Jan Janzen Daily http://janjanzendaily.com Celebrating People Making a Difference In the World! Thu, 27 May 2010 03:15:58 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 A new beginning http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/05/26/a-new-beginning/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/05/26/a-new-beginning/#comments Thu, 27 May 2010 03:15:58 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1356

It feels like forever since I sat down and wrote my blog. I have actually been waiting for my web gal to make some changes so I could let you know what was happening. Beginning about the middle of June, this will again be a very regular blog but with a new theme. This theme is much more in line with the new websites that are being worked on and a much more focused market.

One of the things that I have loved about my life over the last ten years is being able to make a difference. And one of the most exciting things I have noticed about people is that they love to make a difference too. When you ask for help or a contribution, people love to feel they are doing their part. What I have also found is that there is so much bad news out there, that all the good things that are happening on the planet often go unnoticed. We need a lot more “good news”.

So this blog is dedicated to a celebration of people making a difference in the world. I am excited to look for stories to entertain you, inspire you and help you appreciate your value. If you are doing something that you want me to share, let me know. I believe the more we hear good things, the better this world will be.

In the meantime, I leave on Friday for Seattle and then Sunday morning, Greg and his 98-year-old mother are driving to Sedona with me and staying for a week. It will be interesting. I haven’t seen Jeannette since the airport in Puerto Vallarta last June. It will be nice to have the company for the trip and a great time to spend some quality time with Greg, although he has promised to go through my new book manuscript with me. I’m holding him to the promise!

Once settled with the manuscript turned over to my editor, I will be back here full-time. In the meantime, with about 80,000 words written since April 5th, my hands hurt, my shoulders ache and my arms need whatever rest I can give them.

Have an amazing few weeks and talk to you soon!

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Is this the beginning of the end? http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/05/09/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/05/09/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end/#comments Sun, 09 May 2010 18:17:22 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1339

dead-bird

I really have tried to stay away from the media on the Gulf oil spill because it is too upsetting. Already up to my eyeballs in research that at times has made me sick to my stomach, had me crying or downright outraged in the area of breast health, dealing with the oil spill has felt like the icing on the cake.

However, through a few emails from my database, I realize that I cannot ignore the devastation that is taking place. Here’s one email that I received with some valuable information.

“The original estimate was about 5,000 gallons of oil a day spilling into the ocean. Now they’re saying 200,000 gallons a day. That’s over a million gallons of crude oil a week!

I’m engineer with 25 years of experience. I’ve worked on some big projects with big machines. Maybe that’s why this mess is so clear to me.

First, the BP platform was drilling for what they call deep oil. They go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another 30,000 feet into the crust of the earth. This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.

When the rig sank it flipped over and landed on top of the drill hole some 5,000 feet under the ocean.

Now they’ve got a hole in the ocean floor, 5,000 feet down with a wrecked oil drilling rig sitting on top of is spewing 200,000 [gallons] of oil a day into the ocean. Take a moment and consider that, will you!

First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order to try to cap it. Do you know the level of effort it will take to move that wrecked oil rig, sitting under 5,000 feet of water? That operation alone would take years and hundreds of millions to accomplish. Then, how do you cap that hole in the muddy ocean floor? There just is no way. No way.

The only piece of human technology that might address this is a nuclear bomb. I’m not kidding. If they put a nuke down there in the right spot it might seal up the hole. Nothing short of that will work.

If we can’t cap that hole that oil is going to destroy the oceans of the world. It only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000 gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Are you starting to get the magnitude of this?

We’re so used to our politicians creating false crises to forward their criminal agendas that we aren’t recognizing that we’re staring straight into possibly the greatest disaster mankind will ever see. Imagine what happens if that oil keeps flowing until it destroys all life in the oceans of this planet. Who knows how big of a reservoir of oil is down there.

Not to mention that the oceans are critical to maintaining the proper oxygen level in the atmosphere for human life.”

It was when I read the paragraph about the politicians creating false crises that I realized that part of my complacency is that our governments have “cried wolf” too many times. The swine flu is a perfect example of that. So I tend to not pay alot of attention to the media and all the hoopalas it manages to create just to stir up the pot of fear in people. However, it appears that this one is for real and we need to do whatever we can.

At this point, our prayers and positive healing thoughts for our dear Mother Earth may be the most appropriate. As this author concluded his comments that we need a miracle, I’m inclined to agree. If anyone wants to share what they have heard or comments, it feels like this one would be a good one to pursue as far as discussion and involvement.

Have a blessed Mother’s Day.

