Rhea Zimmerman Komarek

Get out There and Serve, Watch Your Life Change, with Tiffany Johnson

Tiffany serving in the field with Soles4Souls

Tiffany serving in the field with Soles4Souls

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Last week's podcast broad me to laughter, and this week's brought me to tears.  It's essentially like having a service trip experience right from my home as the depth and breadth of human experience through story sweeps through my heart.

Tiffany Johnson shares about her journey from her career as a professional singer and performer to a volunteer and eventually full time employee of Soles4Souls.  Her story is rich in what happens when we're willing to listen to the innate calling of our soul, as well as the wisdom of what life itself is telling us through the circumstances that point us in a particular direction.

Speaking to her was so poignant for and she shares a story of a woman's life that touched her deeply in Honduras.  She brought me to tears, both in the way that her relationship with the woman was able to ultimately help her, and the plight of so many women around the world who suffer for opportunities like we have so readily available to us in the United States with birth control options as well as the support needed in the case of unwanted pregnancies that are out of the control of the women themselves.  You will hear us talk about how this woman chose tubal ligation that was being offered to her in the village, but what you won't hear is why this is so important.  After we finished our conversation in record mode I brought up a story about a woman I have cared for in poverty that needed this option due to rape that was occurring.  This is when she shared that the woman in her story needed this option because her husband was hiding her birth control and so she kept getting unwanted pregnancies.  

This conversation reminds me of the absolute heart wrenching at times complexity of the service that we do and what happens when we are willing to open our eyes to the depth of challenges of those around us.  It is also the power of being willing to do so, as, we might not have the solution, but we might know someone who does.  Truly, deeply, we never know how far reaching something we say or do for another person will ultimately change their lives.

She also reminds me of simply how powerful it is to answer the calling to help right now, because one hand held out leads to seeing more, which leads to more questions, which leads to more answers and the ability to connect people to the solutions that can and do exist.

Together we are the web, the tribe, that uplifts life.  It is painful at times to be willing to see, but it is also the only way to be fully alive.

Thank you Tiffany, the relationship is just beginning.

To connect with service opportunities through Souls4Soles:  

To connect with Tiffany's beautiful music, one of her outlets of expression for processing the beautiful living complexity of her heart's work:  http://tiffanyjohnson.net

More about Tiffany: 

Tiffany works full ­time at Soles4Souls as Outreach and Travel Coordinator where she works daily with hundreds of global partners who distribute shoes for the international non-­profit. Tiffany has visited 9 countries, leading groups to give shoes and love and serve others worldwide. Tiffany was also chosen by Mutual of Omaha as their 2013 Aha Moment Winner. Learn about her Aha Moment here: http://www.ahamoment.com/moments/10041

When she’s not traveling, she can currently be found making music with her R&B/Soul band Soul Confidant in and around Nashville. Her current release, Five Minutes More, includes a rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” – a song she’s been singing for the past 30 years. 

Whether it’s shoes or music, Tiffany just has one goal in mind...leaving her “soul” where it’s needed most. 

Movement and Film as Transformational Gift, with Gabri Christa Stomp

Gabri Christa Stomp

Gabri Christa Stomp

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Gabri Christa is an inspiring and unique Love Bomber creating and curating works of art in motion through dance and film.  She is essentially a power house of making creative projects happen, those of others and her own.  The intention of these efforts are to contribute to society in a way that helps to transform our understanding of history and humanity.  She believes in collaboration, cross cultural understanding and dialogue.  In our conversation we explore this terrain and hear some of her very unique perspective about the process of making things and how this helps to open up our eyes to something new, both within ourselves, and within our connection to others.

image from www.gabrichrista.com

image from www.gabrichrista.com

Gabri hails from Curacao and came to filmmaking after a successful career as a choreographer and dancer with companies such as Danza Contemporanea de Cuba and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.  Awards include the Guggenheim for Choreography, an ABC television award for creative excellence for her short film "High School" and Pangea Day Festival One World's 100 most promising filmmakers distinction.  Her film KASITA won best short at Harlem International Film Festival.  Her documentary about her Yoga teacher Leo Floridas will premiere in the 2016/17 season.  Her new solo dance performances for Living Rooms will start touring in 2017.  Other projects include a new installment in her series Another Building, a dance film exploring Creole Jewish identity in a dwindling community, and an environmental thriller for young audiences.  She joins the faculty of Barnard College Dance Department at Columbia University as Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the fall of 2017.  Her life long yoga practice fuels her approach to life and art.

Connect with Gabri:

www.gabrichrista.com

www.anotherbuilding.com

 

Addiction, Healing, and Service

Dr. Rhea Zimmerman with long time friend Melissa Sivvy while on tour with Love Bomb in New England during the fall of 2014.

Dr. Rhea Zimmerman with long time friend Melissa Sivvy while on tour with Love Bomb in New England during the fall of 2014.

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This interview features the story of a long time friend Melissa Sivvy whose recovery from paralysis of the legs after Guillain Barre Syndrome and then healing from alcohol and drug addiction has deeply inspired me.  To literally watch someone find their legs again is a thing of grace.

She is now finishing her master's degree in psychology at Goddard College and is registered as a non-licensed psychotherapist in the state of Vermont. Her work lately has been focused on Refuge Recovery (a Buddhism-based program for addictions of all kinds), which has lead her to an interest in providing proper care for incarcerated people who suffer from addiction and other mental health afflictions. Melissa intends to pursue a PhD in Forensic Psychology where she will gain the training and knowledge needed to advocate for policy changes within the United State's corrections system. 

Resources for help with addiction and finding connection to others mentioned in the podcast are:

Alcoholics Anonymous

Refuge Recovery

and another not mentioned is

Attitudinal Healing