Tag Archives: People

8 Quotes to Help Define a Hero

A hero can come in all shapes and sizes – from 91 year-old grandmothers to 7th graders standing up for healthier school lunches. Sometimes they wear costumes and uniforms, at other times they blend in right next to us and we never know they were there. They save us from burning buildings, or maybe they save us from ourselves. Heroes are the people that are selfless enough to put the needs of others before their own and they are there when we need them most. Every person picks their heroes for different reasons, but there are certain qualities that appear in many of those we look up to. Do any of these quotes describe someone you think secretly hides a cape under their day clothes?

Hero - Mr Rogers


Maya Angelou quote


Christopher Reeves quote




Ralph Waldo Emerson


Mike Alsford


Bob Dylan


Romain Rolland


Who is your hero? Do any of these quotes describe them? Share your stories of people that save you or inspire you on a regular basis! Let us know what makes them so special to you in the comments below. 

Creating Change Through Connection

Dr. Ernesto Sirolli is considered an authority in the field of sustainable economic development.

Through something he calls Enterprise Facilitation® he helps communities around the world develop “responsive, person-centered approaches to local economic development.” This unique approach is based on transforming good local ideas into viable businesses.

So how does one find out what the good local ideas are?

He recommends bringing a “Family Doctor” approach to big business.

This was borne out of his experience seeing and experiencing two opposite approaches to economic development in foreign countries: Patronizing and Paternalistic.

Both words stem from the Latin word Pater, which means “father.” Patronizing, however, approaches others as servants, while a Paternalistic approach treats others as children.

From a business perspective this means a person, business, (or even country, let’s say) never initiates anything or motivates anyone. Instead, the person/business/country becomes the servant of the people they’re seeking to help, thus uncovering the dreams, passions, ideas, and energy that already exists in the local people.

His radical approach revolves around one key factor: Listening.

Instead of coming in with plans, community meetings, and a “We’re here to help you” attitude, he meets people in their environment. He becomes their friends. He listens to them and learns what their passions and dreams are. His conference rooms are coffee shops and restaurants. He provides confidentiality, trust, and then finds himself in the perfect position to actually help people in the ways they need it most.

Sirolli relates that one thing the most successful companies in the world have in common is this: None were started by one person.

He simplifies it even further: No one person can make it, sell it, and look after the money.

He may be talking about business ventures, but it sounds like an approach that can be applied to our everyday ventures. Our families, our friendships, our local businesses, our great ideas, and our communities.

In our hurry to get ahead in life, it’s easy to forget the power of connection. The power of people.

Many of our jobs are being replaced by machines or technology that tries to simulate the human touch, but here’s two jobs that will never be replaced by a machine: Mothers and Fathers.

No amount of technology will ever be able to sit and have a meaningful conversation with you or give you a hug.

Sirolli works to activate communities in different countries by tapping into the “miracle of the intelligence of the local people.” He believes cultural and economic change start with capturing the energy, passion, and imagination of the local people.

Let’s bring this approach home. Literally. Our homes, our relationships. It works on a business level because it starts from the people level.

What change would we be able to effect if we were to tap into the energy, passion, and imagination of ourselves? Of the people we work with? Share your comments below.


Photo credit: Ernesto Sirolli

photo by: Nomadic Lass

Everyone Has A Story: Interesting People Everywhere

Each and every one of us has a story to tell and they are all important.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that everyone has a story to tell if we take the time to listen. We are so accustomed to hearing the stories of people in the news that we sometimes lose track of the fact that the random stranger on the bus also has a fascinating story about where they came from and how they got to be where they are. The sheer variety of paths taken in this world, from farmers to CEOs to homeless people to world travelers, is indicative of how much we can learn from each individual. Sometimes the shy, quiet person at work has the most amazing life story and the biggest dreams, it is up to us to take the time to find out.

