Fearless Women

Posted on September 26, 2015 by Dr. Lynda
97 Minutes
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Introduction

The thought leaders in almost every field have one thing in common: they are not afraid to dive in and push back the edge of possibility. Often they expand us all. Here are four women who have completely upended long-held notions and if you are like me, you will find your own kind of courage in their stories.

Diving in a Wheelchair: Art to Alter Possibility

Posted on September 4, 2015 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Most of us might assume that the need for a wheelchair limits possibility. What if it actually expands what’s possible?

Sue Austin’s work has an immensely transformative power. She is shattering the boundaries of our assumptions and our preconceived notions. With her wheelchair as an integral part of her creative process, she expresses a joy and freedom most do not understand. We look at her Freewheeling TED Talk and more in this article about changing the unknown.

Image: Sue Austin Underwater in her wheelchair surrounded by hundreds of small red/orange fish
Source: TED.COM

As a multimedia, performance, and installation artist, Sue Austin is changing the way we think about disabilities. Her powerful artwork makes us step back and question our deeply held assumptions. The stunning imagery she creates truly shows that the world is full of boundless possibility.

Re-envisioning the Familiar…

In addition to her underwater work , she created “Traces from a Wheelchair” where her wheelchair became her paintbrush and mode of expression.

Image: One of Sue Austin's wheelchair paintings
Source: TED.COM
Image: Sue Austin Free Wheeling on grass
Source: TED.COM

Austin also founded Freewheeling: a disability led initiative focused on providing a ‘hub’ around which to foster integrated arts projects.” 2

More underwater wonder:

Image: Sue scuba diving in a wheel chair near a coral reef
Source: LIFE LABS
image: water acrobatics in a wheelchair
Source: FREEWHEELING

You can see even more of her work and learn more about Freewheeling here.

Art is powerful when it helps us re-envision the familiar, and transform our preconceived notions. It forces us to ask why, and then perhaps, “Why not?!”

Because of Sue Austin and artists like her, perhaps next time we see ourselves reacting on habit or impulse we will pause, step back, and reassess the world with more open eyes.

Today’s everwideningcircles.com article idea came to us from Holly Thweatt. You can send us inspiring content ideas too!.. I’m so glad Holly reminded me of this TED Talk. This has long been on my list of “Most Inspiring Talks” too!

-Liesl

“The shortest distance between two people is laughter” -Victor Borge

Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

 

WANT TO SEE MORE POSITIVE NEWS, FUN, OR INSIGHTS?

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Law in Places of Lawlessness

Posted on July 16, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

From the comforts of our homes, we admire people who step up to insist that justice is served.

It’s really amazing to see ordinary people who rise to the challenges put before them. Today, we learn about the rule of law that exists almost everywhere, and the possibilities that arise if we celebrate brave, professionals who will stand in defiance of injustice.

Image: A Street sign, but instead of street names, one way points to chaos and the other way points to order

Surprisingly, in some of the most dangerous places on the planet, laws are on the books that protect people from each other. Using laws for their intended purposes – to protect – makes things better for everyone, but sometimes people in power chose to turn a blind eye and bow to outdated traditions that do not serve everyone’s best interests. Rule of law breaks down into chaos. Fear and darkness reign.

But here’s a woman who became the first foreigner to litigate in courts where justice was missing. She is just absolutely amazing. This is one of my most favorite TED talks. It’s a bit hard to listen to, but after the storm of emotions, you will be rewarded by the possibility this points to.

Laws do exist everywhere. Here’s a woman who has been willing to step up and force people to use them…

Via: TED 1

Extraordinary! Injustice can be challenged.

Speaking of that: you may know I’m going to be traveling and writing from Tibet for a few weeks (July 10 – 21, 2015.) So if my articles are not daily, or if you are not seeing articles about the beautiful Tibetan people, it’s because the country that invaded them has recently eliminated internet connections there when the Dali Llama took a stand with the Pope to insist we begin to address Climate Change seriously.

This is my last night writing with “passable” but rough internet connections. I’m laying out content for every other day and hope to fill in with articles about Tibet if I find WiFi. Stay tuned. Wish me luck!

And stay open, curious and hopeful. (I will!)

~ Dr. Lynda

WANT TO SEE MORE POSITIVE NEWS, FUN, OR INSIGHTS?

Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles like this one!

 


 

Diana Nyad: “Find A Way!”

Posted on May 1, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

Did you know there is an athlete who swam 110 miles (177 km) non-stop, while avoiding sharks and deadly stinging Box Jellyfish? It might sound like a feat for a young, daring Iron Man.

But in fact, it was Ms. Diana Nyad, age 64, who claims this historic swim from Cuba to Florida!

Image: Diana Nyad - Find a Way!
Diana Nyad’s scars from Box Jellyfish Venomous stings. source: NYTIMES

She has a fascinating story to tell us, and the gift of an insight we could all use every day.

Find A Way!

Let’s dive into this inspiring story:

There are only 12 people in history who have swam 48 hours strait. Diana is the only person to swim 49 hours continuously. The most revealing part is that she was 64 years old when she accomplished this.

What does this say about possibility?

What does it say about the wisdom and hardened perseverance we can gain through life, and then have access to when we are “seniors”?

From the stories we will share with you today, youth had nothing on experience in this extreme sports story. Today we’ll share with you the science and philosophy behind success and we’ll use several videos about Nyad’s feat to demonstrate patterns we can all tap into, at any age.

First up, a quick video to get you up to speed…

Now here’s Diana herself, on the TED stage, telling her story with a gift for us…

Via:TED 2

Fabulous!

“Find a way!”  – Diana Nyad

Recently I happened to watch a few documentaries that left me with the most extraordinary sense of possibility, even though they could not have been more different in their subject matter. One was an amazing film about the monumental airlift of people out of Siagon in the last 2 days of the Vietnam War, and the other was a documentary about the struggles of a rare species of monkey’s in the jungles of China.

Why did they leave me feeling uplifted?

Because both – oddly enough – echoed Diana Nyad’s mantra “Find a way!”.

They were vividly compelling stories of resilience and indomitable spirit. The people who worked to bring as many others to freedom in Saigon, and the orphaned baby monkey who survived on his own, miraculously, they found a way.

I’m going to hang on to that simple sentiment through the next few weeks and see if it doesn’t change my outcomes.

EWC’s Fascinating Science Bonus: 

As I was researching this story, I came across more than a few places where people had left comments about Diana Nyad’s dreams and accomplishments, and I must tell you that I was taken aback by the many people who diminished or ridiculed aspects of the attempt that they did not understand.

It was rather sad that so many people could be so uninformed and quick to dismiss such a great example of human potential.

After I composed myself, and realigned with our EWC mission to prove – unequivocally – that the world is still an amazing place, I went in search of the science behind this amazing swim.

Oh boy, if only the nay-sayers had done a little more homework before commenting, they would have found this gem of a video about the fascinating science of how her team helped Diana avoid sharks, about the groundbreaking science that this inspired on the deadly box jellyfish, and on the brain science that was advanced by her willingness to be “studied.”

Now we know a lot more about ourselves! Take a few more minutes to enjoy this amazing look at what it takes to beat the odds…

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – David Thoreau

Now THAT is a quote for all of us to remember on both our best and our darkest days.

Lovely.

Want to see a few more insightful articles?

Here at Ever Widening Circles, we are changing the negative dialogue about the future.

To accomplish that, we write one carefully fact-checked article each day to demonstrate this is still an amazing world. All are featuring current innovations that are lost in the chaos of our mass media.

You’ll find thought-leaders in science, the arts, technology, business, culture, sports, music, nature and every other field you can think of here.

Image: Collage of Positive things in the world

To see some things that will put a spring in your step, scroll down to the bottom of this page to find a few articles I can recommend.

Or head to our homepage to scroll down there through dozens of inspiring topics

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Stay open, curious, and optimistic.

~Dr. Lynda

 


 

Malala Yousafza: A Hero for Humankind

Posted on April 11, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

There are heroes for causes and there are heroes for humanity.

Image: Malala stronger than fear

Today we introduce you to the latter; a 17 year old girl who may go down as one of the most influential women in the history of man-kind, for if she has her turn at shaping the future, “man” will become kinder to all children.

If she has her way, everyone will have the opportunity of an equal education, and the whole world will be able to lurch forward with progress.

Why a hero for humankind?

You’ve probably heard of Malala Yousafzai, who at age 17, is the first Pakistani and youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize, and she’s the best spokesperson for the voices of the children of the world (wait until you hear her speak in a moment!).

