Archives for 2014

Overcoming Fear and Worry

 Book Cover - Overcoming Fear and Worry

The good news is, we can decide whether we prefer a life of fear and worry or a life of freedom from fear and worry.

Dr. H. Norman Wright’s book, Overcoming Fear & Worry is broken up into sections that help readers understand fear and worry and how to overcome both. It is an easy-reading book that offers practical ways to challenge and lift readers out of unhealthy and defeatist ways of thinking and behaving. The author discusses the healthy and unhealthy power of fear and the negative impact of worry, including how we view and relate to both, and what we allow or disallow.

The book addresses the causes and effects of fear, and helps readers to take inventory and assess the role allowed and assigned to it. This underscores the importance of how we relate to fear and worry in regard to decision-making and the impact in both pivotal and everyday decisions in our lives.

While fear can be a negative force–debilitating, paralyzing and often the cause of a life of mediocrity, the author says, “Hope is a totally different motivating force—a positive drive. Hope is like a magnet that draws you toward your goal. Hope expands your life and brings a message of possibility and change.”

The author also speaks to the correlation of fear and perfectionism, and “taming the monster of what-ifs”. He clearly discusses our human capacity to analyze, identify and re-train our minds about the thoughts that form beliefs that we eventually act upon.

“The fear of life is actually more debilitating than the fear of death. Fear disables. Fear shortens life. Fear cripples our relationships with others. Fear blocks our relationship with God.”

Readers will learn how the roles of physiology, genetics/biochemistry and personality relate to fear and worry; and, how real or imagined fears and worry play a part in our emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.

The book offers practical advice on how to rearrange destructive “what if” scenarios into potential for positive outcome “what if” scenarios; and replacement thoughts and statements. All meant to help re-align a person’s thinking with reality, logic and/or real possibility.

Unhealthy fears and worry starve our potential and strangulate our freedom keeping us from living our best lives. Learn how to break patterns of fear and worry and re-focus on solutions versus problems from a biblical perspective.

This book is ideal for individuals seeking freedom from the burdens created by fear and worry and as a tool for use in a group study/discussion. It would also work well as a guide or supplement for counseling situations.

About the Author

Dr. H. Norman Wright is a grief and trauma therapist and a licensed marriage, family and child therapist. He has been on the faculty of Biola University and Talbot School of Theology, where he has taught graduate students in counseling and psychology for four decades. He has authored more than 80 books including Experiencing Grief and Recovering from the Losses in Life. 

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this book.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Deeply Hidden Memories

Many deeply hidden memories have come flooding back. The important message here though is that it is possible to heal and survive. Everyone has survived their own kind of emotional or mental trauma. We all have our inner fears and misplaced feelings of guilt. -Lynette Gould, Heart of Darkness: How I Triumphed Over a Childhood of Abuse

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Never Fear Shadows

 

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby. -Ruth E. Renkel

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Sometimes It Takes Just One

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. –Mother Teresa

There are familiar expressions floating around about the power of many. For example, “It takes a village to raise a child”, or “many hands make light work”.  Whether you agree with the first statement or not, I think it’s safe to say, we are stronger when we work together to bring about positive change. The strength may come from a greater capacity to raise funds, solve parts of a problem that you just don’t have the expertise or experience to manage on your own, or it may just strengthen you because you need an emotional support system.

Got Village?

But there are times when there is no village. You haven’t found your “tribe” to go with you. Whether it’s to help the homeless, encourage single-mothers, support widows, feed the poor, or help realize a vision that will empower your community, or simply one life. People around you seem clueless, disinterested, or maybe, just too busy to get involved on a personal level.Whatever the situation, it can feel like you are standing alone. And many times, you are. It can feel like you are in some kind of warped reality. You may wonder why people don’t see what you see, or care, or feel like you do.

So, what do you do with that? What do you do when an opportunity to make a difference in a situation or someone’s life presents itself? Do you walk away with your head down because no one would go there with you? Do you get mad (at who, and why)? Do you back peddle in your mind convincing yourself that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all, wondering, “What was I thinking?!?”

Vision for Something Versus Nothing

My good friend Nora had a saying that stuck with me. She said, “If you see the need, you have the gift”. Not that it’s technically true all of the time, but it does make you stop and think. Why do I see this, when seemingly no one else around me does, or not right now anyways? Is it possible that it’s for a reason? And, does it even matter why? Think about it, are you really going to stop because no one would “go there” with you? Does that even make sense?

