Tag Archives: caring

Cute Alert: Animals Adopting Other Animals

Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 11.24.43 AMHappy Friday! We are bombarded with images of how cruel nature can be so often that we can forget how much animals can teach us about love and compassion.

Are humans the only ones capable of caring for children that aren’t their own? This video goes to show how universal the maternal instinct can be, even with animals you never thought would get along. Dogs with nursing kittens – and vice versa – to literal tiger moms and piglets – share their milk, comfort the young ones and adopt them as their own. Have you ever seen something so cute?


What did you think of the video? Share your favorite animal “love stories” with us in the comments below!

The List – October 2012

I consider myself to be a seeker.

I am always on a constant search for people, places, and things that ignite a spark of energy within me and inspire me to be the best version of myself. I believe that awareness is the key to inspiration. In today’s world, with the news so cluttered with tragedy and unpredictable events, it is more important than ever to keep ourselves fully stocked with go-to inspiration that reminds us to be positive and proactive about the future—and the roles we play within it.

For this reason I have assembled THE LIST.

THE LIST will be my new monthly post, featuring the top five inspiring finds, gems that hit me at my core, morsels I cannot possibly think of keeping to myself. Good works, good people, good books, and good movies—all rolled into one post. I’m eagerly looking forward to sharing them all you!

So here’s the challenge at hand: Check out the top five inspirations that made THE LIST this month and let me know what you think in the comment section below. AND, if you want to go the extra mile, please post the links to your own awesome discoveries in the comment box so that you, too, can inspire the many readers who come across this post. Who knows, your contributions below may just end up on next month’s list!

Dig deeper and share today, and I’ll be sure to do the same.


1. The Drawing Hope Project

I received an email from photographer Shawn Van Daele last month. I had chills up and down my body and tears in my eyes as I read what it is that Shawn does and how he is impacting lives on a level I’ve never even imagined before.

Shawn is the founder of the Drawing Hope Project. He takes drawings created by children either born or living with health conditions and turns them into magical photo artwork. He is planning to pull all the images into a storybook that will be a constant reminder to kids and adults of all ages that anything is possible.

All of the kids (I should call them young artists) have defied the odds—surviving heart transplants, living with rare forms of leukemia, waiting on organ donors—and are still dreaming bigger than ever before. One little guy is still waiting on two lungs AND a heart, and he’s only four years old.

Shawn truly has a magical project under his belt that has already changed many lives. Check it out and be reminded of Shawn’s mission in your own life: any dream is possible, no matter what odds seem to be against you.

VIDEO FROM DRAWING HOPE:

2. Happy

Directed by Oscar®-nominated director, Roko Belic, and produced by Tom Shadyac, director of another amazing documentary called I AM, Happy is an award-winning documentary about the journey to find what makes human beings truly fulfilled in life.

From the slums of Kolkata to the the swamps of Louisiana, Happy asks the questions, Does money make you happy? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and wellbeing? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution? These questions alone are enough to challenge a lot of us, so one can only imagine what the whole seventy-five-minute documentary will do for your spirit!

3. Today We Are Rich

I read about one book a week so it is difficult for a book to stand out among so many. Tim Sander’s book, Today We Are Rich, is one that I cannot help but share.

Written as a memoir, Tim weaves us through a heartening journey filled with hardships and grace that helped him develop a framework for his own life centered on positivity and gratitude.

The book is packed with the kinds of lessons you just want to slip into your back pocket, one of them being, “Fill your mind with good stuff.” Just like we clean out our body or take on a cleanse to rid our systems of toxins, Tim suggests we go on a “mind cleanse” by feeding our mind the right kind of “mind food.”

Thanks to Tim’s advice, I’ve made personal decisions over the last few months to stop surrounding myself with negative people or letting myself be sunk down by the tragedies that clutter the news headlines on a daily basis. I’ve turned myself toward more upbeat conversations, people who want to lift me higher instead of bring me down, and good books, articles, and music. When I turned on the news a few weeks back, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Instead, I felt cleansed and released from the ways the barrage of negativity used to hold me captive.

I don’t recommend many books. But this read is one you should make sure is on your bedside table by the end of the day. You’ll pick it up and instantly be better because of it. Who doesn’t want that?

