3 year Anniversary of Super Storm Sandy Reflection

As today marks the 3 year Anniversary of Super Storm Sandy and I am listening to a song  “Keep Changing the World”  by MIKESCHAIR that I played many times when people from our community and from all over the country came to help us.

So as I reflect today I am grateful and very thankful for all the folks that came here to our area to help make a difference in the lives of others and Change OUR World for the better.  There are so many people to thank and I know I won’t do it justice as we had 100 students per week come to help for an entire month and then facility and students kept coming afterwards as well as business professionals from companies, mayors, senators from Katrina areas came, CNN Reporter who covered Katrina in her own home town, consultants that specialize in nature disasters, our local “Pink and Blue” boots on the ground as I like to call the local folks and organizations that were created out of necessity who knew the needs and acted quickly, the list goes on an on which I documented in my blog so you can read about these special people  so you see why I can’t name all their names.  But you know and I know who you are so THANK YOU and may God Bless you as you continue to help others in need.

So folks keep being YOU and keep Changing the World and please say a prayer or lend a helping hand for those that are still not back in their homes 3 years later.

Below are some of the lyrics of the song.
“Keep Changing The World”

Something here is wrong
There are children without homes
But we just move along
To take care of our ownThere’s so much suffering
Just outside our door
A cry so deafening
Oh, we just can’t ignoreTo all the people who are fighting for the broken
All the people who keep holding onto love
All the people who are reaching for the lonely
Keep changing the worldTake a look around
Before the sun goes out
What’s lost can still be found
It’s not too late nowIt only takes one spark
To make the fire burn
So reach inside your heart
And let this be the startI see you changing the world, I see you changing the world
Every boy, every girl, step up, step up
I see you changing the world, I see you changing the world
Every boy, every girl, step up, step upSee the sun coming up, it’s a brighter day
Share the world right now, it’s a better way
So lend a hand, join the fight, ’cause time is ticking away
I’ll keep changing the worldKeep changing the world
(I see you changing the world, I see you changing the world)
Keep changing the world
(I see you changing the world, I see you changing the world, step up)

Healing Ourselves While Healing Others at Monmouth University

Healing Ourselves While Healing Others at Monmouth University

2014-05-11_12-38-25
THE JOURNEY TO RECOVERY:

Healing Ourselves While Healing Others

“Who can save a child from a burning house without taking the risk of being hurt by the flames?” Who can

listen to a story of loneliness and despair without taking the risk of experiencing similar pains in his own heart and even

losing his precious peace of mind? In short: “Who can take away suffering without entering it?”

-Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer

This workshop is intended for all, regardless of profession,

who helped during and after Superstorm Sandy.

It will explore the concepts of trauma, compassion fatigue, and self-care strategies.

The workshop presenter, Donna Gaffney, is the Advisor for Education and Research at

Project Rebirth and a faculty member at the International Trauma Studies Program in New

York City. She is a nationally recognized speaker and expert on the effects of trauma and has

long addressed the issues of trauma, loss and disaster in the lives of children, families and

community members.

Ms. Gaffney will be introduced by author and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch, an

advisor to Project Rebirth. Since writing her bestselling, prize-winning book Rising from

Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered, she travels

around the world speaking about disaster and resilience and helping communities share

lessons learned.

Afterwards, Ms. Koch will take questions with Ms. Gaffney and will be signing copies of her

book. Part of the proceeds go to the ongoing disaster recovery on the Gulf Coast.

MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY

Young Auditorium, Bey Hall

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

8:30—Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00—12:30pm

THIS EVENT IS FREE OF CHARGE

Please share and invite your Friends on Facebook

Please RSVP to Stephanie Decker at sdecker@mentalhealthmonmouth.org or call 732-542-6422 x108

Print and SHARE with any other “Sandy Caretakers” those that have helped with recovery work  you know that could use the support.
Monmouth.Mental.Health.event

Transformational Mothers Day gift

Transformational Mothers Day gift

As I woke up on Mother’s Day in May 2013 little did I know I was about to get a gift that was transformational to myself and my New Jersey communities.

