Connecting 50 U.S. States & 110 Countries
"The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate. "
~ Oprah Winfrey, Motivational TV Talkshow Host
January 19, 2004
THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
A Celebration of Life
Yes You Can!...
Find Peace & Comfort
Links That Shine...
Laughing It Off...
Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Look at That!...
Digital Dog Tag
Our Latest Discovery...
Journey towards Beauty
BE the World
You Want to See!
My grandma was always 'biding her time' until she could get
to Heaven. In the meantime, her life was fairly miserable and she
treated my mother abusively. I learned a valuable lesson, however:
"Create as much Heaven on Earth as possible with everyone near
~ Chelle ~
From the Inside Out
my way home from coaching basketball yesterday, I was listening
to WGN, my favorite talk radio station out of Chicago. I could tell
right away that there was something wrong by the somber mood of
the speaker. There had been a plane crash. Two small planes collided
into each other over a northern suburb of Chicago.
made the story hit close to home was that Bob Collins, the morning
show man for WGN, was the pilot of one of the planes and had been
killed. I'm sure that many readers have tuned in "Uncle Bobby"
on their car radios in the Midwest. Later that night, as I made
my forty-minute drive to my third shift job, I listened as the station
reminisced and paid tribute to a man who was loved by many. They
told story after story, describing him as the ultimate friend and
a man who had lived life to the fullest. Genuine love and affection
poured in from all over the country. The more I listened to how
this man had influenced those around him, the more discouraged I
was discouraged because I wanted to know why we as a culture wait
until somebody has passed away before we tell them how much we love
them. Why do we wait until someone's ears can't hear before we let
them how much they mean to us? Why do we wait until it is too late
before we recall the good qualities of a person? Why do we build
someone up after they have gone into eternity? What good does it
share memory after memory, as we laugh, cry, and think back about
what was positive in a person's life. Yes, it does help us cope
with the grief of losing someone who was special to us, and, yes,
it does bring those who are coping closer together. Unfortunately,
as we lovingly remember this person, our words fall short of the
ears that most needed to hear them.
once I would like to see a celebration of life instead of a gathering
of death. A celebration where stories are told, eyes mist over,
laughter rings out, and as the speaker concludes his or her loving
tribute, the person they are honoring rises from their chair and
gives them the biggest bear hug!
that be something! The special people get to hear the stories and
come to the realization that they have made a difference on this
earth, and all this is done well before they leave their earthly
bodies and go into eternity. When the inevitable funerals finally
come, we can say good-bye with the knowledge that they knew exactly
how people felt about them while they were here on earth.
now have a stronger resolve to tell those around me how much they
mean to me. I am going to let my wife know just how loved and appreciated
she is, not only by my words, but also by my actions. I am going
to play Batman with my four-year-old more often, and in the middle
of our romping, I am going to grab him, hug him tightly, and tell
him how thankful I am that he is my son. I am going to sneak into
my sleeping toddler's bedroom, place my lips on his chubby cheek,
and thank Goodness for the bundle of joy he is in my life. Each
day I will make a point to tell both of my boys how much I love
them, whether they are four or eighteen! From there, I am going
to let family and friends know the tremendous impact they have had
on my life. Finally, I am going to let the high school players I
coach know that I look forward to each and every minute that I get
to spend with them in the gym.
you love someone? Then tell them! Has someone been an influence
in your life? Then give them a call! Has someone made a difference
in your life? Then write them a letter or send them an e-mail! Don't
let another day go by without letting that person know. There is
something special about a written letter that expresses feelings
of love towards another. I don't know about you, but I have letters
and cards from people that I have saved for years, and from time
to time, I get them out and reread them. They can turn a depressing
day into one where I realize just how blessed and lucky I am.
is too short to leave kind words unsaid. The words you say, or the
letter you write, might just make all the difference in the world.
~ Michael T. Powers
Michael T. Powers is founder of
and an author with stories in 19 inspirational books
including many in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series.
E-Mail Michael at: HeartTouchers@aol.com
Yes You Can!
FIND PEACE &
How can we find positive, sustainable comfort in this
age of anxiety?
