Showing posts from August 17, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote August 23 2014

“To regret deeply is to live afresh.” - Henry David Thoreau I sometimes read for people who have really made a mess of things, and who are now regretting it. I wish I could tell them all that being sorry is enough to undo all they’ve done. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case, because most people don’t awaken when they’re making big mistakes until things are irreversibly wrecked: their spouse has walked out the door, they’ve been fired, they’ve hit rock bottom. The good news is that sometimes it’s the bottom that saves us. When we hit it, our passion for life is jolted awake, and we realize how much we really do love life, and what we’re willing to do to find happiness.

A Giving Heart

When you live with a giving heart you don’t have to participate in the world’s negativity. You can give your own goodness to any situation. You can wake up each morning absolutely certain that it’s going to be a great day. You can know without a doubt that there will always be new opportunities to experience the joy of your generosity. When you live with a giving heart you never have to be disappointed. There is always something you can do to experience true fulfillment. When your concerns cease to be all about you, the possibilities for joy become infinite. Seek to truly give of yourself, and previous limitations fall quickly away. With a giving heart your words and actions take on the power of truth and authenticity. With each new situation comes a new way to make a positive difference. Let yourself live with a giving heart. See the world in a whole new light, and experience life and joy at the highest levels. — Ralph Marston

Casa De Paz: Oakland's House of Peace

36th Avenue in the Fruitvale district of East Oakland, California, is the turf of three major gangs. Yet the residents of Casa de Paz never lock their doors. Anchored by Pancho Ramos Stierle and Adelaja Simon, Casa de Paz is part of a group of several homes that form an intentional community of peace and nonviolence in an area rife with structural and physical violence. In order to serve their community, they live with the people -- laugh with them, cry with them, and eat with them. They embody "giftivism" -- practicing radical acts of generosity that changes the world, one heart, one home, one block at a time.

Daily Inspirational Quote August 22 2014

“This is now. Now is. Don’t postpone till then. Spend the spark of iron on stone. Sit at the head of the table; dip your spoon in the bowl. Seat yourself next to your joy and have your awakened soul pour wine.” - Rumi We spend so much time in our heads these days — when are we really living? There is great beauty to be experienced if we just become fully present to it. Luxuriate in the richness of your sensory experience: let a kiss deepen into savored moments of ecstasy; let the taste of fruit upon your tongue awaken every cell in your being with pleasure; let the soft warmth of your bed draw you into deep, blissful relaxation. Sometimes we have to think and we have to work, but as much as possible, we should remember to make love to life, to drink deeply of all its pleasures, and to abide in the profound contentment of full engagement.

Let It Push You Forward

You don’t have to be annoyed. You can be inspired. You don’t have to be frustrated. You can be motivated and determined. The way you respond is not dictated solely by the situation. The way you respond is decided by you. No matter what has happened, your attitude is a choice that’s made by you. Instead of letting the interruptions, distractions and frustrations get you down, you can just as realistically choose to let them push you forward. It’s natural to assume that negativity must make you negative, and that you must have some kind of positive reinforcement in order to be positive. But that’s not the case at all, because you can choose to move positively forward no matter what. Decide that you’ll let both the good things and the bad things push you ahead. And be amazed at how far you can go. — Ralph Marston

James Doty's Helper's High

Happiness comes from a having a purpose, or at least, that is what James Doty's life exemplifies. Founder of a compassion research center at Stanford University, or CCARE, Doty gave up a billion dollar company and has dedicated his life to not only serving others, but creating the high-level research that suggests that happiness is found in what we give, not in what we get. An atheist, his findings are deeply moving and align nonetheless quite closely with the wisdom traditions, providing a needed scientific basis for acts of care. We work for the greater good because it makes life better for everyone, in which our own good is included.

Daily Inspirational Quote August 21 2014

“Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit, and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.” - Lydia M. Child So many of the problems we are always dealing with could be avoided if we just listened to our inner voice. Something will be tapping at us from within, trying to get our attention, telling us to stop, to think again, but we’ll just shrug it off and push forward. It may not always be easy to figure out what we should do because there are so many potential paths to fulfillment, but it’s pretty easy to figure out what not to do, for our instincts are ever ready to protect us from making regrettable decisions.

