Saturday, January 9, 2016

This Woman Told The Chimp She Lost Her Baby. The Chimp's Response Will Melt Your Heart!

I hear all the time people saying that animals are just stupid, well, animals. They don't have the capability to think or feel like we do. Stories like this counter that opinion harshly.

Washoe the chimpanzee was angry with her caretaker, Kat. Kat hadn't visited her in a very long time and that just wasn't okay at all. When Kat returned, she explained to Washoe that she was gone because she lost her baby.

Then, Washo did something amazing. She signed her grief. She even made the sign for "cry," as chimpanzees aren't actually able to physically cry. What came next was unexpected.

We’ve never seen a math teacher with as much swag as Ron Clark.

The impressive Georgian educator who co-founded the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta posted a video this week depicting several of his students dancing with him to “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me” by DLOW.

The intention of the video was to show that having fun is every bit as important as the school’s unique curriculum for a child’s education.

The clip was originally only going to feature the students, but the kids insisted that Mr. Clark appear and break out his own dance moves like the Nae Nae, the Whip, and Milly rock.

Player’s Honesty Costs Him the Match, But Wins Hearts w/ Sportsmanship

A sharp-eyed tennis player thought an umpire’s decision in his favor was wrong — so he told his opponent to challenge the call. His honesty cost him the match, but won the hearts of fans.

The official at the Hopman Cup match in Perth, Australia Tuesday night called a serve by Australian Lleyton Hewitt out of bounds. But American Jack Sock (pictured at left above) shocked his opponent and brought laughs from the crowd — and the umpire.

“That was in, if you want to challenge it,” Sock said as Hewitt prepared to serve again.

Sure enough, an instant replay showed Sock was right and the crowd burst into applause for his honesty.

He’d been ahead 4-5 in the first set until the call. Sock’s honesty helped Hewitt win the match 7-5, 6-4 and prove that sportsmanship is alive and well.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 9, 2016

“Some people will only “love you” as much as they can use you.
Their loyalty ends where the benefit stops.”

Because we are all different, we’re not all “coming from the same place”. One or more people in our lives may not have our best interests at heart but use us for their own selfish needs or desires. We are happy to welcome them into our lives but it usually doesn’t take us too long to realize their true intent and act accordingly by leaving them by the wayside. Hopefully, if this happens to them again and again they will learn their lesson and become better people. I’ve moved on from these people in the past and, no doubt, I’ll be doing it again in the future.


The Power of Treating Employees Like Family

Parenting gave CEO Bob Chapman an epiphany about leadership: "Parenting is the stewardship of the precious lives that come to you through birth, adoption or second marriages. Leadership is the stewardship of the precious lives that come to you by people walking through your door and agreeing to share their gifts with you." This insight ultimately transformed how Chapman runs his company. In a new book "Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family," Chapman and coauthor Raj Sisodia explain how any company can integrate this perspective into their organization. Read on for an interview with Chapman and Sisodia.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Here's Why Welcoming Refugees Is A Sound Economic Investment As Well As A Moral Imperative

A record high influx of refugees into Germany made headlines this week, as the Ministry of the Interior revealed that 1.1 million people registered as asylum seekers in 2015. Although that number is staggering, research suggests that Germany can afford to accept high numbers, and that the migrants will start benefiting Germany’s economy faster than one might think.

Just under half the arrivals were from Syria, and more than 150,000 were Afghans. Iraqis were the third-largest group, with more than 120,000 new arrivals, according to AFP.  The Interior Minister says the 1.1 million figure includes people who have registered twice, or were just passing through Germany en route to the Scandinavian countries. But the high number has raised concerns about the cost of processing, feeding, housing, educating and generally absorbing hundreds of thousands of refugees.

"Dying In Slow Motion": Videos Show Horror Of Syrian Town's Starvation

The Syrian town of Madaya, caught in the crosshairs of civil war, has not received food supplies since October.
Disturbing new evidence of the barbarity of Syria's civil war, now nearly five years old, has emerged on social media.

Not far from the capital, the town of Madaya is being starved by the dictator's forces. Men, women and children are "dying in slow motion," as one resident put it. Months of deprivation have pushed the smallest and the poorest to the very brink.

