Showing posts from 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote December 31 2014

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.”

Isn’t it wonderful to have opportunities to be able to create yourself? We arrive brand new, no preconceived perceptions or beliefs, little sponges eager and willing to absorb what life has to offer. Then, what happens? If we’re not careful we get to a stage in life when we realize we’re not sure who we are or where we’re going and feel a need to “find our self.” Isn’t that sad? Much better to have decided early on what you want from life, what you have to offer, the goals you want to achieve, what gives you most joy, and do your best to attain these. However, I believe it’s never too late to get out there and do what you have to do to make your life the life you want to lead. So, off you go………..

The Seinfeld Strategy To Stop Procrastination

Jerry Seinfeld, co-creator of one of the longest running comedy series in television has a brilliant strategy for getting things done. And, it's not what you might think. It involves taking your mind off the results, and focusing on the joy of the process instead. Read more to learn the importance of 'not breaking the chain.'

Daily Inspirational Quote December 30 2014

“There is a difference between giving up, and knowing when you have had enough.”

We’ve all been there haven’t we? Something or someone in our life causing us to struggle in an effort to stay strong and battle through and move forward. Sometimes it’s not too much of a struggle but, at other times, we can find ourselves battling a major, ongoing, energy and soul sapping problem. When that happens we often get to a point where to continue would be futile and perhaps cause more harm and/or grief. It’s being able to realize this and act on it that enables us to walk away. This is acting through strength not weakness.

Anne Lamott On Grief, Grace & Gratitude

In this sharp yet poignant piece, writer Anne Lamott reflects on mortality and what it means to be truly alive. She writes of her experience taking a walk with a friend who is dying, "First of all, friends like this may not even think of themselves as dying, although they clearly are, according to recent scans and gentle doctors' reports. But no, they see themselves as fully alive. They are living and doing as much as they can, as well as they can, for as long as they can." Anne goes on to share a conversation she had with a friend processing a fatal diagnosis. "I have what everyone wants, but no one would be willing to pay." said Anne's friend. What are they? "The two most important things. I got forced into loving myself. And I'm not afraid of dying anymore." Read on for more of Anne's eloquent thoughts on the charged complexity of our human experience."…

Balance Your Earth, Air, Fire And Water - Natalie Harte

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Balance is an elusive quality that we all strive for, and the New Year is a particularly good time for us to start fresh in this arena. As pagans, the essence of our beliefs is captured by the notion of balance—the balance of the seasons, of light and dark, night and day, death and rebirth, god and goddess, body and spirit. One of the main ways this is reflected is in our use of the elements in ritual—invoking each in their quarter, and honoring them in turn. But the elements are important for more than just ritual. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, when present in complementary amounts, help to keep us steady, healthy and whole.

Balancing the elements is the theme of Deborah Lipp’s enjoyable and insightful book, The Way of Four. Not only does she take a serious look at the elements, their history, and their roles in our life, but she makes it fun with quizzes and fills it with practical suggestions for finding balance.…

365 Ways To Attract Good Luck - Richard Webster

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

People have always been fascinated by luck, and throughout history, numerous methods have been devised to try to entice good luck. Luck explains how one person experiences a series of fortunate opportunities while someone else with equal abilities does not. Luck can be fickle, too. Someone can be lucky one day, and unlucky the next. Some people are lucky in certain areas of their lives, and unlucky in others. It’s a rare person who experiences a constant stream of good luck.

About thirty years ago, I met a man who told me was never lucky. Everything he attempted failed, and he thought it was a waste of effort to try anything as fate always conspired against him. I’ve thought about him often over the years. I found him fascinating, as I was convinced his own thoughts were creating his apparent bad luck. If I hadn’t met him, I may never have become interested in the subject of luck. Consequently, meeting him was probably a lucky day…

3 Tips To Make Better Choices For The New Year - Djuna Wojton

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

We’ve ushered in a New Year, and with it comes an opportunity to make a fresh start. You have probably made your list of resolutions for the coming year with renewed optimism, but creating positive changes can be challenging.

Even if you are determined to follow through this year, it is easy to get off track; making a change is a gradual process that takes time. You need support and a deep commitment to keep at it when the going gets rough. Perhaps you have made the same declaration in previous years and failed. If so, it is easy to slip into feeling dis-empowered and resigned. Or maybe you want to accomplish too many things at once, or have set your expectations too high, thereby setting yourself up for failure.

Once the holiday parties are over and life slips back into its ordinary routine, the tendency is to go back into old automatic patterns and forget you ever wanted to make any ...…

Daily Inspirational Quote December 29 2014

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

Isn’t a pity when we have so many dreams we want to realize and the only thing stopping us is our fear of failure? We listen to other people, stronger and more confident than us, giving us the unasked for advice that we need to conquer our fear and just go for what we want. Not that easy for some of us is it? Think about it though. We either determine what we want and plan how to go about getting it, or we fail before we start by being afraid. Do we really want the “f” word to win? Of course we don’t, we want the “s” (success) word to win so push fear aside and reach for success.

The Hero At The Checkout Counter

When a musician encounters an extraordinary unsung hero at the checkout counter of his neighborhood grocery store, he is so moved that he cannot get the experience out of his mind for weeks. His thoughts and feelings eventually manifest into words on his blog: "When real heroism steps out of a movie, or off the pages of a has the capacity to touch a part of you that has been sleeping. It reaches right into your soul, and reminds you what you could be...No matter what storms life may bring, when you meet real heroism, it reminds you what you sometimes forget: that you can rise to the occasion." Read on for the full story of Amitabhan's inspiring experience with a humble hero, and what he learned from it.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 28 2014

“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

Anybody who remarks that life has not shaped them is fooling themselves. Life shapes us from the moment we first draw breath. The remarkable thing is that we are able, through our own actions, to absorb how and what we learn, how we relate to other people or situations, how we progress through our life path. We learn lessons along the way, some easily learned, some not so easily. Every action, every experience shapes us into who we choose to become. I say choose because we are, to a certain extent, masters of our own destinies, so it’s down to us what we retain and what we discard in order to grow into the best we can be in life.

