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Encouraging Positive Solutions for Life

Leonardo DiCaprio bryan brothers

double shot of excitement, passion, music, love, giving

tom shadyac

changing the face of happiness

Sally Field a passionate voice

shauna case works to save the world


an energy of imagination, a man of many masks

OUR WORLD. OUR WORTH. FASHION WORTH BUYING, WORTH WEARING AND WORTH TALKING ABOUT. Welcome to the crossroads of fashion and passion. Welcome to the meeting point of personal style and personal values. Indigenous produces artisanmade, handcrafted pieces that respect our world and define our worth. Our use of organic fiber and our industry leading fair trade practices respect our world and help artisan communities to thrive. The precision quality of Indigenous knits and our timeless, self-expressive style create our worth. We passionately live our promise to be good to people and planet in everything we do. We’re excited to have you along as we celebrate fashion that delights those who wear it, and honors those who make it.

att M & y t Scot



welcome OUR purpose

“We are a multimedia resource for sharing stories, ideas and actions that inspire, educate, encourage and provide solutions that will result in worldwide positive change.”


While many focus on the positive, we also focus on the impact of what real action can do in the world. We are motivated by a deep need to see the beauty in all things and to share our value in a meaningful manner. We believe that focusing on the solutions instead of the problems will create a long-lasting impact. That is why it is our purpose to have a positive influence with a transformative effect. It is this transformation that will enrich our lives and influence the world.




uplifting or inspiring; + greater than

a forceful consequence; a strong effect


This magazine is a window to the world of uplifting consequence and inspiring effect. It is based on the idea that the smallest action, done with positive intent, is life-altering and, much like a raindrop, can create a ripple effect of untold proportions. Our readers share our passion for the positive and know, too, that small changes can have big results. We believe people need a place to find answers to life’s challenges and to align with others who are on a path of intentional living. We give hope where there may be little and provide resources to stimulate intelligence in an uplifting manner. Our intention is to build a community of influencers that will reach beyond their own backyard in ways previously unimagined. We bring value, caring for their inner life while demonstrating strong passion for social improvement. Just one small positive action each day would flood the world with optimism, joy and peace. It is our intent to inspire and encourage solutions for life and, along the way, be a creative influence for the world. Join us on our quest to create a powerful resource of education, inspiration and hope. Let’s give new definition to the words “positive impact” and share solutions for life.

© Arcurs

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

publisher’s note

All for you and because of you! More than a solid resource for education, articles, interviews, sharing ideas and solutions that have a long-lasting positive impact in the world. A celebration of life and living it! A passionate brand people can rely on for Positivity, Authenticity and Acceptance. I want to send a MASSIVE thank you to everyone and everything! With you I am able to provide all these amazing things going on in the world. Everyone I have ever met has added extraordinary quality to my life and encouraged me to share and create Positive Impact Magazine/brand. David & Charlie Beck, Mom & Dad, all of my Family & friends, Jen Hellman, Kurt-Anna-Sawyer Hellman, Robert, Johnny-Dustin-Zack Rokita, Richard Carlson, Debbie & Larry Raschella, all teachers, Emily Andrews, David & Victoria Giorgione, Valerie Sowell & Family, all my brothers & sisters, Michael,Christian Wolfe, Debbie Lowry, Nicole Fouche, Patrick Gleber, SHMA, Charley Johnson, Jules Burt, Georgette Austria, Lydia Buening, Rachel Amos, Abigal, Garrett & Nicole McNamara, Dick Vitale & Family, Taylor Grey, Sheryl Nickelson, Rich Tyrrell, Brian Williams, Stacey Stern, Garth Sandiford, Viarnne Mischond, Malcolm, Victoria Piloseno, Tiffany Bowers, Tracey Listle, Eva Larsson, Dawn Lacross, Ann Douglas, Jillian Bosserdet, EMU, Rick Odiossa, Laura Coulter, Aunt Barb, Chris Morasky, Don Miguel Ruiz, Kelly Michaels, Hunter Joslin, David Beck & Family, Vanessa Stella, Guru Singh, Noah, Karrie Gregson, Michelle Phillips, Lenka Imholz, Amber Thompson, Terry Torok, Matt Damon, Ron Sherman, Patricia Arquette, Carmen Mancuso, Patrick Scwhing, Chad Bathey, Alicia Dupies, Thasacorn Phothisarath, Bobby Bishop, Kathy Niblack, Suzanne & Dennis Sheaffer, Wendy Pepe, Miracles, Lindsey & Sam Shah, Michelle Doerr, Brandi Kamenar, Ryan Nece, Allison Stokes, God, Samantha Palmer, Angie Cargill, Marion Thomson, Catherine Ryan Hyde, The Sand Pearl & Family, Christine & Sean Scanlon & Family, Peifer

Photo © Bobby Bishop

Family, Fran Powers, Tony Robbins, Tim Evans, Jim Naif, Summer Pfeiffer, Lou Buccino, Grace Hasell, Ryan Koo, Amy Stigier, Amiee Moore, Tina Piccione, JDon Callcutt, Alex Nachman, Kendra Vehlk, Shannon Whiting, Dina Popper, Carolyn Puckett, Kerry Wendelburg, Carrie Fortier, Love, Nina Sperandeo, Patti Kieboom, Doug Rickies, Nancy Scheurich, Bear Barber, Keith Fulton, Randy Meistrell, Michael Tripodi, Charlie & Heather Gaudet, Lisa Hofman & Family, Joy, Dawn & Ray Sprong, Lisa Callsen, Julie Starke, Carey Car & Family, Preston & Grace Mack, Mark Morasky, Kippi & Family, Lisa Bradshaw, Eva Chang, Deb McCabe, Amy Hawk, Chuck Spezzano, Bob Nicholas, Peace, Tammy Tisher, Nancy Jean-Baptiste, Michelle Carolan, Robear, Sheryl Crutchfield, Debbie Riley, Matt & Kim Hansen, Joei Skeffingtom, Prashant Patel, Tom Kennedy, Loren Rhoads & Family, Jen Engling, Erika Halwell, Beth Hoerner, Marci Wise, Beth Nowak, Jill St. Louis, Ross Dupuis, Xander Slort, Jessica Green, Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Glenda Czaplinski, Jenn Fuddy, Susan Glazer, Darlene Chisholm, Dina Sachs, Doug Perrine, Elisa Castelli, Carlton Ward, David Kamens, David Milarch, Michele Allen, Mauren Apple & Family, Jerry & Khelly Agee, Patti-Ann Dresback, Lauda,

Joel & Lisa Fuhrman & Family, Lisa Hein, Amy Huth, Arielle Casale, Mia Kusch, Jamie & Family, Hanna Alemayehu, Carrie Cunningham, Matt Totty, Louisa Wu, Natalie Harris, Teresa Wozniak, David Bang, Hoke Family, Michael Uglialoro, Justin Stratman, Rania Dempsey, Shanna McDonald, Joanna Ravaris, Christina Manca, Brian Cunningham, Abe Puchall, Michele Bredal & Family, Jay, Fernando & Family, Patrick Scwhing, Tim Rowe, Mark Lieber, Anthony Burbidge, Amy Steanovich, Margot & Vitae Bergman, David Gandell, Diana Alexiou, Melissa Allen, Scott Sullivan, Merideth Kemper, The A-team, Wendy Kindelspire, Derick & Malio, Wendy Delgado, Amy Knightly, Kiaralinda & Todd, Maggie McClellan, Tim Wilkins, Teri Sullivan, Natasha Ashwe, Dave Sackerson, LindaJoy, Shawn & Judy Bray, Paula Schroeder, The Roosevelt 2.0, Mike Lemire, Victoria Breining, Terry Kobosky, Karyn Santi, Jack Rosenkranz, Ellen Myers, Jeff & Susan Gleason, Chuck Schultz, Salil Wilson, April Lufriu, Stefan,Tracey Rathbone, Michael Savage, Debi Johnson, Gretchen Blackmore, Linda Sanchez, Tonya Dean, Stuecher Family, Gruman Family, Caleb Smith, Jodi & Todd Saikie, Brittany Rustman, Laura Fage, Jim Warren, Heinz Kluetmeier, Brian Cazeneuve, Joe Frasor, Michael Barber, Trisha Crafts

Charity Beck

& Family, Jerri Nakas & Family, Carrie Lee, Ali Amidimehr, Kevin Mueller, Adan Butlein, Kimba Brown, Pam Peckham, Heidi Gold, Laura, Heather Dreske, Deb Gatley, Lauren Lewis, Jan Bosserdet, Linda Wilkerson, Jim Tousignant, John Binderman, David Pelino, Monday Johnson, Joe Coiacino, Yasha Horstmann, Julie, Laurie Moser, Katherine Leventis & Family, Averie Crawford, Larry Goodman, Marco Esposito, Michell Herring, Forbes Riley, Eric & Faith Olinger, Wendy & Kira Rib, Amy Crockett, Amy Soucy, Steve Burke, Don Dordevski, Ken Jenkins, Susan, Shelley Blaszak, Ann Grams, Cyndi Frump, Michelle Earley, Michael Capponi, Kari Taylor, Jamie & Kris McEntee, Ellen Levy, Alisa Robertson, Mike & Ami Bowen, Sam Vranish, Clive & Robyn Palmer, Alan Frankel, Bree Rauck, Eric Haselton, Thuy Pham & Family, Michele Mezrah, Eric & Coco Wittenberg, Robert O’Neil Dana Duggan, Gina Gajraj, Michael Renaud, Shea Whigham, Traci Tucker, Carie Jackson, Max Simon, Sheryl Hunter, Gloria Lawson, Jeff Main, Kim Hamilton, Teri Hart, Ralph, Jacklyn Peterson, Kim Austin, Mal Kenney & Family, Khosrow Jabbari, Geoff Bond, Gary King, Sandy Sembler, Sandi & Chris Sullivan, Jeremy McGhee, Olene Kolk, Marci Shimoff, Liysa Callsen, Doneene Loar, Ashley

Thomas, Bryan Roberts, Jeremy Christie, Elsa Stone, Tammy Reeves, Dannie, Mark & Ann Porreca, Ellen Dee Davidson, Christina Fletcher, Dana Star, Dr. Kim Costello, Bob Burg, John David Mann, Dave Long, Bono, Wendy Latorre, SI, NYT, Terry Aidman, Rainbow Dr He, Viarnne Mischon, Walter Ioose, Brad Smith, Charley Johnson, Cookie, Dr Michael Devito, Meditation Group, Jacqui DiMarco, Dave Long, Joe Madden, Matt Damon, Linda Pizzuti, David Carrillo,Ryan Bingham, Matthew McConaughey, Dr Wallace, David Jeffries, Malcome, David Setzler, Rob Haff & Family, Mark & Melinda Robinson, Josiah Hutton, Frank Weiss, Carlos & Frank, Kathy & David Wallace, Flick, Angel Beck & Family, Rokita Family, Elisa Castelli & Family, Dina Popper, Dawna Stone, Bali, Costa Rica, All Coaches, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Shadyac, Sally Field, Jim & Jill Kelly, Taylor Grey, Louis, Adam, Adolfo Jarrin, Alan, Alex, Alexis, Alicia, Valerie Valentine, Jean Schauer, Roxana Levin & Family, Ron Borg, Kickstarter, Gary Sinise, Earl Davis, Amber McDonald, And on Design, Ashley Thomas, Jafree, Joe Healy, Lisa, all the contributors, partners, sponsors, subscribers, readers, writers, editors, stories, photographers, interns, volunteers, team members, sales team, and advertisers.

To every person I’ve met and will meet, please feel the blessings of Love & Gratitude and may it be returned to you 1B fold. Thank you all. I am grateful infinity – As always & forever sending you Love-Joy-Peace – Charity





Archangel Ancient Tree Archives



The Messengers Event



Dolphin Tale

Jeremy McGhee


24 14

Bryan Brothers

Shauna Case

Our Dog Became A Guide Dog for Another Dog


Living Treasures Sally Field

IN EVERY ISSUE 03 06 07 26 52 56 64

Publisher Note PIM Product Picks Contributors Different By Nature Health with Dr. Fuhrman Positively Healthy Recipe Simply Positive


29 A Moment of Clarity 42 20/20 Plan



amazing you! The Answer To Everything


table of contents


COVER Cover photo © Christie’s Image Ltd.

Leonardo DiCaprio

A Man of Many Masks “I want you to bid as if the fate of the planet depends on us,” implores Leonardo DiCaprio to his well-heeled NYC audience, paddles in hand and rapt with attention.



Costa Rica ¡Pura Vida!


EVERYDAY PEOPLE Random Acts of Flowers



SBN Inc, International & Indigenous Youth Awards

Looking Up From The To-Do List



Who Loves You?


Eating Intentionally

How You Can Be Healthy and Still Die

Photo Credits (left to right): Cover – Christie’s Image Ltd; Gretchen Dunn/Crushdart; Wolfe Studios (USA); s_bukley/; Archangel Ancient Tree Archives;; Random Acts of Flowers; Christie’s Image Ltd.; Michael Helms; Kyle Bowyer, Matt Browning.


© 2012 Positive Impact Magazine


PIM I product picks Hey Shuga! Organic Sweetener Meditation in a Bottle Fast-acting Gabatrol can free you from stress and negative emotions in as little as 15 minutes. Recommended by #1 New York Times bestselling author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, Dr. John Gray. Any time you need to lift your spirits and recharge, doctorrecommended Gabatrol can help. Features unique ingredients including organic, wild-crafted Kanna (sceletium tortuosum). Ride the wave of relaxation and create a better day with Gabatrol! 20% off for Positive Impact readers:

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Energy Muse Crystal Jewelry

Flower Essences

This Energy Muse piece has been created to enhance and protect your physical well-being. Wear this bracelet when you wish to heal yourself. Turquoise is known as a master healer stone and works to protect and align the chakras, strengthening the overall body in the process. Sodalite encourages relaxation and calms the mind. Agate helps to remove energy blockages within the body, promoting balance and better health. The authentic Chinese Coin is an ancient and powerful manifesting tool for attracting wealth, luck and endless opportunity.

The Body-Soul Alignment Solutions from La Vie de la Rose Flower Essences assist us in creating optimal physical health through Spiritual Healing. They address body-Soul alignment issues (e.g. body image, eating addictions, over/under weight and physical dis-ease) at their source. They support the release of denial and suppression patterns and the healing of core emotional, mental and spiritual wounds. The goal is to place the body under the direction of the Soul.

Affirmation: I live in vibrant health of mind, body and spirit

Funky Monkey Crunchy, freeze-dried fruit snacks! You can take them with you anywhere ... even if you’re going to the moon! All nutrients stay in; only the moisture is taken out of fresh fruit. No additives, preservatives, added sugars or colors. Just healthy fruit! They are even gluten-free! Perfect for party goodie bags. Great for traveling. Pack in a lunch and spark fun conversation. So good you’ll enjoy at any time! Our fruit flavors include banana, cinnamon apple, pineapple, strawberry and strawberry banana. Try them!

Anti-Aging Face Cream The Advanced Anti-Aging System works to visibly improve your skin’s elasticity and firmness, leaving you feeling youthful and reinvigorated. The collection features 100% certified ToxicFree® ingredients infused with organic botanicals for concentrated anti-aging power. Our Advanced line prevents deep wrinkles and repairs existing damage by boosting the skin’s natural ability to improve cell turnover and enhance elasticity. The Advanced system includes our Anti-Aging Lift Serum that produces an intense firming action—leaving you with a softer, vibrant and radiant look.




Publisher/Editor In Chief Charity Beck– Thank You Amazing Team! Creative Team/Production Bowen Imagery, Julie Starke Contributing Editors Samantha Palmer, Julie Starke David Kamens, Valerie Sowell, Laura Watts Director of Special Projects Amber Thompson Columnists Rachel Schaeffer, Marci Wise Dr. Michael Devito

AWARDS Nominate now! Share who or what you think is making a positive impact in the world.

