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Connecting 72 Countries around the Globe



"Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
but small ones surround us everyday."

~ Sally Koch, Volunteer Resources

September 8, 2003


TODAY'S TUNE
(On/Off)


"Long distance information, give me MEMPHIS ..."


IN THIS
WEEK'S ISSUE:


From the Inside Out...
"Information Please"

Yes You Can!...
Put Your Life on 'Pause'

Far Horizons...
Barton Creek Cave

Links That Shine...
Scarves by Margaret

Fascinating Facts...
Anticipating Laughter

Laughing It Off...
A Tale of Twins

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

Look at That!...
Sharks Overhead

Joyful Lifestyles...
Living an Examined Life

 


Uplifting World

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 love."

~ Chelle ~


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From the Inside OutIs that you, Sally?
"INFORMATION PLEASE"

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 correct time.

My 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.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information." "I 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."

After 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.

All 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.

Yet 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.

A 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." "I 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."

Only 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?"

"Yes." "Well, 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 today?

~ Author Unknown
~ Contributed by Mary Lynn
in Peoria, Illinois


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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.

The 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 & others.

To 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 us all.

“Picture a Pure White Light while listening to the words

LIGHT—LOVE—ONE”

Eyes 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.

Now, 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 Love’s 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.

This 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 LIGHT—LOVE—ONE. Concentrate on your powers within for a few minutes.

This 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.

The 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.

At 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.

This 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.

Mankind 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.

Excerpt 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
Free Sample at www.PartnersWithin.org

Far Horizons
BARTON CREEK CAVE

Belize
Photo: Dave Drake

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The 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.

Travel ArchivesTravel Archives


Spiral LINKS
THAT SHINE

"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'Escarfé™as a successful fundraiser for their Breast Cancer Research Project.
(Contributed by Jean in Lake Chapala, Mexico.
)
www.ScarvesByMargaret.com

 

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Fascinating FactsChuckle Stress Away
ANTICIPATING LAUGHTER

Laughter 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.

The 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

The 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.

Researchers 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.

"Since 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 of hope.

~By Jennifer Warner, WebMD Medical News

Why are traffic lights
red, yellow, and green?

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Takes TWO

Laughing It Off
A TALE OF TWINS

A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks.

If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold.

If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up.

Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom & gloom pessimist.

Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game.

The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure.

That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly.

"Why are you crying?" the father asked.

"Because 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 twin.

Passing 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.

To which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

 

~Contributed by Denys
in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Humor Archives


 


Untangling the Web

Penguin Programmer

WHAT A SITE!

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.
www.Coudal.com/MOOM.php


COMPUTER-EASE

Stay Safe Online...
Recent massive virus attacks should have convinced us that safe surfing is a must. If you're finally convinced that you need help, StaySafeOnline.info has helpful hints on procuring basic protection from the Net's lesser citizens.


Look at THAT!
SHARKS OVERHEAD

Valencia, Spain
Photo: Heino Kalis /REUTERS
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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


JoyJoyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
LIVING AN EXAMINED LIFE

The great Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, et al) insisted that inquiry—the examined life—must 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:

"Pythagoras 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.

"Imagine 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 myself?

"These 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?

"Shouldn't 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 www.BoogieJack.com


~ 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 inside out and improve our relationships, our community and our planet."

Editor . Chelle Thompson ~~~ Associate Editor . Geri Merrill

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