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"The universe is full of magical things
patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."

~ Eden Phillpotts, British Novelist, Poet and Dramatist (1862-1960)

August 16, 2004

Today's Tune (On/Off)



From the Inside Out...
The Daffodil Principle

Yes You Can!...
Fire Up Your Metabolism

Far Horizons...
Tata Somba in Benin

Links That Shine...
Whole Health MD

Fascinating Facts...
A Good Knight's Work

Laughing It Off...
Dilbert-y Manager Quotes

Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Computer Ease

Look at That!...
ONLY Dogs Allowed

Our Latest Discovery...
Taking A Breather

Joyful Lifestyles...
Holding Grudges

Inspiration Online Magazine

BE the World
You Want to See!

One of my most important realizations was that all life is a process, NOT an event. We often play devil's advocate to our greater good when we become impatient with the natural and gradual blossoming of our own consciousness.

~ Chelle ~

Archives Here


From the Inside OutInspiration Online Magazine - Daffodils

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. “I will come next Tuesday,” I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, “Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!”

My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her. "I was hoping you’d take me over to the garage to pick up my car just a few blocks away. I’ll drive. I’m used to this.” After several minutes, I had to ask, “Where are we going? This isn’t the way to the garage!” Carolyn ginned, “We’re going to my garage by way of the daffodils.”

"Carolyn, please turn around, "I said sternly. "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "DAFFODIL GARDEN".

We got out of the car and each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and slopes.

The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns — great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers. "But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn.

"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking” was the headline:

The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs!” it read.

The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain.”

The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”

There it was: THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE. For me, that moment was a life changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than 35 years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time — often just one baby-step at a time — and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. “What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!” My daughter summed up the message in her direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said.

It’s pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. To make learning a lesson a celebration instead of a cause for regret, simply ask, “How can I put this to use today?”

~By Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards
Painting With Flowers
(Contributed by Kathy in Huntington Beach, California)

Inspiration Online Magazine
s You Can!


Edible amphetamines are foods that act like 'speed' for the fat-melting motor known as our metabolism. Only one catch: Like any good buzz, this boost is temporary. "The only way to alter your resting metabolism permanently is to gain or lose weight, or to build extra muscle," says Janet Walberg-Rankin, Ph.D., a professor of exercise physiology at Virginia Tech. But look at it this way: If you have a few of these supercharged snacks and drinks throughout the day, for enough days, you will lose weight. So grab a fork; it's time to add fuel to the fire.

Metabolism Booster Pack #1: Milk, Whole-Grain Cereal, and Oatmeal
Secret Ingredients: Calcium, complex carbohydrates, and fiber
How they work: Complex carbohydrates and fiber pump up metabolism by keeping insulin levels low after you eat. That's good, because spikes in the production of insulin send a signal to the body that it's time to start storing fat. And in order to stockpile fat, your body has to slow down your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories, says Margaret McNurlan, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Since oatmeal breaks down slowly in the stomach, it causes less of a spike in insulin levels than foods like bagels, she says.
Besides helping to keep insulin production down, eating breakfast can also help stoke your daily calorie burn. When the U.S. Navy studied the metabolisms and eating habits of a group of its personnel, it found that eating breakfast helped raise the men's metabolisms by as much as 10 percent. "By skipping meals, you slow down your metabolism and prime your body to store fat," says McNurlan. The calcium in milk is a metabolic trigger as well. A University of Tennessee study found that dieters who consumed between 1,200 and 1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day lost nearly twice as much weight as dieters getting less calcium.

Metabolism Booster Pack #2: Jalapeño, Habañero, and Cayenne Peppers
Secret Ingredient: Capsaicin — the chemical in peppers that gives them their bite
How it works: By speeding up your heart rate. A study from the late '80s found that eating a single spicy meal can boost your metabolism by up to 25 percent, with the spike in calorie burning lasting for up to 3 hours after you finish eating. More recently, a study from Laval University in Quebec found that men who consumed coffee plus red pepper-packed snacks and meals were able to burn nearly 1,000 more calories a day than a control group.
Small snacks can also help keep your body from running out of fuel — preventing those 3 p.m. office blahs. "When you restrict the number of calories your body has for fuel, your metabolic rate can drop temporarily," says Susan Roberts, Ph.D., chief of the energy-metabolism laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. That makes it easier to pack on the pounds and harder to burn them off again.

