positive content

we have to be better...

Yesterday The President of the United States joined Twitter. His goal is to continue with more transparency with the public. 

Upon tweeting for the first time, a number of people decided to greet him with what can only be described as hate. Using derogatory and racist language.

As you know my goal here is to focus on positive content that lifts up other people. So I am not going to post these tweets here or even give any more attention to them than the sentence above.

So, why am I mentioning it at all? It is simple really, I believe in speaking out and speaking up. I am NOT here to argue politics.  I AM here to spread love and positivity. We should all be here to do that. 

We have to BE BETTER.

Regardless of how you feel politically, regardless if it is the President of the United States or your neighbor down the street, we are supposed to love each other. We are supposed to support each other, lift each other up and wish for only good things to happen

People that use their voice to spread negativity do nothing except create more negativity.

SO again, why am I writing this? I realize my thoughts are slightly scattered and for that I apologize but when I saw this on the news I cried, literally cried out loud. How is it that people can be so cruel? How can they hide behind a social media handle? How can this type of negative, racist thinking still exist? Who teaches hate?  

I am writing this to remind people that 


What we do with that voice is a huge responsibility. You get to decide if you use it to change the world for the better or contribute to negativity and hate.

If you never read another word I write, disconnect me from social media, do me one favor.

use your voice for something better.

how will you use your voice?

I will continue to use mine to be a positive voice online and beyond that lifts people up through storytelling and experiences. I will return to normal posting Friday but had to get this off of my mind. Thank you for understanding.

friday's 3 favorite things...what made you smile on social media this week?

Happy Friday! If you are a regular reader or even a regular social media follower, you will know that I often talk about putting positive content into the world. We are indundated with content from every direction. We have music, television, movies, social media and beyond. It doesn't matter how hard we try, we can't escape getting hit over the head with content whether we like it or not.

Unfortunatley, a lot of that content is negative and being surrounded by negativity can get very exhausting. There is a saying Negativity begats Negativity. Heavy right? But the good news is this.

positive minds lead positive lives

Taking from that I wanted to share some people using social media in positive and fun ways. These are just three of my favorite posts this week.

Who doesn't love Amy Poehler? Not only is she smart and funny but she is using her celebrity for good with Amy's Smart Girls where they not only help young girls but they use the internet to spread positive imagery, words and energy of girls and women everywhere.

Here is a snipped from the website and if it doesn't convince you that this belongs on my list today, then...well I don't know.

"The Smart Girls organization is dedicated to providing a healthy alternative to so much tat is being marketed to young people on the internet.




Our motto is: Change the World by Being Yourself."


The Written Runway is a great site dedicated to fashion and lifestyle topics. While it does not focus only on women, it's lean towards women and portraying strong visual of images of them through fashion will get you excited to get back in your closet. 

She loves fashion so much, she even gets her dog Bentley into the mix. She swears he loves it. How awesome is his birthday pic?

Here is how she describes her mission;

"In 2011 Ambyr broke off and began The Written Runway. This creative outlet has allowed her to share her love of runway fashion, how to adapt it into every day style and inspire others to express their talents"  


The next one is a little bit of self promotion and for that I apologize but as I said this is a list of my favorite things on social media this week. And...one of my favorite things was getting the opportunity to represent Girls Inc. PNW. If it isn't clear yet, I believe in lifting up girls and women. I think the future will be determined by strong smart women. If I have any chance to be a part of this movement then I am going to take it.

If you are not familiar with Girls Inc. and it's local affiliates here is a their vision:

"Our vision is empowered girls and an equitable society. Our mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold."

That's it, three positive social media posts to end your week on a good note and get you pumped for the weekend. They may even introduce you to some new people to follow.

P.S. You thought I was actually going to finish with 3 things huh? Come on, you know I can never leave it at that. I probably should change the number of things I want to talk about on Friday's. 

To apologize I share this, which quite frankly was really my favorite image from social media this week. My sister-in-law and new baby nephew in a moment that just looks like pure bliss. That is not only a positive image but one that looks like pure love.

If being an aunt is this awesome after just one month, I cannot wait to see what happens when this kid starts laughing and I can teach him some really great stuff...


Brand Manifesto

noun, plural manifestoes.
1. a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.
— Dictionary.Com

The other day I decided to stop by Dutch Bros. and I noticed some words on their window. I didn't even know coffee companies HAD manifestos. I had to know more. I of course inquired on the whole thing. I asked the lady working behind the counter if they had them on some sort of card that I could take home with me.  She showed me this water bottle instead. Of course I purchased it as a reminder of something that hit so close to home in what I believe. In fact, I have prayed every single day for almost 20 years for "health, happiness & prosperity", which is the second line of the creed. Can you say KISMET? Imagine my surprise when I came home to research the credo a bit more and discovered that it is in fact borrowed from a group called "Optimist International...