One year later on this Mother’s Day I also received an amazing gift.  I called Kathleen Koch and she informed me that she will be part of an amazing event that will help what I call “Sandy Caretakers” those that helps others recover after Sandy.  This event is an amazing gift to all those that have worked tirelessly to help our community recover so please invite anyone you know.

THE JOURNEY TO RECOVERY: Healing Ourselves While Healing Others
Monmouth University
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014  Click here for all the details

Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote May 2013:
I woke up before the boys did I watched the sunrise and decided to create a post on Facebook. As I was looking through the news-feed I came across a post about a Mayors conference link to a blog post on More Monmouth Musing. As I read the blog post my heart was singing and my eyes were filling up with tears of joy. It had been on my mind and heart to reach out to Mississippi and see who I could speak to who understood what we were going through and what we could learn from them to rebuild and restore. I always say surround yourself with experts those that have done something already, learn the easy way instead of the hard way. I was planning to host the Sandy Summit in June and interview our mayors and organizations as well as experts in their field of recovery from a natural disaster and here this very group was coming here the following week.

Kathleen Koch  and  her knowledge was a Mother’s Day gift to myself and our community.  Meeting her and the Mississippi delegation, comprised of former Congressman Gene Taylor and former mayors Brent Warr, and Eddie Farve and  learning from their  experience through natural disasters has been such a wonderful transformational tool in my life and also in the life and businesses of my NJ communities.

Kathleen Koch, author and former CNN correspondent is the founder of a project linking mayors after disaster to share lessons learned and speed recovery. A Bay St’ Louis, MS native, Koch has dedicated herself to supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina.  She is the author of “Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered” .  She was sent to Japan by the U.S. State Department in March of this year to deliver her message of Resiliency and Words of Hope to the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami of the second anniversary of that catastrophic event.

Here is the “Live with Laura” interview I did with Kathleen.

The other person I meet during this event leading up to the Mayors conference was Michelle Beauregard.
When I meet her over the bridge in Seaside Heights, I found out she was here helping my own local New Jersey communities.  So needless to say meeting her was transformational as well because she had the most amazing insight and resources to help our community with funding and helped our mayors deal with paperwork, systems, process that they had never faced in their mayors careers.

These folks I mention here are now family to me and I am extremely thankful for them.
Thank you for changing the world and making a BIG difference in the lives of others.  A special thank you for helping my community and state in recovery.

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It is my WISH  and actual DREAM that someone wakes up today on Mother’s Day that needs to connect with those that have been through a natural disaster, or an ‘extreme challenges’ and reach out to get help.  Having a support system of people that have been through ‘extreme challenges’ and have the tools and resources that you need makes a world of a difference in the recovery process.

My message to everyone today is Don’t give up.  You maybe going through an “extreme challenge’ right now and not understand how got get through it.  You will get through it.   You will be forever changed because of it.  “Challenges bring change” and it is my prayer for you that it will be transformational.

Here is a tool to help  your BREATHE.

Kathleen Koch supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina

Kathleen Koch supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina

transformational tools tuesday-kathleenkoch

Kathleen Koch and her knowledge was a Mother’s Day gift to myself and our community.  Meeting her and learning from her experience through natural disasters has been such a wonderful transformational tool in my life and also in the life and businesses of my NJ communities.

Kathleen Koch, author and former CNN correspondent is the founder of a project linking mayors after disaster to share lessons learned and speed recovery. A Bay St’ Louis, MS native, Koch has dedicated herself to supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina.  She is the author of “Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered” .  She was sent to Japan by the U.S. State Department in March of this year to deliver her message of Resiliency and Words of Hope to the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami of the second anniversary of that catastrophic event.

This is the letter she wrote to us here after Superstorm Sandy hit our area.
http://www.resilienseed.blogspot.com/2012/11/letter-to-sandy-survivors-from-gulf.html

Please listen to an interview I did with her after the Mayors Conference that really made a difference in our community.

Ipad use this link

Listen to “Live with Laura” Radio episode  for more – Sandy Remembered

Please share this post and episode with anyone that you know could benefit from this.
The direct link to the Live with Laura Internet Radio show is http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/124430
where you can subscribe via Itunes, RSS, Bookmark and text.  You can also SHARE via social media – Facebook , Twitter   , Email as well.

