Saturday, April 11, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – April 11, 2015

“If you want to see a miracle, just open your eyes. Everywhere you look, there’s magic in disguise.”

Oh there is, there is! Take time to appreciate the miracles around you all the time, every day. A new baby, a flower, even the rain that we often complain about but without which everything on our world including us, would perish. True miracles are to be found in the wonders of nature around us, or people acting unselfishly towards others, our health professionals who care for us, etc. True magic is to be found in all of these and more. It’s up to each and every one of us to notice and appreciate the magic enhancing our own lives and the lives of those we love.


Opportunity to Care

Today is an opportunity to care. Today is an opportunity to care about what you do, about who you are becoming, about how you treat others, and about all of life.

Though it is easy to be apathetic, it is terribly difficult to live with apathy. Be thankful that you don’t have to, and renew your commitment to care.

Care, not to impress anyone with how enlightened or compassionate you are. Care, with thoughtfulness, with patience, with love, because it feels so right.

Express your gratitude not with empty flamboyance, but with purposeful living. Even when all the world seems careless, especially when the world seems careless, your opportunity to care is more valuable than ever.

Jump with passion into this day and give it some good, measured, meaningful caring. Add a little understanding, a decent amount of humility, and you have a formula for real enrichment.

Care, because it is what you do. Care, and be vibrantly alive.

— Ralph Marston

Sheila Donis: A Life of Giving

Don't miss this interview with an extraordinary woman, Sheila Donis, born on the west side of Chicago, one of nine children living in a small two bedroom apartment above a tavern. A nun for nine years, she left to become a teacher and then an administrator in poor inner-city Chicago schools, a job she loved. She also fought for donations to help her teachers and students and, over a period of 17 years, averaged $500,000 a year in grant money.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – April 10, 2015

“Each new moment is a place you’ve never been.”

Very true isn’t it? We don’t often stop to think about this though do we? Too much going on, too many things to do, people to see etc. Take a moment to think about it. Each new moment in your life is unique to you and only to you. Once it’s gone it’s gone, never to return but yet puts another stitch in the tapestry of your life that’s an ongoing work of art, your own personal masterpiece! Appreciate the moment before you wish it farewell forever….


A Day of Substance

Make today a day of substance. Let go of your concerns about the superficial things that really don’t matter, and devote your energy to the things that do.

Life is a grand experience and there is so much more to it than just keeping up appearances. Even the small, unimpressive moments can be profoundly rich if you’ll just allow them to be.

Remind yourself how fortunate you are to be living this day. See how silly it is to worry and fret over the things you don’t have when you do have so much.

Grab hold of the opportunity that is now. You can make good things happen, and you already know how great that will make you feel.

Look around at the world and smile a great, big, satisfied and joyful smile. Realize, at a deeper level than ever before, how great and limitless your possibilities are.

Use this day for real, substantive progress, the kind you care about so much. Be amazed at the abundance, and be delighted at what you do with it.

— Ralph Marston

Couple Renounce Wedding To Do Acts of Kindness In 50 States

Can you imagine forgoing the wedding of your dreams for the purpose of performing 50 completely selfless acts? For New York couple, Mark and Ismini Svensson, the decision was an easy one. Though the couple had ample funds for a wedding reception and honeymoon, they opted instead to use their savings to finance their journey. "We both realized that what makes us happiest is helping people in need," shared Ismini. Their decision resulted in an online movement dedicated to the proposition of compassionate living. Read more to learn how their "50 Acts of Giving Back" helped to brighten the lives of so many others.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – April 9, 2015

“Don’t expect only happiness in your life. There are going to be dark times, but remember that stars need darkness to shine.”

I think most of us know that life isn’t unending happiness but a combination of happiness and unhappiness, unfortunately for some of us, in unequal measures. However, that’s life and there’s nothing we can do about it but accept and do our best to cope and move on from the unhappy times. The only good thing, if there is such a thing, is that the unhappy times should bring us the realization that the happy times need to be enjoyed and treasured. Just like the stars need darkness in order to shine, so the happy times need the unhappy times to make us value them as we should.


How Gratitude Beats Materialism

We all know the benefits of a grateful heart. It helps us cultivate a deeper awareness of our true gifts in each moment. And yet, even though we know that the most important things in life aren't "things" -- why do we still have a tendency to want to accumulate material goods? Is there a way to deliberately cultivate gratitude, such that it releases us from our need for those bright, shiny things? New research suggests that the answer to that is, yes. Read on to discover how.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – April 8, 2015

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

It doesn’t take strength to do what we do every day as normally it involves just going along with whatever we have to in order to earn a living, run a household, a social life etc. etc. We do what we know we have to because that’s what life usually entails, just getting on with it. Strength comes into play when things don’t go the way we expect or want, and we doubt ourselves in being able to cope and overcome successfully. Much easier for us to ignore or expect someone else to sort things out for us. However, finding the strength to do it ourselves this time enables us to cope better the next time, and the next….


4 Steps To A Healthier Relationship With Technology

Tom Mahon has written about digital technology for over three decades, and has witnessed the dramatic effect it's had on nearly every facet of our lives. "From how we bank, travel, and shop, to more abstract realms, like how we derive a sense of self-worth, how we forge and sustain relationships and how we choose to spend our attention." Mahon believes it's crucial for us, as individuals and a society, to examine our relationship to technology, and to start making more conscious choices about how we engage with it. In this thoughtful piece he articulates 4 steps towards a healthier relationship with technology.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – April 7, 2015

“Be yourself….no matter what other people think.  God made you the way you are for a reason.  Besides, an original is always worth more than a copy.”

