Monday, December 27, 2010


So, the holidays have come and gone and we are none of us any worse for the wear. Some of us may be a little stressed about upcoming credit card bills, but for the most part I think we are all good. I know I am. I managed (less by choice than out of necessity) to completely avoid the malls altogether. I mean I did not go near a single one and I feel better for it.

This has been an unusual holiday for me. My car broke down and died two weeks before Christmas. A non-paying client left me without the funds I had budgeted for my vacation to go home and I rapidly watched life as I knew it go into a pre-holiday tailspin. I had a brief pity party then mustered up the courage to tell my friends and family that I was in serious straits. I humbly asked for help, which they generously and blessedly provided.

While I still don't know what is going to happen regarding my transportation back and forth to work - I am still without a car - I sit listening to the roosters crowing outside my birth mom's house in Key West where I spent my very first Christmas with her and my two sisters. Sometimes you just have to let go and let things be what they are. This Christmas, one which was 49 years in the making was what needed to happen more than the car, more than money, more than anything else because we are not promised tomorrow and I can't live with anymore regrets.

In seven months I will be 50 years old. 50. I have done some tremendous things in my life and I am very proud of my accomplishments. I have achieved things many people only dream of and while some are grand and others are quiet little milestones, they are mine and have made me the multi layered individual I am today. I am unique, different, an anomaly and I am finally content to be all of that.

So, when a friend asked today where I was going when I said we needed to see one another soon, I had to admit that I am moving on in my life in ways I could not have imagined a few years back. I had to admit that all of the accomplishments, the loves, the things, the "stuff" were no longer sufficient. I want something more for the second half of my journey.

I desire a life which no longer has me as its center, a life which is without regret, one which makes the most of my skills, talents, gifts, my calling - whatever you want to name it. I choose a life which allows me to be fully who I am with all of my quirks, my brilliance, my laughter, my joy and mostly with all of my great big loving heart. After a year and a half of looking inward and finding what has always been there, I want to spend time looking outward and seeing where I can help and be a difference in the world. I AM the change I want to see.

My life has never been linear and now it has even more dimension than it has ever had. Being at least objective enough to know something grand is unfolding, I have seen the unmistakeable signs which tell me I have no clue whatsoever about life. I have been keenly aware that I am (as we all are) being prepared for whatever it is which will come next. And I am astounded at every turn. I can only think, if this is just the preparation - wow.

I don't know what this journey will bring. Well, I suspect it will bring a lot of joy, but you know what I mean. This is a new year, a new time. And for me as always it will be a year of tremendous change. I hope you will continue to look to these pages for moments of inspiration, hope, love, joy and triumphs because I plan to write about them as I find them along my travels.

As always, I wish you well on your own journey towards self understanding. Take some time in your life to do your own omphaloskepsis. You'll be surprised at what you find. 

Navel gazing. The view is amazing.

Robin G. White is an award-winning author, poet, playwright, performer and publisher who likes the letter P. You can find out more about Robin at and about her family's  non-profit organization, We Can We Care, Inc. at

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Friday, December 10, 2010


Aaargh. So I woke up this morning with huge fat tears streaming down my face. I was thinking about Christmas and despite all of the revelry and all of the great things that are transpiring in my life, I went there. You know. There. That lonely place where you get all self-absorbed and whiny and act like you have nothing better to do than to complain about what isn't perfect in life. Yup. That place. I know. It is making my ears bleed just to think about it.

I don't have a perfect life. Far from it. My life is just different from what it used to be and I am like a lot of people who are making some adjustments to fit their ever-decreasing-in-size billfolds. I am still figuring it out. Some days - most in fact - are better than others, but it is a process. It is one I welcome and am learning from. You see, for nearly the past decade I have been complicit in an exercise in excess: purchasing the largest tree on the lot, the shiniest gigantic ornaments and buying ridiculously over-priced presents which would've stunned my parents and made my grandparents roll over in their graves. Honestly. What was I thinking? I wasn't. I was just numbly, unconsciously rolling along with the flow. And what an excessive flow it was.

One year our tree was so big we had to buy a dozen treetop angels just to sit on the branches so the tree would not look so empty. Imagine! The following year we had so many presents for the children that we had to hide them in a room in the basement - not a closet mind you, but in an entire room - our movie theater. And the food, my God. There were piles and piles of food enough to feed a small army, fresh baked breads, pineapple glazed hams, roasted turkeys, pans of sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, a field of greens and a pantry full of home-baked goodies. We were stuffed for days and then threw out the leftovers. Add warm festive lights, joyous music, high spirits all sprinkled with a little cinnamon and awww. The holidays.