Thank you for listening and share what you learned with others.
Listen next Tuesday for more transformational tools for life and business.

Sandy Remembered

Sandy Remembered

transformational tools tuesday-remembersandy

Please listen to “Live with Laura” Radio episode – Sandy Remembered

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.  As I reflect on a year full of unforgettable memories and feelings, it is the memories of the  people from  up and down the coast of New Jersey and New York and all over the country and around the world I remember the most.

My first memory is of the day Sandy hit our coast.  It was far worse than anyone could ever have predicted.  No power, no phones, no cell phones yet I still had internet access.  I remember getting a direct message on Facebook book from a family member who was working at one of the high school shelters letting me know their needs.  There was no food, bedding or clothing available just cots.
I sent out a facebook post asking our community to rally and rally they did.  Our community with no power and no open supermarkets  took from their own closets and pantries to help our citizens in needs. This is where I learned we can count on each other, locals helping locals. A NJ women pilot  flew a small plane up with supplies shortly afterwards with much needed supplies including generators.  20 school buses were loaded with supplies and dispersed to the local community pantries that are still operating 1 year later. Two weeks later school was in session again and our electricity and phones were operating again.  This is what the New Jersey shore is made up of and not what is seen on TV. That isn’t who we are.  We are nice people who will come to your aid if you are in need we will help.  Opening our homes for those that needed to take a warm shower, have a hot meal or a place to rest; that is who we are.

Here is a recording after my husband had worked at our HS shelter. Many water rescues came with no shoes on their feet.
http://voicebo.com/JfRgZW

Our Sandy Caretakers  “pink and blue boots” on the ground as I like to call them;  folks from all over New Jersey and New York reporting in to give updates as to where the needs were in our communities.  These folks were what our community is really made of. Men and women that want to help their community recover so they did something about it.  They didn’t wait for the cavalry they just got down and got to work mucking and gutting out homes and businesses.  I never thought I would see the day when many women and men are  still, 1 year to the day, mucking and gutting out homes.  These women and men  are truly inspiring and are making a big difference in the lives of others.

As I was personally recovering from a debilitating illness  so I knew I could not muck and gut out homes, however I knew that I could put my ‘pre-Sandy’ skill-sets encompassing business advising and marketing mentoring, to work.  I also knew I had tools in my personal and professional toolbox that i used to help myself recover, that I was able to share with so many others.  Many of these tools my Sandy survivors and Sandy caretakers tell me they still use today.  I loved illuminating the talents of others so that they can shine their light and make a difference in this world. It was those moments that give me the most joy.  Connecting a Sandy survivors with a Sandy caretakers still to this day gives me joy and  is the best networking and resource sharing that can change someones life for the better.

Here is a Breathing and Visualization technique I recorded  when we didn’t have power to help our community get out of “fight or flight” http://voicebo.com/UJXDjV

Recently I pulled out a sweatshirt and posters  that students  gave to me with all of their names and inspiring messages on it.  It was on a low day and it really made me smile and remember the support that these students gave my community.  It reminded me that there are people in this world that want to make a difference in the lives of others.

Two holidays went by without the Sandy Bill being passed in congress.  This was also when social media was used to quickly organize a walk in both New Jersey and New York that allowed the media to “Walk a Mile in our Shoes” and see that things were not ok and how our area needed relief efforts.  This walk was pivotal for helping get the Sandy bill passed.  I learned first hand how long it takes after a bill is passed for money to reach the needs of the community…. WAY to LONG.  I know it is hard to believe by 1 year later and many are still waiting for the funds and are dealing with many obstacles and challenges.

Christmas cards did not go out as it just didn’t feel right.  My dear friend who I call Mrs. Clause organized a toy drive and collected over 100,000 toys and wished she had real elves to wrap all the gifts in one night.  It was truly a Christmas miracle that all toys got wrapped and delivered to much needed families.
My other friend who I call Jesus Santa Clause and his wife Mrs. Clause who delivered so many gifts to many families that I knew personally.  They were recently reunited with one family at a workshop I was teaching at.  It warms my heart that so many people helped Santa clause came together during Christmas to make the Christmas special.

