WOODY’S WORDS

FACE TIME?

In this month of tremendous change for CHANGA, we are starting to see opportunity on the horizon.  Fulfilling our mission of providing safe, affordable, deaf-friendly housing is growing and changing daily. Change can be scary but it can also be very exhilarating.  It forces a confrontation with the status quo.  Our change has taken many forms.  It started with the introduction of this blog, a new video on our website www.changahome.org, and it will be topped off by the introduction of our new Facebook page (COMING SOON).

Change has forced me to deal with my weaknesses in the digital realm.  Fortunately for me, I’ve triumphed so far.  We will see what happens with the Facebook page.  Facebook has been the bane of my existence.  But like the warrior I am, I decided to take it on with both fists.  The whole timeline thing is cool with me because I never understood the original format.  So there’s no reason to stress out over the change.  I find myself posting several times a week and commenting on other posts.  This is something I never did in the past because I was so caught up in trying to control what was showing on my wall or whatever it’s called now.  Now that I’m a laid back Facebook USER, nothing bothers me.  It’s a lot like me learning how to swim.  I used to cling to the side of the pool like a drowning rat with every muscle as tense and tight as piano wires.  Now I know how to float and glide through the waters of insanity on my page.

I love it.  Change that is.  It’s making me grow minute to minute.

Light and Love,

Janice

WOODY’S WORDS

Observations ON THE GO

“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.”  Karen Lamb, American Writer

Wow!  My business coach sent this to me.  It hits you right between the eyes.  Being a seasoned procrastinator, I know all too well that sinking feeling in the stomach when you realize that you’ve missed a huge opportunity because you put it off and forgot about it.

Now is a year ago’s today.  There are so many wonderful things I could have done that would have me living in a different reality right now.  There are so many wonderful things I DID that have me living in a totally different reality NOW.

Procrastination is a form of resistance that has sabotaged all my dreams.  In the past, I would feel very defeated by this realization.  But I’m learning to live NOW.  I discovered that when I’m fully present NOW, I don’t have any problems.

When I’m fully present, I see solutions.

When I’m fully present, I feel empowered to take action.

When I’m fully present, I don’t have that sinking feeling in my stomach.

When I’m fully present, I am alive, alert, awake and authentic!

So why do we procrastinate?  Because we ask that stupid question.

Instead, I started asking myself this question.  Why is everything absolutely, amazingly fantastic just as it is NOW?  It’s just a small adjustment, a minor tweak to the questions I was asking myself every minute of every day.  A year from now, I will know that I started TODAY.

Light and Love,

Janice

WOODY’S WORDS

Building A Dream

Much can happen in the progression of building a dream.  You might birth an idea only to find that your imagination has far exceeded your resources.  That is what happened with CHANGA in the very beginning.

We had big dreams of building an organization that would immediately provide housing for the deaf and hard of hearing.  We visualized apartment buildings and homes that were safe and deaf-friendly.  We found that it was not so easy.  But the dream lives on.

The biggest obstacles to our dreams are our thoughts.  Usually they are thoughts of fear and defeat.  We run into an obstacle and it seems insurmountable.  If we’re not deeply and emotionally invested and connected to our dreams, we will probably let them die.  It takes a lot of juice to keep a dream alive when everything seems to be going wrong.  The biggest question is always – will it work?  And then – will it work for us?

I was convinced that it could work when the IRS gave us a Tax ID number.  That was the beginning of hope.  We didn’t know how long we would have to keep the dream alive.  We still don’t know that.  It almost doesn’t matter how long.  We work until it’s realized.  We keep working because the people we love want a solution.  They wanted it nine years ago.  They still want it today.

Sometimes you have to tweak the dream many times before it manifests.  I can’t explain why we stuck with it other than to say that we have a burning desire for victory.  Love and a burning desire will keep any dream alive.

Light and Love,

Janice

WOODY’S WORDS

Lessons Learned

There is no such thing as coincidence.  We meet the people who belong in our lives.  I met one such person this week while waiting for a friend.  My friend and I had decided to go see the movie “Beast of the Southern Wild”.  (Earth shattering film by the way)  I got to the theater early and bought my ticket and genetically modified popcorn and decided to wait in the lobby for my friend.  I noticed a woman frantically tapping on her phone trying to reach someone.  For some unknown reason, I went up to her and asked if she knew where theater #20 was.  I thought it might be upstairs since I was new to the area and that theater.  We started talking and she said she had been there awhile waiting on friends.  She couldn’t seem to reach anyone to confirm that she was even in the right theater.  The little voice said, invite her to join you.  So I invited her to join us.  I had no idea what we were about to see but I’ve learned to follow my gut.  When my friend arrived, everyone was introduced and we went off to watch the film.

Two hours and several napkins later, we all walked out of the theater in tears.  This was an apparently shocking site to some of the people sitting outside the theater and they kept asking if we were alright.  All of us were shaken by the film.  I cry at anything so I’m not a good gauge, but both ladies were in tears and started talking about how the film had hit them at their core.  It brought back memories of childhood and fathers.  My new friend mentioned that she was feeling all alone in the world now.  Meeting us had a powerful impact on her.  While we were “strangers”, she still felt safe enough to share that feeling.

So many of us feel all alone in the world right now.  It’s no coincidence that we are linking up all over the globe in person and over the internet.  We are one.  We’re all connected in this web of life.  When we’re open to this, all those little coincidences have the power to transform our lives.  I made a new friend because I’ve learned to listen to that still small voice inside.  That little nudge telling me to reach out to another person.  I hope she walked away feeling better, not so alone.  I know I did.

Light and Love,

Janice

WOODY’S WORDS

Welcome to WOODY’S WORDS where I am Exploring where I’ve been, my passions, and where I’m going. Come along for the ride.

Hopefully I will be giving you an idea of how I show up in the world and how we might work together to make a world that works for all people.

In this blog, I’ll be using MY WORDS to express how I feel about deaf-friendly housing, the life lessons I’ve learned, building a dream, and my observations on the go. I go a lot. 😉

Words have fascinating power over me. I see them, hear them, feel them in the core of my being. I own a large library and it includes everything from “Trading for Dummies” to “The Autobiography of a Yogi”. I’ve been having a love affair with words since I was four years old. That’s when my mom, the schoolteacher, taught me how to read. I quickly took on another lover when I also started playing the piano at age four. I immediately began combining my two loves and started singing. These words, this music, the singing have saved my life. They brought magnificent joy to my happy days and peace to my darkest moments.

One of those moments was sitting in the hospital holding my young son after being told that yes he would live (the meningitus coma released its grip) but he would not be able to hear me tell him that I loved him. He was now deaf. Words could not describe the pain and agony my husband and I felt in those moments. Our precious baby was now living in a world that we struggled to comprehend.

Fighter that he is, my son Changa didn’t know that he was “disabled”. I taught him that he could be, do and have anything he wanted in life because he has a right to be here and he deserves the best life has to offer. I think he believes it.

Now he’s a young man making his own way in the world. Part of that journey involved leaving home and in our search for a safe place to live, we discovered that no one was focused on safe, affordable, deaf-friendly housing. So in 2003, we formed CHANGA, Collective Housing and New Growth Alternatives with a mission to educate landlords, developers, and government agencies to eventually provide housing.

In the coming months, I will share my ideas about deaf-friendly housing and hopefully you will share some of your ideas with me. As we work to build this dream, I see you sharing your insights and passions with us.

I’d like to thank you for visiting our website and this blog as we explain deaf-friendly housing, it’s importance and how we can all get involved in creating safe, affordable housing.

Light and Love,

Janice