Did you ever meet a person who is so driven by their passion that it moves you to tears? A person who speaks with so much conviction in their beliefs and exhibits so much intensity in their dedication to their mission that it just inspires you to be more driven in your own individual pursuits? I met a person like this last weekend at NEPA BlogCon in Scranton, Pennsylvania. People like this are rare and when I have the great fortune of being in the presence of someone like this, I feel compelled to share it with the world. So today, I want to share a little bit about this person with you all. But before I get to that, I want to share a little background information about what drives me forward with my blog.
*This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
One of the main driving forces behind my blog and my writing is to spread awareness about mental health and what I have learned through my mental health journey. Part of my extensive therapy in reaching a place of mental and emotional wellness has been fashion and style. It was a baby step that I forced myself to take very early on in my healing process. Many years ago, a wonderful counselor told me, “When you can’t control your insides, control your outsides. Eventually, it begins to reflect inward.”
So with that in mind, for a very dark decade of my life, I got up and got dressed. No matter how difficult that small task seemed, I forced myself to shower, put on make-up, style my hair, and create a complete outfit. More often than not, the task overwhelmed and exhausted me to the point that I climbed right back into my bed fully dressed for the day. But it was this tiny little task, where I pretended that I was a functioning member of society, that eventually brought me to a place of full functioning. And now it has translated into this space where I can share with you my fashion as therapy, my musings on life, and what I have learned along the way. Since I did not take many photos from the blog conference itself, I am going to sprinkle this post with pictures of myself…simply because the fashion element of my blog goes hand in hand with the mission that drives me forward.
Now I want to introduce you all to this amazing man whom I had the honor of meeting last weekend…Mr. Lew Hastings. Lew was one of the speakers at NEPA BlogCon addressing the topic of why cultural content matters in the work that we do. Addressing the conference in a soft spoken voice, he commanded the attention of the attendees with his quiet steadiness and his devotion to the North American indigenous culture and its people.
I was immediately drawn in by his soft temperament and his obvious passion for raising cultural awareness about Native American communities and reservations in our country. He is the founder of the Native Now Foundation which is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing a support system which compliments the trend in Indian Country in moving toward self sufficiency and economic viability.
Lew is also the host of The Red Road Radio Show which is a live broadcast worldwide with a goal of letting the world know that indigenous communities are still thriving and continue to be productive and critical contributors to our society.
After the conference had ended, I approached Lew with the intention of letting him know just how moved I was by the abundant and obvious dedication he exhibited for his work. And as we got deeper into conversation, sharing our personal stories, it quickly became apparent that although our forums and our audiences were so drastically different, we had one very powerful thing in common: a driving passion to reach people and help them in any way we can. When you tap into that kind of strength and determination in another person, a connection occurs which can make magical collaborations happen.
During our informal conversation, Lew and I briefly tossed around some ideas of how we can work together combining our distinct areas of knowledge with our similar passion for helping others. And now that I have had the chance to process it all and formulate more concise ideas, I just need to get in touch with him. So I ask you all, please stay tuned for more on where this path may lead…
Until then…have a look at your favorite posts from last week’s link up.
Chrissy of Granola and Grace also shared a post keeping us updated about her life lately. I do love catching a glimpse into the everyday lives of my blogger friends. Check out her post Distressed Denim, Handbags & More!
If you would like more information about Lew Hastings and his work, you can follow along on Facebook at the Native Now Foundation and The Red Road Radio Show. (*Photos of Lew and his logos were taken from their respective Facebook pages.)
Keeping passion and kindness alive on the edge,
Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.