A mother feeds her child what looks like broth, but is actually water flavored with jam.
In an online appeal, a man explains "we have no food, no water and no power," then bursts into tears. "Please world," he begs. "We are dying."

Activists say the most wretched are making soup with grass, and some have already died of starvation.

This is all happening just 30 miles from Damascus, Syria's capital, in an area that used to be fertile with farms and orchards.

CBS News traveled to Madaya in 2012 when it was still safe enough to visit the rebels who control the area. Now the rebels and more than 40,000 residents are trapped, surrounded by Syrian government forces who have sealed off all the roads.

Glen Campbell Health Update: Wife Kim Openly Admits, 'It Was More Than I Could Handle'

For Glen Campbell and his family, life has changed drastically. The summer of 2015 had it's share of ups and downs, but learning is half the journey. The Campbell's spoke to People Magazine about their tough couple of months. 

In June of 2011 Glen revealed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. His fans and family were devastated but hopeful. In 2012 Glen embarked on his last ever tour, alongside the people who mean the most to him. The "Goodbye Tour" celebrated his illustrious career, and gave him a chance to perform with his children one last time.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 8, 2016

“A breakdown always leads to a breakthrough.”

We’ve all been there, some more than others, but nobody has escaped a time or times in life when people or situations get us down so much that we’re in a dark place and hope seems like a word not a possibility. However, how many times in the future have we looked back to this time as a learning experience when perhaps the rose tinted spectacles were discarded either by choice or circumstance and we saw people or things as they really were? Usually, we realize that actually things worked out for the best so remember this when the going gets tough.


Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness

If you were going to invest now in your future best self, where would you put your time and energy? While we're constantly told to lean in to work, to push harder and achieve more, The Harvard Study of Adult Development tracked the lives of 724 men for 75 years and found that the healthiest at age 80 were those who had had the most satisfactory relationships. This fascinating TED talk shares more.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thank You… Thank You… Thank You, Angels

This Christmas was going be very quiet and basic, with only a little extra–but we would be together as a family, which is what the day is about.

However just days before Christmas we where visited by a wonderful stranger who had a hamper of delicious food and presents for our 5 children.

As she explained, a group had got together to help us out and thank us for being wonderful parents.
Now we would like to also thank you. We don’t know you but would like you to know how much we appreciated your help.

The children were absolutely amazed on Christmas morning and so happy. It was a dream Christmas morning for them, Santa had delivered so much. For Mum and Dad it was so comforting to have cupboards full of food and to see them so happy. We let our eldest children know how we came to receive such a wonderful Christmas, so they would know the kindness and caring of people in the world, and grow up knowing there is good around us everywhere.

Patient Gets Engaged to Marine Who Gave Her Best Gift of All, Life

It was a match made in surgery.

A complete stranger, proved to be the perfect match for an Illinois woman — he donated part of his liver for a transplant, and they stole each other’s hearts.

Heather Krueger had stage 4 liver disease and her doctors told her she only had a couple months to live unless she could find a living donor.

Chris Dempsey overheard Heather’s cousin talking about the situation at his office, and offered to be tested to see if his liver was suitable for a transplant.

It turns out he was a perfect match – in more ways than one.

Doctors transplanted 55% of Chris’s liver in March, and the two spent a week recovering in the same ICU.

Chained Bull Finally Feels Exuberant Freedom For the First Time (WATCH)

This bull literally kicked up his heels, celebrating his freedom after spending his entire life chained to a tiny stall.

Throw-back Thursday (#TBT) takes us back to August, 2014 when Austrian animal rescue group Gut Aiderbilchl rescued about 500 cattle from cramped stables.

In the video below, Bandit the Bull jumps, kicks, and rolls around in hay as soon as he realizes he’s free.

Later, after a playful romp in his new home, an obviously grateful Bandit nuzzles his rescuer in a show of thanks for saving him.

Note: The other bulls in this pen were also freed–so fully enjoy the moment.

Christian College Kids Raise $800K in 2 Days for Women’s Hospital in Syria

When Christian college students set out to help build a hospital for women and children in Syria, they didn’t need a miracle to raise beyond enough money in a single day.

