Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sorority Shuts Down Stereotypes in Poignant Photo Series

A Southern sorority is breaking down stereotypes with a series of photos that describe their real-life personalities, goals, and abilities.

“We are more than a stereotype,” the sisters of the Delta Zeta chapter at the University of Louisville, Kentucky posted on their Facebook page. “We are strong, independent women with many accomplishments and goals.”

Thirty-nine sorority sisters posed with stereotypes written on one hand, and a fact breaking it on their other.

They attacked entrenched views about sorority members such as…

12-Year-old’s Time Capsule From 1949 Returned to Him as a Man in His 70s

A contractor who was renovating an historic home, stumbled onto a piece of personal history — a little boy’s time capsule from 1949 — so he spent his own time to return it to the now-old man.

Bill Gilbert was 12-years-old when he fashioned his time capsule in a Mason jar and hid it in new cabinets at the family home in Pueblo, Colorado.

He included a neatly typed note describing his family history and their pets — an Irish setter, two kittens and a bird — along with some stamps from his collection, an old coin, and a family photo.

Sixty-six years later, contractor Mark Knecht was renovating the basement of the house and discovered the time capsule. Realizing it might have a great sentimental value, he decided to track down the owner.

A quick Internet search led him to a relative of Gilbert’s who passed along the contractor’s phone number to the now 79-year-old man living in Seattle, Washington.

Gilbert was excited about the discovery and offered to pay the postage to have the time capsule shipped to him, but Knecht said he’d bring it in person.

It turns out, Knecht had grown up just a few miles from where Gilbert now lives and brought the artifacts with him on a trip to visit family.

Gilbert smiled as he held the contents of his time capsule again, for the first time since he was a 12-year-old boy.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 30, 2016

“The best feeling is when someone appreciates everything about you that someone else took for granted.”

This is best summed up by a very close friend of mine who had been in a relationship with a man who was very controlling mentally towards her. He lost no opportunity in belittling her or verbally chastising her. He criticized her weight and her physical appearance, and constantly pointed out her faults as perceived by him, and only him. After almost 11 years of this behavior and following a lot of emotional turmoil and soul searching, she found the strength to leave him. It didn’t take long for him to realize how much she had loved and supported him and that he missed and needed her in his life again. However, she met someone else who showed he loved her not just by saying so, but by supporting her, praising her appearance, appreciating everything she did for him, and by doing whatever he could to make her happy. She is beginning to blossom again into the person she has a right to be while her former partner is left regretting, too late, the loss of the best thing ever to happen to him.


A Beautiful Mind: A Conversation with Gina Sharpe

What if "the real adventure and beauty in life does not consist in grand gestures but in imperceptible acts of daring -- moments of daring to be open, to listen, to not run away or defend ourselves from what arises"? In this interview, Tracy Cochran explores precisely this idea with Gina Sharpe, co-founder of Manhattan retreat center New York Insight. Their illuminating conversation explores how 'the basis of a beautiful life is a beautiful mind'. And prompts us on a path to seeing the world and each person around us, "so clearly that we see their part in the whole -- in other words, we see their beauty."

Friday, January 29, 2016

R E S P E C T: Aretha Franklin to Pay For Hotel Rooms For Flint Families

We’ve heard about celebrities such as The Game, Pearl Jam, and Cher contributing to the Flint, Michigan water crisis, so it’s not surprising that Detroit native Aretha Franklin, showed some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the gravity of the situation.

In a serious feel-good move, the R&B star is reserving enough rooms to house up to 50 of the city’s residents in the Southfield Holiday Inn in nearby Detroit, with the Coney Island restaurant providing catering.

Flint residents who wish to apply for the accommodations will go through a pre-screening at Detroit’s the New Bethel Baptist Church where Aretha’s father used to minister.

“Detroiters usually come to the aid of Detroiters – and Flint is certainly regarded as Detroit,” the Queen of Soul told the Local 4 news station. “Hang in there.”

No word on how long the hotel rooms will be available at no cost.