A Way To Keep Going

There is so much that must be done. And although you may not get it all finished today, you can get something done, so go ahead and do it. Some tasks will likely take longer than you anticipated, and that can be frustrating. Yet even when the progress is slow, you are indeed making progress, so choose to be more thankful and less frustrated. Instead of complaining about what you can’t do, put all your focus and energy into what you can do, and into what you are doing. Little by little, bit by bit, work your way forward. One of the biggest enemies of persistence is discouragement. So refuse to be discouraged, and congratulate yourself on making one step at a time. Plenty of things can slow you down, yet you don’t have to let anything stop you completely. Even if it’s just in a small way, you can find a way to keep going. It feels great to know you’re making a difference, so do a little bit, and feel a little better. Keep going, and you’ll soon be amazed at how far you’ve come.

This Is Your Brain On Food

Should the Hippocratic maxim "Let food be thy medicine" apply to mental health care? According to recent research on the effect of diet and nutrition on the health of the brain, the answer may be, "Absolutely!" After more than half a century of depending primarily on prescription drugs for relief, the medical and psychiatric community is rediscovering the numerous connections between food and mental illness. Read on to learn more about food may become an integral part of holistic mental health care.

Daily Inspirational Quote August 20 2014

“If it’s sanity you are after, there is no recipe like laughter.” - Henry Elliot Some days everything seems to get to us; everyone is on our nerves. Other days we’re calm and content, tolerant and patient. The difference is rarely in what is happening in our outer experience; it’s all about our inner landscape and how we respond to life. While we may not be able to control outer circumstances, through humor we can control how we feel about them. When we’re lighthearted, profound aggravations often just roll right off of us, but when we’re serious, even tiny irritations can get under our skin and drive us crazy.

Positive Path Forward

Acting with arrogance toward others does not add any positive value to your life. Being spiteful does not bring you any lasting sense of fulfillment. It is completely understandable to be frustrated and angered by the words and actions of others. Yet the answer is not to add to the existing negativity with more negativity of your own. Imagine taking the high road. Imagine putting your energy into positive pursuits instead of into negative reactions. Your life is too precious to spend even a few moments of it consumed with hatred or arrogance or other kinds of negativity. For the sake of your own well being, turn your attention toward the good and beneficial things you can think and do. Take the time to consider what adds value to your life and your world, and what takes that value away. Then commit yourself to living in such a way that adds more value. Each moment is filled with countless possibilities, so choose the very best ones. Instead of getting mired in negativity, lif

Songwriting With Soldiers

A chance meeting with a soldier after performing in a hospital in Germany inspired songwriter Darden Smith to work with members of the military to turn their stories into music. Smith now runs Songwriting With:Soldiers, a non-profit organization which pairs veterans and troops with professional songwriters in a peaceful environment. The service members share their stories and the songwriters mold them into lyrics and set them to melody. "We all have a story," Smith says. "When we listen, and listen well enough to take the solders' words and turn them into art, and sing it back to them, something happens. What it is, I don't know. I'm a songwriter, not a therapist. But something happens, and it's powerful."

Daily Inspirational Quote August 19 2014

“As an intrepid traveler on the path to love, you open yourself to whatever comes your way — hurt, fear, neediness, joy, bliss — invite it in, observe it, make friends with it, and let it pass. If you seek only refuge, security, and comfort, you imprison your relationship and the vitality will wane. The commitment to staying awake will free you from holding back and allow you to feel the roar, purr, glow and breath of spirit rippling through you, sensuous and alive. - Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. Some time ago I was speaking with a wonderful group of women. Most were unfulfilled in love: they’d either never met “the one,” or they were bored and dissatisfied with their relationships. A couple of them, however, had clearly found happiness and fulfillment, and so I paid particular attention to their stories. It became clear that those who were unhappy and unfulfilled had been looking for something “perfect” — a relationship with no fighting, frustration or irritation. Those who were happy and

When You Work

Good ideas work best when you work on them. Even not so great ideas can be made to work well when you put focused and committed effort into them. Whatever you start with is not nearly so important as what you do with it. Even the difficulties can turn out to be blessings when you work on them. A day that starts out great can become even better when you work on it. A day that starts out lousy can improve significantly when you go to work on it. Be thankful and accepting of whatever comes your way. Then, with positive and purposeful intentions, go to work on it. The difference between what doesn’t work and what does work, is the work you put into it. The way to make things work is to make yourself work. Always, opportunity is within your reach. When you work on it, you can transform that opportunity into real, satisfying fulfillment. — Ralph Marston

The Power of Hobbies

When thinking of ways to create a better and healthier lifestyle, oftentimes people tend to think in terms of cutting back on certain choices, be it eating desserts, drinking alcohol, or perhaps just sitting on the couch watching TV. But one area in life that has been almost cut out entirely is something that actually should have never been cast aside --having a hobby. Not only is it a fulfilling, sometimes creative outlet, but it is also beneficial to your overall health.

