Showing posts from December 21, 2014

Daily Inspirational Quote December 27 2014

“Don’t let someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything.” I know a lot of people who are quick to offer me advice even if I haven’t asked for it. They are adamant that they are the only person in the whole world who knows exactly how I can solve my problem, my issue or reach the right decision. However, the truth is that they don’t, in fact, have anything realistic or helpful to offer me because they have never experienced my situation personally. They may be acting with what they believe are good intentions and that’s fair enough, but when I want advice I want it from people I trust and that I know have been through similar, if not the same, issues and who have learned a lesson from it so I know where I’m going to be told how to help myself.

The Magic Of A Garden

When the Cleveland Elementary School principal asked Mary Schriner, who was applying for a special education kindergarten teacher position, why she wanted to work there, Schriner responded, "Because your school looks like a prison yard, and I'd like to change that." Over the next six years, Schriner established six school gardens that serve as real-world classrooms, started an ecoliteracy program for all students, and facilitated student research that is making tangible changes in the district's food program. "This garden is not so much about plants as it is about working on's about community in every way" says Schriner. Read more here.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 26 2014

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” At the end of our day when we recall how the time passed and how we filled the hours, do we think more of what we got from the day or what we put into it? Perhaps your “harvest” is represented by the money you earned for a job well done, praise for a meal you cooked or accomplishing a goal etc. These are all transitory events while, making a new friend, beginning a course of learning or gaining a new skill will plant a seed we can grow and nurture forever.

Preserving The World's Most Delicate Sites

California-based nonprofit, Global Heritage Fund, is taking a unique approach to preserving our world's most endangered sites. They are bypassing the often tangled ties of bureaucracy, to invest directly into the community which surrounds it. By bringing together highly skilled engineers and archeologists, they are able to save some of our world's most sacred sites. And, in doing so, they're working to preserve an integral part of our cultural history. Take a look at some of these breathtaking sites, and learn more in this interview with the founder.

Best Christmas Ever

What will make this the best Christmas Day ever is love. Give it, live it, share it, allow it and treasure the fact that you can. You don’t need anything elaborate or complicated to make this special day the best one yet. It’s a simple matter of allowing life’s inherent goodness to shine through you in every moment. Let go of your need for things to be a certain way. Give your love, your joy and authentic gratitude to whatever way this day unfolds. Don’t impose any conditions on your enjoyment of the time today. Enjoy the people you’re with and the things you do just because you have the opportunity to do so. Take the unnecessary pressure off yourself and off everyone else. Accept this special day for what it is, however it may be, and enjoy giving your unconditional love to all. You deserve a beautiful experience on this beautiful, meaningful day. Choose now to accept it, to allow it and to graciously share the joy of living with everyone around you. — Ralph Marston

2014 Absolutely Christmas Holiday

Ah! Christmas, the biggest holiday of the year. Christmas has both a strong religious and traditional meaning. It has a certain feel, all to itself, that you usually do not feel at any other time of the year. It creates within us, a sense of kindness and concern for fellow man. At no other time are we more generous and giving. It creates a sense of family and belonging. Everyone comes home for the Christmas holiday. It is a time of family and giving. It is truly a time that comes but once a year. Christmas is celebrated in most countries around the world! And so, you are invited to ride along. Join in celebration of the magic, the wonder and the spirit of this holiday season.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 25 2014

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world and, behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” I love Christmas time. Everybody seems friendlier, more ready to say hello to a stranger, smiley faces evident everywhere, kindnesses being done and appreciated. Children (and me) buzzing with excitement and expectation. However, it’s also the time when I wish that people all over the world could feel the Christmas Spirit all year round and not just for a short time every year. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? As it’s very unlikely that this will happen, it’s up to each and every one of us to do our bit in using our own personal Christmas magic to make the world a better place each and every day.

Free Hugs With Arie Moyal

Holidays can be a lonely and stressful time, particularly for those with mental health issues. Arie Moyal spends two weeks each year around the Christmas holidays providing support to travelers through free hugs. Virginia Satir, a noted family therapist, claimed that we need 4 hugs a day for survival; 8 hugs a day for maintenance; and 12 hugs a day for growth. And scientists have determined that one of the reasons hugs makes you feel good is that they stimulate the production of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to our sense of connectedness, and as a result, happiness. "You have a better day when you get hugs."

Daily Inspirational Quote December 24 2014

“If you love life, life will love you back.” Isn’t that nice to know? I think it’s very easy for us all to get so caught up in just living day-to-day and dealing with all our commitments, jobs and responsibilities that we tend to forget how fortunate we are to be alive. We need to make a conscious effort to rediscover our joy of life. The pleasure we get from the company and love of our family and friends, a good book, doing something we enjoy that give us pleasure. When we are able, and indeed willing, to do this, we open up and allow life to bring the joy and excitement that we have perhaps let slip away back in to fill our waking hours with the happiness and sense of well being we have been lacking which is a good thing…right?

Repaying A Homeless Man's Kindness

After a homeless man offered a college student in England all the money he had so she'd be able to get home safely, the woman is paying it forward -- in a massive way. Throughout the past few days, Dominique Harrison-Bentzen has raised almost $50,000 for the good Samaritan and for other homeless individuals in her community. Read her touching story here.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 23 2014

“Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.” If you’re anything like me when I fall asleep the thoughts going round in my head are to do with the mundane tasks I have to do the following day or, occasionally, my favorite movie star begging me for a date. However, wouldn’t it be wonderful to fall asleep with the plans for a new adventure, an exciting new venture involving a dream you’ve had for a while or a holiday somewhere you’ve always wanted to go but never got round to arranging? Well, what’s stopping you? Make tonight the night you fall asleep with the intention of making your dreams a reality and wake up tomorrow raring to get started!

