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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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Expert Series:Furry Soul-Mates: Spiritual Contacts With Companion Animals
By Shiri Joshua

Shiri and “fuzzy soul-mate” ‘Pfizer’ (because she is a natural anti-depressant).

In truth, we don’t own anything or anyone. We are not “pet owners,” we simply rent time with those we love (be they in a human or animal form). Working and speaking with hundreds of animal lovers over the past decade, I have come to humbly appreciate how precious is the love we share with our companion animals. Those who have not experienced – or have not allowed themselves to experience – this kind of an open heart kinship, simply do not really understand that this is a relationship like all others in our lives.

Yet sometimes we come across a particular companion animal that penetrates so deep into our heart, we can’t even explain the depth of the connection… It feels familiar as if we’ve known each other our whole life time! Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | animal companion, animal wisdom, relationships, spiritual
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How Meditation Changed My Life
By Camille Bennett

Several years ago, my older sister became extremely ill, subsequently passing away.   She suffered all of her life from complications due to Type 1 Diabetes, which then ended her life after a long struggle with this illness. We were so close; the pain of her passing seemed unbearable and I was overwhelmed with sadness and depression after her passing.  Working fulltime and married with two young children, I knew I had to get help with my depression.  I recognized how unfair it was to my family to allow myself to be consumed by this negative emotion; I was not myself at work either.

Then one day, when I was at my doctor’s appointment, I must have appeared desperate.  He asked if I would consider meditation to help me. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | enlightenment, healing, meditation, self improvement
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Rebirth: After A Home Invasion
By Chris Shin

One day when I was about six years old, my uncle, my mother’s younger brother, was murdered and my brother, three years older, attacked with a knife in our house by the same perpetrator. We were living in Korea at the time; my father was in Vermont alone, pursuing a master’s degree. Miraculously, my mother and I were spared as we had left the house in the morning. Earlier that morning, my mother had gone over to a friend’s in the neighbourhood. I wanted to go with her but recall being afraid to ask for fear of being scolded. After she left, I mustered the courage to ask her if I could come over too. She said, “Of course you can” with such warmth and welcome, I wondered why I was afraid to ask.

Later that day, while my mother and I were protected in a neighbour’s home, a deranged man rang our house, pretending to be a salesperson, entered, demanded money from my uncle, stabbed him in the back and then attacked my brother. By a miracle, my brother managed to defend himself, escape and find us. I recall a lot of commotion in the neighbourhood, then standing out on the street and seeing my brother run towards us, crying and screaming, covered in blood. Everything else is a blur. Read more

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COMMENTS (6) | enlightenment, healing, spiritual, trauma
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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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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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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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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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An Interview With Olivia Newton John
By Michelle Morgan

From clean-cut singer of ‘Country Roads’ to leotard-wearing disco diva in ‘Physical’, Olivia Newton John has had a career that’s spanned nearly five decades.  She is loved by everyone from school children to grandmas and yet still remains as down-to-earth as she ever was.  Here Olivia talks about yoga, life, and her trek along the Great Wall of China….

*******

Say the words Olivia Newton John and most of us will automatically think of her most famous and successful role – that of Sandy in the hit movie ‘Grease’.  But while ‘Grease’ was – and still is – a worldwide phenomenon, there is so much more to Olivia Newton John than dancing with John Travolta. Read more

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COMMENTS (3) | health, self growth, spiritual, thriving
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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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How Smiling Meditation Changed My Life
By Billie Criswell

I have always been the type of person that one might associate with meditation…..or  New Age healing and Eastern healing concepts. I was even, at one time, a self-proclaimed “hippy.” But the truth was, I had never so much as tried to quiet my mind– I was too busy being busy to even ponder the concept of slowing down.

At a certain point, though, it seemed that meditation came to me much as other things had in life: on a whim, as though I invented the concept. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | loss, meditation, renewal, 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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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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Through And Beyond AIDS
By Deirdre Rhodes (Patwant Kaur)

In 1997, my world radically shifted. One day while my partner Mike was at work, I was packing his ironed clothes back into his cupboard. From underneath this pile slipped a hotel bill. This was nothing strange as he had just returned from Swaziland, where he had played a gig. He was an engineer by day and a musician by night. On closer inspection of the bill, I saw that it was for two, not one, as it should have been. This was all starting to feel like an episode out of “Days of Our Lives.” It perturbed me, but I still thought there must be a logical explanation for this. For the whole day I sat with this information, mulling it over and over in my overactive mind. I said nothing.

The next morning, I asked him whether he had had an affair. I showed him the hotel bill. He had just opened his eyes and was steeped in sleep, a hard time to lie. He admitted that, yes, he had. I felt my heart shred, explode and crumble, my breath lost somewhere between the inhale and exhale, my thoughts blazing in a trillion manic directions. My illusion shattered. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | AIDS, relationships, self growth
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Kaloo, The Black One – Endless Loyalty And Love!
By Ernest Dempsey

I am running with all the excitement and energy of a child, and the playful dog is running after me. He is the child of my beloved pet dog Kaloo – the one who died years ago. I have the feeling that Kaloo’s son is a continuation of his loyalty and dedication to me. He is playing with me as Kaloo did years ago. I have only a very slight awareness of the large house I am in, and am indifferent to the setting sun and growing darkness of the evening. Running with Kaloo Jr. has left me breathless, and as I sit on the roof of the house, the dog snuggles at my side. I embrace him, and breathing heavily, I think what a bliss it is to have Kaloo with me in another body, just like his own. Suddenly, I feel how long it has been since Kaloo died. The thought brings an instant feeling of loss. I look at the dog snuggled beside me, and he is no more there. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal communication, animal companion, spiritual
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From The Ashes: The Phoenix Rises
By Billie Criswell

My relationship with my stepsister, Laurie, has been a complicated one from its conception. I was six or seven years old when we met; she was two years older than I. I remember being so overjoyed to receive the news that in one fell swoop I would be getting the father I longed for and the big sister I wished for. It seemed to my childhood mind that everything was going to be perfect when my mother remarried.

