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The Journey To Becoming A Vegan
By Diana Carr

Intellectually, I’ve always known where the hamburger sitting on my plate came from. Intellectually. I mean, nobody has ever plucked a side of beef off a bush, we all know that. But denial has such a way of sugar coating everything, of allowing us to stay the course, even when that course is not good for us. Things wrapped up neatly in packages did not compute as having once belonged to a living, breathing creature. I was able to distance myself from the whole nasty affair.

That came to an end 23 years ago, when I was writing for my local newspaper, and doing a story on a woman who rescued Dobermans. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | self realization, vegan
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This Little Light Of Mine
By Christine Durrant

You know that song, “This Little Light of Mine”? That’s my “theme song”. I’m Chris and I’d like to share my light with you.

My childhood was horrendous. My father was an animal lover but as far as humans, he was a tyrant. He was a raging alcoholic, extreme racist and just plain rotten to society. He was afraid of no one and always ready for a fight. He would do so much for animals but abused and neglected his family. I’m not here to judge him or dwell on his behavior, I am sure he has his demons and I’m sad about that but I’m just trying to paint the picture. He was violent and unpredictable and I would hide in the closet, usually with one of our dogs. He would never hurt an animal so I was usually safe with one of them. My love for animals blossomed from this life I was stuck in. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, children, learning, self growth
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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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You Are Enough
By Heather Klem

When I was a high school freshman I was tender and malformed.

I ached for acceptance and validation. I had received the message, as many of us had, in our formative years that we must always be in the business of doing more and doing it better. Behaviors were moralized and the nebulous “good enough” always seemed right outside my grasp, just beyond the next honor roll or cheerleading squad slot. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | bulling, children, enlightenment, learning, self growth
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I Want To Breathe
By Elida Vinesett

 “Leda, do you want to drown?” Mom yelled.  “Come here, now!”

I was terrified whenever the water rose above my waist, her screams warning us to stay near the water’s edge.   It happened every time we went to Lynnhaven Beach in Virginia.

Mom, herself, had never learned to swim, although she grew up in a small town near the Atlantic Ocean in Puerto Rico.  Born in 1923, she experienced natural tragedies, like the hurricane in which the family lost all their possessions.   Decades afterwards, apprehension of the ocean passed on to her offspring. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | anxiety, empowerment, healing, parenting, self growth
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Dear Support Person
By Johnny Mackay

It was all unexpected. Sure, life wasn’t grand but you know it was pretty good, I thought. In retrospect it seems like the changes took place overnight though I am not sure that is true either. My best friend and lover of 5 years decided to take up relations with another man. This was enough to force me to explore my own personal difficulties, shortcomings and relative commitment issues. I discovered that I loved her more than I loved life, more than I loved myself. Unfortunately, my new found passion for a life of solid relations with her and her alone, fell on deaf ears and I was told it was too late.

More than anything the ‘weight’ of the hole inside me was incapacitating, the darkness was unbearable, the pain relatively inescapable. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | depression, empowerment, self growth
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John Volken’s Welcome Home Program: A Second Chance For Addicts
By Emily Rose

I always thought faith was the ability to believe in something that cannot be proven, some intangible element woven into our lives like threads we can sense, but never see.

As I grew older my belief in faith was questioned, as is often the case for people during difficult times. It has only been recently that I learned there is much more to faith than finding the answers to questions that are not based on evidence.

Real faith takes courage and trust. Often, it requires the helping hands of others to provide you with faith when your own supply is running low. And, as I learned during an evening spent with John Volken, real faith takes determination, and the desire to succeed. Read more

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COMMENTS (4) | addiction, healing, self growth, service, spiritual
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Twitter Saved My Life
By Salvatore Stefanile

I’m not really much of a Twitter guy and rarely use it to ramble random life musings. I mainly use Twitter to follow Dan Harmon, Kurt Sutter, Norm Macdonald and pretty much every sports Twitter feed imaginable.

I never imagined I’d stick with Twitter for long. Figured I’d just sign up, check it out and delete my account eventually.

Was I ever wrong.

On April 15 of 2010, Twitter helped save my life.

One of the most prolific writers of today’s generation is Deadspin writer Drew Magary. I don’t know where he gets the time to write for all the publications he does, not to mention write a book, too. I give him credit for that. He was one of the first people I followed on Twitter.

He kept complaining how he needed to lose 50 pounds and instead of just bitching about it to faceless internet followers, he came up with a plan:  announce to the world how much he weighed and keep people on Twitter informed of his progress.

He dubbed his plan the #twitterpublichumiliationdiet. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | empowerment, self growth, weight loss
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Expert Series: Learning To Live My Light
By Amara Rose

One of the hallmarks of any spiritual journey is that at some point, you will be asked to surrender who you think you are. The Call seldom comes in an obvious form. For me, the invitation to reawaken to my true essence, to reclaim the sacred feminine within myself, wore a brilliant disguise: debilitating arm pain. I was being asked to lay down my arms, to relinquish all the roles I’d been taught that had enabled me to arm myself against knowing who I am, in order to embrace something I couldn’t outwardly touch.

