Saturday, April 5, 2014

Birdman & The Shining Fire Hydrant

At first thought, prison might seem like an unusual place to go mining for wisdom. But Insight-Out might make you think differently. Insight-Out refers to a special program at California state prison San Quentin. It is a program that guides inmates on a healing process so they are able to come back out transformed and ready to serve others. One man, known simply as Birdman, offers a small story from his own journey that transformed an unjust punishment into a priceless gift. Read on and be touched by his wisdom -- from the inside out.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/652/the-shining-fire-hydrant-birdman/

Daily Inspirational Message for April 5, 2014

“You are not stuck in time like a fly in a closed bottle, whose wings are therefore useless.
You cannot trust your physical senses to give you a true picture of reality.
They are lovely liars, with such a fantastic tale to tell
that you believe it without question.”
- Seth


When we feel stuck or frustrated, we are looking at our lives solely with our physical senses. It’s like wearing blinders; we fail to see the higher reality, the bigger picture, and thus all our possibilities. To get unstuck then, we simply need to shift our consciousness to a higher vibration, one that encompasses the truth that there are almost no limits to what can be dreamed into being with the right energy, and that there are infinite paths to fulfillment available to one with an open spirit and a burning, passionate faith in the ultimate benevolence of life itself.

Your Job

Today is already beautiful and full of promise. Your job is to make it great.

There is already abundance in every direction. Your job is to make something valuable out of it.

Today, you’ve been given so very much. Your job is to give it meaning.

Choose today to make fewer judgments and to make more joy. Choose today to stop second guessing your intuition and to live the richness of your authentic purpose.

You are standing right in the middle of a whole universe that’s filled with great possibilities. Let yourself feel the immensity of that opportunity, then step forward and do something wonderful with it.

Your job today is to add new, meaningful experiences to the story of life. So get going, enjoy the challenges and the magnificent rewards your efforts will bring.

— Ralph Marston

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Diet to Boost Your Mood, Energy?

Changing your diet can change your metabolism and brain chemistry, and that may lift your energy level and mood. Find out how to do it.

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/family-health-12/slideshow-energy-foods?ecd=wnl_emw_032614&ctr=wnl-emw-032614_ld-stry&mb=rsGitnm%2fDGow%40VaiCf7IL%40HnVev1imbCbc3Mzilm918%3d

Daily Inspirational Message for April 4, 2014

“When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing.
There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer.”
- A Course in Miracles


When our decisions are in harmony with our higher truth, then life becomes effortless. Even the most daunting challenges and the most frightening changes become as natural and easy as floating downstream. If your life is a struggle, you’re probably rowing against the deeper current. The river knows where it’s going; try surrendering control and allowing it to lead you where it will for a while.

Empowering Perspective

Whatever your problems may be, you’re not going to solve them by withdrawing from life. It may seem that life has beat you down, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide from it.

The answer is not to give up on life. The answer is to give up your negative perspective.

Success does not come from avoiding the difficult things. Success comes from transcending the difficulties while transforming them into positive value.

Yes, it is painful to move forward when you feel that life is pushing against you. Yet what is even more painful is the regret you’ll feel if you don’t make the effort.

Your attitude is always your choice. No matter what is happening on the outside, you can always maintain a powerful, positive outlook on the inside.

Choose today to rise above whatever might be threatening to bring you down. Choose a perspective that empowers you, and use that power to do truly great things.

— Ralph Marston

The Power of 1% Shifts: Or How One Coach Beat the Odds

Imagine a scenario where you set your goal to win the Tour de France in five years time--and instead, you do it in three, and win it twice in a row. Not only that, your team goes on to win 70 percent of the Gold medals at the Olympics in the very same year you break your record for the Tour de France. Sound like a dream? This is what happened for the British cyclists on Team Sky when instead of focusing on large-scale impressive improvements in the time set aside for training, they set their sights on the immense power released in small, "1 percent" improvements, or "shifts," in their daily life, or what their coach refers to as the "aggregation of marginal gains." What they found was that the seemingly small decisions we make at every moment have a powerful effect over time-- and this aggregated effect can act as the key to achieving our highest goals.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/684/this-coach-improved-every-tiny-thing-by-1-and-here-s-what-happened-james-clear/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How Happy Are You?

Everyone knows someone who always seems to be in a good mood. Are they born that way? Plus, you’ll never guess what country ranks first in life satisfaction. (It’s not the U.S.)

http://www.webmd.com/balance/rm-quiz-happiness?ecd=wnl_emw_040214&ctr=wnl-emw-040214_ld-stry&mb=rsGitnm%2fDGow%40VaiCf7IL%40HnVev1imbCbc3Mzilm918%3d

Daily Inspirational Message for April 3, 2014

“No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along,
or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them, we may forget altogether to live them.”

- Alan Watts

Many of us have been into personal growth for so long we can’t remember what life was like before self-improvement became a constant refrain. It honestly surprised me when personal growth as a life purpose lost its shine, when I realized I had been searching for so long and looking so hard for a certain something (not that I knew what it was) that I’d missed most of what had happened along the way. Anything that wasn’t part of my agenda was dutifully ignored, or only partially experienced or appreciated. When I’m able to stop looking for things to fix, suddenly everything put before me is simply divine.

