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Connecting 72 Countries around the Globe
"Great opportunities to help others
but small ones surround us everyday."
Sally Koch, Volunteer Resources
"Long distance information, give me MEMPHIS ..."
From the Inside Out...
Your Life on 'Pause'
Scarves by Margaret
Tale of Twins
What a Site!
an Examined Life
BE the World
You Want to See!
Making a difference in the world by helping others can best
be explained through the words of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. "Everybody can be great ... because anybody can
serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve.
You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by
From the Inside Out
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones
in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened
to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was
too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination
when my mother used to talk to it. Then I discovered that somewhere
inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person her name
was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did
not know. Information Please could supply anybody's number and the
first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one
day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the
tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The
pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying
because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around
the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway
the telephone! Quickly I ran for the footstool in the parlor
and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up I unhooked the receiver
in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information Please,"
I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information."
hurt my finger . . ." I wailed into the phone. The tears came
readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn't
your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's
home but me." I blubbered. "Are
you bleeding?" "No,"
I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could.
"Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger."
that I called Information Please for everything. I asked her for
help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She
helped me with my math, and she told me my pet chipmunk I had caught
in the park just the day before would eat fruits and nuts. And there
was the time that Petey, our pet canary, died. I called Information
Please and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual
things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. Why
is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all
families, only to end up as a heap of feathers, feet up on the bottom
of a cage? She
must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul,
always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow
I felt better.
this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Then when
I was 9 years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed
my friend very much. Information Please belonged in that old wooden
box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny
new phone that sat on the hall table.
as I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations
never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I
would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated
now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her
time on a little boy.
few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in
Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between planes, and I spent
15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now.
Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator
and said, "Information Please." Miraculously,
I heard again the small, clear voice I knew so well, "Information."
I hadn't planned this but I heard myself saying, "Could you
tell me, please, how to spell fix?" There
was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess
that your finger must have healed by now." I
laughed, "So it's really still you," I said. "I wonder
if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time."
wonder," she said, "if you know how much YOUR calls meant
to me. I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your
calls." I told her how often I had thought of her over the
years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to
visit my sister. "Please do, anytime, just ask for Sally."
three months later I was back in Seattle. . . a different voice
answered Information and I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?"
"Yes, a very old friend." "Then I'm sorry to have
to tell you. Sally has been working part-time the last few years
because she was sick. She died five weeks ago." But before
I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your
name was Paul?"
Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down. Here it is I'll
read it 'Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in.
He'll know what I mean'." I
thanked her and hung up. I did know what Sally meant. Never underestimate
the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched
~ Contributed by Mary Lynn
in Peoria, Illinois
COST TO YOU, SPONSORS CONTRIBUTE
EVERY TIME YOU "CLICK"
WITH FIVE HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS
ON OUR WEBSITE
PUT YOUR LIFE ON 'PAUSE'
As Western Science has recently confirmed, prayer and meditation
can change the emotional circuitry of the brain. For anyone who
wishes to enjoy the abundant benefits that are readily available
from listening to the inner self and connecting with higher powers,
all it takes is a willingness to relax the body and mind and unite
the heart and soul.
first step is to put your world on pause for a while and become
perfectly still, totally alone with the pounding of your heart and
the hum of your brain. This is where you will find a place for you
alone, a place for your unique inner self. This is where you will
be free from the roles you play to insure your survival, free from
the demands of the people and the institutions that absorb your
daily life. Whatever the issues you may wish to address, this is
the place where you choose the warmth of love over the coldness
of fear. This is where you create a partnership of equals between
your head & heart, left & right, needs & wants and self
enter into a meditative state, find a quiet spot where you will
not be disturbed. The main objectives are to become perfectly still
and to silence the mind. Draw as many deep breaths as necessary
to relax the mind and all the muscles of the body. Focus on the
pulsing of your heart and the rhythm of your breath until your mind
quiets down and you have settled into a relaxed and yet focused
state. Start by sitting in a comfortable chair, spine straight,
head effortlessly resting on the shoulders, feet on the floor and
palms upright on the lap. Allow your fingers to gently touch; this
signifies the coming together of your left and right. With practice,
you will be able to obtain a state of deep relaxation within seconds.
