Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Importance of Poetry in Childhood

"Growing up isn't what it used to be. Today, our kids, from even the youngest of ages, are bombarded with stimuli far exceeding what we, or any of the generations preceding us, ever had to cope with. How do we keep our kids grounded in the midst of iPads and pop up ads, TV screens and Twitter memes?" Preschool teacher and poet David Griswold offers that poetry may hold at least part of the answer.

Daily Inspirational Quote May 31 2014

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature affects the cure.”
- Voltaire

The best thing we can do to create good health is to feel good emotionally. When we think positively, we feel good, and when we feel good, our vibration naturally rises. A high vibration means a high state of health! So whenever we’re not feeling well, it’s especially important to think positively and to do whatever will make us happy.

Exercise Your Possibilities

It’s great to have plenty of positive possibilities and desirable options, yet they are not enough. For those possibilities to have value, you must exercise them.

You cannot live and prosper just on possibilities. A great life comes from putting forth the effort to do great things with whatever possibilities you have.

You cannot get by just on your skills, your knowledge, your connections and your ambition. You must put those things to work in a meaningful way.

By all means, gather and embrace the best possibilities every chance you get. And by all means, act on them.

Take those great possibilities, add your own time and effort, and transform it all into rich, valuable life experience. Instead of just sitting endlessly on a beautiful beach thinking to yourself how great it is, jump in and go for a swim.

There is so very much you have going for you, so make good use of it. Treasure the great possibilities, and get busy transforming them into a truly great life.

— Ralph Marston

Friday, May 30, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote May 30 2014

“You cannot fix yourself because you are not broken. The more you try to fix, the more you find to fix.
Only wholeness heals.”
- Alan Cohen

I know many people who have had the experience of hating how they look in photographs, only to discover years later in looking at those snapshots again that they looked wonderful! The difference is merely one of perspective. We are so hard on ourselves in the now. What if we stopped seeking personal growth and self-improvement, and tried to relax and just like ourselves as we already are? What might life be like then? Perhaps instead of stalling as we might fear, we would actually discover that the path to enlightenment isn’t found by striving, but rather by seeing the perfection in what already exists.

Allow Creativity

One big thing that gets in the way of creativity is fear. When you can let go of your fear, you allow your creativity to naturally blossom.

If you’re fearful about what other people will think, you won’t be able to express yourself with authenticity and effectiveness. If you fear that you’re wasting your time, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.

Go ahead, have faith in yourself and your ability to create value, and take action. If you have chosen to feel fear and doubt, you can just as easily choose to let them go.

Let go of the fear and let the true beauty of your creative spirit flow. Focus on what you love, and let it inspire you to create in great, valuable and meaningful ways.

Live creatively, allowing your actions and expressions to come naturally and easily from your highest values. Step forward with confidence and joy, eager to creatively make a positive difference in the world.

You have so very much to give. Have the courage to give it freely, creatively and without inhibition.

— Ralph Marston

An Invitation: Practicing Wonder

"Wonder is how we open 'the hand of thought.' It can lift our minds out of the mud of rational resignation and open them into wild relational cartwheels of insight. Wonder is the place where prejudices fall away and our capacity to notice life increases. You have known how to do it since you were a child." As deeply embedded and reflexive wonder is in our early life, somehow the capacity to be in awe fades over the years. But it is not lost, and remains a vital part of our being. Wonder, like any other skill, can be practiced. This article shares a simple way to practice the art of awe, starting simply where you are seated.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote May 29 2014

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”
- Dr. Wayne Dyer

I sometimes go for weeks riding a wave of pure bliss, and I’ve noticed that some things naturally fall away when I’m feeling great like this. As I’m coming out of it (due to giving my attention to something unwanted and allowing that focus to bring me down), I will realize that I haven’t seen anything but happy stories on the news for weeks. I haven’t heard from certain people at all, and haven’t had any problems come my way. I then remember that my happiness didn’t arise because these things stayed away from me; rather, they fell out of my experience because I was so high on life.