Kindness Without Leaving Home

Check out these beautiful ways of practicing kindness even without leaving the home.

Two Wolves - A Cherokee Tale

An old Cherokee tale that reminds us of the fight between good and evil, within ourselves.

Stop and Hug

Imagine going to school every morning and seeing this happen on the side of the road.

How to Make Your Own Plant Spirit Essence - Laura Silvana

In making an essence for your personal use, the most important tools are prayers, love, gratitude, and your relationship with the plant spirit upon journeying. If you choose to make an essence to take internally, trust the plant spirit to tell you the most fertile time for harvesting the necessary plant part to help you with your creation.

10 Foods and Spices You Can Use for Healing - Ellen Evert Hopman

As a Druid Priestess I have made it my business to become well versed in Herbal Healing. My novel Priestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey (Llewellyn, 2008) is a fictional piece about Druids, but also features herbal lore within its pages. Some have told me they actually bought the book to learn the herbal cures!

An Introduction to Herbalism and Homeopathy - Christopher Penczak

Early humans learned to cure by using plants. Even today, the basis of our pharmaceuticals comes from the plant kingdom. Modern science synthesizes the most active compounds of plants. What’s lacking in our modern world is a living relationship with the green world, which, over the long term, is just as vital to the healing process as any active ingredient.

Daily Inspirational Quote August 18 2014

“Sometimes we turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only to find out it is God who is shaking them.” - Charles C. West So often in psychic reading work, it will become apparent that a job situation is growing more and more intolerable because my client’s energy is too high for that environment, or a relationship is growing less and less fulfilling and unhappy because the partners involved are meant to move on to someone new and better suited for them. Most people seek counseling because they are torn between being attached to not changing, and wanting very much for things to change. It’s often my job to loosen their grip on the status quo, encourage them to trust that change is a good thing, and point out that progress often begins when established conditions fall apart.

What You Need To Hear

Many times, what you need to hear is not what you want to hear. Yet when you pay heed to what you need to hear, it can make a positive difference in the direction of your life. It can be painful to hear an uncomfortable truth about yourself. It can also be highly useful, and even transformative. Is there something you’ve been avoiding admitting to yourself, something you need to hear? Go ahead, put it into words, and then get busy doing something positive about it. Do you resent others who have attempted to tell you what you need to hear? Let go of the silly resentment, listen carefully, and then move forward with newfound strength. Truth is powerful and it can also be uncomfortable, inconvenient, embarrassing and troublesome. Truth is worth the trouble, however, and when you’re willing to accept the truth it will add great effectiveness to whatever you’re doing. Go ahead, be strong, and listen to what you need to hear. Put yourself on the bright, clear side of truth, and mov

How We Grieve: Learning To Live With Loss

John Updike wrote in his memoir, "Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead. So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?" And yet even if we were to somehow make peace with our own mortality, a primal fear rips through whenever we think about losing those we love most dearly -- a fear that metastasizes into all-consuming grief when loss does come. In The Long Goodbye, her magnificent memoir of grieving her mother's death, Meghan O'Rourke crafts a masterwork of remembrance and reflection woven of extraordinary emotional intelligence. Read more...

Daily Inspirational Quote August 17 2014

“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” - Mary Oliver I wish I could say that I have spent even one day in the past year just being “idle and blessed,” but sadly, I am as caught up in “doing” as anyone. I so wish that I could put aside the endless work and responsibilities and just be me, taking each precious moment as it comes, instead of endlessly running around, adding things to my to-do list faster than I can check them off. Only when I stop now and then and really think about it do I realize how silly we are when we we’re so busy living that the best of life is passing us by.

The Forest Man of Majuli Island

It has been said that the single most powerful thing one can do to combat climate change and promote peace is to plant a tree. Jadev Payeng has been doing just that since the 1970's on the once-barren sandbar on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India. Over 40 years later, the forest he's planted is now larger than New York City's Central Park and is home to several thousand varieties of trees as well as an amazing diversity of wildlife, including rhino, elephants, and even tigers.