Showing posts from March 2, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for March 8, 2014

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”
- Henri Bergson

High school reunions are a great place to observe radical change. It’s amazing how some people turn out: those who were highly popular in high school, for example, may be miserable twenty years later, while some who were hardly even noticed have become successful and radiant. I’ve seen attractive, happy people end up shadows of their former selves, but I’ve also seen depressed, unhealthy people become vibrant and beautiful. It’s said that we get a brand-new body every seven years, meaning that every cell has been replaced in that time. This means that total personal transformation is possible! We are endlessly creating ourselves…some of us just do it more consciously than others.

Perspective of Peace

Nothing can intrude on the peace that is within you. Yet even the smallest thing can cover it up and hide it from your awareness.

Still, it is always there and you can always come back to it. Let go of whatever is blocking that peace, and it is yours to experience again.

Don’t let the outer disturbances cover up the peace that is within you. Instead, choose to view those outer events from a confident, peaceful perspective.

When you live from a perspective of peace, you live with great power and effectiveness. When nothing can trouble you, everything is of great value to you.

It is your nature to be at peace and to live with the peaceful power of authentic purpose. Make the decision to connect with that purpose, with that peace, and you will.

The peace you seek is already there. Stop heaping meaningless drama on top of it, and allow that peace to flow freely throughout your awareness.

— Ralph Marston

On Navigating Stuckness

Jonathan Harris spent much of his life creating small, beautiful things. Going from one project to the next wasn't always so lucid, and in this article, he recounts moments where it felt like he lost his flow -- and what he did about it. "We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don't squander it. Don't throw it away. Don't let companies and products steal it from you. Don't let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don't need. Don't let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention -- it's all you really have."

Daily Inspirational Message for March 7, 2014

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

When working as a medium, Spirit will draw symbols and messages from my own memory bank. Often, when a “leap of faith” is in order, I’ll be mentally shown the leap of faith that Indiana Jones took at the end of that Holy Grail movie, where he appeared to be stepping into a chasm, but as soon as he put one foot out there, a bridge appeared. So much of life is like this! We don’t have to have it all figured out ahead of time, we just have to take the first step with faith, and then another will appear, and another after that. If you get ahead of yourself mentally, you’ll paralyze yourself physically. Take a step, and the next step will come to you.

Choose a Positive Outlook

Life will always challenge you, yet it never has to defeat you. Even when things are extremely difficult, there is no good reason for despair.

In fact, your best choice is always a positive outlook. That is what will give you the most power to deal with whatever life brings.

Yes, it is certainly possible that things could get worse. However, it is just as possible, and much more preferable, that you act to make life better.

The future hasn’t happened yet. A large part of the way it unfolds is up to you, your attitude and your actions.

Make your future the best it can be by making your outlook the best you can imagine. Though it can be easy to be discouraged based on past and present experience, you have a much better choice.

Choose to look forward with the highest, most positive expectations. And get busy bringing those high expectations fully to life.

— Ralph Marston

A 25-Year-Old's Stunning Talk On Selfless Service

Nipun Mehta gave his first public talk at a monastery. He was 25 years old and the subject was "The Spirit of Service" At the time Nipun was just a few years into running ServiceSpace, a non-profit whose global projects now touch millions and are designed to spark generosity and inner transformation. In this debut talk Nipun dives into the core of what selfless service is about. With compelling clarity he offers up a wealth of stories, insights and reflections, giving us a glimpse of the vast potential we each have to be of service in this world.

Daily Inspirational Message for March 6, 2014

“That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.”
- William J. H. Boetcker

Sometimes we just have to live with doing the right thing, and in the short term, this can be difficult and painful. By now, most of us know that when we do something we’re not really congruent with to please others, it eventually catches up to us in the form of pain or discomfort. What we often fail to realize is how much that is good in our lives stems from past decisions of strength and character. It’s much easier to observe the problems that arise than to notice all the problems that could have developed but never did. This makes it easy to forget how powerful living with integrity can be. Look deeply at all that is good in your life, and you’ll discover a trail of strong, wise decisions behind it all, decisions that are the foundation of your self-respect.

Willingness To Learn

Look back at everything you did yesterday and ask yourself this simple but powerful question. What worked, and what didn’t?

