I want to thank all of you who have sent messages–as well as those of you who are just reading and not responding. For those of you who have given me suggestions for the blog, I want you to know that I am working on an actual website http://www.juliabutterfly.com in which many of your suggestions will be incorporated.

Sometimes I wonder how much good jotting down thoughts and experiences really accomplishes. Sometimes I get really inspired, and other times, not so much. Every so often, I get comments from people, that let me know something I have written has made a difference for them. And I think that is why I find myself back at a keyboard again. Whenever my time comes for me to transition from this physical plane, I want to have experienced life to its fullest, and my prayer is that somehow, my life will have been a contribution. I question a lot–including myself. I wonder sometimes, what does it all matter? And then at the end of the day, I know that what matters most to me is integrity, love, joy, and service. I can’t help but want to serve–even if it is in small ways.

Part of my dream actually includes making lots of money–so I can give it away. If you have any solid ideas on ways I can generate green energy (my name for money) for good causes, please let me know. I love directing funds to the groups on the ground who are making such an incredible difference in their communities and in the world.

That’s my brief update for now.

More to come.

May sunshine remind you of the miracle of being alive on this tiny little island spinning in space.


Published in: on May 6, 2008 at 6:48 pm  Comments (5)  

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  1. Hi Tuitti!
    I just caught up with your blog here, and I really enjoyed your thoughts. I’m glad too to read about your trip to Europe. You’re like I am, in that you say more on paper than on the phone! Also that your whole life is about service. I guess the apple doesn’t really fall very far from the tree! My mom is a very service-oriented person as well. Life goes on!

    Thanks for your Mother’s Day call.
    Did Christopher sell his business? I’m praying.

  2. You simply have to take it on faith that some of the things you say, and maybe not all of the things you intend, are making a difference for people.

    If you met me I think you would be surprised that I have followed your progress for several years, since my life is very different than yours. I eat fast food, waste money–even spent some time working in the woods as a forester (I didn’t cut down any trees; but I worked for a lumber company). Still, I see in you someone who “understands”. Also, I think my worst habits are growing closer and closer to better ones, partly because of your influence.

    You just keep talking/writing. You are needed.

  3. Dear Julia,

    I’m moving to SF to start my postdoctoral work at UCSF this fall. When I think of California I cannot help but think of you and checked out the latest with Circle of Life. I think the chain-reaction concept behind What’s Your Tree? and the new Engage Network is great. It multiplies the difference you’re making by awakening potentially more Julias. Too many people think they are powerless. I’m looking forward to becoming a Bay Area resident to be at a nexus of both technology and open enthusiasm toward changing the world so characteristic of Californians.

    My comment regards “solid ways to generate green energy”. In CA, it looks like it is possible to have a non-profit business trust under the umbrella of which business ventures can be launched, the constraints being that no capital can be raised from venture capitalists or issuing stock (but tax-deductable donations are possible). Only one trustee is necessary in CA, which is nice because you can ensure that the organization remain true to its mission without conflicts. Within this framework, given your experience from before in starting-up a bar and in the restaurant industry before the 1996 transformation-catalyzing injury, you could open a new type of restaurant that is ecologically-sustainable that serves a healthy, vegan menu which might catch on especially in CA where this relatively large niche is probably still underserved. It would further your environmental objectives while raising funds that you could grant to causes at your discretion. Another idea would be to start a green consulting firm such as this http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/28/magazines/fortune/pluggedin_gunther_greenorder.fortune/index.htm, again self-sufficiently raising funds while doing something intrinsically helpful in the process. All such ventures would be greatly aided by your celebrity status, just as many sports stars open signature restaurants, and it’s free advertising. Just look at the Life Extension Foundation’s self-sufficient fundraising. One needn’t rely on donors.

    In closing, I honestly have found that I am happier and more personally fulfilled living dedicated to a mission to improve the world at large despite the self-sacrifice it demands than pursuing the short-sighted, narcissistic ambitions we are otherwise socially-conditioned to pursue. My “tree” is finding a cure for depression and addiction upstream of so many ills that would help reduce poverty and let more people attain their full potentials. Positive mood leads to positive actions. I hope to start my own non-profit R&D business trust (initially just investment fund until enough funds are raised for a self-sufficient research lab) devoted to this soon.

    With best regards,

  4. Supplement to previous comment:

    People might find inspirational the story of Stan Ovshinsky of ECD Ovonics http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080531/METRO/805310320. He wasn’t an activist per se, but both through the idealistic way he ran his business and the mission of it he endeavored to change the world. Through technology we can also have a positive impact, one that produces lasting change.

    What’s important here is that Stan set out on this seemingly daunting task of developing hydrogen as a clean source of energy, along with the necessary infrastructure (electric car batteries, economical thin film solar panels that can be wrapped on buildings) without doubting himself or waiting for someone else, with a degree or more resources, to do it. He took the initiative, rolled up his sleeves and got to work. He, self-taught, and his wife Iris worked very closely together starting with almost nothing, opening a lab in a storefront. With stamina they persevered and succeeded, laying essential groundwork for the hydrogen economy and more. More of us need to have the confidence to try and not assume it must be left to someone else, the government, etc. because the problem seems too big.

    I think of Stan because your comment on generating funds for good causes resonates with something Stan said in this video at 2:18 http://www.ovonic.com/video/ovshinsky_make-it-happen/ecd_ovshinsky_256k.wmv —esp.
    He chose to set-up a business as a means to, in the practical real world, fund his R&D that began with an idealistic vision. Especially using technology as a route to change the world, fundraising is an integral component making change happen in the real-world.

  5. Regarding your request about generating ‘green energy’: There are probably a million ways you could raise this ‘green energy’ to benefit the world. Why not do this in as large (efficient?) a way as possible? Here’s an idea to get you started, which uses an asset you have (your celebrity):

    *Partner with like-minded artists who support the causes you want to give green energy to

    *Work with these artists to create a song, or concert series (e.g., in the spirit of “We are the world” for a limited scale project, or a type of environmental “Lilith Fair” for a larger and more profitable project) from which the profits would go to the charities or environmental foundations you create.

    *Enlist as sponsors corporations or venues that want to associate themselves with ‘green’ ventures (which could be tricky, since this is a trend _and_ not all companies are as green as their press releases would suggest)

    *If you choose to do something on the scale of a music festival, you can challenge the concert-goers and vendors and venues to adopt sustainable practices (in use of paper, recycling, food & drink sales, carpooling, etc.)

    If this idea is not your path, I hope it inspires you to think of other ways to get things moving for you.

    PS: I saw you speak last night in Baltimore (June 18, 2008). Thanks so much for agreeing to speak at the American Visionary Art Museum. I was delighted and moved to hear you speak. Your message about choosing to be connected to everything, including those who were against you (and trying to suck you out of the tree with helicopters!) was inspiring to me, along with your poetry. Namaste.

    Pamela Howard

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