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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
“Adversity introduces a man
— to himself.”

~ Seneca, Roman Philosopher... Daily Inspirational Quotes

October 27, 2008


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THIS WEEK'S ISSUE


From the Inside Out...
When the Chips are Down


Fascinating Facts...
Blessings in Disguise


Words from the Wise...
"Each one of us can be
an oasis of peace"


Yes You Can!...
Escape Meltdown Mania


Far Horizons...
Be a Citizen of the World


Just for YOU...
Treats & Announcements


Untangling the Web
...
Computer-Ease


Uplifting News Stories...
Molly Makes a Difference


Online All the Time...

Featuring Weekly Films
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Inspiration Line

BE the World
You Want to See!

One of the best ways to get through difficulties is to focus on just one element ... completing that before tackling the next phase. Then as we fall asleep at night, if we will search through our day for even the tinest blessings and acknowledge them — we will consciously invite more good stuff into our lives.

Chelle Thompson
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

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... you can help people all
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From the Inside OutDancing on potato chips
WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN...

Not too long ago I had “one of those days.” I was feeling pressure from a writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple days and the toilet was clogged.

I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times.

I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine.

By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner. Deciding on Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store.

Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed a Tupperware container from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned.

My family aren't picky eaters, but even THEY won't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars. Really frustrated now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition free: hot dogs and potato chips.

Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull. The bag didn't open. I tried again. Nothing happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a hearty wrestle.

With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the bag, and it was empty.

It was the final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream. “I Can't Take It Anymore!”

My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage: an opened can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips.

My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process!

I stared. I fumed. Pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile.

Eventually I had to laugh. And finally I decided to join him. I, too, took a leap onto the chips. And then I danced.

Now I'll be the first to admit that my husband's response wasn't the one I was looking for. But the truth is, it was exactly what I needed. I didn't need a clean-up crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has The Universe ever stomped on your chips?

I know that, in my life, there have been plenty of times when I've gotten myself into frustrating situations and I've cried out for help, all the while hoping an angel would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess I've made of things.

What often happens instead is that my prayers are answered in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in a manner that is actually best for me. Sometimes I can see right away that it was was the best one after all.

Sometimes I have to wait weeks or months before I begin to understand how and why. There are even some situations that, years later, I'm still trying to understand.

Do I trust in the Goodness of Life? Even when my prayers are answered in a way that is completely different from my expectations, even when there's dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping — can I embrace what is being offering?

Can I adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of a new dance when it pops up?

I'll be honest with you: Some times I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I'm working on doing more of the latter than the former ... even when the chips are down.


~Author Unknown


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Words from the Wise
"EACH ONE OF US CAN BE AN OASIS OF PEACE" ... DESMOND TUTU

Find "Wisdom" at Amazon.com

Inspired by the idea that an important gift one generation can give to another is the wisdom it has gained from experience, the Wisdom project, produced in cooperation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, seeks to create a record of a group of people who have all made their mark on the world. Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman interviewed, photographed and filmed 50 of the world’s great writers, actors, artists, designers, politicians, musicians and religious and business leaders of our time.
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(Contributed by Hilda who lives in Auburndale, Florida)

Inspiration Online Magazine
Ye
s You Can!

ESCAPE MELTDOWN MANIA

Have you noticed the growing fear and panic about the current financial situation that seems to be spreading across the globe? Have you found yourself caught up in the fear and panic yourself? I know I have from time to time. Fortunately, there are some things you and I can do that will help us through the coming months of up, down, and sideways.

Following are a few thoughts on how you can ride out the current storm and find an internal state of well being amidst the turbulence. This will take some effort on your part, and especially so if you are one of those who tends to find the glass half empty.

Please forgive the blunt approach here — my premise is that your experience of well being has nothing to do with what is happening around you. And it doesn't matter how you have been impacted by the current financial situation, right up to perhaps having lost a job, a house, and virtually all of your worldly possessions. In simple terms: it doesn't matter what happens to you, as much as it matters how you respond.

Let's start with fear. Almost 30 years ago, Jack Canfield and I were teaching a seminar together and he taught me a very simple way to think about fear. It's an acronym F.E.A.R. for Fantasy Experiences Appearing Real.

Have you ever been scared by something that almost happened? Like standing on a corner, waiting to cross the street, when a car zooms by and almost hits you? Fear shows up and you can feel it in a very real way, right down to adrenaline coursing through the veins, stomach turning flips, and tension all over the place.