The students were attending an annual conference called Passion, a global gathering of college-age students that attracted 40,000 attendees over the past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas.

The passionate youth at the arena events, and others online watching the live-stream, donated $785,000 on the first day of the campaign alone.

The $811,813 raised in two days was more than the $575,000 needed for “Project Haraka,” the planned hospital that will serve 12,000 people a year in northwest Syria, including refugees in nearby camps. It will feature the country’s first newborn intensive care unit.

The extra $236,000 raised at Passion will go toward medical care for an additional 10,000 people in the country.

A Random Act of Kindness Caught on Camera Leads a Homeless Man to Shelter

This photo tells the story of an act of kindness credited with finding a homeless man a place to stay in the cold of winter.

A sheriff’s deputy spotted an unidentified homeless man alone in the cold midwestern weather. Sergeant Depuy gave the man a ride to a nearby McDonald’s, where he asked the staff to let him stay inside to get warm.

Alex Fischbach was watching the scene when he said the lawman pulled some money out of his pocket and told the homeless man to buy something to eat.

“The man tried to refuse but the officer said, ‘I’m not asking you to take it, I’m telling you to take it.’” Fischbach wrote on his Facebook page.

Fischbach says the two shook hands before the officer left. He snapped a photo as the sergeant left, and says he was touched that the officer wasn’t looking for “gratitude or recognition.”

Doctor Carries Injured 280-Pound Man Two Miles to Safety

What started as a pleasant New Year’s Day hike for a doctor and his girlfriend, turned into a rescue mission, with the need to carry a 280-pound man two miles to safety.

Dr. Dan Reardon and Dina Zaky were strolling around Escondido Falls on a holiday hike when they came across Mark Martinez, who’d fallen and hurt his ankle.

The man was hopping around on one leg, trying to get back down the mountain in Malibu, California. They didn’t know it at the time, but Martinez had broken his ankle and one of his lower leg bones.

The young doctor hoisted the man onto his back, even though Martinez was one-and-a-half times Reardon’s own weight–and the hero spent two hours carrying him out of the woods.

Zaky ran ahead of them until she could find cell phone reception to call for an ambulance.

Reardon, a former ER doctor, is CEO of a company that helps people get into healthy shape by analyzing their DNA. He plans to help Martinez lose some weight after his new patient and friend recovers from the broken bones.

Texas Businessman Offers Mansions to House Tornado Victims

A Texas millionaire is opening two mansions as temporary housing for families who lost their homes in the state’s recent storms. The payment due for rent? One dollar per month.

Businessman Ron Sturgeon, a property investor who owns RDS Real Estate, was moved to action by the devastating pictures from last month’s storms.

His company usually focuses on commercial real estate, but he had a pair of two million dollar mansions purchased as investments that are currently up for sale. He says the idea to offer them as housing for displaced families “just overtook me.”

“I was just thinking about having those two big homes,” Sturgeon told KDAF News. “It doesn’t make sense for them to be vacant when somebody could be using them that obviously would have a great need.”

He’s had more than 70 people apply, even though his properties are a two-hour commute from the Dallas-area communities where the storms struck.

Muslims Come to Times Square to Take Stand Against Extremism

Amid the revelers and high security on New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square, there were also dozens of Muslims ringing in the New Year with a message of peace.

Just as they did the year before, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association USA carried banners demanding an end to extremism..

It’s part of a campaign this year called “True Islam and the Extremists” that will send the Muslim group traveling to mosques around the country speaking out against ISIL and other extremist ideologies.

Salaam Bhatti from Queens in New York City said if a celebration to mark the changing of the years gave his group just a few seconds to change people’s minds about his religion, it would be worth it.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 7, 2016

“Do what is right for you. No one else is walking in your shoes.”

When I was younger, I tended to believe that everybody else knew better than me and that my opinions weren’t worth anything, so I tended to go along with the herd. However, along the way to reaching the age I am now in my early 60’s, I’ve gradually learned that, you know what, I actually can make decisions and have opinions that matter. Other people’s opinions are just that…opinions they have arrived at in their lives not mine. Now, I’m confident that my decisions and my opinions impact and reflect my path in life which is how it should be for us all.


