10 ways YOU can change the world

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I am sure many have become disillusioned by humanity, emotionally void of connection and in a way losing the battle in the pursuit of a better world.? It isn’t hard to lose faith when we are hit from all directions with endless negative media dropping on us like anvils from the sky.

Maybe there is a way, that each one of us, if we make some small adjustments, can truly change the world for the better.

I believe we have the capability to defy the odds and re-create a world fueled by love, not hate, sharing not greed, hope not despair, peace not war and faith over darkness.

Here are 10 ways, each of us can change the world.

  • Spread positive – We are surrounded by terror, murder, prejudice and hate.? We are demoralized by the death of innocent people throughout the world and close to home.? It is time, we channeled our pain and start spreading some good positive energy.? Bring sunshine on a day of rain, give a hug to someone in need, share a story of success to drown the failure and helped change the mood of society by showing that a positive attitude can change a behavior and a life.
  • Plant a garden or participate in a community garden – One of my favorite things to do in Charleston is to go to the MUSC Urban Farm.? I love that great escape right in the heart of the city.? When I arrive, the first thing I do, is brush my hands against the rosemary.? I love the smell of that herb on my skin.? It is like a beautiful natural cologne.? Flowers, plant and herbs bring a calming balance to our lives.? They provide us with healthy food, fresh scents and a reminder of the natural wonder of Earth.? Don’t let Earth Day be but just one day.? Make it a part of your everyday life.
  • Meditation – We often get lost in the translation of meditation.? Many see it as yoga or something similar, but meditation can take on many forms.? In essence it a recharge or the mental release of stress or pressure.? However you define it or choose to exercise it, meditation takes you to a place of peace and tranquility.? In a day and age where everything is moving faster than the speed of light, we all need to step back, shut down the mechanism and just let life happen in a way that calms us from life’s pressures.
  • Clean up and recycle – Our planet is a precious gift that is becoming a giant garbage can.? We can’t just get up, get in a rocket and leave our planet (at least not yet), and therefore have a duty and obligation to treat our home with the same respect we must treat each other.? There is no way to change the behavior of everyone.? There are those that will throw garbage or cigarettes out of their moving car on the highway, folks that will leave garbage on our beaches and those that don’t recycle reusable items, but if each of us does our part, perhaps a domino effect will happen and others will follow.? A cultural or behavioral change can only happen if ambassadors lead the way.
  • Take action / Get Involved – History has proven that peaceful organized protest and standing in solidarity can affect change.? Great men and women have taken center stage to motivate, organize and demonstrate the awesome power of protest.? Change can happen, but we must get involved and be part of the movement that ignites the flame of change.
  • Practice wellness in your diet and exercise habits – The greatest gift we can give to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren is to be there for them.? To watch them grow and blossom cannot be measured in dollars.? Lasting memories are made and cherished when shared with others.? Treat your body right and live a long and healthy life.? That will certainly make around you happy.
  • Volunteer – Give back to something you are passionate about; something you believe in and something you hold close to your heart.? So many organizations and causes need the support of the kindness and generosity of others.? Give of your time.
  • Be Kind – Sometimes we are hurt, physically or emotionally.? Whether it is digital bullying, caustic words on the street, physical violence or losing a loved one, we all feel pain.? Step up with kindness and be there.? It is easier to walk away than step to the plate, but the lasting effect is so much greater than you can ever imagine.
  • Learn about where you clothes and products are made – Bargain shopping embedded into our thinking.? We naturally progress to the ways we can save money and cut corners, but do we see the big picture.? Where are our products made and by what means.? Is it from forced labor, overworked labor, child labor?? Do research and learn if ethical practices are involved in where you materials items are made and fight back by not purchasing them.
  • Make a real friend – We are all connected today, but never before have we been so disconnected.? The socially advanced digital world of social media has made every human being on Earth (and some animals) connected in some way, but how many true friends do we really have?? It seems that number is dwindling.? Make a determined effort to add one more close reliable friend to your circle.? If each of us adds one, think about how large that number will be and how much trust will grow.

