inspiration

The University of Kentucky Gives Back: Dance Blue for the Kids

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It’s the best day of the year! You know what that means, DANCE BLUE! Not sure what that is? Well let me tell you.

Dance Blue Revealwww.danceblue.org

It is a 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping student-run dance marathon held at the University of Kentucky. It’s a huge fundraising event that goes toward the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) and is devoted to Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Research.  This year at Dance Blue 2014, over 100 campus organizations participated and there were over 800 dancers who helped raise a total of $1,436,606.24 for the kids.

Liza Krein with friends Rosana and Andrea

WHOA. Incredible, right? As a participant in the marathon for the second year in a row, I can only speak very highly of this wonderful philanthropy event. Part of being a dancer in the event is learning a line dance in the beginning to perform at the top of every hour. This might be one of the coolest things to watch, here’s a video from the campus newspaper (Kentucky Kernel) to give you a glimpse of the event.

At times during the marathon it gets hard though and you feel pain in your feet that you never thought you could feel in your life. That you are so exhausted from sleep deprivation, you consider learning to sleep with your eyes open (and standing up – giraffes can do it, maybe you can to?) and for some reason, no matter how many meals they give you, you are STARVING.

Dance Blue Ribbonwww.danceblue.org

The last few hours of Dance Blue make it all worth the pain and suffering though. As you watch the children from KCH get on stage for the Talent Show hour (my personal favorite), you can’t help but forget all the pain. This year there was a cheerleading routine as well as several talented singers and I could never forget the little girl whose talent was doing the splits. Hearing the stories of families personally affected by KCH is the most moving thing you will ever hear, with tears rolling down your face from the positivity and energy you feel or the utter pain you’re in; you realize why you’re dancing. For The Kids. #FTK #DB14Dance BlueIf you would like to read more information about this philanthropy, check out www.danceblue.org or if you would like to donate for next year’s marathon (you can never start fundraising too early!!) you can go here www.danceblue.org/Donate/Donate-to-DanceBlue

Three Small Steps to Daily Inspiration in 2014

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The New Year is here and everyone is buzzing about how they plan to be the best they can be in 2014.  The general weight loss and health posts are flooding your news feed and you may even be part of the movement. Instead, I have laid out small, achievable steps to inspire myself each day.  If any of these small steps to daily inspiration sound like they could be beneficial to you in 2014, I hope that you will join me.Enjoying the sun

1. Find time each day to either reflect on or write out one thing in your life that makes you happy.  Even with 365 days in a year I believe this will be achievable.  It can be as simple as having a roof over your head.  I prefer to write out my thoughts so I have purchased a notebook just for this purpose.  If I am having a bad day, week or month I plan on flipping through it and reminding myself of all the happiness in my life.

2. Compliment someone in your life every day, whether it is a coworker, a family member, your significant other or a complete stranger.  Recognizing valuable qualities and the good work of other individuals is both humbling and inspiring in itself.  This small step will only reach its full potential in my eyes if I am truly genuine in my compliments to others.  I will not just compliment someone for the sake of doing it. 

 3. Stop talking badly about others. Just stop. There are many times in my life I find myself gossiping for the sake of gossiping.  If my discussion of another person is not something I would feel comfortable saying directly to them, I think it is best kept to myself.  Happy people do not need to address others shortcomings to feel better about themselves.  For any negative thought I have about another person I hope to address an area I can improve upon in my own life and switch the conversation.