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Sasha Kalcheff-Korn On How To Leave a Lasting Legacy With a Successful & Effective Nonprofit Organization

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A strong mission: This is important not only for the founder but also for the organization’s employees as well as its audience. The purpose and legacy always connects back to the core of the mission.


Sasha Kalcheff-Korn brings a wealth of experience in human rights, education and communications to her role at Realm of Caring. Long interested in the intersection between cannabis legalization and human rights both here and abroad, Sasha is passionate about connecting individuals to effective plant-based methodologies for medicine and care. In her current role, Sasha also helps to keep Realm of Caring’s internal teams, clients and the community at large educated on industry developments and scientific advancements by producing webinars, writing blogs and more. She also represents Realm of Caring in the Marijuana Working Group of Colorado Springs.

After earning her master’s degree in International Human Rights from the University of Denver, Sasha received her elementary teaching license from the University of Colorado. She first taught with the service organization AmeriCorps, then sixth-grade math in Colorado Springs for three years. Seeking a career shift that would allow her to utilize her master’s and work for a nonprofit she is passionate about, she joined the Realm of Caring team in 2019. Sasha, who is also a trained yoga instructor, lives in Colorado with her husband and son.


Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

In no particular order, the first is volunteering at a school in rural Uganda where I assisted with education and health initiatives. This solidified my desire to work in education and with nonprofits. The second would be having my son, who helped me slow down and focus on what is most important — one’s personal health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life. I want him to be proud of the work his mom accomplishes but also know that she is always there for him.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? We would love to hear a few stories or examples.

Patience, gratitude, and determination. Each requires being thoughtful. For example, in the classroom it was critical to be patient with the students’ varied learning styles and not provide an answer, but rather the tools. When leading, it is not only important to show gratitude toward individuals but also acknowledge what they’ve each taught you to personally understand. Overall, people deserve sincere acknowledgment to know they are valued.

What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made since you started working at Realm of Caring?

How far our work is from being done when it comes to cannabinoid research. We have helped an incredible amount of individuals worldwide, including advocating for access to plant-based therapies; educating about the benefits and how to use cannabis in a responsible way; and publishing three research papers so far from data collected through our groundbreaking Observational Research Registry (ORR). We have done a lot but as we are witnessing, the cannabis consumer has outpaced the scientific and medical world, and Realm of Caring is what we need to bridge the gap between the two.

Can you please tell our readers more about how you or your organization intends to make a significant social impact?

Our goal is to improve lives through research, education, and community. By funding and conducting research, we learn more about cannabis and its effects while legitimizing the therapy. Education empowers consumers to select the best products for their individual needs and informs healthcare professionals. Through community, we spread the truth about cannabis and expand access to those in need.

What makes you feel passionate about this cause more than any other?

This cause embodies so much that I am passionate about — human rights, education, policy change, and access to more healthcare options. People are still facing criminal charges for personal health decisions while more than half of our country believes cannabis should be legalized. This is a decades-long problem that needs to be solved, and Realm of Caring is doing the work to get there.

Without naming names, could you share a story about an individual who benefitted from your initiatives?

We thoroughly vet all products before recommending them to our clients. We have had a client find a quality, affordable product at an appropriate dose that helped them become seizure- and pharmaceutical-free for five years and counting. Hearing that a parent reconnected with their child once the seizures eased, or a veteran with severe PTSD being able to hug his kids again, or that a man suffering from dementia was able to have a conversation with his spouse for the first time in 10 years, is an invaluable part of this work. These are our reasons for showing up day after day.

We all want to help and to live a life of purpose. What are three actions anyone could take to help address the root cause of the problem you’re trying to solve?

The first would be gaining a personal understanding of the potential medical benefits of cannabinoid therapy by sourcing accurate information through readily available research to help further reduce the stigma.

The second action would be to share the information among your friends or write letters to your government representatives at the state and federal levels so that more informed decisions can be made. Realm of Caring creates weekly blogs and shares client success stories to help facilitate these conversations.

The third action would be sending individuals with questions about starting cannabinoid therapy to Realm of Caring so they may receive accurate information that is backed by research. We offer free, one-on-one support for anyone seeking answers.

Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need To Create A Successful & Effective Nonprofit That Leaves A Lasting Legacy?” Please share a story or example for each.

1) A strong mission: This is important not only for the founder but also for the organization’s employees as well as its audience. The purpose and legacy always connects back to the core of the mission.