Maybe you can’t do everything, but you can do something. Maybe you can’t feed or clothe or help educate a community, but you can feed or clothe or help donate to help just one person. It may be something as simple as helping widows with chores, buying diapers or formula for a single mom, giving toward one child’s education, donating a used musical instrument to a child that couldn’t otherwise afford to follow their passion for music. It can be a million things or it can be just one. It may come in the form of money, but it may just be spending time with someone that’s lonely, mentoring, encouraging, teaching, or serving—things that money can’t buy, but that make all of the difference in someone’s life. And because every single individual life makes up a community, the community becomes stronger and better because of it!

Opportunities are Invitations

You may learn about a need in your community through everyday conversation, by reading a story in the newspaper, hearing it on the local news, or from seeing it with your own eyes. You want to get involved and make a difference. Maybe you talk to a friend or two, but they’re not really interested, or they don’t think it’s their “problem”. Maybe you share with a group you’re involved with hoping they’ll see the need like you do and get on board, but they don’t. They may have other pressing projects, or their priorities might not match yours.

Again, what do you do with that?  So, here’s what I want you to think about: if we take our focus off of the “that” (the issue or need) and re-focus on the “you” in the question, it changes how we view it. Imagine the need and imagine the question posed this way: What are YOU going to do with that? Instead of just seeing the issue or need as a problem, it transforms it into an opportunity. Opportunities are invitations. Personal invitations with your name written on them, because you are the one who saw and was moved by the need. This is an opportunity for YOU. Are you going to accept the invitation?

Power of One

Go there anyways. Go alone if you must.  But go with confidence, and a smile in your heart knowing that you saw a need and you did something to make a difference in another person’s life.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Are You In?

God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house.

God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both of their lives.

God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war.

God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and

God is with us if we are with them.

Bono, Lead Singer, U2

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Making the Most of Our Moments

 

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank

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International Women’s Day 2014: “Inspiring Change”

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY is a day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future with participants and advocates around the globe. Each year the United Nations declares an annual theme. The theme for International Women’s Day 2014 is “Inspiring Change”. View themes for previous years.

The vast array of communication channels, supportive spokespeople, equality research, campaigns and corporate responsibility initiatives means everyone can be an advocate inspiring change for women’s advancement. -International Women’s Day

It is a day we are challenged to make a difference by “thinking globally and acting locally.” Thousands of events are held annually on March 8th to inspire, challenge, and celebrate the achievements of women around the world. Whether they are business or government-related, social or networking events, the world stops to take notice of the progress and impact of women in and on our societies. Other events will focus on uplifting, inspiring, or commemorating women through the telling of history, by serving us through education, or through a variety of artistic presentations. Whatever form it takes, and wherever we are individually, we will celebrate the achievements, advancements, and value of women, with a combined voice.

For a brief history and timeline of International Women’s Day, visit InternationalWomensDay.com.

What does the 2014 International Women’s Day theme “Inspiring Change” mean for you personally?

Follow the conversation on Twitter at Women’s Day 2014 and use hashtags #womensday and #IWD2014.

Related Reading:

International Women’s Day 2013: You’ve Come a Long Way Baby… But We’re Not Done Yet!

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Going “Pink” for Twitter Art Exhibit 2014

Pink 2 by April McCallum

When I learned about the call for artists to participate in the Twitter Art Exhibit 2014, I decided to open my creative toolbox and start creating!

So, What’s the big idea? Well, it is a big idea, but it’s also a lot of little ideas that come together to form something quite powerful. Twitter Art Exhibit uses social media and public engagement to generate income for charities and nonprofit organizations. Artists from around the globe donate postcard-sized, handmade original artwork to help raise funds for a cause. Everyone from the artists to the organizers volunteer their time and talents, and 100% of the proceeds go to benefit the charity of choice. (Twitter Art Exhibit 2014 recipient: Special Needs Classes: The Contemporary Dance Center, Orlando, Florida).

