We are all one

We are all one
Jennifer Varenchik

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I’m in Oklahoma City- boy, it’s humid and hot! I’m here with UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth) UNITY website doing a Preparing Native Youth for Life’s Journey training. It’s going great- yesterday we did community assessment and action planning, today we’re going to cover personal mission statements. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want for my personal mission statement. I had one that I carried with me for quite some time, but recently have forgotten about it (I still remember comparing lists with JL in Pasadena- back a few years).

OK, I’m back. I just took a break and did a personal Mind Map Mind map site for what I want to accomplishment in my life. I was projecting myself into the future and thinking about once my life is over, what are the things that I want to say I’ve accomplished….?

I thought about several things, one of them being raising a healthy family with a strong “prayer partner”, a traditional, spiritual, healthy, educated, self sufficient, happy Native American man….many have remarked that’s a tall order- but I’m not worried, he’s out there somewhere.

Another thing that I want in my lifetime accomplishments is to establish a media empire- publishing and producing. I want to publish books on the history of the Los Angeles Urban Indians, the Native Youth Wellness Movement, and other inspirational/ informational Native subjects. I also want to produce a daily talk show and few motion pictures. So already that’s a lot, but it’s what I’m striving for in my life.

After my mind map, I talked with my mentor- looking at the things that I want compared to how I’m currently spending my time- there is a big discrepancy. I’m spending most of my time in projects that aren’t leading me to accomplishing my long term goals. It’s not that I’m not passionate about how I’m spending my time now- it’s just that nothing that I’m currently doing is what my heart truly wants. And I don’t think that this is just a fleeting desire, every time I do these types of exercises, it’s the same thing- I get the same results.

So I’m at a crossroads- with the limited time that I have, how do I start moving towards my heart’s desire? Did I mention that fear has a lot to do with what’s stopping me? Man, and this is what I do for a living. I help people identify what they really want to do with their lives, and then help them set up a plan to achieve it. So now I’m my own client. I’ve decided to take action now. I’m going to publish the LA community newsletter that I had going earlier in the year. I started last summer, and then kinda put it aside to tackle other things (distractions?). Facing a long flight back home, I think I’ll spend it working towards building my media empire, rather that checking out a movie.

Thanks for reading, just writing this out has helped me become closer to my dreams.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Only The Lonely

Today had to be my best day in Chicago. I'm for a national conference learning more about the earned income tax credit. I've meet lots of reservation folks that have started VITA sites- that's volunteer income tax assistance sites where people will do your taxes for you if you qualify for the EITC. This is a multi cultural conference, but we were able to have a special Native American caucus- so that was cool. It's really interesting, and I don't know anything about this world, so I was kinda feeling overwhelmed the first day- all these acronyms flying around- I was like wait- what the heck! What's a VITA, and IDA?! But now I'm more comfortable and I've picked up on a lot.

I'm sure I'll be writing more about my adventures of getting a LA native VITA up and running by January 2006- if that's what we decided to do. I'm working with the American Indian Children's Council, so I don't know if we are going to just refer people to already existing sites, or if we are going to go for it and start our own- we'll see.

Oh, and I heard a truly dynamic speaker- Mr. David Cay Johnston of The New York Times. He wrote this book called Perfectly Legal, The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else! Here's the link: http://www.perfectlylegalthebook.com/ He encouraged all of us to get in touch with our representatives. Well actually, he challenged us to make an appointment with them, call their office and ask for 10 min. of their time when they are in town. In all the speeches that he has delivered, he has never met anyone who has 1) actually followed through or 2) followed up with him. He gave us his personal email and direct line at the NY Times begging us to let him know what happens- were we denied, did we get a meeting, what happened when you called?! So I met with him afterwards and he knows my rep, says I won't get anytime with him, but I should still try. Hmmm, I love a challenge. He also said that when I call if they ask if I'm a contributor that's illegal- let him know!

After my big day of tax info, I decided to go run. I found the fountain that's in the beginning of Married with Children- ran by that. Then I ran along Lake Michigan- it was so awesome. People were everywhere- and every now and then a hottie would run by me- love the eye candy. I ran to the big ferris wheel on Navy Pier, and then turned back to the hotel. Once I got back I ordered Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and laughed at The Office and was on the edge of my seat to the Nip/ Tuck season premier. After chatting with my bud Jerry and talking about speed dial order (Seinfeld) I now need to turn in for the day.
Tomorrow I go home for a few hours, and then fly off to Oklahoma City.

Oh, and did anyone get my John Candy reference, the movie that was filmed here in Chicago. Or did you all think I'm gettin' lonely out here on the road? I love it out here!

Thanks for stoppin' by