The way to improve and to become more effective is to learn. The way to learn is to take the time to look at what actually happened.

You don’t need some celebrated guru to reveal to you how to improve your work. You just need the willingness to learn from what you’ve done.

Instead of getting angry or frustrated about your failures, choose to learn from them. Instead of getting boastful or complacent about your successes, make the choice to learn from them.

Learn what helps you, what holds you back, what makes you more effective and what slows you down. Learn from your encounters, your experiences, your joys, your setbacks and from the surprising twists that life often takes.

In everything is the valuable opportunity to learn if you’ll simply decide to do so. Learn from it all, and make each day better than the one before.

— Ralph Marston

La Vida Robot

In a second-floor windowless room on the rundown Carl Hayden Community High School campus, four students huddle around an odd, 3-foot-tall frame constructed of PVC pipe. At the top sits a black, waterproof briefcase containing a nest of hacked processors, minuscule fans, and LEDs. It's a cheap but astoundingly functional underwater robot capable of recording sonar pings and retrieving objects 50 feet below the surface. The four teenagers who built it are all undocumented Mexican immigrants who came to this country through tunnels or hidden in the backseats of cars. But over three days last summer, these kids from the desert proved they are among the smartest young underwater engineers in the country. Read on to hear their story.

Daily Inspirational Message for March 5, 2014

“I realize that humor isn’t for everyone. It’s only for people who want to have fun, enjoy life, and feel alive.”
- Anne Wilson Schaef

I’ve been known to misplace my sense of humor now and then (okay, at least once a day). Eventually, thank goodness, I find my way back to cheerfulness. The shift often happens when I see someone laughing who has more to cry about than I do. It reminds me that there will always be something to get down about, but there is always something to laugh about too.

Keep Working

When you doubt yourself and your efforts, keep working. Your creative energy, persistently applied, will soon make the doubt go away.

When you’re simply not making any progress, keep working. The breakthrough you seek may be just one more effort away.

When you’ve enjoyed a great success, keep working. Instead of resting on your achievements, make them even more meaningful by making good use of them.

When it feels like all your energy is drained, keep working. Your determined efforts will create their own energy.

When you’re not sure what to do, keep working. The more you do, the more you learn, and the more clearly you’ll be able to see the way forward.

Life works best when you keep working at it. Keep working, and keep making life truly amazing.

— Ralph Marston

Wonder: When & Why The World Appears Radiant

In his breathtaking new book author Paul R. Fleischman carries out an in-depth and masterful exploration of a unique and timeless human quality: Wonder. Remarkably researched and elegantly articulated the book is an invitation to come newly alive to the mystery and magnificence of being on this earth. This short excerpt takes an ordinary moment on a winter's morning and deftly opens our eyes to the extraordinary.

Daily Inspirational Message for March 4, 2014

“For the most part, most people most often choose comfort – the familiar, the time-honored, the well-worn but well-known. After a lifetime of choosing between comfort and risk, we are left with the life we currently have.” – John Roger and Peter McWilliams

Apathy is a surprisingly powerful force. It sounds so passive, and yet it can keep the biggest dreamers in the world from their dreams. So many people, for example, struggle day in and day out, trying to make ends meet, because they’re not earning enough income, and yet they never try to find a better job. What’s holding them back? Sometimes it’s fear of failure, but a lot of the time, it’s that comfortable groove they’ve established that casts a spell over them, that makes them incapable of creating change, no matter how badly they may want or need it. If you want a new and better life, you must first accept that you’ll have to do something new and different to get it.

The More You Give

Nothing is more fulfilling than giving something meaningful to life. Every day provides you with the opportunity to do that.

When all is said and done, what really matters is how much you have chosen to matter. What really matters is the positive difference you have made for those with whom you share this life.

Instead of looking to impress, look to improve. Instead of grabbing for all you can get, discover how much more you can create, and give.

You simply cannot become meaningfully rich by taking. True richness comes from expressing your true nature, which is to make a difference.

The more you give, the better life gets, for you and everyone else. There is enormous value within you, and by genuinely giving of yourself you gain greater and greater benefit from that value.

The reason it feels so good to make a difference is because that’s what you long to do. Go ahead and allow yourself to satisfy that longing in as many ways as you can imagine.

