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"We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves
awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an
infinite expectation of the dawn
."

~ Henry David Thoreau, American Writer,
Philosopher, and Naturalist
(1817-1862)

August 4 , 2003


TODAY'S TUNE
(On/Off)


"Wind Beneath
My Wings"


IN THIS
WEEK'S ISSUE:


From the Inside Out...
Cultivating Awareness through Gestalt

Yes You Can!...
Stop Stress Now

Far Horizons...
Malaysian Rainforest

Links That Shine...
Angels for Hope

Fascinating Facts...
Lies We Love to
Pass Along

Laughing It Off...
Class Reunions

Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Computer Ease

Look at That!...
Fish-Sniffing Cat

Joyful Lifestyles...
Life Beyond
Nagging (Part 1)

 


Uplifting World

BE the World
You Want to See!

One of the greatest breakthroughs in human history has been the evolution of public attitude towards psychotherapy. While healing is indeed an 'inside job', there are times when we can benefit from some professional 'wind beneath our wings.' I have personally been blessed by therapy that helped me dismantle walls and see life more clearly.

~ Chelle ~


Click Here

 

From the Inside OutBy Paul Klee
CULTIVATING AWARENESS
THROUGH GESTALT

Many methods of psychotherapy exist, with diverse theoretical understandings of the human personality and of what constitutes mental health. Complex theories aside, Gestalt therapy is, in fact, a method of cultivating awareness of one’s self in the moment. This awareness allows a person to become conscious of their internal process of thoughts, emotions, perceptions and sensations, which go largely unnoticed in the course of daily life.

"Castle and Sun" by Paul Klee,
Swiss Painter (1879-1940)

This internal process has a determining effect on our choices and on the outcomes of those choices, which make up our life. Many times, people act without realizing what makes them feel compelled to do so. For example, John may have had a dissatisfying conversation with his friend Joe, finding him to be distracted and unsympathetic, and then gone to the fridge to look for something to eat, even though he had just finished his dinner.

If John were aware of his emotions and physical sensations, he might find that he is feeling the emotion of sadness, but actually experiencing a feeling of fullness in his stomach. This awareness would help John make a more appropriate choice for himself, such as seeking a way to release his sadness, for instance by expressing it to a supportive person. If no supportive person were available, John could internally understand and accept his own sadness. He might then choose to soothe himself by taking a hot bath, or he might choose to release energy by engaging in a physical activity, such as running or dancing. There is no one ‘correct’ way to handle a situation. When a person is aware of what he feels and needs, he will find what‘s best for him under the circumstances.

John’s state of mind will, most likely, have an effect on the way he interacts with the people he comes into contact with. If he is still feeling sad and disappointed but is unaware of what caused it, he may withdraw from others, feel lethargic or something of the sort. This, in turn, may cause his girlfriend to wonder why he isn’t his usual lively self, and she may think it is due to the fact that she didn’t have time to prepare a good meal or, perhaps, to the fact that they’ve been together a long time and he doesn’t find her company so exciting. (As you see, things can get unnecessarily complicated.)

When we are aware of our internal process, we can communicate more effectively, first of all with ourselves. John can communicate consciously to himself: "I feel very disappointed and sad that Joe was so unsympathetic when I was telling him how my boss put me down in front of my co-workers at the meeting. I will tell him, at an appropriate time, how I feel". John may tell his girlfriend: "I’m not in such a good mood tonight". When she asks why, he’ll have an opportunity to tell her and hopefully get her support. This will also save her from trying to guess why, and from attributing his lack of enthusiasm to some imagined shortcoming of her own.

When people are unaware, they usually accumulate "heaps" of interactions that affect their lives and the lives of those they come into contact with, and create a tangled web of actions and reactions. As a result, they may feel out of control, as though "things just keep happening to them." They may not know why they are having difficulty in their relationships, why they can’t seem to control their eating habits, why they are having trouble sleeping at night, etc. This is because, as a result of their lack of awareness, they are missing crucial information regarding their motives for acting as they do, and their contributions to the situations they find themselves in.