The Top 10 Insights from the Science of a Meaningful Life 2015

From the link between kindness and awe, and the keys to bridging political divides, to the effect of mindfulness on making healthy choices, and news about the contagious smell of happiness (that's right, you read that correctly -- 'the smell of happiness'), there's a lot that was uncovered in 2015! Enjoy this intriguing list of insights compiled by the Greater Good Science Center from the past year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 6, 2016

“People who judge, DON’T MATTER. People who matter, DON’T JUDGE.”

This is something I have learned over the years. Occasionally, certain people are quick to judge what you do and also share their, often unsolicited, unfavorable opinions with you. At first, this can really impact on how you view who you are and what you are trying to achieve but, thankfully, most of learn very quickly that the people who matter most to us, don’t judge, just support and encourage. The judgmental people tend to lose interest once they realize that you really don’t give a fig about what they think.


Have Wheels Will Shower: Bathroom Buses for the Homeless

If you woke up this morning and showered in the privacy of your own bathroom, consider yourself lucky: America's nearly 600,000 homeless people often don't have a clean place to clean up. But in San Francisco, where the number of homeless has risen seven percent in the last decade, a non-profit organization is putting bathrooms on wheels and driving them to those in need. The group Lava Mae, whose name loosely translates to "wash me" in Spanish, is retrofitting decommissioned city buses with ensuite bathrooms and bringing them into neighborhoods like the Castro, the Mission and the Tenderloin, currently providing about 200 showers each week.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pizzeria Delivers 80 Free Pies to Homeless Shelter for New Year (WATCH)

A spur of the moment decision led to an impromptu pizza party for dozens of people staying at a Michigan homeless shelter–a gesture from a businessman who wants to make it an annual tradition.

Alex Garcia, the general manager at Flo’s Pizzeria Ristorante, had been thinking about a holiday pizza delivery for the homeless before floating the idea to the pizza parlor’s owner on New Year’s Day.

Owner Davide Uccello thought it was such a good idea, he decided to do it right away.

“2015 was our biggest and best year we’ve ever had at Flo’s,” Uccello told WXMI News. “So this was something, with my heart I wanted to say, ‘Let’s give back now.’”

The kitchen whipped up 80 pizzas in 45 minutes and Garcia and others rushed them to a shelter in Grand Rapids in what Uccello hopes will become a New Year tradition for his restaurant.

Pilot Turns Plane Around So Grieving Family Can Attend Dad’s Funeral

Connecting flights can really disconnect you from loved ones, especially if you are on the way to an important family event. If your flight was late, causing you to miss another one, would it do any good to jump wildly up and down, waving your arms in the window as the pilot rolled away from the gate? If you’re booked on Delta Air Lines, it just might save you from your moment of grief.

A flight delay in their home airport of Phoenix, Arizona meant the Short family had only seven minutes to reach their connecting flight in Minneapolis. It was the last flight that could get them to Tennessee before a family funeral laid to rest Marcia’s husband, Jay Short, the next day.

Even at a running pace, the family didn’t reach the gate until their plane was already taxiing to the runway. Mrs. Short and her son waved frantically through the airport windows at the flight crew, as her two adult daughters cried.

Volunteers Turn Abandoned Buildings into Apartments for Homeless Vets

Volunteers have started remodeling hundred-year-old apartments in Ohio to serve as new homes for homeless veterans.

Iron Soup Historical Preservation is reworking old buildings in Campbell, Ohio, and hope to have the first apartments completed shortly. They believe they can remodel 160 old apartments in town to create a “veteran community” and roll back homelessness among vets.

Brian Reed owns a construction company and spent the weekend putting down tile, setting up drywall, and modernizing bathrooms in two apartments—all for free. Other companies and professionals have donated building materials and furniture to the cause.

The old apartments are part of a “company town” housing development constructed by Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company for its workers a century ago, which are abandoned but now on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Work started over the weekend on the first pair of units which will provide shelter for four vets until they can find permanent housing.

