Live More Happy
Living Loving and Traveling the World
Ronald-McDonald

Giving back is so hot right now. Seems like some of the biggest brands out there are making it big off their claims of giving back and making a difference. 

I love this change in marketing trends, especially since my company, LMH Promotions focuses on social good business and for-purpose marketing and branding campaigns. (Fundraising, cause awareness, community building) I love seeing the consumer demand to see the impact their purchase is making. I love knowing that people really care. 

Of course there’s the brands that take advantage and claim they are making a difference while selling a totally toxic product (*cough cough*, Ronald McDonald, PEPSI Refresh, Coke RED, all the cancer causing products that rep PINK RIBBONS?)

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Now we are seeing a whole bunch of companies that “give back” because, lets face it, they have to now! (Woo hoo!) 

But does that mean that companies should be promoting their product and pushing it with a purpose just because its catchy or it fits their product or message? 

Many of the brands I have helped launch or support have started their product BECAUSE they saw a need. TOMS started because Blake saw the children in Argentina needed shoes. Anna Dodson started Peruvian Hearts scholarships for the orphanage she was adopted from in Cusco. I started hosting fundraising campaigns after seeing firsthand the lack of educational resources while traveling through the gorgeous, developing world. 

Ana Dodson peruvian hearts give back charity

I’m feeling hopeful for the future of consumerism because brands are being forced to give a shit and give back. 

Lets just not forget to hold these companies accountable. I know from first hand experience of a give back company that claims all over their site that their products are made in Costa Rica but sent their photographer to El Salvador where they moved their production years ago to save on costs. I saw the photos of their production facility and it was pretty grim. 

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There’s companies that come up with a product to support a popular cause, even though they have no personal connection to it. 

Where is the integrity in these situations? 

Does it even matter? 

If giving back is trendy, then does that mean we are becoming better as a whole society? If the good is being done does it matter why? 

Maybe not.

Just sharing my observations. Lets hear yours.

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I’ve dealt with anxiety as long as I can remember.
As a child I was a nail biting, thumb sucking little ball of energy who carried my teddy bear, Mr. Kamunka, with me everywhere I went. Growing up an only child of an alcoholic mother meant finding comfort in any way possible. My parents divorced when I was three, thankfully, because hiding in a closet from the fighting is still one of my first memories.

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I remember so many nights as a small child not knowing where my mom was or what kind of mood she would be in when she got home. Would she be sweet and wake me up with a surprise or would she be sick or would she be angry, looking for someone to take it out on? Often times she was just crying and sad and needed someone to listen to her. I was always all of those for her.
My childhood was a roller coaster and while she eventually gave up all parental responsibility to my dad, she still would show up randomly, outside our house, when she was needing someone to vent to. The neighbors didn’t appreciate it and I didn’t either. I never felt safe or secure. She would show up wasted or high to my school or soccer games and pick fights with anyone who said something to her. Once she locked me in a bathroom because I embarrassed her in front of the McDonalds clerk who she was probably trying to flirt with for free food during our first time together in months.
As a teenager, I desperately tried to connect with her during her sober stints, spending summers in Las Vegas with her and her new baby, my amazing little half-brother, Kellen. (I say “half” to explain the paternal difference, although he is very much my full brother by heart!)

IMG_3144 I wanted to be close with them but watching her put him through the same roller coaster and often times worse situations, was something that tortured my heart and made me angry beyond belief. I was experiencing panic attacks in school and doctors put me on xanax and ativan at 16 to keep my anxiety under control.
I eventually cut her out completely and focused on the things I could control in my life and vowed to never be weak like her. I pushed myself to start my own career and be reliable to the people I cared about. I kept everything under control, quit all medications at 18 and began treating my anxiety herbally. I learned that self discipline was key. I became very hard on myself when I made mistakes because I never wanted to be anything like my mother.

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Feature in LILY+JASPER when I was 23

I did my best to pick up the motherly slack she left with my brother, who like me, ended up bouncing around with his father and father’s family most his childhood. I resented her for not being there for him, for leaving me with the hole to fill but it motivated me to be better for him and to show him what the possibilities are when you work through the darkness.

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All of this has been like a shadow in the beautiful life I have created for myself. As a child I didn’t share it because cruel kids made fun of me. As a teen I didn’t want to seem weird or different. As an adult I didn’t want to share my story because I didn’t want anyone’s pity or to be defined by it. “Wow, you have come so far considering…” YUCK.
I worked harder to make the stories less powerful over me, yet the anxiety never subsided.working hard

I had to heal the root of the problem and I set out to forgive and set myself free. I went to workshops, personal development seminars, I wrote closure letters, I read books and joined support groups. I surrounded myself with positive people and created a community. I found myself no longer hating her, but feeling sorry for her that she was not a part of my life. I had created such amazing things and people around me but she was unable to share it with me.