Metabolism Booster Pack #3: Green Tea and Coffee
Secret Ingredients: Caffeine and a chemical in the tea called EGCG
How they work: Caffeine helps speed up your heart rate. The faster your heart beats, the more calories you burn. EGCG works in a similar way, but instead of revving up your heart, it causes your brain and nervous system to run more quickly — again helping you burn more calories.
In studies, researchers found that a combination of caffeine and a 90-mg dose of EGCG taken three times a day can help you burn an extra 80 calories a day. And that's just when your body's at rest. A study conducted by the Canadian government found that soldiers who consumed caffeine in the 12 hours prior to a physical-fitness test not only were able to work out longer before becoming exhausted, but also consumed more oxygen while working out. The body's oxygen requirements are directly related to the speed of your metabolism, so the more oxygen you use, the more calories you burn.

Metabolism Booster Pack #4: Lean Beef, Pork, Chicken, and Turkey
Secret Ingredient:
How it works: It takes more energy for your body to digest the protein in meat than it does for it to digest carbohydrates or fat, according to Doug Kalman, R.D., director of nutrition at Miami Research Associates. "That means that the more protein you eat, the harder your body has to work to digest it, and the more calories you'll burn in the process," he says.
When researchers at Arizona State University compared the benefits of a high-protein diet with those of a high-carbohydrate diet, they found that people who ate a high-protein diet burned more than twice as many calories in the hours following their meal as those eating carbs. Even better, researchers in Denmark found that men who substituted protein for 20 percent of the carbs in their diets were able to boost their metabolisms, increasing the number of calories they burned each day by up to 5 percent.

Metabolism Booster Pack #5: Salmon, Tuna, and Sardines
Secret Ingredient
: Omega-3 fatty acids
How they work: By altering levels of a hormone called leptin in your body. Several recent studies suggest that leptin directly influences your metabolism, determining whether you burn calories or store them as fat. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that mice with low leptin levels have faster metabolisms and are able to burn fat more quickly than animals with higher leptin levels. The best way to lower your leptin? Eat fish. Mayo Clinic researchers studying the diets of two African tribes — one of which frequently ate fish and one of which didn't-found that fish eaters had leptin levels nearly five times lower than the levels found in tribes that primarily ate vegetables.
The good news, if you don't like fish: Fish-oil supplements may work just as well as the stuff with scales. French researchers found that men who replaced 6 grams of fat in their diets with 6 grams of fish oil were able to boost their metabolisms and lose an average of 2 pounds in just 12 weeks.

~ By Brian Good,

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Far Horizons


Inspiration Online Magazine - Republic of Benin
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The towns in the Republic of Benin in West Africa
may seem unremarkable to the short-term visitor. It's the kind of place that hides its best features. Benin might be small and obscure, but when it does something, it does it in a big way. While it shares many of the problems of its neighbors, it is richer and economically stronger and has the most beautiful beaches and landscapes. You need to be patient and observant to glimpse many of its cultural highlights. On the northwestern border at the Bokoumbé market you can buy rare, authentic carvings and smoking pipes, as well as fabulous fresh produce. Beninese food is some of the most delicious in the region. The easiest place to organize a visit to a traditional tata somba house is in Boukoumbe, where there is an Ecotourism project with guides and information.

Inspiration Online Magazine - Travel ArchivesEnter Here

Links That Shine

Inspiration Online Magazine
"Whole Health MD"

Whole Health MD's goal is to empower consumers
to take a proactive approach to their own wellness. By combining the resources of both scientific health research in CAM and the clinical expertise of integrative health care specialists, the site supports users on their personal path to health, wellness, and longevity. A team of leading consumer health writers and board-certified physicians provides the site with a wealth of practical information and self-help resources.
(Contributed by Ron in Bend, Oregon)


Getting A's

Fascinating Facts

Who invented the World Wide Web
and was recently knighted for it?


Inspiration Online Magazine - Dilbert Managers
Laughing It Off


1. "As of tomorrow, employees will be able to access the building only with individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks." (This was the winning quote from Fred Dales, Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, WA.)

2. "What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter." (Lykes Lines Shipping)

3. "E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business." (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)

4. "This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it."
(Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

5. "Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule." (Plant manager, Delco Corporation)

6. "No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them." (R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)

7. Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

8. My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me." (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)

9. "We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees." (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

10. One day my Boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!" (Hallmark Cards executive)

~Contributed by Denys in Santa Fe, New Mexico


Enter Here.


