V-Day & the Versatile Blogger Award

V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls, is hands down my favorite charity.

 

V-Day

 

I have been a volunteer activist for V-Day since 2002 when I co-organized my first college campaign for SUNY Cortland. What does that mean? For us, that meant putting on a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues, and using the proceeds from ticket sales to benefit the local YWCA Aid to Victims of Violence Unit.

 

V-Day

 

I love theatre. I love activism. V-Day enables me to put those two passions together into one explosive social change rainbow firework.

 

V-Day

 

In 2003, 2004 & 2005, I co-organized Community Campaigns for Buffalo by co-directing and producing The Vagina Monologues and using the proceeds to benefit Crisis Services Advocate Program.

 

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V-Day

 

In 2006, my third year of law school, I organized the first ever University at Buffalo Law School campaign to benefit Crisis Services Advocate Program.

 

In 2007 I actually relocated to Las Vegas for a job opportunity one week before my V-Day Community Campaign for Buffalo was to open and flew back and forth to make sure that the campaign was a success.

 

V-Day

 

Between 2008 and 2012, I financially supported existing V-Day campaigns in my area. I missed the high pressure and stress that producing a benefit show can conjure.  I began to feel like I didn’t know who I was anymore. Working for Judges during this time period left me feeling stiff like plastic. I longed to show my rebel side. I am radical.

 

The past 2 years, 2013 and 2014, I have joined V-Day’s One Billion Rising campaign and have participated (with my husband and son!) in flash mobs to break the chain and stop violence against women through DANCE!

 

How does that work? Well, I went to the One Billion Rising website (click here), I clicked Events and then Find an Event, and then I was brought to a page where I could find a flash mob in my area to join. There is a link to a YouTube video tutorial teaching you how to complete the dance steps so you can practice at home and then just show up at the proper time to dance in a flash mob–super fun!!!

 

V-Day

V-Day

 

In 2015 I am trying something radically different, an online fundraiser. Please check out my official One Billion Rising campaign page by clicking here.

 

Between today and February 14, 2015 my campaign to benefit www.vday.org will be available to support.

 

V-Day

 

Please join in the FaceBook party by clicking here. Basically, you can purchase your favorite Chloe + Isabel jewelry and Jamberry Nails and pat yourself on the back knowing that 15% of the total sale proceeds will be used to benefit www.vday.org.

 

Thank you in advance for your support!

 

Speaking of support, have you head that I won a major award?!

 

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I am so GRATEFUL to Ally of My Little Piece of Quiet for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! I think YOUR blog is amazing and that everyone should follow it (click here to follow Ally).

 

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Official Rules:

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Select 15 blogs that are truly excellent and nominate them for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  4. List 7 things about yourself.

 

Once again, big THANK YOU to Ally of My Little Piece of Quiet for the Versatile Blogger Award!

 

I would like to officially nominate the following blogs for the Versatile Blog Award:

  1. My Little Piece of Quiet
  2. Midnight Blues
  3. Uncomfortably Honest & Honestly Uncomfortable
  4. INFJ Ramblings
  5. Things of Joy
  6. Of Means and Ends
  7. A Small Act of Kindness
  8. Taking the Mask Off
  9. Basically Beyond Basic
  10. Creating Your Life Journey
  11. Robin, Rach & Joe
  12. Kindness Blog
  13. Sensitive New World
  14. Art of Receiving
  15. Allowing Myself

 

V-Day

  1. I am a lawyer
  2. I am a survivor of PTSD
  3. I am in the middle of an online Screenwriting Course
  4. I am in the middle of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred
  5. I eat chocolate every single day
  6. Dirty Dancing is my all time favorite movie
  7. I hug myself every day.

 

XO

~Rachel

Abortion & Dirty Dancing: the making of my second YouTube video!

So I finally did it.

 

I said what I have been wanting to say, a story I have been building upon for decades.

 

Decades!?

 

Yes, since I was 7 years old I have been telling myself the story of Abortion and Dirty Dancing.

 

This is a 25 year old baby I’m pushing out and I need your support.

 

Remember Penny? Remember how she got knocked up by Robby the creep and needed $200 so she could get an (illegal) abortion and keep her job??

 

I do. When I was 7 that hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew that I would DEFINITELY spend my summer vacation learning a dance routine to perform one time at the Sheldrake Hotel for my friend (who I just met) that needed help. Damn. Wouldn’t you?