When we eliminate distractions, we are able to go deep inside ourselves
and attain pure introspection. Here, the guidance of Pure Love awaits
a Pure White Light while listening to the words
closed, silently chant the word LIGHT in time with each
beat of your heart, doing so until you eliminate all other thoughts.
Then, picture a brilliant and Pure White Light starting to glow
from the inside of your mind. Gradually slowing the timing of the
chant, switch your focus to the rhythm of your breath, using a single
breath for each word. As you inhale, expand the intensity of the
Light inside your physical mind. As you exhale, feel the Light spread
throughout the body: your mind, torso, arms and legs. Concentrate
on the visualization of this Light glowing and radiating throughout
your entire being. Allow the power of Light to energize your human
powers of the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.
immersed in this light, chant the word LOVE with the
same rhythm that you obtained with the word Light. Concentrate
on a feeling of pure and selfless appreciation for all the love
that you have ever known. Focus on a Love so Pure, it creates love
whenever called. Pure Loves essence is unconditional Love;
the joyful desiring of what is right and what is best for all. It
is an absolute Love of infinite proportions that cannot betray.
Allow the power of Love to stimulate your higher powers
of instincts, inspirations, enlightenment and intuition.
is where you become ONE with the power of Pure Spirit,
the highest source of Pure Love. This is where your human and higher
powers come together in a partnership of equals, a partnership that
wants what is best for both. This partnership of Light and Love
compounds your human love, a love that wants what is right for the
self, and stimulates the growth of your higher love, a universal
love that wants what is right for others. When you succeed in partnering
your human and higher powers together, to the exclusion of all other
thoughts, you are creating a trinity of LIGHTLOVEONE.
Concentrate on your powers within for a few minutes.
is where your brain enters into a deeply personal space that exists
between resting and sleep. You will feel an energizing
or tingling sensation bristling throughout your being
as your brain enters a meditative state. You will also feel a profound
sense of peace as the love and wisdom of the universe enter your
world. This energy will feel as if it comes from deep inside you
as your left and right brain come together in a partnership of equals.
This is where your human powers blossom into a quartet of higher
powers: Instincts for the Body, Inspirations for the Mind, Enlightenment
for the Heart and Intuition for the Soul.
Love of your internal partners will merge with all of the other
Love that exists throughout the universe. It allows you to see your
own life and analyze how you have lived. It helps you to make creative
new solutions that benefit you and all others involved. The joyful
merging of your internal partners, along with the provocative insights
of this journey, is the essence of a prayer meditation practice.
The love released by your partners within is like a beacon calling
to all of the Divine powers of the universe, linking you to new
and greater awareness, ideas, compassion and respect than you are
capable of on your own.
this point, some days you may want to bring a problem to mind and,
while continuing to remain quiet, allow the powers of the universe
to offer you new and better solutions. Other times you will want
to simply bask in the glory of Pure Love, allowing this beautiful
and caring feeling to grow ever-more pervasive in your life.
is where you release the creative dynamics of your dualistic nature.
This is where the dual powers of your left and right brain come
together in a magical force that abounds with loving insights on
how best to manage your life. This is the power that helps you choose
what is best for all of your dualities: your Logic & Emotions,
Reality & Dreams, Service & Prosperity and Inner & Outer
self. Ultimately, these partnerships of human and higher powers
will fuse all of your energies into a true partner within. It is
here that you connect with the infinite energy of the universe that
surrounds us all. It is here that you will find the simple new thoughts
and feelings that help you go forward with your life. It is here
that you will find that the key to success is simple: practice.
has long attempted to connect with a power greater than the self.