Contributing Writers Paul Fein, Thomas Courtney Malena Camboa, Edel O’Mahony Marci Wise, Julie Starke, Rachel Schaeffer Ellen Dee Davidson, Bailey Foster Carol & Jim Singh, Brian Cunningham Viarnne Mischon, Christina Fletcher Marci Shimoff, Dr. Joel Furhman Alex Nachman, Amie Valpone, Forbes Riley Daphne Street, Kyle Bowyer, Liysa Callsen Gayle S. Myers, Sandy Meyer Contributing Photographers Gretchen Dunn, Crushdart, Wolfe Studios Jeff Fasano, Shadyacres Entertainment Clearwater Aquarium, Christie’s Images ltd. Healthy Apple, Random Acts of Flowers Kyle Bowyer, Matt Browning, Michael Helms Bobby Bishop Ad Sales Dave Van Niel, Charles Warner Russell Lindsey, Philip McElroy Advisory Board Andre Fouche, Nicole Fouche, Rachel Amos Terry Aidman, Dean Akers, Charity Beck Anton Hopen, Charley Johnson Steve Krammer, Mike Lemire Charlie McCurdy, Wendy Rib, Dawn Sprong Julie Starke, Abraham Puchall Amber Thompson, Terry Torok Valerie Sowell, David Giorgione Lorraine Sheridan, Greg Wolf Tom Bock, Eric Olinger, Ray Sprong Distribution Curtis Circulation Company, LLC Positive Impact Magazine 2519 McMullen Booth Rd. Suite 510-257, Clearwater, FL 33761 For more information on contributors visit Printed on recycled paper

For more details, visit:

A Good a goodSport sport

“When we stop making fear-based decisions, we begin to live an

inspired life!”

e if L Living

oud L Out The


hee G c M emy r e story of J By Thomas Co



by Gretchen rtney • Photos


Dunn, Crushd


aving to stare our mortality in the face can be a gift, because we recognize that eventually we will die. We must live now, for this very moment, not out of fear but out of possibility. “Living life out loud is not always easy. I have days I get grumpy, mad and even frustrated. The one thing to always remember: even the motivated need motivation,” says Jeremy McGhee, athlete, motivational speaker and author. In September 2001, an automobile struck Jeremy while he was riding his motorcycle, leaving his maimed and broken body grasping for life and leaving him a paraplegic. Knowing he was dying, Jeremy said, “I am not ready.” In that moment, he stepped into the ring, put on his boxing gloves and began his journey of what he calls “awakening the virile beast.” I had an amazing opportunity recently for an exclusive interview with Jeremy ... and what a remarkable interview it was.

TC: Jeremy, explain to me exactly what is “the virile beast”? JM: The human will to survive. You would be surprised what one can accomplish when put under pressure, faced with extraordinary circumstances and the will to overcome a life or death situation. The virile beast does not come out unless given the opportunity. An avid athlete, headed into BoarderX racing, Jeremy stared death in the face, walked around it and has kept going to this very day. TC: Jeremy, at the time of your accident, you were age 25, taking adventure to the extreme and living life to the degree of almost reckless at times. All of a sudden, fate, destiny or whatever you want to call it has handed you a different deck of cards. And all of a sudden, life looks very differently. What do you do? JM: I don’t see life differently from that perspective. When I look back on my life I used to live it to impress people. My ego was always in the way. It was all about what is the next big thing. How did I look to others? The difference now is I am thankful. I am not doing the things I do to impress people. I had the adventure mindset then and I have the adventure mindset just as much now. I have always been very competitive with myself. I have always had to do the [continued on next page…]


the story of jeremy mcghee I a good sport things that I committed myself to doing. I become very obsessive and everything I am doing is what I have always wanted to do. Obviously life has presented some new things, and for the most part this is exactly how I wanted to live my life and I have not done it any differently. Through it all, I have grown and evolved as a person.

In March 2013, Jeremy had a most anticipated day: he walked for the first time in 11-1/2 years in a robotic exoskeleton. Emotionally charged with anticipation, Jeremy felt the intense pressure of having to break the mold, impress everyone with his tenacity and courage to stand and look everyone face to face and eye to eye and accomplish this amazing feat of Living Life Out Loud.

JM: I believe my life is about everyone. People hear my story, watch me and want to make real life changes. This was the moment to make real life changes in myself. I had to have courage. I could not be afraid. I was making the decision to walk forward because there were no other options. In all the anxiety and emotions going on in my head I was saying to myself, I am freaking walking right now! It was a challenge for Jeremy to walk naturally while engaging a robot to do the work for him. It was not an easy feat. JM: I wanted to run. It was natural for my mind to want to move my legs, and I had to learn to work with the machine. The machine was now my partner. I had to trust without reserve and work with so many people to take that next step, because every step I had taken to this point, everyone—the doctors, therapists, my friends and family—had taken it with me. They were taking one of the biggest steps of all in my life right there with me in those moments: the step to move forward. This was critical, because I was a test project, if you will, and my experience will be helping so many other people. I just knew this was meant to be. TC: Tell me about the movement you have created, The Drop INProject. JM: After surgery, I was in bed for two months; I could not get up for anything or any reason, with all this time to think. I never felt I had the capacity to inspire, just noticed simply that when I selfishly do what I want that people seemed to be inspired. My message is simply that we all have the gift to inspire others, even though life is not easy. I began to film myself and through everything I was experiencing I believe I manifested what I wanted for my life. I began to realize I was making this happen. I believe, when we take responsibility for our lives, it is easier to embrace life. In this thought process a powerful film series, The Drop INProject, has been created with a message to inspire others to let go of everything and anything holding them back. I travel the world, with plans to go to Baja, Bolivia, Le Tour de France and many



a good sport I the story of jeremy mcghee others, and Drop IN for the ride of my life. It is a film series, following me and going with me on this journey, a paraplegic athlete, around the globe on dangerous and exciting adventures where I am pushed to my limits. Jeremy may have experienced loss in his life. It has allowed his loss to fuel his passion to live life to the fullest. TC: So you are driven to this feat, as a paraplegic, to climb this mountain, what is called the “Bloody Couloir� in Mammoth Lakes, California. You have this dynamic energy. Your pulse is racing. Your senses hitting on all cylinders, about to do what most would say is absolutely insane, to climb and jump off this mountain in your situation: the time has come for a higher order of logic. What were you thinking? JM: I was very nervous about the pain I was going to endure, all the way up to the point of this incredible journey I was about to embark. I was not really taking

care of myself, not eating, or sleeping in preparation for days and weeks before because I was just so nervous. During the climb I was in such horrific pain. All I could think about before the climb is that I want to be with my friends. I did not want to stay behind and hear about their exciting adventures when they returned. I wanted to be with them, pulling my weight and contributing to the journey and there was no other option for me. I had to make this climb with them. So, one pull at a time, dragging my body, face down in the snow, beating my soul into submission, being thankful I was still alive, only thinking it was possible, and making possibility happen. Every breath I took was taking me further out of my comfort zone and I had to trust that the scariest thing I had ever done in my life was making me a better human being. As I looked around me my heart swelled up with emotion, with tears in my eyes, as I was saying to myself, this is my dream. This is my challenge. These people around me were helping make [continued on next page‌]


TC: In those moments when you are alone, and you look at all you have accomplished, facing your demons, your challenges, your pain and anguish, all your greatest successes: What is the one piece of advice you would give to everyone about life that you have learned? JM: It could all end tomorrow. Thirty-six years have gone by in my life in a blink. If I am lucky, I have another 36. Life is too short. Why in hell would I not want to live life to the fullest and make it the best life possible? Pursue life with a vengeance. I don’t want to be that person who says, “I want to do this” and never does it. Why would anyone else? my dream happen. I believe in pushing myself to great lengths. When I work out I believe that if I am not throwing up after a workout I did not work out hard enough. I am okay with pushing myself that hard. I believe we need to constantly be making the decision, every day, to pursue life with passion. As I get older, I care more about adventure, spending time with those I care about and less about the extreme. I see the world as a very cool playground, with adventures to be had and take the best life has to offer. That being said, it is important to me that people know that life has not always been good. It has not been easy. It takes work and mental fortitude to keep my mind strong and every day is a new day to make the decision again to keep pushing forward. I have been homeless and at a dead end road, even as recent. I had to make the decision that I am a human being that is worthy, valuable and in spite of my situation I had to pick myself up and push forward. I went through a very low point and I never cared or knew which way I was going to go. I had to make a firm decision to believe in myself. Life is not perfect. I have found the greatest down fall in life is being in fear. When fear is let go, we become an inspired people. When we believe in ourselves we become a pillar of strength to others. I have learned I can’t save the world every day because every day is different. Every day is a new day, to make new decisions and it takes work to keep moving forward.



TC: Are you bitter or angry about what has happened to you? JM: Every day is different. Every day, like everyone else, I have to make the same decisions over again about how I am going to be, what I am feeling, and how I will react and respond to life. It was my choice to be driving the motorcycle. When I was taken into the hospital the doctors told me I was lucky to be alive. When you are thankful, it is really hard to be anything else. I believe when we are angry we have a sense of entitlement. When we take responsibility for our own lives, it is hard to be angry about anything. Besides, the alternative sucks. Why not put a positive spin on it? Anything else is just an energy leak. TC: You mentioned earlier about your passion for making a difference and helping so many that need the opportunity to live life to its fullest potential. Could you tell me about that? JM: I am very passionate about Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra and Challenged Athletes Foundation. Both of these organizations receive a percentage of the proceeds from the film project and other projects that we do. They provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence and fitness to take charge of their lives through participation in sports. These organizations change

lives in a very powerful way and these charities provide millions of dollars so others can live a life that makes them successful and feel good about who they are. I am extremely passionate about these charities. TC: Jeremy, do you have a favorite quote? JM: “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” by Van Gogh. TC: Do you have anything else you would like to say, Jeremy? JM: Fear is a very powerful thing. I can only assume most people want to do things in their life and they fear the unknown. Fear of what it may take to get there. Fear of the pain. The majority of life is spent trying to be as comfortable as possible. I have put my body through torture and pushed myself to the highest limits trying to get to where I want to be. I found that when my fear is let go, it unlocks my mind. I become powerful. When we stop making fear-based decisions we begin to live an inspired life. As I said previously, “We become an inspired people.” Living a life out of fear creates a very mediocre life. Let go. We only have now. We all have the potential to live an extraordinary life. Relish in your journey, Thomas. There can be beauty in every struggle. The time I spent with Jeremy McGee was one of inspiration. Every day brings us all a chance to do something different, be grateful for our life and all that it brings, because life is just too short. Jeremy brought that home to me in a most profound way. The insights and inspiration that Jeremy brings to our world is a gift. Jeremy magnetizes positive energy and vibrates Living Life Out Loud! For more information about Jeremy McGee go to or


Double Shot of Excitement By Paul Fein, Photos Courtesy of Wayne Bryan


ob and Mike Bryan have ruled doubles this century—they’ve ranked No. 1 a record eight years—they’ve revitalized it. With shot-making flair and chest-bumping exuberance, they’ve entertained fans at tour events and tirelessly promoted doubles with exhibitions and clinics around the world. Not surprisingly, the Bryan Brothers have been voted the ATP’s Fans



Favorite Doubles Team a record eight straight years. In a freewheeling conversation, they talk candidly about their upbringing in Southern California, their elite rivals, the Olympics, the love they have for music, their charity work, and a lifelong passion for tennis. Tennis parents range from the commendable Jimmy Evert to the controversial Richard Williams.

a good sport I bryan brothers How would you rate your parents? And why? Bob: In general, Mike and I think tennis parents are pretty darn good. We have met some great ones during our times in junior tennis, college tennis and pro tennis. Sportsmanship is a cornerstone of our sport, and the parents and coaches try to instill that and other life lessons as well. But, our parents, Wayne and Kathy, were at the top of the list, we think. Both of them played at a high level. Our Mom was a tour player and was No. 1 in the 16s in the U.S. and No. 2 in the 18s and was a Wimbledon mixed doubles quarter finalist and won some tour events and had a nice career. Our Dad was the No. 1 player at the University of California at Santa Barbara and was recently inducted into the UCSB Hall of Fame. They are also great coaches and really know the game inside and out. They were good with us from the get go. They always made it fun at each level—from when we were little, tiny guys up through the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s, and 18s, through Stanford and on the tour. Mike: Yes. They had great enthusiasm and passed on their love for the sport to us. And I agree with Bob, they made it fun each and every day. Our Mom gave us private lessons each day out on Court 12 and our Dad also gave us privates and worked with us in our junior clinics each day. We had about 85 kids at our club in Camarillo and we had lots of good players. Bob: From age 6 on, we played Junior Team Tennis each Monday, and we played a tournament almost every weekend in Ventura County or Southern California and then later at the National and International Junior level. We worked on our doubles each day, too. Both of our parents loved and played lots of doubles, and we had lots of doubles events at our club. We entered the doubles each week in the juniors and had a blast playing it. Mike: They also emphasized sportsmanship and the social aspects of tennis. We made lots of friends, not only at our club, but at all the tournaments in SoCal and throughout the nation. The main thing is they gave us unconditional love each day—whether we won or lost or got rained out. They were good at reducing pressure and not increasing it, and that is a huge key. Bob: They stayed positive. If we had a tough loss, they gave us empathy and support. They were good at picking us up when we were down. They always saw the big picture. Music has been a big part of your life. Please tell me about that and how music influences your tennis and how tennis influences your music. Bob: Yes, we both just love music! I play keys and keyboard bass and Mike plays drums and lead and rhythm guitar. We played so many gigs in school and at junior tournaments and even won some talent shows. Besides performing, we also like to record. Our CD, Let It Rip, has sold well worldwide and is on iTunes.

Top: Bob is lefthander leaping to smash an overhead. Bottom: Wimbledon Champs—Bob and Mike are about to give each other their trademark leaping chest bump to celebrate winning the 2012 Wimbledon doubles title.

The main thing is they gave us unconditional love each day —whether we won or lost or got rained out.

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bryan brothers I a good sport

Mike: Our Dad worked with us and played with us since we were little boys and could barely sit up on the piano or drum stool. Both our parents are big believers in an early start at sports or music. Our Dad believed you should learn music one song at a time, rather than getting too deep into the rudiments and scales and theory. Bob and I always played together and our first song was “Heart and Soul,” and the first song we performed in a talent show was “Oh, Lonesome Me,” the old Don Williams country tune. Bob: There are so many parallels with tennis and music. Both are high skill and take lots of practice and focus. Both are creative. Both are emotional. Both can and should be social. Both make you feel good when you play. Mike: There are some differences too—like one is right brain and one is left brain. One is way more physical and one a bit more cerebral. One you basically play outside and one you usually play inside.

Some of the deserving juniors we sent to Boise for the Davis Cup.

Who were the top three doubles teams you’ve faced during your long career? And what made each so tough to beat? Bob: Of course, you have to put the Woodies [Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge] right there at the top. What a fantastic team, that played doubles in such a solid yet creative way. They did everything well and were a very smart team. Mike: We lost to them like three times in a row early in our career, 7-6 in the third set most times. When we finally beat them 6-3, 6-2 in San Jose, we knew we were on our way. We respect, admire and like the Woodies and their excellence and all they have done for our sport. Bob: You’ve got to say Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor. We must have played them 35 or 40 times and always had great matches. They were No. 1 before we became No. 1. Mike: Knowles was a fabulous returner and volleyer. Nesty had a wicked lefty serve, and he could rope that second and third ball. Smart team. Tough team. Bob: We are glad to have competed against great players such as Ricky Leach, Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes, and Max Mirnyi. We have also enjoyed being on the doubles court with Roger Federer and have beaten him five times. We have never lost to Rafa Nadal, we consider him a tough doubles player because of his big groundies and heavy returns. We were at a press conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last week, and we sure appreciated Roger saying some really kind and positive things about our doubles career and our work ethic.



