This I Believe

Lillian - Grand Forks, Canada
Entered on June 5, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

Writing Our Way to a Better World and Healed Hearts

North Americans account for less than 10% of the world’s population, yet we produce 50% of the world’s garbage and consume more than 33% of it’s resources. If everyone consumed like the average North American, we would require three Earths! ~ Quoted from Trash Talk (ISBN# 141372518X)

My life began as a troubled child from an abusive and broken home; as a young teenager on her own, I felt abandoned and through poetry and reading self-help books I broke the chains of inner demons and came towards understanding the value of my life. As an adult my education continued during my early twenties, when I took full credit level of grade 12 through correspondence, and then, after some college courses I became involved in the hospitality industry. However, a vehicle accident ended that career. I then started a small business, which was successful for over seven years – but it too ended through a more serious vehicle accident. This time I had to choose either retraining for a part-time job that would accommodate my disabilities – or pursuing my dream of becoming a writer. I chose the latter.

It was at this time that my husband, Dave, and I happened to be seriously looking at the value of the life we led and the legacy we wished to leave behind. I even wrote a poem about this:

Locomotion

Locomotion keeps me moving through the confusing, compulsive waves of life.

And lost in this rush, I consume and exhaust myself for the unknown.

Feeling awfully tired I pause and look in at my routines in disgust…

And a desperate yearning to escape beyond the maze and into self-sufficiency arises.

~ Excerpted from the book, Towards Understanding (ISBN#1413793371)

More signs came into our lives that showed us that writing was our legacy. Initially, I began writing the Trash Talk column soon after having several discussions with one of my old clients. You see; my cleaning business served the upper middle class. And one of these clients was also a friend of mine. She confided in me that she was afraid to be seen in second hand stores by her peers as she thought they may consider her a scrooge – you know: here is someone who can afford to buy anything she wants, and chooses to by a second hand Halloween Costume for the kids. She certainly didn’t want to be seen taking in returnable items (bottles/cans). Ironically, within a year of that conversation the city began Blue Box (recycling) pick-up service at the curb. As soon as this happened her neighbors were scrambling to get their box to the curb as it was seen as the thing to do. I realized then that we needed to get across to people that you don’t have to be poor to consider waste reduction. That reuse and reduce is not about false pride or ego – it is about the legacy we choose leave behind.

In the past, writing has been a form of therapy for me. However, it is now a way for me to find more meaning to my life through helping others become more positive and proactive in their lives. So few of us understand the value our daily actions have and the impact we can make on the world. In fact studies show that a large percentage of the population is depressed and consumed with feelings of inadequacy, yet 66% of us would become more proactive if we knew our actions had a measurable impact. Psychologists have long known that simply performing one small proactive step will aid in defining a positive outlook on life and will inspire further participation from the individual. With this in mind, Dave and I focus on helping individuals feel more positive about their value and to help them realize that they have the power to make a difference starting right where they are.

Dave and I often work together as partners in our writing and we have co-written three books together to date. Trash Talk is an environmental book that focuses on motivating individuals to participate in reducing their contribution to the landfill and resource consumption. Our book of poetry, Towards Understanding, was written to help other victims feel less alone and give them hope. It also was a way for me to express thoughts on society, human interaction and of my love of the environment. Purple Snowflake Marketing -– How to make your book stand out in a crowd, is our most recent project that will be released on June 30, 2007. This e-book came about through giving book marketing advice to other authors on forums regularly to the point where we realized that an e-book would be much more helpful. We were able to include 21 appendices that hold over 500 links to help authors promote their books with just a click of their mouse.

Recently, we have had the honor of hosting our own talk radio show at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions This is a wonderful opportunity for us to highlight individuals who are making real and measurable difference in their little corners of the world in hopes of inspiring others to be more proactive. At the same time, we are able to give some promotion to the valued work these individuals and organizations are doing on behalf of us all.

We are thrilled and honored to be able to play some part in providing a positive outlook on serious issues with inspiring stories, while sharing information on how individuals can make a difference starting right in our own homes, at our own desks. I couldn’t tell you in mere words what it feels like to hear a family tell us that their children are holding contests to come up with the best reuse idea – or to have a reader contact us to say how our poetry has moved them – or a listener of our radio show who states they’ve decided to make changes in their lifestyle. No paycheck could feel this good.