There it is, the 10 way you can change the world.

We would love if you commented and shared your personal stories.

A Folly Starfish Christmas Story

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It was Christmas Eve in our little slice of Folly Under the Sea. This year things around me seemed more calm than usual. Everyfish seemed to be ahead of the typical hustle and bustle of the season. That is, every fish except for me. I like to live in the here and now, which means I am really good when it comes to what others view as procrastinating. I like to think of it more as I work well under pressure. That aside, I was bobbing from store to store as quickly as I could but a starfish can only go as fast as the current takes him and today the current was in no rush.

Somehow I managed to squeak in grocery shopping, picking up my famous last minute –but always perfect– gifts, visiting a few friends, and even getting a relaxing arm massage at Sacred Arm Massage & Healing Arts. Floating home, I looked around at all the happy fish. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was glistening brightly through the waves. There were even surfboards overhead, and not a shark sighting all day. The small fish were playing with each other and singing carols in anticipation of what tonight would bring. The bigger fish were holding hands and sneaking kisses, just as giddy as the little ones.

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Finally making it home, I put on my favorite Michael Bubble Christmas album and started wrapping presents. Later that evening, I enjoyed the sunset in my back sand where I could see the human’s Folly Christmas tree off in the distance. Those humans are so creative! Who would think to put a Christmas tree on the beach anyway? ?After Christmas Eve dinner and appeasing carol singers who literally would not leave until I gave them figgy pudding –good thing I picked up dates at the store– I finally settled in to rest until Christmas day.

However, it was a restless sleep, and when I did drift off I had crazy dreams. One was of a psychedelic octopus. He just kind of joyfully floated in one spot, smiling and waving almost glowing in the surf. And then I woke up. Then there was the dream of a sandcastle Santa Claus. Had I seen the humans building one on the beach? Had Santa visited me and I sleepily caught him? Was Santa Claus really made out of sand? The psychedelic octopus seemed to make more sense than that! Maybe I was just as excited as every fish else that I had seen the day before. After all, Christmas is my most favorite of all the holidays. And even after all these years, I have never stopped believing. I gave into my excitement and floated out of bed, cranked up the Bubble, and got ready for the day.

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As I put on my funny Santa attire, the smile that would remain ever present for the day crept across my face. How silly of me to think there would be sleep on the eve of today of all days! The doorbell rang. My friends and family had arrived. It was the beginning of another perfect Christmas Under the Folly Sea.

From our family to yours,
Happy Christmas, Merry Everything!

Never Stop Believing

What the Charleston Lady Was Doing While Her Other Half Watched the Epic Finale of the 2016 World Series

By, Minta Pavliscsak
  • Enjoying the crisp fall evening on the patio while sipping a glass of wine and sneaking a few pieces of the kid’s Halloween candy.
  • Hanging out with her man because she is after all a true Southern Bell, and supporting his interests is just part of what we do. {…even if there may be texts exchanged with the bestie about how cute that one player’s butt looks in his uniform.}
  • Sleeping – hopefully not interrupting any important plays with the occasional, adorable snore.
  • Finally catching up on her DVR shows on the smaller T.V.
  • Using her man’s credit card to buy those shoes she has been eyeing for quite some time now. -How that matching belt made its way into the shopping bag is a mystery to her!-
  • Constantly refilling the chip bowl and mixed nuts while making countless pigs in blankets, all while keeping the coffee table her honey and his friends are huddled around clear of empty beer cans and bottle caps.
  • Taking advantage of an empty house to sit around in her favorite baggy, ripped sweats and bleached stained hoodie for once…crazy hair and all.
  • Getting hit on at Mac’s Place -unbeknownst to her significant other- by some guy rooting for the opposing team, despite the fact that her and her man have been sharing a plate of nachos since the second inning and he keeps drinking her beer because he refuses to take his eyes off of the screen.
  • Pretending to show interest in the game but instead, plotting her moment when she gets to use the line that starts with, “Honey remember that time when I sat up with you after midnight watching the World Series?”
  • Cheering right along by her love’s side because she has always been a Cubs fan.