Hmmm. What the mind tricks you into remembering. While Christmas was often lovely and the memories - some of them - were magical, I also recall quite a bit of stress involved. Finding just the right tree and getting it flocked, carting and unpacking dozens of boxes of ornaments and disagreements about what could go on the tree and what couldn't, waiting in countless supermarket lines and Honey Baked Ham lines, shopping, shopping, shopping for all the right gifts for just the right people right before the store closed on Christmas eve, more arguments, buying more toys than any one or two children could ever play with, still more stress-induced fights, dressing up for dinners which took hours to prepare and were gone in the bat of an eyelash. Exhaustion. Broken toys. Run down batteries. Too small sweaters. Mountains of once beautiful wrappings ripped to shreds and stuffed in trash bags. Every adult asleep in front of the movie we had all planned to enjoy together. And still, none of it ever felt like it was enough. Battle scars. Hurt feelings. Where was the joy?!

So, this morning, I mourned the loss of the fantasy. Sobbed big wet tears for all of the traditions I had created in my mind and then snapped out of being the drama queen my friend Mesu accuses me of being. And I counted my blessings for the late night gig which allows me to pay my bills, the paid extra project and its countless hours which will allow me to spend the first Christmas ever with my birth mom and siblings, the orphans in Uganda who have heightened my awareness about what it really means to give and receive and for whom my family began a new tradition of giving, my soon-to-be 47 nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews who help me understand love in ways I never knew I could feel, my 17 siblings who are some of the most amazing people you would ever want to know, my array of parents - all five of them who have poured everything into us to make us such wonderful people, and my friends, colleagues and acquaintances who I hope know how dearly I love and appreciate them in my life. The tears faded behind the beaming smile which lit up my heart.

This is the season of love, after all. It is not about how shiny the things you have are, but about how bright the light within you shines. Mine once was a glimmer; today it feels like a star. And I hope it is shining brightly wherever you are.

Love and Light to you this holiday season.

Robin G. White "Bobbie!" is an award-winning author and publisher. You can read more about her at You can read more about her family project, We Can We Care, Inc. at and find out how you too can help build sustainable charitable projects in your own community.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010


For nearly a month now I have been considering the topic of my next blog. Usually the topics come so easily, but this time I just couldn't seem to get out of my head and onto the page. So, today as I rummaged through my emails, Facebook pages and Yahoo! news, I was struck by a constant theme which is current in my life. Giving. In particular, I am increasingly aware of random or as I call them, intentional acts of kindness. The only thing random about them is the recipient. The act is pure intention.

At the beginning of this month of December we celebrated Pay It Forward Day. You may not have been aware of it because you may not be on Facebook or you may not have watched one of the few daily news stations which carried the story. But there it was, December 1. Pay It Forward Day. A day started by a guy who just wanted to do something good for others and decided as the Michael Jackson song goes, "Started with the man in the mirror." So, he chose Pay It Forward Day. Do something for someone else with no strings attached. Commit an act of kindness and keep going, hoping but never knowing whether your act started and ended with you. Personally, I did what I am prone to do on any given day; I paid the tab of a person in the line behind me at the drive through and sped off. I giggled all the way down the road at the thought of that individual trying to understand why someone would do such a thing and hoped maybe, just maybe I made a difference in someone's life.

And that is it, isn't it? That is the reason we are all here bound to this earth, living and breathing day in and day out, learning, teaching, engaging each other in dialogue. We are here to be a comfort to one another, to make someone else's day, to help not hurt, to create a ripple effect in our very movement as we course through time and space. Yahoo! Year in Review: - Inspiring Acts shows us how simple it is to make a difference whether you are a five-year-old girl collecting cans to feed the homeless, or a 60-something heart transplant recipient speed walking marathons in every state to call attention to organ donation, you can make a difference.

We all want to do it. We all want to be the person who creates fundamental change in the lives of people we know, in our communities or around the globe. We all want to be the Oprah or the Bill Gates of our own little group of friends. And why not? Why shouldn't we be? What do they have that we don't besides money, time and resources? Nothing except the desire to see something through and the understanding that we can be instruments of change where we stand if we truly want to be. It really doesn't take much. Just one act, one intentional act can make the difference in someone else's life.