Rescued Shelter Dog Becomes The Rescuer: Finds Missing Senior

A dog rescued from a shelter in August turned into the hero who did his own rescuing this week– finding a missing elderly woman who was lost in the cold wearing just a nightgown.

Rebecca Burley was taking Roxanne the Labrador-hound mix for a walk around their Suffolk, Virginia neighborhood last week when they ran into a police search party.

The officers were looking for an elderly woman who’d wandered away from a relative’s house.
Rebecca promised to keep her eyes open for the missing woman, but it was the dog who tracked down the senior later on their walk.

The dog started tugging on her leash, pulling Rebecca off the sidewalk and toward a ditch where the dog had spotted the missing woman, lying on the ground in distress.

Hold On For Deer Life: Man Risks His Own to Rescue Frozen Doe (Video)

A man risked his life to save a young deer after it fell through the ice covering a freezing Minnesota river.

Steven Peterson didn’t know how long the doe had been languishing in the Kettle River outside Duluth when he first spotted her, but he knew every minute was critical.

Peterson is deaf, and decided that trying to communicate with an emergency operator could waste precious time. So, instead of calling 911, he set out across the ice to rescue the deer himself.

Carrying a tree branch to spread out his own weight across the ice, he crawled out to tie a rope around the deer’s neck, before returning to pull the animal out of the water.

The deer was covered in ice but had only minor wounds. Peterson stayed with her for about an hour to make sure the doe, which he’d named “Miss Ice River,” could take care of herself.

Breakthrough Smart Watch Converts Text and Email into Braille

207 years ago today, the man who devised a system for reading and writing for the blind, was born. Now, Louis Braille’s system of dots has been given a hi-tech design upgrade by a company called Dot, Inc.

The Dot Watch, which turns text messages into braille for the blind, is being celebrated as the first major innovation for visually impaired readers in nearly 15 years.

After seeing a blind classmate lugging around a heavy braille bible, which contained only five percent of the contents of the holy book, Eric Ju Yoon Kim was surprised that nothing like a Braille iPad existed.

So the University of Washington student set out to invent one.

His first product is a smart watch that raises and lowers pins on its face to create four Braille characters at a time. The watch works with both iOS and Android devices, allowing the blind to immediately read texts, alerts, and other short messages.

Electro-mechanical Braille readers can translate text on computer screens in a method similar to the DOT watch, but the bulky machines can cost more than $2,000.

Non-Chemo Cancer Treatment, Simple as Flu Shot, Moves Closer to Reality

Imagine treating cancer as easily as taking a monthly shot in the arm.

Doctors in Texas have been cleared to move forward with another round of human trials on a “cancer vaccine” that turns a deadly disease into a chronic one that can be more easily treated — allowing patients to live far longer.

It’s a form of immunotherapy that eliminates the need for chemotherapy and other difficult treatments — allowing cancer to be treated like diabetes or hypertension.

“We don’t cure, but we control the disease,” Dr. Maurizio Ghisoli told KTVT News.

The immune system doesn’t recognize cancer cells on its own, so it needs outside help to attack the disease. With this particular type of immunotherapy, doctors create a personal shot for each patient. They take cells from the patient’s tumor, modify them so the immune system can attack the cancer, then re-inject the cells back into the body.

Science-Proven Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Goals

It’s 2016 and many people have set resolutions to create a fresh start to the New Year. But sometimes we need help sticking with it.

Scientific research has shown what works best for achieving your goals. For example, did you know that you are more likely to reach a goal if you partner up with someone else? In one study, couples that were part of a 12-month fitness program had a drop out rate of 6% compared to a whopping 43% for people trying to stick to the program on their own.

Check out this info-graphic for a quick perusal of helpful strategies for success.

Hope for California Drought: Sierra Snowpack is 136 Percent of Normal

SAN JOSE, Calif. — State surveyors in the Sierra Nevada delivered some welcome news on Wednesday amid California's worst drought in more than a century: The snowpack is well above average for this time of year.

In an anxiously watched rite of winter, state Department of Water Resources surveyor Frank Gehrke weighed a tube of snow at Echo Summit and found it held 16.3 inches of water, about 136 percent of the historical average for the site. To get to the site, he trudged through snow more than 4.5 feet deep — about 1.5 feet deeper than average.

