5 Things I Learned From Loving Boobies For 15 Years

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Young people ask me this question all the time: how do you start a non profit? They usually ask me how it all works and if I think it’s a good road to take for their idea. Most of the time I casually giggle (because I’m always laughing) and tell them to get involved with a cause that speaks to their passion first, because the non profit life is challenging. I tell them to try volunteering, or organizing a fundraiser to see if the experience resonates with them. I owe it to them to be honest, but I also don’t want to discourage anyone from doing something for a cause that is close to their heart. I just want to make sure that they know all the avenues that they can take to serve their cause. I try to steer them in the direction of a B corp or to work with 1% For The Planet. Being a philanthropic and social do-gooder, who also happens to be a responsible and successful business person, is key to making the biggest impact. We need socially conscious businesses with passionate people running them just as much as we need people that are selflessly working for a cause. The best advice I can really give you is to follow your heart.

No matter what you do or who you do it for, if you have a dream or an idea or even just an inkling of a passionate glittery sparkle in your consciousness, follow that! That makes you real, that makes you authentic, that makes you feel your blood moving through your body, that makes you scared, overjoyed and panicked all at the same time, and that is something you can never regret. Live a life of passion and purpose whenever you can. Sure, I would like to own a house and make a lot of money and have a 401k, and maybe someday I will, but my passion for using art to educate my peers turned into something really special and I’m so glad it did. So here’s what I’ve learned from loving boobies for 15 years:

Be Your Own Health Advocate

We are always encouraging people to be their own health advocates. This is not easy. It’s much easier to just trust whatever doctor #1 tells you to do, but that may not be the best thing for you and your body. Knowing your body from a young age is important because you’ll learn what is normal and abnormal for you. There is no room for shyness, you gotta get clear, educate yourself and ask a million questions. One book that I have found to be truly helpful for many women diagnosed with breast cancer is the The Silver Lining by Holly Jacobs. This book is a really good little road map and tells you all the questions you should be asking any doctor (and it’s free)! Check it out.

Disease is Profitable

We focus on cancer risk reduction. I feel like in my lifetime this is something that I can do that can actually create behavioral change with the goal of ultimately less cancer diagnoses. Cancer is so big, there is no way I can tackle this entire disease for everyone in the world, but I can do my part. The flip side is that the medical business of cancer is very profitable. This is a reality that I’ve tried to deny, but had to accept over the years. Last year, there was an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases (that’s more than ALL of the people in San Diego!) and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. $6 billion dollars of your taxes go through federal agencies for cancer research. The National Cancer Institute states that the medical costs of cancer are $125 billion with a projected increase to $172 billion by 2020. All I’m saying is to ask questions. What makes sense to you? Why is there no effective screening tool for breast cancer diagnosis? Why are the death rates not getting any lower? Why does the protocol and process seem so old school? Yes, there are people out there that focus on prevention and treating the entire body, physical, and emotional. Find them!

Loving boobies! Is Not For Everyone

It’s still so hard to believe that a little bracelet caused so much controversy. The I love boobies! bracelet pissed off a lot of people. It was banned in many schools in every single state in our country and was the topic of a court case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. I designed this bracelet as a conversation starter, a way for young people to begin to be educated on a serious topic and to share their personal stores and experiences about breast cancer. I believe I did a good job and helped open a door about loving your body and your boobies and I am grateful to those that saw them as the genuine support tool that they were designed to be. At the end of the day If this is a cause you want to support but my bracelet made you mad in some way, choose an organization that resonates with you to support, spend your time supporting that one instead of spending your time to ranting on Keep A Breast.

Your Higher Purpose Told You So

Sometimes I’m lost and I seriously have no idea what I’m doing. I project out to the world what I want to see in myself, I want to be inspiring to me. I believe that I manifested this entire Keep A Breast experience because really deep down it’s something that I need for me. If I’m not honoring myself and taking care of me then I’m not serving KAB or anyone around me. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a big time fashion designer in NYC--clearly that was not what the universe had in mind for me. Whatever you do, do it with purpose, and if you hear that voice in your head telling you to get the hell out of there, listen to it! Living a life intently to my higher purpose fulfills me and helps everything in the world make sense to me. Every mistake is a lesson. Every moment is a gift.

Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork

Your mom probably always told you to share and get along! Well, she was right. There are thousands of breast cancer non profits in the US. Imagine if we all actually worked together for the greater good. What if all the organizations raising money for a cure actually worked together? I’m very fortunate to be in a unique space in the non profit community and I would just like to give major shout outs to the other non profit organizations and groups in my crew! We work together! We share resources, we elevate each other and support each other’s projects. We check in with each other on regular life stuff and also big picture business stuff. Breast Cancer Fund, Young Survival Coalition, Environmental Working Group, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Stupid Cancer, Giving Key’s, Teens Turning Green, Clean Water Action, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and Beauty Lies Truth. These are my people and they rock. Thank you for supporting us through 15 years of loving boobies. For wearing a bracelet or coming to an event or talking to a friend about doing a self check or sharing a post. We are here for you and for anyone that wants to live with the purpose of cancer prevention. Learn more about what we’ve been doing all these years and how you can help!

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Education, NoneMonica Schrock