is called the Inspiration Initiative, not the marketing initiative so why am I telling you about it? Because during lunch a speaker came out by the name of Mick Ebeling and he absolutely blew me away. Not because he was giving us innovative ways to better market to consumers but because he told us about some amazing things he’s done, things that make you go WOW, now THIS guy is inspirational– like inventing a device which enables individuals with paralysis to communicate and create art using only the movement of their eyes OR like creating a way to PRINT prosthetic arms, using a 3D printer, in order to have prosthetic limbs become available (a typical limb costs about $15K, where this way costs about $100!!!) and bringing this technology over to parts of Africa where citizens had lost limbs due to war.

There are moments in days like this, when you’re putting off “real work” to take time “just to learn” that you ask yourself if it was a mistake to not be in the office. I was feeling guilty this morning about being at this conference since I have had so much going on at work lately. But then I heard this man speak and I thought, this is why I’m here. No matter how far being here today put me behind at work, it was worth it because this is the type of individual I can learn from. This is the type of person I want to surround myself with. A smart, dedicated, driven individual who is passionate about making a difference, who’s passionate about helping people, who’s passionate about changing the world for the better. Sometimes I doubt my abilities to truly make a difference since I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist or engineer or educator– so many times I’ve thought to myself that it’ll be impossible to make a difference in this world in my field of work. But then I hear from this man, who’s not a scientist, not a doctor but instead just an extremely passionate person that doesn’t believe in impossible, doesn’t believe that there’s anything that can’t be solved. He may not be the one who’s crunching the numbers and figuring out the logistics but he’s the one bringing the necessary parties together, he’s the one motivating people and inspiring them to make amazing things happen. During his speech, he said, “Don’t ask how you’re going to do it but instead ask WHY you’re doing it. As if the why is important enough, you’ll figure out how you’re going to get it done, no matter how challenging it may seem.”

Lastly, he spoke about how helping one person can help many. It’s a ripple effect– help one person or one community and let that story be told and heard. By telling that story, it can inspire others to do the same or even better, do something even greater! It reminded me that although you may only be able to help one person, it’s important to simply do what you can. Make a difference where you can, it may encourage that person to help others or influence another to do something similar. Truly, we’re all capable of making a difference.
I urge you all to take a few minutes and read about some of the amazing things this man has done and the good that is coming out of his company, the Not Impossible Foundation. To say he is an inspiration is a large understatement. http://notimpossible.com

Lots of love & light,

Jessy

Advertisements

Cast Your Stone

  
Sometimes I get caught up in the fact that my daily work doesn’t help anyone other than myself. I get upset thinking that my actual work leaves little to make a difference in the world. But this is a good reminder that making a difference in the world doesn’t always have to be made with a big splash. Sometimes it can be little things that you do, smiling at a stranger, donating $10 to your friends fundraiser, really listening to someone when they’re upset, babysitting for a family member, volunteering at a soup kitchen. Whatever it is, spending time doing something for someone else makes a difference. If we all made small ripples, it would create a large ocean current, with rolling beautiful waves.

Something to think about as we start the week. Even if it’s teensy tiny, make a difference today. 

Lots of love & light, 

Jessy

I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends

Yesterday we were so lucky to spend some time with very close friends. They had rented a house on a lake in Maine with their family so we decided to visit and stay over before we start our mini vacation in Portland (writing this from the beach now! 😍) Anyways, while we were there, I was able to try paddle boarding which I’ve always wanted to do. So, at the before going in for dinner, I decided I wanted to take one out once more and went by myself. I started rowing and thought to myself, “wow I’m really good at this, I’m cruising.” So I continued rowing and found myself floating along the lake, completely in the moment. I kept looking up at the sky and then down at the water flowing around me and couldn’t help but feel so blessed and so thankful that I had been given this moment. I kept thinking to myself that it was about a year ago at this time that I was hit with pancreatitis and it was then that my most difficult physical troubles began. So I felt so lucky that I was strong enough now to be doing something active like this by myself. 

Time continued to go by and I continued to not have a care in the world. When I got to a certain point, I decided it was probably time to turn around. I started to switch directions. Difficultly #1. After multiple tries, I got the board turned around started rowing towards the house, which at this point was far, farrrrr out of sight. So I start paddling, as hard as I could but wasn’t moving too fast anymore. Oh well, I thought, no big deal. Then all of a sudden I see Michael paddling along in a kayak. “Rescuer #1” has arrived. He gets to me and instantly asks if I’m okay followed with “what the hell are you doing?” I’m baffled. Doesn’t he mean, what the hell is he doing? I’m fine. I’m having a great time. After telling him he can leave because I’m good on my own, he decides to stay and kayak next to me as I try to adventure back. So I go a few minutes passing a house with a family sitting on their deck. Tired, I decide to pause to take a break. As I stop, I realize I am FLYING backward; right pass the family I just passed a few minutes ago. Uh oh. Difficultly #2. So Mike says, you need help? Nope, I say. I’ve still got this. So I start paddling again and as the wind picks up, I begin to realize that I’m going at a rate of  about 1 inch a minute. Gotta change my strategy. So I sit on my board and decide that’ll help the situation. No such luck. Now Mike starts insisting that I let him help. So, begrudgingly, I say okay and we tie my paddle board to his kayak and it’s decided that he’s going to try to tow me back. Difficultly #3. I’m determined to pull my own weight so I try paddling while he is as well. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Next I decide I’m going to get in the water behind the paddle board and start kicking as I hold onto the board so he doesn’t have my weight to pull along. Difficulty #4. As that’s failing miserably, I let go of the paddle board and decide I’m just going to swim back. It takes a few minutes for him to notice that I’m swimming alongside but once he does, that doesn’t go over well. Difficultly #5. We then start arguing as he’s convinced that it’s going to either take hours for me to get back to the house, I’m going to drowned trying or at the very least “puke blood.” So as the words “my parents paid for 13 years of swimming lessons for a reason, I AM FINEEEEE” 🏊🏽 are being screamed out of my mouth, “Rescuer #2” comes up in his kayak. We’ve now both been gone for so long, everyone at the house is beginning to seriously worry. I then tell our friend Nate that I’m just swimming back and he gives me a definitive “that’s not going to work.” It’s now decided that I’m going to get in his kayak and he’s going to be able to paddle board back. So we pull over, I eat shit as I attempt to get in the kayak and then am finally successful the second try. Then, finally, all three of us find ourselves rowing back into our dock. Mission complete. 

