Showing posts from March 6, 2016

Oscar Winning Film Spurs Pakistan’s Leader to Action on Honor Killings

Amid the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards on February 28, one deadly serious documentary was busy changing the world. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject with her film, A Girl in the River, which took a hard look at so-called Honor Killings in Muslim countries.

“This is what happens when determined women get together,” exclaimed Chinoy, as she held up the golden statue, her second Academy Award.

She revealed that her film’s screening at the highest level of national government was transforming hearts on the topic of cultural impunity for families that murder their own female members just for breaking social norms regarding marriage or love.

“This week, the Pakistani Prime Minister has said that he will change the law on honor killings after watching this film — that is the power of film,” she exclaimed.

A statement from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office in January offered congratulations to Chinoy, who also made history in 2012 when she …

New Procedure Allows Kidney Transplants From Any Donor

Tens of thousands of patients languish on the organ donor waiting lists–and may wait forever because their immune systems will reject any transplanted organ that is not a match.

Now, in a large national study that experts are calling revolutionary, the New York Times reports researchers have found a way to end the anguish using a new procedure.

“In the new study, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, doctors successfully altered patients’ immune systems to allow them to accept kidneys from incompatible donors. Significantly more of those patients were still alive after eight years than patients who had remained on waiting lists or received a kidney transplanted from a deceased donor.”

The Surprising Organ Donation That is Saving a Little Girl’s Life

An emotional video reveals the moment a grandmother finds out that her 8-year-old granddaughter will finally get the new kidney she desperately needs.

But who is the surprising donor?

Grandmother Chris Burelton thought she was being called in to the principal’s office because the child had done something wrong.

But she learned that one of the teachers in the school – a woman who reportedly hadn’t even taught the young girl – volunteered to be a donor and was a match.

Third-grade teacher Jodi Schmidt, if all goes well, will be forever linked with Natasha Fuller from now on.

The first grader was diagnosed with prune belly syndrome at birth, causing her to need dialysis three times a week. Because of various infections, she was repeatedly taken off the transplant list.

10 Yrs After Brother Dies, She Gets to Dance w/ Girl Who Received His Heart

Her 15th birthday quinceañera celebration turned out to be more special than most, when she was surprised by a fellow teenager carrying something that meant very much to both of them: the heart of her brother.

Monique Salinas’ brother Mikey died in a car accident ten years ago while Aubrey Reeves, simultaneously miles away in Wichita Falls, Texas, was suffering from a fatal congenital heart disease and living with the odds of finding a transplant match like winning the lottery.

Yet somehow even with the unlikely odds, Mikey’s heart and kidney were positive matches for Aubrey.

Now 18-years-old, Aubrey was invited to fly out to Benavides for the food and dancing–and to offer  the Salinas’s a reunion with the heartbeat they haven’t heard in 10 years.

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 12, 2016

“Do not shrink your beautiful light to make someone else feel more comfortable. BE WHO YOU ARE without hesitation and you will inspire others to shine too.”

I guess we’ve all been guilty of this at one time or another although it’s kind of human nature not to want to overshadow other people. None of us want to be thought of as a “show off” do we? However, there’s not being a show off and there’s not being true to ourselves. Not being true to ourselves can prevent us from being up front about our skills or gifts and, by concealing these, others in turn won’t learn or be inspired to reach their own goals. It’s not in any way showing off to be proud of what you have achieved and consequently inspire and encourage others to believe they can do the same.


How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies

"Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies. The business of everyday life -- dodging traffic, making decisions and judgment calls, interacting with strangers -- is depleting, and what man-made environments take away from us, nature gives back. There's something mystical and, you might say, unscientific about this claim, but its heart actually rests in what psychologists call attention restoration theory, or ART. According to ART, urban environments are draining because they force us to direct our attention to specific tasks (e.g., avoiding the onslaught of traffic) and grab our attention dynamically, compelling us to "look here!" before telling us to instead "look over there!" These demands are draining -- and they're also absent in natural environments. Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they're still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing. The differe…

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 11, 2016

“When people walk away, let them. Your future is not about people who walk away….it’s about the people who stay in it for the ride.”

Sometimes when people want to walk out of our lives we try to prevent them. Perhaps we believe they still have a part to play therefore we’re reluctant to let them go. However, what if they have already played their part and it is time for them to go? Often it’s not as black and white as this for many of us at the time. Later, on looking back, we will probably only then be able to acknowledge that they actually did us a favor by leaving although we couldn’t see this at the time. Look around you and appreciate the people who are still walking through life with you because that’s where they’re meant to be and where you’re meant to be for them.


