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Expert Series: Nothing In Your Life Is Wasted
By Noelle Sterne

Do you find yourself too often shaking your fist at God and asking, “When, oh when? . . . When will I finally get published or called back? . . . When will I be able to quit my day job? . . . When will I have enough money to write or paint or design or dance full-time? . . . When will I meet someone who will support me in the creating I must do?” The answer to all such questions may seem illogical at best and outrageous and barely palatable at worst. But it’s simple.

The Squirming Truth

The truth is this: Each of us, no matter how dire or sad or frustrating our circumstances, is where we want to be. No, I’ll be more accurate: each of us is where we need to be.

We are where we are because we need to learn certain things. And we can’t get to the next place without learning them. This principle applies to everything in life, including your chosen mode of creativity. Read more

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COMMENTS (4) | empowerment, inspiration, learning, self growth, self worth
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An Angel Sent Across My Path
By Leo Donaldson

In February of 2006, while teaching my 10th grade computer science class, a call on my cell phone interrupted us. The school had a strict policy that all cell phones must be off in class, but for some reason I simply forgot to turn mine off on that specific day. Amid the jeers and Ooooooh’s erupting from the students, I decided to defy the powers that be, take the call and explain later. Little did I know that this single call would be a turning point in my life. Not only would it change it forever, but would plunge me into what would seem like a never-ending roller coaster ride. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | healing, inspiration, relationships, self growth, trust
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My Little Trooper Dog Trevor
By Tammy Mackey

It’s early October, 2009 and my home is a little too quiet these days as I don’t  hear four extra paws clicking on the worn cedar floors in my kitchen.  I miss those clicking sounds which came from my wonderful dog Ranger.  Ranger is part German Sheppard and Rottweiler and he’s passing away as I whisper into his ear telling him “It’s ok Ranger, its all ok.  I’m right here.  Mama’s right here so don’t be scared.”  He passes in our front porch at 0140 August 28 with my arms embracing him.  I decide to sleep with my dog this evening, not wanting to leave his side.  I call my mom and she lends her comforting ear to my heartfelt words that are spoken through a lump in my throat while I sob and sob.  Her voice on the other end soothes me for the next three hours. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, animal compassion, dog, inspiration
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When All My Dreams Came True
By Michelle Morgan

I’ve always been a writer, ever since I was a little girl and used to write stories and staple the pages together to make my very own book.  I loved reading and everything that went with being a budding author, but quite strangely it took me until the age of 20 to realise that this is what I wanted to be.  Until then I thought I wanted to be an actress, and it wasn’t until I realised that I loved writing the application letters far more than I liked the auditions, that I realised that perhaps my future lay in writing, not the performing arts. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | inspiration, self realization, thriving
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Thanks Little Orphan Squirrels For Making Me Whole
By Tammy Mackey

My amazing journey began on April 4, 2004 at 7:55am.  It was a day that I will remember forever.  I awoke to a grey drizzly day, and the first item on my agenda was to place sunflower seeds on the railing for our squirrel friends who frequented our property daily for special treats.  I enjoy seeing the wildlife come to our yard for a handout to help them along, especially when food is scarce.  As I walked along the second storey deck, I always checked the yard below.  I saw a lifeless grey squirrel at the bottom of our large maple tree. I immediately yelled to my husband Kevin to bring this squirrel inside.  I realized that she was an adult lactating female which meant that there were babies somewhere out there with no mom. I had to find those babies. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | animal companion, animal wisdom, inspiration
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Cooking With Love
By T. Wayne Waters

It’s a little past 8:00 on a Wednesday morning and 82-year-old twin sisters, Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner, are in the kitchen cracking eggs into wide-mouth wooden bowls. Brewing coffee infuses the air with an earthy aroma. Ellen gets a handheld electric mixer, plugs it in, and dips its shiny beaters into the yellow egg yolks in the bowl, a soft whirring sound signaling the start of scrambled eggs. Helen, meanwhile, turns her attention from the eggs to white rounds of biscuit dough she begins to lay out on a large metal tray.

The breakfast Helen and Ellen are fixing isn’t for them. It’s for the dozens of needy Knoxville folks who come to this special kitchen on the east side of the city–the Love Kitchen–twice a week, for a free meal cooked with care by the sisters and their volunteer staff. And for delivery to the hundreds of people in need who have no way to get to Love Kitchen. And for the hundreds more who come by and pick up much-needed emergency food bags; for, as the sisters like to say, the hungry, the homeless, the helpless, the hopeless, and the homebound. Helen and Ellen have been doing it for 25 years. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | community, empowerment, faith, inspiration, service
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Ganesh
By Nayanna Chakrbarty

It was a glorious day. Maneuvering the car every morning through the rush-hour traffic was a frustrating routine for many, but I enjoyed it.  There were drivers who kept changing lanes and tried to nose in at the first gap between two cars. I gave way to such stressed commuters and used the time to eat muffins and catch up on the chart-topping music.

The morning sun glimmered, peeking through the lofty buildings. The rays danced on the reflective exterior of the large towers and bounced its radiance on my rear view mirror. Quickly, I adjusted the direction of the glare, and the light now added a sparkle to my gilded locket.  It was a pendant of Lord Ganesh. He is the elephant-headed deity of the Hindus – the destroyer of obstacles and an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. I clasped the pendant in my fist and thought what had compelled me to wear it always. Read more

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COMMENTS (5) | inspiration, spiritual
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The Oldest Person On The Bus
By Joseph Longo

My 65th birthday was looming.

