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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars,
or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a
new heaven to the horizon of the spirit.”

~ Helen Keller... Daily Inspirational Quotes

December 31, 2007


"Do It Anyway"

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From the Inside Out...
Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho ...
Don't Let 'em Tell You No

Fascinating Facts...
Four Thousand Years Ago

Words from the Wise...
What Love Can Do

Yes You Can!...
Cure Your Self-Consciousness

Far Horizons...
French-Flavored Islands

Just for YOU...
Announcements & Treats

Untangling the Web

Uplifting News Stories...
Solomon's War Hero
Finally Honored

Online All the Time...

Featuring Weekly Films
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Inspiration Line

BE the World
You Want to See!

Wayne Dyer says, "You'll see it when you believe it." But, I've found that the MOST important part of manifesting our dreams is KNOWINGNESS. To start, you need to believe in a particular outcome ... however when you take that belief to a deeper level of serene knowingness, the cosmic tumblers click into place ... "and the universe opens itself up for a few seconds to show you what's possible" (from Field of Dreams).

Chelle Thompson, Editor
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

... you can help people all
around the
world without a bit of risk to yourself!

From the Inside OutWalt Disney - Inspiration Line

Consider this Strategy for Success:

1) Consult management; if they hate the idea, proceed with it. If they like the idea, reconsider.

2) Hire market researchers. If they say the idea will fail, assume it will succeed.

3) Never ask how much your idea will cost, and don’t worry about how much it will make.

4) When everyone you know — colleagues, partners, friends and family — when they all say the idea is crazy, then plow ahead, because you’ve got a sure hit on your hands.

This was the apparent strategy of a high school drop out, an admittedly mediocre artist, with almost no business sense, who founded the greatest entertainment empire in history.

Walt Disney is known for his extraordinary imagination and his unique ability to touch the human heart. But it wasn’t imagination that created Snow White and it wasn’t imagination that built the glorious fantasy world of Disneyland. It was Persistence.

From the beginning, and almost to the end, there was only one person who fully believed in Walt Disney and his dreams, and that was Disney himself.

When he wanted to make Snow White, Walt’s brother and business partner cried, “You’re trying to ruin us.” Producer Louis B. Mayer said, “No one would pay to see a fairy princess when, for the same money, they could see Joan Crawford.” Cynics warned: “Children can’t sit still that long”; and “Adults will be bored and won’t take their kids.” Disney produced it anyway.

A few years later he created another movie called Fantasia; a bold experiment combining classical music, animation, mythology and history in a children’s film. His friend Frank Lloyd Wright called it absurd. His business managers said it would fail. He produced it anyway.

When he decided to build Disneyland, his brother said, “It’s a fantasy and it won’t work.” Critics called it “Disney’s Folly” and said it was “a crazy idea from a man with a Barnum and Bailey mentality.” Research experts advised against it because it offered too much free entertainment; the rides were too costly to build; and parking and crowds would be unmanageable. Disney built it anyway.

Snow White, also known as “Disney’s Folly,” won a special Academy Award and made film history as the first full-length animated feature. By 1990 it had earned 100 million dollars! In 1994, the video release of the movie broke all records when it sold 28 million copies in only one month!

The television show, “Walt Disney Presents,” was a phenomenon. More than 30 million viewers tuned in the first night alone, and the series altered programming for the next three decades by making family entertainment a television reality.

When Disneyland opened in 1955, one million visitors paid admission in the first seven weeks alone. Today, Disney World is the world’s foremost amusement park. More than 65 million visitors have passed through the gates of Disney theme parks in three different countries.

Even the Disney projects that initially failed, such as Bambi and Peter Pan, emerged later as enormous film and video hits. More than one billion people all over the world have paid admission to see films made by Walt Disney.

Along the way there were a million reasons to give up and an unrelenting parade of doubters who encouraged him to do just that. Yet he persevered. He didn’t listen to his critics, to the doubts of advisors, collaborators, and even friends. He listened only to his heart. And his heart said: Never accept defeat.