Involve Yourself Fully

What will you do today to encourage your best possibilities? What will you do today to allow your great potential to be realized and fulfilled?

There is unique value within you. You deserve to experience that value, and all of life deserves to benefit from it.

That value flows out from you in the actions you take. The more passionately and sincerely you involve yourself in life, the more fully you’ll manifest that value.

Give yourself over to the day, to the moment, to whatever you’re doing. Give your thoughts, your heart, your awareness and your passion to the miracle of being where you are right now.

Involve yourself fully in the rich, amazing opportunity that is this moment. Remind yourself how truly great you have it, and commit yourself, again and again, to doing something meaningful with all you have.

This is a great time, filled with spectacular possibilities that are ready to spring forth from your actions. Live, love and act with all you have, and feel the intense joy of giving your very best.

— Ralph Marston

We Are Connected In Mysterious Ways

"In some mysterious way I am you and you are I. Certainly, I don't feel that I've understood this as deeply as it may be possible to understand it. But there is some way in which I have to be able to listen to you if I want to move in the direction of the kind of life that's possible for us here. There is nothing sentimental about that. There is something mysterious, I would say." In this powerful dialogue, Richard Whittaker, founding editor of an unusual art journal and a man known to many as "the Michael Jordan of conversations," shares reflections and insights from his journey with author Jacob Needleman.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/650/we-are-connected-in-mysterious-ways-jacob-needleman/

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for April 2, 2014

“I have a ‘Play The Melody’ philosophy. It means don’t over-arrange,
don’t make life difficult. Just play the melody – and do it the simplest way possible.”
- Jackie Gleason


I have a tendency to want to prepare for every possibility. What if this or that happens? Then what will we do? If there are twenty potential outcomes, I have twenty potential plans. Of course, only one outcome actually happens (or in many cases, something I never considered at all), and then I have done a whole lot of arranging for nothing. Whatever happens will get here soon enough for us to deal with it. There is so much that actually must be done, why make it all more complicated and difficult than it has to be?

Feel the Greatness

This is a great day to be alive. This is a great day to be who you are, where you are, and the way you are.
On this day, you can begin by assuming the best. Then you can follow through and do everything in your power to make it happen.

Today there will be all kinds of challenges and frustrations. And today, you can use each one of them as a way to grow stronger, more compassionate, more capable and more accomplished.

This is a day that’s too unique and precious to waste. This is a day that’s filled with new and exciting possibilities for making a difference.

Though there are certainly things to complain about, there is much more to be thankful for. Focus on the gratitude instead of the shortcomings, and you’ll invite today’s special flavor of abundance into your life.

This is a great day to be positive, purposeful and filled with enthusiasm for all you can do. Feel all the potential greatness in this day, and get busy bringing it to life in your own special way.

— Ralph Marston

Vancouver's Duck Lady

Take a walk in downtown Vancouver on a sunny day and you might just run into Laura-Kay Prophet and Bobbi the Duck. Or, more precisely, Bobbi V. Laura-Kay got her first duck, Harvey, in 1980, but it was the first Bobbi, that spurred her to start Duck $oup, a private charity that Laura-Kay funds from her pension and occasional part-time work. Bobbi I started laying one or two eggs a day, so Laura-Kay boiled them and gave them away to the hungry on the streets of Vancouver. But she didn't want to just give eggs, so she added other food and created a fun "lottery" by hiding sums of money in cookies. Why does she do this? "It always makes you feel good to make somebody else feel good... The idea was to create self-esteem for them, but it's also creating self-esteem for me."

http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=4909

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for April 1, 2014

“Sometimes you have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down.”
- Kobi Yamada


There is tremendous power in declaring what you want. You don’t even have to figure out if it’s “realistic” or how to make it happen. Take a leap by simply pinpointing what you truly long for, then make it official and begin to bring it into the physical by writing it down. Write, “I will have (whatever you want) by such and such date!” Remember, you don’t have to figure out the details or do all the work. If you take one step forward by declaring what you desire, the Universe will take twenty steps toward you in delivering it.

See It as an Opportunity

It’s only a limitation if you see it as a limitation. Choose to see it differently, and you’ll find a way around it.
Many things influence your life and your work, often in negative and limiting ways. Nothing, however, can stop you from moving forward in each moment with positive purpose when you are committed to doing so.

Instead of assuming that some factor in your life is a limitation, make a different assumption. Decide to see it as an opportunity to grow stronger.

Instead of wallowing in disappointment when things don’t work out the way you planned, choose a different response. Choose to be more inspired, more motivated and more determined than ever before.

Whatever has happened, has happened, and there’s nothing you can do to change that. What you can change, though, is what you do with it.

Tell yourself it’s a good thing, and moving forward, you’ll find a way for it to be precisely that. Rather than seeing something as a limitation, see it as an opportunity and get busy living the value that is most certainly there.