I believe this is something most of us find very difficult or uncomfortable, just being who we are.  We tend to want people to think the best of us so find ourselves going along with their ideas or suggestions when we actually want to scream “No!”  It takes courage for us to actually be strong in ourselves when it comes to expressing our own opinion, not just going along with someone else’s, or defending our beliefs from attack. However, think about it….does it make us feel better being one of the herd?  I’ll bet it doesn’t. Much better to be true to who our Creator meant us to be, a true original, a one-off, than a paltry copy.


Highest Standard

Go ahead and live to your highest standard. Even though you may feel you’re not fully appreciated for it, do what you know is good and right and valuable.
When there’s a job to be done, do more than just getting it done. Do your best.
Perhaps no one else cares, or perhaps they care more than you realize. In any case, what really matters is that you know you are living to your highest standard.
Live to your highest standard, and it will pay off in ways you cannot fully appreciate or anticipate now. Live to your highest standard, and feel the power as it accumulates in the form of confidence, competence, wisdom, patience and true fulfillment.
Listen carefully to what others say, but never let anyone’s shortsightedness bring you down. Find new energy and enthusiasm every day, knowing that you are giving your best to life.
Live to your highest standard, no matter what circumstances you may find yourself in. Live to your highest standard, because deep inside, you know that’s what you really want and what you are meant to do.
— Ralph Marston

3 Stories that Will Change the Way You Look at Water

If you can turn on the tap to access clean, drinkable water, you are part of the 90% of the world with regular access to one of humanity's most crucial resources. But what about the other 748 million people across the globe who don't have regular access to water? Tyler Riewer of charity:water has spent the past two years traveling to communities where gathering water is anything but routine. These three stories are a call to action for all of us fortunate enough to drink water with little more than the turn of a knob.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Local Gardens Foster an Ethic of the Land by Clea Danaan

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

How can we create a sustainable world? Are we doomed to extinction, or is there hope? I believe we can craft a new world, one garden at a time….

Into my sturdy canvas bag I put heirloom tomatoes, giant zucchinis, and shiny green peppers, picked fresh that morning. The farm pickup volunteer sits in his wheelchair, calmly surveying the hubbub of shareholders as they weigh out cherry tomatoes and choose the right chilies. My daughter, wrapped around my leg, watches the bustle with interest.

“Hey, Baby, want to go pick some flowers?” I ask as I choose a bunch of chard and nestle it atop the carrots. We head out into the hot afternoon.

As we tromp the dozen yards out to the flower bed and past great piles of compost, I wave at a Somali Bantu elder harvesting cucumbers. My toddler picks marigolds by the fistful while I pluck a few more peppers in a nearby bed. Though the farm’s fields are large, I know she is safe. The ...

The Real Scoop on Digging in the Dirt by Dorothy Morrison

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

I always look forward to Spring; in fact, it never arrives quickly enough to suit me. After the long, cold Winter, I can hardly wait to throw open the windows, breathe fresh air, and feel the sunshine on my face. Just the thought of it makes me want to laugh and play and act like a child again. And…okay, I’ll admit it: It makes me want to dig in the dirt.

As silly as that may sound coming from a grown woman, there’s something both magical and therapeutic about plunging your hands into the soil. First of all, it reaffirms your link with the Earth and increases your capacity for walking between the worlds equally. It also provides a link to the collective consciousness of everyone who has ever tread that piece of ground. Just as important, though, it stabilizes the psyche and allows you to see everything in a new light—a brighter light—a light in which solutions are found, problems are solved, and fresh starts abound. And after the dormancy of Winter, ...

Daily Inspirational Quote – April 6, 2015

“Logic will get you from a to b. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Logic is fine and, of course, it has an important role to play in our lives and can be a great asset in the way we need to look and consider certain things. However, letting loose our imagination is like freeing a bird within us, allowing us to soar, explore and roam wherever we want. No limit or restraints involved, just total freedom, how wonderful is that?  It’s up to each and every one of us to choose to allow and encourage our “bird” to go to places or situations our logical mind would be shaking it’s head and wagging an admonitory finger at us for!  Go on, where will your “bird” fly today?


Four Years of Compassion College

In this moving and thought-provoking talk, ServiceSpace founder Nipun Mehta considers what four years of Compassion College might look like. Through powerful stories of real-life people from South Africa, to India, and from Silicon Valley to Taiwan he illustrates our potential to cultivate generosity in every moment, no matter what our circumstances. He vividly draws comparisons between the four stages of compassion, and the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior years of traditional colleges. Read on to be inspired by the capacity we each have to change ourselves, and the world.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – April 5, 2015

“Peace begins with a smile. Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

It surprises me sometimes that I haven’t either been locked up or verbally abused because I tend to smile at people wherever I find myself.  Walking up the street, in shops, bus queues etc., you name it I’ve probably been there smiling at all and sundry. I think most people on the receiving end of a smile from me just naturally find themselves smiling back.  I like to think that, even if that’s the only smile they get that day, even just from a stranger, that it’s made their life brighter just for that short exchange. It gives me something too so why not try it yourself and see what happens?


What Does It Mean To Be Fully Human

"To be fully human is really to discover who I am ... To discover who I am is to discover also the unity between my head and my heart." Jean Vanier answers some "big questions" including "what does it mean to be fully human"-- questions that are the hallmark of the Templeton Prize. Vanier is the 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate for his work with L'Arche, a revolutionary international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers. "To become fully human is to let down the barriers, to open up and discover that every person is beautiful."