Optimist International!


You can read the whole creed for yourself above. Once you do I am pretty sure you will be as enamored as I am. So I decided to learn more about this organization of optimism. Here is how they define themselves.

Mission: By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids.

Vision: Optimist International will be recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential.

Purposes: To develop optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.
— Optimist International Website http://www.optimist.org/default.cfm

This post was originally going to be about manifestos from all sorts of companies and organizations and what we can learn from them, but after finding out about this great organization I decided to keep that for later. Instead I want you to finish this and go check out their site, volunteer and become part of this organization. It is time for us to spread 


into the world. What better place to start? Tell me how you help support positivity and optimism. Use the hashtag #positivecontent and #dawnehanksdotcom. Let's make the internet a better place for all and take heed the Optimist Creed.

Want a manifesto of your own. Stay tuned in the next few weeks as we explore how to build our own manifesto post so we can all set our intentions together. In the meantime check out Optimist International and help volunteer in your community with the goal of optimist for everyone. 


love my reflection project

Junior High is a tough time in most kids lives. It is often full of name calling, backstabbing and in general most teenagers long to be part of the in-crowd. It is at this age that we rarely look at being different as an attribute, it instead is seen as something to be ashamed of and is ridiculed by many. It is safe to say that for a lot of people, junior high sucks. Sorry, but it is true. That is why the story I recently found on Yahoo was all the more refreshing to see.

A couple of girls from Portland, Oregon (yeah for the hometown team) named Avery Burn and Genae Vanek came up with a great way to engage their fellow students in something positive.  The girls are involved in a great organization called "Destination Imagination". "DI" is an organziation that is helps kids learn in new and diverse ways by pushing them to through creativity. Their site describes it this way: 

The Destination Imagination program encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.
— http://destinationimagination.org/about-us/vision-mission-history

For Avery Burn and Genae Vanek they saw a need in their own backyard. They saw how much girls their age struggled with self esteem. Rather than sitting around, they decided to do something about it.The project was simple really, provide pocket mirrors to the girls in their school with affirmations written on them.

Some may laugh at this concept, Current research out of Carnegie Mellon University suggests that "positive affirmations" can increase a persons esteem and make them perform better. 

“An emerging set of published studies suggest that a brief self-affirmation activity at the beginning of a school term can boost academic grade-point averages in underperforming kids at the end of the semester,” said Creswell, assistant professor of psychology in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “This new work suggests a mechanism for these studies, showing self-affirmation effects on actual problem-solving performance under pressure.”
— http://www.cmu.edu/homepage/health/2013/summer/benefits-of-self-affirmation.shtml

They used stress as a starting point to determine how people performed when under high levels of chronic stress. They found that people under this level of stress actually correctly answered 50% less problems during the experiment. "But notably, this effect was qualified by whether the participants had an opportunity to first complete the self-affirmation activity? 

“People under high stress can foster better problem-solving simply by taking a moment beforehand to think about something that is important to them,”
— David Cresswell - Carnegie Mellon University

These girls probably didn't know all of this before starting their project, but what they did was afford their fellow students a positive way of looking at things that actually could improve how they do at school which of course then leads to feeling even better about oneself. So creates a cycle of positive reinforcement leading to positive results. Why am I telling you about this? Simple, I believe in spreading positive content. I believe in lifting up others. I believe in taking action. That is what these girls did and it's pretty fantastic.

But they aren't done. They turned this into a project called "Love My Reflection" and they want to go nationwide with their message, not just providing these mirrors to more girls but also hosting events and groups that can continue to provide a positive space for these middle school aged girls. It is important to know that during middle school a girl's confidence often plummets and we generally start see a change in in academic performance as well. The change of schools, hormones, social media and other factors come in to play. That is why this is so important. This is the time we need to support and affirm our girls.

They have a "GOFUNDME" page to raise money for the cause, http://www.gofundme.com/lovemyreflection I donated just last night and got a personal response from Avery's mother, Annie. I told them I wanted to help in any way I can so the first step in that is spreading the word. Check out what Annie wrote to me below

Dear Dawne,
Thank you SO much for your donation and support! We are in awe at the response this project has gotten and look forward to what the future holds!
We would be absolutely thrilled and appreciative to have you partner with us for an event...however, I know financially we are not there yet to be able to hire anyone or fund the marketing efforts. Any ideas or suggestions would be so appreciated though! Hopefully some day soon, perhaps with your help, we will be able to make an event happen!
— Annie Burn - Love My Reflection

Let's help these girls help hundreds, even thousands more to be confident.  You can even check out their website. www.lovemyreflection.org

To learn more about Destination Imagination, click on the logo.