How Does Grace Happen?

Grace has the capacity to transcend even our darkest of spaces. It is a sudden miracle, basked in the light of loving-kindness. And, grace has the capacity to heal. "These moments of grace," author Mary Traina writes, "teach us that there is always more to life than we can imagine." But, how do we open our hearts to grace? By way of answer, this article offers up a series of simple, yet moving real-life stories.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 27 2014

“Don’t let someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything.”

I know a lot of people who are quick to offer me advice even if I haven’t asked for it. They are adamant that they are the only person in the whole world who knows exactly how I can solve my problem, my issue or reach the right decision. However, the truth is that they don’t, in fact, have anything realistic or helpful to offer me because they have never experienced my situation personally. They may be acting with what they believe are good intentions and that’s fair enough, but when I want advice I want it from people I trust and that I know have been through similar, if not the same, issues and who have learned a lesson from it so I know where I’m going to be told how to help myself.

The Magic Of A Garden

When the Cleveland Elementary School principal asked Mary Schriner, who was applying for a special education kindergarten teacher position, why she wanted to work there, Schriner responded, "Because your school looks like a prison yard, and I'd like to change that." Over the next six years, Schriner established six school gardens that serve as real-world classrooms, started an ecoliteracy program for all students, and facilitated student research that is making tangible changes in the district's food program. "This garden is not so much about plants as it is about working on's about community in every way" says Schriner. Read more here.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 26 2014

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

At the end of our day when we recall how the time passed and how we filled the hours, do we think more of what we got from the day or what we put into it? Perhaps your “harvest” is represented by the money you earned for a job well done, praise for a meal you cooked or accomplishing a goal etc. These are all transitory events while, making a new friend, beginning a course of learning or gaining a new skill will plant a seed we can grow and nurture forever.

Preserving The World's Most Delicate Sites

California-based nonprofit, Global Heritage Fund, is taking a unique approach to preserving our world's most endangered sites. They are bypassing the often tangled ties of bureaucracy, to invest directly into the community which surrounds it. By bringing together highly skilled engineers and archeologists, they are able to save some of our world's most sacred sites. And, in doing so, they're working to preserve an integral part of our cultural history. Take a look at some of these breathtaking sites, and learn more in this interview with the founder.

Best Christmas Ever

What will make this the best Christmas Day ever is love. Give it, live it, share it, allow it and treasure the fact that you can.

You don’t need anything elaborate or complicated to make this special day the best one yet. It’s a simple matter of allowing life’s inherent goodness to shine through you in every moment.

Let go of your need for things to be a certain way. Give your love, your joy and authentic gratitude to whatever way this day unfolds.

Don’t impose any conditions on your enjoyment of the time today. Enjoy the people you’re with and the things you do just because you have the opportunity to do so.

Take the unnecessary pressure off yourself and off everyone else. Accept this special day for what it is, however it may be, and enjoy giving your unconditional love to all.

You deserve a beautiful experience on this beautiful, meaningful day. Choose now to accept it, to allow it and to graciously share the joy of living with everyone around you.

— Ralph Marston

2014 Absolutely Christmas Holiday

Ah! Christmas, the biggest holiday of the year. Christmas has both a strong religious and traditional meaning. It has a certain feel, all to itself, that you usually do not feel at any other time of the year. It creates within us, a sense of kindness and concern for fellow man. At no other time are we more generous and giving. It creates a sense of family and belonging.

Everyone comes home for the Christmas holiday. It is a time of family and giving. It is truly a time that comes but once a year. Christmas is celebrated in most countries around the world!

And so, you are invited to ride along. Join in celebration of the magic, the wonder and the spirit of this holiday season.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 25 2014

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world and, behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

I love Christmas time. Everybody seems friendlier, more ready to say hello to a stranger, smiley faces evident everywhere, kindnesses being done and appreciated. Children (and me) buzzing with excitement and expectation. However, it’s also the time when I wish that people all over the world could feel the Christmas Spirit all year round and not just for a short time every year. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? As it’s very unlikely that this will happen, it’s up to each and every one of us to do our bit in using our own personal Christmas magic to make the world a better place each and every day.

Free Hugs With Arie Moyal

Holidays can be a lonely and stressful time, particularly for those with mental health issues. Arie Moyal spends two weeks each year around the Christmas holidays providing support to travelers through free hugs. Virginia Satir, a noted family therapist, claimed that we need 4 hugs a day for survival; 8 hugs a day for maintenance; and 12 hugs a day for growth. And scientists have determined that one of the reasons hugs makes you feel good is that they stimulate the production of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to our sense of connectedness, and as a result, happiness. "You have a better day when you get hugs."

Daily Inspirational Quote December 24 2014

“If you love life, life will love you back.”

Isn’t that nice to know? I think it’s very easy for us all to get so caught up in just living day-to-day and dealing with all our commitments, jobs and responsibilities that we tend to forget how fortunate we are to be alive. We need to make a conscious effort to rediscover our joy of life. The pleasure we get from the company and love of our family and friends, a good book, doing something we enjoy that give us pleasure. When we are able, and indeed willing, to do this, we open up and allow life to bring the joy and excitement that we have perhaps let slip away back in to fill our waking hours with the happiness and sense of well being we have been lacking which is a good thing…right?

Repaying A Homeless Man's Kindness

After a homeless man offered a college student in England all the money he had so she'd be able to get home safely, the woman is paying it forward -- in a massive way. Throughout the past few days, Dominique Harrison-Bentzen has raised almost $50,000 for the good Samaritan and for other homeless individuals in her community. Read her touching story here.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 23 2014

“Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.”

