Friday, August 30, 2013

Join the VegCookbook Club: Vegan Indian Cooking

Hello Have Fun Do Gooders!

Just wanted to let you know that we'll be cooking from Vegan Indian Cooking by Anupy Singla over at my other blog, VegCookbook Club.

If you've never cooked with us before, here's how it works:
Join us!


The next Juicy Blogging E-Course starts September 5th!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

5 Ways to Know That Blogging is Part of Your Purpose

1. You know someone needs to read what you have to share.

If you have a feeling that there is a community of people, no matter how big or small, whose lives would be richer because of your writing, photos or videos, don’t wait. Start your blog. Don’t worry about the numbers. Write for your people. They are waiting for you.

2. You know you need to publish now.

One of the many awesome things about blogging is that you are the writer, editor and publisher all rolled into one. You decide what your people need to read at that moment. Publishing in magazines and newspapers or writing a book can reach a wide audience, but you have to go through gatekeepers. It can be a long time before what you have to say is heard. Blogging allows you to share right now, when you feel like your people need it.

3. You love to share stories, resources and things that make people smile.

Think about the blogs you love to read. I bet they either share personal stories, resources (e.g. how-to) or photos, videos and anecdotes that make you laugh and smile. If you have a message to share that needs to be heard now, you will reach more people if you inspire them. Be authentic. Be valuable. Be fun. Be hopeful.  

4. You love to connect with people

Unlike traditional publishing, blogging is social. It’s a two way street. You’re not going to reach your people unless you chat it up. You’re going to need to comment on other blogs, and reply to comments. You’re going to need to share your posts on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and “like,” comment on, re-tweet and reply to what other people share. You’re going to need to be a guest blogger and to host guest bloggers. If the idea of all that interaction makes your palms sweat, a more traditional publishing route might be best for you. If it sounds fun to you, put on your party hat and start mingling!

5. You love to create

To keep a blog going, you need to post regularly, at least once a week, preferably more. The more you post, the more likely it is that your people will find you. Plus, you’ll become a better writer, photographer and/or video-maker. Creativity is messy, unpredictable, frustrating and fun. Sometimes you can’t stop making stuff, and sometimes the well feels dry.

As a blogger, you need to ride the waves of creation and keep going, through crappy posts and brilliant ones. You’ll write posts that will get tons of comments, and others that will sit in silence. In the end, you have to write because you love it. You have to write because you know that someone out there needs your blog.

This post first appeared in elephant journal. Photo credit: My Light by YuMaNuMa

The next Juicy Blogging E-Course starts September 5th!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crafting Calm for Creativity and Contemplation

"If you only have five minutes [to craft] that's long enough to lift your heart, to raise your inspiration." ~ Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon

As some of you know, I produce the Arts and Healing Network's Arts and Healing Podcast where I get to talk with all kinds of people about the healing power of art. In the most recent show, I chatted with Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon about her wonderful book, Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation.

Rev. Shannon is an interfaith minister, spiritual director, workshop and retreat facilitator, and lifelong crafter whose passion is exploring the relationship between creativity and spirituality.

A former magazine editor and creativity coach, she is the the author of five previous books, including Prayers for Healing. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and young daughter (who also loves to craft), and currently serves at the Spiritual Director of Unity Spiritual Center of San Francisco. You can connect with Maggie on her website, on Facebook and on Pinterest.

It was lovely to talk with Maggie, and learn more about how she uses crafting for creativity and contemplation. I think you'll enjoy the interview ( :

If you can't see the player below, you can listen to it on the Arts and Healing Network's website or on iTunes


The next Juicy Blogging E-Course is September 5-October 3, 2013!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Have Fun, Do Good Birthday Fundraiser!

I'm going to be 44 on August 19th (can you believe it?). The 19th is also the 8th anniversary of Have Fun * Do  Good! A big thanks to all of you for reading (:

To celebrate my b-day, I've created a fundraiser on Crowdrise. My first one!

I mentioned last month that I've been doing some Big Vision Consulting for Rockwood Leadership Institute. I've been so impressed with their work, and the transformational impact that their Art of Leadership trainings have had for social change leaders that I am raising money to send one woman from a grassroots organization to their Art of Leadership for Women in Racial Justice and Human Rights in October.

The training brings together women of color and white women leaders who are working for education, immigrant rights, reproductive justice, environmental justice, indigenous communities and other racial justice issues.

Given what happened with the Voting Rights Act in June, the Zimmerman verdict in July, and the existence of things like New York's stop-and-frisk policy, we need leaders working for racial justice and human rights to be able to sustain themselves over the looooooooong haul.

The Art of Leadership training helps social change leaders clarify their life purpose, gives them skills to bring their lives back into balance, and teaches them how to partner and collaborate more effectively.