Some people travel a path of wealth and privilege, while others struggle with only themselves to rely on, and both have great stories to tell. Each person learns lessons, makes choices, and develops a unique perspective, which only they can claim and share. Even two people who have had very similar lives will have slightly different experiences, leading them to a different point of view, so each person remains a treasure trove waiting to be explored. When we take the time to ask questions and listen, we find that every person has a fascinating story to tell and an utterly unique perspective from which to tell it.

Bearing this in mind, we have the opportunity to approach the world around us in a new way. There is never any reason to be bored at a party, or on the bus, or in a conversation with a stranger. When we retain the spark of curiosity and the warmth required to open someone up, we always have in front of us the makings of a great story. All we have to do is ask.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / mugley

Live with love in my heart for all!

 Love is the answer to all our needs.  When we radiate love it is like a shining light in the darkness.  When people awaken to their own love it radiates and touches others in a positive way that is calming and uplifting.  Love brings a message of hope and peace.  It heals the broken hearted and down trodden.  It is the opposite of every feeling that is negative.  Depression, despair, hopelessness, anger, frustration.  Whenever we feel any of these emotions be sure that it our old friend "ego" trying to pull us down again!  Once you know what is happening you can decide to switch gears so to speak and uplift your vibration by connecting with your heart.  

Take the concentration or awareness of the mind to the area of the heart.

Breath easy and long.

Close your eyes and see the light in front of your eyes.  First it may appear as a small sphere or ball.

If your mind chatters negative or questioning things don’t rush to judgement or think that your efforts have failed!  Let is do it’s job – to question!

Focus on what is going right in your life right now.  Don’t look beyond the present moment into the future.  None of us know with certainty what will happen a day ahead of today.  Be content with your present circumstance and see how you can make it work for you.

Here are some steps you can take to create more love and peace in your life:

Look to nature.  Be kind to others.  Help animals who are defenseless.  Become vegetarian.  Pray for your life to become a beacon to others and a jewel for yourself.  Treasure what you have and learn to love every aspect of your life.  The small things that count.  Food on the table and knowledge of what is good to eat.  Offer a smile to everyone you encounter.

Blessings to you ~  My friend Lottie Rose said "It always works out for those on the spiritual path."  Believe that and trust yourself to grow in faith, courage and contentment.

Coincidence for the day, or, until the next one..

 This week, Tuesday to be precise, 11th May, the day the Government decided that the red party and the yellow party together wasn’t going to work (although personally I had hoped the future would be orange) so they have opted for the blue yellow and green party – the rainbow coalition. Fingers crossed for that one.

I digress, on this day that will be memorable as the day Gordon Brown said Goodbye and David Cameron nearly wet himself on entry into No 10 Downing Street I was having a little coincidental moment of my own.

Small, in the grand scheme of things, I admit.  No, life changing or boss altering event. Just enough to remind me that I am in the right place at the right time.

I moved into my current flat at the end of April last year, it was a busy time and there seemed to be a never-ending stream of visitors that week and into the beginning of May.  The people knocking on the door included a guy from the National Statistical Office, he was so friendly and amidst boxes and general chaos he sat with me and my 16 year old son patiently asking questions.  It was the first social interview process I have actually enjoyed.  The guy was in his late 50s possibly early 60s and he was friendly, easy to talk to, he has been a Mormon and lived in the States and he had 6 children.  This is what I remembered of him.  Anyway, shortly after my move in here the sales on my Ebay shop just sort of dried up and it was costing me subscription money to keep the shop open, so I stopped trading on Ebay. 

So, this year when the Stat Office requested that I do another interview, I was happy to oblige.  The guy who turned up wasn’t Colin, but he looked similar, he behaved similar and we had a good laugh.  As soon as he said he had two children I knew he wasn’t Colin and so we had a conversation about how he gets that all the time. People mistake George for Colin because they are so similar in age and to look at.  I explain that I love synchronicity and coincidence and he explained his daughter reads all sorts of things into coincidence! Funny, we exchanged a couple of synchronicity stories that involved his birthday and how he met a woman who had the same birthday and they in turn had children born on the same day and in turn grandchildren on the same day.