If you’re anything like me when I fall asleep the thoughts going round in my head are to do with the mundane tasks I have to do the following day or, occasionally, my favorite movie star begging me for a date. However, wouldn’t it be wonderful to fall asleep with the plans for a new adventure, an exciting new venture involving a dream you’ve had for a while or a holiday somewhere you’ve always wanted to go but never got round to arranging? Well, what’s stopping you? Make tonight the night you fall asleep with the intention of making your dreams a reality and wake up tomorrow raring to get started!

Critical Steps To Integrating Life & Work

Often times we can feel overwhelmed by what we see as competing values: how can I be a good family member, a loving spouse, a supportive friend, pursue my hobbies and interests and maintain my career? For many of us integrating all of these elements into a fulfilling and rewarding personal life and career is difficult. Stewart D. Friedman's book, "Leading the Life You Want", gives insight on how to create harmony between these components. This piece from Knowledge@Wharton shares more.

Sentimental Gifts For The Holidays - Kala Ambrose

Fifteen years ago on the day after Thanksgiving, which is now known as Black Friday, I woke up at 3am and went with some family members to stand in line at a store which opened at 4am, in order to shop the sales. The mood was festive, lighthearted and the people we chatted with in the line were full of the holiday spirit. Several people offered to go on a coffee and doughnut run for our large group and we all pitched in money and relaxed together savoring the warmth of the coffee and munching away on doughnuts that were hot and fresh from the bakery. It was a unique experience, the group of us there in line, looking to shop early and save some money along the way.

Most everyone there had children and were hoping to find good deals on the items their children wanted this year. Grandparents were staying at their homes to watch the grandchildren and it was an opportunity to sneak out of the house while the kids were sleeping and do some Santa shopping. We all chatted ...…

Decorate for Christmas Like The Ancients - Kala Ambrose

Decorate Like the Ancients with Boughs of Evergreen and Holly.

I admit it, I’m a tree lover. I’ve written poetry and short stories about trees and have an ongoing crush with a gorgeous river birch tree in my backyard. I feel confident that several of my past lives were spent as part of a Druid community and trees hold a special place in my heart.

At this time of year, one of my favorite sights and smells of the holiday season in the home is the greenery. Ancient cultures celebrated bringing in the green for thousands of years, adorning their homes with evergreen branches and boughs and adding a little mistletoe to keep the season merry and bright.

I’m known for my tree decorating skills and have an elaborate seven stage decorating ritual for my Christmas trees. Yes, I said trees, as I’m known to have several around the home each year.  With all that I love during the holidays, there’s one aspect to tree decorating that I’ve never been comfortable with, which is the tradition popularized …

The Spirit and History of the Season of Yule - Kala Ambrose

Do you know the history and origin of Christmas? The traditions that you hold near and dear may not be as old as you think they are. Early Christians didn’t celebrate birthdays and the actual birth date of Jesus is still unknown. Some astrologers and historians have surmised that the location of the star over Bethlehem and the presence of lambs in the story represent a spring birth, but the actual date was never recorded. (For more information on this topic, check out my interview with Courtney Roberts, about her book and research on The Star of the Magi on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show.)

The origin of this holiday comes from over 2000 years ago, originating in northern Europe. The holiday began as a pagan tradition known as Yule, which was celebrated for 12 days.  During this time, Scandinavian people celebrated the Norse God Odin, a bearded god who flew through the air on a horse and handed out gifts. The Pagan Romans held a seven-day festival of Saturnalia beginning on Dece…

Daily Inspirational Quote December 22 2014

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings on a human journey.”

Oh I so agree with this! I believe we are all spiritual beings and that our journey through life as a human is something we are required to do by a Higher Power. The trials and tribulations each of us experience is pre-ordained although how we deal with these is not. This is our path to navigate to the best of our ability using the tools we are gifted with at birth, and every step we take, every lesson we learn, is recognized and recorded. Our purpose is to learn as it’s all about how much we learn, how we learn, what we do with what we learn….. no more no less.

Unpacking a Gift from 21 Years Ago

While cleaning out her dresser, a woman stumbles across a beautiful handwoven purse that was gifted to her by a special teacher more than two decades ago. A question from her husband leads her to reflect for the first time on what prompted that teacher's thoughtful gesture. What followed was a beautiful insight on the ways in which our lives are supported by the kindness of countless people. Read Guri Mehta's reflections on 'being raised by a village', and watch the infectious music video that encapsulates the spirit of her words.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 21 2014

“It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.”

I’ve always believed that things that happen to us happen for a reason. Whether we choose to make the most of it or think “poor me” is up to the individual. All of us have, at one time or another, had relationship problems, suffered loss or financial hardship, experienced family or work issues, etc., and we are all different in how we deal with what life throws at us. If we can retain a “glass half full” rather than a “glass half empty” ethic, then we’re on our way to, not only dealing with our problems and moving on but building on our ability to do so again in the future, perhaps making it easier too than the time before.

How One Doctor And His Menagerie Transformed A Nursing Home

When Bill Thomas became medical director of a nursing home he decided to attack what he termed the Three Plagues of nursing home existence -- boredom, loneliness and helplessness -- by bringing in some life. Cats, dogs, birds and green plants in every room, and visiting children after school, triggered unexpected transformations. Some medication doses were lowered, residents were invigorated in body and spirit, and a few patients were even able to return to independent homes. This excerpt from "Being Mortal", Atul Gawande's powerful new book on end-of-life care shares the extraordinary story of Bill Thomas' work.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 20 2014

“Fear does not have any special power unless you empower it by submitting to it.”