Then there is the memory of a phone call from the principal of a school in Philadelphia that wanted to come and help my community and needed my help in connecting the dots of what communities and projects needed their help.  In one weeks time they covered many towns that were in desperate need of a helping hand and made a huge difference in the lives of so many including mine.

The memory of a Facebook message I received from a teacher that had done natural disaster recovery work himself and wanted to bring down his middle school and high school students to help with recovery work.  He would inspire and teach them during this real world experience.  They are a group I will never forget. Don’t ever underestimate these young people, they were some of the hardest working youth I have ever met and wise beyond their years.  They made a difference in both our lower barrier island and our upper barrier island as well as in my community. They covered a lot of New Jersey areas in the week they were with us and traveled 2 hours a day to work as housing was hard to come work in my area during our coldest winter months.  They truly were inspirational and transformed my community and my life for the better.

I had the pleasure of working with so many college students that gave up the sunny beaches of the Bahamas during their spring break for the ravaged beaches and towns here in New Jersey.  These students from all over the country touched my life in ways that I can’t even truly articulate in words except to say that it was transformational.   I learned from them and they learned from me.  Special memories of two women that managed all of these college students from across the country as they gifted our state with their talents as they stepped away from their corporate jobs to put this month long project  in order.  They showed me that one person can make a huge difference and it keeps my faith alive that there are truly exceptional people in this world.

It was also the phone call from a friend of mine that told me our firehouse was still in distressed several months after Sandy ravaged our community that angered me. How could it be that a critical resource like our firehouse still not be in working order.  I took that mad energy and turned it into positive action, action that brought my strong fire members to tears of joy that someone was coming to help assist them.  The chief told me that just that week they were given an anonymous gift of drywall and all the supplies to get their firehouse rebuilt, but they didn’t have the man power to get it done.  So when I informed them that we had both men and  women power ….. and lots of college Youth power they were extremely joyful.
They were always GIVING to our community and now the community was GIVING to them.  I told them to RECEIVE this gift as they truly need it to be able to keep giving back to the community.

Here is an recording giving a update of the firehouse renovation.  They were amazed how fast we got the firehouse sheet rocked.
http://voicebo.com/UdNloe

Corporate volunteers suprised me at the firehouse so I was able to dispatch them to a firefighters home that had been destroyed.
http://voicebo.com/xhFVar

Meeting so many  different grassroots organizations that made an impact on our recovery,  I can’t name them all as there are just too many to of them.  There were several organizations that came forward and did exceptional work that have been around for a long time.
These were so nice to see especially on days when organizations that were given millions of dollars in relief aid were failing miserably.  I chose to remember both the positive and not so positive as they both provided  experiences that served as teaching moments to learn and grow.  To help others that have faced a challenge and help them with solutions, tools and ways to overcome those challenges.  Just like the image I remembered in the spring where a lawn was replaced by “Sandy sand” and emerging were spring flowers through that sand, so are we here in New Jersey and New York emerging and going forward rebuilding, reviving and restoring.

My cousin lost her home in New York and one post on social media asking for cloths for her and her family was remarkable. My entire room was filled with clothes, toys, and coats.  My cousin really felt loved by my community and knew she was not alone in her challenge.
My New Jersey peeps rallied for my cousin and many New Yorkers that needed help.  With getting reports that her area was not getting any aid a box truck was driven up by our New Jersey peeps with food, clothing and supplies.  It warms my heart that NJ and NY were working hand in hand for the needs of our shore communities.

A tractor trailer delivery from ohio from a young 24 year old man and his driver hauled 21,000 lbs of supplies that totaled over $100,000 that was donated by their community was truly remarkable.  I still remember video taping an interview with him and when he opened up one particular box which has deodorant and hand sanitizer it brought me to tears and left me speechless.
These supplies were much needed and it was the basic human needs that our community needed. He also came back with his driver and his wife  with easter baskets in the spring and visited us this summer at a wonderful Sandy tribute we did with local musicians during a wellness and music festival called Soulsational.  We refer to a Sandy survivor as a Sandy Soulvivor which helps change the mindset from victim to survivor.  We meet so many families and connected them to community resources that they didn’t know existed.
I have learned that large marketing dollars were used to promote our Shore is open for business which was needed.  However I wished that a portion of those funds were used for public service announcements to tell homeowners and businesses of resources that were available to them.

