Monthly Archives: August 2012

Thaddeus Price

I am here to announce that our newest SoulMate, Thaddeus Price, will be meeting Oprah Winfrey.  You read it right.  Oprah Winfrey!  When you ask?  Oh, I don’t know, but I know he will make it happen.  It’ll happen because Thaddeus has a vision.

I had the pleasure to interview Thaddeus in person.  As he talked about his goals, I could see how clear his vision was for each one.  The passion was so evident by this body language and the twinkle in his eye.  The more SoulMates I interview, the more I realize that without a strong and focused vision, you’ll never get anything done.

So, how do we formulate a vision?  I’ve heard many coaches, self-help gurus, etc. talk about establishing your vision.  Some call it “thinking from the end.”  I think Iyanla Vanzant explains it the best.  Your vision is simply what you want.  What you really want.

When I first started SOUL, my vision was something like “I want to help and inspire people.”  It was a nice goal.  A big goal.  I would think about my goal and spend time figuring out how I should help people.  How I should develop this website.  I should give talks.  I should write a book.  I should volunteer somewhere.  I spent all this time shoulding on my self that guess what?  I didn’t do anything.  Once I learned more about a establishing a vision, I turned my “I want to help and inspire people” into “I want to develop the Society of Ultimate Living to be a vehicle for me to be inspired.  My inspiration will in turn inspire people to live their vision of excellence.  I will share stories of people who are living their vision to serve as inspiration and to promote their good work.  I will post movies, music and books selections to help people stay inspired.  I will share my journey with my readers.”

In the book The Will to Power, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche writes about the power in knowing your what and when you have a strong enough what the how will show up.  That’s what happened to me.  Once I was clear with what I wanted to achieve with SOUL, I didn’t have to waste time thinking about how I would do it.  I just knew what to do.

Thaddeus knows exactly what he is going to do when he meets Oprah.  The vision is clear.  He’s going to perform this song he wrote for her.

Oprah’s Song (Everything’s Okay)

I’ve got a smile on my face, feelin’ good cause I’ve kept the faith.

That’s why I ‘m happy, I’ve got joy, and everything’s okay.

My sprit’s free, filled with love, I feel the strength that comes from above.

That’s why I’m happy, I’ve got joy, and everything’s okay.

Cause I’m blessed that’s for sure, oh I’m happy and secure and I know that everything’s okay.

 

Thaddeus, I’m holding that vision for you too.  I can just picture Oprah smiling and singing along.

 

24 Hours of Kindness – July 2012

A week ago, I embarked on a journey of the soul with two SoulMates, Michael Chase and Bill Auld, at my side.  A journey of kindness.  24 hours of kindness to be exact.  A journey that I will never forget.  But before I tell you about my journey, let me fill you in on how it all came together.

The Joseph Lapinski Foundation (JLF) was founded in 2007 by my husband Bill to honor his grandfather, Joseph “Pop” Lapinski.  In 2012, the foundation established a goal to make a greater impact in the community via volunteering.  Right away we knew what we wanted to do and we knew who could help us.  So, we got in touch with Michael Chase, founder of The Kindness Center.

Bill and I had met Michael in 2010 at the Hay House Movers & Shakers seminar.  We were immediately drawn to him and his message of kindness.  The JLF’s motto “perpetuating a family tradition of charity and compassion” was so inline with The Kindness Center’s “creating a more peaceful and kindhearted world.”  We just knew that someday we would be collaborating together.

The Kindness Center’s cornerstone event is The 24 Hours of Kindness.  24 hours of hitting the streets performing acts of kindness.  Michael had done this event before in Maine and Massachusetts,  but would he be willing to work with us and bring this event to New Jersey and New York City?  I guess you figured out that Michael said yes.

The 24 hours were filled with amazing people and synchronistic events.  Here are some of my favorites.

Here is the kindness crew that started the day.  Wyckoff Florist generously donated flowers for us to give out on our journey:

Early in the day we went to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ.  There we met two volunteers Tom and John.  I felt a little awkward in the beginning of the day.  What should I do?  What do I say to people?  Tom and John looked approachable, so I went in.  I thanked them for volunteering and tried to give them some scratch off lottery tickets.  Before I could, they wanted to know about us and what we were doing.  Next thing you know, Tom and John were thanking us!  They started to tell us why what we were doing was so important.  They talked about love and loss.  They told us how important a simple smile can be to person who is feeling down.  We discussed the importance of community and how as a society we are losing it.  It was the unexpected pep talk I needed.  I no longer felt awkward thanks to Tom and John.

Another morning stop was a Eva’s Village in Patterson, NJ.  We knew that they had a soup kitchen that served the homeless and the working poor.  We partnered with America’s Grow-A-Row and donated five bushels of freshly picked corn.

We quickly learned that Eva’s Village is so much more than a soup kitchen.  They service the community by providing emergency shelter, housing, recovery programs, dental services, educational programs, job preparation and more.  Eva’s Village treats the whole person.  What an inspiration.

