Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mental-Health Advocate - Adam

The next Inspiring Warrior on my list is a man I have continuously been impressed by, through his strength and determination and for his desire to help others in their darkest moments.  He has been a bright spot for many different people and I have loved to read about how he has changed their lives and made our world that much better just by being him.

Cheers to Adam and all that he contributes to this beautiful planet.

1.  If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?

Definitely Bran Flakes, so nobody would eat me.


2.  What is your perception of the world?

I think we have a lot of potential as a species; potential that's being hindered by out insistence to    value tradition and superstition over science and humanity.

3.  If you could rewrite a part of your history, would you?  Why?

I would rewrite the genocide of the American Indians.  I am a registered native myself (although only a quarter), but the more I learn about the atrocities committed by people we still revere as "heroes", the less proud I am to be an American.

4.  If you were the one survivor of a plane crash, on a tropical island, what would you do first?

Immediately start looking for fresh water!

5.  If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your teenage self?

I've thought about this a lot, actually.  I would tell myself to start college directly after high school, and bust through it before getting married.

6.  What are you doing in your life to influence the world and/or community?

I do a lot of work in mental-health advocacy.  It's still so misunderstood, and I aim to help in the fight to stamp out stigma.

7.  What would you pick for your last meal on this Earth?

Definitely the buffet at Tucanos.  I really miss that place :(

8.  What is your biggest fear?

Losing one of my children.  No questions asked.

9.  What do you think cats dream about?

I think cats are narcissists, so I guess they probably dream about how wonderful they are.

10.  Who do you admire and why?

Definitely my mom.  She raised 6 kids by herself with next to no money.  Somehow she managed to do this while spending quality time with us and creating a lifetime of memories.  I would be nothing without my mom.

11.  If you could change one thing and one thing only about the people of this world, what would it be?

I would change how inherently stubborn humanity is.

12.  Without naming the actual cookie, describe to us the cookie you love the most?

It has a crisp outer shell with a gooey middle, filled chocolate chips and almonds.

13.  We are always making choices.  Are you choosing for your story or someone else's?

I think it's a combination of both.  Maybe I'm trying too hard to align the story of those closest to me, especially my kids.

14.  You win the jackpot.  One hundred million dollars.  What would be the first three things you would do with this money?

Buy my mom a house.  Pay off all debt.  Hire a top-rated financial advisor.

15.  What are six words the describe you the best?

Impulsive.  Creative.  Loving.  Impatient.  Interested.  Depressed.

16.  What drives you to be better than you were yesterday?

Knowing I may not be around tomorrow.

17.  Where do you find peace in the hectic world we live in?

I find peace in the bedroom of my kids at night as we read stories.  It's a really nice way to escape all the insanity.

18.  What does success mean to you?

It used to mean making money, but now I look at success in terms of finding value and meaning in life, and chasing whatever is that constitutes those things.

19.  When was the last time you laughed so hard it hurt?  Do you remember why you laughed so hard and if so, can you describe that moment?  If you cannot remember why, can you describe the feeling?

There is nothing better than that feeling of your sides splitting and your head bursting during a good laugh.  I think the last time I laughed that hard was when my son (then 6) was in the bathroom of a local grocery store.  It was packed, so I was in a stall and he took one of the kids urinals.  Before I could finish he crawled underneath the door, and yelled, "Holy cow! Your wiener is huge! It looks like a giant fish!"  I tried to tell him to be quiet, knowing there were several people still in there, when suddenly he cups his hands to his mouth and says, "Attention we have an escaped fish, everyone."  I couldn't stop laughing.  My son is awesome.

20.  Where (social media, website) can others connect with you?

You can check out my website for the videos we do (and are continuing to do) for mental-health awareness at:                              

Friday, December 4, 2015

Be The Change

I have been in a rather strange place this week.  Whenever I arrive in this place, I watch.  I become that person on Facebook who just see's.  I become the lady in the store who watches the people around her, not out of fear, but out of curiosity.  If that makes sense...