Untangling the Web

Inspiration Online Magazine

"Understanding the Common Cold"
This site provides a comprehensive, updated and referenced source of information on the common cold. The goal is to provide a framework for critical thinking which will allow informed decisions about medical care for the common cold. Here you'll find: Anatomy of a Nose, How Infection Occurs, What Causes Cold Symptoms, Common Cold Myths, Treatment, Complications, Prevention and more.


Having trouble with sound?
Is it quiet even when your speaker is turned all the way up? Well, one place you should check is the little speaker sitting in your system tray (it's a gray speaker for XP, everyone else has a yellow one)? Double-click it. It should open up a screen that lets you adjust your volume. Make sure the Master is slid all the way up. You may want to do the same with the other sliders if the sound still isn't loud enough.

Look at THAT!

Inspiration Online Magazine - Dog Spa
Photo: API/Porchai Kittiwonsakul
Check Here to Learn More
Bangkok pooches soak up luxury treatments...
at a spa just for dogs. While traditional herbal treatments have long been popular with Thais and tourists visiting the kingdom, man's best friend can now enjoy them at a canines-only resort in the Thai capital. The herbs help to make the dogs unwind — even fierce dogs are able to relax here," says veteran dog trainer Jare Jansrisuriyawong who conceived the "Indoor Thai Dog Resort and Spa". After a few lazy laps in the resort pool, the typical customer may take in a massage in the traditional-style pavilion, or bathe in a Balinese wooden tub infused with a mixture of fresh coconut and aromatherapy oils. Next up for the pampered pup is the application of cold river stones along the back — a Chinese technique designed to treat heart and skin problems and ease tension. A hot-sand treatment, using compresses applied directly to the skin by therapists who carefully part the fur of shaggier clients, is reputed to ease the aches and pains of older dogs who have trouble walking. The therapies obviously have a soothing effect, as the assortment of dogs on the treatment tables snooze or lie peacefully, and there's not a hint of yapping, snarling or sniffing.

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Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly InsightsInspiration Online Magazine - Joy

Science is beginning to verify that nursing grudges will hurt you worse than it hurts your offenders. New work shows it can contribute to emotional problems and even heart disease. Mark Moran, MPH, at MSN Web MD writes that research suggests that forgiveness can lead to better health.

“People have grown tired of simply pointing fingers and attributing blame,” says Michael McCullough, PhD, professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “Culturally, people have begun to wonder whether there is something more positive we can do.” One recent study, for instance, found that holding a grudge could be bad for your heart and your health. “Our research shows that simply thinking about one’s offender in a begrudging way can have immediate physical ramifications,” says author Charlotte Witvliet, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Hope College, in Michigan. “Short, fleeting thoughts are unlikely to have long-term health impact, but we know hostility is a potent risk factor for heart disease. When we have deep wounds, and hostility becomes an ingrained personality trait, then it can be health eroding.”

A fundamental problem confronting researchers is how to define forgiveness. Is it an emotional response, a mental process, or a complex combination? Perhaps it can be defined by comparing it to its opposite — unforgiveness. “I look at forgiveness as an emotional replacement of unforgiving feelings with positive emotions, such as love, empathy, or compassion,” says Everett Worthington, Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Some personality types appear to be related to the capacity to forgive or not. Anger and rumination may predispose individuals to being unforgiving, while the converse of those traits — agreeableness, generosity, and empathy — are likely to predispose one to let go of grudges.

There have been some steps toward understanding the brain and body chemistry of forgiveness, drawing on the work of neuropsychologists who look at the way feelings become embodied through the chemical activity of the brain. In theory, it works like this: The body produces muscle reactions and other bodily sensations in response to any experience — for instance, a slight, an insult, or a violation. Those sensations are fed into the brain, which labels the experience with a specific chemical response. Later, when any similar slight or insult is experienced, the old embodied emotion will be reproduced.

So forgiveness may be a process — sudden and profound, or time-consuming and incremental — by which old embodied feelings of anger and resentment are replaced with new chemical reactions in the body. Such a complete replacement of unforgiving feelings can be difficult and painful to come by — as anyone who has suffered a profound grievance can testify. But even if true forgiveness is impossible, Worthington says, there are many ways to reduce unforgiveness.

Dr. Witvliet emphasizes that forgiveness isn’t about letting offenders off easy, but about liberating the offended from the ill effects of vengefulness. “It’s about letting go of the bitterness eating at us. By giving an unwarranted gift to someone who doesn’t deserve it, we find paradoxically that it is we, ourselves, who are freed from that bondage.”

~Chelle ("Shay") Thompson, Editor


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