2) Passionate individuals: Everyone on the Realm of Caring team has a personal “why” of their connection to the organization. We also have a beautiful group of sponsors, volunteers, and ambassadors who passionately work to support us and spread our message.

3) A Belief Statement: Realm of Caring believes that “the quality of life matters.” This belief statement is something we see in our work every day. This helps provide a reason behind the information we communicate and the research we do.

4) Agility: The ability to pivot easily is necessary to stay up to date on the constantly changing legislation. This also speaks to maintaining flexibility when it comes to campaigns that fall flat or the need for increased engagement.

5) Delivering Accurate Information: Our role is unique as we focus on educating the public, which means the important work we release must be factual. We have a team of educated individuals including an involved board of directors and a reputable scientific advisory board to ensure we are doing that.

How has the pandemic changed your definition of success?

Success needs to be considered not just as accomplishments but the collaboration, flexibility and balance it took to achieve them. To remain and / or become successful during the pandemic meant finding new ways to collaborate, change the course of action quickly, and maintain a work-life balance.

How do you get inspired after an inevitable setback?

Re-watching videos of Realm of Caring founder’s Heather Jackson and Paige Figi talking about our origin story — remembering the bravery of these two parents and their children, Zaki Jackson and Charlotte Figi, will always be an inspiration to me. Our clients also inspire me daily, especially their stories. Their success stories give me optimism and their stories of struggle remind me that we have a lot more work to do and a lot more people to help.

Is there a person in the world who you would like to talk to, to share the idea behind Realm of Caring?

Honestly, I’d talk to as many people who will listen! We are here for those who have exhausted all other medical resources and those who prefer the plant-based therapy route. We are here to educate doctors, legislators, the cannabis industry, consumers and more. We hope to right the wrongs of the war on drugs by challenging stigmas and legitimizing cannabinoid therapy through observational research.

How can our readers follow your progress online?

Follow us on social media for the latest including important legislation, webinar invites and developing research. We also regularly post educational blogs on our website and have a weekly newsletter with recent progress and the latest information.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.

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Is Crypto Safe? What You Need to Know

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Is Crypto Safe? What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know About Crypto Security

The cryptocurrency market is booming with more new coins and startups than ever, but they’re not all created equal. Cryptocurrency is a trailblazing technology that could overhaul the financial systems of the future. However, it’s wise to do your homework before actively trading or investing in cryptocurrencies with price volatility and privacy concerns.

What Is A Cryptocurrency?

Digital money that makes use of cryptography to safeguard transactions and regulate the generation of new units is called Cryptocurrency. It’s called a cryptocurrency because it relies on cryptography’s encrypted form of data. Cryptography also provides anonymity for users by obscuring their identity and, indeed, all aspects of their transactions.

Cryptocurrencies can be mined, traded or used to purchase goods and services. A person would have to rely on already established relationships with merchants or banks to make purchases in the past. 

How Safe Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is more than an idea to create a digital form of currency at its core. Cybercriminals have learned that they can target these digital currencies because they are not regulated and not backed by any government. In theory, it’s tough to track down the source or the location of cryptocurrency transactions.

Cryptocurrencies are a prime target opening for cybercriminals since it’s difficult to trace transactions and identify the individuals involved.

How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrencies

Cybersecurity in Cryptocurrency is a common issue and one that you should be aware of if considering an investment. Though the concerns are real, these problems can be mitigated mainly through a few simple security steps before trading or investing in Cryptocurrency.

Here are some basics steps to help secure your account from Cryptocurrency transactions:

Password Protection

Enable two-step authentication and password protect your computer when searching for cryptocurrency exchanges. This will prevent anyone from accessing your machines if they are stolen or hacked.

Use a Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network where you can hide your proper IP address. If a hacker were to try and break into your account, they would see an IP address from the VPN, so it would be impossible to gain access.

Backup Your Wallet

Backup information that includes public address and private keys. This will help you retrieve any lost currency or prevent others from transferring Cryptocurrency from your wallet.

Use Multiple Wallets

Using more than one Cryptocurrency wallet helps protect your investment from theft even if your account is compromised. If you have a cryptocurrency wallet on multiple devices and platforms, it’s easy to keep a backup of your information in case of an account breach.

What Are the Risks Associated with Cryptocurrency?

With all the blockchain talk about decentralization and anonymity, getting swept up in the hype is easy. Cryptocurrency has become a rapidly growing portion of the investing market, and many retail investors are looking to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies.

While the technology behind cryptocurrencies is impressive, risks are rushing, making trading and investing in Cryptocurrency risky for inexperienced traders. 