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Jamie Oliver On TED http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/05/06/jamie-oliver-on-ted/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/05/06/jamie-oliver-on-ted/#comments Fri, 07 May 2010 00:37:33 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1336

This morning with tears in my eyes I watched Jamie Oliver’s 20 minute talk to the audience of TED. Please take 20 minutes out of your day and watch this amazing young father, activist and social entrepreneur. There is a powerful message in what he has to say but he also is a fabulous model for following his passion, speaking his mind and making a difference.

Jamie must have the Sacred Gift of Simplicity because he never gets dressed up, not even for a well-to-do audience. Not interested in impressing people with his hair or fancy clothes, Jamie is truly a model of placing far more emphasis on the message rather than the messenger. I learn alot from this out-spoken activist. I’m trust you will too.

Have a watch and let me know what you think. http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

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Are You Opinionated Enough? http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/28/are-you-opinionated-enough/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/28/are-you-opinionated-enough/#comments Thu, 29 Apr 2010 01:22:19 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1333

The other day I saw a slogan that said, “I’m not opinionated. I’m just always right.” I haven’t stopped smiling about it. Especially as I am writing a particularly controversial book, it is impossible to not be opinionated. As a matter of fact, I absolutely need to be.

In looking at whether it is being opinionated, passionate or dogmatic which has a negative connotation of being arrogant along with being opinionated, it can be hard to know when you’re supposed to “go with the flow” and when you’re supposed to state your opinion.

What I have noticed is that many people have lost the feistiness, the spark that lights up their eyes and fuels the passion in their soul. Being more concerned about fitting in, not rocking the boat or the fear of being seen as opinionated, radical or maverick can over-ride the knowingness deep in our soul that what we feel is right and to say something about it. It can be much easier and safer to just stay quiet. It also takes a lot of energy to have an opinion and even more to vocalize it.

It’s a subject that best-selling author and activist Marianne Williamson raises frequently. In speaking about the apathy of the women in America (I apply this to both sexes in developed countries) and their desire to change something, she says: “they are disconnected both internally and externally from their power and the collective power of women to make the change”.

She explains that the female hyenas surround their cubs until they are fed and don’t allow the males anywhere near the food. Today with 17,000 children dying each day, one every 5 seconds, Marianne simply asks: Can the women of America not do better than the hyenas? In other words, will we find our power, our passion and our opinion personally and collectively to stand up for what we know is right?

Complacency is a subtle enemy. It’s like the frog in the water that doesn’t jump out because the water gets gradually warmer and warmer and eventually he is boiled to death. We’re being boiled to death as we tolerate more and more, gradually becoming accustomed to what would have horrified us before.

If you doubt that fact, just look at the current rating of movies or the television shows including the nudity and graphic language that is currently allowed on TV. We would never have tolerated much of what is now accepted as the norm a few decades ago.

Having an opinion can definitely be offensive when it is coupled with arrogance, that “if you don’t believe my way, you’re wrong” or a lack of respect if someone doesn’t believe the way you do. My dear dad is about as dogmatic as one can be about the rightness of his religious beliefs and the dangerous, deadly path I walk in my spiritual path. There is nothing subtle in his emails to me and he completely ignores that I am an adult entitled to my opinions. However, at 87 years of age, I just send him love and know he really thinks he’s saving me.

On the other hand, there are so many issues I believe we need to get opinionated about. I’ve just chosen one tiny little issue in my upcoming book but I could think of a hundred things I could stand up and be passionate about. What about you? If you’re having a hard time thinking of anything that you would stand on the mountaintop and declare with all of your life force, then you may need to recharge your opinion battery.

What good comes from having an opinion? Lots! First of all, I believe we are here for a reason. Especially, if you are reading newsletters like mine, you did not come to twiddle your thumbs and contemplate your navel. Trust me, you are here for a reason and it’s probably bigger than you are currently thinking.

So having an opinion lights the fire in your soul, finds your passion and sets you on your purpose. It gets you using your sacred gifts, your talents and blessings you are here to share with the world. It gives you a reason to move beyond yourself and your problems and challenges. It’s why you get out of bed in the morning with energy and vigor. An opinion will help you find meaningful goals and the fuel to reach them.

Yes, having an opinion does all of those things.

Are you ready to get opinionated? I hope so! We need more energized, passionate, driven people in the world who have a cause they are opinionated about and are willing to share with others. These are exciting times! You really need to find those opinions inside of you and start sharing them with others. See what they say, how it fine tunes you and makes you stronger and even more passionate.

And remember the next time someone shares an opinion with you, even if you don’t agree with it, bless them for having the courage to speak up and thank them for sharing it with you.

We can do better than the hyenas, can’t we?

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Pink chicken. What next? http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/21/pink-chicken-what-next/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/21/pink-chicken-what-next/#comments Wed, 21 Apr 2010 17:34:02 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1327

In the name of breast cancer?

In the name of breast cancer?