Top to bottom: Mike Bryan, Kathy Bryan (Mom), Wayne Bryan (Dad) and Bob Bryan. The Bryans rockin’ in Houston for 1,500 fans. Bryan Brothers. win Beijing. Deserving juniors that the Bryan Brothers Foundation sent to Jacksonville for the Davis Cup.

You’ve said you admire Andre Agassi for his exemplary charity work. Please tell me what you have done for charity, and why you do it. Bob: We have always looked up to and admired Andre as a player and a human being. He has done incredible things for his Charter School and the kids in Las Vegas. He inspired our whole generation of Andy, James, Mardy and us to do all the charity work we do.

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Mike: Our Bryan Brothers Foundation has raised nearly $400,000 over the past few years to help kids programs all over Ventura County, Southern California, and the nation. We have also done all kinds of charity exhibitions and appearances for our tour pals to help with their charities. Most every week on the tour we are doing something for charity through the ATP or the tournament itself. Plus, we send out signed rackets and signed clothes and shoes often for charity events. We’ve done lots of other exos and clinics to benefit junior, medical and relief programs. There are more you can learn about on our website ( After you won the gold medal, Mike said, “To play on Centre Court at Wimbledon and win the gold medal is a dream come true. We could stop tomorrow, and we got a big smile on our face for the rest of our lives. This one is dedicated to you guys.” Why did you dedicate your gold medal-winning Olympics performance to your parents?

Dr. Yongjian Chen

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Bob: Yes, we’ve gotten so many comments from people after we mentioned our parents. They never ask or look for thanks. Winning the gold with all our other records put us at the pinnacle, and it was time we gave them a big public thank you.

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Mike: They were both very touched, and Bob and I were glad we gave them that mention. Our parents have truly been great coaches and mentors and parents. We obviously could not have achieved what we have without them. They did it the right way. We love tennis. We love music. We love people. And we love them.

Children’s Care

Bob: I agree.

There are so many parallels with tennis and music. Both are high skill and take lots of practice and focus. A few records held by the Bryan Brothers, see more at ]] ]] ]] ]]

Dr. Hongjian He

Most career men’s doubles team titles: 87 Most Grand Slam doubles championships: 13 Most weeks at #1: 315+ Only team to win a Grand Slam title for 9 consecutive years: 2005-2013

Paul Fein has received more than 30 writing awards and authored three books, Tennis Confidential: Today’s Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies; You Can Quote Me on That: Greatest Tennis Quips, Insights, and Zingers; and Tennis Confidential II: More of Today’s Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies.

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arts & entertainment


A Legacy in the Making By Malena Gamboa & Edel O’Mahony • Photos courtesy of Wolfe Studios (USA)


How will life remember us?

he definition of a legacy is something that passes the test of time, creating a ripple-effect that shifts the course of

humanity in some profound way. The names that stand out in the chronicles of history are those who have dared to live their truth and passion beyond all limitations or fears, standing as reminders of that potential in all of us.

I nternationally acclaimed artist and muralist Thomas Christian Wolfe’s artistic tour de force, The Messengers,

What does it take to become a legacy?

is an unprecedented multi-sensory, multimedia event that takes art to the level of a spiritual experience. Together, with a world-class team that spans the globe from Sydney, Australia to Milan, Italy, Wolfe endeavors to use his lifelong craft toward putting the humane back in humanity. With its timely message and charity at its core, The Messengers Event, slated to premiere within a matter of months, is truly a legacy in the making.



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The Experience The Messengers Event centers around 12 epic-scaled murals. The triumvirate of art, music and prose unveils a timeless message for humanity, making this an unforgettable experience.

Entering the exhibition, designed to give viewers an unprecedented and unforgettable experience.


“Thomas Christian Wolfe’s art has universal appeal.”

Primary staff model, Holly “Ivory Flame” Leedham (UK), poses underwater. Image provided by Vanessa Mills.

A spectacular evening view of the prestigious Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California USA. POSITIVEIMPACT MAGAZINE


arts & entertainment I art speaks

Who are the Messengers?

What is The Messengers Event?

Who are the event’s creators?

Although often veiled in story, Wolfe sees the archetypes and myths that have always paralleled human existence as the constant messengers of our intrinsic interconnection with divinity. The saga of the Human Experience has been told in every story throughout time: from the earliest cave paintings to the latest blockbuster Hollywood film. Joseph Campbell coined it as The Hero’s Journey. Dante Alighieri conveyed it in his Divina Commedia. Masters throughout time have always had the wisdom to teach in parables.

Wolfe has conceived this unparalleled multimedia event to be built upon the trinity of art, music, and prose to deliver his timely message of our undeniable interconnectedness as a humanity. The event centers around 12 epic-sized murals that essentially portray the archetypal stages of the human journey. Film further embellishes this inspirational event, which demystifies spirituality and conveys in vibrant, realworld terms the solid evidence of our innate divinity. “This event will undoubtedly get coined as the greatest angel show in history. The myth-related figures in these epic-scale masterpieces are really representative of divinity and humanity … specifically their integration,” explains Edel O’Mahony, one of the staff’s key writers. The exquisite beauty and masterful execution is exhilarating. And the interactive production of the event itself is just as noteworthy, as it gives us a completely new perspective on how art in the 21st century can be experienced. For example, the frameless exhibit utilizes a unique system that combines numerous projectors, curved screens,and digital surround sound that immerses the viewer in a breathtaking experience that elevates the spirit and senses. The event becomes a “journey” in itself, as it takes us through 12 rooms that envelop us in distinctive states of emotional revelation and becomes a transformative experience. In a world all too stricken by superficiality and deficient of authenticity, The Messengers is conscious and transformational media at its best. As director Wolfe explains: “By creating a sensational event comprised of all the key elements that make up any great entertainment, this event meets people at a universal place of interest – and unlike most entertainment and media, is designed to integrate rather than distract us from ourselves.”

While the event was conceived and revolves around 12 epic works by renowned muralist Thomas Christian Wolfe, whose art, according to the director of The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, “has universal appeal,” Wolfe is the first to acknowledge this is a vision beyond the scope of any one person. Some of the key players include Felicia Farerre, who doubles as the project co-director, as well as the event’s key vocalist and vocal arranger. Christened “the voice of mythology” by renowned composer producer Lee Johnson, Farerre has delivered her music to the world for nearly three decades with awe-inspiring power and depth. The tapestry of her work has been beautifully woven behind the glass of recording studios from the USA to Europe,

Sketches by staff concept artist, Stephanie Edmark (USA).

As C.S. Lewis brilliantly describes, the inner world that all myth exists to reveal must be grasped with the imagination and not the intellect. As such, while Wolfe sees the obvious wisdom in teaching through the tried and true bardic tale, his aspiration with The Messengers is specifically to reveal their veiled message that divinity and humanity have never been as separate as we often perceive.

All music performances of The Messengers Event will be embellished by a full orchestra.

earning her the privilege and honor of working with some of the most prominent writers, arrangers, musicians, producers and orchestras of our time. The music arm of the event’s creative triumvirate is directed by Emmy awardwinning composer Kurt Bestor, who for

“The Messengers is

transformational media at its best.”

Detail of “The Prayer,” one of the event’s numerous museum gallery artworks.

more than 30 years has composed an incredible variety of music in myriad styles and genres. From more than 40 feature-length films, 16 popular CDs, numerous television themes, and a mix of live shows, he has established himself [continued on next page…]


Felicia Farerre cover image. Photo-art by Thomas Christian Wolfe.

“As long as we don’t care for each other in the form of concrete action, we’ve lost our humanity.” Sketch for the official website’s home page by staff concept artist, Artur Zima (UK).

as one of America’s most prolific and versatile composers. Live performances of the event’s powerful and elevating original music score will launch each city’s exhibit, highlighted by some of the most accomplished guest artists from around the world. Dan Hollings, the marketing mastermind behind the $300 million success of The Secret, joins in as the project’s internet Dan Hollings, marketing marketing director. As guru behind quoted by ABC News: “The the $300 marketing campaign behind million success of The Secret is going to go The Secret. down in history as the greatest case study of viral marketing ever done. Anywhere.” The list continues with numerous world-class artists and production persons, from long-time friend and colleague, project media director, Jeff Bedrick to international model Papis Loveday. The avid support of so many attests to a vision whose time has come. 22


True contribution Regarding the charity aspect that is so key to this event, as the director conveys: “It undoubtedly has a lot to do with my personal dismay at how we’ll let one person on this planet go unfed, unclothed or unsheltered­­—when we have the resources available to prevent this. As long as we don’t care for each other in the form of concrete action, we’ve lost our humanity. I am just one person…by committing to my vision, my enthusiasm alone has attracted another, then another, and then more, accumulating to expand myself myriad times. It just takes starting…fearlessly acting on your passion. Every one of us is so much more powerful than we know.” To be a part of the solution, Wolfe is donating a large percentage of all proceeds that this event produces as it travels ad infinitum from one major city of the world to the next. Given that actions speak louder than words, The Messengers Event is the action we are taking to be the positive change that we wish to see in the world. The Messengers Event is committed to delivering something authentic and il-

luminating. On a purely artistic level alone it promises to be what viewers are sure to call “an unforgettable multisensory experience.”

Project music director Kurt Bestor

Felicia Farerre, co-director and key vocalist

Key staff artist, Sam Sarraf, takes creative command of the “RED” on location (USA).

arts & entertainment I art speaks

You can view the project in more fullness via the official website at

A World Event Created by the World. As Wolfe professes, every one of us makes a difference. The smallest ripple can be a part of the grandest wave. Perhaps you will feel inspired to join the flight of The Messengers Event and be a part of a world event created by the world.

Joining is absolutely free and besides receiving a free monthly desktop and regular special offers, all global members will be given a unique behind-the-scenes access to view the making of this profound world event over the coming months. If you are inspired to be an integral part of making this dream a reality, discover all the ways you can contribute by reviewing the project’s IndieGogo campaign currently underway at: www.TheMessengersEvent. com/IndieGogo, where the Messengers team is offering generous gifts for your invaluable support.



Young and Empowered

Actress Shauna Case Works to SAVE the World By Marci Wise • Photos by Jeff Fasano


t first glance, teen actress Shauna Case appears to be living the carefree, American dream. With a recently wrapped television show and a musical career on the rise, it would be easy for this young woman to get swept away by the usual Hollywood hype – there’s much more to this 15-year-old than meets the eye. Instead of spending her time attending A-list parties and walking the red-carpet, she’s recently taken on the serious role of becoming a celebrity ambassador for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education). Shauna knows only too well how this issue can negatively impact a family, with her own mother battling depression for many years. “You know, you love your mom so much, you want to see her happy and smile – it just really struck my heart to help this organization to inspire kids and show them that they can be strong and deal with this illness,” she said. SAVE is the leading suicide prevention agency in the nation working to prevent suicide through public awareness and education. With suicide being the second leading cause of death among 15- to 34-year-olds, the issue has become a national health crisis – and Shauna is poised to make a positive impact on a powerful demographic. SAVE’s executive director, Dr. Dan Reidenberg is pleased to have her join their work. “She brings passion and a great voice to help others who are struggling to know there is help and there is hope.” Shauna will appear in a video presentation for schools and record a series of public service announcements to be released as part of a national radio campaign.

“I love that I can show others through my real experience that it does get better, and you have power over this illness. You can get through it.”




Since moving to Los Angeles to pursue her career at the age of 12, Shauna’s star has been steadily rising, earning her accolades and a growing fan base. She just wrapped on Cartoon Network’s live-action sketch comedy show Incredible Crew. “I grew up doing public pranks like we did on the show, just goofing around with my friends in Walmart or the mall, so it was super fun – and I got to work with Nick Cannon, which was such an honor because I always watched him on America’s Got Talent with my family and

he’s such a comedic icon,” she said. And as if that wasn’t enough, her musical career is starting to take off as well. Shauna recently worked with Grammynominated and Billboard Award-winning producer Eddie Galan on her debut EP. The first single, and video, is an autobiographic pop-country track called “Some Kind of Fairytale.” The song describes her journey of moving from Pennsylvania to California to chase her dreams – and the first reactions to it have been promising. “Social media has really helped me spread the kind of messages I want to,” she said. “People have tweeted or messaged me saying that ‘what you posted the other day really inspired me to stay strong’ or ‘what you posted helped me to have the courage to chase my dreams.’ “ When asked how she finds the unlimited energy and drive to work toward making the world a better place, she responds, “If we all just say ‘I’ll just let somebody else do that,’ then nothing’s going to get done. Just get involved and

know that giving back is going to make you happier as well – so it affects both parties. It’s just awesome to see the world be a happy place.” Who makes a positive impact on her life? “I say it a thousand times – my parents,” she said. “I can’t drive yet so my parents take me to all my auditions, my dance classes, my acting classes, the recording studio. I definitely couldn’t have done it without them.” While Shauna and her family have had to deal with their own struggles, she says it feels good to turn those hard moments into a positive. “I love that I can show others through my real experience that it does get better, and you have power over this illness. You can get through it.”

To learn more about SAVE, visit or call 952-946-7998.


different by nature


Photos courtesy of Shadyacres Entertainment

Part of a series of articles entitled “Different by Nature’”



here is a new conversation occurring, and funny man Tom Shadyac is one leading the pack, running with the wild dogs. It’s an extraordinary story…a fall from grace that meets with a second chance, becoming a hero’s journey of redemption. Nor is it a funny story…“a guy walks in to a bar’ kinda” thing with a witty punch line. Yet it is a unique story. A story that Tom Shadyac has made an art of telling and one that has led this Hollywood mogul on a slippery slope through the Hollywood Hills.

Entering the Hollywood Arena For those who don’t know, Tom Shadyac is the original funny man. The youngest (ever) comedian to write for Bob Hope, this Northern Virginia transplant and UVA graduate landed on the doorstep of Hollywood and never left. He is a film producer, director, actor, screenwriter and, of course, comedian. His credits include a long list of hit comedies: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, and the list goes on. He is credited with 26


bringing Jim Carrey to the forefront of fame and for working alongside Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy and Morgan Freeman. His career has spanned at least a couple of decades, and he is wellrecognized and respected among the Hollywood “in crowd.” It would stand to reason, then, that this man, along with most of his contemporaries, would buy in to the Hollywood Dream of fast cars, big planes and even bigger houses. He bought things big and rich Hollywood people buy, including the definition of success, and settled in to live the good life. Only Shadyac didn’t find one.

When he opened his eyes and looked around his cavernous home(s), he didn’t need shades. The future was not bright, and the good life wasn’t waiting for him. At least not the one he imagined. The rooms were hollow. The things were just things – nice things, all the same; and his neighbors were far from his front door – where they wanted to be, of course. So he loaded up the truck, and he moved to Malibu. A double-wide, that is. Backyard barbecues…working folks.

different by nature I columns

A Double-Wide in A Narrow Lane It was a nice double wide. Tom will be the first to admit that. After all, it is in Malibu. Here, in this smaller corner of the world, his neighbors are his friends and, in Tom’s eyes, his friends are really

living. In short, when he traded down, he really started living it up. It is here that he has found a community and a lifestyle that has brought him a deeper level of contentment and joy, something he admits to having searched for often. Combine this with a love of Emerson and Merton, along with a penchant for poetry and enough cash to meet his needs, and you have a recipe for a happy life. At least according to Tom. What he once only theorized about is being lived out loud. A deeper search for truth has settled in to a freedom only once imagined. The idea that “more” and “bigger” equates to a better life has been abandoned and has been traded in for a life that revolves around community, service and compassion. He’s still in the movie business, and his friendships are still very much intact. In fact, Tom will tell you straight up that he

only left the way he “did business in the movie business.” His is now a narrow track and one that has him seeking deeper meaning, choosing his words purposefully, and not judging others for their own personal path. Life has turned a corner.

