How Real-Life Experiences Inspire Change
Let’s Talk about Expat Life, Mid-Term Elections, Global Warming and Animal Abuse
This post is super long, but I’ve had so many experiences this year that I just have to share them with you, so I’ll just jump right in.
Expat Life is GOOD
Monday, September 17th was my 23rd anniversary in Germany. That very day in 1995, I landed in Frankfurt without a clue of what I was doing. I was young and in love, that’s all I knew.
When my German fiancée asked me where we should live when we were living in Atlanta, I immediately said, ‘NOT here’. One reason was because of a gun assaulter at the parking lot of a pub who got no money from me but invaded my life in the most horrible way and another reason was my wanderlust that I haven’t yet been able to pursue.
I had no clue I would permanently stay here at the time of my move, let alone realize what other benefits I’d have being a European resident.
The list is long and ranges from: gun control = increased safety to paid maternity leave & real vacation time = happier & more productive employees to affordable healthcare = happier & healthier people to less toxicity in products & food = healthier people who enjoy higher quality food with flavor.
Honestly, the food in the states has decreased in quality so much that I’m actually scared to eat there! It’s disgusting!
Moving to Germany wasn’t the easiest thing for me to do. I had to pack up my whole entire life in 21 boxes, 2 suitcases and 1 carry-on and leave my family and friends to move to a strange place without knowing anyone but my husband and not being able to communicate. But I can tell you it was the best decision I’ve ever made!
Best Experience Ever!
Although I had many challenges as an expat in my early years here in Germany, that move gave me a new perspective on my own country and my life.
It showed me that the American dream is not exactly what it’s cracked up to be.
It taught me to appreciate very important basic human rights that we have in Europe but not in America.
It taught me to be even more compassion for nature, animals (humans included) and our environment.
It taught me about what’s really important in life: relationships, not money.
The list is so long and evergreen. I am truly grateful.
I would love all Americans to experience these feelings too and one way is to vote which brings me to the next topic: Mid-Term Elections.
Your Vote Counts
On November 6th, US citizens have the opportunity to make a change in the administration. And in the loving, tear-jerking words of one of my heroes, Dr. Jane Goodall, “And my goodness, don’t we need to change the world?”
It may not be a huge change that we’ll see, but If the Democrats win the majority, we’ll hopefully see some light in the darkness that’s been hovering over us for the past couple of years. More on this.
As an expat, I have to request an absentee ballot for every presidential election, mid-terms included, so I’ve just sent that in. If you’re an expat, here’s the link for more information.
Please be patient and diligent though because they don’t make it easy for expats to vote! One time, I was told to put my email address in all caps to confirm my ballot and low and behold THAT worked. All caps? Really? Thanks guys for making this easy! As a marketer, I’m all about usability, but this is a whole other level of user-unfriendliness. This is a crime!
If you’re not having any luck with that website, please contact the voting registration office of the county where you last lived and just keep on them. Please do NOT give up your right to vote, because we NEED it! But if you have any questions, please just contact me and I’ll do what I can to help you out.
Be Respectful with Non-Violent Communication
I often worry and talk about global warming and so I posted something on FB the other day about exercising your right to vote to make some positive changes in our government regarding our environment.
Upon reading a few comments, one stuck with me. It read: ‘fake news’. Now, I knew there were people who didn’t believe in climate change, but I’ve never actually ‘met’ a climate change denier, so I sought the opportunity to discuss this issue further because although I know I won’t change his mind and he’ll never change mine, I honestly want to understand the motivation behind environmentalists and scientists to downright lie. This is the information I’m missing, so I asked about that.
But after reading the bloody fighting match that brewed between two other fb friends and the person who denies climate change, I feel it’s time we all learn how to communicate in a more respectful and non-violent way.
I know that my passion can turn into rage within a millisecond. This, however, does me no good whatsoever. I can’t sleep, I feel exhausted and sometimes when I get in an argument with a close friend or relative, I make myself sick! Seriously, I finally now know why I get sinus infections because the last one appeared out of nowhere 2 days after a disturbing conversation with my sister!
So, with this newly gained knowledge of self-sabotage, I know if I keep this up, I will indeed have a heart attack.
Become your Higher Self
This year, I’ve done a lot of self-care because I’ve had a LOT on my plate and was feeling overwhelmed and constantly exhausted, so I sought help and through my work with my dear Burnout Coach, Jess Bonasso, and with my divine leadership mastermind group, I’m slowly learning how to channel my anger and am now practicing a more respectful way to communicate and guess what: it feels SO good.
I now feel more aligned with my higher soul’s purpose of inspiring others to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of through my writing. I’m truly grateful for all my new friends who’ve helped me along the way.
