Showing posts from October 6, 2013

Daily Inspirational Message for October 12, 2013

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand.
– Les Brown
As the years go by, I have been surprised by how much more I treasure my friends from long ago, even when I haven’t seen them or talked to them in years. Decades ago, I had a friend from France who devotedly wrote to me for many months after he and his wife moved away. At that time, I believed myself too busy for all of those snail mail letters, but I’m now sad that I let that friendship slip away. If I had known back then what I know now, I would have made more of an effort to stay in touch with him and a number of other wonderful souls, for I’ve learned that time and physical distance aren’t obstacles to true friendship. If you have a dear friend who lives far away, I hope you do something today to let them know how much they mean to you.

See the Goodness

What if you could eagerly look forward to the things you now resent and avoid? What if you could find genuine enjoyment in the things that now frustrate you?

The fact is, you can do all that and more. Because you are in control of the way you see each and every part of your life.

Just imagine the power and freedom of not being intimidated by those things that now intimidate you. Just imagine not being blinded by fear, frustration, resentment or envy.

Such a powerful, effective state is well within your reach, right now. It’s just a matter of making the choice to see each thing in life from a more positive perspective.

Instead of fighting against what you must do, you can be enjoying and benefiting from it. Instead of living in a world that resists you, you can be living in a world that supports you.

The quality of your life is driven by the quality of your perspective. See the goodness, and that goodness will most certainly fill your world.

— Ralph Marston

The Overview Effect: Insights From Astronauts

Forty years ago, the astronauts of Apollo 8 orbited the moon for the first time and snapped the iconic "Blue Marble" photographs of the earth from space. It was not only an image of stunning beauty; it represented a powerful new perspective of earthly life and its place within the cosmos. It produced a radical shift in self-awareness. The earth has a unity and cohesion we understand intellectually, but which we have only been able to see and feel viscerally through this astonishing view from the outside. This short film, "Overview," brings together astronauts, who convey their first-hand experience of the "overview effect," and philosophers, who place this cosmic perspective in theoretical context. The film explores how the image of earth from space is a critical catalyst for transcending our sense of individuality and separation, development of a whole-earth perspective, and changing patterns of behavior that can lead to a sustainable approach to life on…

Daily Inspirational Message for October 11, 2013

If you attach to the negative behavior of others, it brings you down to their level.
– Guru Singh
What does it mean to attach to the negative behavior of others? I think it means allowing that behavior to stain us on the inside: to think about it constantly, to get upset about it, to worry about it and – most damaging of all – to wrongly assume that we can do something to make that person think, feel or behave as we believe they should. The world is full of all kinds of people; some are simply in the habit of taking their pain and anger out on others, and nothing we say or do is likely to change that. When people act out and act up, we can smile upon them with compassion without getting sucked into their negativity; the key is to remember that they are just where they need to be to learn whatever they need to learn, and it’s not our responsibility to teach them, rescue them, or even participate in their endless dramas.

Relaxing Peace

Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is relax. Constantly worrying about being more effective is not what makes you more effective.

What makes you more effective is living with authenticity. What makes you more effective is staying focused on a meaningful purpose.

Give yourself the time and space to remember the best of who you are and what you truly care about. Give yourself the benefit of a peaceful, relaxed perspective.

Much of what is urgent is not particularly important. Step back from the noisy, breathless confusion and fall gently into a feeling of real peace.

Take time to breathe deeply and calmly, to experience, to wonder, to love, and to live. Take time to see the goodness, and to make a little more of it.

Within you is the potential for healing, relaxing peace. Let it come and let it be.

— Ralph Marston

A Philly School's Big Bet on Non Violence

So often our mindset is that we must 'control' violence, that we must set out to ensure that violence has no way of inserting itself onto the path we walk each day. And, with respect to our children, we instinctively build fortresses to shield them from harm and injury. But, in doing so aren't we instilling an attitude of continuous fear? Read what happens when a school in the most dangerous section of Philadelphia 'threw aside' its metal detectors and began to focus their energy where it was most needed - that of the heart of their students.