EvoRoom community san diego meditation

EvoRoom community in San Diego

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Full Circle Venice Beach community center

My brother and I became closer than ever and have had the most honest  talks about addiction and mental illness. I have been able to share the wisdom and the knowledge I earned on my own, with him. He knows I am always here for him no matter what and most importantly, I know it too.baby brother
Almost two years ago I saw her walking down the street in my neighborhood in San Diego and I pulled over and got out to talk to her. She was so high and angry and incoherent I couldn’t have a conversation like I had hoped but I gave her a hug and drove off, with sadness and love in my heart. I didn’t hate her. I wanted her to find peace, like I had.

A few months later, while planning what I thought was my next chapter in life, marriage and my own family, I learned my soon-to-be-fiancee had been having an affair, and my world came to a screeching halt. I had been betrayed and abandoned again. I wasn’t safe in my own home I had created with him and I could not trust him or myself. I felt all the same wounds open back up deeper than before.

What was wrong with me that the people I love and trust most, treat me like I’m disposable?

Then the anxiety came back and the nightmares began to get worse. I felt like I was starting all over and then some. I was determined to heal as quickly as possible, to get back to the peace I had felt before learning the truth about him. I went to women’s groups, energy healers, seminars, workshops, tropical getaways and still, no matter how packed my schedule was with positive productivity, I could not shake the anxiety and nightmares.

yoga lindsayI would replay scenarios and lies he told me over and over in my head. I couldn’t stop trying to “solve the case” even months after I had “moved on.” Desperate for answers, sitting on a beach in Bali, staring off into the gorgeous sea and feeling anxious in paradise again, I searched for alternative therapy in San Diego. I was going to give it a try as soon as I got back. I couldn’t deal with another beautiful morning wasted, waking up in paradise, from a nightmare, about some douche bag thousands of miles away. ( Apparently, spending years dealing with a sociopath can cause PTSD. )

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Luckily, a trusted friend recommended her closest friend, Kristyn, a hypnotherapist in San Diego and I booked four sessions right away. I went into each session with a very open mind and willingness to absorb my own insights and to heal. I was ready to release and forgive and feel peace in my heart. I finally finished all four within a few months but the improvement was apparent in the first few weeks.

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The nightmares stopped, my nail biting subsided to where I was able to quit getting fake nails and finally wear my natural nails with out shame.

healthy nailsBoth of my businesses took off in a really big way and I suddenly was not angry at my ex anymore. I found my old blackberry full of messages and photos from our first year together and I was not sad or angry, but nostalgic for a happy time in my life and I felt excited for what was ahead and having that kind of happiness again, but for real this time. I was finally free and even my best friends said they could see a difference in me.

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I’ve been able to take my meditation practice to a new level. Before working with Kristyn I could never quiet my thoughts, especially before bed. Now I put on a guided meditation almost every night and morning and can find myself at peace. Even the one time I dreamed about my ex since our sessions, instead of there being a altercation or argument, I just kept on walking past our house. I just kept on walking. It felt good to wake up from that one. I had found the release I needed.

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As I sit on another beach in paradise, writing this, I am grateful for the difficult people and the pain they caused because I have learned to over come the struggle and abandonment and feelings that I am not lovable. I have learned to forgive and find peace in my heart. Without drugs, with out alcohol, without sex or shopping or any other crutches. (although I admit I have a travel problem, hee hee) I have found the healing I needed right inside myself. Its been there all along and its up to me to keep it.

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Suffering from a broken heart, anxiety, depression or just lost in life?

My favorite books: Love, Freedom & Aloneness by OSHO, Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci, & A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

My Love, Life & Self Expression Coach: Jess Johnson

My Hypnotherapist: Kristyn Caetano

Connect with your community! Get involved, give back and donate your time to those that need it. Nothing makes me feel better than helping others.

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Last Sunday I participated in a sacred Hindu water ceremony at a set of temples on a bluff over looking the ocean in Sanur, Bali, with a healer named Bunda who took myself and my three travel companions on a day long prayer and intention setting ceremony that involved bathing in a river that flows into the ocean, being splashed by high priests with holy water and entering a cave filled with a golden Buddha and praying for whatever it is we were in need of.

buddha temple bali

I prayed for forgiveness and peace of mind. It has been something I have struggled with my whole life and while I am a loving person I am not easily forgiving. I have always struggled with letting go of past wounds and my personal mission on this trip was a search for a relief and some release from my tight grip on painful memories.