A comfort that connects us to ourselves, and the Divine,
of our religion or spiritual tradition? In my life,
a key that turns the lock and opens the mind and heart, as
us from unconsciousness back into
In my mediation practice and the groups I lead we experience the
positive pleasure of being alive. Meditation allows us to reduce
our pains, and rekindle our hopes and dreams. It takes us to an
inner sanctuary where our inner resources can fuel our outer expression,
as they return us to our center, the surest place of comfort in
Meditation is nothing new, yet in our modern world, it has become
widely respected as an essential way to reduce stress, enhance well-being
and, for some people, feel closer to Divine Source. Studies have
shown that meditation is a way to maintain your spiritual center
regardless of religion and it can be as simple as carving out 10
minutes a day to just "BE."
Stress-related disorders are on the rise due to our
constantly changing world and we are seeing symptoms of
anxiety that have skyrocketed in the past decade. These
impact our quality of life and our health.
Meditation helps us to take a break from chaos. As we move away
from the stimuli of the moment, we are able to gain more clarity,
focus and peace of mind. The key to meditation is that it allows
us to calm our fears and move into the present moment, and in that
moment we can tap into a sense of peace - rather than worrying about the
past or obsessing about the future.
Give yourself a meditation break: If you
some form of meditation a regular part of your well-being
you will find that you waste less and less energy on worry
behavior and that your capacity for coping with life's ups
increases. You will begin to adopt a new sense of
awareness that will give you the power to participate more
in your own life. You will learn that your
"home" is inside
you, and that you can take it with you wherever you go
and retreat to it
are. This means that even if you are traveling
- by train or plane
or hanging out at the
or a beautiful park, you can take time out to center
The breath is the key to meditation: When we are
tense or anxious, we tend to hold our breath. The breath is the
key to finding inner peace and harmony. It is our link with our
bodies and the world. For most of us, breathing is something we
never think about, yet for the most part we are breathing shallow
breathes into our chest. This shallow breathing actually can create
a stressful condition in our minds and bodies. By slowing down your
breath, you will instantly relax your body and bring clarity into
your mind. (Continued next week...)
~Barbara Biziou, leading expert on rituals
Author of The Joys of Everyday Ritual and
The Joy of Family Rituals
she is also creator and producer of the "Momentary Meditations"
DVD featuring five powerful guided mediations geared to
help people stay centered at home and on the road.
Visit Barbara at www.joyofritual.com and
The history of St. Peters in Rome goes
back to the year A.D. 319, when the emperor Constantine built a
basilica over the site of the tomb of St. Peter. St. Peters
spectacular Baldacchino, directly beneath Michelangelos dome
at the intersection of the nave and transept, was designed by Gian
Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). This 1633 canopy, commissioned by Pope
Urban VIII, stands as tall as a five-story building. The four columns
are almost 100 feet high. It was rumored by 17th-Century wags that
bronze stripped from crossbeams of the Pantheons portico was
melted down to make the Baldacchino.
Finding reliable cancer information can
be daunting. This website is a portal
to learn more about cancer treatments,
therapies, clinical trials and research.
Who established the Smithsonian?
Laughing It Off
Does a clean house indicate that the computer is broken
... maybe your cat ate the 'mouse'?
there ever a day when mattresses are NOT on sale?
do people constantly return to the refrigerator in hopes that something
new to eat has materialized?
do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum
cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down
to give their vacuum one more chance?
is it that no plastic garbage bag will open from the end you first
do those dead bugs get into closed light fixtures?
all the lint you get in your dryer, if you kept drying your clothes
would they eventually just disappear?
is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling
off the table you always manage to knock something else over?
it true that the only difference between a yard sale and a trash
pickup is how close to the road the stuff is placed?
winter, why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer
when we complained about the heat?
is it that inside every older person is a younger person wondering
what the heck happened?
are the needy only thought of during the holidays? Aren't they just
as needy throughout the rest of the year?
is it that men can react to broken bones as 'just a sprain' and
deep wounds as 'just a scratch', but when they get the sniffles
they are deathly ill 'with the flu' and have to be bedridden for
come we never hear any father-in-law jokes?
do men forget everything and women remember everything?
all married men forget their mistakes? After all there's no sense
in two people remembering the same things, right?
at first you don't succeed, shouldn't you try doing it like your
wife told you to?
