6 TED Talks to Help You Change the World

I love a good TED Talk. Whether it’s checking them out on the website or catching snippets during the TED Radio Hour on NPR, I look to these engaging videos to inspire me, educate me on a new topic, and introduce me to new perspectives from some of the smartest folks on the planet.

Whether you volunteer at a community center or are leading a non-profit organization, it’s important that we stay motivated and reminded of the beauty that comes along with making a difference. As such, I’ve rounded up 6 inspirational TED Talks to give us the right amount of motivation as we pursue purposeful living and seek to change the world.

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Spring Refresh + April Goals

Desk setup for setting spring goals

Welcome to April! Knowing that we are on the verge of spring temperatures has me feeling super energized and ready to knock out some major goals over the next three months. I’ve been using Powersheets to help map out my year. In 2016, I had the tool but didn’t use it like I should have. However, I’m doing MUCH better this year. One of the things that I like most about the Powersheets are the 3-month refresh pages which allows you to take stock of the prior months and what you did or didn’t do. This refresh also helps with assessing whether or not your annual goals need to be tweaked.

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Looking Back at My First Whole30

Whole 30 changed my life and relationship with food. Here's my recap.

Last fall, I became a believer in Whole30. I’m talking “Omg, why didn’t I do this sooner” kind of believer. I made the decision to do Whole30 after my manager started sharing some of the benefits that she’d been seeing since starting it. As she rattled off things like less headaches, less bloating, better sleep, and looser fitting clothes, I became even more intrigued. But, the true kicker was when she told me that Whole30 isn’t a diet. Say what? However, it’s true.

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On Your 1st Birthday

Dear Caleb,

Today is your 1st birthday. I hope and pray that this is just the first of many celebrations in your honor. This past year, you have taught me how to love, how to be patient, how to care, how to pray, and how to truly smile from my heart. You are the sweetest baby that I have ever met and I am not just saying this because you are mine. Your spirit and energy lights up any room that you are in. Your eyes remind me that God is real and so is a mother’s love.

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Monday Motivation: Sticking with a Gym Routine

Taking a run outside is an easy way to get your heart going!

About three months ago, I walked into the fitness center at work, reactivated my membership, and started on a journey to a stronger and more confident me. Over the past few months, I’ve seen awesome weeks where I have gotten in five workouts and then I’ve had not-so-great weeks where I’ve clocked zero sweat sessions.

However, I never stopped. When I went in for my 90 day check-in last week, I was super happy to see that I was making progress. My body fat has dropped by seven percentage points and I lost fat and gained muscle. The overall number on the scale hasn’t changed but I’m stronger, getting leaner, and my capacity for cardio is getting better.

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Cupcakes and Condoms Is Heading Your Way

Last month, Red Pump announced that we are bringing Cupcakes and Condoms to ten cities this fall. The first stop will be in St. Louis on August 20th and will be hosted by yours truly!

For those unfamiliar with Cupcakes and Condoms, it is our sweet spin on an educational townhall. We create a safe space for women and teen girls to get information about HIV/STIs, hear from a panel of women’s health advocates, and ask plenty of questions. Oh, and yes, there are desserts.

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Leave These Three Things Out of Your Donation Pile

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Everywhere I turn, it feels like there are just piles of stuff in my house. It has always been this way but the addition of baby items has just added to the collection. These piles aren’t unruly but I could stand to create a more organized home. In fact, that was one of the goals that I spelled out on my Powersheets. Over the weekend, I started with the room that I can’t keep organized to save my life: my closet.

My go-to method for clearing the clutter has always been to create three piles for the stuff: keep, donate, or trash. In the past, my “donate” pile has always been bigger than my “trash” pile because I have this thing about throwing away clothes. It has never felt right unless the item was totally destroyed. So that means that I have donated some things that weren’t in mint condition. It’s not something that I have done often, but I’m all about doing better as I get older.

This time around, I made sure to keep these things out of the donation baskets.

Any old college/event/freebie t-shirts – I should be ashamed of the number of t-shirts in my drawers. However, I know that I’m not the only one. Over the years, these have often been the first to go during a wardrobe purge. However, I skipped putting these in the donation pile for now and just trashed them. If you prefer to go a more eco-friendly route, you could always make a t-shirt quilt or use them as rags.

Shoes in less than ideal condition – “Less than ideal” means having damaged heels, worn leather, or stained suede. I’m not going to trash these shoes but decided that I would do my best to get them in better shape before donating. We all know that shoes can make or break an outfit so I want the recipients to feel that magic as soon as they receive a pair from me.

Clothes from the previous season – I’ve always been one to purge my wardrobe at the end of a season which means that I’m donating summer dresses while everyone is preparing for another Chicago winter. Given that most charity thrift stores and shelters have limited storage spaces, many of these locations do not accept items out-of-season. An easy solve for this will be to go through my closets at the beginning of winter or summer so I know that the clothes will be of use at that moment.

Do you have any donation tips that you want to share?

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Why Are You #DoingIt? [Video]

45618_TwitterFB_Batch1_1Karyn

Today is National HIV Testing Day. If you are unsure about your HIV status or if you are due for your next screening, there is no time like the present to get tested.

Getting tested for HIV on a regular basis continues to be a priority for me. I talk about in this video shot last year as a part of the CDC’s #DoingIt campaign.

To find a free HIV or STD testing location near you, visit GetTested.CDC.gov and enter your ZIP code.

I’m #DoingIt. Are you?

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The Bite-Sized Believer

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

Faith is an incredibly personal journey and is something that I plan to instill in Caleb. Even with the selection of his name, it was important to me to call him something that had a spiritual connection and could help set the stage for the God-fearing man that I desire him to grow up and be.

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Just Keep Swimming

“Just keep swimming…” I have been muttering those three words to myself over and over again for the past two weeks. I have placed so much value on doing things perfectly that I often fail to celebrate the art of just getting something done.

However, I’m in the middle of learning that any forward-moving progress HAS to be celebrated. For many, this is such a “duh” concept but I’m a perfectionist-in-recovery. The fear of not doing something right (whatever the heck that means) would keep me paralyzed with anxiety for days, weeks, or even months. I would rather not do anything then to deal with feelings of imperfection.

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