As a volunteerism advocate and life coach Dare to be a Dandelion works with:

  • Social entrepreneurs, charities, and non-profits who have a great vision and idea but are feeling stuck, fearful, or unsure about their next steps.  I help them move forward and MAKE IT HAPPEN with confidence and excitement so they wake up every morning knowing and ready to do exactly what needs to be done so they can successfully rock at their business.

 

  • People who want to volunteer abroad but are anxious about it, sitting on the fence, confused or overwhelmed by the myriad of options, or whose life has “gotten in the way”.  I help them figure out a plan, get over any barriers, then MAKE IT HAPPEN. I work with them pre, during and post trip so they have a TRULY life changing adventure.

 

  • People who slog through work every day at a job they feel is pointless or which they feel little or no connection to when they really want to be doing something worthwhile but don’t know how to transition or fear making the leap.  I help them figure out what cause they would passionately love to work for and work with them to MAKE IT HAPPEN so they feel super pumped about getting up in the morning and love feeling like they are making a difference.

hope

“When you look at a field of dandelions, you can either see 100 weeds or 100 wishes.”

Almost everyone at some time has plucked a perfectly round dandelion, closed their eyes, made a wish, and blown the seeds off the stem: putting their faith in the dandelion.  When considering what one needs in life to be happy, having hope is vital.  And hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “looking forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence”.  Being a source of this hope for others, just as dandelions are, is a powerful step towards a life of fulfillment.

When walking through Woodbine Park this weekend I was so thrilled to see the hillsides covered in hundreds of “ready to wish” dandelions.  I began to reflect upon some of the wishes I have made over the years.  Some have come true and others haven’t, but I have come to realize that the end result really isn’t what matters.  What matters is that in the moment when I made my wish I felt comforted by the thought that things could work out for the best and I had a feeling of confidence.  This sense of hope allowed me to be happy at that time and move forward with courage and strength.

The feeling of hope is possibly one of the most powerful feelings in the world, even if there is just a small ember of it.  It can produce confident thinking, happy thoughts, motivation, feelings of safety and security, and the will to journey on, even for those who are suffering.  It is also the only antidote to despair.

Napolean Bonaparte once said that “a leader is a dealer in hope”.  According to social activist, Robert Maddox, great leaders fail or succeed based on their ability to be a “Dealer of Hope”.  When you think of the leaders who have made a profound positive impact on the world, they all shared one thing in common: their ability to be a source of hope for others.

Mahatma Gandhi helped us believe we could change the world peacefully.  Nelson Mandela provided a tangible vision of a world where everyone is considered equal.  Martin Luther King gave us a dream we could all dream.  Harvey Milk was a light of hope for gay rights in America.  Richard Branson has shown the world the potential of a single person’s vision.  Oprah Winfrey has been a constant source of inspiration and hope for women across the globe.  Steve Jobs used his passion towards creating a visionary innovative world with unlimited possibilities.  President Obama’s “Yes We Can” attitude gave hope to the world and won him a Noble Peace Prize.

These brilliant leaders created hope where in many cases there was little or none.  The oppressed, forgotten, discriminated, despaired, alone, scared and vulnerable were given a chance to believe that “things will turn out for the best”, that there is hope and the world can become a better place.

Inspiring hope in others is possibly one of the greatest ways to give and help others.  Take a moment now to reflect on how you are a source of hope for others. What is it that you do to help others believe in their dreams?  How can you be more like a dandelion, providing opportunities for others to believe the best in themselves and our world?  I encourage you to take time this week to provide hope to someone who may be feeling a little hopeless.  I guarantee you will both feel better.

(Illustration by the talented Suzanna Dreifelds)

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“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why are we on a constant quest to exterminate the dandelion?  Because dandelions fight hard for their right to live and we don’t recognize their incredible value.  Instead of embracing these beautiful, free, hardy flowers that grow anywhere, we dismiss and destroy them.  And yet, we spend endless hours trying to cultivate expensive, difficult-to-grow flowers in our designated and controlled flower gardens.

Dare to be Dandelion is about understanding the true value of these flowers.  Our central question is: how can you actually improve your life and the world around you by being more like a dandelion?  Think about it.  Dandelions are the flower that says to the rest of the world… I am strong and free and will grow and thrive anywhere.  Don’t try to contain me or cut me down.  I may not be society’s image of beauty but I am certainly a bright, brilliant flower.  I have so many incredible inner qualities and values to share with the world.  And if you take the time to get to know me better, you may learn to love and embrace me.   I imagine many of us have felt similar to this at some point in our lives.

That’s what dandelion living is all about: embracing and emulating the overlooked values of dandelions to create a better life for ourselves and those around us.  It’s about living with the confidence and courage of dandelions to be themselves regardless of what society thinks.  They must be doing something right considering at one time there were no dandelions in North America at all, and now they are found on almost every lawn, park and open grassy space in the spring time – pretty amazing flowers, eh?!   (And in case you are wondering how they came over it is believed the seeds came over on the pants of adventurous sailors.)

So with spring here, and dandelion season in full swing, it’s a perfect time to consider appreciating the daring dandelions rather than attempting to abolish them from our lawns.  It’s time to start trying to live more like them – confidently, proud of who you are, and ready to thrive.