After the 5 hours of ceremony, Bunda explained that to show our commitment to what we are asking for, we must pick a day, Monday or Thursday to fast for seven weeks, starting at 5am until 7am, absolutely nothing to eat or drink. At 7pm you must shower, pray for what you want and then only eat white rice. I accepted this challenge as a sign of commitment to myself and Mondays will be my day of deep thought, prayer and emotional self love while fasting. 

As I write I am enjoying my 7:30pm bowl of rice, the first thing I have eaten since I went to bed at 1am (with a bag of my favorite Mexican tostitos) Today I woke up at Las Rocas Resort, my favorite Mexico destination just 30 minutes south of San Diego, on a cliff over looking the ocean, surrounded by friends who accompanied me yesterday to the Door of Faith Orphanage to volunteer and bring some Navidad cheer.

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I skipped the free breakfast Las Rocas gave our group (breakfast is my favorite meal and Las Rocas has great desayuno!) and skipped the fish taco and ceviche lunch as well as ignored the tostilocos and churros in the border line on the way back. I could say that it was torture but in every craving I found strength and in every desire for instant gratification I felt a commitment to getting what I want, inner peace.

I also realized that there are billions of people in the world, including children living all around me, who face this kind of hunger and longing every day, and not by choice. My awareness was so much higher and I felt so much more compassion for them all day today.

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My bowl of plain white rice tastes so amazing to me because I went without. I am so grateful to be eating it because I have been living with hunger all day. I am so much more grateful for the ability to eat when I’m hungry and eat the best food. I am grateful I only know hunger by choice.

rice hunger

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WOW! What an honor! I was on a 48 hour wifi detox relaxing on the tiny island of Gili Meno in Indonesia when I tracked down some internet to Skype my grandma on Thanksgiving and Krissy had sent me this link: www.mappingmegan.com/sexiest-female-travelers-alive

I was listed in the Sexiest Female Travelers Alive list with some pretty amazing  world traveling women.

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The word “sexy” is used in many ways, obviously with its root word being sex, it usually implies exactly that, however when I see this list of women I see it as an empowering term and one that I am proud to be called. So what is sexy to me?

Sexy is not being afraid to head out on a journey into the unknown, with just a backpack and no cell phone service, relying on common sense, street smarts and a love of the adventure to navigate your way.

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Sexy is adapting and appreciating a foreign culture, learning to play the cajon in a drum circle at sunset, climbing a mountain or to the top of a temple to watch the sunrise.

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Sexy is having only a few functional items in your backpack but still pulling off a fashionable look for a night out for drinks in Bangkok and trekking through a jungle in Chiang Mai the next day.  Sexy isn’t just looking good in a bikini and nailing that perfect instagram shot, sexy is living a life full of passion and meaning and following your purpose. 

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That is why Krissy and I created Givebackpackers. We want our travel experiences to be more than exotic parties, photo opps and souvenir collecting. We want to make an impact with our travels, to inspire others to just book the ticket and go. We want to create a difference with the money we spend, the tours we book and the handmade cultural goods we purchase. 

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We want to give back to the NGO’s and community groups working every day to create sustainable change and alleviating poverty in the world’s most beautiful places. We want our journey to be one that makes us better people as well as improves the world we are so in love with seeing.

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This to me is sexy traveling. What is sexy to you?

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In 31 days I have seen nine countries and each time I have left a bit of my heart behind.

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Every time the plane lifts off the runway, my heart feels heavy, like a piece of me is still somewhere far off in the distance in the streets, jungles and beaches I have learned to love.

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With two weeks left on this trip, I am sad to see this adventure end, but excited for what is ahead for our company, Givebackpackers and my future travel plans.

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Traveling like this is a lesson in loving unconditionally and without attachment. Like a romance, you enter a foreign place with an idea of what you want, but are given so much more through excitement, mystery, adventure and also, the challenges. You throw yourself into the culture, wander the streets lost and open to discoveries of yourself and the city.

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Like a new lover, you clumsily learn your way around, marvel at the beauty of the new sights and allow your breath to be taken, unexpectedly. Your heart expands as you learn the pain in their history, feeling compassion and inspired by their resilience.