This is not just a simple feel good story today. Stay with this.

I thought I knew all I needed to know and then I watched a half dozen different videos of Malala’s speaking engagements and I was bowled over by her magnetism. I tried to pick two that would give you some idea of the scope of her personal charisma and eternal wisdom, and I think you’ll see she seems somehow, otherworldly.

Dr. Chuck, my husband and co-founder here at EWC watched Malala and her father in these two talks, and was literally speechless. (Really,.. he talks a lot, so that’s saying something!)

You may know one of the toughest parts of Malala’s story: In 2012, Taliban insurgents boarded Malala’s school bus and shot her along with three other school girls at point blank range. It is nothing short of a miracle that all three survived. And the positive part of this story?… Her efforts to support education for all children have not wavered and she continues to speak with an extraordinary wisdom.

 

Image: Malala's hopes for the Taliban's children
Source: StrongGirl

 

Did you know 66 million girls on the planet are deprived and education? 66 million! I had no idea of the scope of the problem she is championing.

With that one statistic, we have hobbled ourselves as a species. We can’t possibly solve the problems we’ve created if we are missing that much brain power. Here’s something that Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said to an assemble group:

Bill Gates recalls once being invited to speak in Saudi Arabia and finding himself facing a segregated audience. Four-fifths of the listeners were men, on the left. The remaining one-fifth were women, all covered in black cloaks and veils, on the right. A partition separated the two groups. Toward the end, in the question-and-answer session, a member of the audience noted that Saudi Arabia aimed to be one of the Top 10 countries in the world in technology by 2010 and asked if that was realistic. “Well, if you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country [suppressing women],” Gates said, “you’re not going to get too close to the Top 10.” The small group on the right erupted in wild cheering.” 1

I know Ever Widening Circles has many, many fans from places that do not give all children the same opportunities, but I’m going to have to agree with Bill Gates. It’s just the math of brain power folks: thoughtful people realize that if we don’t release the total creative potential of every human mind on the planet, we can never solve the problems that we have created.

Malala is doing something about this and it will be a gift to us all as she succeeds.

Now without further ado, take some time to listen to one of the best public speakers I have ever heard. Ever. She wastes not a word and we hang on her pauses. It seems we could applaud almost every sentence. Enjoy…

Here’s Malala Yousafzai –  just a few weeks before she won the Nobel Peace Prize – in an interview with Christiane Amanpour.

There is a 7 minute introduction, that will really get you up to speed about this remarkable young woman, so hang in there! What a corker! You can see her dad know’s he has his hands full!

Via: CNN 2

“Magnificent” is too small a word for her genius. Now enjoy the speech Malala gave when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s slow to get started too, but when she’s finished acknowledging everyone who helped her, she gets to the heart of the matter and nearly brought us to our feet right here in the office a few times! Enjoy…

Her candid passionate speaking style is mesmerizing and her message undeniable.

If you’ve been inspired, you can find Malala’s equally amazing book on Amazon here.

To join her movement to see #TheLast go to http://malala.org.

Image: Blue poppyMalala said,

 “my great hope is that this will be the last time we must fight for the education of our children. Let us solve this once and for all.”

That about says it all.

Thanks for visiting us here at EverWideningCircles.com. Are you just discovering this project?

If so, welcome!

We are here to demonstrate that the world is still an amazing place, despite what the negative 24-hour news cycle tells us!

Malala’s story certainly does that!

Want to see a few more inspiring articles?

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a few I can recommend (there are some really good ones down there today!), or head to our homepage to scroll down there through many more.

That will give you the scope of our aim to change the negative dialogue about our present and future.

Visit us daily for a dose of insight and wonder.

Stay curious, open and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda


 

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.

Notes:

  1. Kristof, NIcholas, and Sheryl WuDunn. “The Women’s Crusade.” NYTimes. The New York Times Magazine, 17 Aug. 2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/magazine/23Women-t.html?_r=0>.
  2. “FULL Amanpour Malala Interview.” YouTube. CNN, 22 Oct. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKIQ_AyLi30>.
  3. Yousafzai, Malala. “Malala Yousafzai Nobel Peace Prize Speech.” YouTube. Malala Fund, 11 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOqIotJrFVM>.

 


 

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.