Many pursue the classical religious virtues of humility, reason,
integrity and charity. In addition to your cultural imperatives,
you have to make a conscious choice to enter this personal meditative
state. Think of it as entering a moment between the stimulus of
your thoughts and your reaction to those thoughts. It is like listening
at a crack in the door that opens up to the power of the Cosmos.
It is in this gap of silence that the whispers of the
universe come to you through the opening of your Soul. Even if you
enter this moment for only a few seconds, it is here that Pure Love
will provide comfort for the Body, contentment for the Mind, warmth
for the Heart and guidance for the Soul.
from "The Partners Within" ©,
a book by Robert C. Felix that offers ten Three Word Meditations:
7 for your human powers and 3 for your higher powers
Sample at www.PartnersWithin.org
BARTON CREEK CAVE
Photo: Dave Drake
trip starts with an adventurous drive towards the Mountain Pine
Ridge area in Belize and through a picturesque Dutch Mennonite Amish
farm community. Here your guide will row you deep inside Barton
Creek Cave (about 1 or 2 miles depending on water levels). Glide
through a remote underground water cave system in a canoe equipped
with powerful spotlights. It is believed that the Maya once used
this cave for rural burial purposes. While canoeing through the
cave see large and colorful formations, skeletal remains and other
cultural artifacts left behind by the Maya centuries ago inside
the huge cave believed by the Maya to be the "Xibalba",
(pronounced SheeBALba) Underworld Kingdom of their Gods.
"Scarves by Margaret"
L'Escarfé is designed to slip over the wearer's head
with no knotting or tying involved. The scarf is reversible and
can be worn at least five different ways. It is a great time saver
and eliminates a lot of the frustration in trying to arrange and
tie a regular scarf. The Breast Cancer Coalition of Pennsylvania
is currently promoting L'Escarféas a successful fundraiser
for their Breast Cancer Research Project.
(Contributed by Jean in Lake Chapala, Mexico.)
FOR MORE LINKS
may be good medicine, but it's the thought that counts when it comes
to beating stress. New research shows that anticipating a funny
event may be enough to get your stress-busting hormones flowing
and trigger a healthy response in your body. Researchers found that
the mere expectation of watching a funny video up to three days
in advance stimulated the release of stress relievers and lowered
the level of stress-inducing chemicals in the blood.
findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for
Neuroscience in Orlando, Fla. Study author Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH,
assistant professor of family medicine at the Susan Samueli Center
for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the University of
California, Irvine, says his previous studies found watching a funny
video reduced feelings of stress and decreased specific hormones.
But in this study, researchers looked at whether there was a biological
basis for this reaction
study involved 16 healthy men at Loma Linda University. Half of
the men were told three days in advance that they'd be watching
a humorous video, and the others were not. Blood samples were taken
before, during, and after they watched the video.
found levels of three stress hormones (cortisol, dopac, and epinephrine)
dropped by 38% to 70% in the group that was anticipating the funny
video. In addition, levels of stress-reducing endorphins and growth
hormone rose by 27% and 87%, respectively. No such changes were
found in the group that wasn't told about the video.
chronic stress can suppress the immune system's ability to fight
disease, reducing the effects of stress can help the body resist
infections and other disorders," says Berk, in a news release.
"This study shows that even knowing you will be involved in
a positive humorous event days in advance reduces levels of stress
hormones in the blood and increases levels of chemicals known to
aid relaxation." Berk
says the positive changes also lasted long after the actual event.
These feelings of optimism and expectation may help people recover
for illness, which he says may form a biological basis for the concept
Jennifer Warner, WebMD Medical News
are traffic lights
red, yellow, and green?
Laughing It Off
A TALE OF TWINS
family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their
one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold.
one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed
to be turned up.
in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom &
to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded
the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game.
optimist's room he loaded with horse manure.
night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting
amid his new gifts crying bitterly.
are you crying?" the father asked.
my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions
before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries,
and my toys will eventually get broken," answered the pessimist
the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in
the pile of manure.