Daily Inspirational Message for October 10, 2013

Angels come in many shapes and sizes, and most of them are not invisible.
– Martha N. Beck
I have a friend from high school who is deeply spiritual, who is walking her spiritual talk like no one I’ve ever seen. She has adopted four medically complicated children from other countries, gotten them the surgeries and other medical treatments they needed, and given them a wonderful home and family. She has literally rescued these children from death or profound misery, and she is even now trying to adopt more. As I’ve followed her adoption journeys on Facebook, I’ve been amazed at how many obstacles she has had to overcome to fulfill her mission, and how unrelenting she’s been in following her heart. There are wonderful people all around us every day; they race into burning buildings to rescue strangers; they devote their lives to saving babies from across the globe; when someone tries to steal from the blind,they stand up and speak out, and when that doesn’t work, they pull out their own s…

Energy of Intention

Life can often leave you feeling stuck or trapped in an undesirable position. Yet no matter how confining your situation may be, there is always a positive way forward.

Even though your options may be very limited, you do still have some powerful choices. Even in a difficult, highly challenging situation, there are real and present possibilities for great improvement.

The first thing to do is to refuse to see yourself as a victim. By taking full responsibility for your situation, you give yourself the power to change it for the better.

Next, instead of fretting about the way things are, develop a clear and compelling vision of how you want your life to be. Somewhere within the realm of possibility is a realistic goal that will make things much better for you.

Find that goal, focus on it, refine it, and make it so desirable that you cannot help but move toward it. Fill your awareness with your vision of a positive outcome, working enthusiastically and relentlessly to find and…

The Heroic Imagination Project

What makes a hero? Are they exceptional people, or ordinary people who do extraordinary deeds? Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus in psychology from Stanford, and pioneer behind the infamous Stanford Prisoner Experiment, is working with high school students in Oakland and Los Altos to find the answer. Read more about his efforts to catalyze our "heroic imaginations" and inspire everyday heroes across the globe.

Richer and Richer

The way to be rich is to realize how rich you are. The way to be rich is to express and to live the unique abundance that is yours.

It’s not what you get that makes you rich. It’s what you do with all you have.

The way to be truly rich is to make good, meaningful use of what you have. The way to be exceptionally rich is to be generous with all that you are.

The abundance of the universe is literally everywhere. What transforms that abundance into real richness is your choice to make purposeful, loving use of it.

Each day is overflowing with possibilities for new richness. See the best possibilities, act on them, and find true delight in making life richer and richer.

Make joyful use of each moment, and sincerely give the best of who you are. Live a life that is rich indeed.

— Ralph Marston

Life, Love & Uncle Don's Last Visit

"That first night, we didn't get to bed until four; it was as if we'd all agreed to wring every last bit of life out of these few days together. Thursday night I baked a six-layer cake I'd found in Bon Appetit... we were singing happy birthday to Uncle Don, as he turned eighty-eight. "You know," he said, "you live alone for so long, and then people do something like this for you, it just makes you want to weep."" In this beautiful, and moving piece Heather O'Shea recounts a visit from relatives that was filled with love, laughter, life -- and lessons from the leaving of it all.

Daily Inspirational Message for October 8, 2013

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
– Helen Keller
Over the years, I have counseled many, many people who were heartbroken over the end of a relationship, who spent years grieving over the past. In some cases, they wasted decades looking over their shoulders, and all the while, all around them people were going on with their lives in all sorts of exciting and wonderful ways. Most of those troubled individuals did eventually let go, move on, and end up happier than ever. There are a few, however, who are ensuring that their best and happiest days are indeed behind them by refusing to let go of old feelings of anger, pain or loss. While it naturally takes time to heal, we have the power to prolong that healing process or to speed it up. When we open our eyes and hearts to the endless blessings of the present and the rich potentials of the future, we accelerate the healing pr…

Looking Happy and Being Happy

Happiness is not based on the way you appear. Happiness is an authentic state of being that you can choose.

When you are truly happy, people around you will no doubt see it. Yet there’s so much more to being happy than merely looking happy.