Meanwhile, Michigan’s political leaders are scrambling to keep from looking like a ”Chain of Fools.”

Crippled Dog in Hoarding Home Finds Love From George Clooney

People at each successive adoption event were taken aback by Nate the rescue dog because of his birth defects, but a Hollywood legend decided he was a perfect pet.

“A barrel chest, a leg that swayed. He walked like a Hyena.” LuvFurMutts Animal Rescue posted on its Facebook page describing the little terrier mix.

Actor George Clooney, after seeing photos and video online, thought the little dog was a keeper and adopted the three-year-old mutt for his parents, whose own terrier had passed on recently.

Nate had been one of 22 dogs rescued from a hoarding situation and moved to the group’s adoption facility in Fairfield, Ohio. For nine months nobody wanted him, until the Hollywood A-Lister swooped in to claim him for his mom and dad.

Clooney is keen on rescuing shelter dogs. He and wife, Amal, adopted their third rescue dog, a basset hound named Millie, in October to join two rescued cocker spaniels.

Wildfire Evacuation: Doctors, Nurses Stay Behind To Rescue Animals

When a wildfire swept across Western Australia, a pair of veterinarians and their nurses elected to stay at their clinic to give free medical care to animals left behind.

Baby kangaroos, possums, horses, dogs, and cats were brought by firefighters to the staff at the Waroona Veterinary Clinic, keeping them busy around the clock.

Clean Water Pours Into Flint as Rapper The Game Sends $1 Million

Rapper “The Game” is stepping up the game for celebrities who want to contribute to suffering residents of Flint, Michigan during the city’s contaminated water crisis. He delivered a million dollars, in cash and water, and challenged other smaller donors, like Jimmy Fallon and Madonna who gave $10,000 each, to open their wallets wider.

The Game, also known as Jayceon Terrell Taylor, has given $500,000 of his own money and he worked with Avita Water to provide another half-million in free bottled water for city residents.
Flint’s water supply became contaminated after the city switched sources and lead leeched from old pipes into its drinking water.

Other celebrities such as Cher, and Pearl Jam, and Big Sean have contributed money and bottled water to the city’s people, but The Game’s gift is believed to be the largest single contribution so far.
Stay tuned to see how many celebrities take him up on his million-dollar challenge.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 29, 2016

“Magic is essentially the higher understanding of nature.”

I believe we are all born with magic within us and therefore capable of manifesting and weaving our own “spells” using our intent, and this is where nature comes in. How can we not believe in magic when we behold the miracles of nature all around us every day? There is nothing quite like walking through a forest, sunlight streaming down through the trees, or rain making music as it kisses the leaves and ground as it falls, or crisp crunchy footfalls on a frosty day. Perhaps catching a fleeting glimpse of a beautiful forest creature or bird wary of the stranger in their midst. This is when my own belief in magic is paramount, that something so wonderful, so spiritually inspiring, and with no man’s hand in it’s conception, exists for all of us to appreciate and enjoy. It inspires me to feel that I too have the ability to create and weave my own magic.


Dr. Abdul Kalam on Life's Pursuit

This artful rendition of the inspiring words of the late former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, cautions us against the constant pursuit of material goods and status symbols, and prompts us instead towards discovering our own deepest dreams and convictions.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 28, 2016

“Just remember you can’t put your arms around a memory so hug someone you love today.”

Anybody who knows me will tell you I am a serial hugger, yes hugger, not mugger! Always have been and always will be. I’m so thankful I was made this way as I have no regrets that my parents, who sadly both passed years ago, ever suffered a lack of hugs and kisses from me, whether they wanted them at the time or not! My children are also both very tactile which is nice, so lots of hugs and kisses there too. I wish everybody felt and behaved this way but realize that’s a wish that might be stretching it a bit. The sad thing is I’ve often known people feeling remorse when a loved one passed as they felt they didn’t give them enough of their time, told them they loved them enough, hugged them enough, or just listened to them enough. It’s also been proved in some medical studies that hugs benefit peoples’ health, which is not news to me personally, but hopefully gives the green light to us all giving and receiving hugs, and more hugs, and more hugs……….