Disney went on to build the greatest children’s entertainment industry in history. He won 29 Oscars, four Emmys, hundreds of awards, and made millions of dollars, but most of all — he won the affection and gratitude of every generation since.


~Cynthia Kersey, Author “Unstoppable: 45 Powerful
Stories of Perseverance & Triumph from People Just Like You”

*Other Stories & More*


45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph

Through the stories of ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things, Cynthia Kersey gives you insight into your own potential for greatness. This is not just another "come on, you can do it" type of book. The people highlighted in this book are real. They are just like you and me, but they live with "purpose that ignites the spirit". These are not just stories of people making a million dollars by designing a cheaper product and beating the competition. These are the kind of stories that encourage people to succeed by doing good works in the world. To read the incredible struggles that these individuals went through to achieve their dreams, proves that anything is truly possible if you have the right attitude. If you feel that you need that extra push to start a project, or are constantly afraid of failure, after reading the 45 stories in this amazing book, you'll have a new outlook on life.

By Cynthia Kersey


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Meaningful Life Answers & Encouragement

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Fascinating Facts



What is the oldest of all holiday celebrations?

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Words from the Wise

Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes was born without eyes or the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Despite daunting circumstances, Patrick has overcome these physical issues to excel as a musician and student. He even participates in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching Band and is a straight 'A' student. A virtuoso pianist, vocalist and trumpet player, Patrick has won many awards acknowledging his positive attitude and achievements:
(Contributed by Rosemarie in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania)
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Inspiration Online Magazine
s You Can!


Are you feeling inhibited? Squash self-doubt, find your confidence and finally hold your head high. You step into the party feeling reasonably confident. True, your favorite little black dress feels somewhat tight, but it's still elegant, and the wind outside only tousled your hair a little. Then, just as you're preparing to mingle, it happens: You pass a mirror and glimpse your reflection — your horrifying, horrifying reflection. The dress isn't just tight; it fits like Luciano Pavarotti's diving suit. Your hair looks as though a crazed weasel nested, bore young, and died there. Aghast, you wobble off your high heels and sprain an ankle. All eyes are glued on you. All conversation focuses on your disgrace. Everyone begins texting hilarious descriptions of you from their cell phones.

In your dreams, baby — I mean this both literally and figuratively. Most of us occasionally dream about being embarrassed in social settings. But even in waking life, many of us operate as if Simon Cowell is doing a play-by-play of our work, wardrobe and snack choices. One team of researchers has dubbed this phenomenon the "spotlight effect." In the beam of imaginary spotlights, many of us suffer untold shame and create smaller, weaker, less zestful lives than we deserve. Terrified that the neighbors might gossip, the critics might sneer, the love letter might fall into the hands of evil bloggers, we never even allow our minds to explore what our hearts may be calling us to do. These efforts to avoid embarrassment often keep us from imagining, let alone fulfilling, the measure of our destiny. To claim it, we need to develop a mental dimmer switch.

Turning the Lights Down Low Thomas Gilovich, PhD, Victoria Husted Medvec, PhD, and Kenneth Savitsky, PhD, the psychologists who coined the term spotlight effect, also devised numerous ways to measure it. In one experiment, they had college students enter a room with other students while wearing an "embarrassing" T-shirt. (The shirt bore the likeness of a certain singer, whom I won't identify here. I will say that for days after reading this study, I was medically unable to stop humming "Copacabana.") When the mortified students were asked to guess how many people in the room would remember the face on their T-shirt, they gave a number about twice as high as the number of students who actually remembered the shirt.

Other studies support what this one suggested — The spotlight effect makes most of us assume we're getting about twice as much attention as we actually are. When Lincoln said, "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here," he was wrong — but only because he was president of the United States. If you are currently president, rest assured that millions will note and long remember if, say, you barf on the prime minister of Japan. However, if you are not president, you're probably pointlessly blinded by the glare of imaginary social judgments.

