Your Life Is Your Message To The World: Interview with Missy Crutchfield
Time to Rise – Ask the Author Series
Missy Crutchfield is Co-Founder of Be Magazine and the Gandhi Global Center For Peace, which she co-founded with Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi. She is a globally recognized, award winning journalist, and an activist for human rights, animal rights and veganism.
Passionate about addressing social issues through the arts, Missy has created and collaborated on a number of projects and community-based programs including Remember Your Dream and Sisters Speak Out, an original three-act play and workshop series about domestic violence and women female empowerment.
Even with all that going on, Missy found the time to write and share a deeply personal story with us all in my group book project, Time to Rise. And I couldn’t wait to interview her, as we have so much in common, including an upcoming documentary project.
Dr. Andrea – So Missy, I have to start by asking what inspired you to share such a personal story in this book, Time to Rise?
Missy – Well really my first answer has to be that is was impossible to say no to this. As Gandhi said, “My life is my message” – so when you reached out to me with this opportunity, I thought that I could help others by sharing. And it’s so healing too, to share your story.
Dr. Andrea – It really is. I now that sharing our voice collectively is also helping people who have always felt like they had something else inside of them, and maybe now will feel a little stronger about also sharing their story.
And you also opened up about the challenges of parenting and your journey with your son. So tell us a little about that.
Missy – Well, we’ve all gone through ups and downs. Let’s face it – if you had a perfect life, you probably wouldn’t appreciate it. It’s through the trials and tribulations that we develop our integrity, and all those other wonderful things that we learn.
I’ve experienced my share of abuse. And I’ve made my share of silly decisions; like moving to New York when I was seventeen to be an actress. And equally I’ve had some wonderful things happen too.
Sisters Speak Out has become my handle since I started writing a play on the topic of speaking up. I think that through speaking up, sisterhood, and through sharing with our brothers, we will start to lift the world up.
Dr. Andrea – So do you think this will be the year that you re-invigorate that play? What’s your vision for this?
Missy – Yes, 2018 will be the year! It’s been ten years since I started working on this, inspired by talking to women about domestic violence issues. I helped to facilitate the Clothesline Project with women from some shelters – where they and sometimes their family members would write messages for other women in similar situations on T-shirts.
When I was doing this I was thinking about how we could take it beyond the month of May, beyond the social awareness campaign, and these stories needed to be told. The work I was doing turned into an afterschool program about respect, “no means no”, and other wonderful conversations around empowerment.
Dr. Andrea – Last year was so painful for many of us. So I’m really grateful that 2018 already is focused on speaking up, and there’s a new energy in the air! I feel like so many new initiatives have come up suddenly – it’s quite a moment in history.
Missy – It absolutely is Time to Rise up! I’m so honored to be a part of this movement. As Gandhi said, “We think the opposite of love is hate, but it isn’t, it is fear.” And I think that society is so driven by being afraid – and so we are in dire need of waking up and seeing what we really have in this world. That is the most important thing.
Dr. Andrea – There are some challenges and experiences in this book that the authors have been through and shared, that I think would have driven me to just crawl under my duvet and not come out! And yet, you all have risen up, and I think it really shows the dynamic potential of the human spirit. I say this all the time, but I believe if one human has this inside of us, that means we all have the potential to tap into that power.
So tell us about your mission at the Gandhi Global Center for Peace.
Missy – Well I kept trying to pursue acting, and the universe kept telling me that wasn’t my path. Then one day I was walking along Venice Beach and I saw a PETA booth with posters up about vivisection – and I knew that was the movement that I connected to. Then later when I got involved in the domestic violence campaign work, I got involved in women’s issues. Then I had my son and children’s issues came into view too – so it’s all God’s creatures for me.
Gandhi doesn’t advocate any one faith, but that God is truth. Through the Gandhi Global Center for Peace, we will continue to share messages from genuine causes – this is an opportunity to share stories, philosophies, and help to lift people up.
I do think that if Gandhi were alive today, he would be on the forefront of the vegan movement.
Dr. Andrea – So now, everyday people like you and me are really being called to walk our talk. You know how I feel about veganism! And tell us about Gaia Talks!
Missy – Gaia Talks – The Earth Speaks; it’s not like TED talks being a one-person talk, although I do love those, but more like open conversations. I’m looking forward to doing a talk with you soon, when you visit Everest.
We are on a living planet – we act like we don’t need the water, the plants. But we do! And we need to listen more to indigenous people on nurturing and protecting our planet.
Dr. Andrea – The idea of flying around the world, to sacred sites, and inviting local experts to get together for these conversations, this sounds really powerful! And how interesting to not only hear about the sacred site, but to be in it too. I think this is more than entertainment, but it will be transformational.
Missy – I believe that we are moving towards empowering ourselves, and planting these seeds to grow the awareness of what’s happening on the planet.
If you would like to learn more about Arun and Missy’s work at the Gandhi Global Center for Peace, you can visit their site here: http://gandhicenterforpeace.org/
To find out more about V the Change, and to get some simple tips to get you started on a more plant-based lifestyle, take a look at Be Magazine.
Want to watch our interview on YouTube? Scroll to the bottom of this post.
To get your copy of Time to Rise with our special free gifts, head here to see more, order your copy, and be inspired: http://www.timetorise.me/
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