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daily life is your temple and your religion.
When you enter into it take with you YOUR ALL.
~ Kahlil Gibran ...
May 26, 2008
TODAY'S TUNE [ON/OFF]
Are Made of This"
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THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
Time to Lighten Up
Words from the Wise...
Yes You Can!...
Antigua & Barbuda
Just for YOU...
Untangling the Web...
Uplifting News Stories...
My Youth Began at 95,
My Career at 100
Online All the Time...
and Daily Quotes
BE the World
You Want to See!
people squander their lives by focusing on the negative aspects
of the world around them. Thankfully, there is CHOICE! We
can train our mind to go FIRST to the positive gems that exist
in almost every situation ... thereby opening the portal which
reveals Clarity and Peace. We can also let old, bitter and
limiting memories simply evaporate and consciously replace
them with JOY!.
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor
HERE TO FIND OUT HOW
... you can help people all
world without a bit of risk to yourself!
From the Inside Out
The Gracious and Dignified Maurine Jones
following story, written by Cheri Pape, appeared in the Park Cities
People, a weekly publication in Dallas, Texas. Maurine's time on
earth has ended, yet her wisdom lives on...
92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud mother-in-law of my best
friend, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with
her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though
she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.
husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
Jones is the most lovely, gracious, dignified woman that I have
ever had the pleasure of meeting.
I have never aspired to attain her depth of wisdom, I do pray that
I will learn from her vast experience.
many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home,
she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered
her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her
tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her
love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old
having just been presented with a new puppy.
Jones, you haven't seen the room ... just wait."
doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied.
"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.
Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture
is arranged ...
IT'S HOW I ARRANGE MY MIND. I already decided to love it.
a decision I make every morning when I wake up.
I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the
difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work,
or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new
and all the happy memories I've stored away, just for this time
in my life.
age is like a bank account ...
you withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit
a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories."
When is too old?
At what age do we give up? At 100, Grandma Moses was still painting,
and even Titian painted Battle of Lepants when
he was 98.
93, George Bernard Shaw wrote Farfetched Fables.
91, Eamon de Valera served as president of Ireland.
90, Pablo Picasso still drew and engraved.
89, Arthur Rubinstein gave one of his greatest recitals in New Yorks
Carnegie Hall, and Pablo Casals, at 88, still performed cello concerts.
82, Winston Churchill wrote the four-volume work, A History of
the English-Speaking Peoples, Leo Tolstoy completed
I Cannot Be Silent, and Goethe, at the same age, finished
81, Benjamin Franklin produced the diplomacy which led to the adoption
of the US Constitution.
are you too old?
Only on the day when you truly have nothing left to give.
The good news is:
that day only arrives when YOU choose.
**Sign up for Steve's free, daily encouraging and
thought-provoking messages at http://LifeSupportSystem.com
Stories & More*
TIME TO LIGHTEN UP
How did the traffic
signal evolve and
why were those specific
CHECK HERE FOR ANSWER:
from the Wise
Short Movies Starring Amazing People
Filmmaker Nic Askew)
all are heading for retirement ... it's just some are
than others. But retirement from what exactly? For many
it would seem that it is a gradual retirement from life.
Perhaps our culture has missed the phenomenon of
Generation B and its ability to shine bright? If so,
uninsightful, says 70-year-old Brian Chernett,
of Chief Executives
that leads by inspiration.
THIS THOUGHT-PROVOKING FILM HERE
let videos download once, for smooth second viewing.)
Yes You Can!
GIVE AND RECEIVE
adult life with its downturns, losses, and setbacks
teaches us anything, it's that the need for comfort
is crucial and ongoing. It's not only for the boldface crises
that top the life-stress charts (illness, death, divorce),
but also for life's middling traumas (your kid doesn't make
it into Harvard) and minor disappointments (your best friend
isn't visiting from Alaska this summer). Of course, the downturns
and setbacks don't need to be our own for us to feel the loss
and the need to be assuaged.
if you didn't know someone who was directly affected by the
World Trade Center attack, it was hard not to cry watching
the television coverage seeing a tear fall down the
brave, stone-faced cheek of a firefighter, watching a stalwart
family member struggle for composure in the face of overwhelming,
nothing more important or more intimate than giving and receiving
comfort," says Malka Drucker, a rabbi in Santa Fe,
New Mexico, and author of White
Fire: A Portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America.