These judgments aren't limited just to times when we mess up — Our distorted perceptions mean we not only exaggerate the impact of our errors but also undersell our inspirations and contributions. For example: You modestly mumble an idea in a meeting, assuming that co-workers will be awestruck if they like it, appalled if they don't. Net effect: Nobody really hears the idea — until the annoying extrovert across the table repeats it more loudly, and gets all the glory. You wear clothes a bit duller and more concealing than the ones you love, only to look back years later and wish you'd bared and dared more in your youth. (As one of my friends sighed about her self-conscious daughter, "If she only realized that at her age, you're beautiful even if you're not beautiful.") You sing, swing, and mamba only in the privacy of your home, never with other people. Repressing the urge to sing "Copacabana," you miss the joy of sharing silly or sultry abandon with the people you love — and the people you may never get to love because inhibition robs you of the confidence needed to form a bond.

These self-limiting behaviors have no positive side; contrary to what many assume, they rarely save us from doing things we'll later regret. In fact, Gilovich and Medvec have found in other studies that, in the long run, people most often regret the things they failed to try, rather than the things they bombed at. Trying yields either success or an opportunity to learn; not trying has no positive result besides avoiding mockery or envy that (research shows) wouldn't be nearly as big or bad as we fear.

How to Free Yourself from the Glare

Double everything — Just knowing that the spotlight effect is real and ubiquitous can begin to liberate us from its inhibiting clutches. I find it very comforting to have an actual number associated with my shame-based illusions: Spotlight effect studies suggest that people typically pay about 50 percent as much attention to me as I think they are. The first time I actually stood under a spotlight, in a high school play, the director told me, "Small gestures look embarrassed, so they're embarrassing. If you're going to do something, and you don't want to look foolish, do it BIG." Now, thanks to Gilovich, Medvec and Savitsky, I know how big to make my actions — about twice as big as I think they should be.

I've been experimenting with this in many different circumstances: raising both my hands, instead of one, to ask a question of a lecturer I much admire; pausing twice as long for dramatic effect while telling a story to some friends; eating two servings of a fabulous dessert at a literary club luncheon. The result? I do seem to have attracted more attention, but rather than the disapproving judgment I expected, most people seem to feel pleased and liberated, made safer in their own skin by my willingness to live large in mine.

I believe this reaction is a major reason a lovely lady from Hawaii named Brook Lee once won the Miss Universe pageant. When asked what she'd do if she had no rules to follow, she replied, "I would eat everything in the whole world — twice!" That one word — "twice!" — struck a chord with me, the audience and the judges, landing Ms. Lee squarely beneath the spotlight she actually wanted.

Why not join her by doubling the social behaviors you usually limit: the energy with which you communicate, the intensity of the colors you wear, the number of times you laugh, the clarity of the opinions you voice. You may think this will attract massive disapproval from others. Actually, you'll be lucky to attract more than a passing glance, and my experience (not to mention Ms. Lee's) suggests it will be more approving than not.

Think Through Your Limits, Not to Them — "You can't break that board by hitting it," my karate teacher told me. "Hit something 10 inches behind it. As far as you're concerned, the board doesn't even exist." "But," I pointed out, "it does exist." (I am a trained observer.) My sensei shrugged. "That's what you think."

Mentally noting that this man had been hit in the head many, many times, I proceeded to batter my hands to smithereens, trying to break that unbreakable board. When every knuckle was swollen, tender and bleeding, I said, "My hands hurt." "Yes," said my sensei. "Your mind is really damaging them."

You get the metaphor: We smash into barriers of shame, embarrassment and regret because we pull our punches in myriad social situations. Stopping at what we think is the limit of embarrassing behavior, we let others claim the credit, the opportunity, the job, the person we love from afar.

The next time you feel performance anxiety in any form, remember that the negative attention you fear does not exist except in your mind — if this works with the hard, cold reality of my ice block, I guarantee it will work with something as vaporous as other people's opinions. Act as if there is no spotlight on you, even if there is one. Say, do, and be what you would if no one else were looking. It will be scary at first, but if you persist, there will come that liberating moment when you'll feel yourself sailing straight through your life's most inhibiting barriers without even feeling a bump.