Three Surprising Ways to Feel Less Busy

"Although people tell me all the time they like feeling busy--perhaps because it makes them feel important and significant-- I'm not buying it. Would you ever choose busyness over a more relaxed form of productivity? When life starts to feel hectic, here are a few ways to dial back the overwhelm." This article shares three tips for achieving relaxed productivity (and also shares information on why you can't afford to ignore them).

Puppy Saves Life of Sleeping Boy Unaware of Diabetes Threat

The force is strong between Luke and his Labrador Jedi —strong enough to have saved the boy’s life last week.

When the seven-year-old’s blood sugar level dropped alarmingly low during his sleep, his diabetes-sniffing dog leapt into action, and into Luke’s parents’ bed, to alert them of the danger.

When Luke’s mother, Dorrie Nuttall, had put him to bed March 3, she’d gotten a safe 100 mg/dL reading on his glucose level. But when she checked again after Jedi’s warning, it had dropped to the life-threatening level of 57— thirteen points below the lowest acceptable level for someone with diabetes.

Even a high-tech sensor implanted below Luke’s skin, which allows for continuous glucose monitoring, didn’t set off any alarms. It is only thanks to Jedi’s more reliable nose that the boy was able to be given a glucose tab to quickly boost his blood sugar.

In the video below, you can see Luke ask Jedi if his level is high or low, and the dog bows to signal “low.”

Jedi joined the family as a puppy, ju…

Virginia Passes Medical Marijuana Bill to Allow for Production of Oils

Virginia lawmakers unanimously passed a bill that will allow families to be able to legally buy medical marijuana for treating epileptic seizures in the state in 2017.

Lengthy discussion and negotiation paved the way for passage of the bill, SB701, which allows the processing and manufacturing of Cannabidiol oil and THC-A—marijuana oils that are both low in THC, the compound that provides the high in cannabis.

“Providing this medication to Virginians is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Senator Dave Marsden, the sponsor of the legislation.“THCa and CBD oils have shown the ability to help alleviate the number and severity of seizures from intractable epilepsy and help so many families live a quality life.”

The state last year legalized possession of the two marijuana oils for intractable epilepsy patients and their caregivers, but failed to provide any way for patients to obtain the oils without breaking federal and state laws. This legislation provides the solution by requiring the…

Inspiring Story About An Amazing Mentor and the Kid He Teaches

The winner of Philadelphia’s “Big Brother of the Century award,” Tom McElvogue, has been a mentor to many kids over the years. Even as a busy executive and father, he has always had time to make a difference as a mentor.

In his acceptance speech, Tom told a story about the noble character that shined through one of the students he mentored, even in the face of temporary fame. The boy would rather turn down that fame if Tom couldn’t be a part of it.

“Joe and Tom started as a great team and that team has grown stronger over time. Joe was in Tom’s wedding, and their families have gotten together every Christmas since they met — 43 years, so far.”

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 10, 2016

“Everything you do has the power to change the world. We never know who will be touched by our words, or inspired by our actions.”

I know that there have been many times in my life when I have been touched or inspired by someone. It may have been something they have written, or something they’ve said or even just something they’ve done. Whatever it was, something in me responded. Much of who I am today is the result of the teachings or examples of other people and I feel so fortunate and blessed because of it. Blessed that I was able to realize the gift that was being given and learn from it and also to be grateful. How wonderful if I could touch or inspire even one other person in this way! Hopefully, somewhere along the way I have, but I may never know for certain. Will you?


The Quest for Control Over Our Own Lives

"The basic nature of life is that it is ever-changing, uncontrollable. When we think we have stability in life, something comes up to remind us that no, we don't. There is no stability, no matter how much we'd like it. And this kinda freaks us out. We don't like this feeling of instability, of loss of control. So we do things to cope, out of love for ourselves. These are strategies for control, security and comfort." Writer Leo Babuta takes a close look at some of the most common means we employ to gain control of our lives, why they often fail, and what just might be a better path.

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 9, 2016

“If we could look into each other’s hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other gently.”

It is a shame isn’t it, that we can’t actually know what is going on with somebody unless they choose to tell us? We can only go by what they allow us see which may be a brave face or a “don’t care” attitude. This is what we respond to don’t we? Why shouldn’t we? It’s their choice isn’t it? However, it might pay us to delve just a bit deeper and be prepared to offer our help or understanding, or even just to offer to be there before making any judgments. We know how they feel as we’ve all behaved in this way occasionally ourselves haven’t we? Time to put ourselves in their shoes, which have often also been our shoes, and do what we can.