Here is a great way to start. Smile. That's right. Smile. Today when you go out try this experiment. When you walk into your office, into Starbucks, into the mall, simply smile. Smile at everyone you encounter. Intentionally. Put a lot of feeling into it. Smile with your eyes as well as your face. Smile with a breath inhaled and exhale it into the person you encounter. Do that and watch the reactions you receive. Look at the faces change as they smile back at you. As you go through the morning and smile, pay attention to how you feel when someone smiles back. Are you moving a little easier? Do you feel happier? Can your face stop grinning? Probably not. Now, when you encounter that usual sourpuss behind the counter at Burger Barn or the overworked clerk at your favorite retail outlet, or the curmudgeon in the cubicle next to yours you can think, smile and feel the disturbances melt away.

It really is that simple? Smile and all the world smiles with you? I believe so. I believe that when we do something good, smile at someone, pick up something they dropped, by them a cup of coffee - just because, it effects them. I know that when I have been the recipient of an act of kindness, I am moved to do something kind for someone else, just because I know how much it changed my disposition in the moment and I want someone else to feel that good. A recent ad campaign showed a person who witnessed an act of kindness being moved to commit one themselves, which was witnessed by someone who was then moved to commit an act of kindness and so on and so on. Kindness infinite.

So, what can you do besides smile at your neighbor? What can you do that will not take up your valuable extra money, spare time or resources if you have any of those? It could be as easy as helping a neighbor, a colleague, a friend during this rough time of financial transition. Maybe it is donating your old clothes, junk in your attic to your local freecycle community rather than your local charity. It could be as simple as you and nine of your friends each committing ten dollars a month to your local food bank or soup kitchen, which incidentally will provide about 200 meals to those in need.

Recently, my cousin, Juanda who works in Iraq encountered a colleague, Agnes from Uganda. They became friends and my cousin visited this woman's village when she returned home. What began as a small friendship has blossomed into one of the most remarkable acts of kindness I have ever encountered and galvanized an entire village - my family - into action on behalf of another. You can read about our efforts to create change in the world at We Can We Care, Inc. will build orphanages and schools in remote places around the world. As a family we have realized that what we have an abundance of could be shared and that even if the smallest of us could only give a little, our combined resources could make a significant difference in the lives of others. Exponential result from incremental giving.

My family's example is not unique. There are families, organizations and individuals around the world who are utilizing their seemingly small resources, finances and spare time to create change in the world, in their communities and in their own back yards. You can do it too.
  • Call your local homeless shelter and find out what you can do to help them during the winter months. Donations of warm clothes and blankets are always welcome.
  • Do you stay in hotels a lot? How about donating those little bottles of toiletries and soaps to your local woman's, youth or homeless shelter.
  • When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Many communities have veterans groups or local charities which will pick up your donations if you call and schedule them. Just leave the donated items outside your door.
  • Do you belong to a book club? What do you do when you've read the monthly selection? Why not pass it along to a group home? Better yet, encourage the group home to read the book after your book club donates the books and you and a few club members meet with teens to discuss the books each month. Great way to mentor and give.
  • Do you like to cook? Have a new favorite muffin recipe? Your local Ronald McDonald House encourages individuals and community groups to prepare home-cooked meals and treats for families who are visiting while taking care of their sick children. Having a home-cooked meal or freshly baked muffins in the morning can make a big difference.
  • Do you get the biggest latte, soda or french fries you can order? Downsizing to the next size will not only save you as much as 50 cents per day, but if you commit to doing it five times a week with nine of your friends, you will save $100 a month to give to the charity of your choice. Get an art teacher for that after-school program down the street or a dance instructor for the community senior center. Use it to establish a scholarship fund for a student living in a homeless shelter.
There are so many things we can do with so little. We can make incremental changes and create exponential results if we just try just a little. One small change. Huge results. It is as simple as caring about the well being of a friend and telling your family about it. Come on. You can do it. Create a little change in your life. You'll be smiling at the results.

Robin G. White is the Executive Director of We Can We Care, Inc. which is dedicated to decreasing poverty and enriching the lives of the world's poorest children by building homes and schools and by providing renewable and sustainable resources for their health and well being. You can create change by contributing your tax deductible donations to our organization at On behalf of the children, we thank you.

Robin G. White is the award-winning author of Resurrection: A Collection of Work, Reflections of a Life Well Spent, First Breath, Intersections, The Omphaloskepsis Twelve Powers Journal and a host of children's books. You can read more about her at

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