Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Living Big Living Full Living Authenic: Meet Lamondre Pough

When I met Lamondre Pough I was reminded once again why I started a View from My Window 10 years ago. He is the definition of "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  

He had the odds stacked against him from the moment he entered into the world. He also had an advocate, his mom Betty. Several times throughout the interview, Lamondre mentioned how Betty was the reason behind his success, his determination and his mindset. His mom has always had her own mind and walked to the the beat of her own drum. 

She required Lamondre to have a thought process and to take responsibility for his own life. He said that there were always "real world" conversations. One day she said: "Son, No one will treat you the way you treat yourself." This was one of the many things his mom told him that helped mold and shape him into who he is today. 

I particularly appreciated the fact that his mom, his sister and himself had deep meaningful talks because in today's world, there isn't enough of that. Having deep conversations means deep connections which means stronger families and stronger emotional well-being, which leads to a happier individual. Lamondre has used the stability in his childhood, not only to help himself in navigating his life and the direction he wanted it to go, but he has a incredible passion for helping others tap into their potential, even if it has been unexplored for some time. 

In telling stories like this one, it really helps you to step back and reflect, showing personal interest in someone, asking, "How did you get here"? and really listening. Listening with a view to understanding and applying. Everyone you come in contact with teaches you something. Every experience, every interaction shapes the person you are, and eventually the person you want to become. Lamondre Pough didn't let the noise of those who thought it was impossible for him to live the life he wanted to ever cloud his vision and make him lose sight of his ultimate goal: LIVING BIG, LIVING FULL, LIVING AUTHENTIC!!!!!!

Listen to Lamondre's interview here:  www.arcind.org/podcasts/a-view-with-lamondre-pough/

Michelle  Fischer is the host of  A View from My Window, a podcast produced, by The Arc of Indiana

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Ali Stroker: Turning Limitations into Opportunities

 I remember watching Ali Stroker on that historic night pictured here on the CBS broadcast of the Tony's.  I haven't watched an awards' show through to the end for so many years, but I decided to watch the Tony's when Ali won. I'm SO glad I did! I couldn't stop crying!! Yes, I know, you're probably thinking,"There's no sobbing in theater!" My answer is,"I beg to differ!" Ali Stroker winning an Oscar completely changed the face of Broadway!! She showed that when accomplishing a goal, especially one that is deeply rooted in your veins...NOTHING can stand in your way!!! Sometimes well meaning people can share their opinions or unwittingly put a roadblock in your path. When others do that, it can knock you off course or it can do the opposite! It can motivate you to let no stereo-type, label or obstacle take away your potential to make your dreams a reality!  When you are a person who dreams big, like Ali, it's a lot of risk! Broadway is no small feat! She put her blood, sweat and tears into auditions, going from the bottom to reaching the top. She, no doubt, had to adjust her sails to keep going in the face of every set back and occasional failure. But, when any of us go through these ups and downs, we can show ourselves and onlookers that no matter what life throws at us, we can throw back harder!  In Ali Stroker's case it's not "Broadway or Bust"... It's, Ali broke the doors off Broadway and is taking the Broadway stage by storm and ROCKIN' it with flying colors!!!!!!!!!

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the interview with Ali didn't get to happen, but hopefully in the near future I can interview her, hug her and most importantly,  thank her for blazing the trail for all of us who have dreams and aspirations and want to make an impact and difference in the world!! Ali Stroker has done it....so that means we can too! No apologies ever needed!

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana

For more information on Ali Stroker visit: alistroker.com/about

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Food For Thought: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There is no doubt about it.... the last couple of days and weeks have been nothing short of uncertain and unnerving. The news is buzzing with numbers, symptoms and ways to protect ourselves. I have never in my life washed my hands so many times, that now, without using lotion after washing, my hands look like totally overheated raisins! If you have wondered, I'm not a person that was made for long periods of "social distancing". I thrive off of hugs, connection and a gentle touch to show others I love and care about them. While it breaks my heart to hear about all the devastation and pain this virus is having on everyone, I can't keep focusing on it, or it will eat me up inside. On the other side of the coin, I understand that this "new normal" is hard for everyone, getting acclimated at such a fast rate, with a time frame that changes almost by the second. One way to get through these times of uncertainty is to fight against is the tendency to only think of ourselves. That's why we've heard authorities and officials say, to not confuse ''social distancing" with "emotional distancing". There are ways to show people that you care. Thanking our "essential workers", giving people a smile, checking on friends and family through social media or a phone call or writing a letter. Make it a point to understand that the way people react and respond during this time is not a reflection of how they would normally act...they just want to be given the benefit of the doubt. When the announcement was made to stay at home, you could tell the gravity and heaviness of this ever-changing situation was sitting squarely on the Governor's shoulders. He said that we are resilient, strong, and we come together... in essence, he was saying that we all have the responsibility and potential to display these good qualities to one another. We can support the steps the authorities are taking to slow the spread of this virus. What kindles anger and fear is thinking that we somehow know better how to protect ourselves, when the less stressful road to travel is just to pay attention and do what we are told. It is super important that we take heed, take care of ourselves, don't lose ourselves to the choas and for the time being, adjust our sails to the winds of change. Change helps us to grow and refine our perspective... let it.  Don't be afraid of it. You will come out a different person...FOR THE GOOD!!!

You ALL are in my thoughts and I send you all my love!!!!

Michelle :)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A look back and beyond: Kim Dodson celebrates 20 years with The Arc of Indiana!

Have you ever watched a TV commercial, whether it's for an insurance company, a bank or a new snack food and the commercial has happy smiling people and some fancy slogan, yet you think, "Wait, I don't remember that being my experience!" I can say with absolute certainty you will NEVER find that to be the case at The Arc of Indiana! I work with a team that is committed to serve others to the best of their ability and sticking with those they serve until the desired goal is accomplished! The woman in the drivers' seat heading up the daily operations is Kim Dodson. In 2018, Kim celebrated her 20 year work anniversary and to say that she's committed to doing her job well, is an understatement! She was hired and mentored by retired executive director John Dickerson in 1998, with no background in the disability field, but that didn't stop John from teaching, training and cultivating Kim's potential. She grew so much under John's watchful guidance, that 3 years ago when John retired, Kim became executive director. When I interviewed Kim about her years of service, I could tell just how deeply the relationship with John had affected her. She is such a genuine person, everything about Kim sparkles, shines and beams! She wants to leave you better than when you first walked in the door. That's why I came to the Arc of Indiana almost 9 years ago. John hired me, saw and cultivated my potential for growth, and now Kim carries that on, not only for me, but for all of us! We all feel loved, valued and appreciated! Our work atmosphere is "We work better together" and what we each bring to the table is embraced and refined, so we all continue to work as one great team!!  Happy 20 year Anniversary Kim! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana

Read more about what drew Kim to work in the disability field here: http://www.townepost.com/indiana/broad-ripple/kim-dodson-a-hero-for-the-special-needs-community/