My heart hurts for the mass shootings that have occurred in our world this past month.  My heart pains for the innocents who have had to endure the fear and violence that so many selfish human beings have brought to their front door.

I want to believe most people on our beautiful Earth feel the same way as I do.  I want to believe anyone I know wants this madness to end.

I have these ginormous feelings inside me right now and I have so much on my mind that I am afraid what I say will not make an ounce of sense.  Bear with my maddening speech as I sift through my thoughts.

Naturally, human beings tend to want to help one another.  Right?  I see it all over the place and it makes my soul feel connected to the rest of you nutty humans.

Take one of our current world events which has many scrambling to create a safe haven for the Syrian refugees.  I have listened to arguments on both sides about the refugees.  Take them in... Save them... Help them out... Turn them away... Don't trust them... It isn't our problem.

Ughhhhh... I hate it when others say it is not our problem.  Of course it is our problem.  We are all in this together.  Look around you... none of us our getting out of this life alive, so we might as well make this world better for everyone who comes after us.  This giant rock hurdling through space is OUR problem, including everything and everyone on it.

However, I do not completely agree with bringing in the Syrian refugees.  The biggest and most significant reason... Trojan horse anyone.  Are we really that gullible?

These terrorists are not a fucking joke.  They aren't stupid either.

I would love to help out the refugees who are truly running for their lives.  I would stand with them and I would be their ally.  However, I will be the first to turn them away if it puts my family and my friends at risk.  I love those knuckleheads too much to be outsmarted by murderers and rapists and human beings who have lost their connection with us as a whole.

Am I being unreasonable?  Maybe.

But there has to be another way.

My heart goes out to the people who are suffering through this.  I wish I knew the answers.  I wish I had a way to make this work for everyone.

That being said... what can we do?

What options do we have?

Do we really take the chance that these terrorists won't sneak in with the refugees?

Me... I have always believed human beings are innately good.  I have always believed most everyone can be saved from being a monster.  I want to believe the best in everyone I meet, but am I living in a fairy tale?  Life has proven to me that humans are greedy and selfish and although many work hard in being better, there are many more who do not care.  Seeing that proof with my own two eyes makes this situation difficult.

I am not religious.  I do not believe Jesus was my savior.  I do not believe anyone was my savior.  However, I am spiritual and I am a humanist.  I believe in treating others the way you would want to be treated AND furthermore, I believe in treating others the way THEY would want to be treated.  

Being the season of the holidays regardless of belief, it brings to the surface the idea that we as human beings have the ability to be giving... to be loving... to be connected... to be ONE.  We are all here.  We HAVE to figure out this problem together and stop relying on our corrupted governments to make the decisions for us.

Evolving our way of thinking is not only a necessity, but a priority.

WE are ONE.  We are all connected.  It is not a hard concept to wrap your mind around.  We deserve to stop fighting amongst ourselves.  We deserve to stand up and be the powerful and awesome human beings we are capable of being.

Let's celebrate our differences, instead of fight about them.  Who cares what religion, what nationality, what race, what gender, etc. a person is.  The number one thing I care about is how you treat me.  Dr. Robert Michaels says it so eloquently:

“When you leave this school and go onto bigger and better things, and your life becomes the life of an adult with adult ideas about social justice, and you have to have that inner peace — the kind of tranquility of mind where you can say, ’I don’t care if you’re black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you.’ You will find that the difference between a happy life and a life of bitterness and struggle can be as simple as that, my friends, and that is a lesson I will leave you with today.” [Robert Michaels MD – 2007 – Graduation Speaker- Name of school withheld]

My questions above are still valid questions.  I am wanting to evolve my own thinking and I am always open to intelligent discussions.  "Intelligent" being the key word.  If it drops down to being an asshole, I am no longer interested in what a person has to say.

We all have the ability to be better.  Even the assholes.

XXXX - Niki