"For this we need intuition, the invisible path to
is better for our health and fulfillment to give comfort
or to receive it? It's well established that comfort has health
benefits for those on the receiving end, but people involved
in comforting professions, like nurses and nuns, have long
reported a feeling of euphoria from their work. This "helpers'
high" may have a basis in brain chemistry, according
to recent research at the National Institutes of Health.
we exercise compassion, the brain releases endorphins, which
blunt nerve endings and give a sense of peace and tranquility,"
says Stephen G. Post, PhD, professor of bioethics at Case
Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland,
as young as 2 will respond empathetically to another person's
distress kissing a whimpering friend's cheek or saying
to an adult, "Don't cry." But that instinct
often gets lost in the self-consciousness of adulthood. Although
we still remember how to spontaneously comfort the kids in
our lives with a warm hug, soothing words, a favorite toy,
or a lap to hide in, with peers we often become paralyzed
and uncomfortable, uncertain what to say or do, sometimes
even where to look.
once sat at a dinner table with a group of friends, when one
of the women, newly divorced, said matter-of-factly that when
her ex-husband left her for another woman it had felt "like
a death." Another friend at the table began to sob;
her husband had been killed in a car accident 15 years earlier.
We all sat there, speechless and squirming, until the waiter
came to take our order. The moment to say something soothing
and meaningful was lost.
some people are intuitively gifted at saying and doing exactly
the right thing at the right moment, the rest of us can learn
how. "Comfort boils down to empathy and acknowledgment,"
says New York City-based psychotherapist Jane Greer, PhD,
author of Gridlock:
Finding the Courage to Move on in Love, Work and Life
Could You Do This to Me?
in fact, is so powerful that it doesn't require the gloss
of eloquence. "When someone affirms what you are feeling
and conveys an understanding of your distress, their sensitivity
helps you feel safe and understood," says Dr. Greer.
When you offer to bring a sick friend a cup of hot soup, stop
by to change the bedsheets, or send a bouquet of flowers with
a warm note, you put acknowledgment into action.
that doesn't include that crucial element of acknowledgment
seems emotionally tone-deaf. "It's a good thing that
she didn't suffer longer," someone said when my mother
died at 73 of Parkinson's disease. That might have been the
appropriate response to a survivor relieved to see a loved
one's suffering end, but it didn't feel comforting to me.
At that moment, I felt it was horrible that she died at all.
can be equally off-key when we hear a person's distress as
an invitation to commiserate with our own tales of woe. Who
isn't occasionally guilty of this? In retrospect, I could
have kicked myself when I replayed in my head a conversation
with a friend who called to update me about her mother's illness
and I wound up telling her, at great length, about my own
mother's hospitalization six years earlier. A brief mention
is fine, but only if you stay focused on your friend's problem.
How can we so not get it?
problem is, how much compassion we have for others is sometimes
driven by the degree of compassion we have for ourselves
and, let's face it, most of us are pretty tough on ourselves.
"If you're stoic and you have a stiff upper lip, it
could be hard to muster up the empathy and compassion for
someone else's plight," says Dr. Greer.
was the case with a woman I know who'd been having problems
with her boss. When she told her boyfriend that she feared
being fired, he said, "What's the big deal? You'll
call the headhunters and find another job." He didn't
stop to acknowledge her wounded self-esteem, her fear of change,
or her financial concerns that is, all the fallout
that comes from your job's being imperiled.
does tend to be a gender divide when it comes to giving
as well as receiving comfort. According to Marianne
Legato, MD, founder of the Partnership for Gender-Specific
Medicine at Columbia University, in New York City, men will
often hunker down in solitude rather than reveal a need for
comfort; they're also less skilled at soothing others: "A
man will focus on solving the problem. He'll give you directions
to accomplishing whatever goal he thinks you should be achieving,"
the other hand, women tend to be much better at offering a
sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on. Women are not necessarily
good, however, at allowing themselves to be comforted. Many
of us have become so hyper-efficient at juggling the demands
of work and family that we've lost the art of being tended
to. And we feel ashamed to even need tending. "Accepting
comfort is like accepting a gift, but that can stir up feelings
of helplessness and vulnerability in some of us,"
says Dr. Greer. "We think that by saying 'I don't
need it' we can make ourselves feel stronger."
we can all do better at giving and receiving comfort. Comfort
is often rooted in the flesh: Just a hug or the touch of a
hand causes our brains to release the chemical serotonin,
which improves mood.
too, the healing power of words. The right words whether
they are spoken in our church or synagogue, or come to us
via Chicken Soup for the Soul stories or public oratory
have the power to soothe the spirit and revive the heart.