If you’re striving to impress others with how happy you are, you’re not happy at all. Let go of the striving and the needs, and allow happiness.

You can be happy doing nothing. You can be happy doing anything.
Happiness does not come from the situation the person is in. Happiness comes from the person who is in the situation.

Be the person to allow happiness. And you can experience it at any and every time and place.

— Ralph Marston

Peter Buffett: We're Not Doing Enough to Change the World

"We're always talking about lifting people out of poverty from living on two dollars a day, but I am thinking, how can we all live on two dollars a day?" If this quote sounds to you like an intriguing and different approach to philanthropy and world change, you may want to read on to learn more about Peter Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett, and his critique of "philanthropic colonialism."

Daily Inspirational Message for October 7, 2013

Miracles: You do not have to look for them. They are there, 24-7, beaming like radio waves all around you. Put up the antenna, turn up the volume.
– Hugh Elliott
I recently read astory about a family who saw a miraclein what at first appeared to be an annoying inconvenience. When an employee was rude to them at one restaurant, they left for a restaurant down the street, where they were in the right place at the right time to save an elderly woman from a dangerous fall. I think these sorts of things happen all the time, but only those who are really awake and paying attention notice the magic in them. I also believe that the more we act on our feelings, impulses and intuitions, the more we end up in the right place at the right time to be blessed with miracles for ourselves, and to play a part in miracles for others.

Love This Day

Love this day and it will be good to you. Treasure this opportunity to experience life, and the experience will be beautiful.

The progress you seek does not always come in the ways you thought it would. Yet when you seek, and persist, and expect it, that progress does always come.

Don’t let yourself become too troubled by the troubles. Remind yourself to take it all in stride, and you will find great value and richness along the way.

Go forward with clear and positive intentions, seeking to make a beneficial difference for all. In whatever may happen, you will discover new ways to further your authentic purpose.

In its every aspect, life is predominately the way you consider it to be. Consider it to be unique, precious, miraculous, filled with opportunity and abundance, and give each moment of your reality a positive flavor.

Make the decision to love this day, this place, this moment, this special experience of life with the people around you. And there will be so very much to l…

Harlem Hate Crime Victim: I'm Feeling Gratitude

"People keep asking me what it feels like to have been assaulted in a hate crime. Honestly, I can't come up with a better response than simply 'gratitude.' I'm thankful for a few reasons. If they had attacked me any more violently, I may not be awake right now to tell my story. If they had attacked me even half an hour earlier, they would have harmed my wife and one-year-old son. [...] My wife and I plan to raise our son in this same Harlem neighborhood, and I can't help but see the kids who assaulted me as somehow linked to him. ... My hope is that our family continues to be a part of this neighborhood, from visiting parks and playgrounds to building relationships through our work." Prabhjot Singh, an assistant professor at Columbia University, shares a powerful reflection.

Daily Inspirational Message for October 6, 2013

Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it so seriously.
– Hunter S. Thompson
I think we have a tendency to associate seriousness with wisdom, but in my experience, a fine sense of humor is a far greater indication that someone has lived a lot of hard lessons, and learned that most of the stuff we worry about is just plain silly. When I think of the people I know who laugh the most, they are not the people who have had the easiest lives – just the opposite. As a firefighter, my husband has had to respond to thousands of serious emergencies in his life, and he is the first one to laugh at the stuff most of us worry about. Maybe things will go smoothly, and maybe they won’t. Either way, nearly everything we worry about will turn out fine in the end, so we might as well find a way to smile and enjoy it all.

How the Mind Can Heal the Heart

Daniel Goleman, author of "Emotional Intelligence" and "Social Intelligence", and Tara Bennett-Goleman, psychotherapist and author of "Emotional Alchemy," explain the science behind "mind whispering" - a technique for overcoming self-defeating habits of mind. Mind whispering is an integration of Eastern and Western psychologies and draws on mindfulness, cognitive therapy, and Buddhist psychology to re-pattern self-defeating habits. This article shares more...