Archive for April, 2010


Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Social Role Valorization theorizes that society tends to identify diverse groups as less valued because of their differences. It also studies how we devalue others and its effects while developing methods to counteract the problem.

In society if a group of individuals are seen different or abnormal they are stigmatized as less valued, low status, unworthy and prone to discrimination. The effects of being devalued are as followed depression, low self esteem, isolation and feeling insecure. SVR talks about creating and enhancing postive roles for people who may be in a devalued role because once their exhibiting postive qualities others will see it and focus on it. Being in a postive role can bring about happiness, improved self image and being part of society. People with disabilities often fall into the category of being devalued because they are only judge by their disability instead we should be looking at the whole person.

Check out my column on bullies


My interview with my mentor Seane Corn

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

In my late twenties I felt very lost and disconnected.  It was during this time that I discovered Sean’s yoga DVD.  It wasn’t just a great exercise program but it was also the spiritual connection I was looking for.  Yoga helps me focus on my purpose and goals of being a disability rights activist.  For me yoga is a life style from the beliefs to the physical practice. I am proud to be a yogini.

1.   What does yoga mean to you?

Making connections and relationships within and outside of ourselves while seeing love and truth in all circumstances.

2.    How does yoga relate to spirituality?

it unites the mind and body working as a whole with no separation.  The god we seek is within us going outwards to see our truth and love.

3.    How do you transform yoga into your daily life?

By being mindful in all activities from eating to working always practicing yoga.

4.    How did you become involved in activism and how does it connect to yoga?

I was always interested in activism but yoga helps you deal with your own issues allowing you to be more focused on helping others.

5.   What is the purpose and goal of Off The Mat Into The World?

1. To bridge the gap between the yoga community and activism  2. Leadership training to help yogis to find and define their purpose through yoga, meditation and journaling 3. Teach organizational skills and provide resources.

6.   What are your future plans?

1. Off The Mat seva Challenge in South Africa is planning to build a bakery and halfway house while doing AIDS awareness education.  2. Off The Mat Urban seva Challenge in LA is working with inner city kids.

7.    What advice do you have for inspiring yogis and activists?

1. Take care of yourself first. 2. Work with others sharing resources.

8.      What is your purpose?

To love bigger then ever possible and not to be afraid to take risks.

Read more about Seane in my column


For more information on Seane and her work visit http://www.seanecorn.com/ .


Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

One of the most common barriers that people with disabilities face is making connections with others in their personal and professional lives.  Every day people with disabilities face many different barriers, such as discrimination, transportation issues or dealing with stigmas and different types of attitudes.  The lack of social networking can lead to feelings of loneliness, boredom or depression.  There are many possible reasons for the lack of social interactions, such as hearing and communication barriers, fear or lack of understanding of differences, or people who look just at a disability rather than a person

Sadly, in today’s society, people with disabilities have to deal with the stigma of having a disability.  Many people have the misconception that a disability makes a person helpless, incapable of being independent or not being smart.  I have also seen people with disabilities looked on as not an important part of society.  Many individuals are either scared or uncomfortable around people with disabilities due to the lack of information and focusing just on the negative part of having a disability.

There are many resources available to help bridge the social gap for people with disabilities.  For example, volunteering can be a wonderful, positive social experience, bringing the good feeling of helping others, getting involved in playing team sports and joining clubs or organizations.  The main problem with this is that many people don’t know how to find these resources or get to them.  Another excellent resource is the Internet, where chat rooms and message boards have allowed people to make friends and have the opportunity to interact with others.

It has always been my personal experience that surrounding myself with positive people and experiences has led me to happiness. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, I believe that disabled individuals should be judged on their character rather than their disability.  I would rather have a few close friends and family who are true to themselves and me instead of a large number of friends who do not fully accept me.

Whenever I meet somebody I always look for the good in them and I focus on being myself and I feel that if they can’t accept me for who I am, I move on because they are not worth my time.  I have always seen my disabilities as part of who I am and I am very proud of my accomplishments and where I am today.  I am very thankful that I have found someone special to share my life and have a close family and friends who love and accept me for who I am. Read my column at http://www.masslive.com/holyokeplus/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1270884047135280.xml&coll=1

Gabrielle Bernstein

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Very recently I decided I wanted to get in touch with the women who I admire and inspired me in my own life. The first one is my friend Gabrielle Bernstein who wrote a book on positive living for women to tune into their inner guidance and fill their life with happiness. The book is filled with meditations, reflections, and activities to tap into your inner guidance. Just like Gabrielle I have always believed that if were positive then good things will come so take the time and enjoy positive power.

“  What inspired you to begin your work in empowering woman and what is your purpose?

My own personal journey is what inspired me to empower other women. My outward search for happiness did not serve me. I had to hit a bottom to turn inward. This experience taught me everything I teach today.  My personal transformation is what empowers me most.

What is your goal and purpose for your book?

My goal for this book is to reignite the ~ing in the world. Each reader who does the work can shift their perception and create miracles.  The more ~ing I turn on through this book the more miracles the world will hold.

What is the writing process for your book and blog?

I’m probably the most focused A.D.D person you’ll ever meet. Therefore I have to shut down everything to begin a writing project. I turn off the tweets, emails, audio, phone etc. Then I meditate. In my meditation my ~ing guides me to create an outline. Then I jam out with a free write. There is a lot of editing involved. My boyfriend and ladies in my power posse help me edit.

How did you start http://www.herfuture.com/, life coaching, and motivational speaking?

I began speaking at the age of twenty-one. I was asked to speak in marketing classrooms and on entrepreneurial panels because I was a young entrepreneur. I LOVED speaking publicly. Each time I’d speak I’d be bombarded with emails from young women in the classroom. Eventually I realized that I couldn’t mentor everyone and that’s when I created HerFuture.com. I designed a site where I could be a mentor virtually and hold space for other empowering mentors to help guide women.

What are your current and future goals?

My next move is to have a TV show based on happiness, wellness and miracles. I plan to be the voice of happiness for the next generation. I am also working on my next book and creating some awesome video content for the site. In addition, I’m always growing my spiritual practice.

What is your one message to women?

Turn your search for happiness inward. Get your ~ing on. Expect miracles! “

Read more about Gabrielle in my column


For more information on Gabrielle and her book visit


For empowerment and social interaction visit