Dr. Bender recounts powerfully moving experiences that motivate and inspire her work. She explains how to transform emotional challenges into strength and how to build important community connections that can further your mission. About Linda Bender: Dr. Linda Bender advocates for animals around the globe and teaches about the relationship between humans and animals. Her love of the natural world began in her childhood backyard. During the 14 years that she spent living in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, her veterinary work included the rescue, rehabilitation, and protection of wildlife. Her interest in spirituality and healing led her to found the Mind the Gap Wellness Center as well as a pet-therapy program. She is a certified practitioner of Energy for Life and is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization, From the Heart. She also authored a book titled “Animal Wisdom: Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals (Sacred Activism).” Personal mantra: "Not to hurt our humble brethren [the animals] is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: to be of service to them whenever they require it." ~ Saint Francis of Assisi One of her greatest challenges: Linda shares a deep, personal experience that gives us a glimpse into the emotional challenges of her work, and how she transforms them into her greatest gift. “In the ruin of heartbreak, you find a diamond of divine passion that can resurrect the dead.” ~Rumi When she knows the work she is doing is making a difference: It is in small moments, such as rescuing an animal that gives Dr. Bender her confirmation. Practical advice: Believe in yourself. You have to step into the arena as you are, in all your brokenness, with the courage to go forward. Keep things around that inspire you constantly. Stick with the cause and not the outcome. Don’t do it because you think you’re going to win the prize, but because it is your passion. Best strategies for funding: Ask. Personal practice that keeps her going on the tough days: A personal practice is absolutely critical. Start a meditation practice. We also have to find time to experience joy and to laugh. Recommended books and films: Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully Animal Wisdom: Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals (Sacred Activism) by Dr. Linda Bender Recommended tools or technologies: Indiegogo Idealist.