Water officials, however, stressed that while the measurements were far better than last December's paltry 4 inches, California still has a long way to go to recover from its punishing drought, which is now three months into its fifth consecutive year.

The encouraging omen comes as El Nino, a weather phenomenon caused by warming Pacific Ocean water along the equator, is expected to deliver a parade of storms to California in early January. It's already being blamed for weird weather elsewhere in the U.S: flooding in the Midwest, blizzards in New Mexico and tornadoes in Texas.

Doctor Fulfills Girl’s Wish to Hear Him Sing After Successful Surgery (WATCH)

When Kaylee Peebles was recovering from her intestine surgery, she asked if her doctor could make her feel better by singing her a song.

Ready to serenade the young 17-year-old, Dr. Leinwand grabbed a guitar from the Bronson Methodist Hospital’s music therapy room and strummed out a sweet cover of “Closer To Fine” by The Indigo Girls–while someone recorded the impromptu music on their cell phone..

3,000 Life Vests Arranged On Mountain Sends 2016 Message of Hope -WATCH

Over 100 volunteers from Greenpeace, MSF, and other organizations just kicked off 2016 with more compassion and grace than ever.

Designed to be a message of hope, 3,000 abandoned life jackets were arranged in the shape of a peace sign on the Greek island Lesbos where thousands of refugees arrived in 2015 seeking solace.
Greenpeace’s Facebook page posted the video today with the tagline “Peace and #safepassage to all in 2016.”

Scientists Find a Way to Edit DNA to Cure Genetic Disorders

An innovative gene-manipulation technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 has shown further promise as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), all while avoiding potential ethical dilemmas.

A series of three animal studies was published in the journal Science on Thursday, demonstrating the effectiveness of CRISPR-Cas9 in selectively editing the defective gene responsible for DMD, which affects approximately 1 in every 5,600 to 7,700 males ages 5 through 24 in the U.S. The researchers used harmless virus (adeno-associated virus, or AAV) to inject the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system into living mice; once inside, it was able to snip away one of the genetic mutations thought to be responsible for DMD. Afterwards, these injected mice had a degree of their muscle function restored, in some cases for as long as six months.

“We are very encouraged by these results in animals and feel this work is an important step forward in realizing the potential of gene editing to correct disease-causing mutations in muscle tissue of patients with DMD,” says Amy Wagers, one of the many study authors and a Harvard University researcher.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 5, 2016

“All of your wishes can come true. It is your own doubt that blocks them from coming through.”

I guess it’s easier to say “think positive” than actually act positively. However, when we make our wishes and “send them out there” do we totally believe that they are going to come true or do we tend to think that it would be nice if they came true but how likely is that? We need to change our thinking pattern and really believe and focus on the certainty that our wishes WILL come true rather than doubt they will. Surely it’s better to be optimistic with positive expectations rather than the opposite thus allowing this positivity to enhance a possible successful outcome.


The Top 10 Kindness Stories of 2015

What if we invited people from different parts of the world, to sit around a fireplace and share stories of their experiences with kindness? A kind act that they may have done, received, or been a witness to. That is what the online community looks like. It's hard to select a few stories from thousands that were shared. Some are small acts that make someone's day, while others are life-altering to say the least. But they all have one thing in common, a big heart. Here are the top 10 stories of kindness from 2015!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Today's Temperatures At The North Pole Are Scaring Scientists Around The World.

The North Pole is famous for many things. 24-hour darkness, polar bears, and of course, being the home of Santa Claus.

One thing it's definitely not known for, though, is balmy, casual, "Hey, how cold is it? Do you think I need a light jacket?" type temperatures.

The north pole is freezing. It's one of the coldest places on Earth. In fact, it's sometimes colder than Mars. Mars!

But according to scientists, a storm the likes of which few have ever seen is about to raise north pole temperatures to as high as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's about 50 degrees warmer than usual and is, according to meteorologist Eric Holthaus, "absolutely terrifying."

It's always comforting when a scientist uses the words "absolutely terrifying."