It’s challenging though because of how I was raised and how I feel about certain events that harm humans, animals and our environment. All this upsets me – I mean REALLY upsets me – but I must remember, this is SO important if I want to help create the peaceful and respectful world I want to live in!
Also, I think non-violent communication is the best gift we can give our children.
Experiences Shape Our World and
Form our Higher Soul’s Purpose
There are Many Forms of Animal Abuse
Not only did I start the conversation about global warming, I felt the need to do the same with a lady who rang my doorbell the other day begging for money for her circus animals.
I politely said no but wanted to explain more and ask her questions about their animals and their care, but she immediately rolled her eyes and walked away to knock on my neighbor’s door.
I had to sit with my rage for a while and then I acted by posting in our local FB group to 1) warn my neighbors that they’re back again and 2) to inform them with an article in German about circus animal abuse as to why they shouldn’t support this cause.
The reactions were positive and it sparked a fellow member of our local animal rescue unit to post a different resource to inform our community.
I don’t think I need to preach to the choir and explain why we shouldn’t support circuses with animals, but if you want to know more information, please contact me.
Animal Testing in the Medical Field
Also, during my ‘summer break’, I joined the German organization, Ärzte Gegen Tierversuche e.V. (Doctors Against Animal Testing) who are very active in spreading awareness about alternative methods to testing on animals in the medical field such as in vitro, in vivo and in silico.
But they don’t just inform adults, they inform children (8+) too which is perfect because I’m writing my first fantasy book on the topic of animal testing for middle-graders, so I’d like to work more closely with them.
On Monday, I spoke with a biology teacher of the school my daughter attends and asked if I could send her information about this organization so that she can present it to the school board to invite a representative to speak to the students about this topic.
Education is key when it comes to conservation and children need to know the truth about these topics. Children love animals and usually don’t know how much pain and suffering they unnecessarily have to endure in these lab experiments, so if you’re also interested in learning more about it, please visit their site or find a similar organization in your own country.
And would you know: This year alone, I’ve declined two well-paying voiceover medical projects because I don’t want to support the pharmaceutical industry that make animal testing in the medical field a requirement. I also declined an offer to narrate a campaign video for a US politician who had extremely opposing political views. I don’t like saying no to potential clients, but I couldn’t live with myself if I had said yes.
The Animal Food Industry
In July, my 11-year-old daughter went on a school trip to visit a pig farm. She thought it was going to be an organic farm, but to her dismay, it was a traditional one. She came back home with tears in her eyes and anger in her voice.
During her visit, she was very active and asked the farmer why they weren’t allowed to go outside and why they were stuffed together like sardines and why that pig was bloody, etc. I think she really put him to the test! #proudmama
He explained that this was normal. Some background info: I’m a vegan, so my daughter already knows a lot about animal abuse and the farming industry.
We’ve visited several dairy farms, but never a pig farm. The thing is, when I didn’t look happy during our last visit to this ‘modern, high-tech’ dairy farm where our dear friend worked, my daughter criticized me for frowning. She didn’t want our friend to feel bad.
I told her that I’m sorry and I don’t want to hurt her, but I can’t be happy when I see cows in small spaces, stepping on their own poop with no chance to see the sunlight or to be with their calves. I just feel so sad and I can’t hide my own feelings by putting on my happy face. She said she understood back then, but now I know she really understands!
There’s nothing better than to have her experience the reality herself. I could talk all I want, but she won’t really be able to understand until she sees it herself.
This is how change is inspired!
My daughter now asks gma for either organic meat or a vegetarian meal at gma’s house, who is, by the way, NOT too happy about it, but will do anything for her granddaughter. Me, her daughter-in-law? I have to bring my own food if I want to eat at her house, but that’s OK because she’s challenged with vegetables and pours a sugar dressing on them!
And I guarantee you my daughter will make the switch to vegetarianism and then to veganism at some point in her life. For me, this is her choice and her choice only, but I can clearly see that she’s already shaping her own path and I’m so proud of her.
Experiences Shape Our World and Form our Higher Soul’s Purpose
Through these – and many more – experiences, I’ve come to realize how I can make a difference.
Through my work as an experienced marketer, I help ethical brand owners and marketers who are making an impact in this world create and implement a marketing strategy that rocks.
I’m currently writing about the adventures of Lily Bowers, a 10-year-old girl who finds out she has an amazing gift, but with that amazing gift, she has the huge challenge of having to save someone very dear to her.
This will be the first book of a fantasy series that addresses various animal rights and environmental issues because my soul purpose on this beautiful Earth is to inspire people, especially children, to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of through my writing.
My work and the changes I want to make inspire me to get up each and every day. What about you?