Just think of former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani's
heartfelt acknowledgment that the September 11th losses were
"more than we can bear."
you're the one in need of comfort, wisdom lies in knowing
where to find it. "When things are really terrible,
you need people who will affirm whatever you're feeling,"
says Dr. Legato. "Sit down with a friend or relative
and ask if they have time to hear you discuss a problem and
help you with it. You can't do it in five minutes. Make sure
they have an hour or more to spend."
there's no human to talk to or give you a hug
a pet may do just as well. Studies have shown that pets help
lower blood pressure and mitigate stress on the heart. (Picture
Buddy the Labrador retriever, President Clinton's ever-present
pal during the Lewinsky saga, or President George W. Bush
with his little Scottie in his arms.) Animals are affectionate,
allow us to snuggle with them and in a slight improvement
over spouses, children, and friends never judge us
or offer unwanted advice.
the end, it may be that we are simply hardwired to do good.
A study at the Institute for Social Research at the University
of Michigan in Ann Arbor reported that among older people,
those who reported helping others even if it was just
giving emotional support to a spouse were half as likely
to die within five years as those who did not. "If
comforting behavior can be linked with health and longevity,
the implications are significant," says Dr.
Post of Case Western. "People who live generous lives
soon become aware that in the reasonable giving of self lies
the discovery of self."
Lesley Dormen Boomers.msn.com
(Lesley Dormen was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Her short
stories have appeared in many literary magazines and
anthologies. She teaches fiction writing at the Writers Studio
in Greenwich Village, where she lives with her husband.)
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
Shirley Island was named for General Shirley, Governor of the
Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) and Barbuda are located
in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean,
roughly 17 degrees north of the Equator. Nestled at the
heart of paradise in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda
are full of natural wonders and unique attractions which
will dazzle your senses. The warmth and friendliness of
the people can be felt as soon as you step into this tropical
paradise. The sights and sounds are just as refreshing as
the crystal blue seas so take a dip and be not afraid of
what wonders are in store for you! Antigua has plenty of
activities and sandy beaches with unbelievable turquoise
water. The coasts of Antigua are ideal for yacht cruising
and racing, with constant trade-winds, and many harbors
for exploration. Easily a week could be spent cruising around
this picturesque island of the Caribbean.
Antigua, the larger of the two islands, is heart-shaped
with abundant harbors, bays, coves and barrier reefs. Vegetation
is mainly grass and scrub. In Antigua's capital, St. John's,
you can visit two 19th century cathedrals, St. John's Cathedral
and St. Peter's Church, and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.
The ruins from about a hundred stone windmills serve as
a reminder of Antigua's history as a major sugar producer.
The oldest major plantation, Betty's Hope, hosts two restored
windmills and a museum in tribute to the sugar industry.
Apart from its interesting history, shopping, gourmet dining,
and other activities enhance Antigua's environment. Curries,
fish, barbecued chicken, and Italian food appeal to a wide
range of personal tastes. Approximately three hundred beaches
provide opportunities for sunbathing, solitude, or water
the southern side of Antigua, Nelson's Dockyard serves English
Harbor, the 18th-Century headquarters for the British fleet.
In the present day, the harbor attracts sailboats, recreational
yachts, and racing boats. If you are really in the mood
for a strenuous walk, park your vehicle at Clarence House
and hike to Shirley Heights. Clarence House was built for
the Duke of Clarence, the future King William IV who served
under Nelson as a captain. Or climb to Shirley Heights via
the Lookout Trail, a nature trail through the forest that
originates at English Harbor. After your climb to the ridge
of hills, you'll understand why the fortification was never
in much danger of being taken. You can also walk several
side roads and area paths. The restored garrison at Shirley
Heights has a rambling array of gun emplacements and military
buildings and is best known for the absolutely breathtaking
prospect that it offers. From the Heights one can look far
out over English Harbor, and on Sunday afternoons the view
is accompanied by barbecue, rum punch, and the melodic strains
of steel band and reggae music. The site is named for General
Shirley, Governor of the Leeward Islands when the area was
fortified in the late eighteenth century. Close by is the
cemetery, in which stands an obelisk erected in honor of
the soldiers of the 54th regiment.
even longer beaches or a look at the rare frigate bird,
take a flight twenty-eight miles north to Barbuda. The shell-laden
beaches here on the Caribbean side have pale pink sand.
There is no public transportation, so flying in from Antigua
on a day trip, which includes tour, beach, and lunch, may
be the best way to see the island. Highlights include Highland
House, sugar baron Sir Christopher Codrington's historic
manor, and frigate bird nesting sights at the frigate bird
sanctuary. The exclusive K-Club and Coco Point Lodge resorts
are located on the southern tip of the island. Barbuda is
one of those very few islands in the Caribbean that remains
and probably will remain for some time so
undeveloped as to seem positively deserted at times. With
the exception of the guests of the island's small number
of accommodations, the population primarily consists of
the graceful Fregata Magnificens, or frigate bird.