Making Things Matter

When everything is free and instantly available, nothing matters. It is only when you must work for something that it becomes important.

It seems nice to imagine a life completely free of challenges. Yet such a life would be utterly and painfully meaningless.

It is what you put into life that makes life good for you. It is what you give of yourself that gives real meaning to whatever you experience.

Keep in mind that you must venture in order to experience adventure. You must give in order to know how truly great it is to live.

Don’t waste your time wishing in vain for a life free of effort. Instead, invest your precious time in loving, meaningful, value-creating, life-enhancing activities.

Make the commitment, invest the time, and do the work to make things matter. Your life has magnificent potential, so with your efforts give it the substance and meaning it deserves.

— Ralph Marston

The Oldest Living Things In The World

For almost a decade, Rachel Sussman has been traveling the world to discover and document the Earth's oldest organisms - living things over 2,000 years of age. Sussman unearths Earth's "greatest stories of resilience, stories of tragedy and triumph, past and future, but above all stories that humble our human lives, which seem like the blink of a cosmic eye against the timescales of these ancient organisms - organisms that have unflinchingly witnessed all of our own tragedies and triumphs, our wars and our revolutions, our holocausts and our renaissances, and have remained anchored to existence more firmly than we can ever hope to be." Enjoy her breathtaking photographs and illuminating thoughts in this incredible piece.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote May 28 2014

“You didn’t get up one morning and run outside and begin inhaling like crazy, trying to suck up all the air you could get for fear that it would soon be gone. You don’t fear that just because you had air last month
the supply will run out and you may not have any next month. Air exists all around you.
It flows through your body regardless of whether you feel worthy,
have low self-esteem or had a rotten childhood.
I want you to know that Divine prosperity is like that too.
You have an abundance of what you need all around you.”
- Lynn Robinson

True prosperity consciousness is as effortless as knowing that there will always be air to breathe and that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. When we have true prosperity consciousness, we don’t even think about money, except to bask in feeling lucky because of all our abundance. Everything is energy, so ultimately, anything we want or need can flow to us just like the things we take for granted. When we can assume that we’ll always have whatever we need, life becomes easy.

The Good Life

There are a lot of good people in the world. There are a lot of good things going on in life.

Don’t let the negative things get you down. Take them in stride, and move quickly on to something that will make all of life more positive.

Every day is an opportunity to do great and meaningful work, and to experience life in new, fulfilling ways. Every day is a day in which you can make life better for others and for yourself.

Treasure each moment without letting the negative distractions get in your way. Put positive, meaningful, satisfying effort into life, and continue to feel how great it is to make a difference.

If people don’t treat you fairly, that’s their problem. When life presents you with difficult challenges, that’s your opportunity to shine.

The way to live the good life is to live each moment with goodness in your heart. Life is good because you always have the ability to make it so.

— Ralph Marston

Freely vs Free: A Healer's Perspective

The deeper truths that reside within us sometimes surface when we least expect it. Thuy Nguyen was a little more than taken off guard when a woman in her donation-based acupuncture session asked her why she gave away her work for free. Was she trying to fix a "broken world"? She didn't know where to begin to respond, and the woman's question stayed with her. Eventually it led her to a beautiful distinction: that she does not give away her work "for free," she gives it away "freely." And in her own words, "I am simply doing this because it is the most natural expression of who I've become and of who I am." This beautiful passage by Thuy shares more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote May 27 2014

“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.”
- Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief

I recently taught a class on working with the law of attraction, and I had everyone list ten things they are grateful for. As we shared our lists, we each found many things on others’ lists that we often forget to be grateful for, such as having healthy eyes, keen ears, strong legs, sharp minds, capable hands, and just being alive.