Love Life: An Inspiring Journey Spurred by Tragedy

It's hard to miss Steve Fugate's message as you see him walking, pulling a cart packed with his supplies and water. The message is in bold red letters on a sign mounted over his head. And it's simple: "LOVE LIFE." 67-year-old Fugate has been walking across America spreading that message of love from town to town across every state on the mainland. His mission? "To mend the broken heart while it is yet beating." In 1999, his only son committed suicide while Fugate was in the middle of hiking the Appalachian Trail. And several years later, he lost his daughter in an accidental overdose of drugs that were meant to treat her multiple sclerosis. This news story covers Fugate's journey and offers a moving glimpse of a man who responded to profound grief with staggering love.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Neighbor Films T-Rex With Tiny Hands Trying To Shovel Driveway

What does a dinosaur in Fort Campbell, Kentucky have in common with a batman in Rowlesburg, West Virginia? They are both digging out from the big snowstorm, of course…

Amy White Saxon posted a video on Facebook that had us chuckling over the weekend showing her whimsical neighbor dressed up in a T-Rex costume struggling to shovel a driveway, while getting a laugh out of his son..

Meanwhile, Batman needed to summon superhuman strength for shoveling powder nearly up to his waist in Rowlesburg, West Virginia.

Pearl Jam Sends $367K in Aid to Contaminated Flint, Michigan

When it comes to helping the people of Flint, Michigan during the city’s water crisis, you “can’t find a better man” than any of the members of Pearl Jam.

The Seattle rock band has pumped aid to the tune of $367,000 into the town where high levels of lead have leeched into the water supply from old pipes.

The band pledged $125,000 to the local United Way and talked their friends and business partners into pledging another $175,000.

The band also created a CrowdRise page to let fans donate to the cause. All money will go to the Flint Water Fund set up by the United Way of Genesee County.

The page has raised $67,000 since Friday.

Not a Pearl Jam fan? Rapper Big Sean also has his own CrowdRise page that’s raised $21,000 so far for the Community Foundation of Greater Flint Michigan.

Aretha Franklin is also stepping up, offering to pay for 50 hotel rooms with meals for families to be pre-screened by her father’s Baptist church in Detroit.

Photo: Lugnuts, CC

Mom Adopts Hospice Babies No One Else Wants

A former nurse has found a new calling — caring for the terminally ill children that no one wants.
Often, the parents are too overwhelmed with serious medical conditions and give up the children at birth. Foster parents aren’t equipped either.

Cori Slachert has created her own “baby hospice” for these infants, inside the home she shares with her husband and where she’s raised their eight biological children.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 27, 2016

“The earth has music for those who listen.”

The earth gifts us the pleasure of its own music and makes use of the sounds of the creatures who roam its surface, the wind through the leaves of the trees, the streams that murmur or roar, the crashing sound of waves made by the sea….surround yourself with these and you will truly feel as one with the earth we walk upon.


The Surprising Benefit of Going Through Hard Times

Psychologists studying "post-traumatic growth" find that many people come to thrive in the aftermath of adversity. Read on to learn more about the amazing ability of human beings to not only adapt but to grow incredibly after loss.

One of Frida Kahlo’s most famous self-portraits depicts her in a hospital bed connected by a web of red veins to floating objects that include a snail, a flower, bones, and a fetus. Henry Ford Hospital, the 1932 surrealist painting, is a powerful artistic rendering of Kahlo’s second miscarriage.

Kahlo wrote in her diaries that the painting “carries with it the message of pain.” The painter was known for channeling the experience of multiple miscarriages, childhood polio, and a number of other misfortunes into her iconic self-portraits, and a real understanding of her work requires some knowledge of the suffering that motivated it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bruce Springsteen Offers Free Download Of Full Concert – Today Only

Bruce Springsteen is offering free music after a “10th Avenue Freeze-Out” shut down his concert in New York City over the weekend.