Being afraid is not always a bad thing as it’s our own in-built warning system about real or perceived danger, so we should always acknowledge the reason for feeling afraid. However, on the other hand, it is too easy to allow fear to overwhelm us and therefore prevent us from doing something we want to that yes, may cause us to be fearful but which, in the long run, could enhance our lives. When we allow fear to dictate what we do or don’t do, we restrict the failures and triumphs we may have experienced so, to quote an old saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

A 19-Year-Old Artist's Book Of Untranslatable Words

When you start with a heartfelt offering, you never know where life may take you next. Read on for the tale of Ella Sanders, whose creative illustrations about untranslatable words grew from a blog post into a published book now out from Random House. You'll also get a sampling of some marvelous, untranslatable words from around the world. Like Mangata -- Swedish for "the road-like reflection of the moon in water."

Daily Inspirational Quote December 19 2014

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

We are all born with our own individual, unique abilities and, as we travel through life, we alone choose how to build on these and use them on our journey. However, it’s the choices we make in how we use our abilities that define us. We can either choose to use them with honorable intentions or, alternatively, not so honorable intentions. It is this individual intent that the outside world becomes aware of and therefore knows exactly what we are all about, i.e. where we are coming from and where we are going, and judges us accordingly.

The 21-Day Challenge: A New Way To Practice Our Values

Many of us seem to recognize the importance of making personal changes in our lives, and yet we struggle to put them into practice. Forbes Magazine points out that less than 10 percent of us actually stick to our New Years resolutions. Habits are hard to break and it turns out that as much as 40 percent of all our actions are habitual. We don't consciously do them. It's hard to change what we aren't conscious of. But thankfully, it's not impossible. So, how do we go about trading in old, unwholesome habits for new, positive ones, in a sustainable way? A special kind of three-week challenge just might hold the answer!

Daily Inspirational Quote December 18 2014

“A new outlook brightens your image and brings new friends.”

There’s nothing better than discovering a new hobby or joining a group of like-minded people in exploring the world of literature, the countryside, places of historical interest, or taking an interest in what’s around you. We can become settled in our ways and forget that there is a wonderful world out there filled with exciting possibilities just waiting for us to stir ourselves and actually do something about it. When we do….well, why didn’t we do this before? What were we waiting for? Our new friends will bring new life to us and accompany us on our adventures to come, how wonderful is that?

An Incredible Story of a Young Woman's Courage

Malvika Iyer is the essence of courage and optimism. At 13, a freak accident caused her to lose both her hands and severely damaged her legs, raising serious doubts about whether she would ever walk again. But young Malvika braved the odds and emerged victorious. Today she is a dedicated social worker, a motivational speaker, a model for accessible clothing in India, and part of the "Global Shakers" initiative of the World Economic Forum. In this interview, Malvika gives a first-person account of her ordeal and how she overcame it to become the incredible young woman she is today.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 16 2014

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of hope.”

Some of us spend our whole lives fitting in with everybody else’s rules, regulations, beliefs, etc., and perhaps don’t even realize we’re doing it as it’s the way we’ve always done things and what’s wrong with that? However, sometimes it’s good to shake off conformity and actually do what you want for a change. So what if you feel like taking a day off work during the week and walking in the woods or just going on a shopping spree. Instead of spending your weekends doing the same old, same old, do something different, something more adventurous. This might be the beginning of a new phase in your life that brings you joy and freedom to be yourself, so what are you waiting for………?”

Poems To Color In: Beloved Poems Turned Interactive Art

Gifted artist and filmmaker Ellie Cross shares her story of an unusual "Stone Soup" gathering in Mumbai that she attended, and of the inspiration that led her to create charming, illustrated versions of poems by Rilke, Rumi, Mary Oliver and others. Titled "Poems To Color In", Ellie's series invites readers to print out and shade in the depicted verses. Her work gives people an opportunity to add a touch of the personal to these beloved poems. Read the backstory in Ellie's own words and see samples of her captivating work here.

Transform Your Holidays With Incense - Susyn Blair-Hunt, Ms.D.

Incense is a powerful, inexpensive way to fill our surroundings with optimum health, joy and prosperity this holiday season. With the right fragrance, we can transform our thoughts, release stress and cultivate inner peace. Now that another hectic holiday season is upon us, we’re wise to utilize the calming vibes of incense to maintain our sense of balance. Incense also makes a wonderful gift or stocking stuffer.

Keep in mind, these scents can be used at any time of the year to evoke their special magic. The following is a brief explanation of my favorite empowering aromas, their properties, and how they can transform your world.

Amber – Burn amber to promote beauty, protection, youth, vibrancy and spiritual awakening. Amber is also a powerful conductor when researching past life memories or working through old issues to clear them out and move on.

Frankincense/Myrrh – These two fragrances are often burned together to dispel negativity, purify surroundings, attract good luck, and surroun…

Rituals For A Stress-Free Holiday - Susyn Blair-Hunt, Ms.D.

At this time of year, our lives should be filled with joy and contentment, but in the days and weeks preceding the holidays, we often get caught up in all the stress and commercialism. As maintaining spiritual balance can be especially challenging now, here are a few tried and true rituals to help you move with joy and wonder through the remaining days of 2014.

People sometimes misunderstand the term rituals. In reality, if you are working with the highest intentions, rituals are designed to draw something into your life that will improve it or help rid you of troublesome energy that is keeping you from living the life you want to lead. When practiced faithfully, rituals can create deep transformation within you, strengthen your spiritual being, and create a shield of protection and power around you.

Stress is one of the greatest drains on our joy. As we add more activities and obligations to our list than normal and rush from one place to the next, it’s hard not to get harried. The fol…

Kajama’s Astrological Gift-Giving Guide - Susyn Blair-Hunt, Ms.D.

