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Home » Everyday Stuff » Recent Articles:

Today the Supreme Court got it right … finally! Enjoy with some Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – SAME LOVE feat. Mary Lambert. These lyrics , this video …it says it all.

Project Unbreakable

Follow Grace on her journey to share our stories on her Tumblr

How Kids Are Playing With Something Far More Dangerous Than Guns Every Day At School

I found this on Upworthy.com posted earlier today by Carolyn Silveira.

Jamie Oliver explains what America’s diet is doing to our children, and if you think it’s just at home you really need to watch this.

I remember watching this a couple years ago and thinking surely this will be taken seriously and changes will be made!  Well I haven’t seen many real changes and we better wake up, it’s not going to fix itself!

 

Today I stumbled across this incredible video put together by CJ Hobgood the pro surfer and his new sponsor for the 2012 season, TWLOHA. Titled “Hope goes Surfing” It inspires us to follow along and spread this message of hope … Aloha!

“With TWLOHA, we’re trying to do something that feels really different and really important. I’m taking a chance on them and they’re taking a chance on me, but it’s because we believe we have the chance to build something pretty special.”
– CJ Hobgood

What do we do about bullying?

So much has happened the last couple months, and I haven’t posted a thing about the bullying incidents and subsequent suicides that have been all over the news. At first I was just stunned by sheer amount of hatred and viciousness, and as the mothers of the teenagers that took their own lives, stood up and spoke out, I just watched them as my own heart ached with their unbelievable pain. When celebrities like Ellen and Oprah, my idols, used their shows and their influence to get the word out, I felt I couldn’t have possibly said anything better or made more of an impact than they did. Star after star stood up and shared their personal experiences, their stories hopefully touching someone who felt isolated, misunderstood and alone.

All the while I kept thinking in the back of my mind, where are these bullies parents? Who are these children and young adults that seem to be so lacking in compassion and why are they so cruel and judgmental? We’re they raised by bigots and racists? Are they really so self centered and self righteous that they think they have a right to treat anyone who is different than them so callously?

The answers aren’t easy ones.

I realized as I sat watching a playground full of 6 and 7 year old’s, that it starts way younger than I first thought possible. My 6 year old son was accused of bullying a little girl in his class recently and while my first instinct was to jump to his defense and yell at the top of my lungs “He’s just a little boy!” I had to stop and take a long hard look at where he learned the behavior he was exhibiting. Had we snapped at each other in front of him when things weren’t going well and the day was an especially difficult one? Did we spank him when we should have talked it out? Did we loose our tempers in front of him instead of digging down deep for just one more ounce of patience? Were we disrespectful of others and bullyish in our treatment of each other?

Anger, disappointment and cruelty aren’t new to our kids by the time they reach adolescence, and if they aren’t taught skills to cope with these things, they act out in inappropriate ways, commit acts we never would have imagined they were capable of. Acts born of frustration, jealousy and self loathing and they just keep escalating until they are out of control, behaviors that result in someone being singled out for the brunt of their anger. They watch us so closely, they see our over-the-top reactions to every day situations, they over hear our unguarded conversations and they store this information subconsciously and then later lash out at a child who is quieter, more self conscious, someone who is perceived to be weaker or different.

We can all share the blame for the lack of empathy our children show one another, after all we are the ones that are too busy or too wrapped up in our own lives to take the time to be gentle and speak to others with kindness . We can all share the blame for the careless way we speak to each other, the examples we show of complete disregard for another’s feelings or their situation. Just as we can share the blame, we can also share in the responsibility of educating each other. Take responsibility for making sure our children grow up with respect for themselves and others they come in contact with. Teach them how to show a little kindness in their every day lives, show them by setting the example yourself, don’t think they are going to learn it on their own, or at school. Teach them by living your life with purposeful intent, include someone that has been left out, give of your time and yourself to someone less fortunate, speak carefully and choose your words well, care about each others well being no matter what each others differences are. Teach them the definition of Integrity as I learned it from my father. “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.”

Please check out this link to Ellen’s page United Against Bullying for information and videos from a multitude of stars, who are actually just regular people sharing their stories and sending the message of tolerance and understanding.

