Saturday, September 20, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote September 20 2014

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.” Albert Einstein

For those who doubt the existence of unseen forces, who are tempted to give up on believing in anything beyond what can be seen or heard or grasped with their own hands, I offer something so real and powerful that it has been known to cause people to lay down their very lives for it. That untouchable evidence of Spirit is love. While we can’t contain it or measure it, we don’t need any tangible proof to know that it’s real. If this is true of love, then it can be true of all the divine unseen forces subtly interacting with our dimension.

New Learning

You’re never too old, too knowledgeable or too experienced to learn something new. It can be positively energizing to learn a new skill or to improve significantly on an existing one.

One big hindrance to new learning is the assumption that you already know enough. In a world where knowledge is increasing at an unimaginable and accelerating pace, that’s an assumption that can get you in trouble.

Be truly thankful for what you know. Then make even better use of that knowledge by building on it.

Your mind benefits from challenging mental exercise just as your body benefits from rigorous physical activity. Keep your mind in great shape by opening it up to new and invigorating challenges.

Make your valuable life experience even more valuable by adding new skills and knowledge to it. With each new thing you learn come great new opportunities.

Open your mind to new learning. And enrich every area of your life.

— Ralph Marston

Margaret Wheatley: On Working With Human Goodness

"There is nothing equal to human creativity, caring and will. We can be incredibly generous, imaginative and open-hearted. We can do the impossible, learn and change quickly, and extend instant compassion to those in distress. And these are not behaviors we keep hidden. We exhibit them daily." When faced with everyday struggles, and more broadly, the weight of wars and human suffering, Margaret Wheatley reminds us that a belief in human goodness is crucial to seeing us through the "dark times" of our lives.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote September 19 2014

“Our job is not to worship history and culture like fetishes, but to feed them into our living, creative stream of personal life for spiritual and intellectual reprocessing.” – Angus MacLean

I often hear from folks who are afraid to try astral projection or spirit communication because the Bible suggests that such things are wrong or evil. I believe those warnings are valid because people who rely solely upon the Bible or other teachings for all spiritual truth and guidance have no business embarking on such spiritual adventures. When we’re ready for such exploration, our hunger for direct knowledge and understanding will naturally surpass our fear of the unknown, and we’ll be launched into a new level of experience.

Expect Better

Expect this day to be a richer, more fulfilling day than yesterday. Expect better, and your life will rise to meet those expectations.

Expect the most favorable outcome and you’ll discover ways to bring it about. Expect a positive experience and you’ll find the goodness in every situation.

The way you act is informed and influenced by what you expect. Choose to expect better and you’ll do better.

Expect to understand, to resonate and to forge deep connections with those around you, and you will. Expect to create value out of whatever you have to work with, and that value flows forth.

Expect to make a meaningful positive difference today. Expect peace, love, healing and goodness, and your efforts and energy will focus to bring them about.

Do yourself and your world a big favor, and expect better. Expect better, and find joy in the journey of making it so.

— Ralph Marston

How We Think: John Dewey on the Art of Reflection

More than one hundred years ago, psychologist John Dewey wrote "How We Think," a book examining "what separates thinking, a basic human faculty we take for granted, from thinking well..." This article summarizes Dewey's findings, more salient than ever in our age of "snap judgments and instant opinions."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote September 18 2014

“As your faith is strengthened, you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” – Emmanuel

When we are easy about life, life becomes easy. It is not circumstances that create stress and upset, but rather our reactions to them. When we make a decision to just go with the flow, every day can be light and effortless. Trying to stick to plans and schedules, to anticipate what will be needed in the future and assert our will over our outer experiences is only wise so far as we are able to remain peaceful and content while doing so. When we begin to feel stressed, it’s a sign that we’re trying too hard to maintain control and are not living in the moment. If we have faith that when we need to take action, we will feel inspired to do so, we can relax into a pleasant life of delightful surprises and experiences.

What You Need

You have what you need. Now go make something of it.

You have an abundance of possibilities. Now get busy fulfilling the best of them.

You have resources, abilities, interests, skills and passions. Now do something meaningful and enjoyable with them.

