Friday, November 30, 2012

What Inspiration Looks Like

This is what should appear when you look up the term "inspiration."

Watch Terri Wingham's short video to Sir Richard Branson, read about her brilliant #Delhi2013 program, and join the Mob For Good with a simple RT, a blog comment, a Facebook share, etc.

Working together we can help the A Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation send 12 cancer survivors to volunteer in India in February 2013. They are going to Delhi to serve on community projects and get to know local cancer patients.

Once their mission is accomplished, they will have had a tangible positive impact on the lives of others and, almost unwittingly, gained immeasurable personal healing as well.

Beyond that, they will have brought our vastly differing circumstances closer together and shed light on global cancer issues:  How can it be that women in Africa would rather get AIDS than cancer? How can it be that cancer patients in Vietnam must sleep on the street when receiving treatment at hospitals far from their homes?

I am so proud to know Terri and thank her for inspiring me. I hope she will inspire you too.

Here is my note to Sir Richard Branson in support of #Delhi2013. It's one of the many comments to Terri's blog post. I hope you'll add yours!

Thanks for reading.


* * *

To Sir Richard Branson,

It’s a No-Brainer: Virgin Airlines is the perfect company to sponsor the A Fresh Chapter Foundation’s maiden voyage. Visionary, cutting edge, social, driven, global, daring, walking the talk (in this case, dare I say Flying the talk!)…. these are just a few of the qualities you and Terri, and Virgin and her foundation share.

After a cancer diagnosis obliterated Terri’s life as she knew it, she fought back, not only to regain her health, but to explore the world, and, here’s what’s truly outstanding: to Give Back. She discovered for herself that there is no greater healing power than to care for others. She could have stopped there.

With that, however, she chose to empower fellow cancer survivors to understand this wisdom and put it into practice for themselves and those they will soon be serving on the other side of the world.

Starting with nothing, she has built a solid program, forged international alliances, recruited 12 outstanding cancer survivors, and organized all aspects of their mission to volunteer in Delhi, India in February 2013.

Her drive, genius, gigantic heart and brilliant mind led her to accomplish this in a very short time. All that remains for this mission to succeed is for Virgin to become our Official Airline.

I say “our” because amongst other things, I am a 3-time cancer survivor, a member of the weekly #BCSM (Breast Cancer Social Media) Twitter chat, a recipient of an #ePatient Scholarship to #MedX — Stanford University’s Medicine X — and I am looking forward to volunteering with Terri and her foundation on future missions to Africa and South America.

I urge you to partner with us!

Thank you for your attention,


Liza Bernstein

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Healing Power of Yarn Tangles

I've been unraveling lots of yarn tangles these past three months -- literally, as I've been knitting and crocheting with fervor. It's also fitting because my life right now is behaving just like a huge mess of tangled, randomly and nerve-wrackingly intertwined threads of undisciplinable, knotted yarn. 

If you've ever tried to untangle a mess like this, you know the only way to succeed is to slow down, remove any and all attachment to the result, breathe deeply, relax your fingers and hands, breathe again, deeply, and again... And on and on until you and your hands accept the state of the yarn and gently feel their way through the mess.

You zone out, you become one with the yarn (yes, I know, the saying has become so trite, but its true meaning is profound), and over time, your fingers find their way through the tangles and knots. With gentle persistence, you somehow manage to unravel it all.

I started writing this post earlier this year -- in February, to be precise, the day after Rachel and Susan died. I left it mid-sentence and found it in my drafts box today.

It might do me some good to spend more time unraveling yarn... it's a great way to lick the Emotional Flooding Monster.