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Although you know it will not last, you spend each day with your new place, soaking it all up and wanting to learn as much as you can before parting ways. Your time together is short but you make it as sweet as possible, loving without knowing when you will visit again and leaving without holding on. 

lake como italy italia travel wanderlust adventure  Like with all love, you cannot keep it or own but the memories and the photos.

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Travel is my lover.

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In ten days I will be flying all the way around the world, stopping in at least 8 different countries, without any real itinerary or schedule to follow. I am traveling with a few girlfriends at different times, meeting up with different friends all over the world, and working on my newest project, Givebackpackers.

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The givebackpackers kickstarter is in full swing, with 17 days to go, and the goal of raising $8,000 so my partner, Krissy and I can effectively create sustainable business solutions to artisans in poverty.

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I will also be working on several new social media campaigns for brands I really love, building the givebackpackers blog, and Krissy’s new website and the ecommerce shop for the goods we find around the globe.

To top it off, I am coordinating 20 volunteers to visit Baja Mexico and volunteer at the Door of Faith Orphanage with Fortune 421 for our Share The Fortune program in December, the week I get back from the trip.

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We had the best time visiting Mexico last year, delivering our donation of 5k raised from the parties and clothing sales Fortune did throughout the year.

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This year, we have stepped it up, with the goal of raising 7,500 to remodel the teenage boys dorm, putting in a kitchen and new furniture for them to comfortably live in their space.

Since last year, DOFO has expanded and improved their orphanage so much, by adding a computer lab for the high school students to work separately from the young children after school. They moved the toddler girls’ dorm from a difficult upstairs location to a ground floor, easy to access room. They put in a soccer field and have continued to feed, clothe and provide love and support to over 120 kids who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents.

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This Friday, 10/10 I am helping to host a fundraiser for DOFO at Duck Dive in Pacific Beach, to help us reach our goal by December, as well as my annual Hawleyween fiesta and now also, my “going away awhile” party. I would love to see you all before I take off on this epic adventure, and hopefully I will see your name in my email when you sign up for our Mexico Trip on December 7-9!

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Remember, its a Hawleyween party so wear something funky and festive and get your face painted like a Dia De Los Muertos skull by my talented friend Nicole who is donating her time and collecting donations for DOFO!

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As I wrote all of this I felt a little bit overwhelmed with how much I have on my plate, but I wouldn’t change a thing. When you are following your purpose and doing what makes you most passionate, it feels less like work and a lot more fulfilling.
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In 2013 Live More Happy &  Fortune 421 has raised enough money, through parties and fashion sales, to provide school supplies to 100 orphans and children rescued from abuse in La Mision, Mexico, just about 30 minutes south of San Diego in Baja.

Click the image to watch the video of our trip to Door Of Faith Orphanage in October, 2013.

In 2014, with Fortune events and clothing sales, we raised 7,000 to help remodel the boys dorms and put in a new bathroom and a kitchen at Door of Faith.

We led numerous groups of volunteers last year and already in 2015 and are excited to announce that with our new venture, Givebackpackers, we are raising money for DOFO through the sales of handmade accessories from Mexico.

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003IMG_0368-La Mission Goddess WeekendBuy a backpack, headband, bracelet, anklet and help supply kids in need at DOFO with school supplies.

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If you would like to apply to attend one of these incredible trips, send us a message here

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Urban Angels is a community organization nourishing those in need by providing food for the homeless community of San Diego. Made up of a group of fun and motivated volunteers this organization is leading the way for San Diego’s young philanthropy movement.

Urban Angels serves dinner 7 nights a week now at 5:45-7pm at Connections Housing on 6th & A st in Downtown San Diego and Wednesdays at Salvation Army on 7th and E st.

For more information on how you can get involved visit: www.Urban-Angels.com

Video filmed, produced & edited by: Marlina Moreno

To check out more people and organizations doing great things in their communities visit our friends at the www.TheGLife.org

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We are proud to announce we have launched an art program at Connections Housing in Downtown San Diego in partnership with non profits PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) and Urban Angels.

LMH Promotions summer intern, Ariana Bancroft, joined the LMH team early this summer and has applied her passion for art and inspiring others to helping those needing inspiration and a creative outlet.