For the last ten years on my birthdays I always pushed myself to do something extremely physical, something to confirm that I wasn’t getting old, like climbing a heart-pumping incline usually somewhere in the Santa Monica Mountains. For my 65th, I wanted to do something that would push my physical limits because this birthday was bumming me out. For many, 65 means retirement, the end of the road, a sedentary imprisonment. When my parents were 65 they were old people, exhausted, tired from a life of hard work. I did not want to be tired and old. I wanted to be active and alive. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | aging, hiking, inspiration
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The Day My Life Was Saved
By Patrick P. Stafford

Nothing tastes as bad as the Indian Ocean. Not turpentine. Not rotten eggs. Not sulphur. And certainly not soap, cod-liver oil or mud! Especially not when you are in the middle of it, swallowing and choking on heaps of it, and it is mercilessly drowning you. The Indian Ocean.

And that’s where I was, although not really in the middle of it, but only a few miles out from shore, off the coast of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1974. Thrashing wildly to breathe and stay afloat and fighting desperately for my life. And slowly, inexorably…drowning in the beautiful, sunlit waves of an inhospitable Indian Ocean. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | learning, miracle, spiritual
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Credit Card Angel
By Maggie Airncliffe

The city was sweltering under a heat wave that just wouldn’t let up. Before 10 a.m. on the fourth day, the temperature was already nudging 30C. The prospect of another blistering day on the inner city streets was making me cranky. All I wanted was a shady spot on my little balcony, a good book, and a bottomless jug of iced tea.

At the time, I was unofficial ‘street mom’ to a group of kids trying to survive on the margins. Somehow they had adopted me when, on a whim, I’d stopped to offer them a basket of peaches that I’d picked up at the farmer’s market down the block. The fruit disappeared in seconds, but the impression they made on me lingered. The next week, I’d baked up a double batch of cookies, and gone back. Within weeks, I was spending most of my free time with them.

They’d come to accept my presence, true, but gaining their confidence was another matter altogether. Read more

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COMMENTS (6) | children, inspiration, street kids, tolerance
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Transformed By The Re-Newing Of The Mind
By Marilyn Hurst

It was a quiet spring day in March 1990, the day my father died.   I had visited him at home just the day before and though it was apparent he was in the last stages of the “disease”, I was still expecting that any time he’d reverse the diagnosis and pull out of this horrible thing that was consuming his life.   His passing hit me so hard I could barely remember to keep breathing myself.

Over the following months, slowly at first then like a speeding train coming at me, the past, present and future closed in and I felt I was staring into a black hole.  I could see no light at the end of the tunnel.   Although it appeared to everyone around me I had lapsed into depression, I knew that a major life-altering event had occurred and the pain was so intense, I wanted to die myself.

I looked at the shambles of my life and realized I’d been sleep-walking through it for the better part of 40 years.  My marriage was only held together because of  our  9 year old son and were it not for my job as a flight attendant, which took me away for long periods every month, I probably would have ended it years before.  This empty void wasn’t just the passing of my father; something within me was desperate to “get out”.  At the time I didn’t recognize this as a symptom of a transformational process that was in the beginning stages. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | inspiration, meditation, self growth, self realization, spiritual
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No Arms, No Legs….No Worries
By Nick Vujicic from his Attitude Is Altitude website

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Click on picture above to view inspirational video.

Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around someone, no hands to experience touch, or to hold another hand with. Or what about being born without legs? Having no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. Now put both of those scenarios together: no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that effect your everyday life?

Meet Nick Vujicic… Born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, without any medical explanation or warning, Nicholas Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich) came into the world with neither arms nor legs. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | inspiration, self worth, spiritual, thriving
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Inspired By A Life Of Travel
By Debbie McKeown

My passion for travel and outdoor adventure began at an early age. Growing up on my family’s farm in Ontario, Canada, I spent my days exploring the great outdoors and my evenings reading Nancy Drew mysteries and action books that featured lots of horses. Big adventures beckoned. I loved my surroundings but always felt a sense of restlessness and a desire to experience places and meet people beyond our small farming community.

Fast forward many years … with my husband Jack, I have currently visited 43 countries (and counting) and all of the continents. Each destination has left me with a lasting impression of the beauty of the world, whether it be through the landscapes, people or animals. As I consider my evolving travel portfolio, I realize that travel has really shaped who I am today. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | inspiration, self growth, tolerance
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Passing It On
By Delores Liesner

My dad was a quiet and gentle man – kind of a woodsy All-American hard-working man. His hands were muscled, showing his strength, but his eyes revealed a gentle soul.

He had a grocery store in our living room during and after World War II, and an appliance store in another home’s garage, later moving it to a rented store in the nearby town of Norway, Michigan, and for years he harvested cedar and pulpwood. Daddy travelled a lot so any time I got with him was special, but the times I had with Daddy in the woods influenced me the most.

No matter what other challenges were going on in my life, with other family members, at school, or any other area of life, Daddy was able to help me to feel loved and valued. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | family, heritage, inspiration, parenting
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Betty Shirley
By Sandy Caldwell

I remember when I was little and would visit my grandfather in his big house. I would make my way up the stairs to the hallway full of family pictures. There in the middle of the wall was a grand portrait of a beautiful woman with dark wavy hair, big black eyes, full red lips, high cheekbones and a look of longing on her face. That was my grandmother, Betty Shirley. Although I have never met my grandmother, I am influenced by how she lived her life.

She was born Betty Jane Smith, an only child deeply loved by her parents. But when she was in her early teens, she lost her mother…that didn’t hold Betty back.

When she was older she headed for Colorado, not knowing anyone or where she was going to live or work. She just fell in love with the place. She thoroughly enjoyed skiing on their great snowy mountains and was taken aback by its beauty.

She found a job working in a resort running their small train up a mountain to the zoo. She lied about being able to drive a stick shift so she could get the job. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | family, inspiration
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