After a while of explaining myself and apologizing, I went to an upstairs deck and laid on a hammock overlooking the lake and laughed to myself at the debauchery that had just ensued. But as I was chuckling to myself about what a disaster my original peaceful paddle boarding adventure had turned into, I also thought about how I did end up truly needing help. When Mike first arrived, I was annoyed to be honest. I felt like he was overreacting and not trusting me enough to understand that I am able to take care of myself. I was so determined to prove him wrong, and to show that I could do this on my own, we wasted a lot of time, attempting different ways that we could make it back, ways that ultimately didn’t work and made me more tired than I already was becoming. I tend to do this, in an effort to prove that I’m not weak, I over exert myself and don’t take the help when I actually need it. I’ve learned in the past year, that it’s so important to take help. Everyone needs help, we’re individuals but we can only survive by being dependent on first ourselves but then others too. I forget this often, as I did yesterday, but it was a good lesson to learn (once again) that sometimes you have to put aside your pride and just say yes when those that love you are trying to help you. That sometimes, taking the help can be the strongest thing you can do, not the weakest.

Moral of the story: be conscious of the currents. If you’re cruising down a lake the first time you’ve ever paddle boarded, instead of thinking “I’m Queen👑 of the paddle board🏄🏻,” you might wanna think, “the wind could be helping me and I may be screwed when I turn around.” Note to self: be more humble. 🙏🏼

Happy weekend friends.

Lots of love & light, 

Jessy 

  

Glorious Life

I did something stupid today. I clicked and clicked and clicked through old pictures on Facebook. One by one I went further and further back in time. It was like sinking into a hole. A hole of memories of fun times, times with my family and friends and even coworkers that I want back so bad. Looking back at these pictures make me smile because I’ve had such an amazing life but they bring me down as well because I miss that life so much. Mike and I used to always say we have such a “glorious life.” After fun weekends and things we’d do together, we’d always look at each other and say “ughh glorious life, glorious life!” Today when I was scrolling through the pictures, I realized we haven’t said that in a long time. And that, that made me sad.

I haven’t written a post in a week and that’s because I’ve honestly been busy! My amazing mother has taken time off of work to be with me during the days. She did it for two reasons, one being that I’m connected to a feeding tube for 14 hours at night and I need help getting disconnected in the morning. Second and honestly more important is to just be with me during the day so that I don’t have to be by myself all day, everyday. I was trying to make it work but spending all day by yourself is draining and depressing so having her here has made a huge difference. We’ve gone apple picking, painted our nails, visited with my niece, done some shopping, baked breads, gone for long walks and this morning we even went to a fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue (boy were we rubbing elbows with the other half!). I’m so lucky that she’s able to do this for me.
Keeping busy when I can and having my mom with me has made my days so much better. They go by faster and I’m happier getting to interact with people and getting to spend so much quality time with my mom. But our “glorious life” still feels like it’s on pause right now which is hard. There’s an empty, bland sort of feeling you get inside when you don’t feel like you’re living your life to the fullest of potential. In reality, I know that I’m not “not living life to the fullest of potential” (because God knows i’m trying) but sometimes it feels like that when I’m stuck at home or sitting in the waiting room of the hospital (which is 75% of the visits). There’s just so much time waiting, sitting, resting, that my mind begins to wander off to what my life was or used to be. But as my mom reminded me today, I’ll get it back. It’ll never be the same but maybe it’ll be better. I’m going to keep on fighting, with the help of my family and friends, until saying “glorious life” is back into my repertoire of weekly phrases.
XOXO,
Jessy
here’s my crazy but incredible mother. aka Mom-cologist!
photo-55

Last Chance to Help Me Raise Funds to Put an End to Cancer

Less than a week until the 2014 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk. I signed up to complete the 5 mile course with many of my family and friends. It’s a cause that is obviously extremely close to my heart as it raises funds for an organization that has literally saved my life. An organization that has gone so above and beyond in their care, it astonishes me everyday and I am forever grateful. In addition to helping fund the incredible Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the monies raised will also go towards groundbreaking new research and clinical trials that are necessary to finding a CURE to this horrible disease we call cancer.

Currently, I’m on day 10 here at the Brigham due to my second flare up with pancreatitis and am still unable to walk much farther than to the bathroom without needing to use my walker. My legs and stomach have swollen so much that I am weighing about 40 pounds heavier than I should. So I’m getting a bit concerned about my 5 mile adventure being less than a week away. However, I made a commitment and I am determined to follow through with that commitment. I will cross that finish line, one way or another.

So here’s what I am asking of you– please make a donation to this wonderful cause. No amount is too small because it all adds up and all makes a difference in putting an end to cancer! If you’ve already donated to my page, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I cannot tell you how much it is appreciated.

http://www.jimmyfundwalk.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1086390&supid=410333929

XOXO,

Jessy