Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Musical Encounters

Day 6.

Since I can't keep up with my own rules, from here on out, my "30-day challenges" will not be consecutive days.

Ah. Sigh of relief.

"Music therapy can be a profound physical, emotional and spiritual support at the end of life…"

Morbid but true, my aunt's new book, Musical Encounters with the Dying is available for pre-order on Barnes & Noble AND Amazon! My aunt, Islene Runningdeer is a music therapist in Vermont and this is her first publication with Jessica Kingsley Publishers! I'm so proud and I wish her all the success!

I found this great photo in a Google search of my little cousin paying her Meme a visit at work!

My Aunt's Bio:

Islene Runningdeer is a music therapist with the Advanced Illness Care Team at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vermont. In 2001 she convinced the Director of the Central Vermont Palliative Care and Hospice Team to allow her to demonstrate the effectiveness of music therapy with a brief pilot program. The positive results were immediately seen, and she was given a position on the clinical team. Islene also has experience as a professional pianist and music teacher. She lives in Vermont.

Book's Description:

Music therapy can be a profound physical, emotional and spiritual support at the end of life. This book looks at a wide variety of cases, explaining how music therapy can be used effectively. It highlights particular components of working with this group, such as creating a therapeutic relationship, helping patients to reach final goals, working within cultural contexts and dealing with difficult emotions, all within the parameters of the musical experience. It also explores the unique needs of people with disabilities or mental illness, and how to support the families of the dying. Therapeutic and philosophical insights related to the dying process are included. This will be a supportive and insightful guide for anyone working with people who are at the end of life, especially music therapists and other complementary therapists, caregivers, hospice workers and medical professionals.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big Diff

Day 5.

I was honored when my good friend Carolyn, who runs the blog, Stimulate Your Passion asked me to write her a reference for a position at a camp she just applied for. Granted, I was a little slower than she would have liked me to be completing it (sorry!) these are some of the things I wrote about Carolyn.

"Carolyn cares… her motivation and willingness to serve have proved her to be a prize to any program she is a part of... her enthusiasm and smile are infectious and excite people wherever she goes... she sets goals for herself and can see the "big picture"... more of today's youth need a mentor like Carolyn, who can help them see the positive side of life and help them, help themselves to make a better difference in their future."

- Closer To Colin

I love people who love people. We can make a big difference if we all help someone out.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Walk Beside Me

Day 4.

“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” 

-Albert Camus

Lots of good relationships come to an end this week. During such a busy week of deadlines, it's hard to balance the fostering of relationships with volunteers with the amount of work that still needs to just get done on these homes.

We wouldn't have been able to get these houses to where they are right now without our Collegiate Challenge teams from New Jersey and here in PDX. They volunteered all week, really rocked it and knew how to be amazing.

And we especially would not have been able to do what our current NCCC team did for us in the past 6 weeks. Violet, Nicole, Andrew, Melissa, Jasper, Dani and Emily, I appreciate you all. Thank You. Have fun in Fort Brag and wherever else your 15 passenger van takes you.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Get It Done

Day 3.

"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding make more art."

- Andy Warhol

All of my art supplies are in a box at my parent's house in Massachusetts, although it only take a few magazines to make a killer collage.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Run With It

Day 2.

"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only time over which you have any control: now."
-Denis Waitley

This is what I was trying to get at last night. Follow your gut. Set a goal. Take the steps. And run with it.

ps. I'm following my gut and I've decided to chose Argentina as my destination for my first Habitat Global Village Trip.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Imaginary Country

Day 1.

“Most of us, I suppose, have a secret country but for most of us it is only an imaginary country. Edmund and Lucy were luckier than other people in that respect.” 
- C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

During our normal routines, when the day gets dull and you imagine yourself in your own imaginary country, where do you seek mental refuge? My mind is always churning what my next step will be, my next goal, my next adventure or short-term commitment. It ends up taking over my mind as a bad habit.

I've always had a lot of ideas and I spent too long reorganizing merchandise on shelves imagining my good elsewhere. As a second year AmeriCorps member, I'm constantly learning how to create a bigger change. Even though the program looses funding each year, I continue to express my gratitude for it's existence during AmeriCorps Week and beyond.

Since I love how 30 day challenges encourage self awareness and remind me to appreciate the little things, I'm starting a new 30 day challenge: Quote of the Day. So even though I've got "the itch," I'll listen closely to the quotes I see, monologues I hear, the words of my brand new pen-pal I read and the lyrics I sing for a kick of focus.

Monday, March 4, 2013

When Adventure Starts

"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and go do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some things happen, you will fill the world with hope and yourself with hope."

-Barack Obama

"I've spent 2 days staring at my computer screen." - A Closer To Colin original.

Saturday's mark the end of my work week so theoretically, they are my "Friday's." This Saturday, I skipped Happy Hour, went home, showered, crawled into bed with my laptop and watch documentaries on Myanmar, the country in Southeast Asia formally known as Burma. It's West of Thailand and lots of our Habitat homeowners are Burmese. My relaxing night of Service Learning just sort of happened and it all felt so right.

I was choosing a 3rd film when Netflix suggested "180° South." A film following athletically adventurous Jeff Johnson as he sails South to Patagonia after being inspired by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkin's road trip in 1968.

Yvon, the founder of Patagonia clothing and Doug, he co-founder of The North Face are both really cool, outdoorsy, business-dudes who have been super successful with all they've achieved and they reminded me that I am capable of doing what ever I want to do.

Travel. Serve. Mentor. Share. Motivate. Laugh. Change. Grow.

Said best,

"The best way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the service of others."

-Mahatma Gandhi

So, I spent two days watching documentaries and researching life-options on the internet.

I started overhauling my AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader application. My preference is the Atlantic Region, soon to be located in Baltimore, MD.

I applied for a Habitat for Humanity Global Village Trip. My preferences were primarily South America.

Greenheart Travel has a language immersion program in Argentina. I could learn spanish while living in Argentina for 8 weeks!

I want to mentor youth and maybe adopt a child in the future.

I gave a homeless man in Portland a dollar because he made me laugh, why can't I see Patagonia too? I want to live my life without reservation.

"Miss no opportunity of making some small sacrifice. Here, by a smiling look. There by a kindly word. ALways doing the smallest right and doing it all for love."

-Therese de Lisieux

Half of my sprouting ideas may not grow but that's okay, as long as my positive ideas germinate, I will continue to change someone's world. Wondering where all my plans are coming from, I've spent 2 months reflecting on past relationships, current "angels of the day," dreaming of future goals and realizing my dreams are growing faster than I can write them down. I'm not shooting for mediocre goals. I'm aiming for what I am most passionate about.

On the phone with an East Coast friend tonight, she asked if my 2 years in AmeriCorps have made me "adventurous."

I have always been adventurous in my own way. AmeriCorps just gave me a push of confidence and courage to jump.

"The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that's when adventure starts."

-Yvon Chounard