Critical Steps To Integrating Life & Work

Often times we can feel overwhelmed by what we see as competing values: how can I be a good family member, a loving spouse, a supportive friend, pursue my hobbies and interests and maintain my career? For many of us integrating all of these elements into a fulfilling and rewarding personal life and career is difficult. Stewart D. Friedman's book, "Leading the Life You Want", gives insight on how to create harmony between these components. This piece from Knowledge@Wharton shares more.

Sentimental Gifts For The Holidays - Kala Ambrose

Fifteen years ago on the day after Thanksgiving, which is now known as Black Friday, I woke up at 3am and went with some family members to stand in line at a store which opened at 4am, in order to shop the sales. The mood was festive, lighthearted and the people we chatted with in the line were full of the holiday spirit. Several people offered to go on a coffee and doughnut run for our large group and we all pitched in money and relaxed together savoring the warmth of the coffee and munching away on doughnuts that were hot and fresh from the bakery. It was a unique experience, the group of us there in line, looking to shop early and save some money along the way. Most everyone there had children and were hoping to find good deals on the items their children wanted this year. Grandparents were staying at their homes to watch the grandchildren and it was an opportunity to sneak out of the house while the kids were sleeping and do some Santa shopping. We all chatted ... http://kajama

Decorate for Christmas Like The Ancients - Kala Ambrose

Decorate Like the Ancients with Boughs of Evergreen and Holly. I admit it, I’m a tree lover. I’ve written poetry and short stories about trees and have an ongoing crush with a gorgeous river birch tree in my backyard. I feel confident that several of my past lives were spent as part of a Druid community and trees hold a special place in my heart. At this time of year, one of my favorite sights and smells of the holiday season in the home is the greenery. Ancient cultures celebrated bringing in the green for thousands of years, adorning their homes with evergreen branches and boughs and adding a little mistletoe to keep the season merry and bright. I’m known for my tree decorating skills and have an elaborate seven stage decorating ritual for my Christmas trees. Yes, I said trees, as I’m known to have several around the home each year.  With all that I love during the holidays, there’s one aspect to tree decorating that I’ve never been comfortable with, which is the tradition popu

The Spirit and History of the Season of Yule - Kala Ambrose

Do you know the history and origin of Christmas? The traditions that you hold near and dear may not be as old as you think they are. Early Christians didn’t celebrate birthdays and the actual birth date of Jesus is still unknown. Some astrologers and historians have surmised that the location of the star over Bethlehem and the presence of lambs in the story represent a spring birth, but the actual date was never recorded. (For more information on this topic, check out my interview with Courtney Roberts, about her book and research on The Star of the Magi on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show.) The origin of this holiday comes from over 2000 years ago, originating in northern Europe. The holiday began as a pagan tradition known as Yule, which was celebrated for 12 days.  During this time, Scandinavian people celebrated the Norse God Odin, a bearded god who flew through the air on a horse and handed out gifts. The Pagan Romans held a seven-day festival of Saturnalia beginning on De

Daily Inspirational Quote December 22 2014

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings on a human journey.” Oh I so agree with this! I believe we are all spiritual beings and that our journey through life as a human is something we are required to do by a Higher Power. The trials and tribulations each of us experience is pre-ordained although how we deal with these is not. This is our path to navigate to the best of our ability using the tools we are gifted with at birth, and every step we take, every lesson we learn, is recognized and recorded. Our purpose is to learn as it’s all about how much we learn, how we learn, what we do with what we learn….. no more no less.

Unpacking a Gift from 21 Years Ago

While cleaning out her dresser, a woman stumbles across a beautiful handwoven purse that was gifted to her by a special teacher more than two decades ago. A question from her husband leads her to reflect for the first time on what prompted that teacher's thoughtful gesture. What followed was a beautiful insight on the ways in which our lives are supported by the kindness of countless people. Read Guri Mehta's reflections on 'being raised by a village', and watch the infectious music video that encapsulates the spirit of her words.

Daily Inspirational Quote December 21 2014

“It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.” I’ve always believed that things that happen to us happen for a reason. Whether we choose to make the most of it or think “poor me” is up to the individual. All of us have, at one time or another, had relationship problems, suffered loss or financial hardship, experienced family or work issues, etc., and we are all different in how we deal with what life throws at us. If we can retain a “glass half full” rather than a “glass half empty” ethic, then we’re on our way to, not only dealing with our problems and moving on but building on our ability to do so again in the future, perhaps making it easier too than the time before.

How One Doctor And His Menagerie Transformed A Nursing Home

When Bill Thomas became medical director of a nursing home he decided to attack what he termed the Three Plagues of nursing home existence -- boredom, loneliness and helplessness -- by bringing in some life. Cats, dogs, birds and green plants in every room, and visiting children after school, triggered unexpected transformations. Some medication doses were lowered, residents were invigorated in body and spirit, and a few patients were even able to return to independent homes. This excerpt from "Being Mortal", Atul Gawande's powerful new book on end-of-life care shares the extraordinary story of Bill Thomas' work.