Ask Yourself the Universal Question — Once, I had an intense, emotional cell phone discussion with a friend while riding in a taxi. At a certain point I fell into a strangled silence. "What's wrong with you?" my friend asked. "Why aren't you talking?" Covering my mouth with one hand, I whispered, "The driver can hear me."

At this point, my friend said something so lucid, so mind expanding, so simultaneously Socratic and Zenlike, that I memorized it on the spot. I've gained comfort by repeating it to myself in many other situations. I encourage you, too, to memorize this question and use it when you find yourself shrinking back from an imaginary spotlight. My friend said — and I quote: "So?"

This brilliant interrogatory challenged me to consider the long-term consequences of being embarrassed (really, who cares?). It reminded me that failing to act almost always leaves me with more regret than taking embarrassing action. Here are a few instances where the Universal Question might help a person break through imprisoning inhibitions:

"If I say what I really think, people might disagree with me." ... So?

"If I leave my drunken abusive husband, his crazy family will call me a witch." ...So?

"If I go windsurfing, I'll look like a klutz. Plus, people will see my cellulite." ...So?

There are endless applications for the Universal Question. I suggest using it every time you feel yourself hesitating to do something that might deepen or broaden your life. The answer to the question "So?" is almost always "Well, when you put it that way…" It pushes us into the spotlight, showing us we can survive there and freeing us to act on our best instincts.

Today, remember that what you perceive as prudent social caution is probably limiting your life to about half its natural capacity; that if you did everything you long to do twice as often, twice as boldly, twice as openly, you wouldn't attract a shred more social pressure than you already think you're getting. Consider that vaulting well past the limits of your inhibitions will probably earn you more positive attention than negative judgment. More often than not, this will work out well. If it doesn't, remember the most enlightening of questions: "So?"

Little by little, you'll feel and see that the worst consequences of living in the light are less oppressive than the best advantages of hiding in the shadows. And you'll have little to fear from the rest of us, who will only be inspired by your daring as we sit, blinking and bedazzled, in the private spotlights of our own attention.

~By Martha Beck from O, The Oprah Magazine
Author of The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace

Far Horizons


Futuna Island Dancers
Traditional Kailao Dancers on Futuna Island

Learn More Here

Anyone for fluffy croissants and a Pacific sunset? The friendly French-flavored islands of Wallis and Futuna are delightful, with local traditions and culture aplenty, but don't come expecting Club Med — these are workaday islands, and a successful visit requires a little planning, not to mention some French language skills. It's not surprising that, being in the middle of the tropics, Wallis & Futuna are markedly hot and humid. Anytime in the dry season between May and October is ideal for a visit. Although Samoa and Fiji are closer neighbors, the only regular connections to Wallis & Futuna are flights from the other two French territories in the area, New Caledonia and Tahiti/French Polynesia, where you can catch connecting flights to destinations further afield.

Wallis & Futuna were populated when the great wave of Lapita settlement swept eastwards across the Pacific between 1500 and 500 BC. Objects found on Futuna have been dated back to 800 BC, although it's probable that there are even older sites. These early settlers practiced agriculture and fishing, and brought the first pigs to the islands. Later Futuna came under the influence of Samoa. On Futuna, you can visit the sanctuary of St. Pierre Chanel or take a trip to the uninhabited sister island of Alofi. A busy, well populated island, Wallis offers many charms, including lagoon islands, old world churches and archaeological sites. Visit downtown Mata Utu where the local cathedral is surrounded by restaurants, shopping, hotels and the King's Palace, as well as the Church of St Joseph (photo below) in the town of Mala'efo'ou. Talietumu is a huge and beautifully restored archaeological site, a one-time fortified Tongan settlement dating from around AD 1450. A wide defensive wall with entrance passages surrounds tree-dotted lawns and a number of other structures, including large platforms and a circular stockade base. The stone paved roads in and around the site were used only by the king, whose feet were not allowed to touch the ground. Lake Lalolalo is the most spectacular of the Wallis crater lakes. This eerie body of water is an almost perfect circle with sheer rocky cliffs falling 30m (98 ft) down to the inky, 80m (262 ft) deep waters. Tropical birds are often seen gliding effortlessly across the surface and it is tabu to clear the jungle here, making this some of the best preserved primary forest on the island.