A postcard to PostSecret starts a small movement to save a life

PostSecret.com has become a phenomenon of sorts over the last few years.  Thousand’s of people have sent in their secrets anonymously to Frank Warren since he started this amazing postcard-art project over 5 years ago.  Heartfelt postcards full of love and sadness, hope and misery have been delivered to his doorstep in Maryland every day, and each Sunday Frank chooses a handful and posts them on his website.

A couple weeks ago one such postcard sent in for Frank to post was from someone in San Francisco, someone who felt that life wasn’t worth living anymore, someone who didn’t feel wanted or loved or needed.  Someone who just so happens to be in this country illegally and felt unworthy, they felt that the only thing left for them was to jump from the Golden Gate bridge.

Most people would have looked over the postcards that Frank put up and then moved on with their lives.  Not Katelyn Roberts. Katelyn lives in San Francisco and couldn’t imagine not doing anything, she couldn’t imagine not trying to help, she couldn’t sit by and not try to make a difference. She turned to Facebook and made a page and named it simply “please don’t jump” . Before long there were hundreds of visitors and thousands voicing their support by becoming members of the page.  Katelyn and a handful of dedicated members decided upon a beautiful day in June to meet on the Golden Gate bridge to show their love and support for all the nameless people who think they need to end their lives.

Below is the video that Katelyn made that spectacular day in June. The day that everyone forgot about themselves and the trivial things going on in their own lives and gathered together with love in their hearts for a perfect stranger.

Thank you Katelyn, it’s people like you that really make a difference.

The name of the song is called “Song for You” by Alexi Murdoch. I don’t think a more perfect song could have been chosen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9bKeBCBxKs

Another video that Katelyn put together shows the outpouring of love and concern for the person that sent in that postcard, people from around the world.  Where ever you are, when you feel the most alone, know that your life matters, that people really do care …

please dont jump.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAk5RjcumY4&NR=1

AFSP Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk

This weekend June 26th and 27th  is the annual AFSP Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk for suicide prevention in Boston. From dusk till dawn, people will gather and join together to try and heal a little of their heartbreak and discuss the issues of depression and suicide prevention.  There are thousands of people participating in the midnight walk again this year and most of them have their own stories of heartbreak.

One such story is shared with us by Brenda Adkins. “Ten years ago, if anyone had told me that Jason wouldn’t still be telling me, “Your TOES, Mom…. run on your TOES!” while Rick laughed and said, “Mom’s not gonna listen to us!”, I would have wondered if they came from another planet. The thought of my children dying, of them ending their own lives, simply didn’t exist. Who’s Who, too many Honor Societies to name, lifeguards, paramedics, athletes…. young men with brilliant futures. Suicide? Not my kids.”

Yet it happened. May 7, 2000, Jason ended his life. August 16, 2002, his twin Rick joined him.

Although my life has been touched by suicide, too many times,  it is almost impossible to imagine the pain Brenda Adkins has been through. Reading the stories of her twin son’s Jason and Rick’s lives…. both so young, accomplished, full of life, with huge plans for their future, makes it almost unimaginable they could take their own lives.

It happens every day. Every single day someone wakes up and thinks they are not enough. That things won’t get better, that life is just too difficult, that no one will understand.  Every single day someone will miss the signs that a loved one is more than just a “little depressed.”

Today if you can spare the time, please read Brenda Adkins story of love and loss here.  And if you can spare just a few dollars, pledge it to Brenda on her overnight walk in Boston this weekend, the link to her AFSP Overnight Walk pledge page is here.

My love and thoughts will be with all of you participating, but as one Mother to another, it is especially with Brenda.

IMAlive Benfit Update

A huge thank you to all of you who made this IMAlive benefit of PS~WeLoveYou’s such an astounding success!  I was blown away by all of the fantastic performances and how generous all of you were to donate your talent, your time, and your Lindens! At the end of the 2 full days,  all of you had helped to raise over 100,000 lindens for this great cause!

