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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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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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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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Lottie Dot
By Joanne Wannan

Patricia Belt looks at a photograph of herself alongside her five-year-old Dalmatian, Lottie Dot, and can’t help but chuckle. Her blue eyes sparkle in the picture and she is obviously proud. But several wisps of hair have escaped from her upswept hairdo. They flutter at odd angles, some across her face, others straight up into the air. “Oh my, look at that! I’m such a mess!” Patricia exclaims. “I get so caught up with Lottie Dot, I never have time to think about myself, much less stop and comb my hair.”

It’s certainly no wonder. Lottie Dot is a dog with a multitude of talents and a chockablock schedule of places to go and people to see. She even has her own resumé, and it is truly an impressive one. Lottie has volunteered in 19 different facilities and received five different awards for her work. As for her interests, they include doing tricks, playing Frisbee, giving and receiving hugs, and capturing everyone’s heart.

What Lottie Dot’s resumé doesn’t tell you is that when she was only eight weeks old she was abandoned and almost froze to death in the snow. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, animal training, animal wisdom, deaf
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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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Chocolate
By Mary Holland Woodward

As a baby, I could have died from my medical condition which was not well-understood.

Classic Galactosemia had already taken the lives of most – if not all – similarly-diagnosed babies before me.

Classic Galactosemia primarily affects the health of the liver and kidneys.

Mom and Dad were told early-on that, even if I lived beyond a few months or years, I would be severely developmentally disabled. After 47 years in this life, I can tell you, “I’m not!”

In my own non-technical lingo, here’s what I’ve learned so far about Galactosemia:

It’s the simple sugar galactose that is the culprit. I don’t have the enzyme GALT (galactose-1-phosphate uridyl transferase) that is present in most healthy bodies to naturally convert the simple sugar galactose into the simple sugar glucose.

I grew-up knowing that I should never eat anything containing the simple-sugar lactose. I could never eat chocolate! Read more

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COMMENTS (5) | Galactosemia, health, thriving
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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….

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Yes You Can!
By Michael W. Michelsen Jr.

If Dick Hoyt is trying to guilt me into being a better father, I have to admit that he’s accomplished his mission very well.  That’s not to say that I’m not a good father, I am, but if it came down to comparing the two of us, he leaves me in the dust.  Literally. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | empowerment, health, parenting, sports, thriving
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The Compassion Of Animals
By A Better Life Dog Rescue

Lucky:

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, thriving
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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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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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