 

World Series 2016 Video

The Kindness of a Stranger – A Charleston Starfish Story

By, Minta Pavliscsak

The day started out as any other day; the sun had just peaked over the horizon and my tummy was starting to rumble. I was carelessly bobbing along with the current in search for some breakfast reaching out to cling onto any rock I may float by that happened to have a clam or mollusk attached to it. I wasn’t having much luck today though.

Then I spied a delicious looking cluster of oysters just off to my right and I tried with all my might to maneuver myself towards it. Alas, the gravity of the incoming tide was too strong for me and it pushed me right past. I wasn’t worried, not yet anyway. This happens often enough, but the ocean is vast and there are plenty of opportunities for a tiny starfish like me to find breakfast. Only today, today was different. Today I just kept floating.

Soon I found myself crawling along the bottom of the ocean with the top of the water descending closer and closer to me. I lost control of my movements as the waves took over my direction. It wasn’t long before I was on the beach under a large wooden pillar structure.

As I crawled on the wet sand, I could hear the sound of dogs barking and feel the footsteps of many people passing by. I tried calling out to them for help, but given that our mouths are underneath us, starfish can’t project very well.?Keeping as calm as I could, I began to work my way back towards where I thought I would find the comfort of the ocean. After some time, this seemed to be in vain. I began to wonder if I would ever get back home. Had I known last night’s meal was my last, I would have made it a much nicer one. I would have called my parents and told them I loved them. Do my friends know how much they mean to me? Was I nice enough to strangers I had met along my path? As these thoughts passed through my head and I thought surely this was the end for me, I was scooped up by a warm, gentle hand.

I had no clue what to expect next. I was frozen in fear as I was carried around and put on display for another human being. Suddenly, I was joined by another, smaller starfish. Not knowing what else to do, I began trying to crawl away. Of all things, the human started to laugh! This had to be a good sign, so I moved all my legs with all my might. I heard even more laughing as I could see that my new friend and I were being carried towards the ocean. The next thing I knew, my friend and I were flying through the air, twirling around and around, and splash! We landed gratefully in the ocean. We exchanged Twitter handles and promised to stay in contact through Facebook, then said our goodbyes. As I swam home, completely forgetting about breakfast, I called my parents as updated my status to “thankful”. I will never forget about that kind human on the beach. Sometimes it takes almost losing it all to realize just how much you really do have.

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Right – Because it’s not too late!