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Our first series was a vision board workshop where volunteers and residents talked about their goals, dreams and visions of their futures and found visual representations in magazines and created collages with them.

lmh intern art student art lessons inspiration homeless shelter give back promotions marketing good cause san diego

 lmh intern art student art lessons inspiration homeless shelter give back promotions marketing good cause san diego

 lmh intern art student art lessons inspiration homeless shelter give back promotions marketing good cause san diego

This creative project was made popular by the book The Secret, using visuals to practice the Law of Attraction. The art class was so popular, one of the best turn outs for a workshop Connections has seen since its opening in March, we have decided to hold a different art class every Thursday at 3pm at Connections on 6th and A st downtown San Diego.

 lmh intern art student art lessons inspiration homeless shelter give back promotions marketing good cause san diego

 lmh intern art student art lessons inspiration homeless shelter give back promotions marketing good cause san diego

We are in need of art supplies, creative individuals to help inspire and lead activities and passionate people who just want to be involved in any way.

Please email Lindsay@LMHpromotions.com to get involved or just stop by Thursday and enter through A st entrance and security will show you the way!

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We are so pleased with our full page article in the San Diego Union Tribune’s Night & Day section in February.  The title was “Model Behavior” and we are so tickled to make the news for doing positive things in the community! Click the image below for the full story online.

 

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No matter what kind of stressful day I am having, nothing makes me feel more grateful and happy than helping people! We all share the same, basic human needs and regardless of our social status, race or gender, we all get hungry. What better way to connect with others in your community, both serving and receiving assistance, than to volunteer to help feed hungry San Diegans?

Urban Angels now provides dinner service seven days a week, at  5:45pm-7pm at the brand new Connections Housing center,  on 6th and A st in downtown San Diego, distributing meals provided by the generous people at FIT Athletic Club from their “Food @ FIT” program. (Now you can get your healthy meals on the go while at the gym? Perfect!) These meals are healthy and 100% natural. The atmosphere is fun and full of  100% love and gratitude!Connections is working alongside  the PATH program, equally dedicated to end homelessness through support, training and sustainable solutions for people looking to get off the streets for good. This is the FIRST homeless shelter like this in San Diego and we are so excited to be apart of it.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS , so come on down any day, no need to sign up, just show up and we will be glad to have you.

Just one hour of your week makes a difference to those in our community in need of a smile and to know you care! I promise you will make great friends while you are at it.

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Even kids can help out. Pictured below a group of caring kids wrote positive messages on rice crispy treats and passed them out after dinner.

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Cori Gerstein was 12 years old when she visited Rady’s Childrens Hospital for a broken finger. She saw the little girls in the cancer ward who had lost their hair and had the idea to use her love of crafting and started making hair bows on headbands for these girls to brighten their day and bring a smile to their face. With that idea, Bows for A Cause was created! She started the facebook page and began making them herself and collecting them from others around the country who saw the page and wanted to help. For Christmas, she delivered 212 bows to the Children’s Hospital!

Pictured below is Amelia, just after her surprise bow arrived. The smallest act of kindness can make all the difference in the life of a child!

For Valentine’s day, Cori’s goal was 100 bows and we wanted to help her reach that goal. Friday night, February 1st, at my home, we assembled a team of 15 women and a few awesome men to make bows. Our friend’s at Pura Vida bracelets donated 150 of their new “hippie” headbands for the bows to go on.  We had a blast crafting, hanging around the fireplace, making smores and making friends. We reached our goal of 100 bows and had a blast doing it. More photos available in the gallery. 

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hair bows cause kids cancer children give back philanthropy craft purpose help
hair bows cause kids cancer children give back philanthropy craft purpose help

We encourage you to contribute with supplies (listed below the photos) or even make the bows on yourself, eve have your own “Bow Party” and get them to Cori who lives here in San Diego.  You can find more information on the Bows for a Cause facebook page! Please like it!

Subscribe to Live More Happy for an invitation to future “Craft for a Cause” events.

Anyway you do it, Thank You for helping make this world a happier place.

Here is Cori on the left and on the right is Amelia, a child who received a bow for Christmas and wanted to help Cori make more for other children.

Supplies for making hair bows:
-Glue Gun and Glue sticks
-Scissors
-3/8 Ribbon
-7/8 Ribbon
-Hair Clips like these 
-Elastic headbands like these (can’t be too thin since a lot of the girls do not have much or any hair and the bow must be able to clip on)
-lighter (to quickly melt the edge of the ribbon to prevent unraveling)
– gems, buttons, flowers or anything cute to go on the center of the bow! (pictured above Corie and Ameila used a bottle cap kit purchased from a craft store)
If you want to try some cute and simple bows here are a few cute felt and lace bows I found and might try to make as well!
Of course we need headbands for the bows to attach to and here is a great way to make cute headbands from old tee shirts!

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