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams come in many forms, including emails and text messages. These scams can occur on an individual or a more general level, as most commonly happens. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes information on detecting phishing scams. Still, it’s hard to tell the difference between a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange and an imposter because most large cryptocurrency exchanges do not have contact information listed for regulatory reasons.

Volatility

Cryptocurrency is a very volatile market that can swing wildly in either direction in almost no time at all. All cryptocurrencies are responsive to news, which can cause price changes within minutes or hours. There are also several different types of currencies, so you may have a hard time getting used to the volatility of each type. If you see only one digital currency (e.g., Bitcoin), it’s easy to assume stability when it’s still highly volatile.

Online Payments

While using crypto for online payments is a convenient method to pay for products and services, there are significant hazards involved with such transactions. When you pay for anything using bitcoin, you have no way of knowing the seller’s identity or having your payment details validated by a third party. You’re on your own if there’s an issue with the transaction.

With online purchases, you don’t have access to a complaint process, and there is no recourse if something goes wrong. This all results in anonymous transactions that pose risks online. As long as Cryptocurrency continues its rapid growth, this will be an iCryptocurrencyilers and sellers will need to solve.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency is a highly sought-after currency for investors due to its untraceable nature and ability to exchange value without interference from a third party, such as a bank. However, this feature also makes it an appealing target for cybercriminals.

If you’re considering investing or trading in Cryptocurrency, educate yourself on the processes used to make transactions and invest your money safely and securely with reliable services that vet every transaction before letting it go through. Before diving in headfirst, make sure you research the different types of Cryptocurrency available and what risks are associated with each one. For more information on Cryptocurrency and its different types, visit our blog now!

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Where did the Zero Go?

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For as long as I can remember, I always looked around me, mainly at other boys, to get a sense of where I stood, of who I was.

It’s as if I had drawn a horizontal line with pluses on one side and minuses on the other and my position was the zero. There was that really cool kid, he was a plus, there was the dorky boy, he was a minus… At times being in the presence of pluses was inspiring but it was mostly threatening, because at that moment, it didn’t matter how many minuses existed or whether my “zero’ was pretty high up there, all I could see was a plus, and that made me the minus.

This applied to everything; from being good at sports to drawing or reading or the way I looked or how smart I was or how popular or cool I felt at any given moment. It wasn’t really about how I was feeling though, I could feel like a million bucks but if a plus walked in along any of the possible categories that I valued, my insecurities would immediately trigger.

I became really good at growing and repositioning my zero, or my reference point, and became a master at gauging others, categorizing and comparing. I didn’t just compare myself with the world, I was also comparing myself to different versions of myself…where was I at any given moment, compared to where I had been before, or where I could be, or even worse… where I should be.

As some of the things I valued started to loose importance, new ones came online. Having the coolest Star-wars set got traded for being liked by the most girls, having academic success got traded for being regarded as witty and successful, being the coolest got replaced by getting to be the kindest…and so it went.

Spiritual Ego

Then entered spirituality, the fix for all my struggles, or so I thought. It didn’t actually stop the comparison, because I turned it into the new playing field; The new standard where I got to measure and prove how special I was. There was a new flag to catch, and that was enlightenment.

I got really good at sustaining a very high level of consciousness, at being present, not judging people, being happy and all the things that came with paying close attention to my thoughts and emotions. I became particularly good at showing people how spiritual I was.

What a perfect solution… no more pluses to encounter because spirituality now trumped all. Someone could be successful and good looking and everything else that would make me feel less, but odds were they weren’t more spiritual than me; my spiritual zero was really up there. It felt like I had figured things out.

My sense of self was so invested in this new spiritual identity that I defended it with all I had. Seeing my attachment to it, was truly humbling.

Game Over

I realized taking the next step required the willingness to let go of my spiritual crutch. I had to come to terms with my addiction. My fix was the next high, amazing insight or awakening experience. In essence, not much different from looking for the next toy or business deal and believing it was going to make me happy. Accepting this, meant recognizing the fate of the game I was playing: no matter how meaningful it seemed at the time, no success had ever been enough, no amount of recognition or validation had ever ended my need for it, no spiritual high had ever quenched that thirst; I was an addict and it was never going to be enough.

As if just having been defeated for the millionth time at a video game and throwing the game controller on the floor, I felt the air sucked out of me and the engines behind that drive snuffing out. It wasn’t the bells and whistles of winning; it was the blinking “game-over“ sign on the screen.