— Ralph Marston

Pop-Up Clothing Swap For the Homeless

When Kayli Levitan and Max Pazak found themselves confronted with the growing homeless population in their native Cape Town, South Africa -- they immediately set out to develop a solution. The challenge? Connecting the haves with the have-nots in a manner unlike any before. "We wanted to bridge the gap...making it easy and safe to donate and more dignified to receive. The middle ground we needed was right in front of us: The Street," Levitan said. In 2014, the very first Street Store was opened ... this one day 'pop-up clothing store' is designed specifically for those with low or no income. And the best part? It's curated by the community. Read on to discover how the Street Store is working to extend hope and dignity to those in need.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/672/pop-up-clothing-swap-for-the-homeless-beth-buczynski/

Monday, March 31, 2014

Which of Your Thirty-Seven Projects to Tackle First?

You have so many great ideas, and you can’t decide which one(s) to follow through on. Or maybe once you finally settle on one and get into it, you get bored and drop it like a hot potato for something new. I know.

http://kajama.com/thirty-seven-projects-tackle-first/

I Know What I Need to Do — I Just Can’t Make Myself Do It

“When you have the instinct to create and you simultaneously have the instinct not to create, your fear says, “Don’t do it!” And so, confused by these two equally strong instincts, you shut down and get stuck playing an online word game for hours on end. Sometimes years.”

http://kajama.com/know-need-just-cant-make/

Procrastination Is Genius in DisguiseAn excerpt from Get It Done

“Have you ever noticed that procrastination causes you pain? It hurts your heart, it hurts your self-esteem, it hurts your relationships, it hurts your career, and it hurts your income. And just as a pain in your body alerts you to something that needs healing, the psychic pain of procrastination can serve as an important wake-up call. That is why I call procrastination genius in disguise.”

http://kajama.com/procrastination-genius-disguise/

Daily Inspirational Message for March 31, 2014

“It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect.
The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become
towards the defects of others.”
– Joseph Addison


It’s funny how in striving for excellence or perfection, we can acquire some rather imperfect qualities that can lead us astray in our spiritual journeys. For instance, in attempting to perfectly execute a project, we may become impatient with others and quick to pressure or judge what we perceive to be their shortcomings. In our spiritual journey, however, it always helps to remember that the more we push against what we perceive to be the flaws of others, the further we drift from that which connects us with Spirit and thus the further we drift from realizing the very goal we sought to so perfectly achieve. Ah, the irony! Just imagine what we can accomplish in our daily lives when we accept our colleagues, friends, and loved ones precisely where they are and serve as a source of encouragement, support, and inspiration. (by Kai Ravariere – Contributing Kajama Writer)

Discover New Goodness

Decide today to discover in your own way how truly good life is. Focus not on how good life may have been, or how good it might could be, but how good it is, right here and now.

Remind yourself of the countless possibilities that are open to you, right now, on this very day. Think of those things that are truly important, that really matter to you.

Instead of getting caught up in the crisis or drama of the moment, commit yourself to living with purpose and excellence. Explore and discover new ways to give life meaning and richness, and allow true goodness to flow from your heart.

Prove to yourself, again and again, in new and ever more fulfilling ways, how good life is. Live each moment with the assumption that there is great value to be created, and delight in the process of creating it.

Reach in and touch the precious part of you that knows how very good life is. Discover new goodness in each new moment.

Make the choice to live on the bright side of life today, and every day. Live the goodness and as you do, you are making much, much more.

— Ralph Marston

What Does A Grateful Organization Look Like?

When was the last time you expressed gratitude to a co-worker, or received expressions of gratitude from one? Or when was the last time you thanked or were thanked by your supervisor? According to the latest research, gratitude in organizations is extremely significant -- for starters, it can boost morale and increase productivity. A recent quiz developed by the Greater Good Science Center, reveals some interesting findings on how people see and experience gratitude in the work place.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/682/what-does-a-grateful-organization-look-like-emily-nauman/

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for March 30, 2014

“Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”
- Virginia Woolf


Spirit is speaking to us all the time. In both night dreams and day dreams, spiritual forces and our own higher selves are telling us what we want and need to be happy. It’s so constant and so subtle that only rarely do we stop and realize that there are patterns and themes whispering for our attention. What thoughts are running through your mind, just beneath the surface? These are messages to you from your inner being. They’re signposts to your greater good.

A Radical Homemaker Celebrates 40

Shannon Hayes, mother and homemaker on a family farm, used to spend birthdays mourning the passing of another year. But on her 40th she decides instead to spend the day in celebration and joy by giving herself an important gift. In this touching piece, Shannon shares how she learned that turning 40 meant being "grown-up enough, confident enough, fearless enough to face my deepest, most secret dreams and bring them out into the world," and embracing "all those forces that seemingly work against those dreams, those burdens I have chosen by the act of living and surrendering myself to those that I love."

http://www.dailygood.org/story/681/a-radical-homemaker-celebrates-40-shannon-hayes/