This is when he made I Am, a roaming documentary that explores two central questions: What’s wrong with our world? What can we do to make it better? Interviewing top thought leaders in academia and philosophy as well as worldclass scientists and religious scholars, Tom set out on a journey of discovery and with what he does best: telling stories. He is admittedly in love with the art of storytelling and knows it has great power as well as great responsibility, especially if you’re a filmmaker. He brought deeper meaning and a sense of vulnerability through his comedies Bruce Almighty, a story about true power, and Liar, Liar, where the theme is based on “the truth will set you free.” I Am, is what put him in front of the world and brought this conversation to the masses. Apparently, it is only the beginning. He now adds teacher to his resume, taking students at Pepperdine through a class called “Storytelling and Life,” where he challenges his students “to live as the

“While I have not left the movie business, I have left the way I do business in the movie business.” Top Left: Shadyac hard at work on his manuscript Life’s Operating Manual, a culmination of his lifelong spiritual journey. Above: Tom on the set of his latest film. Above Right: Morgan Freeman shares his life-changing ideas with Tom on the set of Bruce Almighty, a comedy that teaches about true power.

The Big Questions He exploded on the change-the-world, philosophical scene following a biking accident that rendered him admittedly despondent. Although this is not where Tom’s journey began. He had been a seeker of truth long before he fell off his bike, cracked his head, and discovered darkness. It was only after years of alternately suffering and healing that he was able to emerge with the voice of a man with a real story to tell.

authors of their own lives” and proclaiming that there is “power in waking up to who you are and in knowing that you are unique.” He is also considering the talk show circuit, creating a platform from which he can shine a light on the principles he believes can move the world forward. And he does have a flashlight.

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Through the voice of experience, Shadyac believes that life is best served through a new economy: the economy of service. He truly believes that wealth can “pull you away from the meat and marrow of community and life” and that once your basic needs are met, your happiness has very little to do with money. His economic model is simple: take only what you need and give the rest away. “We’re all in this together. Nothing in nature takes more than it needs. I was participating in a system which valued the fact that I took as much as I possibly could,” says Tom in one of his many laid-back and highly intelligent interviews.


Changing the Face of Happiness



Shadyac at the screening of I AM at the Port Townsend Film Festival.

He backs this up with goals that include unity and integrity as well as a whopping dose of simplicity, essentially the formula is much like Ghandi’s idea to “live simply, so that others may simply live.” He believes you should ask yourself questions such as “How can I contribute to the world?” and “What motivation do I need to serve?” “I have sat on the cushion of advantage, and I have seen myself fall asleep,” says Shadyac with his definitive smile and a twinkle in his eye. “The most powerful story a person can tell is the story they tell with their own lives.” And he is living his out loud. If you ask Tom Shadyac “What’s next?” his eyes will light up and a thousand answers will come rolling off his tongue. He’s full of ideas and stories and information, and he is eager to share them all. If we return to I Am and the central questions posed, Tom will have an answer. “Love,” he will say. “Love is how we’re going to get through this.” And, by golly, he means it.



columns I different by nature






“ The greatest story I will ever tell is the one I am telling with my life.”

Tom’s book, Life’s Operating Manual, is “an inspiring conversation about who you are, how life works, and how to improve society when societal and economic standards for success are focused on wealth and fame rather than love and altruism.” Visit for details on ordering this new book!



The poster created for the opening of I AM in theaters. For details on I AM visit the official site at


moment of clarity

The 5 Keys to Personal Peace

You can’t control other people, you can only control yourself While we would love to spare our loved ones pain and hardship, everyone has the right to learn their own lessons in their own way. This can be a hard lesson, especially for a parent. By all means, say what you need to say — then switch the focus back to yourself. By protecting your own inner peace, while still allowing others their experiences, you’ll be positioning yourself as a pillar of strength and inspiration for all you meet. And in that respect, world peace does indeed start with you.

By Marci Wise


hile achieving world peace is still a work-inprogress, finding – and holding on to – your own sense of inner peace is as simple as a few important shifts of perspective. When you think about it, basing your own sense of security and happiness on the state of the world needlessly takes you on an emotional rollercoaster and leaves you constantly operating from a reactionary place. It doesn’t have to be that way. Taking a personal approach to peace squarely places you in the empowered position to become an instrument for positive change. And it all starts with facing a few important truths.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

- Dalai Lama XIV

Sometimes finding resignation is necessary When you’re young, it seems as if the whole world is available to you — as you grow older, you realize that no one person can be and do everything. Along the way everyone has to eventually make a tough decision to let go. Nagging regrets only serve to keep peace “out there” dangling on the horizon as some sort of illusive prize. Choose to find a humble gratitude for whatever part you were blessed enough to play, and then allow yourself to move on. Peace and contentment aren’t gifts from the outside world; they’re found by realizing and appreciating your own intrinsic worth, regardless of circumstances.

Like attracts like Be purposeful about surrounding yourself with people and situations that support your well-being by creating some necessary space from toxic circumstances or individuals. This doesn’t have to be judgmental or mean-spirited; it’s simply self-preservation. Make the conscious intention to spend your time as thoughtfully as you spend your money — and choose only those interactions that are worth the investment.

Forgiveness will set you free Painful experiences leave a deep and lasting impression, making finding forgiveness a great challenge. Spending the rest of your days suffering isn’t enacting any sort of justice on the perpetrator – it’s only agreeing to allow them to hurt you forever. While it’s okay to remember past hurts so that they never happen again, choose to think of them as badges of courage that show the world you survived and you choose to thrive.

Peace is found in your heart, not your head While we’re taught to think everything out, the experience of inner peace comes from the powerful feelings of joy and love combined into one magnificent cocktail. When we’re at peace, our minds are clear, uncluttered - and our hearts are full. We’re completely enveloped in this moment, calm and satisfied. Take time to reconnect with the things that bring you joy and recapture a sense of awe for those simple spectacular moments. While finding world peace may still be illusive, tapping into your own inner peace is the most natural thing in the world. You don’t need to go out and find it — you simply need to go in and set it free.


living treasures

Sally Field

A Passionate Voice for Women


Most recently she was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. If Field’s versatility in her acting is impressive, the range of important issues she speaks about and puts her energy into is even more remarkable. As she became more serious in her acting, she also became more serious in her activism. It was through her roles that won her Oscars— Norma Rae and Places in the Heart—that she began to find her voice for women. In an NBC Nightly News segment “Making a Difference,” Field explained to Brian Williams, “I knew that I was terribly affected by playing Norma Rae, for instance, and Places in the Heart—which was about

Conference—The Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 made possible by the Commission on the Status of Women. Seeing the women in villages in Nepal and attending the women’s conference sparked her desire and commitment to taking on an even larger role in women’s causes. After the Beijing conference, Field was asked to attend a luncheon with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Melanie Verveer, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues and co-founder of Vital Voices—an organization dedicated to promoting the rights of women by supporting female leaders around the globe. Field was deeply affected by the work they were doing and asked to be of service. For more than a decade now, Field has served on their board of directors. The mission of Vital Voices is “to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.” According to their website, they are “at the forefront of international coalitions to combat human trafficking and other forms of violence against women and girls. We enable women to become change agents in their governments, advocates for social justice, and supporters of democracy and the rule of law. We equip women with management, business development, marketing, and communication skills to expand their enterprises, help to provide for their families, and create jobs in their communities.”

“We equip women with management, business development, marketing, and communication skills to expand their enterprises, help to provide for their families, and create jobs in their communities.” a woman struggling to take care of her children. I don’t know that I would be who I am today had I not stood in their shoes and tried to understand who they were and what they had gone through. I think it changed me, and I am lucky for it.” Many others are lucky for it as well. In 1995, Field visited Nepal with her role as an ambassador for Save the Children. Soon after, then-first lady Hillary Clinton invited Field to speak at the Beijing Women’s



Field told the Nightly News, “We can’t have a healthy world on any level if half of our citizens are given really no human rights whatsoever. Vital Voices goes in and invests in them and helps to protect them because a lot of these women are in great danger because of what they are doing in their own societies to bring about human rights to women.” She continues: “There are 8,000 women who have been recognized by Vital Voices.

s_bukley /

n life, as in film and on television, Sally Field demands authenticity, honesty and justice. Few actors can boast the extraordinary range and versatility of Sally Field. Almost 50 years ago, the now two-time Academy Award winner began her acting career in her well-loved roles in Gidget and The Flying Nun. Afraid of becoming typecast as an adorable not-so-serious heroine, Field, like many talented actors of the ‘50s and ‘60s, studied “Method Acting”—also known as “Emotional Acting,” “Divine Inspiration,” or “Feeling the Role” under the guidance of Lee Strasberg. She later won an Emmy Award in her role as a woman with multiple personality disorder in Sybil—a pivotal role in her career.

They estimate now that 500,000 women were touched by these 8,000 women. Then you imagine what these 500,000 go out and do and touch.” One of the 8,000 is Adelaide Tega from Cameroon. Says Field, “Like Norma Rae, Adelaide Tega was a typical trader in Douala’s Sandaga Market, the largest in Central Africa. Even though women make up the majority of this market’s traders, only two have ever been a part of its association for workers. Adelaide was determined to amplify their voices. Vital Voices mentored her in her quest for workers’ rights, leading her to her selection as the head of the worker’s association.” Field believes women to be the best change agents in the world. When she accepted her third Emmy Award in 2007 for her role in the series Brothers and Sisters, she said, “If mothers ruled the world, we wouldn’t have any more goddamned wars!” In an interview with Marianne Shnall, founder of, Field speaks about her own struggle to find her own voice. “At a young age I was pressed into being a celebrity, which caused me to shut down and lock myself away from the human race for a long time.” Field described therapy, examining her own process, reading and meditation as important parts of her quest to quiet her own mind and find the strength to go out and do the things she wanted to do. In her talk with Brian Williams, Field concluded, “Women give back in a unique way—different than men do. That voice, that vital voice is so desperately needed in this world.” The world is indeed blessed to have Field’s vital and passionate voice.


story title I section title


EMPOWER YOUR FUTURE. one of The besT i’ve read in my years of reading and judging books. -judge #56-

20Th annual wriTer’s digesT self Published book awards

The insTrucTion manual you wish had come wiTh your life. -lisa daily-

auThor, syndicaTed columnisT, media PersonaliTy

f /authormarciwise

In Paperback And On Kindle Available On Amazon

About the author: Positive Impact Magazine’s A Moment of Clarity columnist.


environment && alternative energy environment energy

Archangel Ancient Tree Archives

The Power of the Individual By Ellen Dee Davidson • Photos Courtesy of Archangel Ancient Tree Archives


n Beyond Religion; Ethics for a Whole changes and diseases, Milarch believes that World, the Dalai Lama says, “I have always these trees will be essential to coping with the been a believer in the power of the challenges of climate change. A warming climate individual. Throughout human history, many of puts stress on forests, creating situations like that the great developments that have helped of the pine beetle. No longer killed by frost, pine change the course of humanity have emerged beetles have increased their swarming season through the initiative of from only a few weeks in individuals. And each July to several months. of these initiatives Entire slopes of lodgebegan with a vision pole and ponderosa pine and a belief in a new are dying in Colorado, and better world. Wyoming, Idaho and Whether it was William Montana. Other diseases Wilberforce’s camin trees possibly correpaign to abolish the lated to changes in the slave trade, Mahatma weather include sudden Gandhi’s nonviolent oak death, elm disease, freedom movement in leaf blight and the cankers India, Martin Luther killing black walnuts. King Jr.’s civil rights It’s heartbreaking to movement, or my watch trees sicken, and fellow Nobel Peace dangerous for us, as Prize laureate Jody well. As scientists do William’s campaign further research on forfor the banning of ests, it is becoming inantipersonnel land creasingly clear that mines, in each case trees are essential for the inspiration came our survival. One of the from individuals.” most important things One individual with they do is to sequester Erik and climbers, The New York Times photojournalist initiative is David Mithe carbon that is causlarch. During a near-death experience, visions ing the climate to warm, as well as giving out of angels inspired Milarch with a mission to clone the oxygen we all need to breathe. ancient trees and plant them in living tree librarTrees provide a host of other services, as ies around the planet. Although Milarch had Milarch, the nurseryman from Michigan, says, previously cloned fruit trees in his shade tree “They do it all for free.” Trees give fruits, nuts and nursery, he had no idea how to accomplish the many medicines. Strategically planted next to a task. No one had succeeded in cloning old building, trees can reduce the costs of air congrowth trees before, and Milarch did not have ditioning or heat. Planted along creeks and lots of money, political connections, or special streams, trees like willows purify the water from education to help him succeed. Milarch knew he sewage, pollutants and heavy metals. Having had to try. “The genetics of the biggest trees are trees around even improves moods and has been disappearing. Someone’s got to clone them and proven to lower crime rates! keep a record,” states Milarch, adding, “A tree Studies are taking place about the way trees that lives a thousand years might know something emit chemicals called aerosols into the atmoabout survival.” sphere. Aerosols act as natural sunscreens, Since the older, champion trees are the proven pesticides or medicines. Black walnuts release survivors of drought, pests, extreme temperature an aerosol called juglone. For the walnut, this


Glowing twin near Stagg

Milarch says,

“If I can do it, anyone can.”

3,500-year-old giant sequoia.. Phil the tree-hugger at Stagg.

For more information, or if you’d like to help, check out As the Dalai Lama ends in the previous quote, “It is likewise collections of individuals who, in supporting each of these campaigns, have helped bring about lasting change. Since society itself is nothing but a collection of individuals, human beings just like you and me, it follows that if we want to change society, it is up to each one of us to make our contribution.”



aerosol acts as an insect repellent. For humans, just walking by and breathing it in boosts the immune system and helps prevent cancer. Milarch says, “It’s time to restore our forests.” In order to do this, he has cofounded a nonprofit organization, Archangel Ancient Tree Archives. Running on a shoestring of donations and a few grants, Milarch and his team have already managed to clone and plant all sorts of ancient trees, including oaks, black willows, redwoods, spruce and pine. Milarch believes redwoods are particularly important because they sequester the most carbon – up to four tons per tree. His first planting of a grove of small redwoods cloned from giants over 2,000 years old took place in 2012 in southern Oregon. Future plans include planting clones of old growth

creating conversation


Glowing Sequoia at Stagg

trees in countries around the world including Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, Chile, England and France. Aware that climate change is creating warmer conditions, Milarch suggests using a technique called “assisted migration” to restore our forests. This is when humans help by planting the trees outside of their normal range. Although forests do tend to migrate a bit by dropping the seeds at their edges, this is often no longer possible due to roads and developments. The natural process is too slow to deal with a rapidly changing climate. In the case of the redwoods, the planting in Oregon was to the north of their normal range, which Milarch believes will be the ideal climate for redwoods in the near future. Milarch says assisted migration might also help with problems like the pine beetle. Pines in the southern range are already adapted to warmer climates and may have more resistance to pests like the beetles when planted further to the north. It might help to plant a variety of pines to determine which ones have the best survival rates. Of course, Milarch believes that clones from the oldest trees that have already proven their longevity is our best bet. One thing Milarch is certain about is that we need to do everything we can to save our forests. He says, “Trees are important if we want clean air and water.” Milarch is one individual making a big difference.

around all things blue contact J for your next event. start the conversation.


Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Continuing the Real-Life

Legacy of


Tale By Bailey Foster Photos Courtesy of Clearwater Aquarium

Nicholas the dolphin with trademark smile


he natural world has ways of moving, motivating and inspiring us, from the beauty of snowcapped mountains to incredible ocean depths. Perhaps even more enthralling than our natural surroundings are the other living creatures with which we share this earth. For decades, studies have shown that human interaction with animals is directly correlated to improvements in health, both physical and mental. Seeing the strength and tenacity of animals in the wild and in domestic settings can help us discover our own ability to endure. This idea has become an undeniable reality at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where the story of a dolphin named Winter has created a worldwide message of hope and perseverance. 34


Before Winter was featured on NBC’s The Today Show, CNN, BBC and, of course, the number-one box office hit Dolphin Tale, she was rescued from a crab trap line in Indian River Lagoon. In late 2005, the three-month-old dolphin was brought to Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) to undergo rehabilitation. As the result of her serious injuries, Winter lost her entire tail, in addition to two vertebrae. Against all odds, Winter demonstrated extraordinary stamina and persistence, adapting to her physical handicaps and going from merely surviving to thriving. Adding to the stunning nature of her story, she then learned how to swim normally with a prosthetic tail, which was developed through the combined efforts of Hanger, Inc., a provider of prosthetics and

orthotics, and veterinarian Dr. Mike Walsh. After seeing Winter’s journey firsthand, CMA’s CEO, David Yates, knew this was a story that will positively impact people across the globe, particularly children facing difficult times. “I told my team… if we’re able to get this out right, this story can inspire millions of kids around the world,” recalls Yates. With inspiration as the driving motivator, CMA released Winter’s story to NBC’s The Today Show in 2006, a step that eventually led to the 2011 release of the major motion picture Dolphin Tale. The message has since become a global phenomenon, one that continues providing hope to children, wounded soldiers and hundreds upon thousands of other people who can relate to Winter’s struggle and subsequent triumph.

environment & energy I animals Since the release of Winter’s story to the media, CMA’s attendance has gone from 78,000 in 2006 to 750,000 in 2012. The aquarium continues to receive thousands of messages detailing how Winter has inspired countless lives around the country and throughout the world. Because of the incredible volume of responses it has received due to Winter’s story, CMA offers opportunities for particular individuals, children and wounded soldiers to have direct, one-onone encounters with Winter. Though the aquarium has conducted therapy sessions between children and dolphins in the past, Winter’s story has drastically expanded this method of outreach. “When guests come to the aquarium today, they have the most unique experience in the world,” says Yates. “A large portion of people who come to see us come because somebody in their family – their kid, their wife, their daughter, their

the or phaned dolphin was rehabilitated and raised at CMA. She now brings encouragement to orphaned children, giving them hope for a brighter future. Panama was found beached on Panama City Beach in October 2000. Estimated to be about 25 years Winter visiting with a guest and trainer old at the time of her rescue, Panama was transported to this year, will capture the emotion and CMA for rehabilitation. She was eventuinspiration behind the lives of three indially determined to have severe hearing viduals who were directly impacted by loss, preventing her ability to use echoWinter’s story. While writing and filming location in the wild. With her story of the documentary, Yates has encountered survival and adaptation, Panama offers countless people who have been inspiration for hearing-impaired children changed for the better because of Winand adults to transcend the trials they ter, from children undergoing chemoface on a daily basis. therapy to individuals struggling with When he was six months old, Nicholas autism or physical deformities. was found stranded with his mother near In addition to the pending release of Gibsonton on Christmas Eve 2002. the new documentary, potential facility Though his mother Noelle did not surexpansion is also on the horizon for vive, Nicholas was able to overcome CMA. “We believe that Dolphin Tale has tremendous obstacles. With second- and become the number-one movie of all third-degree sunburns covering 30% of time in the history of Hollywood for tourhis body, Nicholas was in danger of ism creation,” says Yates. In a joint study malnutrition and infection. Yet after only with the University of South Florida last nine months of year, CMA found that the film’s proc a re a t C M A , jected tourism impact on the county Kevin Carroll, SM, CP, FAAOP (Left) Nicholas’s burns during the first five years following its and Dan Strzempka, CPO were completely initial release was an estimated $2.1 to wounded soldier son healed. Today, his $5 billion. With plans for a new facility, – had an amazing inscars ser ve as CMA hopes to benefit marine and spirational experience reminders to burn human lives, as well as the local learning Winter’s story.” victims that they economy, for years to come. Winter’s impact is too can move on now being complewith their lives. mented by a group of “This is a lifeIf you want to be a part other dolphins at CMA. Panama the dolphin swimming happily changing connecCMA’s goal to make a Just as a variety of tion that people positive impact, visit children and adults have identified with are making by the thousands,” Yates says Winter’s story, many other individuals of the dolphin encounters at CMA. “It and follow the link to are now identifying with the stories of really has become a ‘Mecca pilgrimage’ “Get Involved.” Whether it’s providing Hope, Panama and Nicholas. for people walking in our door who are financial support, participating in one of Hope was found in December 2010, there for a very specific reason.” the aquarium’s many programs or volvery near the location where Winter was To continue this amazing legacy and unteering your time, you can help sustain rescued in Indian River Lagoon. At the impact, Yates is in the process of updatCMA’s principles and ensure that anitime, she was two to three months old ing the 2007 documentary Winter: The mals like Winter continue to inspire. and had just lost her mother. Facing Dolphin that Could. The new version of certain death if she stayed in the wild, the documentary, scheduled for release


winner of writing program

Our Dog

Became A Guide Dog

Beagle Key guiding and loving his blind brother, Jet.

We have two beagles, Jet and Key. Key is a happy-go-lucky, slightly chubby clown. He wanders around the backyard wagging his tail, thoughtfully, deciding which bone he should dig up and rebury for the day. Key will happily steal your food and your heart. Jet, who is thinner, quiet and serious, will snuggle up to you if you are sad. Barking deeply and fiercely, he alerts us to strangers. Several years ago, Jet was also struggling with glaucoma. Sitting in the vet’s office, we watched in disbelief as the doctor dropped several cotton balls to test for blindness. Jet’s beautiful, seemingly healthy, large brown eyes never moved or made any attempt to follow those silent messengers of doom. Our vet suggested a veterinary ophthalmologist who could measure Jet’s eye pressure and give us special medications. At first, we thought the treatments were working and the long trips were worth it. Key went along to comfort his buddy. One month later, we had to admit the treatments weren’t working. Although it was a very tough decision, Jet’s dysfunctional eyeballs would have to be permanently removed and replaced with artificial eyes in order to relieve his discomfort. Through it all, Jet has been an inspiration. He has never complained or given up. Whenever he bumps into something, he simply drops low to the ground, like a football running back, regroups, and continues to move forward. He wags his tail when we give

for Another Dog By Carol and Jim Singh

him encouragement as if to say, “I’m okay, mom and dad!” Of course, Key is a champion with his loving beagle heart. Beagles have legendary appetites. Any beagle owner will be happy to share tall tales of stolen dinners, ransacked refrigerators, and in Key’s case, the occasional TV remote snack. As much as Key loves food, he loves Jet even more. Because Jet is

blind, he takes much longer to find his food bowl. Key will never sneak up on Jet to steal his food. He instinctively understands that Jet needs a friend. Not only does Jet have a very special friend for life now, he has his own personal guide dog, who works for free, plus the occasional cookie.

Help Feed Families in Haiti Special for Positive Magazine readers. Write “Haiti” in the comment field when donating and 100% will support the Community Food Garden Project in Haiti. Donate at or mail a check payable to AWFW to the address below. Thank you for your compassion and generosity.

© 2011 Carol & Jim Singh



815 Otis Place, NW, Washington, DC 20010 202.495.1348

amazing you!


The Answer To Everything by Brian Cunningham


omewhere deep inside, you know there is something else going on. All is not as it seems. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s there, hidden in plain sight. This world seems to be designed as some sort of tragic comedy. The things that give you pleasure also inevitably bring you pain. You tell yourself you’re in control, yet paradoxically much of your life is out of control. You want to change, to find a better way to manage the chaos. More often than not it’s just a wish, and you resort to more of the same. Most of us cope by self-medicating with alcohol, prescription or “recreational” drugs, work, shopping, obsessing over someone like a lover or a child, too much food, virtually no food, or any number of other excessive indulgences. Do you want to free yourself of all worry and know the answer to everything? Is there a way out? /

To experience “Satori”, (a flash of enlightenment) is the first step to awaken to a reality beyond this one—where you can rise above everything: your problems, your fears, even your life as you know it. It’s what the artists and prophets have been telling us all along.

An “awe-wareness” beyond thoughts, a new reality, appears. You rise above the world that had been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. You know the great “nothing,” a nothing that can’t be put into words. The nothing that creates everything. If it didn’t happen, try again. And again. Try until you get it. The empty page is a portal to enlightenment because it’s a metaphor, a reflection, an agent of the empty mind. Ironically most of us spend years looking at pages full of thoughts and ideas. Cluttered, like our minds often are. The cluttered page, like the cluttered mind, will not take you there. Knowledge has utility. Only the silent empty mind will get you there.

Life Is But A Dream

Every Breath You Take

There is.

In the movie Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio was unable to awaken to reality. He was trapped in layers of dreams, held prisoner by his mind. Fortunately you can awaken and experience an “ah ha” moment of Satori. Here’s one way:

Take a blank notebook and shuffle the pages through your fingers like a deck of cards. Hidden in this notebook is a special page, a portal to Satori. And when you truly see it, you will awaken. Feel the notebook at your fingertips. Realize the importance of the journey you’re about to undertake. Let go and trust the process. Now, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. This time flip though the pages until you feel it’s time to stop on one particular page. Open to that page as you continue to slowly exhale. Gaze intensely into the empty page until your mind grows silent and…


The flash of Satori hits like a tsunami and the very fabric of this world tears open. You pour like water into the river of eternity. Time stands seductively still. A deafening silence envelops you. You feel as if you’re gasping for air, it’s not your lungs. It’s your heart, gasping in awe, for the entire moment is pure awe.

In truth, portals are everywhere. Each moment, every breath, is a veritable wormhole to Satori. Believe it or not, you’re already there! The only thing standing in your way is you. The you of your ego holds you prisoner. And it’s more “human doing” than “human being”. Being is simply pure presence. So the less you do, the easier it will be for you to quiet your thoughts and experience Satori. Perhaps like the great teachers you may find it easier to achieve Satori alone in nature. Nature has a primal energy we all naturally tune in to. Studies support this; being in nature can shift people’s morals in a positive way, increase immune function and increase the calming neurotransmitter - serotonin. Studies support the regular practice of this, what many call meditation, as one of the most positive things you can do to increase health and happiness. And now you know it’s much more than that, for the “ah ha” moment of Satori is waiting behind every moment. Most experience it on their last breath, you can start with this breath now. It will happen in an instant, at any instant, so never give up. The mind needing answers to everything will never be truly happy. Only by emptying the mind of thoughts can you awaken to an unconditional happiness and rise above the need for answers. You’ll still go about normal life. Empowered with this new awareness, you can greet every moment and everything as it arises.


Everyday People

Random Acts of Flowers Brings Immense Joy and Hope to Those Who Need It Most

By Sandy Meyer • Photos by Random Acts of Flowers


s Larsen Jay lay in a hospital bed with multiple breaks and fractures after falling from a ladder in 2007, he had no idea that his life was about to take a pivotal turn. Jay had nearly died from his fall, and family and friends showed support by inundating him with flowers. “I was in the trauma ward of the University of Tennessee Medical Center and just got overwhelmed in the way of flowers.” After a week stuck in his hospital room, Jay decided he needed to take a walk. Rolling his wheelchair down the sterile hospital hallways, Jay began to notice something disturbing. “We noticed how many rooms had no flowers, no plants, no visitors…no life.” Jay went back to his room, loaded up his wheelchair with the bouquets and began giving them away randomly. “It made a profound effect on people that I never forgot,” says Jay. Several months later, Jay couldn’t shake the memories of how he felt when he delivered those flowers at the hospital. He began to research the idea of recycling and repurposing flowers to give to the sick and elderly and found that no one had done this extensively. A film and television producer by trade, Jay had no knowledge of flowers or flower arranging and determined to take his idea to fruition. Random Acts of Flowers established its board of directors in July 2008 and began the arduous task of creating a new charity. He and his network of volunteers learned as they went, and on March 3, 2009, they returned to where the idea was born, the University of Tennessee Medical Center, delivering their first official bouquet as an established charity. The concept is simple. Take the flowers and vases that people and businesses are going to throw out and recycle them into new arrangements to deliver to hospitals, assisted living centers and hospices. Jay and his army of volunteers have forged relationships with the community including florists, grocery stores, 38


Volunteer Ron Mahs

funeral homes and wedding halls. “There’s an endless supply of flowers thrown away every day and an endless amount of people who need a pick-me -up,” Jay explains. A team of 125 volunteers along with a couple of staff members keep the charity running at full speed. All of the flowers and vases are being repurposed after being discarded from other areas, so there is no cost for materials. Many come from weddings and funeral homes. “Funeral directors have told me that the #1 stress point after a memorial service is what to do with the flowers. You can honor your loved one 50 times over in their

name. It’s a great outlet for everyone,” shares Jay. Random Acts of Flowers also adds the special touch of writing the name of the person or business where the flowers were donated from on a card so that the recipient knows where they came from. “What’s great about the program is we let the caregivers decide who gets the flowers,” Jay shares. Jay and his team have cultivated relationships with the health care community, and he says that they have really embraced the charity and what it does. Each day before delivering the flowers, a call is made to the facilities that they deal with and a list of room

“What’s great about the program is we let the caregivers decide who gets the flowers.”

Founder/Executive Director Larsen Jay

numbers is given to the volunteers to make the deliveries. “It’s based on who’s sad, who’s nervous or who hasn’t had a visitor. It is not based upon age, race, income or religion. It really comes down to a moment of kindness and compassion and the fact that somebody cared. It’s just the right thing to do from a societal and community perspective,” Jay says. While this project was initially started as a part-time venture, Jay has virtually left his former film production career behind and embraced it as his life’s work. “The one story that was the real catalyst for me from doing this part-time to going in 100% was a summer when one of the nurses said, ‘I have a 94-year-old woman who’s been here two weeks and hasn’t had a visitor. She isn’t doing well; I don’t expect her to live more than another week. You’ve got to give her flowers.’ So I picked up a vase of two dozen roses and walked into her room. She said I had the wrong room, so I explained who I was and she refused again. I’d never been refused twice. I gave her the roses, and she just was overwhelmed and burst out in tears of joy. She said, ‘You don’t understand, no man has ever given me roses in my entire life, you don’t know what this means.’ ” They both had a good

Volunteer Dana O’Kelley lending a hand

cry together. “We fundamentally changed somebody’s life after 94 years. It was really impactful that we could have that effect.” Jay has received 40 inquiries from 38 states and two countries to find out how to implement the model that he has created. He is currently working with contacts in the Tampa, Florida area Finished Bouquets to launch two branches there by the end of 2013. He attributes the charity’s success to the simplicity of the idea. “It’s not a monetary program, it’s not religious, we’re not selling anything, there’s no agenda, its just people helping people.” Samantha Purnell, a nurse at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a firstinformation can be found on the website hand witness to the transformation that at occurs after a patient receives the flowJay knows that someday they will be ers. She says that hospital stays are esdelivering their millionth bouquet. “It’s pecially difficult for those patients without like the giving of a smile. It’s pure – so a support system. “I remember just the simple and neutral and pure. You can do other day being in a patient’s room and so much with so little.” someone from Random Acts brought in a beautiful bouquet and this transformed this once hardened, suffering patient into something bright. Although the flowers are transient, the feeling of support lasts,” she adds. She also admits that sometimes the flowers end up at the nurse’s station to brighten their day! When Random Acts of Flowers first began in 2009, they delivered approximately 50 to 150 arrangements each month. Currently they are averaging 700 Executive Assistant, Kellie Doyle & Volunteer Programs to 900 deliveries per month. To date they Manager, Lorraine Burns have made over 21,000 deliveries. More

Floral recipient in nursing home

“…there’s no agenda, it’s just people helping people.”