~Contributed by Ron and Karen in La Follette,Tennessee
Untangling the Web
WHAT A SITE!
"Spas of the World"
Are the winter blues getting you down?
Just looking at this site and all the wonderful spas around the
world is enough to cheer you up and chase those blues away. This
is a comprehensive site with hundreds of spas for you to see, including
full descriptions and links that go directly to their home page.
How to close the preview pane? ....
For Outlook Express, click the View menu,
Layout, then uncheck the "Preview Pane" checkbox. Hit OK and the preview pane will be gone. To re-instate
it, just follow the steps above, but this time check the
preview pane box. Voila, back to normal again!
Look at THAT!
DIGITAL DOG TAG
For the wandering pooch...
The Dog-e-Tag enhances the chances that runaway Rover will be returned
home and lets you write and display a veritable haiku about the
pet's needs and idiosyncrasies. Don't yelp, it costs $40 US. For
the money though, you DO get to input up to 40 lines of information
and add such notes as: "I like my tummy rubbed" or "I
can't hear, I'm deaf" or "I am 9 years old and I can't
see very well." And should you lose your precious pooch abroad,
don't despair: You can also display text in French, German, English,
Italian and Spanish. ~MSNTechnology.com
Just for YOU
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
JOURNEY TOWARDS BEAUTY (Part
This week we have a few more excerpts from
the 'BEAUTY' issue of "Friends of Silence" out of Jericho,
Vermont. This publication was sent to me by Jim in Galena, Illinois,
who is a subscriber and long time friend from my high school days
in Miami, Florida. The subject matter is indeed a lofty goal,
for as Gandhi so perfectly said, "True beauty consists of
purity of heart."
"Life is a spiral, slowly moving through
the seasons and cycles of our lives. If we are balanced in our
actions, creating beauty and harmony within our spiral, we are
following the path of Right Action, the path we strive to follow.
... To balance the spiral we must participate in our becoming
well. We must learn not to be judgmental, not to be dragged down
by grief, anger and negativity, forgetting the joy, passion, generosity
and kindness of life. Beauty is no threat to the wary. You can
walk in beauty and still sack groceries or change diapers ..."
(Sweetwater Wisdom: A Native American
Spiritual Way by Wendy Crockett)
"Beyond finite beauty - the beauty that we see - is a depth of infinite beauty from which all created
beauty comes, and to which it must return to find its fulfillment.
This is the light in which all works of art must be immersed,
if they are to touch the depth of all being and of all hearts.
...Every creature gifted with reason has received light to see
in all created things both their own individual beauty and that
of the Supreme being, from whom they have received their being,
and who sustains them in it. ...Our gaze should pass beyond the
shadows of created things in order that it may rest in the true
Light hidden in beings without reason, but discovered by those
who have reason. And with this Being we should strive to be in
harmony." (Where Silence is Praise by Dom Augustin
"Beauty is luminous radiance. Beauty
is lucent, mystical essence, the face that is unforgettably lovely,
the dance with the exquisite movements that our minds cannot erase,
the music whose notes repeat themselves endlessly in our hearts.
Beauty infuses; beauty enthralls; beauty inspires and illumines;
beauty lifts up and enlivens our souls." (Heart & Soul by Daphne
"I wonder what beauty is. I have been
seeing lovely things all my life, but they never moved me, never
presented themselves so poignantly as they have done since I entered
into adversity. Now beauty appears as something more than itself.
It seems to me a gateway into God. The thrilling, moving, tremendous
thing about is not the special aspect under which it appears,
not the tree, the flower, the bird note at dusk, but the occasional
sense of otherwhereness, of something more, a marvelous Something
- complete ecstasy - that beauty half reveals." (A Secret
Journal by Jane Steger)
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor ~
"The intent of Inspiration Line is to
show What Is Possible . By choosing new perspectives,
we can change ourselves from the inside out to improve our relationships,
our community and our planet."
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