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Expert Series: Somebody To Love
By Amara Rose

My brother is besotted. Molly is his everything: the love of his life, the girl of his dreams, the one he’s waited for forever. When I phoned my dad on Father’s Day, my mother asked if I could call back, as they had company. When I did, Dad said, “Your brother was just here with his wife…” My mind reeled: when and whom did he marry? Dad continued, “That’s how it seems, anyway. He cuddles her and kisses her, she licks him, and it’s just like they’re married.” 

Molly is a Boston Terrier. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | animal companion, animal wisdom, enlightenment, self realization
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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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Expert Series: Too Late For Your Dream?
By Noelle Sterne

Do you feel stuck in your job, your activities, your life?
Do you condemn yourself about what you could have, should have done differently?
Do you yearn for more, even if you don’t know what it is?
Do you suspect you’ve got something to give, even if you can’t identify it?
Or do you know what it is but haven’t been able to let it out?
Have you pushed your secret yearnings into the back of your life, like old photos in the sock drawer?

Like many people, maybe you live for the weekends or retirement. Maybe you promise yourself that then—finally—you’ll do what you really want to. Too often, these envisioned golden times never materialize. Why? Read more

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COMMENTS (4) | empowerment, renewal, self realization, thriving
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Y Yoga Movie
By Michelle Morgan

On 13th September 2001, film-maker Arthur Klein received an email from a friend of a friend, who had escaped the collapse of World Trade Center Tower One, and had decided to put his feelings into words.  The email was poignant, heart-felt and amazing, and after forwarding it onto some friends, Arthur left his desk in the middle of the day, and walked out into the Santa Monica sun.

“I left the office in my street clothing and went to a 1:30pm yoga class around the corner from work”, remembers Arthur.  “It seemed like a far better idea to regain a sense of peace and wellbeing, instead of going to the mall and shop or go on vacation as the American leadership advised.  The teacher was Ashley Turner and her words were magic… I went to that class every day for many months after that…”

Walking into the yoga class that day, literally changed not only Arthur’s life but his career too. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | enlightenment, self realization, spiritual
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Expert Series: Ten Steps To Personal Transformation
By Amara Rose

The quest to discover and live our truth is the Hero’s Journey, a sacred pilgrimage home to ourselves. It’s the high road — and a rigorous one. We may try to camouflage our fear of the unknown with bravado, workaholism, or apathy. There’s another way: following the path of the heart. How do we find it? With a transformational road map. I invite you to join me on a mission to remember and reclaim your life purpose.

Step One: Give Yourself Permission to be Passionate 

Our resistance is the Refusal of the Call. Change whispers in our ear, and we attempt a high-tech tune-out: call waiting, call forwarding, on hold, voicemail…

We fight change because acceding to it feels like stepping off a cliff into an abyss. Out of touch with our vital, intuitive nature, we panic and crawl safely back into the shopping center mentality. We resign ourselves to buying the leopard print pants because we’re afraid to be the leopard.

How do we answer this call to reclaim our connection to what’s true for us? We start by giving ourselves permission to be passionate, to dream beyond our self-imposed boundaries. Read more

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COMMENTS (4) | empowerment, renewal, self realization, thriving
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The Art Of Mistakes
By Heather Klem

As recovering people, stripped of our destructive defenses and damaging coping mechanisms, we face overwhelming uncertainty. Who are we? Where do we fit into this complicated thing we call life? The most basic decisions confound us.

Beneath this cloud of confusion lies a thick sediment of fear. As a recovering perfectionist, the relentless terror of making a mistake has stalked me through much of my formative years and into my adult life. It is a painful brand of insecurity that stretches from the most basic option offered to me in a given circumstance — paper or plastic at the checkout line — to actual major life decisions, like whether or not a given job opportunity is right for me. Frozen in the paint aisle of Home Depot, the prospect of choosing a color for my living room could lock me in agonizing uncertainty, terrified that Downy was not preferable to Dover White. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | empowerment, self realization
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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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Bipolar Disorder…And Me…Discovered & Embraced
By M. LaVora Perry

For almost 40 years, I struggled with depression and a nagging feeling that something was “wrong” with me.

In 1983, at age 21, I’d dropped out of college because I had been too depressed to get out of bed and attend class. A few months later, I spent seven weeks in a mental hospital because I’d abused LSD and other drugs, including the bottle of antidepressant medication I’d tried to overdose on. The drugs had made me manic and psychotic. I didn’t sleep, I had excessive energy, and I thought God was telling me to do things like set my high school photograph on fire, which I did.