A New Energy

Life started to take on a different flavor from that point on. The old energy of attaining comes and visits but it’s seen as an old friend that used to be so familiar and I’ve grown apart from. The zero seems to bubble up but it’s now seen as just a thought looking for friction and contrast to find its bearings.

Old dynamics still sometimes play themselves out, emotions still surface and I sometimes find myself reacting in the ways I used to. Now however, they seem to happen within a larger context and they are recognized as just temporary experiences not as things that define an “me” or a zero.

When these thoughts or emotions are happening in the absence of a reference point, there’s no separation between the experience and the experiencer. All that’s left, is a deep intimacy with life that moves through the world with an open heart and mind.

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Food Is Medicine And What We Eat Is Important

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Your mental state is a critical component of your physical health. And when you’re under a lot of stress, you might not be eating the healthy food that provides nutrients for fighting anxiety and depression. So when we examine what we’ve been eating, most of us discover that the decisions we’ve been making in the name of simplicity, convenience, or saving time have been damaging to our total health – body, mind, and spirit.

A person’s diet is a direct reflection of their health. When a person does not eat the right foods, their body breaks down. This can lead to an overall decrease in quality of life and many other diseases linked to improper nutrition. In North America, our current diet mainly consists of an excess of grain, sugar, fried and fatty foods. As a result, disorders including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and certain malignancies are becoming increasingly widespread.

The science of food has always been discussed; however, with recent technological innovations in food processing and agriculture, people have enjoyed more convenient foods that are less expensive than ever before. Unfortunately, with every convenience comes a trade-off. Smart foods are often packed with sugar, salt, and calories, leading to poor health in some individuals. 

To understand what a person is putting into their body, it’s essential to realize that the small molecules in food are responsible for allowing our bodies to function. These small molecules are called nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes. A nutrient is not a value unless absorbed by the body through a specific pathway. For example, if you absorb calcium without vitamin D, your body will not use that calcium. 

Eating a balanced diet keeps you healthy, but it helps reduce your stress. For example, eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants because they help augment your immune response and prevent toxins from damaging your cells. Vitamins A, C, and E serve as antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals are toxic products of metabolism that cause damage to your cells. Experts claim that they are responsible for the aging process. Good sources of these vitamins are deeply-colored vegetables- green leafy, yellow, and orange vegetables, such as squash, broccoli, kale, spinach, and carrots.

Iron is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, and it mainly functions to deliver oxygen to your cells. Hence, an iron deficiency, medically termed Iron-deficiency anemia, is associated with weakness, easy fatigability, and pale skin. Tea, coffee, red wine, grapes, and berries are rich in antioxidants that function the same as your vitamins A, C, and E. 
You need a diet that’s healthy and balanced – and one that can fit comfortably into your busy lifestyle.

Here are some of the recommended dietary guidelines.

Eat a diet high in fresh vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. 

Exercise every other day to release endorphins, feel good, get the blood flowing, and reduce stress levels. 

Eat salt only when you need it, but not too much as your body does not need it. Many people with anxiety are hypothyroid or have low magnesium. When your body needs more sodium, it can indicate that you are not producing enough cortisol or are dehydrated. If you experience chronic anxiety, I recommend working with a physician to run tests on cortisol levels and then take salt supplements as needed. Use spices like turmeric, ginger, curry, and aromatic herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage, and basil.
Eat low-fat meals because they will cause a minor spike in blood sugar levels: think lean meats, eggs, vegetables, and nuts; avoid dairy if it makes you feel anxious. 

Drink lots of water — keep hydrated all day — ideally at least half a gallon if possible — your brain needs water to function optimally! 

Avoid foods that you know will make you feel bad, such as dairy, even with low-fat content. You can cut out dairy and not worry about it! 

Avoid sugar, caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, and any other substance that makes you feel bad or increases anxiety levels. Also, avoid coffee — drinking more than one cup a day can cause anxiety in some people. Coffee is also dehydrating and inhibits the absorption of minerals from food/water/supplements — try caffeinated water as a substitute for coffee if you like the caffeine kick. 

Find a natural health professional that you can talk to or work with to quickly get the results you want. 

Healthy foods and nutrition can help you stay fit, but they can also assist you in treating disease. When you nurture your body physically with these nutrient-dense foods, your mental capacities improve, as does your spiritual welfare. Moreover, because your spiritual health is at its best, it will radiate to the exterior world, causing others to notice you’re happier and more relaxed, and your stress levels have decreased dramatically.

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