From Child Soldier to Refugee Lawyer

Deng Thiak Adut grew up on his family's farm in South Sudan, where his father grew bananas and other food crops. At just six-years-old, Deng was conscripted by the rebel People's Liberation Army. This video shows Deng's resilience and perseverance, and how he has transformed his life to be of service to others, despite the unimaginable trauma he endured in childhood. Deng now works as a lawyer in Bankstown, Australia, ensuring Sudanese people have the legal advice they need before entering the court system.

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 8, 2016

“Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same.”

Our man-made laws are always changing and adapting to the ways in which society is evolving. I believe this can only be a good thing as it means we are paying attention to our laws and how they relate to us in the present day. The laws and rules of spirit, however, are very different and unique. There is no need to change them as the rules of spirit are similar to those carved in stone and given to Moses. They are based on the eternal truth we all carry within us in our hearts and souls. Such power! Such faith!


How to Make Your Brain Work Better for You

By Patrick J. Kiger

Three Tips for Making the Most of Your Aging Brain

In this episode of Brain Games, we learn that your brain goes through different stages of development from infancy to old age, but that no matter where you are in the continuum, you have some pretty amazing capabilities. But what if you want to improve your brain’s performance even more, or perhaps ward off age-related declines? Here are some ideas from experts.

Focus Your Attention by Learning a New Skill.  Tara Swart, a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of the book “Neuroscience for Leadership,” notes that your brain is inherently lazy and will always choose the easiest path, if you let it. One effective way to break that pattern and make your brain more agile is to force it continually to do new things, so that it has to forge new neural pathways. Swart recommends learning a new language or taking up a musical instrument, but the key is to find an intellectual challenge that invo…

Rising Women Rising World

"It is an unusual occurrence when the roll call of achievements of just three women includes several nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize; training roles for UN Development Programmes, and advice-giving to NATO military officers and government officials. That the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and the Clintons, to name just a few, have sought them out for their input makes the individuals of this triumvirate more interesting still. A cursory trawl of their backgrounds adds billionaires such as Richard Branson; philosophers including Buckminster Fuller; and even a Beatle, John Lennon, to their list of admirers." In this piece, Dr Hamira Riaz interviews the three founders of Rising Women Rising World about the goals of this incredible global community, and the art of a purposeful life.

Believe You Can Create a Joyful Solution

An Excerpt from Succulent Wild Love by SARK and Dr. John Waddell

Most people spontaneously look for solutions that meet everyone’s needs. We want to please the people we love and want to please ourselves. It’s when we get stuck that we start to look for a compromise or think someone has to sacrifice.

To create a Joyful Solution, you start with the attitude that everyone can get what they want. That is the biggest factor. Starting from that approach is so powerful because when you believe that everyone can get what they want, you can help the other person get what makes them happy.

Often people are focused on scarcity: they think there is only a limited amount of whatever, so they have to put all their energy into trying to get what they can of it. Then the other person picks up on that and feels pushed away. And then they feel they also have to put all their energy into getting whatever they can, and it becomes a tug-of-war.

But the dynamic changes dramatically when you approach the other…

Soulfully Single and Open for Love

An excerpt from Succulent Wild Love by SARK and Dr. John Waddell

I had a marvelous mentor named Patricia who reminded me frequently, “Don’t make the mistake of attaching your love to another person.” She went on to say, “Realize that their love is reflected through you, it does not originate from them. They are not your source of love — you and your Inner Wise Self are.”

I embraced this message wholeheartedly and wrote this in my journal: “Release yourself from the voices of inner critics who will tell you outdated messages from long ago about how you ‘should’ love, or how other people love, or how if you don’t love another you’ll die all alone in a nursing home in winter in a shared room.”

I began to explore and practice new ways to be what I described as “Soulfully Single,” while also describing myself as open to love with another person. To me, “Soulfully Single” sounded and felt so much richer and deeper than just “single.”

My friend Val had said to me after I had ended a love relatio…

Always Right

An Excerpt from Reaching for Insights: Stories of Love, Faith, and the Kitchen Sink, by Mitch Rosenzweig

At first I thought it was me. It was the first one I changed at daylight savings time as it is usually the first one I look at. Later that day I noticed it was wrong so I fixed it again. But later it was still off... odd, I thought. One more time I adjusted it. Satisfied I finally had it right, I forgot about it. A few days later I noticed it was wrong again, but not by a lot. Must be the battery, so I changed it. Seemed like the right solution. But the next day it was off by ten minutes again. Time for a new clock.