In my mid-twenties, I stopped doing drugs. Read more

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COMMENTS (3) | Bipolar, depression, self growth, self worth, spiritual
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Expert Series: Family Type-Casting
By Dr. Barbara Sinor

We tend to create similar situations in our lives until we become aware that the same experiences keep “happening to us.” When you recognize a particular negative circumstance seems to repeat itself over and over, or a certain type of person re-enters your life several times to your dismay, take a hard look into your childhood and search for the pattern or script which may be embedded in your subconscious mind which invites the same unwanted experiences into your life. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | family, relationships, self realization
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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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“Nice To Meet You. I’m Lesbian”
By Reilley Olexson - 16 Years Old

My favourite colour is red. It always has been. My hair has always been curly, and my eyes have always been hazel. I am not a science experiment, or some new invention. Don`t introduce me as if I am some new species you have discovered. To exploit one aspect of who I am to the magnitude of a flying pig, reduces every other ounce of my body. Do not refer to me as “the lesbian”. I would even rather to be referred to as “curly”. Read more

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COMMENTS (6) | empowerment, enlightenment, self realization, tolerance
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My Journey From Chronic Fatigue To Publisher
By Lynn Michell

I had been jokingly told by friends about the shock of the big 40, but no one had warned me about a nightmare scenario that began on that day and continued for fifteen years.

I invited a few friends to a party, and afterwards, several of us came down with the flu. At least, we thought it was the flu. But we did not get better. For eight of us from the same academic department, including the lively American Head of Department and Irish Administrator, what we faced was the long, long haul through a poorly understood illness called ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Personally I would re-name it No Idea Syndrome because the ignorance and dismissal we all faced from the medical profession was appalling, insulting and hurtful. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | healing, self realization
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Second Chances
By Cindy Gundrum

Everyone has experienced it. At least once in their lifetime, we all do, and say, things that we wish we could take back. This is one of mine.

My beautiful Golden Retriever Ruby died of cancer in May 2002. I swore to myself, I would never get another Golden.  She was my best friend for 11 years. I couldn’t ask for a better dog. It would be impossible to replace her, and I resolved to never try. In 2007, along came Dory. A beautiful golden puppy who was sweet as could be. I was in love. In 2008, just as Dory was turning one, we re-located from Saskatchewan to British Columbia. We packed up our lives in Regina, including of course, our two dogs. Dory, and Murph, our wiener dog.  We moved in with relatives, who were not dog lovers. Dory went into heat and bled all over the floors in the house. This distressed the family who we were staying with, and to make matters worse, we were finding it very difficult to find a place to rent with 2 dogs.

I decided that maybe we should rehome Dory. I was kidding myself, “Ah, she’ll be OK, she’s young, she’ll adjust and move on.” Truth be known, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal communication, animal wisdom, spiritual
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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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How A Brown Baby Bunny Changed My Destiny
By Sarah Goodwin-Nguyen

A little brown bunny changed the path of one human life–mine, specifically. But on the day we took him home, my fiance and I just thought he was really cute. We had a mimosa buzz after a holiday brunch, and walked into a pet store on New York City’s Lower East Side “just to look.”

Mama bunny and her litter were all adorable, of course, with their pointy ears and gangly back legs all jostling for room in the too-small glass tank. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, animal wisdom, self realization, thriving
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Detach, Survive, Thrive In My Marriage To An Alcoholic
By Linda J Riley

The world of the non-alcoholic in the midst of alcoholic insanity is difficult. Many succumb to the insanity and become part of the disease itself, and others die from stress-related illnesses. But it is possible to survive. Once the non-alcoholic has learned the survival techniques, the next step would be thriving in spite of it all. It can be done. I am proof that it is possible.

One day I watched in horror as my husband, Riley, stood in the middle of the living room and spewed a stream of urine onto the carpet. Things had gotten bad, but I never imagined they would get that bad. Read more

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COMMENTS (42) | alcoholic, empowerment, relationships, self realization, thriving
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Expert Series: ADD(Attention Deficit Disorder) Is Not Who I Am, It Is What I Have
By Brad Worthley

I had a lot of friends growing up so I enjoyed school from the social standpoint. I went to all the sporting events and if there was a party within 20 miles, I was there. Scholastically, I struggled with my grades, so I was about a “C” student. Out of embarrassment, I masked my inequity from my friends, so you would be hard pressed to find anyone in school that did not believe I was an “A” or “B” student.

As I sat in classrooms, I would try very hard to pay attention to what the teacher was saying because I knew we would be tested on it, but I struggled with retaining the information. I had the same challenges with reading text books in class or at home, because as I was reading, my brain kept drifting away, and I would have to re-read the same page two or three times in order to understand it. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | ADD, empowerment, learning, self realization
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Reading: A Love Story
By Joseph Longo

I did not come from a family of readers.

My parents were Sicilian immigrants. My mother read an occasional magazine, but she never read a complete book. My father was semiliterate. Though he bought the New York Daily News every day – mainly to see what horses won at the track.