This was our 2nd benefit for the upcoming launch of the IMAlive online crisis network, brought to you this summer by TWLOHA , 1-800-Suicide and PostSecret.  Many of you asked when it was all going to be up and running and also how you can volunteer.  As you can imagine, this is a huge undertaking, and one that has to be carefully put together to best serve the huge need for suicide prevention online.  If you too want to donate your time, check out the volunteer information at www.IMAlive.org

The first benefit we had back in February, I didn’t get ANY pictures of, however there were 2 great machinimas done that day, one by the very talented badger, Escape Unplugged of Skye Galaxy singing “Because I Have a Secret” that you can view by clicking here. The 2nd was an interview with me done by the amazing Kittie Serendipity and you can watch it by clicking here.

This time around I did manage to take a couple pictures … I’m hoping to start a new fashion craze in SecondLife, BADger hats!  I think they will sell … don’t you?

Even though you could cut the lag with a virtual knife, I managed to get one picture of Skye Galaxy a.k.a. Sean Ryan in the un virtual world, singing beautiful as always and speaking with the crowd.

The only other picture I managed to take was the last band to play on Tuesday, a group called The Follow out of Texas. These guys really know how to rock a crowd and get people up on their feet!

So there is the big update on the two days events, like I said before, it was a success only because of the absolute generous spirit of  all the people I’ve met in SecondLife. Thank you for caring and sharing and just being there !

Happy Mother’s Day


This Mother’s Day has me feeling incredibly sad, I miss my Mother so much that my heart actually aches for her. This is my first year without my Mom, she died shortly after Mothers Day last year. It’s not that I don’t have a lot of reasons to be happy, I have 5 healthy kids of my own, 4 grandchildren and at least 3 daughters I have adopted over the last few years. But my Mom and I won’t be sitting in the garden today, sharing laughs and a glass of wine, or making dinner and and mumbling about the noise level as the kids whip in and out of the kitchen.

I wrote a piece called Things My Mother Taught Me over on my personal blog “If It Wasn’t This…”, click here to read the entire post.  It’s just a partial list, but it seems like the important things, the things she lived her life by and tried to instill in us as children.

As some of you may know, I recently passed my courses with the QPR Institute to become a certified suicide prevention specialist for the upcoming online support network IMAlive, being launched this year by TWLOHA , The Kristin Brooks Foundation 1-800-Suicide and PostSecret.  I am really proud to have been chosen to take part in their beta testing and training and look forward to the launch later this summer.

About 5 years back, when I started my first suicide prevention site, I called it Post Me A Secret and asked people to send in their secrets by email and I would post them with a picture I thought went with their secret or with a picture they sent.  At the time I had never seen PostSecret and had no idea that people all over the country were mailing Frank postcards that he was publishing online every Sunday. Even though I was referring people daily to 1-800-suicide from my site, the secrets got to be overwhelming and I realized I was just a couple words away from infringing on someone else’s copyright and website, I canceled my site, and continued to follow his.   Today he has posted the postcards that are all Mom related, and as always they are very thought provoking and touching, click here to visit the site and and see the Mother’s Day postcards that people have sent in.

It’s funny how things end up coming around full circle like this … Now I actually have a chance to work with the 3 groups I have admired most in the suicide prevention world.

So…. a Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  A really big hug to those of you that have lost your Mom like I have and whose hearts are hurting like mine!

Kim

P.S. ~ We Love You

Dear Shelby

It’s been 5 years now since you’ve been gone, it is hard to believe so much time has past so quickly… and at the same time it feels like it stood silently by… holding its breath, waiting to see if it was alright to creep past…

Last night you would have become a Grandma for the first time …our little Ashlee had a baby girl, a perfect tiny baby girl that she is already in love with. The babies father Rob adores both Ashlee and his new daughter Krystina …and excited expectant Auntie Kristina was there holding her hand through each contraction. You would be so proud of your girls honey,  they have struggled and grown in to incredibly beautiful young women despite all the sadness and heartache and unanswered questions.

I wish you were here, I wish you could have seen another way …

PS~We Love You joins IMAlive

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Raising awareness about teen suicide