4. Matisyahu

Matisyahu recently released his new album, Spark Seeker. In the past months, he created a lot of disruption among his loyal fans because he shaved his beard and cut his hair (which goes against his Chassidic Jewish tradition). Me? I was already a fan of his music, but I really love how authentic he is and how he chooses to stay true to himself by living out loud.

He explained on his website last year:

No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me…no alias.

When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey: to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality—not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity…to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules—lots of them—or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission.

Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry… you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.

And he wrote this on his Facebook Fan Page right before Spark Seeker came out.

To My Fans-

I will try to write a couple of ideas and thoughts, but I prefer to speak in my native language, the language of the soul, Music. So I will preface this piece by asking that before prescribing judgement to some pictures, please wait and listen to my new record Spark Seeker from start to finish. The record is infused with both Jewish and universal inspiration, as it is a reflection of my inner landscape over the past 2 years of its making. From visions of the Bal Shem Tov to Kabbalah references, prayers in Hebrew and stories in Yiddish, this record was both a spiritual and reflective journey full of transition and growth. That being said, I believe there is a higher level…a level where there is no divisiveness. Where there is complete unity, and that is what I am mirroring. There was a time when I felt it was necessary to show the world what I believed in through my physical appearance. I think this can be a wonderful thing, but as my faith has evolved I have come to believe there are many other ways to show my spirituality and Judaism. Ways in which our humanity is emphasized over our differences. This was my aim for the music. This was always my aim. During the making of this record I began to feel that I was shedding something, and with that I chose to shave. Just as when I was 18 and I shaved my dreadlocks to let go of my identity, I felt as if I was returning to a time prior to religion or rules or right and wrong. To a place where truth shows itself in beauty and balance and I felt it was time to walk a new path. What that exactly means or looks like I am still figuring out, and will be for the rest of my life, I hope. To those who feel betrayed by my choices or my look, don’t worry, I think they will continue to change and evolve–that is the awesomeness of life. I think that through patience, in time you will see we are still on the same team. We are ALL on the same team. I am so excited for you to hear my new record I hope it will explain and inspire so much more then my words here can.

Sincerely In Love and Truth,

Matis

Matisyahu is forging his own path, but even more than that, he is not conforming to the standards of society and what people expect of him. He is blazing a trail and being a true example. It takes a great deal of courage to go against the stream for the sake of authenticity, but I believe we get to new levels when we choose to evolve and grow when seasons in our lives shift.

5. Baby Chimp Adopted By Dog (PHOTOS)

This one doesn’t even require a description. I am a HUGE animal lover so the pictures can speak for themselves.

A zoo employee cared for this baby chimp after its mother died but never expected that her dog would end up raising the chimp as one of her own.

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

Source: imgur.com / via: reddit.com

So there you have it, my top five inspirations for the month. I hope you enjoyed checking them out as much I loved finding and sharing them. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment box below and leave links for all the discoveries you’ve been loving lately. I will be clicking away and maybe even adding them to next month’s list!


Eric Handler is the publisher and co-founder of Positively Positive. Check out his TEDx talk. Follow Eric on TWITTER.

VIDEO: Be Love Now

This half-hour program is a part of the larger series: "Pete and Duane’s Window" that explores our world in transition.  Following Pete’s recent visit with the spiritual teacher Ram Dass, we explore the foundations of love, how we can bring more of that quality into our own lives, and the impact of the sixties on contemporary culture.  See:  www.peteandduane.com/home/be-love-now/

BE LOVE NOW

This half-hour program is a part of the larger series: "Pete and Duane’s Window" that explores our world in transition.  Following Pete’s recent visit with the spiritual teacher Ram Dass, we explore the foundations of love, how we can bring more of that quality into our own lives, and the impact of the sixties on contemporary culture.  See:  www.peteandduane.com/home/be-love-now/

Recover from a cold through nurturing myself.

 This week I have come down with a cold that has centered in the larynx.  I cough and feel tired.  The weather has been exceptionally cold in the Mid West and I walk daily.  I always believe in exercise even when sick I will continue to walk outside.  Not when I’m tired though.  Timing is everything with energy when the flu sets in!  