The Dark Side of The Way of the Happy Woman

An Excerpt from The Book of SHE by Sara Avant Stover

Before we get started, I need to tell you a secret. In the spring of 2010, about six months before my encounter with Mary Magdalene, I experienced a perfect storm of three life-changing events that altered my path forever. Just as I signed the contract to write my first book, The Way of the Happy Woman, which was a lifelong dream come true, my then-boyfriend broke up with me, and my landlord asked me to move out of my idyllic home in Boulder, Colorado. Suddenly, I was bound to a six-month deadline and — despite my best attempts — I couldn’t find a new home. Every possibility I came across imploded. Running out of time, and without a stable base from which to write, I received the grace of a girlfriend’s invitation to move out to Ashland, Oregon, for the summer to rent a home she owned and finish the book. I packed my car, put the rest of my belongings into storage, and headed west.

Once there, I struggled to nurse my broken heart without my ...

Connecting to the Earth

An Excerpt from The Book of SHE by Sara Avant Stover

In order to connect with ourselves, we need to first connect to the earth. This process, called earthing, stands as one of the most important self-care practice we can do each day. When we’re cut off from the earth, we’re also cut off from our bodies, and then we can’t hear our inner wisdom telling us what we need to do next. We’re disconnected from our greatest inner resource — our embodied sense of home and wholeness.

Once again, scientific studies now tout what sages have known for centuries — there are tremendous physical benefits to earthing. Simply putting our bare feet on the ground outside for ten to twenty minutes a day helps to reduce chronic inflammation, the primary cause of virtually all diseases. Since our skin serves as a conductor, when we touch any part of our skin to the earth, free electrons — the most powerful antioxidants available — flow from the earth into our bodies. Clinical studies have shown grounding experiments to cause beneficial changes in heart rate, decreased skin resistance, and decreased ...

Entering Your Inner House

An Excerpt from The Book of SHE by Sara Avant Stover

It’s time to learn how to take care of yourself. I mean really take care of yourself. The most profound self-care practice we can do is right under our noses. It’s an internal practice, so simple and obvious that we often completely miss it. When we bypass this step, no amount of external pampering can nourish our depths when we’re feeling depleted, afraid, overwhelmed, or insufficient.

Self-care is just this: lovingly meeting ourselves exactly where we are and allowing things to be as they are. When we can hold ourselves in this way, our inner world starts to become softer, gentler. We start to trust our own basic goodness, and we even come to learn that irritation, aversion, doubt, and resistance aren’t to be evicted through our self-care; they’re to be allowed and included by it.

Devoid of our loving presence, our bodies become more like haunted houses than goddess temples. How did we end up this way? Trauma has frozen inside. Our bodies house all of our old memories, sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Scary, unpredictable, too much, too little: At some point ...

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 4, 2016

“Best rule for a simple life: Care with no reason, love with no expectations.”

Oh if it were only that simple! I think that’s one rule that few of us could say we are able to follow. Humans just aren’t made to care with no reason or love with no expectations. If we could then life would be truly simple but wouldn’t it be lacking something? The reasons that make us care and love with expectation come down to one thing, we have a heart and, for that, we are truly thankful.


A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior

"I had just walked into my daughter's room as she was working on a science project. Normally, I would have been pleased at such a sight. But this time, her project involved sand. A lot of it. And, while she had put some plastic underneath her work area, it wasn't nearly enough. The sand was spreading all over our newly renovated floors." When a fraught interaction with his daughter led Peter Bregman to examine his behavior, he gained valuable insight into how each of us can change our mode of dealing with challenging situations for the better.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 3, 2016

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

I love nature! The different flowers and plants, their colors, scents, the intricate patterns that can also be seen on some species of animals and winged creatures; the fish and mammals in the oceans and rivers. So much to see and wonder at. None of which has man’s hand it its creation but comes into being perfect and individual. Marvelous seems a very mundane word for it all but then what word or words could sum up something as wondrous as nature?


A Love Letter to the Wilderness

This love letter to wilderness celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act with stunning images and excerpts of poetry and words on wilderness from Edward Abbey, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir and Wallace Stegner. In 50 years, the designated wilderness areas in the United States has grown from nine to 109 million acres, including national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management lands.