Sunday, March 21, 2010


I finished reading Drive, by Daniel Pink a couple weeks ago. Since Dan actually reached out to me via twitter, requesting my feedback, I have to admit, I’ve felt a bit of pressure to provide it. Ultimately, my perspective has unfolded naturally, and somehow, fits just perfect with the rest of my life at this given time.

Drive takes you through a historical perspective on motivation—which, as a parent with a B.A. in developmental psychology (who is always looking for ways to motivate my child), is interesting in itself—and the differences between Motivation 2.0; behavior fueled by extrinsic desires versus Motivation 3.0; behavior regulated by intrinsic exploration (get the book, it’s worth the read).

Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I’m on the right path.

I keep going back to the book, and the notes I took, introspectively reevaluating the messages and what they mean in my life. I’ve been practicing the art of flow for about a month now, seriously sitting with myself and determining, when do I feel happiest and what am I doing during that time? I’ve been weeding out the unnecessary and feeling good about my conclusions.

Just yesterday, I reread an entry in my journal that was, essentially, the sum of the book and inspiration. “The richest experiences in our lives are when we’re listening to our own voices—doing something that matters, doing it well, and doing it in the service of a cause larger than ourselves.”

For the longest time, I have wanted to start Gaia Greetings, not only so that I could control my work experience, but because the business model is such that giving back is incorporated. Support for the environment and arts were always a no-brainer for me. And I have always been interested in the richness of cultures—truly, all those things inspired Gaia Greetings. But tonight—tonight—I feel I have found something more.

I was flipping through on-demand looking for a good movie. As I scrolled through the list, I didn't see much that appealed to me that I hadn’t already seen when I came across the following title: “The Stoning of Soraya M.” The movie is based on the true story of Soraya Manutchehri, who was wrongfully accused of adultery by her husband. It takes place in the small village of Kupayeh, Iran. Because of the religious laws of the territory, she was stoned to death by her community, which included her husband, father, and two of her sons. Her incredibly brave Aunt, Zahra Khanum, leaked the story to French-Iranian journalist, Freidoune Sahebjam, who, by fate, landed in the village due to car troubles. Upon his return to France, he shared her story, so the world would know the atrocities she suffered.

I remember hearing about Soraya and Amnesty International when I was in high school but, now, 20+ years later, I am finally able to truly comprehend the depth of this story. I can’t remember the last time I cried so hard, and felt such empathy. The movie is beautiful, intelligently scripted and acted, graphic, horrifying and so amazingly real, I can’t imagine anyone NOT feeling affected by it.

I am so amazed by the bravery of these women, their vulnerable humanity, and their lack of fear in the face of death and morbidity. Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps. It’s hard to do this story justice in words. It truly has to be experienced.

Meet the newest member of Amnesty International. I've found another cause that motivates me.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Remembrance, In Honor of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois

Our sleepy little town was rocked recently by the murders of two bright, blue-eyed young ladies, Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. Their deaths catalyzed this community and the nation, sparking action and motivation, and an outpouring of love for the families and friends who knew these sparkling spirits.

Throughout town, there are blue ribbons tied to trees, in remembrance of their blue eyes and powerful existences. Their candlelight vigils drew over 1,000 people each, and Chelsea’s memorial service, which was packed to the hilt, drew over 5,000 people—many who knew her, many who didn’t—to celebrate her life.

Businesses in the community donated lighting, a sound system, printing, and over 8,000 sunflowers to the event. The takeaway from the service was a packet of sunflower seeds that said, “With your help, Chelsea’s Light will never dim.”

Upon the arrest of a registered and convicted sex offender, who is a suspect in both cases, Chelsea’s family immediately began a plight to effect change in our legal system. They have the backing of a multitude of government officials and everyday people whose voices are finally being heard, which, hopefully, will result in stricter sentences for these criminals.

Chelsea and Amber’s families chose to open themselves up to the love and condolences of their community, the nation, and the world, and accept the positive energy of millions of people, as they trudge through their difficult paths. The power of these messages and the amazing amount of support they have received is a testament to the force of the human spirit, and how, when we realize that we are all connected, we can collectively effect change in one another’s lives.

The soul our community has exposed brings me hope. I am saddened that it is instigated as a result of these tragedies, but the outpouring of love and tenderness that I have witnessed inspires me. I will never forget how I have been affected.

There are websites dedicated to Amber and Chelsea, to keep their memories alive:

A quote from Virgil—found on Chelsea’s mirror at home—is a resounding reminder that, together, we can effectively create a world that is worthy of living in.

“They can because they think they can.”

What about you?

How do you honor the lives of people you loved, who have passed away?

What have you done to keep their spirits alive?

Do you have traditions to honor the memories of your dearly departed?

I invite you to post your stories, trials and triumphs on the blog or feel free to send them to

To submit ideas and suggestions to reform our system and better protect our children, or for those who wish to join efforts with 75th District Assembly Member Nathan Fletcher and the King family, call 858.689.6290 or email