If one is unaware, how does one go about gaining awareness? The way we learn is through practice. Gestalt therapy can be an invaluable tool in gaining the ability to monitor ourselves in "real time," thus having more internal clarity about our motives and desires. This allows us to make choices that are more in line with our deeper needs, and are more likely to bring about their fulfillment. Gradually, we can transition from feeling ‘acted upon’ by life’s circumstances, to feeling that we have greater power to create our own reality and be active participants in the great dance of life

.

~ Hana Dolgin, M.A. is a Certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, and
a graduate of Gestalt Associates For Psychotherapy in Manhattan.

She works with individuals, couples and groups in Manhattan
and Queens, to foster well-being and the enjoyment of life.
For more information, visit Hana's website
www.GestaltForLife.com, or call (212) 591-0149

 


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Sun Wave Yes You Can!
STOP STRESS NOW

Someone once said, "The only difference between a diamond and a lump of coal is that the diamond had more pressure put on it." If that were the case, we should all be shining brightly by now.

Sure, stress can motivate us to get things done that's the upside. The downside can be really ugly. Stress, according to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, can sometimes lead to physical problems, such as high blood pressure, and accelerate some effects of aging. And we all know stress may contribute to emotional upheaval irritability, anger, and even depression.

Here are seven easy strategies, one for each day of the week, to help you meet stress head-on and conquer it:

1. Breathe. Yes! It's that simple. Breathe deeply, but don't hyperventilate. Inhale as though you were sniffing a delightful scent. Then stre-e-e-tch your arms high over your head as you slowly and completely exhale.

2. Set boundaries. Just like the stressed-out mom who sat in the playpen to keep away from the children, you can erect some barriers. Decide what you will do and when. Better still, decide what you won't do and dare to say "no." Try to avoid anything, and anyone, who wastes your time.

3. Clarify your goals. Decide exactly what needs to be done, and plan a smart way of accomplishing each task. Oh, and give yourself a big star on the calendar every time you achieve even one of your goals, no matter how small.

4. Put yourself first. That's right! If you aren't functioning at your peak, your work and your relationships will suffer. Find time for yourself, and try to do at least one relaxing thing each day: Take a bubble bath, or read a chapter of a favorite book.

5. Give yourself a break. It's okay to goof off, cancel a lunch date, or miss a deadline now and then. In six months or 10 years, who will remember?

6. Get spiritual. Get in touch with your spiritual values, and align your plans and activities with them. For instance, read an inspiring book, then figure out how to incorporate what you learned into your day-to-day life.

7. Take five. Right now stop what you are doing to cherish the moment. Savor whatever you're drinking or eating. Or go outside and smell the air, the flowers and the trees. Feel the wind, sunshine or rain on your face. Listen for tiny sounds. Take a moment every day to marvel at the wonders all around you.

Sally Hammond for
WeightWatchers.com,
Fitness.msn.com



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Far Horizons
MALAYSIAN RAINFOREST

Taman Negara National Forest
Photo: Canopy Walkway

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Malaysia's Canopy Walkway in Taman Negara National Forest is the longest in the world. It was built with wooden spacers skillfully-fitted between the bark and the cables, so that no nails would be driven into the trees. Dating back to 1925, Taman Negara is one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests at about 130 million years. In this National Park live: leopards, tigers, boars, deer, elephants, rhinoceros, hornbills, monkeys and many other animals.

