June 18, 2010

MC Yogi "Gives Love"

What does Yoga and Hip Hop have in common? A heck of a lot! Just ask MC Yogi!

This yoga inspired artist puts a new and unique spin on rapping, freestyling and yoga. MC Yogi spent much of his teen years painting graffiti and listening to hip hop. Beastie Boys & Run DMC were his role models. He found an outlet for his creativity at an at-risk youth group during high school. When he was 18, he was introduced to Yoga and fell in love.

This discovery led him on a journey that changed him deeply, he began studying this ancient discipline and grew physically, mentally and emotionally. This video made me smile and moved me to think -- What can I do today, to spread the love and make someone else's day better?

What have you done lately to give love? It doesn't have to be a 'ginormous' gesture - it could be as easy as holding the door open for someone, paying toll for the car behind you or just a simple smile to a stranger. At Go Inspire Go, our mantra: What Can You Do?

Thanks for your inspiration MC Yogi!


June 8, 2010

How a Lovely Lady with a Yellow Umbrella Will Make You Smile

Just who is Amy Krouse Rosenthal? While Amy fits under many titles -- artist, filmmaker, author -- I know her as the-out-of-the-box lovely lady with the yellow umbrella, who created a movement that brought folks together through her creativity and made me smile. Amy inspires me to inspire you to create something that makes people in your life smile, laugh and connect. So get off your Facebook and Twitter just for a minute, and check out Amy's videos below.

When I created my inspirational website, Go Inspire Go, after being laid off from my TV reporting gig, I set out to inspire people to discover their power and use it to help others. I never would've imagined that job offers, new friendships and invaluable new experiences would forge from my altruistic mission to give back through my resources and talents.

Thank you Amy for using your talents to create community, curiosity and elevate humanity.
I don't want to spill the beans on the lovely movement she's created; you'll just have to watch for yourself:

This is a short film she created in June of 2008.

On 08/08/2008 at 8:08 p.m., with her yellow umbrella in tow, Amy met her online community at Millenium Park in Chicago - what happened next will make you smile:

Her project, "The Beckoning of Lovely" began with a spontaneous public gathering of strangers and friends new and old. It goes to show how the power of one could inspire others to gather and connect and create something, anything that makes you feel good, warm and fuzzy. This inspires me to think about how I can continue using my power to spread the inspiration. I hope it nudges you, tickles you, inspires you to think about what you can do, however small or large, to make someone else's life better!

"The Beckoning of Lovely" has since evolved into an expanding film project involving hundreds of strangers from around the world. Go Amy Go!

June 1, 2010

Children Of The Trains

There is something magical about locomotives -- maybe I've watched too many episodes of "Thomas the Train" with my five-year-old nephew, Drew who is entranced by the choo-choo sounds and shiny blue box cars carefully crafted to match the cheery music.

But for thousands of destitute, despondent and impoverished children left to fend for themselves on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, there is deeper meaning to the real locomotives they call home. The "Library Train" is a heart-wrenching and inspiring story where trains are transformed in temporary shelters and learning centers for homeless children. A special place that inspires and gives hope to many needy children living in the slums of Bangkok.

In 1999, Railway Police commander Jarumporn Suramanee started a daily three-hour program in Bangkok's train station to teach homeless children the basic life skills they were never taught.

Soon after, junk-yard box cars were brought back to life and transformed into colorful, learning centers and a temporary shelter, packed with books and activities for many children who had nothing: no family, no friends and no hope. Now, 10 railway police officers are making it their mission to serve, protect, provide shelter and educate the children, instead of fighting them in the all-too-common clashes in the slums of Bangkok between the cops and the youth.

Jaran, now 17 years-old, was abandoned as an infant and left for dead in a garbage dump. He was later found by his grandfather, who cared for him until he passed away, leaving Jaran homeless with no family, no friends and no support. He had nowhere to go and began to sniff glue to help to escape and forget about the pain. Kittima, a railway police officer found Jaran, brought him back to the Library Train, cared for him and helped him find a job on a dairy farm milking cows as a way to raise money to survive and move beyond his situation. Jaran now refers to Kittima as his father.

Meanwhile, Kiet says he ran away from a violent environment, after being brutally beaten by his own family members. He wandered the streets of Bangkok alone in search of food, shelter and hope. He spent much of his time trying to avoid the police -- however, it was a police officer who became his saving grace. One day, while rummaging garbage cans for recyclables, he met Chatchai, a railway cop who promised to take him to a safe place. Kiet was brought to the Library Train where he was reacquainted with his older brother, Kop, who ran away from home years earlier and never thought they would reunite again.

This video, created by Barbara Grandvoinet, my filmmaker friend, takes us on a journey of hope -- through this story of The Children of The Train. (Get a tissue handy.)

While researching a family trip to Thailand, Barbara ran across this inspiring story of hope -- and what's possible. She contacted the organizers of the Library Train and wanted to help. Barbara then decided to make a film, www.ChildrenOfTheTrains.com, featuring this amazing program. A big thank you to Barbara for sharing your story with Go Inspire Go. And our ongoing prayers to the Library Train leaders and the innocent children who continue to search for hope... Like the founder of the Library Train, Barbara wanted to use her gifts -- of capturing stories on film to inspire others to do what they can to help the children of the trains.

What can you do?