For today only, The Boss is giving anyone, no matter where you live, a free MP3 concert recording to download.

The winter storm that hit the U.S. East Coast, canceling thousands of flights and closing roads, also forced Springsteen to cancel his Sunday night show at Madison Square Garden. So he made his January 19 concert in Chicago free to download for a limited time.

You have until 8:00 pm Eastern Time tonight to download the concert for free at his website.
It features 33 songs including Springsteen’s first ever performance of the Eagles’ “Take It Easy” — in a tribute to Glenn Fry who passed away earlier this month.,13586/Bruce-Springsteen---The-E-Street-Band-mp3-flac-download-1-19-2016-United-Center-Chicago-IL.html

There’s no word on a make-up date for the missed concert, but Springsteen’s show scheduled for tomorrow night at the Garden will go on – now that the storm is over and the city’s looking toward “Better Days.”

Doing Laundry for Homeless Earns Them Young Australians of the Year Award

A pair of best friends have been named Young Australians of the Year for doing laundry for the homeless.

Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett have washed, at no charge, more than 75 tons of clothes belonging to homeless people in Australian cities with their fleet of vans equipped with industrial washing machines and dryers.

The buddies from Brisbane started Orange Sky Laundry in 2014 with a single truck they converted into a mobile laundry that contained two washers and two dryers. Less than two years later, they oversee trucks in five cities and have 270 volunteers to help.

Calling clean clothes “a basic human right,” the two 21-year-olds and their volunteers take the mobile laundries, which run on generators, right into parks and homeless centers—wherever people need them.

They’ve also deployed their vans during disasters to help people forced out of their homes by wildfires and cyclones.

Girls Hang Sweaters Around Florida Lamp Posts For Homeless to Find

Some of Florida’s homeless are going to be toasty this week following a cold spell in the state, thanks to a group of young girls who tied warm clothing around lamp posts for the less fortunate to find.

Inspired by a story posted to Good News Network back in November that featured Canadian children leaving jackets around Halifax, kids from the Annunciation Catholic Church collected 100 donated sweaters and coats and left them on lamp posts in downtown Apopka, Florida.

The young volunteers noticed more than one homeless person gratefully claiming the clothing, which had tags attached that said: “I am not lost. If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to stay warm.”

Beautiful Snow Sculptures of Birds Appear in Virginia Town After Blizzard (LOOK)

Giant birds began appearing out of the blue on the day after a winter storm dumped more than two feet of snow in Bedford, Virginia.

Now, people are flocking to see the colorful snow sculptures.

Kathy Hatcher posted pictures of the icy ornithological statues to her Facebook page looking for the artist behind the whole gaggle of birds including…

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 26, 2016

“When something bad happens you have three choices, you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

We don’t have any control about the bad things that happen to us all at times but we do have a choice as to how we deal with them. We can wear it like a cloak for everyone to see, allow it to overcome us and bring us to our knees or deal with it and move on. I know which one I would choose and it’s not either of the first two choices. What would you choose?


Stop. Look. Go: Practices for Grateful Living

"All of us want to be experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment -- it is a gift! You haven't earned it. You haven't brought it about in any way. You have no way of assuring that there will be another moment given to you. Grateful living -- that's the most valuable thing that can ever be given to us." In this beautiful video, filmmakers from Gnarly Bay have used audio from Brother David Steindl-Rast's TED talk: "Want to be Happy? Be Grateful" to illustrate his grateful living practice "Stop. Look. Go." Watch and be charmed into gratefulness!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Whatever You Think Or Feel, The Universe Says Yes!

An Excerpt from Sidewalk Oracles by Robert Moss

Whatever you think or feel, the universe says yes. Perhaps you have noticed this. Yes, we are talking about the law of attraction. It is indeed an ancient law, never a secret to those who live consciously. “All things which are similar and therefore connected, are drawn to each other’s power,” according to the medieval magus Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim. It is a rule of reality that we attract or repel different things according to the emotions, the attitudes, the feelings, the agendas that we carry.