RAF Founder / Executive Director Larsen Jay delivering to a hospital patient

young pioneers


International and Indigenous Youth Awards


he School Broadcasting Network Inc (SBN) empowers young people to communicate their ideas, innovations and commitments for sharing culture and creating a sustainable and equitable future via a global youth media platform. In 2011 SBN launched its International Youth Awards program to recognize young change makers who are leading the way with their passion and commitment for creating equitable and sustainable communities. In 2012 SBN expanded these awards to include the International Indigenous Youth Award as a way of honoring young people who are creating innovative solutions and taking positive action within, and for, their own indigenous communities throughout the world. Nominations for the 2012 SBN Awards came from every continent and as always, it was a difficult task for the judges with so many heartwarming profiles to review. Ultimately two amazing young women were the equal winners of the inaugural SBN International Indigenous Youth Award. SBN’s steering committee and judging panel were all deeply moved and grateful to discover just how much positive impact and roll-on effect this award will continue to bring to these young women’s lives.

Nasha with Testigo Africa founders Emanuel Saakai and Tracey Sawyer

EQUAL WINNERS: 2012 SBN International Indigenous Youth Category

Partner: Jane Goodall Institute Australia

Nasha Kaleku Lemoti

Anitta Kerr

Tanzania: Sustainable Initiative & Action

Nepal: Emancipation of Women

Nasha is one of the Longido Masai women who are being trained to become both farmers and trainers for Testigo Africa’s Permaculture Project. Orphaned at a young age, Nasha had to leave school at 14 years old and was married soon after. At 18 years old, and with two young children to feed, Nasha joined the permaculture project so that she could learn how to produce her own food and create an income source to support her family and help other women in her community to do the same. Nasha and the women of Longido live in extremely harsh conditions, and winning the SBN International Indigenous Youth Award, which included $100 cash (more money than Nasha has ever seen in her life) has greatly assisted Nasha to set up a micro-business for growing and selling her produce. This in turn will transform her life and positively impact her wider community in many ways. As Nasha lives in a very patriarchal society, winning this award has also brought her personal recognition and respect in a community where women are rarely recognized for their achievements.

Anitta is a young Nepalese woman who manages the Seven Women Co-Op center in Katmandu, which is having a huge positive impact on disadvantaged Nepalese women. Anitta is very proactive and passionate about empowering the women of her community, especially via the opportunities that the Seven Women Co-op offers. Seven Women is a grassroots development organization that socially and economically empowers marginalized, disabled and socially isolated women of all ages, through skills training and employment. This initiative is assisting to emancipate women who would otherwise be impoverished by their circumstances and shunned by their own communities. Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries and one of the hardest places to live if you have a disability. As with the Masai people, Nepal is also a very patriarchal society and this, coupled with the religious view that disability is a “penance for sins committed in previous lives,” means that disabled women are mostly denied an education and often severely ostracized. Winning the SBN International Indigenous Award not only brings personal recognition and respect to Anitta in her role as manager of the Seven Women Co-op, it also brings a wider endorsement and recognition for all the women whose lives are being transformed by the opportunities the Seven Women Co-op brings to their community.



WINNERS: 2012 SBN International Youth under 20 Category

Partner: Positive Impact Magazine

Priya Verma

Thomas Dryburgh

Canada: Youth Leadership & Innovation

Jeparit, Australia: Resilience & Commitment

Priya has designed innovative technologies for rainwater harvesting to increase water resources, which are useful to the entire world. These techniques, highlighted in her project Increasing Underground Water Resources, have been recognized by the government of India, UNEP and other organizations worldwide. Many countries are adopting Priya’s techniques and ideas, which are universally applicable, globally novel, cost-effective, eco-friendly and utilitarian.

Thomas is passionate about supporting social causes and raising money for charities such as World Vision 40 Hour Famine, World Society for the Protection of Animals through the Bricks for Bears initiative and hosting a barefoot walk for the Take The Walk charity, which raises money to care for AIDS orphans in Africa. In the face of personal adversities where many would toss in the towel, Thomas dedicates his spare time to researching the plight of those less fortunate and hopes to devote his life’s work to helping others, by making positive change in countries torn apart by war, drought, corruption and poverty.

WINNER: 2012 SBN International Under 13 International Youth Category

Partner: Green Cross Australia

WINNER: Australian National Indigenous Youth Award Under 13 International Youth Category

Partner: Banskia Foundation

Mina Wilden

Mikaela Simpson

Germany: Global Voice for Youth

Alice Springs, Australia: Community Action & Education

Mina is a key team member of Radijojo in Germany, a children’s radio and media network that reaches out across the globe to give children a voice about things that matter to them. By the age of just 11 years old, Mina had already interviewed global figures such as Dr. Jane Goodall, Tony Sheridan and marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie. She has actively joined in global discussions with government ministers about children’s rights, education and community development and has helped pioneer a new media education project for peace and intercultural exchange in Morocco.

Mikaela spent a few years in Yuendamu teaching indigenous youth in multiple skills such as lifesaving (yes, in the desert!), banking and health care. Mikaela is the current recipient of the 2012 Youth Trainee Broadcaster of the Year, NAIDOC awards held in Central Australia and the 2012 CBAA award winner as co-producer of the indigenous women’s program “Women’s Business.” Mikaela produces many hours of youth and daily content for CAAMA Radio, and her media role is fluid in an ever-changing environment where aboriginal rights are a prevalent daily issue. Mikaela is very aware of her responsibilities to aboriginal people, and she is proud and honored to be a role model for youth, as well as all aboriginal people far and wide.


ominations for the 2013 SBN Inc International and Indigenous Youth Awards open June 1 and close on September 30. SBN invites nominations from anywhere in the world and is proud to be working with the Positive Impact Magazine Awards in a reciprocal nomination opportunity, whereby any youth nomination for the PIM Awards will automatically also be accepted as a nomination for the SBN International and Indigenous Youth Awards and vice a versa, giving nominees two chances for winning an award.

So if you know an amazing young person who is:

»» caring for community ► »» committed to social justice »» creating initiatives and benchmarks for an equitable and sustainable future

»» furthering the understanding and integration of indigenous or international culture…we’d love to hear from you!

Online nomination forms are available from


20/20 I columns












This conceited badge of awareness is at best delusional... worse, I see it as enslaving. If we believe that being able to work a keyboard represents knowledge and intellect, if we relax in the false confidence that access to facts suggests we know something, then we are enslaving ourselves with a self-imposed complacency. It is this falsely confirmed comfort that allows us to settle in where we are and stop striving for better—a better world, a better life. Just look at the mess this world is still in...and everyone (almost) has access to the same Internet chock full of facts. So many facts are available that filtering the tsunami of information is a monumental task all its own. A task few have the skills to every fact appears of equal and unquestioned value. RE

It seems a major sin of our culture is to appear to not know something. The Internet and search engines like Google have made the skill of instant access of obscure facts rather universal and thus of little value. Answers to questions of facts-known are readily available to us all and free for the asking. Any kid in Benghazi with a smartphone can “know” the pitching stats of the ‘68 Yankees. So what?


Doubt and Possibility

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. Its what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” —Mark Twain Since this instant access to definitive knowledge is so universal, it appears we have developed a keen sense of when something is not known, a piece is missing...and we can’t stand it! So far what I’ve said is not a problem... the problem comes from what we tend to do with this ability to sense a lack of information. Too many of us see the missing piece as a problem, rather than the opportunity it really is. They will endeavor to fill the perceived void...immediately. Going forward with the uncertainty is not an option. We grab the nearest well-connected device and Google our way to a rapid solution to our angst, we display our ability to solve this problem, our world is again whole and we are again at peace knowing ALL. Yea, us.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” —Unknown 42


There is a thinking deficiency, not a fact deficiency. The opportunity I mentioned actually comes when we train ourselves to be comfortable with the UN-known. And the bigger the unknown the better. We must train ourselves NOT to view life and knowledge as a jigsaw puzzle with defined edges..... LOOK, a piece is missing, found it....done. Truth is, there are no edges...and it is beyond what seems to be the edge where we find the freedom to think, to form visions, to allow our imagination to really create. Richard Feynman, the Nobel prize winning physicist, calls this “humility of intellect.” To me this is the flip side of arrogance. We need to be careful not to overvalue what we know. Access to facts does not make us wise; it’s how we use facts to manage our world and our choices that really helps us. Certainty is confining; doubt and acknowledging the unknown lead to the openness of possibility. Keep this in mind as you work on your 20/20 goals and values….you can’t fill a void until you create one. Give the creation of voids in your future the same attention that you give the tangible “answers.” Every minute of our existence is the unfolding of unknowns. Being able to deal with uncertainty, the unknown, is a much more valuable skill than simply knowing a fact.


Looking up from the To-Do List

By Christina Fletcher



emember when you were a child, when you woke up to the wonder of each day, eager to see how it would unfold? Remember feeling like you were suddenly “growing up” with your first homework assignments or notes to keep, with your first to-do list, when you had that newfound feeling of responsibility and you reveled in it? Oh, how quickly we get used to things, right? Now, older and more responsible, each day we wake with the to-do list echoing in our heads. We scribble it down, frantically worried we’ll forget an item and it will be left undone. The world has gotten faster over the years. Emails and cell phones mean we are constantly available and never out of the office. There seems to be more to do than ever before and less time to be able to do it in. We have gone beyond multitasking now. We are simply Do-ers: always on the move, always available, and always ready to add just that one more thing to fill any vacant space in time. What a lucky thing it is we have children to remind us what life is about. Have you ever noticed that the moment a parent is running around, checking off items from their list in a frantic state, it is the same moment that their child has a meltdown? It is almost always at the point when a parent “just has to get one more thing done” that a child will finally break down in tears, fall into a tantrum, or go and pull the tail of the cat. Our to-do lists have us as a high powered pressure tank and our children can watch the pressure build, they can literally feel it, and finally, it’s not us that blow, it’s them. Although they may think of the to-do list as a symbol of maturity, in truth it is truly not in our children’s nature.


our own deeper natures. Children are incredible at reminding us to Be and to get off the wheel of doing. The deeper par t of us all knows the wheel of doing is usually the wheel of un-doing, and that’s why our children understand it so well. The busy person who pushes forth, resisting the call to stop and Be is the person who can’t sleep at night for the list going round in their heads. The person who takes a few moments each day to stop and dance with their toddler or smiles at a baby in the grocery store or even simply looks around them and notices the world in all its splendor, Being in the moment, those are the ones who For the busy parent, or caregiver, the successfully and happily complete the child who is flipping out can be the final to-do list…usually with joy and without straw. Each tantrum can be frustrating; much effort. not for the actual act, but for the interference it is to our rhythm at getting things done. That being said, we should listen The To-Do list to our children more. We need to switch is simply a guideline perspectives and see the world through younger, wiser eyes. It is there to provide us with a map for A child comes into this world knowing the journey. If we don’t look up from the that we are human Be-ings, not Do-ings. map and enjoy the ride, we usually bang They know, even before they are born, into a tree. Children remind us the ride that within each moment is the seed of is what life is all about and to laugh and possibility, which begs to be lived and play along the way. They often encourage doesn’t need to be filled. A young child us to throw the map away and in doing lives in the moment; they live their Now. so lead us on shortcuts or unbeaten That’s why each upset hits so deeply that paths that make the journey an advenit feels it will last forever. That’s why each joy is so A child comes into this world knowing blissful that it feels it will last that we are human Be-ings, not Do-ings. for eternity without any fear of losing it. For a child, life is about joy, it’s about fun. When a child ture. They know that by living moment sees their parents running around from to moment, flushing it out and getting job to job, getting stressed and rattled, every ounce of joy out of it, life flows, the demanding they rush because they’re day flows, the jobs flow and we sleep late and never stopping just to be, their happily, knowing that we achieved more deeper sense of life kicks in, and they than any to-do list could accomplish. will do whatever it takes to remind us of



arts & entertainment — cover story

POSITIVEIMPACT MAGAZINE DiCaprio 44 and artist Walton Ford at his studio in New York.

A Man of Many Masks By Julie Starke Photos courtesy of Christie’s Image Ltd. 2013

THE ART OF BEING LEONARDO DICAPRIO It’s hard to know whether Leonardo DiCaprio is swanky or simple. Maybe that’s just testament to his over-the-top ability to embody the characters he plays in the movies. From the conflicted to the tortured to the deeply driven romantic, DiCaprio possesses an intensely emotional acting style. No wonder he is hard to peg. The man, quite simply, refuses to conform. He is exactly who we need him to be. Which is exactly why we don’t know him at all. Fact is, DiCaprio is an anomaly of sorts. He demonstrates a diversity of roles that has led him to be dubbed “one of the most daring, respected and challenging actors working today.” This Oscar nominated, Golden Globe winning, actor- turned-film director lays claim to 31 wins and 77 nominations within his industry, yet he remains behind the iron curtain of Hollywood “royalty.” We simply don’t see a lot of Leo, so it requires a bit of imagination to piece together the man behind the mask.

[continued next page…]



An Energy of Imagination We know his humble beginnings and his status as an only child to a blend of German/Russian-German/Italian parents. We know he was presumably named for Leonardo DaVinci, his grandparents were Russian immigrants, and that he grew up in Los Angeles eons away from the Hollywood he knows today. We know he started his career in television and found recognition when landing a stint as Cousin Oliver on Growing Pains; won critical acclaim for his role in What’s

Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet. We also know that he exploded on the scene as Jack Dawson in James Cameron’s Titanic and began a run of movies that repeatedly thrust him in the spotlight during the late ‘90s and early 2000s. It’s obvious he was once a teen heartthrob, a bit of a party-goer, and that he dates supermodels. We even know that his favorite director is Scorsese, his favorite actress Meryl Streep, and that Kate Winslet considers him the best actor of his generation. The basics are there—hard to hide and open to public scrutiny. When we begin to piece together the man behind the actor’s mask, we see a sensitivity that belies the public version. We see deepness in his eyes, a childlike quality in his gait, seriousness behind his youthful good looks and a classic guy-nextdoor style in everyday life. He may be a bit neurotic about the little things and seriously focused when it comes to the big

“You can either be a vain movie star, or you can try to shed some light on different aspects of the human condition...” Eating Gilbert Grape; and, at 21, he wowed audiences with his portrayal as Romeo in

things. And he is decidedly private, preferring afternoon outings with friends to the glare of the spotlight. When he is offcamera, he is off and he has no problem telling the world why.

A Voice for the Voiceless One thing Leonardo DiCaprio has is a voice. A voice he uses to endlessly entertain us, and one that can be heard clearly, even beyond the silver screen. This is an actor who cares. Really cares. Put away the pretty-boy, once-teenageheartthrob stuff (which he actually dislikes), and you will find a talented actor and a sincere caring person who Carter Roberts, CEO of World Wildlife Federation, calls “a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.” A committed environmentalist, DiCaprio is well known in the world of ecological activism. He serves on the board of the World Wildlife Fund, The Natural Resources Defense Council, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Global Green USA, as well as having created his own foundation to raise money and awareness for the fate of the planet. “You can either be a vain movie star, or you can try to shed some light on different aspects of the human condition,” says DiCaprio. “I like to help the whales, the otters, and the dolphins. When I am acting and I take a break, the first thing on my list is spending time by the sea.” His reach is vast, and he speaks loudly and often to support those things that mean the most to him. If you look through the years, you find that DiCaprio didn’t just jump on the “save the planet” bandwagon that it is now en vogue - quite the contrary. This solid supporter of all things green— and blue—has been using his voice for humanity long before anyone wanted to hear it.

Ushering in The Environmental Age

DiCaprio with legendary producer Steven Spielberg on the set of Catch Me If You Can.