What qualifies this experience as a Fantasy Experience Appearing Real? Did you get hit? NO! Did you get scared anyway? YES? And why? Because you could have been hit, and might have been injured. Your brain was more than capable of supplying the scary thoughts with enough detail that your body reacted as though something actually happened.

And, even though "that was close," nothing actually happened. You might have been standing there in a perfectly serene state, and something that didn't actually hit you, was enough to yank you from serene to terrified.

Recently I was teaching a class and after about 90 minutes, I asked everyone how they were feeling. The participants responded that things were good and that they were enjoying the class. I then asked them if they were aware of financial situation spreading across the globe. Of course everyone was. I then asked who had been impacted, and just about every hand went up. From there, it was pretty easy to point out that despite what the press is calling global panic, everyone here had been doing just fine — until they were reminded about the "crisis."

So, how do you go from "just fine" to "panic and crisis?" Well, that's the whole point. What if the only difference between "just fine" and "panic and crisis" is a question of focus and what you tell yourself? That's not to say that you may not have some financial hardships ahead of you, even present right now; it is to say that, in the paraphrased words of Viktor Frankl, "freedom is that point in time just after they do something to you, and just before you choose your response." Even if something hit your bank account, or your home or your job, you can still find a place of well being.

The sources of the current economic distress may be complex, or they may be simple, depending on your point of view. I'm of the mind that there are simple reasons that play out in complex terms. It's a little late to turn back the greed clock, but it may not be too late to change the way the whole situation impacts you on a personal level.

Your pocketbook, your bank account, even your job and home may be caught up in the sweeping panic, but that doesn't mean you have to be swept along as well. I'm referring to who you really are, deep inside and not so much to all the things, as in things, that many of us tend to identify with. If this notion is new to you, please take a look at this earlier post of mine on Symbols vs. Experience.

My retirement accounts are sharply down, right along with everyone else who is still invested. Whether that turns out to be a good idea or just plain lunacy remains to be seen. However, my emotional bank account is just fine. Well, most of the time anyway. That's because I understand a very simple, although not necessarily easy to follow concept: energy follows thought.

Here's the deal: terms like meltdown, train wreck, crisis, gut-wrenching, and panic all conjure up emotions, none of them very positive. As a psychologist turned business person, I see how these kinds of terms play out in everyday life, how they can be used to manipulate other people, and most importantly, how they can distort the experience of life at a very personal and apparently very real level. These kinds of terms are part of the problem. I apologize for leading with "meltdown" myself. The intent was to grab your interest, and then refocus attention and awareness.

So, take "meltdown" for starters. What's melting? Well, besides the polar ice caps (that's another issue altogether). But what's melting financially? Well, nothing, really. Stocks, bonds, and other measures of finance may be changing, as they always do, but nothing is actually melting. If we were seeing "normal" ups and downs of 50-100 points, no one would be talking about meltdowns now would they? What's the difference between down 100 and down 700? Just degree, right? But nothing is melting. And if it goes up 500, 700 or more, what do you call that? Refreezing? Hardly.

So what's my point? Is there a difference between what happens to your bank account and what happens to you? I sure hope you can see the difference. Did you spend any time yesterday or today, perhaps having breakfast, playing with your kids, or just watching television? If so, you may well have experienced an hour or two where you were just fine. Your stomach was OK, your nerves calm, your emotions at rest.

On the other hand, have you spent any time in the past 48 hours twisted into knots because of something you read, watched, thought or talked about relative to the current financial situation?

So what changes between the times you are calm, relaxed and otherwise just fine and the times you become stressed, emotionally upset, and distraught?

My suggestion is that the only thing that changes is your focus and what you tell yourself about the meaning of the current situation. Energy follows thought.

If some part of you can be at peace, even for a few minutes, then peace is available to you despite what is going on around you. Please, do get this message. It is absolutely critical if you want to get through this current situation in a more balanced, healthy way.

You can focus on negative scenarios, on negative commentary, on your own fears and negative thoughts if you like. And, no sooner do you focus on the negative then some part of you notices your focus, determines it is negative, and cooperates fully by supplying all the necessary negative emotions to match the negative thoughts or negative focus. The peace you were experiencing recedes to the background while the object of your focus takes over. And, the next time you choose to play with the kids, etc., the peace comes right back.