My faith is strong and whatever God wants for me will become known to me and I will grow.  I have wanted to start meditation groups and will look to doing this within the next month or two.  I also want to tart a blog talk radio show on line.  God closes doors and opens others all the time.  There is an inner knowing about the direction and then the details are worked out for me.

There is a constant awareness of change and when to hold on and when to let go.  The main thing is to keep the main goal in mind and go with whatever means is given to get you there.  Where love exists inside the soul is grounded in confidence.  It’s not a superficial or overly confident manifestation of the personality but a soft shaping of character through surrender.  Surrender isn’t a weak person giving into a bully for instance.  It is about trust and having the will to move forward with plans.  Door open and light comes through the cracks in a broken situation.  All becomes transformed by an intelligence far greater and the plan is so well worked out that I could not have thought of all the steps to take to create the perfect outcome on my own.

Nurturing myself during sickness is important.  I will meditate and rest well.  Drink fluids.  I have been a vegetarian (vegan) for many years.  That is important because the toxins that are no longer a part of my system will not compound my body’s resistance to a virus which has turned to a bacterial infection in my larynx and right bronchial.  I have forgotten what’s it feel like to be sick and look forward to being well.

Rest will come through meditation and early to bed.  I listen to positive talks with my head phones as I go to sleep as the people with whom I have been staying make an extraordinary amount of noise talking from the hallway to the front room.  Part of the stress I have been going through is to do with boundaries.  One or both of them have been going through my personal items and when I left a note to tell them to keep out it was underscored!  The zipper to my suitcase was left undone the day after.  My long time friend really doesn’t get it about me at all even though I have told her about my celebrate life and focus on my Master’s teachings.  I feel completely violated and must speak to them both before I leave about what makes them think they can violate my space and be sexually suggestive.  I am a person with strong boundaries.  

When I find a job I will be happy.  In the meantime I will take care of children and write.  I plan on publishing a book during the first part of this year.  God will take care of that for me.

 

Words Make or Break a Relationship

The words you say to others are powerful and once you have sent your words to others through your speech, through the mail and even though texting, you cannot take them back.  Be mindful as you express yourself to others.

Be like the rocks and the water: solid as a rock and flowing as the water.

So much has been said over the past twenty year about the need to express our emotions.  "Don’t sweep your feelings under the rug!"  "Don’t swallow your anger." And while there is a truth to these expressions,  it is also true that as we face our feelings, there has to be a step in between facing our feelings and expressing our thoughts to others.  Angry words between loved ones or co-workers can create wounds that never fully heal.

Sometimes we can become stuck on ourselves and our need to be who we are and say whatever we want.  We need to find the fine line between being who we are and also respecting the feelings of others.  Fine lines are always hard to find but when we do find them, we live in balance.

Be like the water and the rocks.  Be strong and flexible. Know that your words can make or break a relationship.

Psychic Medium and Inspirational Author Carole Lynne

Author of Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World, Consult Your Inner Psychic, How to Get a Good Reading from a Psychic Medium and Heart and Sound.

www.carolelynne.com

www.carolelynnecosmicconnection.com

 

The Intention that Rules All Intentions

John Morton, D.S.S.

Intentions represent what we’re directing ourselves toward. That’s how our intentions are working. When we look to do something in the world, we claim it out of faith. So when we place an intention to accomplish something, we can lay claim to what we’re going to do or where we’re going.

Another way that I see an intention is that what we can behold, we can become. Our intentions hold energy. What we focus upon, energy follows.  We are creators.  So by our focus, we’re calling forward energy to follow that focus. Things will happen because of how we direct our focus as it relates to our intention.

If you have a particular intention, I encourage you not to put it in vague terms.  Put your intention in very specific terms, as specific as you can make it.  That’s going to give further direction and energy to what you’re asking and where you’re directing yourself.

One of the things to consider is what’s most important.  In order to do so, I ask, “What intention is supreme over all others?”  You have an opportunity to ask yourself that question by looking at the various aspects of who you are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Through that exploration, you can realize that there’s an intention that rules all the other intentions – the intention that is the Divine will. When you direct yourself towards that intention, all the other intentions are aligned.  And if they’re not aligned, they don’t work.