One of his biggest environmental works to date, The 11th Hour is the 2007 documentary that he wrote, narrated and debuted. It is here that DiCaprio introduced audiences to the “staggering destruction of our eco-systems.” Following on the heels

Detailed image of the ocean (bottom of image) by Andreas Gursky. Lot 6, Ocean V, 2010

“None of our living systems are stable or improving and they provide the basis for all life.” of An Inconvenient Truth, this film furthered the environmental conversation and, quite frankly, helped to usher in what DiCaprio has called “The Environmental Age.” The film featured the active voices of oceanographer Sylvia Earle, award-winning scientist David Suzuki, and Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking, among many others. In it, DiCaprio explored the idea that “as we destroy nature we will destroy ourselves” and cited the fact that “none of our living systems are stable or improving and they provide the basis for all life.” Unlike others, this film presented some-

what of a solution. It claimed that we needed a “cultural transformation” in order to stop our eco-systems from unraveling. He believes the problem lies in the way we think and in the way knowledge is passed. A slave to media as the primary instrument of information, DiCaprio says “we’ve lost the beauty of the world and the ability to even learn by our own experience.” He believes we are so dependent upon the information that is being sent to us by our various media that we no longer know life for ourselves. In short, we have lost the experience of connecting with our planet in a tangible way.

According to The 11th Hour, environmentalism is a human issue and our planet is a direct reflection of what is going on inside of each of us. The good news, according to DiCaprio, is that this generation gets to completely redesign the world. Corporations can become the foundation of the future by creating new intentions for renewable sources of energy, water and fairness. And, as DiCaprio truly believes, by doing so we can “save this unique blue planet for future generations.” He’s on board with that too. [continued on next page…]



33 works of art went up for auction


33 countries represented with registered buyers


38.8 million dollars raised


6.2 million paid for a painting


9 works of art sold for more than $1 million each


13 world auction numbers set


140,000 animal and plant species becoming extinct every year


10,000 times the historic extinction rate


3,200 or less tigers left in the world


90% of the world’s sharks gone


10 years for the African elephant to disappear

Detailed image of the ocean (top of image) by Andreas Gursky. Lot 6, Ocean V, 2010

A Solid Foundation for Change As founder of The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), he has established a non-profit that “supports efforts to secure a sustainable future for our planet and all of its inhabitants.” The foundation plays a very active role in the environmental movement by providing grants, buildi n g p a r t n e rs h i p s , spearheading creative campaigns that shift the way issues are communicated, forming alliances with other influencers, and utilizing social media to affect change. For instance, Twitter is littered with calls to action: “It’s time to end the illegal trade of ivory and save the wild elephants”- “Last Call at the Oasis tells the story of our global



Art donated for auction by Rob Pruitt entitled 6:20pm, late Summer

water crisis” - “Big cats like tigers and lions belong in the wild, not in people’s backyards and basements.” And Facebook is much the same. Visit his website, and you will find it equally devoted to his latest movie releases (which are plentiful) as well as his current environmental missions. There are stories that are relevant to issues haunting our planet in real time: “Thailand Announces End to Ivory Trade” and “Leo Launches Initiative with WWF to Stop Wildlife Crime.”

Most recently, DiCaprio’s foundation committed $1 million to help fund a new campaign dubbed “Hand Off My Parts,” a new initiative by WWF to stop wildlife crime. He has spearheaded an art auction with Christie’s in New York City to raise funds to support causes that affect our planet and has aligned with several sustainable, good-for-you businesses. Acclaimed coffee roaster La Colombe has joined forces with DiCaprio to create Lyon – a special blend of directly sourced and sustainably grown coffees from the mountains of Haiti, Peru, Ethiopia and Brazil, in which 100% of the net proceeds benefit the causes LDF supports. He has gotten behind candy-maker Unreal ( in an attempt to “unjunk” the candy world by using only real ingredients. The product has no artificial flavoring, hydrogenates, corn syrup or GMOs and is made with much less sugar. The company is responsibly

Untitled (Leo) drawing by Robert Longo

Painting of Leonardo DiCaprio by American artist Elizabeth Peyton sold for $1 million at the 11th Hour Auction in NYC.

sourcing key ingredients, supporting farming communities and preventing destruction of rainforests. “In my adult life, my environmental work and activism remain a priority,” says DiCaprio. “I created a foundation that focuses on raising public awareness of the very important issues concerning our planet, our environment and the impact we as people have on the world we live in…it is not only an extremely fulfilling and gratifying learning experience but also has taken me to some of the most interesting and beautiful places in the world.” And traveling the world is something DiCaprio does well. Much like his character in Catch Me If You Can, DiCaprio likes to keep moving. Whether it is working in three or four star-studded movies back-to-back or connecting with his planet by diving in the waves off South Florida, DiCaprio fluidly moves between worlds. When asked what he would do after the wrap of one of his many roles, DiCaprio commented, “I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment.” And that, as they say, is “a wrap!”

DiCaprio, along with Winslet and Cameron, publicly pledged to support the financial future of the last living Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean, after she had been forced to sell her mementos to pay her nursing home bills. DiCaprio on set with Kate Winslet for the epic movie Titanic.


mind, body & spirit

Who Loves You? How to Activate Self-Love in Your Life By Marci Shimoff


re you a loving person? Are you kind, friendly, and encouraging? For most of us, the answer to these questions is yes—at least to some degree. Here’s the true litmus test of unconditional love: Are you a loving person to yourself? Are you kind, friendly, and encouraging to yourself? Chances are it’s harder to answer yes to these questions. Loving yourself is absolutely vital. Studies show it’s the basis for success, happiness, and healthy relationships. So how do you do it? It’s easy to love yourself for your “good” qualities: your talents and successes. The trick is in learning to love your less-thanperfect qualities. The most direct way you can love the unlovable in yourself is to bring the feeling of love to whatever it is you’re feeling or experiencing – even it’s challenging or unpleasant. If you’re having a hard time loving yourself, begin by simply loving the fact that you are unable to love yourself in this moment. Try this little experiment: Think of something that you really don’t like about yourself – you’re too fat or too thin, you can’t balance your checkbook, for example. Now close your eyes, and remember a time when you felt love in your heart for someone or something. Notice if you feel a warmth or expansion in the area of your heart. Now direct that same feeling of love toward yourself—just as you are, flaws and all. Let’s be clear here, I’m not asking you to love your excess flab or your boniness or your lameness in the bean-counting department. What I’m suggesting is that you beam love, compassion, and understanding to that person who’s experienc-

ing the challenge: you! When you do this, you’ll probably feel a physical shift in your body – you’ll be more relaxed and you may even find yourself smiling. When you can love yourself in every situation—whether you’ve succeeded or failed, whether you feel good or bad, whether you’re enjoying life or hating it – you’ve taken self-love to the unconditional level. This one small act can have big and measurable effects. A team of British researchers led by Dr. Paul Gilbert s h owe d t h a t training people to be loving and compas-

marekuliasz /

sionate toward every aspect of themselves – even toward their tendency to be selfcritical – significantly reduced mental suffering, depression, anxiety, self-criticism, shame, inferiority, and submissive behavior, while upping their ability to soothe and reassure themselves. Hale Dwoskin, the bestselling author of The Sedona Method, and one of the 150 Love Luminaries I interviewed for my latest book, Love for No Reason, told me, “What most people call self-love – positive affirmations and putting smileyface Post-its on the mirror – is just a

Adapted from Love for No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love (Free Press, December 2010). Love for No Reason offers a breakthrough approach to experiencing a lasting state of unconditional love—the kind of love that doesn’t depend on another person, situation, or romantic partner, and that you can access at any time and in any circumstance. This is the key to lasting joy and fulfillment in life. Order Love for No Reason now and receive the Love for No Reason Bonus Package free at www.TheLoveBook. com. Follow Marci on Twitter @Marci_Shimoff.



manipulation. It’s like pasting a thin layer of positive emotion on top of problems. If you try to change them from a place of simply manipulating them, they only grow. If you love all your qualities as they are, good and so-called bad ones, you actually have the power to change them.” When you connect to the unconditional love at your core—what I call Love for No Reason—real self-love starts to flow. Every day, I do a very simple self-love practice that brings me into my heart and reminds me to treat myself with care. It comes in especially handy whenever I’m having a rough time or being critical toward myself or others. You can do this, too. Throughout the day, ask yourself, What’s the most loving thing I can do for myself right now? or What’s the most loving way I can be with myself right now? And then pay very close attention to the answer. Sometimes the answer is that you need to have more compassion for the part of you that is hurting; other times it’s forgiving yourself for your mistakes or lightening up on yourself. There are also times when the most loving thing you can do for yourself is taking a walk or a hot bath or calling a good friend for a chat. The important thing is to make the questions a part of your daily practice. Don’t think you’re being selfish—far from it! When you love and take care of yourself, you’ll find it inevitably serves everyone. Isn’t a world filled with love the kind we all want to live in?

“Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.”

—Thaddeus Golas, 20th-century author and philosopher



Berries and their flavonoids protect the heart By Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Recent research highlights the cardioprotective properties of berries: A 2011 study investigated berry consumption in relation to risk for elevated blood pressure. Compared to eating no blueberries, just one serving per week decreased the risk of hypertension by 10%.6, 7 New findings published in January 2013 from the Nurses’ Health Study support these results with data in younger women (age 25-42 at the start) who were followed for 18 years. In these women, three or more weekly servings of blueberries or strawberries was linked to a 34% reduced risk of heart attack compared to lower intake of berries.

How do berries and their colorful anthocyanins protect the heart and blood vessels?


erries are one of my super foods – the second B in G-BOMBS (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds) – rich in fiber and phytochemicals and low in calories. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are vibrantly colored with antioxidant phytochemicals, and they are some of the highest antioxidant foods in existence. The deep red, blue and purple pigments of berries are produced by flavonoid antioxidant molecules called anthocyanins, which are concentrated in the skins of the fruits. Flavonoids, are not merely antioxidants; they are thought to have a number of additional beneficial effects in the body that are unrelated to their antioxidant capacity. As such, several studies have shown that high flavonoid intake is associated with considerable risk reductions (up to 45%) for coronary heart disease. Dr. Fuhrman is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Eat to Live and Super Immunity and a board-certified family physician specializing in lifestyle and nutritional medicine. His newest book, The End of Diabetes, explains how to prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes and avoid its serious complications. Visit his informative website at and blog at, and follow Dr. Fuhrman at Facebook. com/DrFuhrman and on Twitter @DrFuhrman.



Studies using berries or berry phytochemicals in human participants or on human cells have uncovered some of the possible protective actions of berries on the cardiovascular system. Berry flavonoids seem to act in several different ways to maintain heart health. In human subjects, researchers found that berries mitigated oxidative stress, decreased oxidation of LDL (which helps to prevent the production of atherosclerotic plaque), increased blood antioxidant capacity, and in some cases improved lipid levels, blood pressure or blood glucose. Higher anthocyanin and berry intake is associated with reduced C-reactive protein (CRP), suggesting that berries may curb inflammation; additional studies have confirmed that berries have anti-inflammatory properties. Berry phytochemicals also may enhance nitric oxide production in the blood vessels, which helps to properly regulate blood pressure. Why not amplify these benefits by eating berries every day? If observational studies showed a 10% decrease in hypertension risk for one serving of blueberries per week, and a 34% reduced risk of heart attack from 3 servings of berries per week, imagine the protection that is possible when you eat berries every day! Even during winter, we can get our daily dose of anthocyanins from frozen berries. Also remember that in addition to promoting heart health, berries also have anti-cancer effects and provide protection against diabetes and dementia.

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inspiration I MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

Eating Intentionally Food with Passion for A Purpose—the Amie Valpone Story

Amie Valpone preparing a gluten-free meal.


his is a story about a woman, Amie Valpone, whose life has been transformed by food and who has used that knowledge to create a passion that has healed her body and has allowed her to better the lives of others daily. Amie Valpone grew up in a lovely seaside town along the Jersey shore. She was a typical teen and an active participant in her schools soccer and lacrosse programs. Around the dinner table Amie recalls her family regularly consumed “different meats, potatoes and a variety of vegetables, pastas and breads” and remembers, “eating well” After Graduating from Boston University, Amie heads off to work in the world of marketing and advertising, working

health continued to decline noticeably. Amie finds herself tired, run down, stressed out, swollen and seeking medical care. “The leg swelling got so bad I could barely move”, recalls Valpone. “The “best” doctors across the Eastern seaboard told me I was crazy. The Mayo Clinic told me I was crazy” “At one point I was even told to start making appointments at Sloan Kettering and that I had leukemia!” After an exhausting process involving multiple unsuccessful conclusions with a litany of medical professionals, Amie decided enough is enough. Feeling deteriorated and distressed she finally seeks a more holistic approach with an Integrative Medical Doctor learning she was suffering from heavy metal poisoning in her body’s tissues and was

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman for numerous high profile brands like, Ralph Lauren, Vogue and the National Basketball Association. While Amie’s career took flight, her 54


born without the gene to absorb folate -key in detoxification. Understanding further, Amie learns she also has an extreme sensitivity to gluten and is IgA

By Alexander Nachman

and IgG sub 2 deficient. After intensive chelation therapy, to draw the heavy metals out through an IV along with taking chelating agents such citrus pectin, vascular homeopathic drops and vitamins, Amie began to focus on a long term health plan for herself and heads back to school to study and learn more about Eastern medicine and nutrition, concentrating on herbal medicine and the use of fresh, organic 100% whole and unprocessed foods to heal her body. Finally, an answer to Amie’s health problems and with the solution came a new lifestyle, involving adopting very strict dietary guidelines, “eating clean” including Gluten-free. It was with this single decision that Amie’s life turned on a dime, because as it turns out eating Gluten (derived from the Latin word for “glue”) really isn’t very good for you and it was a life saver for Amie. The challenge and solution, let alone the cure, was to eat and to prepare meals that were Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free and Sugar Free. And that is exactly what she did. Taking action immediately, Amie’s health profile improved dramatically and she felt better by the day. Amie committed herself to develop recipes for the purpose of properly fueling her body, and full of flavor with this process awakened the giant within her. When you spend some time on Amie’s website and blog,, it is easy to see the effort Amie exerts in her role as the editor and chief visionary for the site is nothing short of superlative. For those who follow the Gluten Free and clean eating lifestyle, Amie’s site showcases page after page of recipes, relevant blog posts, communications and recommendations from the well versed Culinary Nutritionist and Health & Food Coach. The site is a wealth of information and systematically lays out everything you will need to be successful for eating great and Gluten Free. When I spoke with Amie in a recent conversation, I complimented her on her site and asked her several questions regarding her eating habits, her lifestyle and her work.

PIM: Please tell me what you won’t eat and is this optional or a dietary necessity? AV: Pretty much everything I eat is a non-optional necessity, I can’t digest gluten, dairy, grains, sugars and oils and I don’t eat anything out of a box, the additives in the products make me swell up. PIM: Wow. What do you eat? AV: I eat a variety of lean proteins, lots of green leafy vegetables; I also eat most any vegetable, although I am staying away from eggplant because it is a nightshade vegetable. I also enjoy fruit, lots of hummus (Sabra is my favorite), and I frequently eat chia seeds, flax seed, almonds, cashews, avocados on a regular basis. PIM: How often do you eat animal protein? AV: Well I haven’t had meat in a few months, only because I just haven’t felt like it. I did just have a bunch of shrimp over the weekend, which I really enjoyed. When I do eat meat, on occasion, I eat organic chicken or turkey. PIM: What did you eat for breakfast this morning? AV: I made a Green juice with kale, swiss chard, spinach and ginger. I mixed in some cashew butter and ground flax seed and hemp seeds for protein; it’s really good and has the consistency of a smoothie. I juice pretty much every day. PIM: What about lunch today? AV: I enjoyed an organic arugula and spinach salad with almond butter tahini dressing, a ton of vegetables and some cashews PIM: What are you snacking on now?

AV: Organic zucchini and Sabra hummus. I am also dipping into seasoned avocado with a ‘clean’ vegan and soy-free protein powder added.