 

abortion

 

The making of my second YouTube video was, once again, the experience of ME operating on all cylinders. I was FINALLY getting to say what I wanted to say in Law School 8 years ago, but was too afraid, thinking that if I revealed myself they would withhold my degree…or worse.

 

Abortion is a very EMOTIONAL subject. I am 100% empath so trust me when I tell you that emotions are running HIGH when it comes to this topic. (Are you an empath too? Take this quiz to find out).

 

Emotions are awesome, we as human beings are meant to feel and experience them all. I learned every single day in Law School and then in legal practice that emotions are not welcome in Court. Fine. This video I made is about focusing on the real issue (freedom) without using emotion (religion) to justify my legal argument.

 

abortion

 

Huge shout out to my husband for making a Sunday date out of CAREfully arranging all the pieces in this set together with me. I noticed he has an eye for set design, as well (LOVE!).

 

My hope is that you find my legal argument REFRESHING!

 

In 2007 when the Supreme Court decided to legally preclude doctors from using abortions to save women’s lives, the natural order of the universe was disrupted. Science is not intended to save babies and kill their mothers, that’s not natural selection, that’s not evolution, that’s not Darwinism and the societal consequences on a grand scale will be disastrous (a world full of adult feral children?!).

 

WAKE UP–“pro-life” = big beautiful preggy lady deserves to LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Trust me, out of all the people in law school and in my legal community, I am the only one I ever heard talking this way, so if I make you SO angry (by arguing that pregnant women should be allowed to live) that you feel like murdering me, please don’t do that; please try to breathe it out and comfort yourself and remember that I was once an unborn baby too, so by your very definition I remain a precious life that deserves to go on living. Also I have a  baby of my own to raise and murder is definitely illegal in America so try to calm down please.

 

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During my film making week, I became filled with anxiety and fear about HATERS, but each time, I received a sign to keep going.

 

“Real success isn’t trading your humanity for power, isn’t selling your soul. People who do pay a terrible price, whether or not it appears so, whether or not they know it. If one leads an authentic life, this becomes clear. Very clear. We receive a phenomenal sense of integrity and wholeness. But this is the stickler: Rewards from the external world may or may not follow. Grappling with these issues is at the heart of what it is to be human.” ~ Judith Orloff, Intuitive Healing.

 

The first was the excerpt above that I read in my book while relaxing on my hammock for 15 minutes.

 

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Then I saw this:

 

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And I knew that I had to practice courage.

 

And then I saw THIS:

 

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And I knew that I had no choice but to keep going.

 

I know what I am talking about. I know who I am. In my first YouTube video, I mention the health benefits of learning about yourself so that you can truly LOVE yourself. I have done countless exercises (and will continue to do so) to get to know myself but my favorite so far has been the discovery of Carl Jung and the 16 personalities. My therapist recommended I google search the 16 personalities to find out my own personality so that I could better understand myself. I recommend EVERYBODY do so (seriously all the time, I send my friends the link to the quiz and beg them to share their code with me because it teaches me so much about them and how to better interact with people in general).

 

I am INFJ. Just like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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I consider Dirty Dancing to be the greatest movie representation of an INFJ character–Baby–ever told. Do you remember Baby’s face when Johnny tells his cousin that Baby will NEVER be able to learn how to do Penny’s dance routine? Oh, that’s my face. I can do anything, just like Baby from Dirty Dancing. INFJ is an introvert who will take great efforts to appear extroverted for the purposes of the greater good. That’s what I’m doing here with my second YouTube video and my YouTube channel in general for that matter.

 

I’m blending all the things that I know how to do as a result of my experience and education: Write, Design, Produce, Direct, Public Speak, Raise Awareness for Social Change, Legally Argue, and maintain creative control and artistic integrity. This has lead to me feeling more empowered and more like myself. This has lead to a strange spread of warmth throughout my entire being that I am certain is my body’s way of telling me: I LOVE YOU, RACHEL. Thank you for allowing ME to be ME, Rachel.

 

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People are noticing (strangers!). I have been asked to do 2 interviews so far about my YouTube videos and volunteerism. WOW! Every day in my house has become a PRIDE parade of me, lead by me and for ME because I am proud to BE me.

 

Do I still get upset with me? OMG yes! My inner critic still shares space inside of my head but no longer drives the vehicle; no longer has the power to SCARE me away from who I’m supposed to be. Do I still get scared? OMG yes! On the daily, that is actually what my next blog is about: what to do when the inner critic is WAY too loud, even when you’re out of your element.

 

Stay tuned and thank you for your support!

 

XO

~Rachel

Heal your Self, heal the world