Again, that's because energy follows thought.

Have you ever had a thought you wished you weren't thinking? Who noticed?

Have you ever had an emotion or feeling you wished you weren't feeling? Who noticed?

I'm suggesting that who you are is much more than thoughts and feelings. Who you are comes with thoughts and feelings, it's just not who you are.

So, if you don't like what you are feeling, change your focus, change your thoughts.

Now this gets dangerously close to "positive thinking." Please, do not confuse this advice with positive thinking. That can be a form of denial: it's hard to frame the current financial situation as positive (unless you are rooting for the fall of other people or institutions).

However, you can maintain a positive focus as you find your way through the current situation. What would that look like? You might keep reminding yourself of the difference between Symbols vs. Experience; you might notice the choices you have made that wound exposing yourself to financial risk so you can make different choices going forward; you might focus more on the quality of relationship you have with family and friends and how you can deepen or improve them.

There are all manner of ways to enjoy a positive focus in the midst of the current situation. You don't have to like the current situation, and you don't have to keep focusing on it either.

For me, I am being tested every day to see if I really can live this way of being as a practical reality, or am I just blowing smoke. The difference? Focus!


~By Russell Bishop, author of Lessons in the Key of Life,
Educational Psychologist, professional life coach and management
consultant. You can learn more at www.LessonsInTheKeyOfLife.com



Far Horizons

BE A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD


Reichstag Building in Berlin
Berlin's Reichstag building is a powerful symbol of openness in government.
Learn More Here

Travel broadens our perspective, enabling us to rise above the 6 p.m. news — and see things as citizens of the world. By plugging directly into the present and getting the world's take on things, a traveler goes beyond traditional sightseeing.

Years ago, when I got my history degree, I said to myself, "I'd better get a business degree, too, so I have something useful." I've learned over the years that if more people knew more about history, our world would be better off.

Travelers get a wonderful chance to witness history in the making. Whenever I see the restored Reichstag building in Berlin, I'm reminded of my visit in 1999, when it opened to the public. For travelers unaware of history, it was just a new dome to climb, offering another vantage point to see the city. But a knowledge of its past gives it a far deeper meaning.

It was in this building that the German Republic was proclaimed in 1918. In 1933, this symbol of democracy nearly burned down. While the Nazis blamed a communist plot, some believe that Hitler himself planned the fire, using it as an excuse to frame the communists and grab power.

After 1945, this historic home of the German parliament — which saw some of the last fighting of World War II on its rooftop — stood as an unused hulk next to the no-man's land between East and West Berlin. After unification, Germany's government returned from Bonn to Berlin and, the Germans, recognizing the building's cultural roots, renovated it.

They capped it with a glorious glass dome, incorporating modern architectural design into a late-19th-century icon, and opened it up to the people. The dome rises 155 feet above the ground. Inside, a cone of 360 mirrors reflects natural light into the legislative chamber below. Lit from inside at night, it gives Berlin a memorable nightlight.

It's a powerful architectural symbol — German citizens climb its long spiral ramp to the very top and literally look over the shoulders of their legislators to see what's on their desks. Manipulated far too often by their politicians in the past, Germans are determined to keep a closer eye on them from now on.

When the Reichstag opened nearly a decade ago, I climbed to the top of that dome, and found myself surrounded by teary-eyed Germans. It occurred to me then that most of these people were old enough to remember the difficult times (either during or after World War II) when their city was reduced to rubble.

What an exciting moment for them. The opening of this grand building was the symbolic closing of a terrible chapter in the history of a great nation. No more division. No more communism. No more fascism. They had a united government entering a new century with a new capitol, looking into a promising future.

It was a thrill to be there. I was caught up in it. As I looked around at the other American tourists up there, I realized, sadly, that most of them didn't have a clue about what was going on. They were so preoccupied with trivialities — camera batteries, their Cokes, the air-conditioning — that they missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate this great moment with the German people.

In mainstream tourism, we're often encouraged to be lighthearted and avoid the serious. Sure, fun in the sun, duty-free shopping and bingo can be a big part of your vacation. I enjoy it, too. But all this can distract us from another reason to travel — something Americans vitally need these days.

In my own realm as a travel teacher, if I have the opportunity to lead a tour, write a guidebook, or make a public TV or radio show, it's going to come with the expectation that my viewers and my travelers are engaged, not dumbed down.