So, having established that the universe is complicated and wonderful but we really should get on with the survey. ‘so, what’s changed?’ he said
‘Nothing, except I no longer have my Ebay shop’
‘okay, what date did you stop trading?’
’18th May 2009′ I wondered why he was chuckling as he carried on typing on his laptop
‘is that date significant for you?’ I inquired sort of gingerly in case I was intruding on his private world.. or, maybe he was just slightly crazy
‘yes’ he nodded, still smiling to himself.  He looked up at me over his laptop
‘that’s my birthday’

I chose the 18th May.  I could have chosen any day in May, there was no rhyme or reason for me choosing that date and yet here I am, nearly a year later, having a conversation with a Statistical research guy reminding me that our paths have crossed for a reason and I take this coincidence as a little nod from the Universe/God that I am still in the right place.

Love and light to all you who need it

feel free to visit my website at www.counsellingwithangels.com

Listening is an Art

Listening is an art. Just think about all the stimulus a person goes through in one day.  If all this information was allowed to enter the brain all at one the brain would be in absolute overdrive constantly.  Not that it couldn’t handle it, it is an incredible computer, but it would be exhausting.  One of the ways the brain deals with this is to filter out many things that are going on.   Kids do it very well at times when we say they have zoned out or ut seems like they are concentrating so hard they don’t hear anything else.  Adults also filter and don’t always take in everything that is happening or being said.

I say that listening is an art because a couple of things have to happen regarding listening.  Listening is different that hearing because just because something is heard doesnot always mean there is any thinking going on.  For instance hearing a fire engine go past the house is recognized and that’s about it.  But when someone is talking and trying to communicate engagement with this person needs to take place.  There needs to be focus on the words and an understanding of the meanings.  Often if someone keeps repeating there is probably a feeling that the listener has not understood.

There are also other parts of listening.  Noticing the expressions and other body language can assist in getting the message from the person.  Sometimes it’s nervousness, or being emotional and listening and speaking occurs better when things calm down.

True listening is when we understand better, know each other better by listening, and show that someone matters by taking the time to stop and listen for a few moments.





Heard this exchange from a young couple sitting a table away at my favorite coffee bar at the mall. They appeared to be arguing bout something.

Husband says – ‘You don’t get my point’.

Wife retorts – ‘You’re not listening to what I’m trying to tell you, this is how it should be done’.

This time the temptation is great to write about marriage and couples and how the twain never ever meets — Except for some. But we won’t go there because somebody else somewhere is better at it than me.

When a person says ‘you don’t get my point’ – it’s true. And when the other replies that ‘you don’t see what I’m trying to tell you’ — that too is true. Both are so much the same and yet so much different too. Maybe that would be considered weird or foolish. But fact is, both are simply stating the same simple fact and truth only from two opposing views.

You see the world according to you. I see it according to me. We come from different backgrounds, upbringing, experience, and learning. We separately perceive the world according to how we each understand it in the way we each have learned or been taught to do. You have formed your own perception, insight and opinion on most anything referring to people, theories, events, life, and living. Consequently you judge, censure, evaluate, condemn, appraise from your own individual standpoint.

So do I. I am everything that you are, been there in the travel from nothing to something, was shaped and molded by my own growing and learning which has formed the character, personality, and attitude you perceive in me now. In our differences we still are basically the same. And that is true.

Yet we need not argue or fight over who is right or wrong, better or worse, smarter or stupid, brilliant or foolish. What is correct is when we can listen to each other in spite of our differing opinions. What is right is when we can look at each other with true understanding and respect. What is beautiful is when we can agree to disagree and be happy with that. And that brings us to a genuine authentic communication.

"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others."   — Tony Robbins





It’s quite easy to turn your back to the misery of others. But not so when misery hits you. Then you wish that friends wouldn’t turn their backs on you.

"Love one another as much as I love you."

