Saturday, May 9, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – May 9, 2015

“A tree that is unbending is easily broken.”

Now this is quite straightforward isn’t it? We all know that trees are usually firmly planted and sturdy don’t we? However, when a gale force wind blows and the tree doesn’t “give” in order to cope there is every chance that the wind will persevere until the tree is just ripped from the earth and blown whichever way the wind chooses. Just like the beautiful trees we are buffeted occasionally by situations, people, or stress, and if we don’t bend and adapt in order to deal with these, we too may be broken in spirit.


Satisfaction Or Regret

What can you begin to do right now that will have you looking back on this day with satisfaction instead of regret? What can you do today so at the end of the day you will feel you’ve done your best?

Satisfaction and regret do not just materialize out of thin air. They are the direct results of what you choose to do with your time.

Decide how you would prefer to feel at the end of the day, and live the day accordingly. If you wish to be satisfied with what you’ve done, now is the time to act in that direction.

You can create a day that you know has been well lived. No matter what things outside your influence may happen or fail to happen, you can experience the satisfaction of doing your best with it all.

It’s not that difficult to create a day you can be happy and proud and satisfied to have lived. It’s a matter of intention, and it’s based on what you do right now.

Imagine looking back on this day, and imagine exactly what you would like to look back on. Now is your chance to make it so.

— Ralph Marston

The Prison Freedom Project: Transforming Lives Through Yoga

Five years ago, Brian Bergman and a fellow yoga teacher set out to bring the practice of yoga to prisons in South Africa. At the time, their only resource were 'bucket loads of energy and compassion', and a steadfast determination to serve. Today, the Prison Freedom Project touches the lives of inmates in eight prisons, sowing seeds of radical transformation. It all began with a simple question: How Can I Help?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – May 8, 2015

“Your mind is not a cage. It is a garden…and it requires cultivating.”

Now doesn’t this make perfect sense? Our mind is only a cage if we allow it to be and therefore why would we choose to do that to ourselves? Like a garden, our mind nourishes and grows only what we choose to “plant” in it. We also have the ability to “weed” when necessary and pluck out and discard those things growing that we realize serve no purpose or, indeed, hold us back or hinder us in the cultivation of our fertile, expanding mind.


Be Okay With That

There are people who do not understand you. Be okay with that, and then work in a positive way to encourage more understanding.

There are things that will happen to set you back. Be okay with that, and be ready to quickly recover from the disappointments.

Life is not always fair. Be okay with that, find the beauty anyway, and do all you can to offer genuine compassion to those who suffer from unfairness.

This day may not turn out exactly the way you planned. Be okay with that, and make use of it to create new value anyway.

You may not like what has already happened, but there’s nothing you can do to change the past. Your best strategy is to let it be what it has been, to be okay with it, and to move toward the future you wish to create.

Invest your time and energy in new positive efforts where they will make a difference, not in bitterness about whatever has come before. Be okay with the way things are, and be in a position to make them much better.

— Ralph Marston

The Inner Life of Rebellion

The history of rebellion is rife with burnout, which Parker Palmer has defined as "violating my own nature in the name of nobility." The irony of this moment, where we are freer, psychologically and practically, to be rebels is that most of the forms and institutions we are dealing with don't need smashing -- they are imploding on their own. Many of our acts of rebellion are acts of creation. Read more in this interview by Krista Tippett.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – May 7, 2015

“A heart that reaches out with love can heal a soul, and change a life.”

Many of us don’t realize just how powerful love is and the magic it is capable of. Isn’t it wonderful and empowering to be aware that we all possess this magic within us and are free to choose how we use it? Love is born within us as we emerge into this world of ours and, if we’re fortunate, we’re brought up surrounded by the love of those around us. There will be many times throughout our lives when we can, by utilizing this love, heal those who suffer and perhaps even change their lives forever for the better. Such power, such responsibility, such willingness to reach out and give freely……


Project 562: Photographing Beyond Stereotypes

Three years ago, photographer Matika Wilbur set out on an ambitious undertaking, traveling across America to photograph members of all 562 of America's federally-recognized tribes. Through her project, Wilbur has sought to address the problematic and romanticized depiction of Native Americans in the majority of images featuring them. Herself a member of Native-American tribes, Wilbur asks, "How can we be seen as modern, successful people if we are continually represented as the leathered and feathered vanishing race?" Read on to view some of Wilbur's photographs, and to find out more about the motivations that guide her to use art to challenge stereotypes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – May 6, 2015

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.”

