Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
The Trickle Up Effect: Change the World—From
Your Living Room
Are you craving to have a more fulfilling life? Is the
world situation motivating you to make a difference somewhere,
somehow? Last month Women of Vision organized an international
focus on women. All over the world, women gathered together
for celebrations, meditations, and festivities. At one such
gathering—Gather the Women—in Oakland, California, I met
Carmel Jud. She had a booth featuring beautiful jewelry,
crafts and textiles from around the world. Even more
impressive was her personal story.
Carmel and her husband Brian have an advertising research
and production company called Carmel Jud Creative Group.
Carmel told me that in the past two years, her life has
undergone a complete change of focus. She feels she has found
a fulfilling purpose. Her epiphany began with books, of
Carmel told me, "There were three key books that
played a role in the big changes in my life. The first was
Deepak Chopra’s, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I
opened the book to the place where he asks, ‘If you had all
the time and the money in the world, what would you do?’ and
‘How are you best suited to serve humanity?’ I was shocked
to realize that, even though I felt successful in my business,
I couldn’t answer those questions. Suddenly, I had a burning
desire to have the answers. This began a two-year quest.
During that time I read your book, Find Your Purpose,
Change Your Life. The exercises helped me identify my
values and priorities. I knew that I needed to do something
people-oriented. I wanted to help in a hands-on way. And I
wanted to be part of something big.
"After the events of 911, I was drawn to the plight of
Afghani women. I researched online and found Mavis Leno’s
(comedian Jay Leno’s wife) organization, which sells crafts
made by Afghani women in refugee camps. I volunteered to sell
the crafts at home parties.
"Shortly after I started doing the parties I found my
third inspirational book, which is called In Her Hands:
Craftswomen Changing the World by Paola Gianturco and Toby
Tuttle. This book opened my eyes even further. I learned that
poverty has a woman’s face. 1.3 billion people in the world
survive on less than a dollar a day. Seventy percent are
women. It isn’t just Afghani women, but women all over the
world who suffer needlessly. The book showed me that many of
these women are rising above their circumstances by creating
and selling beautiful crafts imbued with the heart and soul of
their lives and cultures.
"One part of this book that really struck me"
Carmel says, "is the information on what they call ‘the
sequence of results’ when women earn money and educate
children. A 1995-1999 United Nations research study revealed
that when women in developing countries earn an income, it
triggers an incredible sequence of events. For example:
- birth rates drop
- infant and maternal mortality are reduced
- family planning increases
- nutrition, health, and life expectancy are enhanced
- housing and sanitation improve
- the gross domestic product grows.
"This was a revelation. I suddenly realized that real
change in the world can happen. We can change the world
by giving women the opportunity to make money for themselves
and for their families. We can reduce population and world
hunger, increase health, sanitation, and education by
assisting the entrepreneurial endeavors of women!
"I suddenly had the elements I needed to pursue my
original goal of working with people, doing it in a hands-on
way, and being part of something really big!"
The Cultural Creatives
Carmel’s story is a perfect example of following the
subtle calling of one’s life purpose, and changing the world
by becoming one of the new forces of influence—defined as
the Cultural Creatives by Paul Ray, Ph.D. and Sherry Ruth
Anderson, Ph.D., in their fascinating book The Cultural
If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it as
way to understand the cultural revolution going on in the US.
In brief, the authors describe three distinct streams of
influence in America: the Traditionalists (exemplified
by leaders such as Jimmy Carter, Pope John Paul II), the Modernists
(people like George H.W. Bush, Ted Kennedy, Trent Lott), and
the Cultural Creatives (Barbara Boxer, Vaclav Havel,
Martin Luther King, Jr.). The authors claim there are at least
50 million Cultural Creatives in the US. Their characteristics
are detailed in the book, and my hunch is that most of you
reading this article are part of this subculture. Cultural
Creatives are defined by their values and buying choices. They
value a lifestyle that is a reflection of their interests in
alternative medicine, healthy nutrition, other cultures and
educational travel, the environment, ecology and recycling,
books, authenticity, and personal and spiritual growth. Ray
and Anderson write,
"Cultural Creatives are at the leading edge of some of
the most interesting developments in American culture…There
can be no step-by-step description about how to become a
Cultural Creative. It is a process of culture-making with tens
of millions of people doing it in their own ways….They want
a ‘new deal,’ a chance to remake their lives and our
institutions around deeper values. By doing so, they may be
developing a culture that will sustain us and our children’s
children over the long term."