The islands have had a series of name changes, beginning with the renaming of Futuna to Hoorn by Dutch explorers in 1616. In 1767 English navigator Samuel Wallis, who had recently discovered Tahiti, renamed it Uvea Wallis, and this name stuck. By the first half of the 19th century the islands had become popular stops for whaling ships, traders and, inevitably, missionaries. France took control between 1886 and 1888 and the islands assumed the official status of a colony in 1924. During WWII, control passed over to the Americans, as the French were more or less preoccupied. In May 1942 Wallis' 5000 inhabitants found themselves sharing their island with 2000 American troops. At its peak this number rose to 6000. It took more than a decade for the cultural tremors to settle — administration was in the hands of the French, but the king of Wallis still exercised some degree of authority, such as the responsibility of appointing the kivalu, the equivalent of a prime minister. Today Wallis & Futuna is the most isolated French Pacific colony, with an economy almost totally based on French economic assistance. Migration and the economic conditions are two of the key issues facing the island group at this time. There are now more Wallisians in New Caledonia than on the island itself.

The culture of Wallis and Futuna is dominantly Polynesian, so the chief music here is also Polynesian. The island of Wallis has a dance form called the Kailao which was later used by the Tongans as a symbolic dance of war (photo above). The kava bowl and tapa cloth are important symbols of both cultures. Kava is drunk both ritually and secularly in Futuna and is used to honor chiefs and the existing hierarchy. You can actually participate in the ceremonial kava drinking and relax on the beach afterwards. Tapa cloth is made by women for exchange at rituals that draw extended families together. It is symbolic of women's wealth, along with specially scented oil. Food gifts are symbols of welcome and good will. The malae, or meeting ground, is a place where people gather to honor their chiefs. The Lomipeau canoe represents the ties between Wallis/'Uvea and the early maritime empire of Tonga of four hundred years ago. It also symbolizes the strong seagoing tradition of these people, particularly their journeys to Tonga, Samoa, and other islands.

See Video Here
See Video of Wallis & Futuna HERE
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Church of St Joseph on Wallis Island
Church of St Joseph in the town of Mala'efo'ou, Wallis Island.

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Just for YOU

Inspirational Image for SedonaSpeaks

Let the Magic Begin — One Heart, One Soul, One Song

The first time I drove through Sedona, Arizona, I saw something flashing on a wooded hill that was nestled among the famous red rocks. We climbed up to the top of the hill and discovered what appeared to be a Native American burial ground. I suddenly started crying — feeling that I was somehow "home" — and after meditating for a few minutes I felt even more connected. On the way back down, I took random photographs of the area using a regular (non-digital) camera. Later, when I got the pictures developed, there was one photo that really amazed me. I took the negative back to the camera store to see if the anomaly in the photo could be explained and they found nothing technically wrong. Several people wanted a copy of the picture, including a nun who felt that it showed a spirit guide. Recently, I took the photo to a jeweler who did a beautiful job recreating my treasured "SedonaSpeaks" image.

This brushed silver pin has a sterling silver chain that converts it into a necklace.

$50.00 ... with silk carrying bag and a copy of the
original photo and story which inspired this design.

"Whenever you wear the necklace/pendant, let Sedona Speak to your heart."
Enter Here for SedonaSpeaks

See Inspirational GuideA Call for Stories from Dr. Barbara Sinor
Therapist and Author: An Inspirational Guide for the Recovering Soul,
Gifts From the Child Within, and Beyond Words: A Lexicon of Metaphysical Thought
New Book 2008: What's Really Going On? Questioning Our View of Addiction

“I'm Dr. Barbara Sinor and I am currently collecting 'addiction stories' for my next book Tales of Addiction ...
If you have been or are addicted to a form of drug or alcohol, or you have been affected by someone who is or was addicted and would like to anonymously share your story; please email me to receive online information on how your addiction story can be considered for inclusion in this informative book. Whether sober, using, straight or in the process of recovery, everyone’s personal story of struggling with an addiction can be a valuable insight for our younger generations, as well as, an awakening call to ourselves as adults. I urge you to consider how sharing YOUR story of addiction might help both yourself and those facing similar life struggles.