There’s certainly a lot out there to catch our eye isn’t there? Whether it’s on TV, bill posters, social media, etc. etc., it’s impossible not to be constantly noticing what’s around us. Indeed we live in a consumer obsessed world surrounded by hype urging us to buy things we don’t really need, sign up to deals that profit other people, or promoting ways we can be more or look more like so called “celebrities”. These things are transient, they have no substance, and they’re unrealistic…… Try to look past all this and then you’ll see the true beauty that’s out there, within your grasp. The love of family, true friendships, the beauty to be found by just looking around and being aware of the miracle of nature and the animals inhabiting this wonderful world of ours. All we need to enrich our hearts and souls for the taking with no price tag attached.


Rev. Violet Little's Welcome Church

It all began on a cold day in 2006, when the Reverend Violet Little walked into a public restroom in Philadelphia. Inside, she found a woman washing her hair in the sink; and another, using the hand dryer to warm her clothes. They were the city's homeless; the silent voices in the night. It was within this moment that the Welcome Church was born -- a 'church without walls', and one that would soon become Philadelphia's refuge for the homeless. Since then, Little's church has grown by leaps and bounds. And now, offers the support of hundreds of homeless and non-homeless volunteers. Take a moment to read how one woman's heart is helping to change this world.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – May 5, 2015

“Be with someone who brings out the best in you, not the stress in you.”

Most of the people we surround ourselves with are there because we want them to be and, indeed, actively encourage their presence in our lives. However, I know we all have, or have had, people in our lives who, just by picking up the ‘phone and hearing their voices, or anticipating a visit from them or being invited to meet with them, just makes us “antsy” and fills us with stress. Why do it to ourselves? Let’s all strive to surround ourselves with people who do bring out the best in us not the stress in us okay?


Savor The Task, Savor The Moment

In every situation, savor the moment. Whatever you must do, savor the task.

Don’t rush ahead in your mind to whatever is next. Give all of yourself to whatever is here and now.
Resist the urge to make a judgment as to whether it is good or bad, helpful or a waste of time. Just savor it, and fully experience it.

After all, you’re there, you’re in the moment you’re in, you’re doing whatever you’re doing, so do it with all you have. Fighting against it will not serve any positive purpose.

Yes, there are some situations, some people, some activities that it is good to get away from as quickly as possible. Yet while you are there, while you are with them, enjoy, appreciate and savor the moment.

Develop within yourself an unshakable positive presence. Savor the task, savor the moment, savor the experience, whatever it may be, and feel the immense power of your own acceptance.

— Ralph Marston

Wendell Berry: To Save the Future, Live in the Present

"If we take no thought for the morrow, how will we be prepared for the morrow? A steady stream of poisons is flowing from our croplands into the air and water. The land itself continues to flow or blow away, and in some places erosion is getting worse, and 'no-till' technology does not prevent erosion on continuously cropped grain fields." Learn more about how poet and naturalist Wendell Berry sees the need for present and future action on climate change.

Monday, May 4, 2015

About Joan of Arc by Janet Roseman

An Excerpt from If Joan of Arc Had Cancer

Joan of Arc’s achievements are extraordinary for her time, or any time in history, and it is quite tempting to think of her as myth, legend, or folklore. However, Jeanne la Pucelle, or “Joan the Maid,” as she liked to be called, was flesh and blood. The daughter of a farmer, this teenager led more than twelve thousand French militia to victory over the English, without any military training or experience riding horses or carrying a sword. Although she restored the rightful place of Charles VII, the dauphin, as king of France, he betrayed her. When she was captured in 1430 and literally sold to the English, who would later sentence her to death, the king did nothing to intervene on her behalf.

This young woman who heard “voices” from God was both a mystic and a visionary. When she was sixteen years old, her father had a prophetic dream that she would ride off to battle. Echoing the limited traditional roles for young women of that era (marriage, celibacy, or prostitution), he believed ...