First Step: An Inner Departure
You may have already taken the first step in becoming a
Cultural Creative. Ray and Anderson call this first step
an "inner departure" from the entrancement of
the dominant culture. This happened for Carmel when something
inside prompted another look at Chopra’s book, where she is
transfixed by two questions (not unlike the archetype of the
Hero(ine's) mythic quest.
Second Step: Setting Out
Off she goes into the world to find her answers. This is
the second step in a Cultural Creative’s journey, what
Ray and Anderson term "setting out." The
catalyzing awakening of 911 and her attraction to the plight
of Afghani women (which was widely dispersed through Internet
messages and public focus by other Cultural Creatives doing their
thing) led her to follow through with research,
synchronistically finding a way to get more involved. At this
point she is working on blind intuition and feeling her way
into a deeper commitment, which will come later. The path of
Cultural Creatives is fraught with not-knowingness and
uncertainty. You are a pioneer and are creating new solutions.
Third Step: Confronting the Critic(s)
Interestingly, when Carmel wrote down a list of options
that appealed to her, working with women’s crafts was at the
top of the list, but she didn’t start working on it right
away. Carmel says, "At first, I resisted the idea of the
crafts business because it was my first idea, and it seemed to
come too easily. I sort of thought, ‘This can’t be it
since finding my life work will take a lot more searching. I
pursued several other ideas like doing corporate team
building, doing a non-profit flower delivery, and setting up a
greeting card line. But nothing clicked. I kept being haunted
by the craft idea, and I continued to host the Afghani
parties." Part of this resistance may be a form of the third
step outlined by Ray and Anderson, called Confronting
the Critics. Our dreams and vision may seem too radical or
impractical, either by people we share it with, or by our own
initial fears and ego reaction. We experience resistance
during a testing period to see what works and what doesn’t.
Fourth Step: Turning Your Values Into a New Way of Life
When the fourth step occurs, it’s time for the
Cultural Creative to do what Ray and Anderson call, "turning
your values into a new way of life." Carmel says,
"One day I told my husband, ‘I have to launch this
idea. On May 11, 2002 I formed an organization called Rising
Carmel’s goal is to promote economic development for
impoverished women and families around the world by sharing
their stories and selling their handmade crafts at home
parties. By doing this she feels she is nurturing the spirit
of connection between all people and cultures while actively
supporting Fair Trade. She says, "There is a sense that
these women have reached out over mountains and oceans to
share their story with us."
When It’s Right, Synchronicities Support Action
How does she find the craft items? I asked. Carmel recounts
the amazing flow of synchronicities that occurred once she
became truly committed to her new direction. "The
connections just seemed to fall my way. For instance, I met
various Peace Corps volunteers at trade shows and at my home
parties who helped connect us to women in different countries.
We find people from developing countries in our communities in
the San Francisco Bay Area, and invite them to speak for a fee
at our parties. For example, we’ve had local people from
Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal come into living rooms and
share their stories and experiences in their home countries.
The impact their stories have on people is so powerful. When a
complete stranger shares his or her life story, people
begin to soften and let down their guard. They begin to care.
When more and more people begin to care about all the
people in the world, that’s when transformation happens in
New Values and Creativity
How do Carmel and her husband support themselves and fund
her new business? I asked. "I am still working in
advertising, but I’m more selective. Even though my income
has dropped drastically, I’ve reduced my living expenses so
that I can put more time and energy into RISING. Brian
and I were renting a house for $3,000 a month. A friend heard
about our new company and gave us a free place to live in a
remodeled barn. We have a smaller house but I’m happier. We
have everything we need, and we are blessed with a lot of
volunteers who help us with RISING. My happiness doesn’t
come just from how much money I’m making. When you really
believe in something, it seems like resources appear just when
you need them. There have been a lot of big and little
financial miracles that happened, almost mysteriously, to
smooth the way.
