I spent a lot of time in my life needing to be rewarded and/or doing things for the purpose of benefiting ME or my family. Not very humble, I know.
This year, I have been able to experience a complete change in my drive and emotions. I went from wanting to be, "Hi, I am Lisa and I am the person to rock this / that etc..." to "Hi, I am Lisa- how can I help others?" From my trip to Italy and feeling that I need to help others and be able to move someplace where I can afford to be focused on others and not on my bottom line (check out my house, it is for sale, want to buy it?) to my trip to Tennessee with Compassion That Compel's Repurpose Conference and seeing again first hand how much people need survivorship help for the life after cancer.
Before my trip to Europe, I was stuck on just one free online course and trying like heck to figure out a way to monetize my nonprofit and to be able to make it into a career. What I learned instead and was inspired to do is to live a life of service and to make the offerings free, to focus instead on giving and giving instead of a strategy for taking - for me, personally. I was able to launch 5 more classes and an online writer's workshop - ALL FOR FREE and not the kind of free that is 30 minutes of "fluff" and 20 minutes of a pitch to get you to spend money on the REAL class but actual REAL CLASSES with REAL LESSONS and ALL FOR FREE.
With over 15 years' experience creating curriculum and teaching online and in person the offerings available here are lesson based education with easy bite-sized courses with actionable next steps to implement these new learnings in your life immediately. Check out the services and learning programs offered below and check out the press release here.
The nonprofit website is balanceaftercancer.org; online learning program can also be reached at bacfonlinelearning.org.
When I found my purpose by being repurposed…
I have spent a bulk of time trying to promote myself – as a long time entrepreneur and a Type A (reformed) personality, there was a lot of promotion in my life. “Call me, I am really good at X.” “Hi, I am Lisa and I am experienced at ….” And more. There was also the constant pivot to figure out how to monetize my skills to help keep my life afloat with a high cost of living, a higher mortgage and a fixed income.
Recently, I got enlightened in my heart – and my heart and soul have become united in the front to be a servant to others, to help others, instead of trying to figure out how to become a successful <insert here>.
During my recent trip to Italy and before that meeting the leader of Compassion That Compels, Kristianne Stewart, helped me slowly chip away at my veneer of the “humble brag” or the “vanity” of being seen as a wonder and instead to help others without looking for anything in return.
We are ALL wonders, we are all wonderfully and beautifully made and the first time Kristianne prayed over me, via cell phone and during the end of my radiation, was a small seed, a beginning that has sprouted into the most amazing of things.
Kristianne is a leader and a giver and it is ALL ABOUT HELPING OTHERS. Her nonprofit, Compassion That Compels, started with a letter and an idea to provide support to women facing life changing diagnoses around cancer. Since launching, her group has given out over 7000 Compassion Bags and have built communities of women, relationships and breadcrumbs from God to us to them and back again. Things that just CANNOT be coincidences happen all of the time with this group and by extension to me.
When I first got my notification that my nonprofit was approved, I sat in my backyard and looked around at the wonderful trees and started to talk to my Saint, Padre Pio. I prayed and said, “So I am ready to help others but I do not know how to let anyone KNOW that I am here, that this nonprofit even exists…” When my phone rang and it was Kristianne calling to ask me to partner with her organization to help with the On Your Feet program.
And from that call, we began to create a program that could help women get back their confidence and their PLAN B after cancer. This weekend, I was lucky enough to be a part of the life changing Repurpose Conference in Tennessee with the giving, selfless and loving team from Compassion from Kristianne to the Board to the volunteers and beyond. Each one of them are a powerhouse of relationship building, prayer and openness to embrace and help others.
My life is forever changed by being a part of the Compassion That Compels family – but you can also be a part of their family – you can sign up on their website to be a volunteer, to ask for a prayer or to be involved with the On Your Feet program.
The crux of my trip to Europe showed me, through my faith, that I could let go and move and also that my purpose in this life is to help others. With my upcoming move, I can focus on my nonprofit and continue to provide free survivorship resources and tools for life after cancer. The relationship I have with Compassion That Compels just proves to me how blessed and lucky I am to know the team and to help them help women.
I repurposed my pain and my cancer diagnosis to go from helping myself, promoting myself to helping others and promoting THEM – they are amazing and just a few of them spoke at this weekend’s event and their words about how my nonprofit was able to help them brought me to happiest of tears and made my soul so so happy.
I was honored to have the chance to speak and to me, it was the best time of my life – all fun and laughter and I hope the true explanation that I want to serve – who is next to have my help?
Thank you Kristianne, team and the fellow speakers and volunteers – I am honored to know you.
I love to write and have always enjoyed writing - I only recently decided I could call myself a "writer", though. I have found writing to be very cathartic so the nonprofit I founded recently launched a FREE writing workshop. Find out more below and sign up for FREE here.
Why do I do what I do?
I do not know truly - I do know that helping people is super important to me and the main reason why I formed a nonprofit to help other cancer survivors get back to "normal".
For many years, I taught college and K-12 and saw firsthand how difficult it is for kids' today to be college and career ready. Then I wound up becoming a cancer patient and meeting many folks way younger than I who are dealing with both cancer AND having to be a student or a young worker and it just boggled my mind with the difficulties facing them.
Many years ago, before cancer (feels like a lifetime ago but was early 2016), I wrote a book on college readiness pulling from my 13+ years as a college professor in the NYC area coupled with my 5+ years as a K-12 teacher and built out my lessons and help into a book. Now, though, knowing what I do about young adult cancer and how a diagnosis derails one's life, I decided to take my lessons and apply them specifically for the student who has undergone a health crisis.
I designed and published the workbook and am working on the online course component to go with it. I hope to have it all ready to launch before Christmas.
As a new nonprofit, I still struggle with funding and trying to get my head wrapped around how to move forward. I also had a few months of inactivity trying to get myself moving again... Now that I am moving, I am happy to be back in action but also know I need to keep myself in Balance and not get overwhelmed with comparisons and trying to do it all at once. Slow and steady is also a great strategy.
How can I help you get your Balance After Cancer?
As a professor and educator since 2003 both online and in person, I feel education is key to life. If I am not learning, I am not living. This course is the first of MANY to come - some will be free, some will require a small fee ($20 or $30) to sign up. This course is The Basics - all about getting back to "normal" after cancer, major life-changing diagnosis or other news like genetic predisposition to cancer... Watch the video below for a quick overview of the course.
As someone who is focused on helping others oh and who has helped people for over 20 years with resumes, career planning and more (seriously, check out my other small business, The Next Step), I feel that founding this nonprofit is what I am meant to do and grow.
Super Mom BC Eradicator - connect with me via the icons above :). Thanks! XOXO LISA (my secret identity ... )