Part of what we’re learning is where we’re unaware and deluded.  If we have intentions based on illusions, they won’t manifest.  If we’re going to attempt to do something we can’t do, the result is our efforts are for naught.  We waste our energy in the process, and what we intended doesn’t happen. What happens instead is frustration, disappointment, pain, and disturbance.  Those results are all signals that our intention is not clear nor workable.

Trying, or what I call “efforting”, is not actually doing something.  It’s trying.  When we’re efforting, the results are tension, contraction, and exertion.  When we let go and relax, we’re more available to what is and to what’s flowing.  And what’s flowing is God’s intention.  You might just call it “The Intention”— the big one.  God’s intention is what’s flowing always in all ways.

John-Roger wrote in his book, Spiritual Warrior: The Art of Spiritual Living, “Intention is the direction we want to travel. Spiritual Warriors make sure their intention is very clear because what we put out into the world is what we get back. If your intention is to be loving and caring, you cannot let anything that is not loving or caring come into your field of action”.

As we allow ourselves to let go of what we’re attempting or trying, we can come into an awareness of the movement and flow of what is always present — the loving and caring that is the Divine flow. We can’t get around it.  We’re not separate from it.  We’re always part of that Divine loving flow.

We have an opportunity to choose away or to be contrary. And when we do, we have experiences of things not working and of frustration, pain, and disturbance. Those are signals that let us know we’re not allowing our self to flow with what is.  When we flow with the Divine flow, there is ease, relaxation and the experience of grace.

This divine loving flow is invincible and can be viewed as conquering all, such that there is no thing that loving cannot overcome. You can experience this fully as a loving vibration, percolating and penetrating into the minutest levels in your cells. As you allow this loving energy to flow through you freely, whatever must be cleared or straightened, whatever must be changed, will be done because you are allowing this movement and flow through your clear intention. Any resistance you may feel, your loving intention can make tender. This invincible loving embraces any resistance you have until the resistance lets go of its own accord, knowing that it too is loving and in that Divine loving flow.

Love is what sustains our heart. It’s the energy that flows through our bodies, circulating the loving flow of God. With each breath, each rhythm of the heart, you can experience an exercise of loving, a choice to love all things, a choice that’s in harmony with the will of God — the intention that rules all intentions.
***************************************
John Morton, D.S.S. is the author of the inspiring books, The Blessings Already Are and You Are the Blessings: Meditations and Reflections on Life, God and Us.  Learn more about John at www.johnmortonministries.org.  Contact John at goto@johnmortonministries.org.

To Desperate Housewives Star Kathy Joosten: You Are So Strong!

Should you tell people with cancer how strong they are? As evidenced by the 145 comments on the recent New York Times "Well" blog post, “Does cancer make you strong?”, most of us who’ve received a cancer diagnosis have very strong opinions about why we should not be told how strong we are.

One man who hasn’t had cancer but is disabled, wrote a comment more than twice as long as the blog post itself explaining why he’s sick of being called “strong, brave, and courageous”, and how others should just listen to us if they really want to help.

Although I agree – or thought I agreed – that no one should say “You’re so strong” to a cancer survivor, I read something this morning that truly humbled me. And changed my mind.

One of the stars of the TV show, “Desperate Housewives”, Kathryn Joosten, shared with a group of us fellow advocates that her lung cancer has returned, and that this time, there will be “No more hiding”, as she titled her email.

She wrote: “I was complaining bitterly to a friend that the public would find out, that a planned show might be in jeopardy, that I didn’t want the people on Desperate Housewives to know, and he said, ‘You’re doing the same thing you rail about other celebrities doing’. And he was right.

“So now. . .I’m going public in every way I can. I’m going to denounce the totally unfair and biased funding that puts lung cancer at the bottom of the research pile.

“I’m going to attack the stigma the public has attached to lung cancer, the cigarette companies for their lies and their chemical tricks to increase addiction and any other target I can find.”

When I saw Kathy speak at the National Lung Cancer Partnership Advocacy Summit last spring, I liked and admired her immediately. I loved hearing her joke, “No one in Hollywood has lung cancer – because no one will admit it!” I laughed. And later I cried.

Some who have had cancer have experienced the stigma of the disease itself, and the subterranean suspicion that we did something to deserve it.

