Tuesday, August 13, 2013

3 days to go...and what I've learned so far

There are 3 days left to go on The Gratitude Project campaign, and it’s no secret that I’ve been learning a lot through this crowd funding process. Almost minute by minute, it is a continual opportunity for personal growth. And I’ve been wondering just how much of this experience should be shared openly and if doing so would benefit anyone. But hey, there’s only 3 days left to go, so why not throw caution to the wind? Seems as good a time as any. Plus, I can blame it on stress if I say anything too outrageous.

First, let’s just talk about crowd funding itself. I’ll be the first to admit, when I was introduced to Kickstarter and the whole concept of crowd funding, I was appalled. I thought it was a bunch of children with an over inflated sense of entitlement asking for a handout. How is that for blunt?

I was raised to believe that whatever it is you want in life is your responsibility and yours alone to make happen. You use your wits, your energy, your own ingenuity and you do not, God forbid, ask for or accept any help. Well, boys and girls, that is both unrealistic and just plain stupid.

We do not live on an island. Life begets life. No one accomplishes anything monumental without help in some way, shape, or form. No one. Even if that support is merely in the form of encouragement. And the more we transition from an age of separation into one of unity, the more obvious it is becoming that together, we can achieve anything. Separately, not so much.

But let’s just go back a minute to the crowd funding thing, because I never truly appreciated what it took before actually doing it myself.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume you’ve never asked anyone for anything. You are a self sufficient kind of guy or gal. Picture yourself needing to ask. What does that feel like to you? How does it make you feel about yourself? What kind of courage do you need to possess and pride do you have to let go of in order to ask? Do you wonder what it says to the world about who you are? What does it say to you about you? What kind of belief in the merit of what you are trying to accomplish do you have to have in order to reach out to people and ask them to be a part of the creation of it? What kind of belief in your abilities to deliver must you possess? These are some of the things I’ve been struggling with.

So for those of you who might be reading this, thinking that it’s no big deal to ask everyone you know for money, let me correct your misconceptions right now. It’s a big deal. No one wants to take money from people to fund a project that they could fund themselves. At least, I don’t.

Now, let’s look down the road a little bit. What expectations do you have of the people in your life? Can you feel supported or loved by people who are in a position to help but refuse you help when you ask for it? Can you ever feel the same about them? What conditions are tied to what we call “love?” What will you know for sure once you find out that what you were positively certain of is not, in fact, the case? And what will it teach you about the world when people who are complete strangers step forward to support you, and when those whom you know do not have two cents to rub together give to you anyway? What are the lessons in that?

I believe everything is an opportunity for growth if we allow it to be. I believe that we find that we are made of stronger stuff than we thought when we are put to the test. I believe that old hurts rear their ugly heads so that they can be healed and released to make room for our becoming what we are put on this earth to be – a unique expression of divine infinite love.

And lastly, I believe that encouraging people to reach farther, boldly take chances, and believe in themselves is an endeavor worthy of creation and completion, and that there is a much needed place for it in this world. So if you are so inclined, please donate to the The Gratitude Project now!

Peace and blessings to you,


  1. The only thing I would change about the Kickstarter crowd fundraising is that once you donate there is no acknowledgment of participation.
    I don't mind being generous I don't even need appreciation. I just want to know that my contribution was received by the person asking for it. I have contributed to three events and not once has anyone send a thank you or "got it." Makes me feel like I just sent money into the void.
    Has anyone else had this experience?
    Love the project Ilene. Keep the dream alive xoxox

    1. JJ -
      Did you have that issue on the USA Project site with my project? They immediately send you an acknowledgement email thanking you and giving you a receipt.
      Plus, you should have gotten a thank you email from me privately. Hmmm, now I'm wondering if anyone else had the same issue!
      Well, anyway, while I sort that out, let me say here publicly THANK YOU so much for supporting both the project and me! You are appreciated beyond measure! xoxo