You can find the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list by considering the unique aspects of their astrological sun sign. Of course, everyone will appreciate a gift of enlightenment, so consider giving a gift certificate for a psychic or astrological reading on the new year ahead. You can purchase gift certificates from Susyn at

ARIES: For the Aries folks on your list, keep in mind that they love movement. Books, movies or gifts related to cars, travel or the latest exercise trends will get their attention. Since they’re fire signs, you can’t go wrong with candles, incense or fragrances. Aries also love to read up on the latest news, so consider extending their favorite magazine subscriptions or adding a new one to their collection. Pennywise Aries will love a gift certificate to their favorite store so they can shop for the best deals at all the post-holiday clearance sales.

TAURUS: Taurus is the sign of luxury, so consider a gift certificate to their favori…

Daily Inspirational Quote December 15 2014

“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”

My lovely Dad used to have a saying, “You worry, you die”, “You don’t worry, you die…..why worry?” If only it were that simple? None of us want to worry do we? We don’t want to be tossing and turning at night and struggling to get through the day because of worry but, we’re human beings, and it’s something we do whether we choose to or not. However, if we can distance ourselves just a little and think “outside the box,” we’d realize that worrying doesn’t help resolve anything at all. There’s no easy answer as to how to stop yourself worrying but remember everything passes … nothing stays the same whether we waste time worrying or not.

What It Really Means To Live Our Mission

"How are we so optimistic, so careful not to trip and yet do trip, and then get up and say OK?" Maira Kalman asked in pondering happiness and existence. What is it that propels us to get up after loss, after heartbreak, after failure? That's precisely what the Reverend Victoria Safford explores in her essay "The Small Work in the Great Work."

Daily Inspirational Quote December 14 2014

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

I guess we’ve all been in a situation where we find out who our true friends are. You know the scenario. We’re in financial trouble, our relationship isn’t working, our work situation isn’t looking very good so, what do we do? We call our friends and ask for their help. Sometimes it’s just for reassurance that things will get better and “hey, I’m always here for you.” Other times we ask for financial aid just for a short while until things get better when we’ll repay our debt. It’s at times like these that people we believed to be friends will fade into the background maybe because they don’t want to be put on the spot or they’re dealing with their own problems or perhaps just because they don’t think enough about you to really care. This is when your true friend or friends can be counted. The ones who have their own problems too but who care about you enough to put their problems on hold to help you out and make…

An Open Letter To The Children Of The World

If you wrote an open letter to the children of the world, would you apologize to them? Following the tragic Newtown shooting that took the lives of 20 children exactly two years ago today, Randall Amster wrote such a letter. In it he addresses not just children but adults, as well: "This is not an excuse for our actions. We've let ourselves get caught up in the pace of our lives, and we've become distracted from the important issues that we all need to work on together." Read his moving epistle here.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 13 2014

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

It’s not easy to cast ourselves adrift and trust that things will be okay and we won’t come to any harm on the way to where we will ultimately end up, but think about it for a moment. Do we really want to be stuck where we are forever. Never making new discoveries about ourselves or others, never feeling the flutter in our tummies that we get when we know something exciting is about to happen or when we take a chance or a risk in life? Sometimes it’s good to just “let go” and “cast off” to discover the other shores out there that we’ve yet to explore.

Micro Moments Of Love

"Love is an emotion, a momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike," writes Barbara Frederickson. Yet this transient state holds much promise beyond feeling good; love can be poignant in shaping perceptions of who we are, how we relate to the world, and even our health. Far from being a private event, love is an experience shared between people when they connect in the spirit of goodness. And that connection is at the heart of love's most telling effects: stretching us beyond our boundaries, inspiring awareness, and inviting us into a state of oneness.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 12 2014

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

We have no control over the winds of life and indeed are at their mercy as to where they send us. However, being aware that this is life as we know it, and taking steps to adjust our outlook and our plans as and when necessary, means that being off-course now and then needn’t be a disaster. Being prepared to adjust and change allows us to carry on regardless of where we find ourselves and, indeed, if not enjoy the experience, to at least cope with it while it lasts.

How One Woman's Love Is Transforming Delhi's Brothels

G.B. Road houses a total of 77 brothels. Home to 4,000 women, and 1,500 children, it is the largest red light district in Delhi, India. An area no woman would go voluntarily. Or so you'd think. But a few years ago, Gitanjali Babbar walked right in. She quite literally knocked on the brothel doors, walked up the narrow staircases, and talked to the people there -- sipped tea with the brothel owners, listened, laughed, and came to know the women as her sisters, their children as her family. Three and half years ago, she launched Kat-Katha, a nonprofit that's quietly transformed parts of G.B. Road's brothels into classrooms, community centers, and safe spaces for the women and their children to learn, explore creative arts, and come alive with a sense of connection, expression, and possibility. Read more about Gitanjali's courageous journey and compassionate spirit here.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 11 2014

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open.”

Over time our minds naturally fill with opinions, the minutia of day to day living, etc. until we have our set ideas and opinions on most things and the people and situations we experience daily. We tend not to be as open as we were especially when we were younger as we’ve spent years storing things in our minds that we believe will serve us well in life. Basically, we’re closed to what life has to offer. However, we need to realize that an open mind offers so many possibilities, so many opportunities to embrace new experiences, exciting ideas, and to learn and keep learning. Remember, an open mind is a healthy mind.

Priorities & The Art of Pruning:

As life gets busier and busier, many find that it is almost impossible to juggle new ideas, new challenges or perhaps even new relationships. According to James Clear, this is where the analogy of pruning a rose bush comes into play: before we exhaust ourselves with trying to perfect the big picture perfect, we need to make careful and difficult decisions about what to cut out or trim back on. Doing this allows our lives to blossom to their full potential. Clear shares more about how to prioritize and "prune" our lives in this piece.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 10 2014

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety or possessions – we cannot be free.”