My first reading memory was comic books. I collected them and had a towering stack in my closet. My hero was Superman. I read that many gay boys growing up in the fifties considered him their favorite because he lived two lives.  I also liked True Crime and Classic Comics. As a teenager, I worked for an Italian grocer and spent all my money on comics. I waited each month for my favorites to come out. I still read comics, but now they’re called graphic novels.

My Aunt Josie was the only one in my family who was a reader. She is ninety and she still reads, mostly romance novels. In fact, she keeps a notebook of the books she’s read so that she doesn’t buy the same book again. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | empowerment, enlightenment, self realization
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Defining A New Normal Within Marriage
By Billie Criswell

I was 18 years old when I met the man that I would marry, Daren. It was a casual evening with friends that found us chatting on a couch, pretty impressed with one another from head-to-toe. Even at my young age, I knew that this kind of love was different than I had felt before. It felt like magic from the very beginning. I remember having an “ah-ha” moment when I saw him: we locked eyes and I thought to myself, “This guy seems important to me in my life.” From that very moment, there was never another for either of us.

We moved in together after only 3 months of dating, and our ‘honeymoon’ period of the relationship abruptly came to a halt. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | marriage, relationships, self improvement
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Expert Series: Loneliness: Our Greatest Fear And A Portal To Peace
By Joel Brass

“When we are alone and quiet we are afraid that something will be whispered in our ear, and we so hate the silence and drug ourselves with social life.”

Friederich Nietzsche

As a psychotherapist for the past quarter of a century, I am included on a daily basis in peoples’ greatest fears. Which ones do you think are the most common? Which send shivers down our spines? If you think the answer is the fear of dying and death, I actually rarely hear that one. The fear of rejection? Now you’re getting warmer. The secret, private fear of feeling unworthy, inadequate or not good enough? This is one of the most common for sure. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | enlightenment, self improvement
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Expert Series: Living in Your Top 1%: Five Questions to Live Your Best Life
By Alissa Finerman

“It isn’t hard to be good from time to time. What’s tough is being good every day.”

– Willie Mays, baseball player

If a friend handed you a first class plane ticket to anywhere in the world, would you be clear on where you wanted to go? This is effectively what happens on a daily basis. Each day we are faced with a series of choices. Will we hit snooze, work out in the morning, meet a friend for lunch, or stay late and put in the extra effort on a project? We can choose a mediocre path and settle for the status quo, getting to work just in time for a meeting, or make small shifts in our mindset and take the time to prepare, think ahead, and be ready. Opportunity awaits those who are willing to take the next step forward. It’s a process, not magic. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | enlightenment, self improvement
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My Unemployed Life: I Felt Emasculated
By Shane McConnaghy

My name is Shane and I’m unemployed.

I’m one of the millions of people trying to find a job in a stagnant economy. As a former mortgage broker, I witnessed first-hand the collapse of the real estate bubble, and experienced the anguish of losing my job due to cutbacks.

At age 45, trying to find another job in the housing market was a study in futility and frustration. No one was hiring. Companies were letting people go, and not in the mood to take a chance on new hires.

Adding to my anxiety was the fact that my wife, Raven, and I had had our first child a year prior to me losing my job, and we now had another little boy on the way. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | enlightenment, thriving, unemployed, work
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Saving My Marriage
By M. LaVora Perry

What happens when you’re already in deep with a partner—way past the “getting to know you” phase—but lately you feel certain that you blew it by hooking up with this person, and now you’re stuck with him or her.

We all know about some of the most radical options, especially the big “D” or the big “B” (divorce or breakup). There’s also the big “I”—infidelity. Other options are marriage counseling, or individual counseling if your partner isn’t game. And perhaps the least appealing choice of all is to simply continue suffering.

However, there’s another option: decide way down deep inside yourself that you’re going to turn your situation into a mind-blowing victory. Read more

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COMMENTS (11) | empowerment, marriage, relationships, self improvement, spiritual
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Out Of The Rat Race And Into Bamboo
By Greg Pfeffer

I’m not sure which benchmark in corporate America can be credited as the straw that broke the camel’s back; the final event that caused me to “go bamboo.” The chorus of seemingly uniform co-workers wishing me things like “Happy Friday” and “Somebody could use another cup of coffee!” The almost perverted detail I took in studying the walls of my cubical, attempting to conjure up ideas of how any postcard or picture could ever camouflage the walls of the plastic box I worked in.

Most likely, however, it was the unenthusiastic chatter of my fellow 20-somethings every morning on the R5. IPod in ears, the front page of The Metro shielding their face from the morning glances of their fellow commuters; they are ushered from the suburbs like unwilling passengers on the river Styx. As the doors on the regional rail opened it was as if the hand of Charon himself ushered them off at 30th and Market East, putting on the last leg of their daily journey towards an office, a firm, a corporation somewhere in Center City. I wanted out of this Hades, so I broke free.

Read more

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COMMENT (0) | empowerment, thriving, work
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