Today's news is a result of recent — and ancient — history. Consider the current conflict between Christendom and Islam. It's nothing new and nothing we can't overcome. But we need to understand its roots and its complexity rather than see it just as "us versus them."

When we travel today we have the opportunity to see history as it's unfolding. With knowledge of the past, we can better appreciate the significance of what's happening today. And that's something a lot of travelers don't give themselves an opportunity to do.

(Rick Steves writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio.

The dome of the Reichstag building.
Inside the Reichstag building's dome

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"Fuel Me Up"

Do you cringe every time you pass a gas station these days? By using this Web site, you can find the cheapest gas prices in your area. Just type in your city and state or your zip code and click on the Search button. That will give you the gas prices for the top 10 gas stations within 20 miles of your area. You can click on the link below the results to see more gas stations in your area. The listing for each gas station also has two links you can click on. The Address link opens Yahoo! Maps and shows you where the gas stations are located so that you can get directions for them. The Price link will show you all of the prices that have been reported for the different grades of fuel.

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The creators of Maxthon designed this browser to basically give people a new way to surf the Web. How nice of them! If you've been thinking about switching over to a new Web browser, you might want to give Maxthon a try. "Crazy Browser" is certainly an interesting name. Their logo says "Powerful. Fast. Easy to use" and they're not kidding when they say that. So, if you want to check these browsers for yourself, come along with me for the ride...
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Uplifting News Stories
MOLLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE ...

Molly the Amazing Pony

Molly was rescued near New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, survived a pit bull attack on her right leg and now inspires everyone with her miraculous story.


Director Rustin M. Moore of the LSU Veterinary School’s Equine Center leads Molly at Pony Paradise

ST. ROSE, LOUISIANA— Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused a lot of havoc for animals as well as people. Nobody knows how many pets died or were displaced as a result of the storm. Kaye Harris loves animals and lives on a small ranch called Pony Paradise in St. Rose, Louisiana. She willingly participated in adopting some of the homeless pets and, among other animals, took in a 15-year-old appaloosa that had been found wandering in St. Charles Parish. She named her Molly. Unfortunately her trials were not over and she was attacked by a traumatized pit bull terrier who gnawed her right front leg. Harris thought Molly was going to die. She sought the help of veterinarian Dr. Allison Barca who treated Molly but knew that the horse’s right leg was too far gone and a few weeks after the attack Molly’s hoof fell off. Both Dr. Barca and Harris made a passionate appeal to experts at Louisiana State University to consider fitting Molly with an artificial leg. It was an uphill battle but after being with Molly for a couple of days, Dr. Rustin Moore, a veterinary surgeon, was impressed with the horse and began to feel like an artificial leg was worth a try. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight, and didn’t overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic. Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there. "This was the right horse and the right owner," Moore insists Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. "She’s tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble." The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg. The Bayou Orthotic and Prosthetic Center, which had never before made prosthesis for an animal, built her a leg. Molly uses the artificial limb on a regular basis. Now 19, she is able to get around on three legs but has been known to communicate some of the times when she wants to use her new leg. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Harris started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people and had a good time doing it. "It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life," Moore said, "She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others. She's not back to normal, she's going to be BETTER. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself."

Molly the Pony, is a new children's book about the pony who has already inspired thousands of people around New Orleans. It’s not a book about amputation or prosthetics; it’s a book about people and ponies. Maybe Molly won’t make the vet textbooks, but she might reach more people from the pages of this book for children. If you know a child, a library, a hospital, or maybe a therapeutic riding program that can use a lift, here’s a book that can do that. (Contributed separately by 2 subscribers from Santa Fe, NM: Gabrielle and Phyllis.)

You can read the latest news on Molly HERE
See Video Here—Watch a very sweet video about Molly HERE
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Molly the horse helps others
Here's Molly in her new job at rehabilitation centers and hospitals. She's just the right height to look children in the eye! As a matter of fact, Molly looks everyone in the eye!!

Molly's got a smiley hoof!
Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind because the ground surface of her most recent prosthesis is emobssed with a smiley face.


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October, 2008

   


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"THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF CIRCULATION"
"The word circulation implies that something is going round and round.
Whether it be money, love or good will, whatever you spread around
is going to come back to you. In order to be on the receiving end
of our desires, we must spread around to others exactly what
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