"ReClaiming The Heart of our CommUnity"
The morning of day I arrived in Chicago, I stood up to use the bathroom, the train lurched, I fell forward hitting my head on the door separating the cars and fell backward hitting my head on the floor. I was helped up by Amtrak Personnel said I was alright, at the time I thought it was only my ego bruised. I had no idea what a concussion was, and I found out in a hotel room alone in Chicago, the Marriott staff called an ambulance.
Severe vertigo, difficulty concentrating, confusion, nausea and vomiting filled my days, weeks, months and LOTS of intense physical therapy. I had spent months on a food plan, had lost weight, was physically in good shape, now despite the therapy I was piling the weight back on which carries a whole list of chronic pain and aches with it.
It was a very difficult time, I have been all over the world alone, an adventure having spent 17 months in East Africa, I was not bouncing back, in fact it was a scary and uncertain time.
My eldest sister was given 3 days to 3 weeks to live, I traveled from the West Coast to New Jersey, and with family sat by her bed while she was under the care of hospice until she peacefully left this world on January 3, 2018. There was snow and it was very cold, all I could think was I have to get back to California, so I flew back alone and checked myself back into the rehabilitation facility. My family wanted me to come home, my two adult children were very concerned, understandably so . On February 22nd I flew across country once again alone and moved in with my niece. I pretty much stayed indoors, it was frightening cold, I could not connect to the part of me that inspires and motivates others, the part that is always laughing, hugging, incurable optimist and in love with life.
I lost my beautiful apartment, not able to generate revenue by speaking, writing and producing I could not afford to pay the rent. Unity of Santa Barbara was a major focus of my life, I had a spiritual community where I felt a profound sense of belonging. I missed my church, my friends, the beach and the mountains
On the 4th of May I awakened with weakness on my left side, called 911 by the time I arrived at the hospital my left hand was limp. I had suffered a mini stroke. If you have ever had to fight your way back to health when it seems your body is not cooperating, you have some idea of the tears, the pain, the grief, the fear and the anger so many emotions. I had the best medical care and therapy and I was loved up by my two adult children, grandchildren and great grand. My sisters would not let me give up. I had visits from new friends and old friends.
Joy started to return as I heard the news of acceptance of proposals submitted by people I had coached and encouraged to apply to the Parliament of World Religions, the oldest interfaith organization in the world. The Parliament convenes in Toronto Canada November 1-7. will be attended by 10,000 faith leaders from around the world. My Proposal was also accepted, making it the second Parliament I would serve as Ambassador and Presenter.
I coached my granddaughter through preparing a resume and interview skills and she was accepted into the dream job and she was so appreciative, we are closer then we have ever been. My Son slept in my room the first two weeks after the mini stroke. My daughter and I bonded and there was forgiveness, acceptance, lots of hope and joy. I offered to volunteer to offer two classes to seniors upstairs in the rehab, long term nursing home patients some unable to speak or move others near 100 alive vibrant and joyful. I found out that one does not have to say a word to communicate, heart to heart and soul to soul. I cannot fully express the experience and the rebirth that has come to me as a result of these classes now for about two months.
For the past three weeks I have been focused on helping our teams in East Africa, India and Pakistan generate revenue to travel to Toronto for the Parliament, What an amazing experience to have a small part in another's dream come true. I stopped obsessing about the weight gain, and I found myself eating less, and not hungry as much. Often hunger is not physical. As I worked tirelessly to organize a major fund raising series of events to ensure that those traveling would have a place to sleep I realized that I myself was in need of assistance.
What will I do with the money that you "seed" into my "starting over again" campaign?
I will get dental work done, renew my passport and pay expedited service fee, my appointment to renew my passport is Friday the 19th, there is a sense of urgency regarding the dental work I need done. I will eat better, organic and fresh foods. I will have to buy a coat, boots, hat, gloves and warm clothes to prepare for the cold and the snow. I have to secure an apartment and get basic furniture, nothing came from California, I have a friend holding onto one suitcase.
My websites are all down, one is going up tomorrow, I have to re brand, start over writing and speaking and this requires marketing materials and always an outlay of money before much is generated. I start over however with a heart filled with love, a deeper appreciation for life, and compassion for myself has resulted in a greater compassion for all. I see more clearly now. I am connected to my power and I desire more than anything to be able to continue to do the work I have been blessed to do, making a difference in the lives of others and raising the vibration of the planet.
I will have peace of mind knowing that my needs are met even as I go forward with fundraising to help our team. What do I mean by "our team?" Please allow me to share; for almost 20 years my work was done under Healing Soul of America Inc, I produced events for the purpose of bringing people together who perceived themselves as different to experience diversity in a safe space. We used dance, drama, poetry and healing circles as a convening model. About 4 years ago I was encouraged to expand my work as a leadership trainer, spiritual guide, business coach and an expert in personal transformation with a focus on developing nations and urban areas. One World Rising was born, it is still a vision with thousands of people around the world who follow me and who I connect with online for the most part. Some of us will meet for the first time in Toronto.
Karena Virginia, knew me only from Facebook and only for a short time when she asked if she could visit me at the rehabilitation center. We bonded. Our relationship is based on mutual respect, honor, love and a very deep spiritual connection. She said to me two days ago that if I started a fundraiser she would donate and ask others to donate. My eyes filled with tears. It is hard to ask. It is hard to admit that I need to ask, yet for the first time in my life, I have no resistance at all about asking. I am clear, I am free of ego needs and writing this has been a good exercise, I see how far I have come and I see how much I have grown, I have so much more depth.
I envision a circle of 50 friends and family and friends I haven't met yet who "gift" to me $100. I feel deep appreciation and know that my "gift" to you is this opportunity to be a blessing to me. Will you be one of the 50? Will you share with one or two friends, tell them what you know about me, and ask them to give?
From my heart to yours, thank you.
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- Cynthia Rich
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