Oriental Family Medicine

PIM: What do you eat for dessert? AV: I like Pumpkin puree or banana puree with cocoa powder; I use nuts and berries in my desserts often. PIM: What’s the biggest mistake in the American diet today? AV: Not looking at what is in the food that they eat. Look at the ingredients! PIM: Would you say we are in denial? AV: I suppose you could say that, people basically are not eating with a sense of purpose and they have very little understanding of what they are eating or the effect it is having on their bodies. PIM: If you could make one suggestion that the average person needs to improve in their diet right now what would it be?

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AV: Eat more leafy green vegetables. I consume about 10-15 servings a day.

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PIM: Sounds delicious. What’s next for you?

and many other conditions.

AV: I want to continue to help people through my work. I want to help people understand and enjoy what they are eating and know why it makes a difference. I am working on a ‘Clean Eating Cookbook’ that I hope will serve as another valuable resource for others to think twice about what they put on their plate. PIM: I am sure it will be great. I look forward to it. AV: Thank you. [see recipe on next page…]

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positively healthy recipe

Rainbow Swiss Chard and Pine Nut Stir-Fry Gluten-free and vegan

Ingredients NN

2 cups gluten-free pasta


1 large bundle rainbow Swiss chard


1 tablespoon coconut oil


1/3 cup pine nuts


2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest


2 scallions, finely chopped


¼ teaspoon sea salt


¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Directions Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, wash Swiss chard; cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Swiss chard; cook, tossing until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; drain off excess liquid. Add pine nuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, scallions, sea salt and pepper. Drain pasta and gently toss with Swiss chard mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm.

Created by Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, editor-in-chief of and a Manhattan-based culinary nutritionist, personal chef, professional recipe developer, food photographer and writer specializing in simple, gluten-free and dairy-free “clean” recipes for the home cook. Visit Amie on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.




How you can be healthy and still die By Forbes Riley and Daphne Taylor Street • Photos by Michael Helms

Forbes Riley, celebrity health and fitness expert


n a scale of 1 to 10, how healthy are you? Do you eat right, get exercise and have a great mental attitude? After all, these are the keys to health. Do you have recent thumbs up from your general physician and cardiologist? Well, celebrity health and fitness expert Forbes Riley did all of these things. An inductee in the National Fitness Hall of Fame, she was healthy, fit, her business was booming, and she was at the top of her game in nearly every area of her life. Yet, last month, she found herself in a New York City emergency room on the brink of death, with doctors hovering over her saying, “I don’t know if we can save her.” Forbes was in New York City getting ready to shoot a fitness infomercial for the Urban Rebounder. Feeling fit and healthy, she went to sleep in a hotel only to be woken by her own screams of pain at 1am. A large kidney stone had lodged in a tube causing dangerous levels of toxins to enter into her blood stream, and with a temperature of 103 and blood pressure of 70/17, Riley was rushed into emergency surgery, spent two nights in intensive care and four nights in NYU 58


hospital, two thousand miles away from her family. “You don’t have anything if you don’t have your health,” said Riley. “Lying in a hospital bed or barely being able to push your IV along the floor, I’m thinking wow—everything I’ve dreamed and hoped for, including going back home to see my children, might never happen at this moment. I can’t lose this. I can’t lose my life.” By the end of a traumatic week, Riley did fly back to her home in St. Petersburg, Florida and embarked on a rapid recovery. Her children, 10-year-old twins Ryker and Makenna along with the rest of her family and friends, were relieved just to have her home. Several other people seemed bewildered, asking Riley how could someone so healthy get so sick almost overnight? Another commented, “Wow, that’s too bad that happened to you.” “No,” she said. “It’s perfect that it happened to me. I’m in the public eye. I can write about it in an article and speak about this on television. All of a sudden, the things that matter to me now have all shifted. I used to be a fitness and health person, and now I’m a health and fitness person.” How this model of health and fitness ended up so sick and near death in the blink of an eye Riley explains in one word: “Stress.”

nity of her career on HSN to order a large number of SpinGyms, Riley’s fitness sensation that has sold more than 500,000 units. She had to invest significant capital, and she became nervous. “Something I’ve never experienced before—I’ve never had this level of success or risk. I started to get panicky.” As the panic set in, her workload increased. She began teaching a 10-week weight loss program eight times a week in her studio, where 30 people lost in excess of 700 pounds. As a result, Riley’s focus shifted from the critical priorities needed to maintain her own health and wellbeing.

Forbes Riley takes on the MRI machine

Reduce stress “They say that stress kills. I didn’t know until last month how absolutely true that is. I do now,” said Riley. “My business is great—the opposite of what you think you might get stressed out about,” she said. “Imagine that you’re planning your wedding or the new birth of a baby and you started to get stressed because things are actually good in your life.” That’s the type of stress Riley was facing. She was given the biggest opportu-

Water is life “I simply didn’t notice that I wasn’t drinking enough water throughout the day,” she said. “Later, I’d think about it, and I’d literally laugh to myself thinking how funny—I don’t think I had any water today. I had plenty of coffee and diet sodas. Now why would I drink diet soda when I know the health risks associated with them? There are a few of reasons, mostly because it’s ridiculously addictive—the more you pop them the more

you want. I’ve read all kinds of studies, and all of a sudden I’m doing the one thing that I know is really bad for me, and I can’t seem to stop.”

Words have power Riley is proficient in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), which simply stated, addresses the link between the mind, language and behavior. As such, she is keenly tuned into the power of words, how they help shape and reflect our beliefs and manifests in our bodies, including our health. She coaches people from Fortune 500 CEOs to entrepreneurs wanting to transform their lives. Imagine her surprise in the midst of all of this inner-turmoil when she found herself saying out loud, “I think I’m making myself sick.” Riley said, “Well, as a person who studies NLP and the science of the mind, I knew when I said it that it couldn’t be good. I saw what I was doing and I couldn’t stop the stress, and then the date that we planned to sell SpinGyms on HSN came, it was wildly successful (we sold 61,000 units in just 24 hours), the stress didn’t end. I just

focused on new things to stress over.” Three weeks later, Riley found herself in New York City, ready to shoot the fitness infomercial but instead wound up nearly dead in the hospital. The doctors told Riley that she was lucky to be so healthy when she got so sick. That is what saved her life.

Lessons and gratitude Riley quickly realized that to recover rapidly and stay healthy, she needed to make important changes in her life, and she must commit herself to teaching these life-lessons. “So what do I need to do? What’s the positive thing that comes out of this?” Riley asked herself. “Drinking water for me now is not a joke. I set my alarm on my phone to go off every hour to make sure that I have adequate water.” On stress, Riley recommitted to meditation to help manage stress and set priorities. “Every day for twenty minutes I meditate, and every day I’m grateful that I’m alive, that I can see my children and that I have another day to get my

message across. Meditation in gratitude gives me a sense of peace and calm that I haven’t had in a long time.”

Positive impact Riley reflected on the person in her life that she credits with having the most profound positive impact on her understanding of health saying, “I am the luckiest little girl in the world to have met a man named Jack LaLanne. He changed the way I think about food, health and fitness. How could I do any less than wake up every day and inspire other people? Riley’s advice: Drink water, reduce stress, work to keep toxins out of your body, and be grateful every day for all you have. Oh, yeah, and don’t forget to use your SpinGym daily!” Celebrity health and fitness expert Forbes Riley, creator of the fitness sensation SpinGym, is committed to empowering individuals with FITness, showing them that it’s about how their whole life “fits” together: being physically fit, mentally fit and financially fit. Daphne Taylor Street is a freelance writer and communications consultant in the Tampa Bay area.

Who are you? I AM… Are you aware of the life you are reflecting?




The Red Couch is an Internet talk show created by Rachel Schaeffer featuring women and men sharing their stories and secrets to living a happy and successful life. Our mission is to inspire people to feel connected and to celebrate their power.

Join us on The Red Couch for conversations with our exciting upcoming guests: Nik Wallenda | High wire daredevil who walked across Niagara Falls Briana Carlson-Goodman | Eponine in the traveling production of Les Miserables Haley Scott DeMaria | Notre Dame swimmer who survived a fatal bus accident, author of What Though the Odds Rachel Schaeffer, Host Photograph by Liz Linder

Don’t miss an episode... on The Red Couch!



ura Vida is not just a saying, it is a way of life. The literal translation is Pure Life, and perhaps nowhere on Earth exudes this more than Costa Rica. This nation, part of the Central American isthmus just north of Panama, has long been known as a surfing paradise. Our recent visit unveiled an eco-adventure wonderland as well as a visually stunning relaxation destination. It is likely that the first place you will encounter while visiting Costa Rica is San Jose, where the main airport for the country is located. San Jose is a big city and also the capital. If a rich nightlife is what you are craving, then your trip can both begin and end in San Jose. If you are in search of Pura Vida, rent a car and head to the jungle, or the coast. During our stay in Costa Rica, we chose to head east to the Caribbean Coast. If the main focus of your trip is surfing, you would be better off heading west to Tamarindo, Jaco, or Hermosa. If you desire relaxation, tranquility, and the experience of life where the jungle meets the ocean, then the Caribbean Coast is where you want to be. On our drive across the country, we encountered the Braulio Carillo National Park. The lush scenery is plentiful in this 62


national forest that is frequently covered in clouds due to the altitude and the humidity. If adventure is your goal, you will certainly find it here. A few of the activities offered in the Braulio Carillo National Park are: zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and air-tram rides through the canopy. Once you reach the Caribbean coast the first thing you will notice is the pace of life. Things tend to move a bit slower there. The food is prepared to order and can take a little while and it is most certainly worth the wait. Caribbean chicken, fish, rice and beans, and plantains are all staples of the Costa Rican diet. In addition, fresh fruit and coconut is readily available, and can even be picked right from the tree if one knows where to look. The average meal will cost you about 3,500 Colones, the equivalent of about $7 U.S. Good meals can be found relatively inexpensive at any of the local Sodas (small restaurants with outside seating). The second thing you will notice is that there is a very rich African-Caribbean culture. Many Jamaicans and Caribbean Islanders migrated to Costa Rica and Panama during the labor recruitment in the late 1850’s. Workers from the islands moved here to help build the railroads

and work on the emerging banana farms. It was very evident from my time spent in Costa Rica that they abide by a ‘waste not-want not’ principle. My friend Justin, with whom I stayed, was constantly finding use for things that many of us in the states would consider junk. In a single day we found and repaired a broken chair for the dining table, recovered a pair of board shorts (swim trunks) in the road, and picked up a large piece of wood from the beach from which many good boards can be ripped. Living the pure life includes conservation and recycling. My friend Justin’s house is a prime example of sustainability. He purchased land in the jungle about ten years ago. In that time he built his house from fallen Kasha trees on his property. Waste not, want not! All of the gutters are routed to his water tanks, and the rain water is collected and used for showers, faucets and toilets. Lucky for Costa Ricans, rain is quite abundant there for a good portion of the year. The climate in Costa Rica, due to its proximity to the equator, is tropical year round. Basically there are two seasons there: the, dry season is from December to April, and the rainy season from May to November. The temperature, humidity

Costa Rica: ¡Pura Vida! By Kyle Bowyer Photos by Kyle Bowyer and Matt Browning

Playa Cocles (Cocles Beach)

and amount of rainfall are all dependent upon what part of the country you are in as there are many microclimates found there. There are mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, cloud forests, islands, and close to one thousand miles of coastline. The nature enthusiast will find no shortage of things to do and see. In addition to being the Orchid capital of the world, Costa Rica is home to the world’s largest variety of insects. Also, over five hundred species of birds are indigenous to the country, and up to three hundred others migrate there during the winter. I personally encountered several species of animals and insects such as Oropendolas, Fasciated AntShrikes, Sloths, Red-Breasted Blackbirds, Tawny Crested Tanagers, Brown Scorpions, Toucans, Hummingbirds, Howler Monkeys, and Crested Guans. In addition to being a top destination for eco-tourism, Costa Rica is also one of the top ten countries ranked by water purity, conservation practices, and least amount of carbon and sulfur emissions. In fact, the Costa Rican government has stated that it plans to become carbon neutral in the next ten years. This is a lofty goal, and it is certainly attainable. As it stands now, about 95% of the country’s

Justin’s house in Cocles; (From left to right) Jason, me and Jorselda

electrical energy is produced from renewable sources. Under the leadership of President Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rica’s first woman president, Manzanillo the country is setting the bar for other countries hoping to “go green.” President Chinchilla is a member of the National Liberation Party whose motto i s “ p ro g re s s ive politics for a better White Egret on the beach (Manzanillo) world.” She is holding tr ue to this motto by leading the way in environmental protection and sustainability. you have spent time there and felt The people of Costa Rica are very the warmth of the weather, water friendly, and for the most part, eager and culture, it will be hard to return to lend a hand. Many people speak to the reality of life in America. It English, making it easy to communicate will leave you longing for another and find your way around. It is a beautitaste of Pura Vida. ful and diverse country offering something for travelers of all interests. Once


simply positive

Make Time to Laugh By Liysa Callsen

Tick tock, tick tock. People have become so busy, time is always a factor. There are 525,949 minutes in a year. Tick tock, tick tock.




he world is changing and while we have so many advances in technology, medicine, and information we are still trying to improve time-management. Apps of every kind are designed to save you time. Apps that can log your running time, help your business with accounting and even an app to help you log meditation time. I am forever guilty of trying to smush as much time as I can in one minute. On several school mornings, I can be found trying to locate one of my daughter’s shoes while packing a lunch for her. Racing back to the bathroom to finish putting on my eye-shadow while telling the girls, “Get ready, the bus is coming, the bus is coming!” When I stumbled on an anonymous quote that read, “Don’t count the minutes, count the laughs.” I began to envision how or what this would look like in my life. I already love to laugh and I love making others laugh. Upon reflection, I found, the times I forgot to lighten the moment are the times when I need it the most....stressful situations. You probably don’t need research to know that stress is affecting many of us. In 2003 Kate Traynor conducted a study from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists stating that 80% of Americans feel stressed. And, because our lives are our own journeys, there isn’t a clear answer on how to find humor in your life. In life, there isn’t a map, a manual or even a humor workbook. If only it were like my elementary math books, I could flip to the back and check my answers before going on to the next problem.

Infusing humor in our lives will be different for each of us. Remembering to use it in a stressful moment, of course with the right timing, relies on practice. Laughing or even a smile can diffuse conflict. It breaks the barrier of stress and allows the feeling to be removed, in hopes to see the problem at hand, and address it. Laughter, has more benefits than just fun. It will improve your health. It will also burn calories! 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can burn as many as five minutes of high impact aerobics, 15 minutes of cleaning, 10 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of milking a cow! Laughing allows you a healthy balance. It can alleviate pain, get your day back on track, or even give you a burst of energy.

This kind of outlet can be an affirmation. Perhaps you have a favorite cartoon, song, picture or Youtube video? Mine, currently, is Kid President – Pep Talk. As for proper timing, you won’t need a clock to tell you what time is appropriate. When in doubt, just smile. Smiling will lift you and another’s spirits. So go on, make laughs and memories. While you’re at it, leave your timepiece in your dresser drawer! Liysa Callsen is a speaker, humorist and writer. She speaks nationally on humor in the workplace. She also teaches audiences on how to look at life humorously (using her life as a living example) through her performances. You can find more about her at









t began with unwieldy do-it-yourself conversion kits and cheap imports from China, but as enthu-

siasm for the electric bicycle exploded around the world quality manufacturers in Western Europe and then America introduced amazing new technologies


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INSPIRATION Lives at Clearwater marine aquarium


We believe in preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

Positive Impact Magazine, Vol. 3-2  

Encouraging positive solutions for life worldwide. More then a resource for sharing stories and articles that provide education, possibiliti...

Positive Impact Magazine, Vol. 3-2  

Encouraging positive solutions for life worldwide. More then a resource for sharing stories and articles that provide education, possibiliti...