But when you’ve had lung cancer, the stigma stings like a wasp’s nest. People ask all the time whether you smoked – whether you brought it on yourself, if other words. Whether you deserve it.

No one – no one – deserves lung cancer. Everyone – obese people with diabetes and heart disease, people who practice unsafe sex and get AIDS – deserves to survive. Everyone deserves compassion.*

If you have any doubt, ask yourself, "What would Jesus – or Mother Theresa or Buddha or any spiritual leader or good person – do?"

I wrote back to Kathy this morning about the blog concerning the statement, "You’re so strong", which so many of us cancer survivors disdain, since we’re just doing what people do – we’re fighting to stay alive.

“You, however, are strong in a much different way,” I wrote. “You are strong to stand up and speak out, in spite of the stigma and possible repercussions. That takes tremendous courage, and I’m in awe of you for that. Thank you.”

Bless Kathy, and please send her love, prayers, and good thoughts. I have faith that she will survive this. And that by being so strong and courageous, she will help millions of others survive this despicable, cruel disease.

Always hope,
Lori
Author of Help Me Live: 20 things people with cancer want you to know

www.LoriHope.com

* This is not to say, of course, that we shouldn’t all do whatever possible to keep ourselves healthy. I believe with all my heart that we should. But once an individual falls ill, we should not cast blame or turn away.

This post originally appeared on Hope’s CarePages blog, "what helps. what hurts. what heals."

Finding Rest from Stress

I came across a wonderful book a couple of years ago that suggested I find rest from stress within myself. Although I’ve done meditation and spiritual exercises for years, this book nudged me to actually see myself simply resting as a healing and loving process. In their lovely book, The Rest of Your Life: Finding Repose in the Beloved, John-Roger and Paul Kaye see stress as when we’re trying to “fix ourselves.” And they add, “Yet there is nothing to be fixed.”

As a psychologist for a number of years, this thinking didn’t seem right to me at first. Aren’t we always looking to fix our problems? Get over something? Be better than we were before? What are we supposed to be doing with our lives if we’re not fixing ourselves? And what are we helping professionals supposed to do if not help people fix themselves?
 
I know that when I’m not allowing myself to be who I am, when I’m trying to fix myself in some way, I feel stressed. I feel off-track and uneasy with whatever I’m doing. I feel tense and irritable and with a pervasive lack of strength and courage. When I choose to allow myself to be and rest with who I am, I breathe easily.  I allow my inner strength to flow. That sense of stress dissipates and leaves room for me to enjoy whatever’s facing me to handle next. 
 
“When we are tense, we hold on to what isn’t there. We tend to fight and resist as a way of showing strength,” the authors write. “Living this way is more a sign of weakness. Relaxing and letting go demonstrate true strength.”
 
It seemed contradictory, at least for the logical thinker that I sometimes am, that resting, relaxing and letting go are exactly what I need to do to face my challenges with greater strength and courage. Yet, when I’m relaxed, especially if I’ve had even a brief rest, maybe just a few minutes with my eyes closed, focusing on my breathing, and asking for assistance from deep within, my ability to make decisions becomes so much better. I feel clearer and stronger and more capable of turning whatever stumbling blocks are in my way into stepping stones. I also feel kinder, more compassionate and gentler with myself, which then allows me to relate to others similarly. I’m then a better helper, more able to assist others in finding their own rest within themselves so they too can let go of stress, relax and enjoy who they truly are.

On the Road to Greatness

I think teenagers get a bad rep more often than not.  We read and hear about their disturbing, unhealthy behaviors like stealing, lying, violent attacks on or even killing others.  News media tends to focus on the negative too much and not enough on good deeds practiced by teens.

A 14 year old teenager named David Ashby exemplifies the latter.  He plans to walk from Florida to Washington DC during this summer in order to raise public awareness to the 1.4 million homeless children in the US.  He intends to sleep on the street and eat only free food given to him through begging.  He will chronicle his audacious, remarkable experience on his blog.

How great is this young guy, how wonderfully creative and meaningful is this?

I wasn’t able to embed the video directly onto this page, so click here to watch a video about this impressive young person and his ambitious, inspiring goal.

 

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