  1. Send out Thank You cards.thank you pen
    We know you got at least one awesome Christmas present! Chances are you got more, maybe even more than you needed. Let your loved ones know just how much their hard thought, time and money is appreciated!
  2. Download a new album. –Or for us old school folks, buy a new CD.
    “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Berthold Auerbach ?Crank it up, kick off that dust and live life!
  3. Start setting a little money aside each week for that dream vacation.
    Summertime sneaks up and you are left with a wanderlust accompanied by a low bank account. Avoid this disappointment in 2016 by anticipating your getaway.
  4. Get involved.
    With so many opportunities around Charleston to participate in a worthwhile cause, you have no reason not to get involved. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment; it can be something as simple as hanging out with the animals at one of the local shelters. Need ideas on how to get involved? Check out our article Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved.
  5. Drop the resolution!
    I’ve never really believed in New Year’s resolutions, for a few different reasons. #1) If you really want to make a change in your life, you should do so now, not wait for the beginning of a new year. #2) Chances are you’ll just end up disappointing yourself. Even if you start off with the best of intentions and things are going great, most of the New Year’s resolutions I hear about simply do not stick. By the end of February, if not earlier, they are forgotten about all together. #3) That’s a lot of stress to put yourself, and your loved ones, under. Usually these resolutions involve some massive change and you tend to think the change can come January 1st. Why do that to yourself? #4) They usually involve something completely unoriginal and something that really didn’t have a lot of thought put into it in the first place. You deserve better for yourself than that.
  6. Wash your car.
    Don’t neglect the thing you rely on most everyday. Add it into your organizational plans.
  7. Pick up a book.book
    Books help open our minds and allow us to escape to anywhere our imaginations can go. Make the time to unwind, relax your mind, and snuggle up with a good story.
  8. Decide to love yourself.
    This doesn’t mean simply saying you love yourself, but just like in your relationships with others, you have to show yourself that you do. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking time for yourself, saying “no” when you can’t do something for someone -and feeling okay about it- and any other special way you can prove to yourself that you matter.
  9. Change your air filter.
    Another friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. You’ll thank us later!
  10. Meditate.
    There are so many benefits to meditation! It is a stress relief, it helps with focus, it helps to reduce anxiety, it boosts your creativity, and it can aid in relieving depression, but the list goes on! Just devoting ten minutes a day can make a significant difference in your life.
  11. Go watch a movie by yourself.
    It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Trust us on this one and give it a chance.
  12. Make a plan.
    This can include absolutely anything. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling. Totally different than a resolution!?Really put some though into it, set small goals and work on them at your own pace. You’ll have more success with the results sticking this way.?The best ideas start out with a good plan.20151207_171211-01
  13. Spend a sunset at the Battery.
    There are many beautiful spots to watch the sunset around Charleston. The Battery is one of our favorites. You can spend the afternoon enjoying White Point Garden, have a picnic, walk around, or relax on one of the benches, then take in a spectacular sunset before ending your day.
  14. Spend the night at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast (preferably one with a big tub).
    Just have a change of scenery?for a moment. It can help give you new insights on what’s really going on in your life. Do it locally so you eliminate the stress of traveling. Our recommendation? The Battery Carriage House Inn?located in beautiful downtown Charleston.
  15. Donate to a local charity.
    Of course charities will always welcome a monetary donation. But you actually don’t have to have any money at all to donate to most charities. Clean out your closet, clean out your pantry, clean out your garage. You will find lots of things to donate to different organizations. You can also pick a charity, visit their website for their Wish List and grab something extra next time you are at the store.
  16. Take a sunrise walk on the beach.
    I realize this was included in our “List of things to do before the end of 2015”. Well, did you do it? There’s never a bad time to take a sunrise walk on the beach. -I might recommend waiting for a day when it’s not raining, but other than that you’re pretty golden!-
  17. Pay off your lowest credit card.
    When working on getting out of debt, experts recommend paying off the card that has the lowest balance first. Don’t neglect other cards you may have, but even if you can put an extra $10/month towards that one card, you will start seeing a difference a lot faster. –It also helps if you don’t add anything else to that card! –
  18. Wake up fresh.
    This idea comes with appreciation?from my best 5 year old friend. When asked what I was writing, and I explained it to him, he took it upon himself to contemplate the subject and this was his first idea. I like it, a lot actually. So get your behind in bed at a decent time, snuggle in for more than your usual few hours, and wake up fresh!
  19. Purchase that perfect outfit.
    Start this year off looking and feeling fabulous! –Hey, everything’s on sale right now anyway! –
  20. Have a dinner party.
    This is a great way to connect or re-connect with friends. Plus throwing a party is just fun anyway. Good food, drinks, music, your closest friends…sounds like a great night to me!

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Off Right – Checklist

 

What Kind of Charleston Friend Are You? Let’s Find Out

Friends1A few of you are beginning to read this while posing the question in your head, “Are there really different types of Charleston friends and beyond? There are a remarkable number of friend categories and consciously or sub-consciously, most of us fit into one of these bucket. Let us take a few moments to describe each of the friend types and see where you fall.? This is an eye opening exercise.? Some will laugh, some will roll their eyes, but we will all agree we know “That Friend” and most of us will say we are “That Friend”.