Don’t waste your time and energy wishing for more. Invest yourself in creating new richness in your own unique way.

Instead of obsessing over what you don’t have, imagine what you can create. Instead of getting hung up on the challenges, get excited about the possibilities.

You are connected to all of life’s abundance. Now do the work to create and to follow the path of your own special greatness.

— Ralph Marston

Tom Carter's Epic Journey Through China

Tom Carter's wanderlust had taken him through the entire length of Mexico, Cuba, and Central America. To continue seeing the world, he decided to teach English in China. Working in this role for a few years non-stop allowed him to save up just enough to traverse the country. Equipped with a digital camera, listening ear, and no agenda, Carter unwittingly ended up creating the most comprehensive book of photography on modern China ever published by a single author. This epic journey taught him much about the people of China, and the unscripted photos have much to show the world about this global superpower of a nation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote September 17 2014

“I have seen several entirely sincere people who thought they were seekers after the truth. They sought diligently, persistently, carefully, cautiously, profoundly, with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted judgment – until they believed that without doubt or question they had found the Truth. That was the end of the search. The man spent the rest of his life hunting up shingles wherewith to protect his Truth from the weather.” – Mark Twain

I recently had a conversation with a friend about church. I had attended a wonderful Spiritualist service and was offering to take him along with me sometime. He was adamantly opposed to going, and when I asked him why, he said, “Well, I’ll go to your church if you come with me to a church of my choosing.” I said, “Absolutely!” This really surprised him, and upon reflection, he realized that he had determined what he believed was false long ago, and then in gripping that belief tightly, he’d closed himself off from everything else that could be valuable or true.

Sincerely Useful

Be sincerely useful, and create meaningful value. You’ll never run out of opportunities to make a difference.

The fulfillment you seek will not come from what you possess. It will come from what you contribute.

Life is beautiful and you can make it more so. The opportunity is everywhere.

The more challenging things become, the more of a difference you can make. Remind yourself how great it feels to genuinely be of service, and then do it again and again.

The more you give, the richer your life becomes. The more value you create, the more hopeful and fulfilling all of life becomes.

Seek to be useful, and you’ll find plenty of ways. Choose to make a positive difference, and experience life at its highest, most satisfying level.

— Ralph Marston

35 Images of Kindness Within Conflict

This collection of photos showing everyday individuals standing for love in times of terrible violence will shake your spirit and open your heart. These acts of love suggest that "during times of conflict and political or religious civil unrest, the power of the human spirit's capacity for non-violent protest and kindness still shines through."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote September 16 2014

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by what he uses to frighten you.” – Eric Hoffer

People usually have a very limited range of responses to life’s upsets. One man may always threaten physical violence while another may threaten to sue. One woman may hint she’ll never speak to you again while another may swear that she’ll expose your secrets to the world if you leave her. Often when conflicts arise, it’s because we mistakenly assume that others think and feel the way we do, but enemies are generally those who are fundamentally different from us — people we just don’t understand. Whether we hope to create harmony or simply to protect ourselves from harm or manipulation, it helps to figure out what others most fear and value.

Great And Limitless Promise

This day exists so that you can do something meaningful with it. This world exists so that you can marvel at its astounding beauty.

Your thoughts, passions, skills, interests and abilities are yours so that you can make use of them. The miracle of life is yours so that you can experience it fully.

The possibilities are here because you will find so much fulfillment in bringing them to life. The challenges are here because you can lift all of life by working through them.

There is hope because you are able to feel it. There is love because you are able to give it.

Realize how vital it is for you to appreciate how precious and full of promise it all is. Resolve again to live life’s great and limitless promise one unique moment at a time.

Feel the richness of life as it exists right now. Step forward, with a joy that goes beyond understanding, and fulfill the promise.