I like to quip that broken clocks are usually right twice a day. But in this case, it wasn't true. It seemed perfectly happy being near exactly ten minutes off. I must have changed it five times, and the battery too, and it still wasn't the right time. I did some tests, another new battery, and even gave it a good shake, all without much luck. After a few days of …

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 7, 2016

Timing is everything. If it’s meant to happen it will, at the right time for the right reasons.”

People by nature are an impatient species, although some of us more so than others. It seems that everything has to be done in a hurry these days, and we want it NOW not in the future, NOW! Being more of an ‘erm ‘um mature lady nowadays, I have learned through time, that things don’t necessarily happen when we want them to but when they are meant to in the great scheme of things. It’s not always easy to comprehend or understand but, I’ve often found, in hindsight, that actually you know what? What happened at the right time and made perfect sense. It’s all about trust.


What Makes A Person?: Identity's 7 Layers

A persons identity, Amin Maalouf wrote as he contemplated what he so poetically called the genes of the soul, is like a pattern drawn on a tightly stretched parchment. Touch just one part of it, just one allegiance, and the whole person will react, the whole drum will sound. And yet we are increasingly pressured to parcel ourselves out in various social contexts, lacerating the parchment of our identity in the process. As Courtney Martin observed in her insightful On Being conversation with Parker Palmer and Krista Tippett, Its never been more asked of us to show up as only slices of ourselves in different places. Today, as Whitmans multitudes no longer compose an inner wholeness but are being wrested out of us fragment by fragment, what does it really mean to be a person? And how many types of personhood do we each contain?

Dylan Sells Legendary Personal Archives, Destined for Oklahoma Museum

When Bob Dylan sold 6000 items from his personal archive this week, including handwritten lyrics, contracts and unseen concert films, he said, “I’m glad that my archives, which have been collected all these years, have finally found a home and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie and especially alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American Nations. To me it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honor.”

To Help Quadriplegics, Monkeys Navigate a Wheelchair With Their Minds

It's like a science-fiction fever dream: steering a conveyance by thought alone.

Writing in the journal Scientific Reports on Thursday, a team of pioneers in the field of "brain-machine interfaces" reported it has found the formula to move that dream toward reality for quadriplegics and others who have lost the ability to voluntarily use their muscles.

First, set out some grapes. Then, put an eager rhesus monkey into her monkey-sized wheelchair and add a suite of electrodes that eavesdrop on her will to move toward the treat. Finally, start the recorder.

The resulting data — the repeated electrical signals of a monkey wishing to capture a treat — allowed scientists at Duke University's Center for Neuroengineering to demonstrate a way to restore mobility to the wholly paralyzed and locked in. The next step, according to Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, senior author of the new paper: to use the "brain-machine interface" demonstrated here to let human quadriplegics move ar…

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 6, 2016

Nobody else gets to live your life. You’re the artist. Paint your own picture. Dream your own masterpiece into being.”

Imagine your life as a blank canvas and what happens to you the brush you paint with. Each stroke has relevance and once imprinted on the canvas nothing can be erased or corrected. It is totally your own responsibility for each and every touch the brush makes to the canvas. Much will depend on what you accomplish while you create. The people you encounter, the difficulties and disappointments, the joys and successes, will all make their own mark as you journey through life. The brush is yours alone and nobody else is allowed access to tamper with what is imprinted. Each and every one of us is an artist in the painting of their own life so let’s strive to make it a masterpiece.



"Looking back, Manuel Klarmann reflects that, "As an 8-year-old, when I learned that I was eating food while, on the other half of the planet, people were starving, that completely puzzled me. How could that happen?" It was a critical moment in his life. As a young man nearing eight years into an inspired startup, Klarmann talks about a deceptively simple idea, "What we're doing with Eaternity is providing a way for our society, on a rational basis, to get one little step closer to sanity."

One can never predict who might show up at one of the weekly Awakin circles in Santa Clara. Awakin circles, which have spread all over the world, are one of the longest-standing of ServiceSpace’s several projects. There are many rewarding aspects of attending one of these circles; one of these is listening as each person in turn has a chance to share his or her thoughts. The level of sincerity the circle fosters is always touching and frequently afterwards, before headi…