Friend Categories:

  • Text Friend – This is the friend that consistently “text message” communicates with you.? Whether it is just to say hi, a deep emotional exchange or a bored conversation exchange, this person chooses text over any other form of communication.? When you call them, they will not answer, but rest assured, you will get a text back very quickly saying “What’s up”.? This person will spend time with you in reality, but it is few and far between.? You need unlimited texting and a lot of extra time to meet the needs of the text friends.
  • Facebook Friend – The Facebook friend is very similar to the text friend, but much more visual.? They provide more visual aides around their life including video and pictures of their daily escapades.? You most likely will only be included in these pictures on big group special events.? If you are lucky, they may also include you in Vine, Instagram and SnapChat.? You could get a little overwhelmed in the social world with this friend.? This individual will also “like” and “comment” often on your page.
  • Respectful Friend – The respectful friend is one of the worst kind.? Whenever you call, text or message, they will always respond to you quickly.? They are genuinely nice people, but they always put the catalyst on you.? This person will never initiate a conversation or try to make plans with you.? Any time you want to talk or hang out, you have to contact them first.? This can get frustrating at times because the relationship can feel very one-sided.
  • Social Friend – This friend is always on the go.? If there is an event, festival, happy hour, concert or flash mob, you will most likely see them there are very nearby.? This person will send a mass text invite or online invite to come and party.? One thing to know about the social friend:? They do not have a concept of calendars or planning.? Most of their outreach is very last minute.? Be prepared to jump in your car or hop on your bike at the last minute to spend time with this friend.
  • Clingy Friend – The clingy friend does not have a lot of close friends to call their own and many do not have busy professional and social lives.? They cling onto anyone that gives them much needed attention.? They are very flexible and accommodating as they don’t want to risk losing you, so they will do whatever you want to do and compromise their own interests.? They thrive around others and do not do well alone.? These friends require patience, because often times you have to push back on them for your own needs.
  • Emotional Rock – Most people have only only one or two friends that fall into this category.? This is the go to person during confusing or difficult emotional times.? If you have a bad break up, learn of an unexpected death or have an unsettling feeling, this friend will drop everything and meet you at the bar at midnight to talk to you and listen.? They never judge no matter how neurotic or irrational you get.? They are a vital part of your life and should never be taken for granted.
  • BFF – The BFF is the cool friend.? You rarely go a full day without talking.? The BFF will go to a rock festival and dance in mud with you, run through a fountain, ask someone out at a bar for you or sit up all night drinking on the porch.? You can take to them about anything, but most of the time, they are the happy friends that you don’t get too deep with.? They make life more fun.
  • Mutual Friend – This is a friend that values respect and mutual exchange.? They call you as often as you call them.? You make plans together to have dinner or lunch and catch up.? They call once a week to let you know what is going on in their lives and they attend all your special events.? This is a good reliable and trusting person to have in your life.? You don’t see them everyday, but you never go a long amount of time without talking to one another.
  • Professional Friend – These are friends you met in college or professional networking circles.? You tend to share similar skills, backgrounds and industry experience.? They are great contacts and usually good for a coffee or lunch when you are in town.? If you hit a milestone and it is witnessed online, they will congratulate you.? Unless you are in the same town at the same time or one is in need of a favor, they are normally in the distance and do not surface.
  • Gaming Friend – Whether it is Call of Duty or Words With Friends, this friend is always good for a game or a thousand.? They are obsessed with online gaming.? Sometimes they will stay up until 4 AM so they don’t miss a game in China.? They develop relationships through their games and often will exchange small talk in chat areas to strengthen and develop the gaming relationship.? Once a gaming friend, always.? This can also hold true for the binge watching friend that DVR’s 5 episodes of Walking Dead and then picks a long Sunday night to drink, eat popcorn and watch all the episodes at once.

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There you have it Charleston, the 21st Century version of the “Friend”.

Some make fall into more than one category, so don’t feel you are pigeon-holed.

What kind of friend are you?? We would love to know….

Best Friends in Charleston – A Celebration of Love