…of course, as an adult, I know now that things don’t always work out perfectly, and that was the way it happened with our new, blended family. Laurie carried a lot of pain in her young heart. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | relationships, renewal, siblings
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How A Near Death Experience Changed Everything
By Eva R Marienchild

For many of his 50-something years, a severely depressed Bill Smyth* was living his life as if it didn’t matter. “Looking back,” he says, “I don’t know how I kept going.” 

In 2000, he and his then-wife lost a son who was less than a year old.  As happens with many marriages where the loss of a baby is involved, the marital union came undone.  “My ex said she was miserable having me around.  She couldn’t look at me without seeing a baby,” said Bill. “In order for her to be happy, we parted.  We’re still good friends.” 

Talking about his son’s death still hurts, says Bill.  “Joseph’s little lungs hadn’t developed.  A decision was made to take him off life support.”  He pauses, his voice far away.  “The only time he smiled was right before he died.  Then, he just seemed to relax and let go.”

That observation was a striking forerunner of what was to follow.  Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | enlightenment, NDE, self improvement, spiritual, thriving
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St. Francis’ Feline: A Miraculous Healing For Felix The Cat – Part Two
By Melissa Roberts

My Felix the Cat wears a Virgin Mary blue collar with a St. Francis medal. She is a Franciscan kitty, though I am not a Franciscan myself. Felix and St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, have a special relationship.

In 2007, Felix lived in a small St. Louis apartment while I worked as a hospital chaplain. Used to being an indoor/outdoor kitty on the grounds of Mum and Dad’s small town Kansas Victorian house, Felix had trouble adjusting to her new home and lifestyle.

Felix wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t happy. Together, we journeyed through one of those chapters in life full of stormy uncertainty and misery, waiting for the sun. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, healing, spiritual
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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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Hundred Pounds Of Love Healed Our Family
By Denise Morini

It seems to me that there are two kinds of people in this world, dog lovers and cat lovers. A dog lover, I was not. On my son Joey’s sixth birthday, my husbands’ parents presented Joey with a puppy, without my knowledge and permission. A Jack Russell Terrier, just what my husband had requested. My husband wanted a small dog that would not shed. No one bothered to look up the highly energetic disposition of Jack Russells or that some of them are not recommended for small children. We named him Jack (very original, I know); he sure was a cute fellow though.

Fast forward to a few months down the road: Jack was still not house trained. Everything was chewed up, including woodwork and the wall to wall carpeting. One night he peed on me as I slept. The worst, though, was when he constantly nipped at my son.  I could not leave the room for fear of him injuring my child. It was during this time that my mother, Joey’s beloved grandmother, was diagnosed with 2-60 days to live. I decided that I could not live like this any longer. Read more

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COMMENTS (8) | animal companion, animal wisdom, parenting, self improvement, spiritual
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I Love Lucy…The Sweetest Dog In The World
By Dorothy Beavington

Christmas, 1945.  My mother and I stand in a long line-up on Christmas Eve to pay a bill.  I cling to her side, a tired and cranky six year old.  I want to go home.  I hate this Christmas.  Daddy won’t be with us.  Daddy built a sailboat with my cousin, Johnny.  They called it “The Skylark” and took it for its maiden voyage on Chestermere Lake, just outside of Calgary.  It was the Labour Day weekend,  Sunday, September 2nd.  A wind came up, the boat turned over.

Daddy wasn’t a strong swimmer. Johnny made it to shore.  He looked back, saw his uncle Kit was in trouble, and went back for him. They both drowned, caught in the weeds in the lake. Read more

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COMMENTS (4) | animal companion, children, loss
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Expert Series: How To Ask For And Receive Guidance: IFSF Formula
By Shiri Joshua

IFSF: *Intention *Focus *Surrender *Faith
are the ingredients necessary for this formula to truly work in your life!

On a peaceful Saturday in April, I sat in the sun by the river, watching the glittering rays bless the cleansing flow of water. I closed my eyes for a moment and took in the warmth and serenity of the space around me. I watched an Eagle sitting patiently on a tree top, gracefully trusting that the next meal would be provided. Not fretting, obsessing, or flying about frantically, Eagle showed me the importance of true trust and patience. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | learning, spiritual
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My Epic Journey From South Africa To White Rock, B.C.
By Ivor Block

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, which at 16,000 km. is the furthest place from Vancouver on Earth. Three years later my sister, Denise, was born.

Although I thought I was a cute child, my mother decided otherwise, which led to me being physically and emotionally abused until I reached my teens. Luckily my favorite Aunt, who is now 101, loved me and took me in almost every summer holiday. Read more

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COMMENTS (10) | abuse, enlightenment, parenting, self worth
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