— Ralph Marston

Elizabeth Gilbert On Big Magic

"Have you ever felt shivers on the back of your neck and goose bumps on your arms when you hear an idea that makes you want to follow it? Or felt as though something is laying a path for you? The sense that I have is that we live in a world that's constantly being swirled and encircled with ideas. Ideas are these non-embodied spirits that want nothing more than to be made manifest. And the only way they can be made manifest is in collaboration with a human being's labor." Far from being the tortured artist, novelist Elizabeth Gilbert writes stories in joyful partnership with the inspiration that enters her. In this interview, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love" speaks about Big Magic, dealing with fear, and living a life of passion.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Three Essential Questions - An Excerpt from Love Cycles by Linda Carroll

Most of us live with two competing urges — to merge and to feel independent. If we can strike a balance between them, however, we can reconcile these urges: we can connect deeply with our partner and still feel whole, even when we’re alone. The more we feel a solid sense of self, the more we can accept our partner’s differences. We no longer ask in frustration, “Why aren’t you me?” At a deep level, we truly get that our partner is a separate ...

Mindfulness in Relationships - An Excerpt from Love Cycles by Linda Carroll

The research is clear: one of the primary differences between couples who thrive and those who dive is how they manage conflict. Couples who thrive are likely to possess two strong skills: they can see and accept their differences and, paradoxically, because of this ability, they can be generous and collaborate on a happy coexistence. News anchor Diane Sawyer has said, “A good marriage is a contest of generosity.” Easier said than done, of course. Neurobiologists suggest that some people ...

The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love - Linda Carroll

As a counselor to couples for many years, I’ve come to recognize five distinctive stages we travel through over the course of any intimate relationship:  the Merge, Doubt and Denial, Disillusionment, Decision, and, finally, Wholehearted Loving.

Love Cycles and Choices

The first stage, the Merge, is fueled by a delicious and powerful love potion and marked changes in brain chemistry itself, causes people to become obsessed with the wonder and delight of their new partner. Its as though a veil covers our rational ...

Daily Inspirational Quote September 15 2014

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank

It’s comforting to me to think of Anne Frank hiding in the attic with her family, not wasting her last days on earth by losing herself in perfectly justifiable anger, fear or misery, but making the best of them. If she could focus on the beauty that was left, surely we can look past our own trials and losses to embrace all the blessings that are still ours.

Yours For The Taking

Though it is not your fault, make it your responsibility. Though it is not your job, make it your responsibility.

Responsibility is yours for the taking. When you do choose to take it, what you get are expanded options, greater opportunities and more positive possibilities.

Responsibility makes good things possible. Responsibility enables you to make a difference.

Responsibility is not easy, not convenient, and often not very comfortable. Yet if you are to make something positive and meaningful out of the situation, responsibility is absolutely necessary.

It may not seem fair to have to take responsibility for circumstances you didn’t create. However, by doing so you gain the control that enables you to move forward.

Responsibility is there for you to take. Take responsibility and with it, create something great.

— Ralph Marston

Marina Keegan & The Opposite of Loneliness

Marina Keegan's posthumous writings are moving, sensible and funny. Her parents, with the help of her college professor, put them together to honor Keegan's loving, compassionate spirit after her tragic death. By doing so, they transformed their anger, sadness and grief into a force for positivity and forgiveness that will inspire you.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote September 14 2014

“When we love, we are the universe and the universe lives in us.” – O. Pirmez

I have a dear friend who is positive about everything. Most of the time when I tell her what I’m up to, she exclaims, “I love it!” When I offer my ideas, my insights, my hopes, my plans, she says with a twinkle in her eye, “Wonderful! I love it!” She is so curious about life and excited about exploring new places, people and experiences. She never tones down her enthusiasm to try to look cool or sophisticated; instead of feigning indifference, she is ever expressing how excited she is about life. I spend as much time with her as I can, for I’ve learned that “loving life” is the easiest, happiest way to be at one with the universe.

Discipline With Dignity

Nelson Mandela's adage, "I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends," captures the profoundly inclusive nature of restorative justice (RJ). The hallmark of RJ is intentionally bringing together people with seemingly diametrically opposed viewpoints -- particularly people who have harmed with people who have been harmed -- in a carefully prepared face-to-face encounter where everyone listens and speaks with respect and from the heart no matter their differences. Read more about it here.