I'd really appreciate it if you helped me celebrate my 44th birthday, and Have Fun * Do Good's 8th anniversary, by sending a woman leader working for racial justice and human rights to the Art of Leadership.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Five Minutes of Fame in a Student Carbon Offset Documentary

A looooong time ago, in March 2007, I wrote a blog post, What Do You Think of Carbon Offsets? which led to a local magazine including me in a piece, Carbon Credit Report, in its August 2007 issue.

Honestly, I hadn't given carbon offsets much thought again until this past May. A high school student called to ask if I would be in her school project: a video about carbon offsets. I thanked her, and told her that I wouldn't be a good person to interview because I don't buy carbon offsets anymore.

A few days later, she called back to say that she'd gotten the same response from a couple other people she'd approached, so she decided that asking people why they don't purchase carbon offsets was an angle worth pursuing. Smart cookie!

She did a great job with her assignment. She interviewed five people: me, Tom Kelly (Executive Director, KyotoUSA), Erin Craig (CEO, TerraPass), Kathryn Sarkis (Marketing Manager, TerraPass), and Todd Jones (Center for Resource Solutions, ‎Green-e Climate Manager).

It's only 12 minutes long, so give it a watch, and support a student filmmaker. She's our future!


The next Juicy Blogging E-Course is September 5-October 3, 2013!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Compassion is Not Kumbaya

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~ Dalai Lama
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~ Mother Teresa
“It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi 
"Our human compassion binds us the one to the other - not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future." ~ Nelson Mandela
I'm passionate about the work of nonprofits, socially responsible businesses, and activists, but lately I've been feeling like in order to solve our world's challenges, we need to do more. We need to change who we are on the inside, as well change as our systems, laws, policies, and businesses.

How do I change?

I can be a very judgemental, angry and self-centered person who would prefer to do things her way. It feels safer that way. To be compassionate, kind, generous, and collaborative feels like a bigger risk. To love is to be vulnerable.

It is a challenge for me to not judge someone who doesn't believe in gun control, or not be angry with the corporate customer service rep who can't answer my question because he needs to keep to a script, or not be selfish when I'm worried about finances, or be collaborative when I'm sure I know the best way. Those feelings come easily. They feel natural.

How do we change?

How do we make a cultural shift so that being compassionate, kind, generous, and collaborative are something we all aspire to practice each day? Not because we want to be "good," or because our religious or spiritual beliefs tell us we "should," but because we know in our hearts that it is what we need to do at this moment in history.  Because we know that being more compassionate, kind, generous, and collaborative every day is a practical practice we need to survive.

Judgement, anger, selfishness, and independence have their roles to play, but it feels like as a culture we're tipped too far away from values that may be viewed as old-fashioned, do-goody, or religious when in fact they are just plain essential.

How do you remember to be your kinder self?

Over time I've found that certain things help me to be a kinder, more compassionate, generous and collaborative person: meditation, exercise, eating healthy food, reading inspiring books, spending time with kind-hearted people, being in nature, creating things (e.g. cooking, crafting, blogging, podcasting), being exposed to new people, places and ideas, and being of service (e.g. volunteering). Sometimes the effect lasts a few hours. Sometimes a few days. Sometimes it's easier to remember to be my kinder self. Sometimes it's not.

It's a practice.

A practical practice.

For my happiness, and the happiness of others.

All photos are from Wikimedia Commons: Mother Teresa, Mohandas Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela.


The next Juicy Blogging E-Course is September 5-October 3, 2013!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

VegCook with the VegCookbook Club in August: Betty Goes Vegan

Just a quick note to let you know that in August the readers of my other blog, VegCoookbook Club, will be cooking from a fun-looking VegCookbook, Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Whole Family by Annie and Dan Shannon.

I've tried two recipes so far: the Paglia e Fieno and the South American Corn and Quinoa Summer Stew (pictured above). Both were tasty! You can view the recipe for the South American Corn and Quinoa Summer Stew on

If you’ve never cooked with my VegCookbook Club before, you can read about how to participate on the VegCookbook Club’s About page, and read about members’ experiences on the Love Notes page. You don't have to be vegan, or vegetarian to join.

Everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Inspired Blogging for Social Change (Video + Slides)

Hello Have Fun, Do Gooders!

This summer I taught a webinar about Inspired Blogging for Social Change for The Mission List. It includes lots of tips and examples of how individual bloggers can have fun, do good, and share their story to realize their big vision for a better world.

You can watch the video on the Mission List website, or on the player below:

I've also uploaded the slides to SlideShare, if you want to flip through and/or download the presentation:

There are links at the end to all of the inspiring blog examples. Enjoy!


The next Juicy Blogging E-Course is September 5-October 3, 2013!