Posted in Beyond logic!, Great Initiatives, International Initiatives, Living with purpose, Meet Ordinary People Doing Great Things!, People who inspire others

Transformation through life’s most difficult challenges – how Marie Claudine, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide is using her tragic experience to help orphans in Rwanda

IMAG3821(Magdalene with Marie Claudine Mukamambana, New York)

Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privilege to meet with multiple award winner, Marie Claudine Mukamambana who lost her parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, loved ones, friends, classmates, and fellow countrymen during the Rwandan Genocide, when she was only a teenager. What touched me the most was that she has used this tragedy to find meaning in life and to give back to the orphans of Rwanda through her non-for profit organization  Whydoiexisit.org.

Her Catholic faith inspired her to seek the answer to the question of KUKI NDIHO? (Why do I exist?-Pourquoi J’existe?). This question now serves as the name of her organization, which has an extensive fundraising program in New York, as well as a presence in Belgium and South Africa. The thousands of dollars raised thus far continue to support hundreds of orphans in Rwanda.  You can read more of Marie Claudine’s work on her website and also download her book – the Power of Social Media. She is also working on her second book, ‘Forgiveness:  A Transformation Power from Pain to a Joyful Lifestyle.’  Please do look up her website to read more of her work.

Over the years I have met several survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and who have shared their heartbreaking stories with me, long before I ever thought of blogging. I remember feeling emotionally paralyzed  by the first man shared his story and told me that he had no blood family left but was so grateful to the Canadian family who had accepted him as a refuge and had treated him with the greatest kindness he could have wished for. Although I knew of the genocide, it was impersonal to me until I met a real human being who was able to share his experience with me. At that particular time in my life, I was going through my own personal challenges but after listening to his story, I had much less sympathy for myself and started being more grateful for the opportunities I had to solve my problems and not lament over them.  This man who had lost everyone in his life,  found a way to accept and to be happy.  In comparison to what he had gone through, my problems were insignificant.

Sometimes the difficulties and challenges we go through in life can leave us broken with a great feeling of despair. When we meet people like Marie, who have risen above such horrific challenges and who still has love and joy in her life, it inspires us to do the little that we can do to uplift humanity and to find a way out of our own pain.

What is your deep sorrow?

  • Feeling that no one is listening to you?
  • Losing your job?
  • No money?
  • Lack of sleep?
  • A divorce?
  • No money to buy this great brand name bag?

How are you supporting life?  What are you grateful for in your life?

From my experience, I know that by helping others in whatever capacity I can, life blesses me bountifully and provides the tools, resources, inspiration and help which I need to heal my pain.  When one person is hurt, we all hurt.  When one person is healed, we are all healed.

TuneIn to those whispers of your heart and StepUp to do something which will truly add value to your earthly home.

Ref: http://www.whydoiexist.org/

Ref: http://www.borgenmagazine.com/10-facts-rwandan-genocide/

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

Magnify goodness in every moment.

Magnify goodness in every moment

It is a beautiful day.  Happy Sunday and may you find a few minutes today to give thanks to God, Master of our universe, our beautiful Mother Earth and the souls, past and present, who walk our journey with us. This morning I am pondering on the question: “Have we consciously allowed the dark energies of fear, hatred, jealousy, doubt.. to control our lives and the universe at large?”
There are more good people in this world than bad people but yet it seems that the energy of darkness has more power.  Are good people not magnifying their presence enough?  Can we be bold and do more things which send our strong and positive messages to our leaders, community, families, friends?  Are we so good that it is easier to sit back and watch the darkness take over?  Every single act of kindness, love, trust, hope, forgiveness is important to preserving our countries, communities and families.  Let us magnify the good so that it can overpower the dark energies which are destroying us.

– Pray with intensity

– Love deeply

– Laugh from deep within your core

– Find small and big things to celebrate

– Have deep conversations and speak truthfully about what you feel

– Reach out to someone new, someone different from you, someone in need, someone to share something with

– Live today as though it was your last day

– Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, give clothing to those in need

– Mentor a child, a teenager, an adult

– Contribute  your talent towards something meaningful

– Speak words which are encouraging, inspiring, loving, forgiving

– Respect all forms of life

– Be bold with kind actions

Live your future NOW and magnify the goodness….

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Work

Have you ever ended in a completely stupid argument or had hurt feelings after a discussion? Maybe all you needed were “softeners” to break through!

Communication

“Just do whatever you want to do / think whatever you want to think – I am out of here.”   These were my hurtful words to someone after a long heated argument and I stopped listening to the complete story.  This left us both drained, frustrated and lost for words to repair the damage we had done to each other’s feelings.

The conversation was something like this:

Him: “I think we should use a device to make our presentation more visible to the head table. Maybe if we tried xxxx it would work.”

Me“NO – that is not going to work. One device would not be sufficient.  We do not have the time or resources to do this now.” (My response did not leave any space for a conversation – the word “NO” was definitive and stern.)

Him:  “I have thought about this for a long time.  I think if I tried it, it would work.”  He was still trying to get me on his side. He continued sharing his ideas but I stopped listening, because in my mind, I was clear that whatever this idea was, was not going to work.

Me:  “Just do whatever you want to do / think whatever you want to think – I am out of here.”

This last statement rocked the boat completely. As I read through this conversation, I am speechless with my tone of voice and behavior.  The conversation was happening within a pressured environment with very little time to implement new changes to a planned event.  Generally, I consider myself to be a good communicator, but under pressure, I can be quite flippant. So I did a bit of research on communication techniques and discovered a simple concept called “softeners” which I could have used to communicate my point more effectively and less hurtful.

“Softeners” means a specific language that softens a discussion and has been identified as a skill worth learning by new Canadians since most Canadians use softeners in their communication with others. Softeners ensure that the process of talking about something does not start with a strong categorical, definitive, unqualified position, even when speaker have strong feelings or strong opinions or feelings about an issue.  They use softeners to send less confrontational and dogmatic messages.

Some examples of words and phrases you can use to soften a conversation are:

“Often” “Could” “Perhaps” “Probably” “Maybe”

“From my experience”; “I observed”; “Can we look at another option?”

“I hear that you are saying….”

“I am just wondering…”

“What do you think about?”

“Can you elaborate more on your idea?”

“Did you change your mind about your previous decision?”

Instead of saying: “NO – that is not going to work. One device would not be sufficient.  We do not have the time or resources to do this now.”

I could have said: “Tell me more about what you have in mind.  Do you think we have enough time to implement your idea? How do you think it will affect the timing for the event?  What additional resources do you think we need? Or can you please elaborate on your idea?”

Good communication is an art and requires tact and discipline.  Several research sources have proven that companies lose millions of dollars each year due to communication problems.  It takes a considerable amount of knowledge and practice to get our messages across clearly, concisely, coherently and within the right context!  In addition to the message we must also pay attention to timing as well as the other person’s mind frame and their space during a conversation.

TuneIn to why you may react negatively to how a person speaks to you.  Does it sound too harsh?  Maybe they are not aware of softeners. Let us StepUp and use softeners in our daily communication. It could save your job, your relationships and even promote you to positions which require good tact and communication!

Love,

Magdalene