"I look at money and spending very differently now.
For example, in my previous life I wouldn’t have thought
twice about spending $200 on dinner. Now, I look at that
amount and think, ‘how far could $200 go in buying materials
for women to create their handicrafts—like jewelry,
textiles, tablecloths, wall hangings, pillow cases, baby
booties, shawls, scarves, and purses. Or how could I use that
money to pay someone to speak?"
So far, Carmel has done little traveling to find
handicrafts, as some artisans now have access to email. For
example, in Indonesia she orders goods from a German woman who
organizes a women’s co-op. Carmel emphasizes that all crafts
are bought by fair trade importers. Fair trade insures that
the artisan is paid a fair wage, that they are paid in
advance, and that there is a long-term trade relationship to
avoid exploitation. So far her fair trade home parties have
been in California, but plans are underway to expand
Opportunities to Get Involved
How can others get involved? She says, "I invite
anyone to call me if they are interested in putting together a
gathering in their area. I am also looking for funding to
create a catalog and collect enough inventory so that we can
expand nationwide. I’d love to have volunteers with
expertise in catalog design. Our website is under development,
but I need someone like a project manager to design, print,
and distribute the catalog. The next phase is collecting,
organizing, and storing inventory that can be shipped to home
party representatives. Our plan is to offer women in the US
the opportunity to have their own business selling these
crafts. We’re doing a pilot program right now that’s
working very well.
Keep the Vision
Carmel says, "I know this organization is going to
develop widely because even though we are brand-new and do no
advertising, people keep calling me every day to find out how
they can get involved. We are currently working with a
non-profit De Solay Daywa (Afghani for Torch of Peace) to send
over 100 containers filled with much-needed supplies collected
from all over the San Francisco Bay Area—items such as warm
clothing, tents, buckets, cooking utensils, and medical
supplies for the people of Afghanistan, because they
have nothing. It’s hard to start a business when your
children are starving and dying in the snow. We are planning
to be there when containers arrive to oversee distributions.
"Every day is so exciting. I continue to hear about
new women’s groups. Yesterday I picked up crafts from
Lithuania—darling little baby booties. Tomorrow I’ll be
picking up jewelry from Nepal. Then I’ll meet with a fair
trade importer involved with Hungarian women living in Romania
who are making pillow cases out of cotton and hemp with
If You Have A Dream, Take Action to Make It Real
Carmel encourages others to follow their heart. "I’ve
talked to a lot of people who hear about what I’m doing, and
share with me their own dreams, but are afraid to take that
first step. They say they are confused or in the dark, but
when I ask them what they think would be one first step, there
usually is something they’ve been thinking about doing. I’ve
come to believe that the worst thing about the first step is
not taking it. I tell them to trust that idea and do it."
Carmel reflects, "I like to think that if three
million women can sell Avon, imagine what three million women
could do by selling crafts to improve the lives of the poorest
women in the world."
Contact Carmel Jud at (831) 722-2141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming soon www.risinginternational.com.
© Copyright 2003 Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.,
is an internationally-known workshop facilitator and
author whose books have been translated into over fifteen
languages. . Her latest book is When Life Changes, or You
Wish It Would. Oprah hailed, The Purpose of Your Life:
Finding Your Place in the World Using Synchronicity,
Intuition, and Uncommon Sense a must-read. She is also the
author of The Numerology Kit. An electronic copy of Your
Child’s Destiny—a numerological guide for parents is
now available at www.CarolAdrienne.comm.
Carol is available to for keynotes, workshops, and seminars
and can be reached at Carol22@sonic.net
or (510) 528-2226 weekdays 10 am to 6 pm PST.
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