The End Of Summer + An American Dream

September 10, 2017 Health

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in the Upper West Side with tears in my eyes as I write this post to all of you. I know you haven’t heard from me for a while and I also know it’s for a good reason. I have been asking myself a question for about a year now, that I am still searching for an answer to. Or at least an answer that doesn’t have me questioning everything I thought I believed in.  I have been asking myself, “when did self-help become so selfish?”

I know this isn’t going to be the most popular or sweet conversation I have ever started with you guys, but it’s one I can’t ignore anymore.  The summer has ended, there are storms killing homes and people all over the world and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has ended with 800,000 children facing a level of upheaval and trauma we can’t even imagine.  So what does that have to do with the self-help industry? Honestly, EVERYTHING.

Although I know that there are true healers doing good and many of them are my peers and close friends, there are way too many self-help leaders doing nothing.  Well, not nothing. They are making their smoothies and doing their downward dogs and posting about their fabulous retreats with no desire or intention to ever get messy and face the pain and trauma that is surrounding them and affecting the lives of their followers. It’s truly shocking to witness and leaves me confused on a daily basis. Mostly because I get it on SO many levels.  

We have been trained and conditioned to believe that we must come first in order for all to be right with the world. That our OWN happiness, health and abundance is the most important thing because if we don’t have it we won’t be able to make an impact on the planet and do what we were meant to.  After dealing with a debilitating autoimmune disease for the past 26 years of my life, I would be a total liar if I said that this wasn’t true. It IS!  But where does self-help and self-focus stop and the true SERVICE begin?  

I want all of us to drink our green juice, take our supplements and go volunteer or call a friend that’s struggling to let them know you love them, foster a dog – there is no shortage of people or causes who need us.  Now that we have spent so much time getting that vibrant glow, sourcing the best ingredients for our breakfast and sleeping on all organic sheets – what are we going to do with all of that privilege and well-being?

This blog is not about politics, I will be the first to admit that I am probably the least educated person around our actual political structures and intricacies. This is about HUMANITY.  You can be red, white, brown, blue, green, it just doesn’t matter.  What does matter is stepping outside of our Instagram feeds and daily comforts long enough to help someone.

And if I sound like I am yelling – it’s because I am! If we don’t scream and shout to wake up now, then when will we?

I also know how easy it can be to feel like things are so intense and horrific right now that we have no idea what we could possibly do to help.  I used to feel that way all the time and I still do many days.  But then, I step outside of my own life and focus on someone else’s.  Even just one small daily action is better than getting sucked in the overwhelm and ignoring it all together.  Below I have listed a few ways to help and stay informed about some of what is going on. Some of these resources are based on my own political beliefs so take them or leave them as you wish. There’s no judgement here on how you help, I just want you to know it’s time to.

Volunteer. There are a million organizations where you can do this but I have found the app DEED to be super helpful. It’s free and you can basically pick volunteer opportunities based on your availability.  I have done a bunch of career counseling for underprivileged youth and the choices vary from that to meal service and dog walking for people who are too sick to walk their dogs.

Follow my friend Michael Skolnik on Twitter. He’s the real deal and gives daily, effective action steps for people to take.  You can also sign-up for his newsletter with action steps here.  

Foster or adopt a dog.  I have fostered with the organization Friends With Four Paws and they are incredible. They are always looking for help and donations and recently posted about dogs from Texas who needed relief after hurricane Harvey.

Follow The Women’s March on Twitter. They also give daily action steps and post about rallies for resistance that you can attend, as well as who to call when we need to take action with our government.

Sing Your Heart Out. If you’re a singer in the NYC area and want to join the Revival Resistance Chorus with me, let me know! We sing for peace, justice and hope. It’s incredibly humbling to be a part of it.

There are so many more I couldn’t possibly list them all, but this is where I go to step outside of my own suffering and focus on helping with someone else’s.

Also, I know that the people who follow me on Instagram and on this blog are some of the most beautiful, inspiring and kind souls I have ever encountered.  I am hoping that by sharing my process and the questions of my life right now it will let you know that you are not alone and give you permission to make your own rules and own the magnificence of what you’re truly here to give.  It would mean the world to me to  hear how you have been finding ways to serve in the comments below, as nothing is too small and we all need ideas! I love you so much it’s ridiculous.

PS – The picture I used for this post is of my brother and I with my parents. I am the proud daughter of immigrant parents and I would be nowhere without their courage and sacrifice.

Thank you for reading.

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