Big Doins’ With My Circle of Influence

 Big Doins With My Circle of InfluenceI had an intense weekend hanging with two groups of amazing people, different in many ways from each other but sharing the common goal of making life better for the rest of us.

After a crazy long drive from NYC on Friday (6.5 hrs…why was that exactly anyway???), I started in Boston at the Museum of Science where I had a speaking role in the annual Henry David Thoreau Foundation’s brunch for new Scholars.  Since the Foundation’s creation 15 years ago, I have served on their selection committee to choose 8-10 MA high school students each year who are interested in working on environmental issues, regardless of chosen field.  The Thoreau Foundation funds their college education and helps launch them into higher fellowships and eventual (we hope) positions of power.   The Foundation also offers grants to colleges/universities for projects that will encourage environmentalism.

The HD Thoreau Foundation is a family foundation, funded completely by the Galvins, who have to be among the most wonderful people on earth.  Because of their generosity, there have been more than 100 Thoreau Scholars funded so far and several have since gone on to earn Rhodes, Fulbright, Truman, Marshall and Udall Scholarships and a few hold positions of authority in agencies across the spectrum of public service.  Talk about changing the world one teenager at a time.  I’ve been there.  I do that.

Since I introduced the keynote speaker, I channeled my inner Mark Simone, my favorite dulcet-toned raconteur, and somehow managed to include a bit of song in the intro.  (You knew I would…)  Ah, I do love taking audiences by surprise.

Thoreau Scholar Adam Formica, a brand new Columbia grad, told us about his ecology research which turned out to be riveting.  He’s studied the effects of climate change on migratory songbirds in Alaska (that needs a blog all of its own), on alpine woodland in Colorado, on glacier erosion in East Antarctica, on fish stock in the Dominican Republic.  Now he’s headed off to Oxford for an advanced degree and more cool fieldwork.  He was excited, articulate, kinda nerdy and totally endearing.   (cool fact of the day:  formica is the Latin word for ‘ant’)

When the new Scholars we’d just selected in Feb. were introduced,

I found myself wondering what I was doing at their age back in the day.  Hmmm…let’s see…sex, drugs and rock and roll, I’m sure.

I mean, the world looked different then with a bloody dinnertime war and a draft.  Looking out at all of those amazing kids, I was struck by how great looking this generation actually is.  Great teeth, great skin, great fashion.  My generation never looked quite that good, with our tie-dye, bellbottoms, no bras and hair…lots and lots of hair.

After the conclusion of that event, I hurried off to my next appointment in upstate NY.  It was the first annual ‘TapFest’, two days of advanced tapping training from some of the best practitioners in the world.  My dear and impossibly cool friend Jondi Whitis organized this and it was a deep pleasure to not only learn more about this miraculous technology, but also to sit in the love all of these people from disparate places have for Jondi.  To know her is to love her forever.  Some of my Newtown Community Stress and Trauma Relief Project buddies were there and I got a few new good ideas for things we can do going forward.  I love conferences because they stoke up my creativity and remind me why I’m still in the game.

So here is to all of these good people, spread out over Mother Earth.  Some are Her direct champions (HD Thoreau Scholars) and others are her healers (tappers).  What an honor to include them all in my Circle of Influence.

Less Stress, More Success

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Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
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