Holding on to anger, anxiety, possessions or indeed issues from the past or the present, tethers us with an invisible cord of our own making, preventing us from being free to live our lives the way they should be lived, full of joy and happiness. The power to cut this cord and gain our freedom lies within each of us and we need to take control, grasp the scissors firmly and sever the cord forever then watch it disappear back to wherever it began never to imprison us again. Embrace and enjoy your newfound freedom with a happy heart.

One Man's Organized Response To Disaster

When tech executive David Campbell learned about the devastation in Thailand caused by the 2004 tsunami, he was moved to action. Armed with a wireless router and duct tape he flew to Thailand where, against the odds he organized a chaotic assortment of people from around the world into a team of effective volunteers. When Campbell returned home to the U.S., Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Using the model he developed in Thailand, Campbell was on the ground within a week in Biloxi, MS, eventually rallying over 1,500 people to help. In 2005 Campbell launched the non-profit All Hands Volunteers to support disaster-struck communities all over the globe. To date the organization has mobilized over 28,000 volunteers. Read on to learn more about this inspiring effort.

Love Never Dies—Just Ask a Spirit - Mark Anthony

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

One of the most rewarding things about communicating with spirits is helping people to understand that love is eternal. When someone you love dies, your relationship with that person does not cease to exist. Instead, it is transformed from a physical relationship into a spiritual one. Love transcending physical death is one of many healing messages from the Other Side presented in my upcoming book, Never Letting Go.

What makes Never Letting Go different, and me as the author different, from other books by psychic mediums is that I bridge a gap between two different worlds. By day, I’m a criminal defense attorney, and by night, I’m a psychic medium who communicates with spirits. This seems to surprise a lot of people, who tend to think of law and mediumship as two opposing professions. I don’t see it that way, since both jobs are about helping people. As a lawyer I solve legal problems, and as a medium I help people cope with loss.…

Calls to Mystic Alice: How One Woman Embraces the Gift of Spirit Communication - Alice Rose Morgan

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

People often ask me how I get the information when I do psychic readings for other people. The answer is easy: My Spooks. They come up with the truths and insights and revelations, and all I do is pass it along.

Who are my Spooks? They are primarily my guides—the two souls who assist me in this lifetime—a couple of master teachers, and my mother, who was also a reader. Then there are the guides or helpers of the person I’m reading for, and any other soul or entity from the other side who wants to add their two bits at that moment.

Who is with us during a reading very much depends on the subject matter being discussed during the reading. On one occasion, for example, I was reading for a woman who put her son on the phone because they were both very interested in UFOs and the possibility of contacting someone from another galaxy or planet. ...

Beyond Reincarnation: Measuring a Lifetime - Joe H. Slate, PhD

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

“From the cradle to the grave” frames only a small segment of your existence as an evolving soul. Beyond Reincarnation offers for the first time a lifespan approach to the study of reincarnation. It explores the full landscape of your existence—from your pre-existence before your first lifetime to your post-existence beyond your last. At no point does the book rule out the possibility of lifetimes in other realities—perhaps on a distant planet or even some other unknown universe.

I first became interested in reincarnation as an eight-year-old kid growing up in the Deep South. At that early age, I discovered in a vivid dream that my fear of water was past-life related. In the dream, I was a toddler playing in the water along a French coastline when I was swept into the deep by a strong undercurrent. Awakening in the night, I knew at once that I had discovered the source of my fear. The next day, I went swimming for the first time w…

Daily Inspirational Quote December 9 2014

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Perhaps we feel insignificant in the world; that nothing we say or do matters very much in the grand scheme of things. However, let’s imagine that everybody on the planet took the time to say hello and smile at a stranger, or lend a hand to somebody needing help, even listening compassionately or without being judgmental to someone’s tale of woe. Wow! How amazing would that be? How many people would be touched and comforted by an act of kindness by someone close to them or a stranger. Think what a happy planet this would and could be.

34 Images of Heart-Warming Humanity

Popular news and media outlets often report negative stories and rarely shed light on all the good that happens on a daily basis. Here are 34 stories of random acts of kindness that will warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 8 2014

“Sometimes our greatest insight comes from our failure, not from our accomplishments.”

When we accomplish or achieve our goals too easily or we never fail in our attempts at success often we stop thinking too much about putting so much hard work in or becoming complacent at our accomplishments. However, when we do fail, only then do we begin to wonder why we failed and what we need to do differently in order to achieve success again in the future. Failure allows us the opportunity to stop, examine and rethink which can lead us to greater insight than before thus enabling us to realize how precious our accomplishments are.

Not All About You

Let the best of life come from you. But don’t try to make life be all about you.

You are knowledgeable, skilled, resourceful, experienced, creative and worthy of the best in your own unique way. Yet you don’t know it all, and can’t do it all, and wouldn’t even want to.

Much of life’s beauty comes from being a part of something larger than yourself. If you confine yourself inside a tight, impenetrable shell, you miss the best opportunities for fulfillment and enrichment.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to acknowledge and embrace the value of others. Raise up your own life by enthusiastically giving your genuine respect, compassion, cooperation, friendship and love.

Multiply your joy, multiply your opportunities for learning, multiply your effectiveness and your best possibilities. Live beyond yourself, where it’s not all about you.

Living your life can be a miraculous experience. And when you live beyond yourself, life gets even better.

— Ralph Marston

Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella

It was a cold rain, as author Kristi Jo Jedlicki made her way to the homeless shelter where she worked. While struggling to keep her umbrella from blowing away, she noticed an old friend standing by the doorway - his eyes gleaming with a soul filling joy, and in spite of the dreadful rain. When asked, he said simply "Waiting for you, of course. I had to see how my friend was doing and to make sure your day got off to a good start." It's when we act selflessly for the benefit of others, that our heart may truly begin to smile. Read more to learn how kindness can change the world.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 7 2014

“Everything you need comes to you in perfect time, space and sequence.”