I’ve heard this spoken so many times, read it a thousand times over. I have realized that none can be more truer than this. God in His magnificent love has given us all of the earth… land – sea – air… under our care and management, for our living joy and pleasure. And too each other to love and care for. Every individual does not stand alone no matter how he says he does and can.. or tries. For no man is an island, each one is dependent to and on another for many different things. I need you as much as you need me. So how is it that we can’t… love?

Love will turn the tide. Believe because it’s been done for ages, by many, in different circumstances, with the smallest or greatest of hearts and hands. Love breaks down all barriers — real perceived imagined.

Dont’ make it difficult for yourself or for the next guy beside you or for the rest of the world. Love… and you will make a reality your and everybody’s wish that the world were a better place. It’ll start with you, me, them, us.



Still – quiet – serene – calm…..just the right place to be to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the city. I took a long sweeping look from the left to the right taking in the walls and the dome over my head. It literally took my breath away – stained-glass windows – its colors heightened by the glow of sunset. Built atop a mountain this cathedral stands proudly in its old world charm attracting visitors from as far as the outskirts of the city — a handsome structure which has stood the passing of time and inside its walls nothing less in beauty. The main altar stretched out to the dome ceiling with a masterpiece of art etched on its stained-glass wall. My gaze followed the intricate lines from the floor to the top and down again to the floor. Here a little to the side stood a long-legged candle-holder – its flame glistening softly from a candle held by a glass holder (yes, in stained-glass too) – a small unobtrusive presence in the midst of such towering magnificence.

Speechless was the moment in the presence of such exquisite beauty indeed. Yet as all good things must come to an end, too, like coming to the end of a good show, a gentle curtain of extinguishing glow fell into the room. The sun was disappearing in the far horizon. Light was snuffed out in all of the glass walls in a falling curtain of darkness except for one solitary lighted candle holder. Surprised I gasped in awe amazed at the sight of the beautiful play of light and colors from the stained-glass candle holder — unremarkable just a few minutes ago but now a burst of luster unmatched by all the glass on the walls of the cathedral!

People – they come in different sizes, shapes, colors, temperaments, attitudes, in myriad colors of character and eccentricity, and personal histories. They touch our lives in many different ways when they cross paths with us. They sparkle and shine as life carries them through the many stations in their journey. Each come to interplay with various experiences which lead to a colorful display of emotions, wit, brilliance, expression, opinion, insight, belief, perception — and on the opposite end bias, prejudice preconception, presumption, and more, These make up the whole person with whom we interconnect with day by day. Beautiful, isn’t it? –But true beauty — where does it lie in a person.

When fortunes turn sour, when failure looms high above you like a huge tsunami, when the small irritations of the day gnaw at your calm and composure, when relationships disappoint, when dreams shatter, when debts soar, when spouses betray trust, when your own stable world is unhinged at the seams without warning, and when you are tittering on the edge of indecision – when all of these dark forces threaten to snuff out the light and brilliance of your day and of yourself, what do you do?

My mom summed it all up with how she lived her life. It was a life strewn with all conceivable trouble and distress. And looking back now I wonder just how God can sometimes be so unfair heaping up all the burdens on the shoulders of this small fragile gentle woman. Well, did she cry? Complain? Get mad? Get gloomy and depressed or bitter and resentful? Yes, all of that and yet all, too, were left at His feet in prayer. Then she carried on with her life where she was, with what she had. She rose with every fall, trudge on doggedly with courage and strength and faith renewed each time I wondered how. Through my child’s eyes I watched her drag her weary feet through the hills and valleys of a sparse life as she took on the role of raising a family. I saw her in my young child’s eye astoundingly as the most beautiful woman in the world. She still is even long after she has gone. I see now and understand the wisdom of God’s outstanding work.

This is true beauty – the beauty of the soul – beauty which shines even more brilliantly even when darkness sets in. True beauty as revealed only when its light is from within.

 “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their true beauty is revealed only if their light is from within.”   – (Elizabeth Kubler Ross)

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