In Englewood, NJ we volunteered some time with Habitat for Humanity’s program “A Brush of Kindness.”  This program assists homeowners in need with exterior home maintenance.  Here we met one of Habitat’s volunteers Mark.  Mark was one of the foremen on the job instructing us how to install a walk.  A few years back Mark had a brain tumor.  During the surgery to remove the tumor he suffered a stroke.  He told us he still has trouble with words from time to time and had to retire.  In spite of all that, Mark volunteers with Habitat 4 days a week.  Here’s Mark and Michael having fun on the job.

We spent our evening in New York City.  This is Anderson.  He saw us buying ice cream for a family and stopped for a chat.  He gave us some advice on what we could do for the homeless in NYC.  He was so full of joy and wanted to help/support us.  During our chat we found out that Anderson came to NYC to make it as a musician.  It turns out he too was homeless and living in a shelter.

Friday was the week anniversary of the Aurora, Colorado shootings.  A nearby theater had a midnight showing of “Dark Night Rises.”  We decided to give flowers to the people as they left the theater.  No one asked us what we were doing.  The movie goers just smiled and nodded their heads.  Words just weren’t necessary.

This is Ronnie.  Ronnie was a homeless man we saw struggling to get this cart up the steps from the subway.  After we got his cart up the stairs, we asked him if there was anything else he needed.  He asked for fish sandwich from McDonald’s.  Some of us decided to stay behind with Ronnie while the others went to get the food.  We found some steps to sit on while we waited.  Ronnie refused to let me sit directly on the step.  He took some newspaper out of this cart and gently laid it down for me to sit on.

We ended our day with a visit to Bill’s Nana, Rita Lapinski.  When you think about it, Nana and her husband Pop, were the catalysts for this entire event.  Here is Nana and her sister Dot.  Don’t they look great in their t-shirts!

There are dozen of more stories I could share.  It was an amazing 24 hours.  I’d like to end this post with some shout outs of thanks.

  • A big thank you to Connie Marchek, Anne Paine and Aron Slear for making it the whole 24 hours with us.
  • Thank you to Rita Auld, Liz Lapinski and Kelly Bergeron for infusing the 24 hour group with needed energy when you were with us.
  • To all the people near and far who performed acts of kindness.  We felt your love.
  • To Bill and Michael, thanks for the incredible journey and thanks for being my SoulMates!

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Auld

Bill AuldIdeas.  I love when I get an idea.  Do you wonder where they come from?  I did.  So a few years ago I started to track where my own ideas come from.  Each time I had an idea I would stop and say “Hmm.  Where did that come from?”  This very non-scientific analysis lead me to the conclusion that ideas originate from either the heart or the head.  Further analysis and the application of the pythagorean theorem also revealed that the place of origin aside, the heart and head want to be involved in all of your ideas.  Let’s apply my theory to our newest SoulMate, Bill Auld.

Now, if you don’t already know, Bill is my husband. I was there when Bill first had the idea to create a charity to honor his Pop and I know this idea started in his heart.  How does an idea start in the heart you ask?  To answer that question I looked to science.  In Bill’s case when his Pop died, he had a hole in his heart.   I learned in my very scientific college science classes (I seriously majored in environmental science) that nature abhors a vacuum/void.  So the idea of starting the charity I believe was manifested in his heart to to fill the void of Pop’s passing.

Bill’s heart created grandiose plans where all his family would be joined in group hug.  The idea was just beautiful, pure love while living in the heart.  There his idea lived, until the head got a hold of it.  The head started asking hard questions.

  • What do you know about running a charity?
  • What is the charity going to do?
  • Who would give you money when there are other worthy and well known charities already in existence?

The head can appear to be mean at times and act as if it wants to squash your idea.  But the head/brain is our protector.  It doesn’t want you to get hurt.  It wants you to be cautious.  Be smart.  The head wants to bring you back to reality.

For several years I watched Bill’s idea bounce between his heart and his head.  Bill would see his grandmother and it would be back in his heart.  He would get busy at his job and think that he would never have the time to run a charity and  back it would go to his head.  The heart would always hold on to a piece of the idea, but the head and it’s hard questions would cause the dreaded analysis paralysis syndrome.

How did Bill finally create the charity?  Move it from an idea to something real?  It when he was able to have the idea live equally in his head and his heart.  With the help of a coach, Bill was able to balance the passion in his heart with the analysis of his brain.  His heart kept him going when the IRS almost denied them their 501(c)(3) status.  His head helped him focus the direction of charity to something that was actionable by him and his family.

So where ever your idea is born, the heart or the head, you need to discover what you need to do to bring these powerful allies together.  And no I didn’t use the pythagorean theory to reach this conclusion.  It was just a funny idea my brain came up with while writing this piece.  Turns out my heart thought it was funny too.  I love ideas.