Why Joan of Arc? by Janet Roseman

An Excerpt from If Joan of Arc Had Cancer

I like to visit consignment stores because I enjoy the exploration and the fact that you can often unearth treasures. A few months after my mother’s passing, in an attempt to distract myself from the emotional pain I was feeling, I asked her to send me a “sign” that would indicate that she was with me. Wandering around one of my favorite haunts, I heard a loud thump and looked around to see what had happened. A large painting had fallen over, and I picked it up. The painting was a vintage depiction of Joan of Arc confidently riding her horse with her sword held high.

At that moment, I knew this was my mother’s sign to me because she knew that I was in need of courage — frightened of living in what had become an unfamiliar world without her — and that resurrecting my courage was terrifying. I spent the next few months immersed in all things Joan and reading everything I could find about her life. The more I read, the ...

If Joan of Arc Had Cancer – Introduction by Janet Roseman

An Excerpt from If Joan of Arc Had Cancer

Welcome to the wisdom of Joan of Arc. Perhaps you are in the process of treatment, healing, or taking care of someone who is seriously ill, and seeking tools of empowerment for yourself or for someone you love. Life is never the same after a diagnosis of cancer, and feelings of vulnerability and anger are understandable and very common. However, the opportunity to change life for the good can also be a part of that truth. Joan of Arc can be your guide as you reclaim your personal wisdom in the shadow of cancer because discovering your personal wisdom is fundamental to your journey.

I believe that the key to this process is the remembering and resurrection of one’s personal power in all realms: mind, body, and spirit. These areas are too often overlooked by healthcare professionals who have received little training in the psychological and spiritual aspects of illness. As a result, they are more comfortable focusing on treatment protocols. They fail to realize that this is not enough for you, the patient and ...

Daily Inspirational Quote – May 4, 2015

“Today is your day to let go of things that no longer serve you.”

We periodically go through our wardrobes, closets, etc. and have a good clear out of the things that we no longer want to keep because we know we will never find a need for them in the future, or they no longer bring us what they once did. If you take the time to think about it, the same can be said for certain people, places, groups in our lives can’t it? When was the last time that you had a good “clear out?” Perhaps your life would be richer and freer if you were prepared to let go of people or things that serve no useful purpose for you? Think about it.


Consistent, Persistent Effort

If you’re disappointed by the results of your first attempt, that’s no reason to quit. On the contrary, that’s a reason to learn from what you’ve done and make a second attempt.

If you’ve made that second attempt, and a third and fourth and fifth, and still don’t have it right, keep going. Though you may not immediately see it, you’re making progress.

If nothing else, you’re learning what doesn’t work. And, you’re reinforcing the powerful habit of persistence.

What you consistently and persistently do, you soon will do very well. Keep plugging away, and as you do, your effectiveness increases.

The achievement you seek comes from consistent, persistent effort. Keep going, keep learning, keep making improvements, one effort at a time.

Let go of the fantasy of being instantly successful, and choose instead to be reliably successful. With consistent, persistent effort you will find a workable path to whatever achievement you choose to create.

— Ralph Marston

Are You Cultivating Knowledge Or Consuming Information?

The internet represents an unprecedented opportunity to share and access information. But how do we mindfully engage with this tool, and with other emerging technologies, without getting lost in a maelstrom of distractions? Gregory Ciotti suggests that, with a specific set goals for personal growth in mind, we can find a healthier balance between engagement and immersion.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – May 3, 2015

“When the caterpillar thought it was the end of the world, it turned into a butterfly.”

What a lovely picture that conjures up doesn’t it? A tiny caterpillar shedding its outer skin and emerging as a beautiful, colorful, fragile butterfly. We are very similar in that we go about our daily lives totally unaware of how special each and every one of us is in the great scheme of things. Perhaps something totally unexpected happens and turns everything upside down for us and plunges us into the depths of despair and uncertainty about what will happen next. This is when we find we have the ability to cope and actually turn things back around and realize that, while doing so, we have morphed into a beautiful butterfly.


The Real Junk Food Project

For Adam Smith, the slogan 'Life is a Beach' turned out to be somewhat prophetic. Drawing inspiration from his days on the beaches of Australia, Smith decided to dedicate his life to creating The Real Junk Food Project (or TRJFP for short). And the words 'junk food' isn't meant to describe candy bars and potato chips, but rather for food that would otherwise be thrown away as junk from grocers, farmers and restaurants. Using that food, Smith has then created a "pay-as-you-feel" café, with customers using money, labor, or other social currency.