"Pink Love 2" @AprilCartoons, April McCallum Designs

“Pink Love 2” @AprilCartoons, April McCallum Designs, Twitter Art Exhibit

I’ve long been a champion of marrying art with causes because I believe visuals can leave an impression that words alone cannot. Apart from my regular cartoons and illustrations, I also create collections of advocacy art, including Breast Cancer Awareness themes. My postcard-sized art contribution is titled: “Pink Love 2”. In keeping with my typical style, it incorporates simple clean lines, hot colors, design elements, and lots of white space. It also presents a “picassoesque” body image that is open to interpretation as breast cancer is such a personal journey and unique to every woman.

Every 74 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer. -Susan G. Komen

Twitter Art Exhibit founder and artist, David Sandum understands that the positive and influential power of social media, art, and collaboration to communicate and evoke action can make a unique and tangible difference in the world. Learn more: Twitter Art Exhibit 2014: Creating Art for Good.

Twitter Art Exhibit, Pink Inspiration

Inspiration for #TwitterArtExhibit

In keeping with the social media emphasis, check out my Twitter Art Exhibit board on Pinterest for a sneak peek at some of the creative energy generated by this event! Or, my Pink Passion for Life board on Pinterest. You can also join me on Twitter @AprilCartoons where I tweet about creativity, communications, branding, and innovation; or visit my online shop for breast cancer awareness.

A big thank you to artists David Sandum for championing humanity and the arts through social entrepreneurialism, Robin Maria Pedrero for curating the 2014 event, and fellow board organizers. Follow them on Twitter at @DavidSandum, @robinpedrero, @Twitrartexhibit using hashtag #TwitterArtExhibit, and on Facebook.

Stamp Sample

Sealed with a Kiss! #TwitterArtExhibit

The exhibit will take place on March 20th 2014 at the CityArts Factory in Orlando, Florida. Artwork will be displayed through April 11th, 2014 and open to online sales to the public after opening night.

And with that, I send off my little piece of artwork, along with other artists from around the globe, and seal it with a kiss (for a good cause). With art, we can change the world!

 

 

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure Founder an Ambassador for Life

Nancy G. Brinker, Founder & CEO Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer and lost her life to it.  Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. Because of her love for her sister, her own tenacity, and a promise, she is fighting breast cancer and winning. That promise translated into the Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since its inception in 1982. Her legacy is a testament to Living on Purpose and promoting life.

It’s amazing how one decision can change the course of a person’s life (and legacy) forever. In 2008, Nancy G. Brinker was honored as one of the ”100 Most Influential People” by TIME magazine. Among numerous other achievements, she has been awarded the Forbes Trailblazer Award, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century, Biography Magazine’s 25 Most Powerful Women in America, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control for the U.N.’s World Health Organization, and the list goes on.

Since its inception, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, has become the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all, and energize science to find cures. They are also the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

Nancy reflects:

“Suzy and I talked many times about the conditions of the waiting rooms and how people felt, the lack of research, the lack of knowledge and empowerment — everything that happened along the way.”

She remembers the conversations and feelings about the process and experience breast cancer patients were saddled with, from spending long hours in waiting rooms with uncomfortable chairs and empty walls–as if the swirls of sickness, exhaustion and fear weren’t already enough to bare, to a lack of information and programs with a personal touch for victims, survivors and their loved ones. She quotes Susan as saying: “As soon as I get better, let’s do something about this.  You can find a way to speed up the research. I know you can. And I want to fix up this waiting room and make it pretty for the women who have to be here.  This isn’t right.”

Sadly, her sister didn’t get better. After nine operations, three courses of chemo and radiation, she lost her 3-year battle with cancer. But Nancy Brinker never forgot. Before the luxury of internet and social networking, she stood determined, undaunted and full of vision.  Enter: A Dream.

“I had a dream in which I saw a lot of people — a lot of fierce, but attractive, healthy women running. They were running, and they were in pink. Pink was my sister’s favorite color. I said to myself, “What we have here is a race. This mission we are on is a race for the cure.” Now we are the largest grassroots breast cancer organization in the world.”

Against multiple odds and uncharted territory, she followed her dream, her destiny–and began living her life on purpose. The outcome?  Her work, through creative advocacy and the promotion of life through legal and social networks, has saved and impacted millions of lives around the globe. Read Nancy’s powerful book, “Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer.”

There was a point when Nancy wrestled with how she could positively impact the lives and experiences of other women struggling with breast cancer, and those who surrounded them. She wanted her sister to know how special she was and that she’d always be in her heart. She posed the question to herself that so many of us do:

“Could one person really make a difference?”