Travel ArchivesTravel Archives


Spiral LINKS
THAT SHINE

"Angels for Hope "

Free crocheted creations for those who are
severely injured and/or chronically ill, as well as
their caregivers, or just someone that needs
hope
as a tangible reminder that you are
not alone, that others care, and that we
remember you in our thoughts and prayers

www.AngelsForHope.org


Click Here

CLICK FOR MORE LINKS




Fascinating FactsClick Here for Book Info
LIES WE LOVE TO PASS ALONG

The profile of an urban legend as expert Jan Harold Brunvand author of the book
The Truth Never Stands in the Way of a Good Story defines it
is "a story in a contemporary setting (not necessarily a big city), reported as a true individual experience, with traditional variants that indicate its legendary character." You’ve most likely received at least one legend in your e-mail inbox. According to Brunvand and others, we’re eager to believe these stories because:

1. They seem like they might be true. Either someone we trust is telling it,
....or it happened to a to a friend of a friend
so common that it is known as a FOAF
....by people who study urban legends.
2. They’re good stories
scary or memorable or funny.
3. They carry a message, one that confirms a world-view, such as that Neiman Marcus is
....greedy or that parents are bad for leaving their kids with babysitters.
4. T
he "just-in-case" clause. Just in case it’s true, I'll be doing a service if I pass the word
....along, right? Unless it’s strictly for amusement and everyone is amused, you could end
....up looking like a real dope.

Urban legends are like a virus that spreads geometrically from one person to two people to four people, although the story's details might change along the way. Most people don’t have the time or talent to make a career out of researching urban legends. However, there are some simple ways you can protect yourself:

1. Use common sense. Does it sound too good or weird to be true? Then it probably is.
2. Recognize the hallmarks. Does the story involve a FOAF? A dead pet? A message written in blood?
....The ghost of a long-dead child, a hitchhiker, or other such character?
3. Get suspicious every time you get an e-mail that says "This is not a joke" or "forward to everyone you know."
4.
You can also get info on the latest computer virus hoaxes from Symantec, some of which bear a striking
... resemblance to urban legends. Snopes.com lists extensive information about all kinds of urban legends,
... including which ones are full of 'baloney'.

NOTE: To keep our readers informed on the newest viruses and hoaxes INSPIRATION LINE features the
"FACTS & FICTION UPDATE" the LAST FRIDAY of each month (with permission of Barbara Mikkelson at Snopes).

~Martha Brockenbrough Encarta.MSN


Why do fireflies light up?

Click for Answer
?????


I haven't changed a bit!

Laughing It Off
CLASS REUNIONS


Every ten years, as summertime nears,
an announcement arrives in the mail. A reunion is planned;
it'll be really grand; make plans to attend without fail.

I'll never forget the first time we met;
we tried so hard to impress. We drove fancy cars,
smoked big cigars, and wore our most elegant dress.

It was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel. We wined, and we dined,
and we acted refined, and everyone thought it was swell.

The men all conversed about who had been first
to achieve great fortune and fame. Meanwhile, their spouses
described their fine houses and how beautiful their children became.

The boy we'd decreed "most apt to succeed"
was serving ten years in the pen, while the one voted "least"
now was a priest; just shows you can be wrong now and then.

They awarded a prize to one of the guys
who seemed to have aged the least. Another was given
to the grad who had driven the farthest to attend this year's feast.

They took a class picture, a curious mixture
of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties. Tall, short, or skinny,
the style was the mini; you never saw so many thighs.

At our next get-together, no one cared whether,
they impressed their classmates or not. The mood was informal,
a whole lot more normal; by this time we'd all gone to pot.

It was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores;
we ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans. Then most of us lay
around in the shade, in our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.

And now I can't wait; 'cause they've set the date;
our fiftieth is coming, I'm told. It should be a ball,
they've rented a hall at the Shady Rest Home for the old.

Repairs have been made on my hearing aid;
my pacemaker's been turned up on high. I'm feeling quite hearty,
and I'm ready to party
gonna dance 'til dawn's early light.

~~Author Unknown
~Contributed by Bob in St. Cloud, Florida
Humor Archives


Untangling the Web

Penguin Programmer

WHAT A SITE!