It was a colossal summons. And I wasn’t willing to answer — at least, not without putting the caller on hold a few times, letting it go to voicemail, or pretending I’d erased the message.

I lost the use of my arms for over a year at the start of 1993. The pain had been building for some time but, stoked on my burgeoning marketing communications business, piano lessons, and a ninety-miles-an-hour lifestyle that spelled “freedom” from the drudgery of nine-to-five, I ignored the warning signs. I was too busy; business was too good. Read more

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COMMENTS (4) | enlightenment, health, self growth, self realization
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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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Felix The Cat Part IV: The Grey Dragon
By Melissa Roberts

When my cat Felix decided to tolerate Mum and Dad’s cat Tiptoe in 2010, we had been living there for nearly two years. I never expected Felix to give in, but then again I never expected to lose my job and have nowhere else to go but back where I had come from.

Former stray turned beloved pet, Felix moved with me from St. Louis, Mo to small town Kansas after I lost my job as a hospital chaplain in 2008. My parents and I agreed this would be a temporary situation- six months at the most- until I could get back on my feet. We all overestimated my employability and underestimated the recession. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, empowerment, renewal, thriving
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Life Goes On
By Sean Cameron - 18 Years Old

Everyone says divorce is hard. They have no idea. I remember as a kid hearing about parents getting divorces and getting scared that the same thing would happen to mine. I would see it on the television, or see my friends heading to their father’s house for the weekend. So I made sure I kept a close eye on my mom and dad. I was always on the look-out for any signs of arguments. I would make them promise me over and over that they would never get a divorce. I knew it was immature and silly, yet I couldn’t help but worry. However, my parents always seemed so happy together. And of course, my mom and dad promised me they would never be apart. So what did I have to worry about? I guess even parents can be wrong sometimes… Read more

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COMMENT (1) | divorce, family, healing, relationships, self growth
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Revolution: How Cipralex & I Saved My Life
By Niki Chanway - 17 Years Old

You’d like to think there’s a quick and easy fix to depression. Exhausted, beaten girl that you are, having spent a large portion of your life wiping the metaphorical sweat from your hypothetical brow, you’re wondering why you just can’t access it.

You waste your Friday nights with your knees curled up to your chest.

Your Saturdays, in bed.

Sundays you force yourself to socialize.

Mondays you’d rather do anything than live through the week again.

You suffer. Struggle. Simper. You pretend that nothing hurts; you thrust candy-coated lies into the mouths of the people who love you. If the words seem sweet enough, maybe they won’t notice the limpness in your fingers, your voice, your spirit. Read more

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COMMENTS (35) | depression, empowerment, healing, self worth
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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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Turning Trash Into Beauty – Kat Nicotera’s Unique Art Therapy
By Ernest Dempsey

Kat-Fasano Nicotera, an ex-heroin addict, believes, because of her passion for doll making, and art therapy in general, that in order to come out on the other side of addiction a different person, a whole person, we must find something that inspires us more than the pain we’re familiar with.  This is her story.

Ernest: Hello Kat! I am honored to be speaking to you about your art and healing! Before we move on to talking about doll making, how long was your addiction period, and how did you put an end to it, returning to normal life? Read more

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COMMENT (1) | addiction, renewal, self growth, spiritual, thriving
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Familiar Faces
By Dawn Lyons

I recognized the moment as one that I would always remember. I was watching a children’s movie and my dad had settled into his favorite chair to watch it with me. He didn’t judge me for being a 17-year-old girl who was still in love with a literary character who had become animated on film. Maybe Dad wanted to check the guy out in case I found a real-life version someday. I’ll never know why he chose to sit and watch with me that day. I expected he would make some sarcastic comments, but instead he was quiet. After a while, I glanced over and saw him staring at the screen, enthralled. His face held an expression of joy and contentment, and seeing him like this held me awestruck.

I had never seen Dad with such an expression before, and I was very aware that this was something I needed to focus on so I could remember the details with clarity.

Maybe somehow, I knew something, or maybe it was one of those moments you look back upon and think that “someone” was trying to tell you something. Because in the short span of a few weeks, I found myself sitting in Dad’s chair, devastated by his unexpected death.  Read more

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COMMENT (0) | loss, parenting, self growth, self realization, self worth
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Worth The Wait
By Bev Schellenberg

It’s taken a long time for my two children to meet my family: 13 years and 10 years respectively. That’s because my family’s been dead that long. My mother and brother died when I was pregnant with my eldest child, my 13-year old daughter. Years before that, my father died of cancer.

For two evenings my children spend time with my family as we sit at our dining room table. “Here’s a picture of my mother and father when they were young,” I explain as I take the old black and white photos from the envelope.

These are what remain from my life with the family who raised me: stacks and stacks of mostly untitled photos that span 50 years, many years that I wasn’t alive. For years I’ve dreaded going through the pictures, afraid I’d remember what I wanted to forget, or perhaps that I’d forgotten what I’d hoped to remember, and have no one to ask. But now it’s time to sort, to accept and to embrace the past. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | family, parenting, self growth
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