She is quoted as saying that her father often said: “It’s not that people fail because they have bad ideas. It is that they quit.”  How grateful women and people around the globe are, that Nancy Brinker didn’t quit.  She proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that yes, one person really can make a difference!  How proud her sister, Susan G. Komen, would be of her, and to know her sister kept her promise.

Get Educated. It’s Free!  Get outreach materials, learn how to be a good support system for someone who has breast cancer, participate in a fundraising event, about breast self-awareness, and questions to ask your doctor, facts and information, and more.

PinkPassion for Life™–”Raising Eyebrows & Making Memorable Impressions for Breast Cancer™” is a Collection of Advocacy Art by April McCallum designed as a creative way to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. Shop Online.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Twitter Art Exhibit 2014: Creating Art for Good

Twitter Art Exhibit 2014, Orlando, FL

Who says good things don’t come in small packages? On March 20th, hundreds of artists from around the globe will display an original handmade postcard-sized piece of art at Twitter Art Exhibit. This year’s event will take place at the CityArts Factory, Magic Gallery in Orlando, Florida, and will benefit The Center for Contemporary Dance.

Twitter Art Exhibit is the brainchild of artist and founder, David Sandum. This social media driven fundraiser attracts professional and amateur artists alike who share the same goal: to create art for good. The call for participation has been answered by artists from as many as 35 countries thus far. Each unique piece of artwork is displayed and sold for $35 with 100% of the proceeds from art sales going directly to the chosen charity.

In its first year, Twitter Art Exhibit proceeds went to procuring new children’s books for a struggling library in Moss, Norway. It has also raised funds for an organization mentoring underprivileged young adults in preparation for careers in the visual arts in Los Angeles; and, a shelter for abused women. Learn More.

This year’s Twitter Art Exhibit will benefit special needs students at The Center for Contemporary Dance, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to dance education and outreach. The special needs classes offer a series of specialty dance classes for students with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cerebral palsy, including those requiring use of a wheelchair.

What do these artists have in common? Not necessarily their style, artistic portfolios, or even taste. What they do have in common, is a generous spirit and a desire to share just a little piece of their own heart, talents, and imaginations for the sake of a worthy cause. Collectively, that means a rewarding (and memorable) experience for the artists, those who purchase their art, and most importantly, the recipients.

Though some of the artists will attend the event in person, most will celebrate the camaraderie of their new-found creative tribesmen (and women), and the audience reach beyond the borders of their paint palettes and ink jars, as they co-participate in enriching and empowering the lives of others. In that sense, it is a global event with a virtual artist connection.

Exhibit Founder, David Sandum, says: “I love art and people and my whole philosophy behind my work is to transmit my feelings to others so it triggers dialogue.”  Like music, one of the most wonderful things about art is that it crosses boundary lines. We don’t need to speak the same language, be from the same generation, class, or even political persuasion for it to evoke emotions, challenge, or inspire us. Without boundaries, communication is not an obstacle. Like the artist’s paint or ink, dialogue, ideas, thoughts, and emotions can flow freely, purposefully.

Good things do come in small packages. How delightful it is to scroll through such a variety of art—each with its own unique back story and creator–with the understanding that these little treasures will make a real difference in someone’s life. It’s the power of one. When it all comes together (all of the small yet individually created pieces), it can be a transformative experience. As David Sandum says, “Through art we can change the world.”

I’ll be participating, will you?

David Sandum, Artist and Founder of Twitter Art Exhibit

David Sandum, Artist and Founder of Twitter Art Exhibit

David Sandum is a Swedish-born artist who conceived Twitter Art Exhibit as a vehicle for doing good through social media and online community-building. The idea: artists around the globe receive a call through Twitter social media to create original postcard-sized art, which they mail to a local curator, who then exhibits and sells them to benefit a local charity. Follow David on Twitter at @DavidSandum and view his art online at davidsandum.org.

Learn more about the 2014 Twitter Art Exhibit, visit the Twitter Art Exhibit Facebook page, connect with Twitter Art Exhibit on Twitter, and use hashtag #TwitterArtExhibit to follow online. Last, but not least, be sure to tell a friend!

For a sneak peek, visit my Pinterest board: Twitter Art Exhibit. You can join me on Twitter @AprilCartoons where I tweet about creativity, communications, branding, and innovation, or @DestinysWomen where I tweet about Freedom and Human Rights issues.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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