Collaboration Quote of the Month

June 30, 2010

“Thoughts and plans that are hoarded and left to sit in the solitude of our minds are seldom brought to fruition.”

– Anonymous


Join in Hands Across the Sand on June 26th

June 23, 2010

On June 26th there is an international rally of support for marine life and the end to offshore oil drilling, Hands Across the Sand.

The movement, started in February of 2010, is a call for all types of people, despite religion, political affiliation and income, to come together and voice the importance of protecting our coastal economies, marine wildlife, and fishing industry.

Please check out the Hands Across The Sand website for the details, and how to start a movement in your own neighborhood. They are asking for all communities around the globe to participate. Something that I will be doing from our beach in Patagonia.

“Making Your Dreams Come True Tools” Being Taught at DreamU Camp

June 15, 2010

For certain, there are different ways to achieve dreams.

When I think about accomplishing my desires in life, I think about many different components that help it become reality…tenacity, belief in one’s self, true love for the dream, working hard, etc…

One other tool in dream accomplishment I have found helpful is listening to others that have succeeded in their own path towards highest potential. Not everything I learn pertains to me, but I find that some of the information really resonates with me and truly assists me on my own journey.

So, in the spirit of all of us having the right to achieve our dreams, I thought I would pass on the information about a free week seminar that is a true smogasborg of talks from people that have fulfilled their own dreams, the DreamU Camp.

DreamU Camp is designed for those who really want their dreams to come true. The catch phrase for the seminar is to, “Learn from many of the best transformational teachers and leaders in the world.” Some consider the line-up of speakers to be the “Who’s who of inspiration, motivation and manifestation.” I believe their are thousands of people out there that are creating their dreams, so it is hard to say who truly is the who’s who of succeeding at aspirations. But none the less, I am certain that those speaking have something to share that I will learn from.

DreamU Camp is being held from June 21 to June 26th. You can listen to as many as seven featured leaders a day—on your own time, at your own pace. The entire seminar is virtual, so there is no travel and no expenses. And you can attend as many calls as you like.

So, here’s to finding the tools that resonate with you! Make your dreams come true!

Support the Environment by Speaking Up to Your Senator

June 8, 2010

The next couple of weeks are going to be a critical time for climate change in Washington.

Here is a quick update on some of the key events:

This Thursday is the first key test of US resolve on climate. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will introduce a “resolution of disapproval” that would undercut the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon pollution. If passed, the resolution basically says that carbon emissions aren’t dangerous and could sub-vent the EPA’s ability to hold accountable the largest carbon polluters down the road.

The general consensus is that the resolution won’t pass, and it most certainly won’t get through the House, but surprisingly, the vote has become a bellwether for the climate bill’s chances by showcasing which Senators are in favor of strong climate change policy and which aren’t.

A victory for Murkowski here could spell danger for a more comprehensive bill later on. The resolution needs 51 votes, to pass. If it breaks 45 votes, it’s trouble. If it breaks 50, it’s doom.

Also this week, Senator Harry Reid is polling other Democratic Senators about whether they want to move ahead with a climate bill this year. Obviously, with everything that’s happening the Gulf, its clearly evident that dependence on oil is a failed strategy and the longer that this discussion waits to take place, the more it risks never happening. It is up to us to tell our Senators to tell Sen. Reid “yes” on a climate bill this year.

The current bill, the American Power Act, was introduced by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman on May 12th. In short, the bill aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and then cut them by 80% by 2050. It would set limits beyond which polluters would have the option of trading credits or paying penalties within a fixed price range. Here are the details of the bill.

There are rumors about other bills currently being developed, but nothing concrete just yet.
Our main goal right now, is to make sure the debate begins this year.

Here is a list of Senators who, as far as we can tell, are still yet undecided about supporting clean energy. We need a total of 60 votes. Since 37 Senators have already indicated that they are planning to support strong climate change policy, we need 23 of these fence-sitting Senators to vote “yes” to pass climate legislation in the Senate.

Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
Max Baucus (Mont.)
Mark Begich (Alaska)
Scott Brown (Mass.)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Robert Byrd (W.Va.)
Maria Cantwell (Wash.)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Kent Conrad (N.D.)
Bob Corker (Tenn.)
Byron Dorgan (N.D.)
Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Judd Gregg (N.H.)
Mary Landrieu (La.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
George LeMieux (Fla.)
Carl Levin (Mich.)
Richard Lugar (Ind.)
Claire McCaskill (Mo.)
Robert Menendez (N.J.)
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Mark Pryor (Ark.)
Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.)
Olympia Snowe (Maine)
Arlen Specter (Pa.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Jon Tester (Mont.)
George Voinovich (Ohio)
Jim Webb (Va)

So, it’s go-time. Please send a letter to your Senators today, especially if they are on the list above. The time to do this is absolutely right now.

This is our moment to be be heard, and an opportunity to influence policy to protect something close to us for today, and for generations behind us.

Please click here to see where your Senators stands on the issue and to easily send a letter to them urging their support:

Joyful Collaboration and Smiles Created Around the World by Clowns Without Borders

June 3, 2010

One vital aspect to positive collaboration is having fun with the project.

A non-profit bringing joy to thousands around the world is taking this concept to an entirely higher level.

photo courtesy of Clowns Without Borders

Clowns Without Borders is a band of humorous performers making it their mission to bring smiles to the faces of those that need it most…the children of desperate and dire situations. Like those youngsters growing up in Haiti, Guatemala, or Burma.

I was able to get a moment of time with one of the founders of Clowns Without Borders and active humor provider, Moshe Cohen. Extremely busy and rushing off to his next set of joy creation, his answers were brief but thought provoking. Here is what he had to say…

SM: What inspired you to become a clown?

MC: I discovered that I was funny as a performer and that inspired me. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a clown, I like to think of it more as clowning, as a verb, as an action, something I do.

SM: As an original member of the Clowns Without Borders movement, what were key factors in it moving from a dream to the amazing organization that it is today?

MC: I don’t think it was ever a dream, it has always been a reality. It was a response to an enthusiastic reception, and the understanding that followed of the appreciation for bringing reasons for laughter and joyous expression in places of crisis.

SM: What inspired you to help develop the United States division of Clowns Without Borders?

MC: As I was involved in the movement, and the only person from the US doing shows, I discussed with Spain (Tortell Poltrona founded Payasos Sin Fronteras in 1993) about being their representative in the United States. That morphed a year later into starting the US chapter.

SM: Having been in the business for over 25 years now, have you seen any of the children that you helped in the beginning of your career as adults?

MC: A few here in California, however if you are talking about CWB, not directly.

SM: Please share a particular story that helped you believe in the power of collaboration.

MC: The most immediate is the work that I did last year in Myanmar (Burma).

There were artists from France, Belgium, Sweden (including an Australian who lives in Sweden) , myself from the US, and from Myanmar. Three shows were created to tour the delta area where the Nargis cyclone hit in 2008 creating a devastation on the order of the recent earthquake in Haiti. There was great collaboration in that each show involved Myanmar and Western artsists. The show I was involved in was with Kalle and Dave (SW-Aust.) and three Myanmar artists: May, Teto and Emié. We created our show in a day and a half, and performed it about 20 times over three weeks.

photo courtesy of Clowns Without Borders

SM: What have the children taught you?

MC: A lot! Humility, patience, never give up!

SM: In addition to donations, you also accept “In-Kind” offerings. Have you had any interesting (off-the-wall, but very beneficial) gifts?

MC: I just picked up some juggling equipment destined for Haiti from the Renegades in Santa Cruz. They are showing us how to make juggling clubs with simple dowels and 1 liter coke bottles and a few screws and tape. They have supplied us with the dowels and the hardware, and we plan to build the clubs with the kids from Foyer Lakay in Port au Prince, some of whom are already excellent jugglers.

SM: How do the clowns create their acts?

MC: Ohhh, sooo many ways.

photo courtesy of Alain Laferté

SM: What is your favorite aspect to collaboration?

MC: The synergistic energies that swirl, the sense of enthusiasm it generates amongst participants, and the occasional sense of harmony when things are working just right.

SM: What is your vision for the future of Clowns Without Borders?

MC: I am liking what is happening in the increased communication and collaboration internationally between the various Clowns Without Borders chapters. That has been my vision for a long time and it is slowly being realized. Of course, ideally, as Tortell says, “Clowns without Borders would disappear because there are no more wars.”

Thank you Moshe Cohen and the others involved with Clowns Without Borders for spreading joy around the world.

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