SmallFlower.com ...
offers the finest products from around the world, promoting external as well as internal health, and mental as well as physical well being. Their goal is the same as it was on opening day in 1875 — "To provide the best service and products to help our customers lead happier, healthier lives. If that seems a bit grand, it's not.
It's only what you deserve."
www.SmallFlower.com


COMPUTER-EASE

Drivers are mini-programs (instructions) that tell your computer how to use its hardware. Each hardware device has a driver. Some, like drivers for a keyboard or mouse, are built into the computer itself. Others, like video card drivers or modem drivers, need to be installed when you get a the new hardware device. Without the proper driver, your stuff won't work. If you're having trouble with a particular hardware device, chances are that an updated driver may solve your problem. These can be found at the website for the company that made your equipment.


Look at THAT!
FISH-SNIFFING CAT

Rusik's Reward
Photo: Associated Press


Move over bomb-sniffing dogs...
here comes Rusik, the fish-sniffing cat!
Russian police battling fish smugglers have
deployed a cat to sniff out contraband, who has distinguished itself with an outstanding nose for fish."The cat finds it in any hiding place," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted a police spokesman in Stavropol as saying, adding that Rusik was fed on confiscated fish. Several species of fish in the Caspian Sea, on Russia's southern border, have become endangered since the collapse of Soviet rule led to a sharp rise in fish smuggling.
~REUTERS


JoyJoyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
LIFE BEYOND NAGGING (Part 1)

Clean the living room, wash the dishes, take out the trash ... nag, nag, nag. The incessant nagging you do not only drives your partner mad, it drives him or her away and hurts intimacy. How can you learn to communicate more effectively and go from being a broken record to a poster child for relationship success? The first step, say experts, is to recognize that asking for the same thing over and over again believe it or not just doesn't work. "Nagging takes the form of verbal reminders, requests, and pleas," says Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, a marriage and family therapist.

The Essence of Nagging: "If a person thinks, 'If I've said it once I've said it a million times,' or 'it's in one ear and out the other,' or 'I talk till I'm blue in the face,' this should be a strong clue," says Weiner-Davis, author of several relationship books, including Getting Through to the Man You Love: The No-Nonsense, No-Nagging Guide for Women (not just for women, of course). Strong clue or not, most naggers don't know they nag they think their nagging helps, she explains. And it's not up to them to decide: A helpful reminder becomes a stinging nag when the person who is being nagged says so. "It goes from a reminder to a nag when the person who is being reminded gets offended," says Weiner-Davis. "How the behavior gets labeled depends on how the person hears it, not on how the person who says it feels."

But like any facet of a relationship, nagging is a two-way street. "Obviously, if a woman feels responded to she won't need to keep bringing up the same issues," says Jamie Turndorf, PhD, a couples therapist. "On the surface, it's easy to assume that it's all the nagee's fault if he responded better, nagging wouldn't be happening." But rather than assigning blame is it the husband's fault for not cleaning the kitchen, or the wife's for griping so much about it start looking for more productive ways to communicate, or risk damaging the intimacy in your relationship.

So How can you tell that you've become a nag? According to Weiner-Davis, here are a few key signs:

1. You're increasingly frustrated because you're not getting through to your partner, despite asking again and again.
2. Your partner becomes increasingly defensive each time you ask for something.
3. The things that bother you tend to grow in scope — you're more bothered by more things, more often.
4. Your irritation is contagious — the more irritated you get, the more irritated your partner gets.
5. The weaknesses in the relationship, such as what your partner isn't doing despite your attempts at effecting
.... change, become the focus, rather than the strengths in your relationship.
6. The most obvious sign that you tend to nag: You've said the same thing five different ways, five different times,
... and yet you keep on going. (Continued next week)

~ Chelle Thompson ~



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"The intent of Inspiration Line is to show What Is Possible By choosing new perspectives,
we can change ourselves from the ins
ide out and improve our relationships, our community and our planet."
Editor . Chelle Thompson ~~~ Associate Editor . Geri Merrill

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