"What are you so happy about?" he asked.
which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony
in here somewhere!"
in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Museum of Online Museums...
Here, you will find links from archives to online collections and
exhibits covering a vast array of interests and obsessions: Start
with a review of classic art and architecture, and graduate to the
study of mundane (and sometimes bizarre) objects elevated to art
by their numbers, juxtaposition, or passion of the collector.
Recent massive virus attacks should have convinced us that
safe surfing is a must. If you're finally convinced that you need
has helpful hints on procuring basic protection from the Net's
Look at THAT!
Heino Kalis /REUTERS
Visitors admire a shark during their visit...
to the Atlantic aquarium section of Valencia's new Parc Oceanografic
in southeastern Spain. Oceanografic in the 'City of the Arts
and Science' complex, is Europe's biggest oceanarium with 45,000
living creatures of 500 different species and covering an area of
110,000 square metres with 42,000 litres of water, the equivalent
to 15 Olympic swimming pools. The aquarium recreates the world's
most important marine ecosystems to enable research and teaching
in the water environment, and to contribute to the protection of
marine life. ~REUTERS
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
LIVING AN EXAMINED LIFE
great Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras,
et al) insisted that inquirythe examined lifemust
have a purpose. The examined life is the life of a rational person
who undertakes to know what is generally good and valuable in
life. Only such a person may come to know what is best to do or
how to live so as to optimize what is valuable in life. The unexamined
life, by contrast, is one in which a person does not attempt to
know what is generally good and valuable in life. In this case,
the person cannot hope to have a good or rewarding life. Dennis
Gaskill of www.BoogieJack.com
gives us further food for thought:
of Samos, a great scientist and teacher of his time (569-475 BC),
demanded his pupils examine themselves at the end of each day.
He didn't mean physically, but that they should examine their
attitudes, actions, and their mental and spiritual state. He knew
they would accumulate a wealth of knowledge and wisdom if they
learned to live an examined life.
how our lives might be now, if we had always taken a few minutes
every night to examine our daily living. Don't you think we might
be wiser faster than if we just let time wise us up? Perhaps our
lives would even have more depth and meaning. By asking ourselves
reflective questions we deepen our self- awareness and gain insight
into ourselves not possible in other ways. Questions such as:
Did I listen to my children or did I just boss them around? Did
I treat my significant others with love? Did I give my employer
value equal to or above my recompense? Have I been too critical
- of others or myself? Did I treat everyone fairly and kindly?
Did I lose self-control at any time? Was I in the
wrong today but too stubborn or proud to admit it? What
could have I done better today? Have I been thankful for
my blessings or taken them for granted? How can I improve
kinds of questions help us become more self-aware and responsible,
leading to a happier and more fulfilling life. When we are born,
we have not yet fully become who we will be when we die, even
though we are ourselves. Can we agree on that? When we die, we
have fully become who we are going to be in this lifetime. Can
we agree on that too? It logically follows then, that in between
birth and death we are in the process of becoming ourselves. In
this process, everything we think, do, and say, is another step
toward our full self-evolution of this lifetime. Shouldn't we
purposefully try to enhance our own evolution then?
we choose to live an examined life as Pythagoras encouraged his
pupils to do, so that we too may gain a wealth of wisdom and knowledge?
Are we so busy and careless that we are willing to trade becoming
ourselves for the endless doing of tasks? We are human beings,
not human doings...anyone can find a few minutes at the end of
the day for something as important as their own evolution. Of
course, sometimes we will not like what we see in living an examined
life. It means facing our faults and weaknesses. But faults and
weaknesses can't be overcome without the discovery of them, and
without the discovery of them, they continue to remain a part
of our character. Of
course, we're all built a little differently, but I don't think
too many of us want to be known for our character flaws. Most
would rather be regarded with esteem and respect for their character,
and an examined life is a fundamental building block to that end."
~ Dennis Gaskill
Chelle Thompson ~
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Editor . Chelle Thompson ~~~ Associate Editor . Geri Merrill
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