In my research for my new book The Booby Trap, I have certainly learned alot about the food industry, the cancer industry and the medical system. Much of it has been downright scary, some unbelievable and lots of it is very, very sad. But this email I got in from Breast Cancer Action, a group that is behind the Think Before You Pink campaign is beyond absurd.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is now offering pink buckets of chicken to help raise money for the cure. What has become so obvious through my research is that many of these corporations are far more concerned with how they are perceived by the public and their own bottom line rather than raising money for breast cancer research. It is a racket I will be exposing in my upcoming book. You will be horrified at what is really happening at the expense of our breasts. Yup, I am passionate about this one.

I hope you will agree and sign your name to the email going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to let them know this is taking their money-hungry drive for corporate sponsorship beyond the extreme.

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My new hero http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/16/my-new-hero/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/16/my-new-hero/#comments Fri, 16 Apr 2010 19:57:00 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1323

It’s been an incredible busy week as I have been up to my eyeballs writing my next book. With sometimes as many as 20 websites open and books strewn all over the floor, I feel like my head is exploding. However, it has been the most exciting project of my life and well worth returning from Guatemala to complete in time for a fall release.

While doing all the research I became reacquainted with Jamie Oliver. Known by many on the Food Channel as The Naked Chef, Jamie is an activist par none. Wow! He has my commendation hands down for his stand on issues that many people are ignoring. Issues around the typical North American diet that is killing our kids.

I was shocked to hear that for the first time, the generation of young people today will be the first generation to live a shorter life than their parents! Yup, if you haven’t heard that report, you’re probably rereading it in disbelief.

I’m working on a very tight deadline to get my book ready so I’m not going to write an entire dissertation on this topic but I do encourage you to watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. It’s on ABC tonight – there’s last week’s show on at 8:00 and his latest on at 9:00. I haven’t watched a show yet that I haven’t cried at some point in time.

Sorry but 12-year-old kids who weigh 318 pounds and 17-year-old teen girls who are given 7 years to live because of their obesity seems criminal to me.

Watch it tonight please! It will be one of the best hours you can spend this week. And let me know what you think. I’d love to hear!

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The Fear Factor http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/07/the-fear-factor/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/04/07/the-fear-factor/#comments Wed, 07 Apr 2010 19:13:38 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1314

tarantula4

This is a tarantula being held by our guide in Tikal, Guatemala. Want to hold one? Our guide explained that because he is not afraid, the tarantula would not pick up the vibration of fear and consequently wouldn’t bite him. None of us took the opportunity to hold a very large tarantula.

Why not? All of us knew that we would be afraid and the tarantula would sense it. It’s simply impossible to hide fear at a vibrational level.

All of us have fear in an area of our life. We can try to ignore it, hide it, or bluff our way through it. However, what if we just acknowledged it and addressed it? I ask myself the simple question: What are you really afraid of Jan? Then I wait to hear what comes up for me. It can be quite fascinating. Once you know the fear, then you can work through it. By pretending it’s not there, you actually cause more problems for yourself.

Ask yourself that question when you find yourself resisting something, stuck or afraid. I doubt if you will be hanging out with super-sized tarantulas anytime soon but the principle holds true in every area of our lives.

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The jeans are finally clean http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/03/29/the-jeans-are-finally-clean/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/03/29/the-jeans-are-finally-clean/#comments Mon, 29 Mar 2010 18:49:38 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1303

picture-of-daffodils

Two weeks after being back in North America, the jeans are finally clean. Other than the first time I had my clothes washed in a real machine in San Marcos in Guatemala, I chose to do the “handwashing” thing. Most everything fared well but the jeans just didn’t come clean. By the time I got home, I wondered if they ever would. Finally after 3 washings, they are looking good!

It has been a fascinating two weeks settling back into a North American routine. I love my new computer and the sheer joy of having a printer has been beyond ecstacy. The simple things of life for an entrepreneur.

It’s wonderful to have hot showers with some ooomph and to sleep in a super comfortable bed with a pillowtop. The luxuries of life I definitely enjoy.

On the other hand, I miss terribly the social connections of traveling. As a solopreneur, it can be easy to spend a day hardly talking to anybody. Hours can pass before you move away from your desk. I feel the isolation and lack of emotional stimulation at a level that is surprising even me. Never mind, missing the great food enjoyed eating out at super low prices, the constant sunshine and the wonderful people who were always so gracious.

Thankfully, today is the first day since my return that the weather has been cloudy and rainy. I arrived back to daffodils, cherry blossoms out in their full glory and even the rhododendrums starting to bloom. Spring is very early here on the west coast of Canada and I am relishing it!

The research for the new book is coming along well. The team is being lined up for a very busy summer and a late September/early October release. I am beyond excited which thankfully makes all sacrifices worthwhile.

