Since completing my list of 100 Life Goals and identifying my driving emotions I have begun working on some exciting new projects which will help me live a life in line with my beliefs, values and passions.
I believe it is possible for us to live in a world where people respect their own bodies, the people around them and the environment in which they live. For this to come true, I believe we need to work together to gain the understanding and knowledge necessary to inspire and empower ourselves and those around us.
This belief was further fueled this week when I was privileged to be able to hear Dr Jane Goodall speaking live in my home town. She outlined her successes in a way that was humble and that recognised the input from so many other people to help her get to where she is today. She made it clear that she believed that if everyone played their small part and did whatever small action they could to turn a ‘black’ (unsustainable/damaged) area near them into a ‘green’ (or whatever colour you prefer) area then together, as a collective, we can make a difference and change the way people view the world. By working individually and in a team, we can change the world.
Top 5 things I learnt from Dr Jane Goodall’s presentation
- There is always a window of hope. We just need to be aware it’s there and do what we can to nurture it and help it grow.
- By making small changes, together we can make a difference. As I mentioned above, a key message that Jane put across was that we need to look small so we don’t get overwhelmed by the larger picture and all the negativity there is about how the world is at the moment.
- When developing new products/services always listen to the community and provide what they’re asking for first. When she first noticed the plight of the Chimpanzees, she also noted the plight of the local people in surrounding villages. To help the Chimpanzees, Jane first listened to the people in the villages and began by helping them with basic needs like more food.
- Start with awareness, but make sure it leads to behaviour change. Increasing people’s understanding of an issue is only going to help if these people can also make changes that fix the issue. Make sure that any awareness programs are linked to achievable action plans that lead to behaviour change.
- With the right support and encouragement, anything is possible. Ever since she was 10 years old in war time England, Jane dreamed of living in Africa and writing books about the animals. This was in a time when it was thought to be impossible, especially for a young woman, and most people discouraged her and thought her dreams were crazy. Her mother though supported her and provided her with the sage advice that “if you really want to do something, make sure you are prepared to get there and take every opportunity you can to make it happen“. This is exactly what Jane did, and she was able to fulfill her childhood dreams.
How I’m going to use that advice, and how you can too
As is evident from this blog, before Dr Goodall’s talk I was already dreaming and planning out ways in which I could work with others in the Spoonie (Chronic Illness) community to help others in a similar situation to where I was. The Foggy Frog picture book was the first incarnation of me attempting to actually take action on these dreams and plans.
What may not be so obvious from this blog, mainly because I’ve been too ill to even consider my previous dreams until now, is that I’ve also had a long-held dream to deliver awareness and behaviour change programs related to sustainability (for school groups, community groups, and corporate groups). I have for the last 6 years said that my life long dream is to obtain a block of land from which I could run hands-on conservation and sustainability workshops and school camps or corporate retreats.
Although I may have to modify that second dream slightly to accomodate the fact that I don’t have as much energy or stamina (without increasing pain) as I used to, I have begun the process of attempting to combine these two dreams.
I have shared some ideas recently with people I trust and I’m close to, and together with two friends (one old and one new) I have begun the process to take that next step that will help us take the Foggy Frog campaign and our shared dreams and passions to the next level.
What is this new opportunity?
I’m excited to introduce to you:
We are going to be completely open and transparent about what we are doing and so, even before our products are ready to launch, we are working on getting our website live in the next week so that you can all join along with us for the journey, through blog posts and (if you want to) through joining our creative team of volunteers donating time, skills and expertise to helping us reach our goal.
What do we plan on doing?
At LiveKen, we want to work with you to gain the knowledge, understanding, awareness and support necessary to achieve a fulfilling, sustainable lifestyle where you have a positive impact on your health, the people around you, and the planet we live on.
We are business working with the community for the community.
All of our products have been, and will be, developed through an open and transparent method that (like with the Foggy Frog picture book) allows the community to be involved from the very beginning of development so that the products and services fit their needs.
Why do are we doing it?
A strong passion for sustainable living and community engagement, combined with a deep understanding and awareness of the issues faced by those of us with invisible chronic illnesses.
Without knowing how and why we should act, we won’t.
We believe that people should have the understanding and awareness to make their own decisions about life, and we want to help them get there.
How can you get involved?
If you are passionate about raising awareness and understanding of, and helping people take action about, chronic illness or sustainability I invite you to join us and become part of the volunteer/community network that supports LiveKen in achieving our goals.
If you’re interested in being kept up to date, sign up to the Foggy Frog Newsletter (soon to get a name change as the Foggy Frog campaign will be migrating to LiveKen).