The Heart of Urban Resilience: Trust Not Tech

"We are facing an uncertain future as a result of climate change; disasters do seem to be happening all too often. But does our emerging notion of resilience, as a result, become an alternate way of thinking about disaster management rather than a longer term means to consider how to make our cities more robust and flexible in the face of uncertainty?" Leo Hollis answers this question and more in his insightful article about what resilience looks like in cities like his own native London.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Few Famous Goddesses and Heroines

“No encyclopedia could list all the goddesses the world has known. Due to colonization and forced conversion, innumerable goddesses and their stories have been lost. But an impressive amount of information remains, although scattered in sacred texts, literary epics and drama, story collections, ethnographies, and many other works.”

Discovery of the First Known Icon of a Goddess

“Whether a goddess or not, the figure at Hohle Fels Cave created a sensation. Finds of Paleolithic Venuses, while never commonplace, are frequent enough that archaeologists were not surprised to unearth another. But stone figures like the Venus of Willendorf have been found with other objects suggesting an age of no more than 30,000 years.”

The History of The Goddess

“In 2008, archaeologists in Germany made a startling discovery, a naked woman carved out of mammoth ivory. Other figures had been also been discovered where this “Venus” emerged, for the figure found in Hohle Fels Cave was named for a Roman goddess, as has been common since these figures were first discovered more than a century ago.”

Daily Inspirational Quote May 26 2014

“If you think you are free, you are free.
If you think you are bound, you are bound.
For the saying is true: You are what you think.”
- Ashtavakra Gita 1:11

I have seen people make a huge shift from disempowered misery to inspired optimism in the course of an hour, and then use that new attitude to launch big positive changes in their lives. This generally happens via a reading, but it can happen during any moment in which a new and positive paradigm is chosen over a limited/negative one. Before the shift, nothing good was aligned; after the shift, great new blessings are being planted and cultivated and taking root. The difference between these two realities is entirely mental: it’s all a matter of focusing on what is wanted and believing you are capable of manifesting it.

Persistence Will Get You There

Every success story is a story of persistence. No matter where you start, with enough persistence you can reach the goal.

Persistence is not particularly glamorous or exciting. Yet the results of persistence can be truly amazing.

Persistence is not always easy, though it is always accessible. Once you’ve made the effort you can continue making the effort, and that’s what will make the difference.

You may not get very many lucky breaks. Yet every single day you will get the opportunity to persist, so take that opportunity and run with it.

It’s completely understandable that you will, from time to time, feel like giving up. It’s also absolutely possible to let go of that dejected feeling, and to replace it with an even stronger desire to persist no matter what.

Every turn of events is an opportunity to keep going. Take that opportunity, and with persistence you’ll get yourself all the way there.

— Ralph Marston

Ed Johnson: Beauty & Science

" the element that makes it possible for a real breakthrough in thought to take place. And beauty...goes a long way in establishing the bona fides of the results of scientific experiments." If these sound like interesting thoughts to be coming from a molecular biologist, you may want to read on to hear the full conversation between interviewer Richard Whitaker and remarkable researcher Ed Johnson.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote May 25 2014

“When you carry out acts of kindness, you get a wonderful feeling inside.
It is as though something inside your body responds and says,
‘Yes, this is how I ought to feel.’”
- Rabbi Harold Kushner

The great way we feel when we do something nice for others is our inner navigation system lighting up with green lights that say, “You’re heading in the right direction!” When we feel wonderful, it means we’re on the right track in our thoughts and choices. If you feel good about an idea, follow that feeling!

Sow Much Good

When Robin Emmons first helped her struggling brother transition to a mental health facility, she never imagined that his physical health would so drastically decline. The residents were existing on a diet of canned and sugary foods, the only diet the facility could afford. This is an all too common reality for many living in low income areas. They are cut off from access to fresh, wholesome foods. Robin Emmons was determined to change this. With shovel in hand, she created the Sow Much Good organization -- and, to date, has grown over 26,000 pounds of fresh produce for underserved communities. Read more to realize how one small change can lead to so much good.