There are pros and cons to every situation and as I describe in my book, Getting Off the Merry-Go-Round, we can make every situation a positive. So I am focusing on the blessings of life here in North America and enjoying it fully. I will be on Vancouver Island until the end of May. I’ll keep you posted!

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I can’t believe it was just a week ago http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/03/21/i-cant-believe-it-was-just-a-week-ago/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/03/21/i-cant-believe-it-was-just-a-week-ago/#comments Mon, 22 Mar 2010 03:09:46 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1296

An example of the beautiful carpets using pine needles

Another example using pine needles

[caption id="attachment_1293" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="One of the beautiful carpets made from sawdust"]This carpet is made from sawdust[/caption]

As I sit here at my new computer, it is hard to believe that just one short week ago, I was sitting at the airport in Guatemala City getting ready to leave.
I had a great time with Greg in Seattle and came back to BC with a new computer. My little laptop was on its last legs so we saw a deal on a new HP TouchSmart computer and took it. The beauty is that I can still travel with this computer as the hard drive is right in the computer screen. It’s definitely not a laptop but it is the coolest PC I have seen.

I landed in BC on Wednesday and have been busy the last few days getting settled, getting the computer set up and files transferred. Now that I am on Word 7, and a new computer, along with longs of other neat features, there is a whole new learning curve.

My last day in Antigua was absolutely fabulous. Unfortunately, my camera battery chose to die as I was taking pictures but these two will give you an idea of what the procession was all about. The entire city was covered in beautiful carpets of flowers and other organic materials. People were busy decorating the area in front of their homes and then this massive procession of thousands of people walked right through them as they carried this heavy platform with a statue of Jesus on it. It was breath-taking in its beauty and pageantry.

Flying from Guatemala was not easy – I had an 8:30 p.m. flight that went to Chicago, arriving about 1:00 in the morning. The next flight didn’t leave until 8:00 a.m. and Chicago’s O’Hara is not the most user-friendly airport I’ve seen.

I had been upgraded to first class on the flight out of Guatemala which was wonderful. However, not even that could prepare me for the horrible seating on the United flight to Seattle where even I was complaining about no legroom. There is something to be said when I am complaining about no legroom as at 5 foot tall, that was a first. However, I was too tired to care and I slept all the way to Seattle.

I am currently in Victoria. Brenda’s Dad has a very nice place right on Brentwood Bay by Butchart Gardens that accommodates me very nicely. He is out of town as of tomorrow for 3 weeks but I will be here until at least May 1st. I’m set up and at work already on my next book as the targeted time for release is October. It’s going to be a very busy few months.

Have an amazing week as you focus on how you are going to make 2010 your best year yet. I am so excited about it, I can barely sleep. What about you?

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Walking on fire http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/03/14/walking-on-fire/ http://janjanzendaily.com/2010/03/14/walking-on-fire/#comments Sun, 14 Mar 2010 18:23:33 +0000 Jan Janzen http://janjanzendaily.com/?p=1290

Close up of the lava flowing - yes we really were close!

Close up of the lava flowing - yes we really were close!

[caption id="attachment_1288" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Lava flowing in the background with the hot molten lava in the foreground"]Lava flowing in the background with the hot molten lava in the foreground[/caption]

I´ve done some crazy things in my life, but yesterday had to be one of the top 5 craziest things on my list.

About 90 minutes away from Antigua is the active volcano Pacaya and only in Guatemala would they allow you to climb an active volcano complete with lava flowing. Not only are you allowed to climb all over the freshly hardened lava that is still hot but below some of the rocks you step on is the red hot magma that is clearly visible.

Needless to say, between climbing up to 2560 metres (about 7500 feet) on the side of an active volcano, literally feeling the heat of the lava and watching your footing every step of the way was quite the experience. I was with a group of about 14 people and had an excellent guide. Thankfully they do not allow you up the volcano without a guide but there were about 250 people climbing in a very small area and even with a guide, it was definitely harrowing at times as you manouvered your way around people and tried not to fall down the mountain.

At one point, there was the smell of something burning, either someone´s backpack that they was left too long on hot rocks or the soles of someone´s shoes. One young women, stupidly wearing shorts, fell and got cut quite badly on the lava which cuts like knives.

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you that we started the hike at 4:00 in the afternoon so we did the 2 hour hike up in the light but most of the descent was in the dark. Crazy, I know. The Spanish term “muy loco” (very crazy) took on a whole new meaning last night. I had a flashlight but many didn´t.

I was exhausted but exhilarated at the end of the trip. It was an incredible experience and a grand finale to my time in Guatemala. Just heading out now for the beautiful procession this afternoon for Holy Week before heading to the airport for my flight back to North America tonight.

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