— Ralph Marston

The Work of Local Culture

According to Wendell Berry, a human community must exert a sort of centripetal force, holding local soil and local memory in place. It has no work more important than this. This beautiful essay invites you to take a walk with Berry past an old family bucket and into a new view of human culture...

10 Simple Ways to Live a Less Stressful Life

“Stress is a major problem for many people: a hectic, stressful job, a chaotic home life, bills to worry about, and bad habits such as unhealthy eating, drinking and smoking can lead to a mountain of stress. If your life is full of stress like mine once was, there are some simple things you can do to get your life to a more manageable level.”

20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life

Everything has been figured out, except how to live. – Jean-Paul Sartre
I’m nearly 35 years old, and I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life. I’m not a big believer in regrets…and I have learned tremendously from every single mistake…and my life is pretty great. However, there are a few things I wish I had known when I was graduating from high school and starting out as an adult in life.

Eight Tremendously Important Ways That Gratitude Can Change Your Life

“One of the things that has had the biggest effect on my life is the realization of the power of gratitude. Simply giving thanks…Can it change your life as well? I can guarantee it. You might not get the exact same benefits as I have, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the simple act of gratitude on a regular basis will change anyone’s life, positively and immediately.”

Daily Inspirational Message for March 3, 2014

“There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”
- Bill Watterson

One reason falling in love feels so good is because we allow ourselves to really play. We’ll work all night so we can play when our beloved is available, or vice versa. We’ll blow off all kinds of “obligations” that we would never do later on in the relationship because we crave just being with our sweetheart, whether that means we’re making love or joyfully helping them clean the garage. This playtime is the heart of all happy relationships, whether romantic, platonic or familial. If you’re struggling with a troubled relationship, an easy-to-swallow remedy may be as simple as a regular dose of play.

Momentum Change

Even the smallest positive effort can create a radical shift in your perspective. Even the smallest positive effort can begin to create a powerful, forward-focused momentum.

If it seems you’re going through a bad stretch, make the choice to change your momentum. Then step decisively forward and act on that choice.

The way to change something is to do something. You can wish and worry and complain until you’re blue in the face, yet nothing good is likely to happen until you act to make it happen.

When you avoid any effort, life can seem endlessly overwhelming. Yet the moment you start to do something you’re suddenly connected, almost as if by magic, to all kinds of positive options.

Though you may not feel like it, and though you may have to do it on faith, take a small positive step. Make a little effort in a good and positive direction, and you’ll be making a big change in your momentum.

Your actions absolutely can make a difference, so choose to use that power. Act to give your momentum …

How Stories Change the Brain

Why are we so tuned in to stories? They can move us to tears, change our attitudes, opinions and behaviors, inspire us--and even change our brains, often for the better. Dr. Paul Zak's research shows us that we're practically hardwired to listen to emotionally engaging stories in order to transmit values and information between individuals and communities. An effective story -- one that captures and holds our attention and transports us to the characters' world -- is the foundation for empathy, compassion, trust, and generosity. This article shares the fascinating science behind a good story and how we can simply listen to hone positivity.

Daily Inspirational Message for March 2, 2014

“There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.”
- Elie Wiesel

Our astrologer Susyn Blair Hunt frequently suggests in her horoscopes that we often have to choose whether we want to be happy, or we want to be “right.” After all, what do we really lose if we apologize when we’re not sure it was our fault? What do we gain? In the pursuit of peace and happiness, we’re often our own worst enemies, as our egos lead us to do and say things that we think are right and important, but which ultimately just make us more miserable with ourselves and others. Sometimes in giving up or giving in, we gain so much more than we surrendered.

Politics & The Sharing Economy

"Can the sharing economy movement address the root causes of the worlds converging crises? In recent years, the concept and practice of sharing resources is fast becoming a mainstream phenomenon across North America, Western Europe and other world regions. According to most general definitions that are widely available online, the sharing economy leverages information technology to empower individuals or organizations to distribute, share and re-use excess capacity in goods and services. There is no doubt that sharing resources can contribute to the greater good in a number of ways, from economic as well as environmental and social perspectives." But is sharing the way to a sustainable, happy, and equitable world? This article probes into both sides of the debate and touches upon ways in which the sharing movement can evolve.