***Email Your Story to: — In the Subject box type: "Addiction Story" to ensure receipt***

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Computers and Web Sites
Untangling the Web


Wonderfull Websites
Links to Enhance Your Life & Enrich Your Spirit

"Free Rice" The Make-A-Difference Word Game

FreeRice has two goals which are made possible by the sponsors who advertise on this site:
1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.
Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your vocabulary can actually improve your life. Perhaps even greater is the investment that your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. FreeRice is a sister site of the world poverty site, Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice which you helped provide by playing a free word game that expands your vocabulary.
(Contributed by Jim who lives in Galena, Illinois)

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Computer Tips
Technical Skills, Cyber-cartoon & Security Alerts

Optimizing YouTube
YouTube is a great Web site for viewing videos. It has a huge collection of videos for any topic you could ever think of! There are plenty of tweaks you can use for YouTube, but keep in mind that you don’t have to get them all. Feel free to try them out and then decide whether you want to keep them or not. We’ll be using Firefox and Greasemonkey to customize the Web site YouTube. Here are ways you can make YouTube even better...
Computer Tips at Inspiration Line

 Internet Threats & Viruses
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Uplifting News Stories

Eroni Kumana is a hero
Kumana's shirt—a gift from a US tourist—doesn’t lie.

SOLOMON ISLANDS — Six decades after Eroni Kumana helped rescue young US naval officer John F. Kennedy from Japanese capture in 1943, the US Navy officially recognized its debt to the Solomon Islander, who for years was believed dead and not honored. Kumana, from the western Solomons island of Rannonga, and fellow "scout" Biuku Gasa found the crew of torpedo boat PT-109 — including its skipper, Lt. Kennedy, the future president — after their vessel was cut in two by a Japanese destroyer. An injured Kennedy and the ship's other survivors clung to the wreckage and swam to a nearby island, where Kumana and Gasa found them. The pair rowed 35 miles through enemy-held waters to summon a rescue boat. The exploit earned Kennedy the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.
Gasa, who is still alive, was belatedly recognized in 2002 with a $15,000 gift for a new house and a bronze bust of Kennedy when a National Geographic-led expedition went to Gizo during the search to locate the wreckage of PT-109. But Kumana, believed by organizers to be dead, got nothing and remained a forgotten hero — until August, 2007, when local businessman Danny Kennedy told the captain of the USS Peleliu about 85-year-old Kumana, who is nearly deaf and living in Gizo. He was invited onboard and the Peleliu's commanding officer, Capt. Ed Rhoades, presented Kumana with a series of gifts, including an American flag. "The family was absolutely ecstatic and Aaron was running on adrenaline the whole time," Danny Kennedy said. "It was probably the happiest day of his life." Kumana slept on the ship overnight, meeting many of the crew. Kumana recalled that Kennedy promised he would come back to Solomon Islands after the war and meet his rescuers again. But Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. "I mourned for a whole week upon hearing of my friend's death," Kumana said. "I can now be at peace since through my friend's legacy, people have come to know me, my people and my country, the Solomon Islands." Read National Geographic article HERE.

See Video Here Eroni Kumana and Biuku Gasa Tell: HOW THEY SAVED JFK'S PT109
(Always let videos fully download once, for smooth second viewing.)

Kumana with Kennedy bronze bust
Tears streamed down Kumana's face when he opened the box and he couldn't stop hugging the bronze bust of JFK.

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Inspiration Line—Parents' Wish International Mirrorsite

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"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
we want. In addition, we must do it with a grateful heart."

~By Adrain Calabrese, Ph.D. Author of "How To Get Everything You Ever Wanted" (Click Here)


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