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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
“I'm not afraid of storms
for I'm learning how to sail my ship.”

~ Louisa May Alcott... Daily Inspirational Quotes

February 23, 2009


TODAY'S TUNE [ON/OFF]


"Rhythm of the Rain"


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THIS WEEK'S ISSUE


From the Inside Out...
Run Through
the Rain Believing



Fascinating Facts...
To Each His Own



Words from the Wise...
How to Give a
Fishing Lesson



Yes You Can!...
Painlessly Free Up
an Extra Hour a Day



Far Horizons...
Good Karma in
Voluntourism



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BE the World
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When our Hope, Faith and
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embracing our Beingness bestows.

Chelle Thompson
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From the Inside OutThey Ran Through the Rain Believing - Inspiration Line
RUN THROUGH THE RAIN BELIEVING

I listen. That's where my stories come from. I speak. That's how I get to meet the most incredible people.

But sometimes just listening from afar is enough to fill my heart. I don't always need to say hello to bring a perfect stranger into my life. Conversations overheard are lessons in life sometimes even more powerful than those we are a part of.

This brief encounter filled my day to capacity. If only they knew the gift they gave me.

She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful brown haired, freckled faced image of innocence.

Her Mom looked like someone from the Walton's or a moment captured by Norman Rockwell. Not that she was old fashioned. Her brown hair was ear length with enough curl to appear natural. She had on a pair of tan shorts and light blue knit shirt. Her sneakers were white with a blue trim.

She looked like a Mom.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the tops of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the Earth it has no time to flow down the spout. Drains in the nearby parking lot were filled to capacity and some were blocked so that huge puddles laked around parked cars.

We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. We waited, some patiently, others aggravated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rain fall. I get lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.

"Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.

"What?" Mom asked.

"Let's run through the rain!" she repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated her statement. "Mom. Let's run through the rain."

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If Faith can get us through this, He can get us through anything!'"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If we get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case.

They got soaked. But they were followed by a few believers who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. Perhaps inspired by their faith and trust.

I want to believe that somewhere down the road in life, Mom will find herself reflecting back on moments they spent together, captured like pictures in the scrapbook of her cherished memories. Maybe when she watches proudly as her daughter graduates. Or as her Daddy walks her down the aisle on her wedding day.

She will laugh again. Her heart will beat a little faster. Her smile will tell the world they love each other. But only two people will share that precious moment when they ran through the rain believing that Faith would get them through.

Yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

~By Bob Perks © 2001 www.BobPerks.com


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TO EACH HIS OWN ...


 

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Words from the Wise
HOW TO GIVE A FISHING LESSON...

'‘Extraordinary People through a Unique Lens’'
(Soul Biographies — From Filmmaker Nic Askew)
MARIA PACHECO has played a part in the transformation of many of Guatemala's poorest rural communities. Sometimes a subject needs to take on a complex appearance before its simplicity can be seen. Poverty appears a complex issue a minefield of an issue...
Maria Pacheco

But what if behind the obvious suspects, the causes lie deeper. And as such, poverty becomes a more common experience than we assume. Perhaps the answers lie somewhere within in the relationship between these two possibilities. And, in our ability to give fishing lessons in a particular fashion. (Vital Voices Honoree Maria tells her story in an animated book HERE)

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Ye
s You Can!

PAINLESSLY FREE UP AN EXTRA HOUR A DAY

"“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

What would you do if you had an extra hour a day? This is a common barrier I run into when I write about making positive life changes: people don’t have time to pursue their dreams. People don’t have time to exercise. People don’t have time to get organized. Well, it’s time to make time.

By using some combination of the following, you can free up an hour or more a day. Find the ones that work for you (not all will work for everyone), and then carve out that hour a day.

Then make sure you use that extra hour a day in the best way possible — book that hour on your calendar for something you really, really want to do, whether that’s work on a goal, write a book, start a business, exercise, read more, or whatever. Don’t squander this gift of time!

1. Make an appointment right after work. Whether it’s exercise or working on some other goal, make an appointment to do it right when you get out of work (at 5 p.m., for example). This works especially well if you have to meet someone else, such as a workout partner or other group or team or coach or partner. You’ll be sure to meet the appointment, which means you won’t stick around work too long, and you’ll be sure to finish all your tasks on time so you can leave on time. This makes you more efficient in the afternoon especially.

2. Wake up earlier. I’ve written about this before, of course, but I’ve found time for goals that are important to me by waking a bit earlier. Exercise, writing, reading — I do those now early in the day, so it doesn’t interfere with family time. Early in the day works well for me and many others, simply because there’s not much going on to distract or interrupt at this time of day.

3. Turn off the phones. You don’t have to turn off phones all day long, but you should have some unbroken blocks of time when you don’t take calls, so you can concentrate on your important tasks. This allows you to get more done in less time, as phone calls can eat up chunks of your day if you let them.

4. Stop checking e-mail. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if you can stop checking e-mail except at one or two times during the day, you can free up a lot of wasted time. Checking e-mail constantly takes up a lot of time.

