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not afraid of storms
for I'm learning how to sail my ship.
~ Louisa May Alcott...
February 23, 2009
TODAY'S TUNE [ON/OFF]
of the Rain"
the song doesn't play, simply:
HERE to open a media window.
THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
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BE the World
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embracing our Beingness bestows.
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor
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From the Inside Out
RUN THROUGH THE RAIN BELIEVING
listen. That's where my stories come from. I speak. That's how I get to meet the
most incredible people.
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.
brief encounter filled my day to capacity. If only they knew the gift they gave
must have been 6 years old, this beautiful brown haired, freckled faced image
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.
looked like a Mom.
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.
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
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
voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.
let's run through the rain," she said.
run through the rain!" she repeated.
honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.
young child waited about another minute and repeated her statement. "Mom.
Let's run through the rain."
get soaked if we do," Mom said.
we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl
said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.
morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"
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!'"
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.
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.
you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If we get wet, well maybe
we just needed washing," Mom said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
Bob Perks © 2001 www.BobPerks.com
Stories & More*
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from the Wise
HOW TO GIVE A FISHING LESSON...
Yes You Can!
PAINLESSLY FREE UP AN EXTRA HOUR A DAY
"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
~ Henry David Thoreau
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 dont have time to
pursue their dreams. People dont have time to exercise. People dont
have time to get organized. Well,
its time to make time.
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.
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 thats
work on a goal, write a book, start a business, exercise, read more, or whatever.
Dont squander this gift of time!
Make an appointment right after work. Whether its 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. Youll
be sure to meet the appointment, which means you wont stick around work
too long, and youll be sure to finish all your tasks on time so you can
leave on time. This makes you more efficient in the afternoon especially.
Wake up earlier. Ive written about this before, of course, but Ive
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 doesnt interfere
with family time. Early in the day works well for me and many others, simply because
theres not much going on to distract or interrupt at this time of day.
Turn off the phones. You dont have to turn off phones all day long,
but you should have some unbroken blocks of time when you dont 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.
Stop checking e-mail. This doesnt 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.
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.
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) dont really need
to be done each day. Sometimes you can do them less often, sometimes you dont
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.
Cancel a meeting or two. Think about the last 4-5 meetings youve 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
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, youll
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 dont 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 dont know how to do
it? Educate them, and save yourself tons of time. It takes time at first, but
the payoff is huge.
Consolidate errands. If you routinely do errands throughout the week, youre
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
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.
Shrink your task list. Once youve 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 dont 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.
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
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 dont respond to all of your e-mails today, or dont read all of
the posts in your RSS reader, or dont get to all the tasks on your to-do
what will happen? If nothing drastic will happen, consider stopping
when youve gotten to enough.
Get to the point. While Im a fan of long, slow conversations, if youre
trying to make time for goals, you need to whittle down needlessly long conversations
especially if its just with a co-worker who isnt 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 isnt getting to the point, politely
ask what he needs from you.
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.
Dont channel surf.
Read less online. If youre like me, you can spend hours a day reading
online. Limit your online reading and focus on your essential tasks.
Search, dont file. I used to spend a lot of time filing all my computer
files and all my e-mails into nice, organized folders. Id 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!
Leave early. If youre using these time-saving tips, you should be able
to finish your essential work early. If so, dont use the extra time to just
do more work
leave early! Of course, youll 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 youll ensure that you get your work done
by that time.
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
itll 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 thats another story.
Start work early.
If you work before everyone gets in the office, you wont have constant interruptions
and distractions. Youll 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 didnt
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.
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. Thatll remove a bottleneck and free you up from
having to make a bunch of huge decisions. Just have a way to monitor things as
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, its amazing that were 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.
setting limits for yourself and making the most of the resources you already have,
youll 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.
just bask on the beautiful beaches soaking up the sunshine. Get your feet wet
by helping with the Annual Aruba Reef Care Project.
tourism, aka voluntourism, is alive and well and growing in popularity.
The idea of incorporating volunteer work into travel isnt 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 theyre 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.
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 cant
make it out to the reef in July, you might enjoy volunteering at the islands
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.
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
(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 wont 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.
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.
is not only chronicling this travel trend its 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 dont relish doing investigative work on your voluntourism operator,
you can always turn to a trusted travel industry leader to help arrange your trip.
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.
Tips from a Voluntourism Master and Condé
Nast Traveler: How You Can Make a Difference
EARTHWATCH INSTITUTE lets volunteers join with scientists on an exciting,
diverse range of projects taking place all over the world.
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