BENEW Sandbox

Making It Right!

What do you do when you LOVE ice cream and want to change the world?

You find an ice cream maker extraordinaire that shares your passions, ask your banker to support your goal, sprinkle in some superb entertainment, and invite your friends, colleagues, and the public to celebrate your dream. Now you have all the necessary ingredients to launch - Make It Right Ice Cream - the power of the pint!


Love After Love

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other's welcome
And say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you
All your life, whom you have ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

-Derek Walcott

A Knocked Down Journey Begins

On the sweltering morning of July 9, 2013, I was hit by a bike messenger on 28th Street right off of Sixth Avenue in New York City's floral district.

I arose bruised to the core but fortunate beyond my wildest imagination. Not a bone was broken nor was my indomitable spirit that still remained intact and fixated on how I was finally going to show up and make a difference in this troubled world of ours - a question that had been dominating my thoughts ever since my sister's death in 2008.

On August 3, 2013, this question became clearer with the launch of my first project - The Good Garden - whose purpose that day was to bring community awareness to The Staley B. Keith Justice Center, Inc. of Hudson, New York, at an event hosted in my Columbia County garden.

Introductions from this project led me to an ice cream manufacturer and my newest venture, Make It Right Ice Cream, positioned in the market place to bring awareness to strategic national and worldwide causes. (Follow our upcoming posts to find out how you can get involved and help us create a social enterprise to put homeless individuals back to work).

In September of 2013, a post-Labor Day vacation found me in Seneca Falls, New York, where I was reminded that this long forgotten sleepy town was once one of the most significant locations in the history of the United States of America. Home of the Seneca Indians known as the "keeper of the western door," and critical to the Western Expansion of the Erie Canal, in 1848 it was also the birthplace of the first Women's Rights Convention. The efforts of these women's rights activists, abolitionists, and other 19th century reformers were the beginning story of the civil rights and human rights movements that still continue today. Once the cultural and economic heartbeat of the USA, this town along with many others along the Erie Canal have since been depleted of their economic opportunities. I departed Seneca Falls transfixed by its glorious significance and past and committed to how to revive this struggling Upstate Region - and the State of Mind Project was conceived.

So, I am finally on my journey to make some change and feature others that want to do the same. Please send me your stories and together we can make a difference, always remembering that - we are all connected.

Fall of 2008 & the Heroic Journey

In October of 2008 I knew nothing about the Heroic Journey or L. Frank Baum, the author of "The Wizard of Oz," nor Joseph Campbell and Jean Houston-the great chroniclers of the Heroic Journey in Mythology-and certainly not Jonah Sachs, author of "Winning the Story Wars."

What I did know for certain was that my world as I knew it had been turned upside down. The death of my only sibling, the simultaneous financial tsunami and an impending milestone birthday catapulted me onto my own Yellow Brick Road and Heroic Journey.

Suddenly I found myself training to become a Sandplay Therapist-a lifelong dream-and accurately forecasting Socially Responsible Trends. But most importantly, I began to develop a deeper understanding of how the Heroic Journey is a template for transformation for each of us, the world and most surprisingly BRANDS.

Follow me and I will show you how.

Homeless Man

This is not a wrapped up tale, LIFE never is.

HOLLYWOOD, OPRAH AND TED will need to wait. There is no finite ending here, just a work in progress.

This is about seeing something troublesome out of the corner of my eye and not letting go for thirteen years, and still not letting go.

It is about many tiny baby steps and moments of bravery & courage for all those involved. It is about trying to save another while mysteriously saving myself too.

It is about magical bread crumbs scattered by an unknown force and how a ripple could become a WAVE.

It is how a Homeless Man and I accidentally crossed paths on a late summer day on a midtown Manhattan street right before 9/11 and how this chance encounter blossomed into a friendship that has intertwined many lives. Unfolding like a tapestry of endless possibilities and opportunities for all mankind.

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

-John O'Donohue