5. Brown bag it. Many people I know take an hour or more for lunch. While a relaxing lunch can be a good thing, if you take lunch to work, you can eat quickly and either spend the extra time 1) working on a goal; or 2) getting work done so you can leave earlier. Plus, brown bagging it saves money too.

6. Figure out your core work activities. What is it that you really have to do each day? I mean, the stuff you have to do or your job would fall apart. If you really think about it, a lot of the tasks you do each day (and phone calls and e-mails, mentioned above, are included in these tasks) don’t really need to be done each day. Sometimes you can do them less often, sometimes you don’t need to do them at all. If you can learn to focus on your core activities, you can get your work done in less time.

7. Cancel a meeting or two. Think about the last 4-5 meetings you’ve gone to. How many of them were really valuable? How many of them did you need to be at? It depends on your job, but sometimes you can beg out of a meeting — or just outright cancel it if you have that power — and accomplish the same thing through an e-mail or two. You just saved yourself 30-60 minutes per meeting canceled.

8. Delegate. Not everyone has this option, but if you can give some of the tasks on your list to others who are better suited to doing those tasks, you’ll free up time. Do you really need to be doing everything you do, or can some of those tasks be delegated? Is there something that other people submit to you that you routinely have to edit or reformat? Teach these people (maybe with an FAQ or tutorial) how to do it right or how you need it so you don’t have to make changes. Are there mistakes people are doing that you routinely have to fix? Are there things you have to do yourself because others don’t know how to do it? Educate them, and save yourself tons of time. It takes time at first, but the payoff is huge.

9. Consolidate errands. If you routinely do errands throughout the week, you’re spending a lot of time driving. Instead, try to do all errands on one day, and plan out an efficient route. Most people will save at least an hour a week in total.

10. Know your priority. What is the one thing you need to do today? Get that done, above all else, and do it first. After you do that priority task, the rest is extra really. Cut back on some of the rest to free up time.

11. Shrink your task list. Once you’ve identified your core work activities and your top priority for the day, go over your task list and whittle it down to the essentials. Put tasks you don’t need to do now on a someday/maybe list, delete others, delegate others. Keep your task list down to the essentials, to keep from wasting time.

12. Say no. One of the biggest groups of time eaters is requests from other people. All day long we get requests, in person, on the phone, in e-mail, through paperwork. Meetings, assignments, requests for information, requests to be on a committee or team … these are all requests that will eat up your time. Say no to all but the essentials. Often you are overloaded with information and tasks. But if you don’t respond to all of your e-mails today, or don’t read all of the posts in your RSS reader, or don’t get to all the tasks on your to-do lists … what will happen? If nothing drastic will happen, consider stopping when you’ve gotten to enough.

13. Get to the point. While I’m a fan of long, slow conversations, if you’re trying to make time for goals, you need to whittle down needlessly long conversations — especially if it’s just with a co-worker who isn’t a close friend. In person or on the phone, you need to get straight to the point with a minimum of chit-chat, and if the other person isn’t getting to the point, politely ask what he needs from you.

14. Watch less TV. Many people watch hours of TV a day. You can easily save an hour a day if you cut TV out, or just watch your single favorite show each day. Don’t channel surf.

15. Read less online. If you’re like me, you can spend hours a day reading online. Limit your online reading and focus on your essential tasks.

16. Search, don’t file. I used to spend a lot of time filing all my computer files and all my e-mails into nice, organized folders. I’d spend time every day doing this. Now, I just archive everything, on computer and e-mail, and search when I need something. With Quicksilver on the Mac, every file is within a few keystrokes. With Gmail, every e-mail is accessible instantly. No time spent filing!

17. Leave early. If you’re using these time-saving tips, you should be able to finish your essential work early. If so, don’t use the extra time to just do more work … leave early! Of course, you’ll probably have to talk to your boss about this, but many people have flexible hours and many bosses would be happy to let you go early if you get your work done. If you set your own hours, set an earlier time to leave and you’ll ensure that you get your work done by that time.

18. Get the kids to help out. At home, if you have kids, it saves huge heaploads of time if you let the kids help with cleaning and other tasks. At first, of course, it will cost you time because you have to teach them to do things. But once they learn … it’ll free up much of your time. My kids can help clean the house, reducing by 2/3 the amount of time I have to spend cleaning. Of course, they made the mess in the first place, but that’s another story.

19. Start work early. If you work before everyone gets in the office, you won’t have constant interruptions and distractions. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. I used to do it when I worked in an office, and because I didn’t take a lunch break — I at ate my desk while working) I could get off at 2 p.m. and spend time with my kids.

20. Give others authority. If you have to approve things or make decisions, you might be a bottleneck — things move slower if they have to be channeled through you. Instead, give others the authority to make decisions — with clear instructions about what decisions should be made under what circumstances, and what the limits of their authority are. That’ll remove a bottleneck and free you up from having to make a bunch of huge decisions. Just have a way to monitor things as necessary.