Social Media connected me to so many people.    A group from Mississippi  who knew exactly what we were going through came up and met with our municipality leaders.  They included a wonderful woman that was a reporter who reported about her own home town that was destroyed during Katrina and  two mayors and a senator.  I learned so much from them about resiliency and about paying it forward.  They recalled how officials came to their towns after Katrina to teach them the tools that they knew after their areas in Florida were destroyed. I also met a Louisiana consultant that was helping make sense out of the FEMA grants that a municipality needed to get funds into their community.  She has truly been a godsend to our community helping with funding to rebuild our communities infrastructure. Life long friendships were created during their visits and we are forever grateful for their compassion and gifts of knowledge they gave to our communities.

We now are in the fall season and have reached our 1 year mark since the largest nature disaster in US history.  This marks a year of extreme challenges, remarkable and resilient people, transformational experiences and the knowledge that one person can make a difference in the lives of others.  So as we pause to remember….. remember this: just like a pebble in a pond that sends out a ripple, your actions can truly make a difference.  Smile at a stranger, perform random acts of kindness and pay it forward.

Live with Laura TV
Documenting this last year of Sandy recovery.
Link for Ipad users

Please share this post and episode with anyone that you know could benefit from this.
The direct link to the Live with Laura Internet Radio show is http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/124430
where you can subscribe via Itunes, RSS, Bookmark and text.  You can also SHARE via social media – Facebook , Twitter   , Email as well.

Thank you for listening and share what you learned with others.
Listen next Tuesday for more transformational tools for life and business.

Mark Romero Instrumental Empowering Music Interview

Mark Romero Instrumental Empowering Music Interview

Live with Laura internet radio show airs every Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.   I share Transformational Tools  on Tuesday for your life and your business.

transformational tools tuesday-markromero

Here is today’s interview

Here is ipad link to listen to interview

I am very honored and happy to have Mark Romero on “Live with Laura”.  My guest is Mark Romero who is Empowering People to Tune Their Lives and Step into Being the Composer of Their Life’s Experience. Mark Romero, Musician and Speaker helps people transform their lives and unlock their potential through the power of music.

I recently shared with Mark how instrumental his music was to my New Jersey community.  His music was the very tool that I shared with my community days after Superstorm Sandy to help people deal with “fight or flight” feelings and give them moments of relief from this horrific environment that we were experience with our communities devastation.  We had no power and no phone service for two weeks however many had internet access so I did a quick raw audio recording with Mark’s music playing in the background and gave this visualization and breathing technique tool to those that needed it.  To this day people bring up this raw audio that I posted on social media, shared via text message and said how it was a critical tool to get them through one of the hardest times in their life.  I also shared a healing vision board via pinterest that has many of Mark’s videos that helped many people with physical health challenges  and provided quicker healing.  I have recommended Mark’s music for years to my health and wellness practitioners clients  and insist that they play his music when I go for any bodywork treatments as his music has healing properties in them.  I would like to share these tools with my community again now that are dealing with this devastating fire here in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights New Jersey  and the challenges that face them as they have to rebuild their business.

Today Mark’s gift to our New Jersey community and my US and international listeners a one of kind transformational  mini concert experience.   Mark introduces my Live with Laura  audience to a revolutionary new way to create change in their lives.
Like the guitar, we only produce optimal results when our strings are in tune. Mark provides music products and services to help people reduce the negative impact of energy interrupters.  So sit back and enjoy this wonderful instrumental tool that is truly transformational.


For more information and to purchase  Mark’s music
Mark Romero’s website
www.markromeromusic.com
Connect with Mark  on Social Media
Facebook   YouTube     Twitter

It is my hope that these tools help you with you and your business when you have challenges you face and you can pull from your toolbox and put them in your tool-belt to easily access.

Please share this post and episode with anyone that you know could benefit from this.
The direct link to the Live with Laura Internet Radio show is http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/124430
where you can subscribe via Itunes, RSS, Bookmark and text.  You can also SHARE via social media – Facebook , Twitter   , Email as well.

Thank you for listening and share what you learned with others.
Listen next Tuesday to “Live with Laura” radio for more transformational tools for life and business.