Video of Antigua and Barbuda HERE
(Always let videos fully download once, for smooth second
Nelsons Dockyard from the Colonial Era attracts yachters
from around the world.
MORE TRAVEL ARTICLES:
ANNOUNCEMENTS & TREATS
Untangling the Web
WHAT A SITE!
to Enhance Your Life & Enrich Your Spirit
"Write a Senior Citizen"
Web site was actually created by two teenagers who wanted
to bring Senior Citizens together. The goal of Write
a Senior Citizen is to provide an opportunity for
Seniors to be able to obtain pen pals from around the
world, receive birthday cards and have something special
to look forward to. This program has brought cheer, friendship
and diversion to this terrific generation to which we
all owe so much. To have a page on Write a Senior Citizen,
you need to be at least 55 years of age or older. All
others of any age are invited to participate with us by
becoming a pen pal with our Seniors. There is no cost
to you to participate as either a Senior Citizen Pen Pal
or anyone writing to them.
Uplifting News Stories
MY YOUTH BEGAN AT 95, MY CAREER AT 100
Shochi discusses his plans for a round-the-world trip during
a news conference in Fukuoka, Japan in April, 2008.
Dr. Shochi leads a baton exercise and Kurodabushi
fan dance at a Community Center in Santa Monica, CA in 2006.
Japan, April 10, 2008 The last thing on a 101-year-old
Fukuoka scholar's mind is retiring. Saburo Shochi, a professor
emeritus at Fukuoka University, has announced plans to embark
on a round-the-world trip to give lectures in 11 countries
on early education for children, as well as share the secrets
of his longevity. He will turn 102 on the trip, which will
be his fourth overseas in the past four years. "My
doctor has given me an official go-ahead for the trip. I'd
like to speak about the necessity of education of the heart
that does not rely on school systems." Dr. Shochi
plans to visit universities and education ministries in all
11 countries, which include the United States, Brazil, Senegal
and Turkey, from Aug. 4 to Sept. 12, 2008. As
a lifelong educator and specialist in early-childhood education
and care for disabled children, Dr. Shochi has enjoyed a long
and varied career both in his native Japan and on an international
stage. In 1954 he sold his family property in Fukuoka and
opened the first school for physically and mentally challenged
children in Japan Shiinomi Gakuen.
"Love is the power to keep us alive. This
school is like a small tree. With enough sun and water, it
will grow into a big tree someday, somehow,
explains Dr. Shochi. He is a celebrated national advocate
for improving special education facilities for disabled children.
In the rapidly aging society of Japan, Dr. Shochi has also
been seen as a role model for socially engaged elderly activists.
When he retired from teaching at a university in Fukuoka at
the age of 63, Dr. Shochi was appointed President of a university
in Korea and began developing special education facilities
for disabled Korean children. He started studying the Korean
language at age 64. Thirty years later, he was invited to
China to create similar schools for disabled Chinese children.
From the age of 80, he nursed his two sons who suffered from
cerebral palsy and his wife who suffered from Parkinsons
disease. When they died during Dr. Shochis 95th year,
he suddenly felt free to devote his extraordinary energies
to the care of others.
Saburo Shochi, who has doctorate degrees in medicine, literature
and education, believes in educating next generations with
love and patience. "It is important to have a kind
heart even though you got poor grades, Shochi
said. The speech was a part of his global tour in 2004 to
promote his theories that quality education should be based
on sincere attitude, imagination and creation. In addition
to his expertise in education, Shochis age was also
another highlight during the speech because he looks like
a senior citizen between 70 to 80. "My mom always
reminded me that when eating, always chew for at least 30
times before you swallow, because chewing would help stimulate
your brain, aid digestion and reduce wrinkles on your face.
Also, continuing to learn is one of my secrets
to keep me young. Shochi said that he
began to learn Mandarin at the age of 95 and he kept diary
in Chinese every day. Seven years later, he is able to conduct
basic conversations in Mandarin. Shochi added that he is currently
learning Russian and Portuguese. (Read a full profile of
Dr. Saburo Shochi HERE.)
The key to everything is continuity achieved by discipline.
excerpt from the PBS documentary THE
ART OF AGING (Enter Here) shows
98 year-old Saburo Shochi achieves physical and mental health
through daily training.
let videos fully download once, for smooth second viewing.)
Dr. Shochi actively manages his nursery schools, travels,
exercises and practices archery, tennis and other sports.
Shochi speaks with the Department of Special Education at
the National Taiwan Normal University in February, 2008.
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