~By Leo Babauta, writer, runner and vegetarian who is married
with six kids, lives on Guam, and is the owner of ZenHabits.net

 


THE POWER OF LESS:
The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential...in Business and in Life
With the countless distractions that come from every corner of a modern life, it’s amazing that we’re ever able to accomplish anything. The Power of Less demonstrates how to streamline your life by identifying the essential and eliminating the unnecessary – freeing you from everyday clutter and allowing you to focus on accomplishing the goals that can change your life for the better
. By setting limits for yourself and making the most of the resources you already have, you’ll finally be able work less, work smarter, and focus on living the life that you deserve. Leo Babauta is one of the world's leading productivity experts. He founded ZenHabits.net, one of the Top 50 blogs on the Internet.
By Leo Babauta

See Our Recommended Reading Here


Far Horizons

GOOD KARMA IN VOLUNTOURISM


Aruba Reef Care Project
ARUBA:
Don’t just bask on the beautiful beaches soaking up the sunshine. Get your feet wet by helping with the Annual Aruba Reef Care Project.

Volunteer tourism, aka voluntourism, is alive and well and growing in popularity. The idea of incorporating volunteer work into travel isn’t new, but the scope of such efforts is expanding rapidly. "An important part of what comes out of voluntourism is social capital: It breaks down stereotypes," says David Clemmons, founder of Voluntourism.org, a nonprofit that offers tips on choosing volunteer trips. How do you measure the value of such efforts against others, like donating goods or money? The latter may sound obvious, but there are other, intangible issues involved. Self-esteem, for example. Recipients earn money by hosting you, coordinating efforts, etc., as opposed to receiving a handout. Furthermore, the act of going can have a fundamental effect on those who visit, as well. People think they’re coming in to solve problems and just get on a pat on the back. What they actually find is that they get far more than they give and come home wanting to do more, either locally or on longer trips.

In Aruba, for example, you can join hundreds of other scuba divers, snorkelers and beach combing volunteers for the 16th Annual Aruba Reef Care Project from July 4-5, 2009. If you can’t make it out to the reef in July, you might enjoy volunteering at the island’s Donkey Sanctuary, where they are always looking for volunteers to help take care of the animals whose ancestors were once the main form of transport for Arubans. And even short-term experiences can be valuable. One GlobeAware.org project, for example, involved building adobe stoves in a remote Peruvian village. Building several in the course of week-long trips, volunteers have helped the village cut both the incidence of respiratory disease and deforestation, both of which will have long-lasting results.

Most voluntourism programs are noble and altruistic, but as with any travel trend, plenty of opportunists have jumped on this bandwagon. “Make sure you do your homework about your voluntourism operator,” says Daniela Papi, who founded PEPY (Protect Earth, Protect Yourself) that organizes bike trips through Cambodia and Nepal to raise funds for a variety of education, environment and health organizations. “Ask for a list of past participants and their contacts. Any reputable operator should be able to provide such a list. If it is not apparent in the itinerary, ask about the details of your volunteer experience.” Papi notes that the best programs won’t just charge tourists for a chance to visit a village and hand out school supplies. Top voluntourism operators have deep commitments and partnerships with the communities they serve. They have long-term goals and conduct follow-up assessments to gauge the success of their projects.

Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom
CAMBODIA: The ancient Khmer cities of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom can be visited while staying nearby in Siem Reap at the Skyway Guesthouse.

Increasingly, individuals are yearning for an experience that appeases both their desire for adventure as well as their social conscience, trading vacations filled with poolside piña coladas for those spent building orphanages in third world countries. With endless good deeds to be done, Hostelworld.com narrows the options and recommends several voluntourism destinations for the socially-responsible traveller: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Moshi, Tanzania; Barcelona, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina; The Backpack and Africa Travel Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. In Cambodia, when not sightseeing, you can give back through the Skyway Guesthouse's volunteer program in Siem Reap, by helping tutor children in English and computer skills or by assisting with administration work at a nearby orphanage.

Travelocity is not only chronicling this travel trend — it’s also encouraging it by awarding Change Ambassador Grants to customers and employees who lack the means to book a voluntourism trip on their own. If you don’t relish doing investigative work on your voluntourism operator, you can always turn to a trusted travel industry leader to help arrange your trip. Earthwatch Institute relies on volunteers to help supplement scientific environmental research and conservation projects around the world. Maybe you dreamed about saving the whales in college, but the closest you get to marine wildlife nowadays is watching PBS. At least you can fulfill your scientific fantasies for a week or two by helping researchers monitor the migration patterns of gray whales off the Baja coast, record details of Chinese village life, or figure out how to improve the eco-sustainability of Costa Rican shade-grown coffee. Recommendations 10 Tips from a Voluntourism Master and Condé Nast Traveler: How You Can Make a Difference

Earthwatch Institute research and conservation project
THE EARTHWATCH INSTITUTE lets volunteers join with scientists on an exciting, diverse range of projects taking place all over the world.

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