Occasionally we rail against fate or life itself when we don’t get what we want when we want it and feel aggrieved and hard done by. Thinking about it in the future though, how many times have you looked back and realized that actually, when you did get what you wanted, it arrived at the most fortuitous time for you and slotted in perfectly where and when you most needed it to? Trust in fate, karma, whatever you believe in, to know best and trust that, when it’s meant to happen it will.

Sarah Van Gelder: Unity In Diversity

Growing up under conditions of privilege in India, Sarah Van Gelder developed an interest in the underlying causes of poverty and suffering from a young age. Driven by her quest to find answers and solutions, she established Yes!Magazine, a publication that focuses on positive and uplifting initiatives by individuals and groups to foster social justice and equality around the world. Read further for samples of stories featured in Yes! and for Sarah's insights into how humanity can embrace diversity to create a more just world.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 6 2014

“If you do what you do well enough, long enough, consistently enough and fast enough, you will win the race.”

Being tenacious is the key to achieving not just being first past the post but actually getting as far as the post. Life can throw us some hard knocks and setbacks along the way and it’s all too easy to throw in the towel and give up but, believing you can succeed and, indeed will succeed, and persevering again and again, perhaps in the face of fierce opposition, will see you triumph in the end through your own tenacity.

The Science Of Attention

Neuroscientist Adele Diamond is challenging basic assumptions about education. Her focus on the brain's capacity for executive function -- also called "the science of attention" -- has also shown promise for children with ADHD and autism, and for narrowing the achievement gap between children of differing socioeconomic backgrounds.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 5 2014

“Nothing is stronger than habit.”

Get into the habit of being thankful, of being grateful for the people and things in your life. It’s easy to get into the habit of seeing the “cup half empty” rather than half full. We all have habits whether we like it or not and habit is a strength so use habit to enhance how you look at life and count your blessings rather than nurture habits that detract from the quality of the life you hope to lead.

Making The Leap

There are any number of reasons one can think of to not do something. In this beguiling illustrated strip Grant Snider playfully reminds us that, for all our potential excuses, there's nothing quite the like the feeling of leaping.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 4 2014

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”

Often we fail to notice people because they do their utmost to remain in the shadows or the fringes of our society. Looking on rather than participating in what’s going on around them. However, just because they are quiet and keep themselves to themselves doesn’t mean that their minds aren’t working and, in fact, are probably doing a lot more thinking than the rest of us who are busy with our interests and making our opinions known to anybody who will listen. They take the time to really think and ponder so that when they do have something to say it may be a new innovative idea, the solution to an on-going problem, or a profound statement. Never underestimate the quiet people in our midst but rather pay attention when they do have something to share with the rest of us.

The Smart Way To Stick To Habits

When trying to form new, meaningful habits, there are always the usual suspects getting in your way -- forgetfulness, apathy, time constraints and self-doubt. Writer Leo Babauta offers up key guidelines for overcoming each of these common obstacles and articulates a smart habit system to help ensure success.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 3 2014

“Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason it will.”

We all carry debris from our past which, if we allow it to, will overshadow every decision or opportunity presented to us in the future and leave us with feelings of low self-esteem or self-confidence in being decisive or taking action. By all means learn and accept but ultimately move on. Use the lessons life has taught us on our path to persevere and be confident in reaching and attaining what we want for ourselves in life.

Give Kindness

Somewhere in just about every person is the longing to give kindness, to be diligent, to do great work and to make a difference in life. Sadly, those longings are often deeply buried by fears, insecurities, doubts, mistrust, disillusionment and so much more.

When people feel that their goodness is not appreciated, they can give up on that goodness. Even so, the potential for it is still very much there.

Imagine what would happen if you simply allowed other people to be kind and helpful to you by being kind and helpful yourself. Imagine what would happen if you could encourage the goodness in others by giving new life and energy to your own goodness.

Though such an approach sounds seriously naive when you consider all the disillusioned people in the world, where it truly has power is on a personal level. The fact is, you can very effectively share your goodness with one other person at a time, and can awaken the latent goodness in that person.

Though it may not immediately be returned to y…

FoodShift: Reducing Waste, Fighting Hunger

"Dana Frasz is a food entrepreneur. She wants to recycle food, taking the food that's not consumed and putting it into the hands of those who cannot afford it. She wants companies to stop wasting so much food -- at the grocery story and in restaurants. She wants us all to be aware of how much we're throwing in the dustbin. Too idealistic? Frasz would argue otherwise. Hear her talk about her passion -- FoodShift."

Daily Inspirational Quote December 2 2014

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”

Go for it!! Whatever motivates you to do the best at what you love then harness that, use it to keep your aim true and, if you don’t succeed in reaching your own personal “moon” then finding yourself among the beautiful inspiring illumination of the stars won’t be too much of a disappointment and perhaps where you were meant to land in the first place.

Why a Culture of Compassion Matters

"What is companionate love?" To Sigal Barsade, a Wharton School management professor, it is when workers "who are together day in and day out, ask and care about each other's work and even non-work issues...They are careful of each other's feelings. They show compassion when things don't go well." Not surprisingly, Barsade and a colleague found that this important aspect of one's workplace ultimately helped employee morale, teamwork and customer satisfaction. Adds Barsade, "Management can do something about this. They should be thinking about the emotional culture."

Creative Visualization Techniques - Shakti Gawain

An excerpt from The Relationship Handbook

Creative visualization is the technique of using your natural, creative imagination in a more conscious way to create what you truly want. Discovering the technique of creative visualization has been magical for millions of people around the world. It is being successfully used in the fields of health, wellness, spirituality, creative arts, psychotherapy, business, and sports, and it can have an impact in every area of your life.

When we refer to “visualization,” it is important to mention that mental imagery is different for everyone. Some people may “see” images and pictures; others receive their information through color, sounds, and objects or experience a simple sensing or knowing. All these forms work, and however you experience it is just right. Just feeling your desired state of things is the most important thing.