Before you walk into a room or turn a corner, your attitude is there already. It is engaged in creating the situation you are about to encounter. Whether you are remotely conscious of this or not, you are constantly setting yourself up for what the world is going to give you. If you go about your day filled with doom and gloom, the world will give you plenty of reasons to support that attitude. You’ll start looking like that cartoon character who goes about with a personal black cloud over his head that rains only on his parade. Conversely, if your attitude is bright and open to happy surprises, you may be rewarded by a bright day, even when the sky is leaden overhead, and by surprisingly happy encounters.

Your Own Will Come to You

An Excerpt from Sidewalk Oracles by Robert Moss

Your own will come to you. AE (the visionary writer and artist George Russell) summarized the law of spiritual gravitation in this phrase. It is a vital truth. AE also wrote: “I found that every intense imagination, every new adventure of the intellect [is] endowed with magnetic power to attract to it its own kin. Will and desire were as the enchanter’s wand of fable, and they drew to themselves their own affinities....One person after another emerged out of the mass, betraying their close affinity to my moods as they were engendered.”

If the passions of our souls are strong enough, they may draw “lifelong comrades.” In his beautiful little book The Candle of Vision, AE gave a personal example. When he first attempted to write verse, he immediately met a new friend, a dreaming boy “whose voice was soon to be the most beautiful voice in Irish literature.” This was of course William Butler Yeats. “The concurrence of our personalities seemed mysterious and controlled by some law of spiritual gravitation.”

Becoming a Kairomancer

An Excerpt from Sidewalk Oracles by Robert Moss

Kairos is jump time, opportunity time, the special moment that you seize or miss. In Kairos moments, you may feel you have been released from linear time or that powers from outside time have irrupted into your world. The Greeks personified Kairos as a young, fleet-footed god, completely bald except for a curling lock falling over his forehead. Hence the phrase “seize time by the forelock.” If you meet this fellow on the road and fail to seize the moment, you’ll find him very hard to catch. Kairos is slippery.

Brutus talks about Kairos time, the time of opportunity, in a famous passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures.

Kairos, in Greek, has related meanings in two interesting contexts: archery and weaving. In archery, kairos means an opening, in the specific sense of a long aperture through which the archer must make his arrow pass, as Odysseus, at the start of his battle with the suitors, must fire an arrow through the holes in a dozen ax heads standing in a row, in order to prove himself. Meeting the test of this kind of Kairos requires fine precision and the force to drive the arrow all the way through. In the art of weaving, kairos is the moment when the weaver must draw the yarn through the gap that opens — just for that moment — in the warp of the fabric that is being woven.

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 25, 2016

“Remember that, wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

Sometimes we are so caught up in just coping with life that we lose sight of what’s really important to us, i.e. our family and friends. Our endeavors in earning enough money or acquiring “stuff” can divert our attention away from the real treasure in our lives namely those we love and cherish. Take the time to let them know how much you love and care for them and that you feel blessed to have them in your life.


5 Important Things We Learned About Mindfulness in 2015

The more we learn about mindfulness -- cultivating a focused awareness on the present moment -- the more health and well-being benefits we discover. In 2015 researchers delved deeper into the science of meditation and uncovered even more surprising evidence of the powerful effects of mindfulness on mind and body.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote – January 24, 2016

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Sounds exciting but a bit scary doesn’t it? Ignore a nice safe path and step into the unknown? However, how much more exciting would it be if we were brave enough to explore something different and, in doing so, create our very own individual trail? Stepping stones of our discoveries, our challenges and triumphs, following us into our future yet to be discovered.


A Comic Book For Refugee Children

"International Medical Corps developed a series of comic books for children displaced by the conflict in Syria and Iraq in order to teach them important messages about disease prevention, safety in camps and about how to promote their well-being. The first two comic books in the series tell stories about children facing the same problems young refugees encounter in their daily lives, introducing subjects such as child labor and displacement in a manner in which children can understand, then teaching how they can manage in these difficult times."