One of the most valuable ways to use creative visualization is in improving our relationships. Although many people share stor…

The Path of Relationship - Shakti Gawain

An excerpt from The Relationship Handbook

Most of us have a desire to connect deeply with others. We long to give and receive love and to share with each other in many ways. Often, however, we find the closeness we desire to be elusive. Relationships of all kinds may come and go, or they may change. At times, relationships can be very painful. Many of us have not had very good role models for relating to others, especially within our families or among those closest to us. We are all doing the best we can to figure out how to be the best parents, friends, partners, brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons to one another. As the old adage goes, “When we were born, they forgot to send the manual!”

Fortunately, we are living in a time of great change and discovery. We’re learning new ways of living more consciously, and one of the main ways we are learning is through our relationships. More and more people are seeking help and understanding about how relationships work — not just our intimate…

The Relationship Handbook – Shakti’s Story

Shakti’s Story
An excerpt from The Relationship Handbook by Shakti Gawain

By the time I was in my mid-thirties, my books were selling well and I was getting to be very well known. I traveled all over the world speaking, teaching, and leading workshops. I loved it. I had great passion for my work and found working with my students and clients very rewarding. Unfortunately, my work also consumed my life. Too much of my awareness was centered on, connected to, or based in my work, and I started to sense a great imbalance in my life.

My personal life had taken a backseat to my professional life. I was having difficulties with my romantic relationships in particular; I found that difficult patterns were increasingly repeating themselves in those relationships. This became a painful process for me, and I was longing to find a true partner. I wasn’t finding the intimate connection I was looking for or the partner I thought I was ready for.

Of course, I only thought I was ready. I had done a lot …

Daily Inspirational Quote December 1 2014

“Not everything you try can be done. But nothing can be done until you try.”

Life is an amazing journey and we should be prepared to embrace what enhances or challenges us along the way. If we don’t reach for the stars and at least attempt to turn our dreams into reality we will never know if we would have succeeded. Self-doubt is natural when contemplating a new path or pursuing what we want from life but much better to have tried and failed than never to have attempted it in the first place. Don’t be left with nothing but regret for the things you should have strived for but rather pride in the fact that you tried anyway.

Mr. Wright's Law of Love

No one falls asleep in Jeffrey Wright's high school physics class. Exploding pumpkins, hovercrafts and an experiment involving a bed of nails, a cinder block and a sledgehammer, are some of the crazy stunts that keep the students enthralled. But it is Mr. Wright's experiences as a father of a special needs son, and his teachings about love, family, and the meaning of life that leave the deepest impact on his students. This inspiring short video shares more.

Daily Inspirational Quote November 30 2014

Look to your health and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience, for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of,
a blessing money can’t buy.”
– Izaak Walton

The other day, I learned that a dear friend is gravely ill. The doctors are still running tests on him and don’t know what’s wrong, but the outlook isn’t good. I was in the midst of my normal routine of running here and there, racing to fit in all the things I think I “have” to do, when I got the call about my friend. Then it hit me: what if I truly had little time? What would really be important then? It’s too easy to forget how lucky we are just to be able to be busy accomplishing mundane tasks. Now and then as you’re racing the clock, remember that all our days on earth are numbered, and reserve some time for the things that really matter the most to you.

Daily Inspirational Quote November 29 2014

“If you have a great ambition, take as big a step as possible in the direction of fulfilling it. The step may only be a tiny one, but trust that it may be the largest one possible for now.”
– Mildred McAfee

Many of us carry deep dreams in our hearts for years and even lifetimes simply because we fail to take the next step. Every great goal is composed of many big and little components. While persistence will help us inch our way forward, at some point, we’ll need raw courage to go any farther. In any grand endeavor, there comes a time when we have to go out on a limb, act boldly and take a leap of faith. Whatever the size of your next step, it must be taken sometime. Muster your courage and take action. It will build bridges, summon divine help, and leave you with no regrets.

Daily Inspirational Quote November 28 2014

“Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
– Swami Sivanada

I’m acquainted with a certain karate master whom everyone loves and admires. When he walks into a room, everyone notices, and many stop whatever they’re doing to await their chance to greet him. He is fully present for everyone he speaks to; you can feel his whole being behind his words and his handshake. In the course of a lifetime, we may meet but a handful of people who are truly extraordinary, who put all of themselves into every interaction, effort, word and deed. They are all out participants in life. Natural respect for great people is a message from our spirits, telling us that this is how to live. They are shining examples not only to admire, but to study and emulate.

Daily Inspirational Quote November 27 2014

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
– Willie Nelson

Everything you need to be truly happy is already yours. If you feel like you’re missing something or like life has been unfair to you, it’s all in your mind. Right now, you are alive and well enough to be reading this. The universe is on your side, and is in this moment delivering to you what you’ve been asking for: the key to finding happiness. Your world is rich with magic and blessings just waiting for you to open your eyes, to breathe them into your soul and enjoy their sweet fragrance. To find happiness, you have only to breathe more deeply of the blessings that are already yours.

Daily Inspirational Quote November 26 2014

“The more balanced our lives, the more serene we feel.”
– Ann Smith

I tend to be an all or nothing person — a recipe for stress. If I’m trying to lose weight, for example, I will go overboard and eat too little while working out too much, which leaves me low on energy and generally cranky. This morning I caught sight of myself naked in the mirror, and true to my nature, suddenly decided that in the course of about a week, I had “let myself go.” Logically, of course, I know that this doesn’t happen in a few days, and there is certainly no reason to take drastic measures just because I’ve relaxed my disciplines a little bit. This time, I’m going to try to take a moderate approach to feeling better, for I’ve learned that extreme reactions ultimately leave me feeling worse, while a gentle approach to life leads me to peace and lasting success.