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Inspire me!
October 6, 1999
10:45 am
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Thought for the Day--Most of our spiritual experiences are
of the educational variety, and they develop slowly over a
period of time. Though immediate God-consciousness is
frequent enough, it is more likely that friends of newcomers
will be aware of the difference long before they are
themselves. There finally comes a profound realization of
personal change, an alteration in attitude toward life that
certainly could not have been brought about by themselves
alone. We know that it is the work of our Higher Power. Is
my outlook on life changing for the better?

Meditation for the Day--Look at the world as your
Father's house. You are a servant to all who reside there.
No work is beneath you, no responsibility too great.
Remember the help you sought from others that you now
can easily give to them. Show them the spiritual experience
as it has altered you. It is your Father's expression of love
through you to them.

Prayer for the Day--I pray that I may serve others out of
gratitude to God. I pray that my work may be a small
repayment for His grace so freely given to me.

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We associate spirit with positive and creative energy. This energy
gives us the power to live, work, and create. Spiritual people are
positive and creative human beings. They know, deep inside themselves,
that they have the power to create the difference in their lives. They
have looked within and found what can be called their yes to life, and
this yes shines forth in their attitudes and actions.

When God Becomes A Drug, Father Leo Booth

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There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon
ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in
order to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary
to reach the places we've chosen to go.

--Richard Bach

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John's Corner

More often than I care to admit, I bump into a problem
that shakes the very core of my being and challenges the
heart of my belief system. At such times, I feel the
world closing in around me and a tendency toward
desperation begins to raise its ugly head. My first
impulse is to fight back, to attack the attacker, to
react by either running from or toward the problem.

But I do not follow my first impulse any longer. I now
stand back and look at the problem for a while. I observe
it from different points of view, all the while realizing
that I am not the problem but that the problem is just an
indication of a small adjustment I have to make in my
thinking.

No problem is bigger and more powerful than we are. We
are all children of the Infinite. The Universe is biased
on our side. We have within us untapped strength and
wisdom to deal with all challenges that come our way.

All problems have within them the seeds of their
solution. We must learn to listen to the Silence, to hear
the instructions from within and to follow the "still
small voice." Life whispers to us all the time. It tells
us to go this way or that, to take this road or the
other. When we are frightened by what appears to be
major problems, we block the "still, small voice" from
our consciousness and only hear the howling winds and the
thunder of the storm.

Find a quiet spot in the middle of the turbulence. Go to
a quiet place within your soul and stay there for a short
while. Do not rant and rave at the problem. Just go to
this spot and let your fears be calmed, even for a
moment. Don't listen to the call of the problem but,
rather, listen for a few seconds to the song of your
soul.

I often say that it's not what's happening around you
that causes anxiety but what you think about what's
happening around you. Remove your thoughts from the
problem for a short while. Don't try NOT to think about
the problem. That doesn't work. Just remove your focus
from the problem and think of something else. With a
little practice, it becomes second nature.

Know that you're bigger and stronger than anything that
seems to annoy you. Look away, for a short while, from
your problem and know that its solution is coming to you.
Trust the force that created you and placed you in this
part of the universe. Trust the process that has
sustained you until now. Let go of the problem. Remember
that it is not the problem that's holding on to you but
that it's you who are holding on to it.

Let it go. Don't be like the man who was frantically
rowing away from shore while his boat was firmly tied to
the dock. If you want to get to the other side of the
problem, you must cut the rope that's holding you to the
dock.

Soon you'll begin to see signs that you're on your way to
success. Don't stop what you're doing and look around all
day for such signs. You WILL see them. Ideas will come to
you. You'll have strange urges to take action by calling
someone, writing a letter, sending an email. This is the
"still, small voice" speaking to you.

Your problems are not more powerful than you are. You
have the key to success. It is your birthright. No one
can ever take it away from you. Be still and know who you
are. Be calm and feel the countless tides of the
centuries running through your mind. Know that you're
unique and that there is not another human being on this
earth that has the combination of talents and abilities
you have. You are as valid as the sun and the stars.

As Commander Spock would say..."Live long and prosper."

John Harricharan

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Power

Where is Your Power?

The wave at the surface draws its power
from the inner depth of the ocean.

Power is forever interior, never exterior.

In the ocean, not the wave.
In the silence, not the noise.
In the being, not the doing.

Within the still, not the will.

-- Butch James

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Thought

Who is Guarding Your Mind?

Light draws its power from within.
Its source is unseen and yet,
in its presence darkness dissolves.

What we call thinking is simply accepting
thoughts from within or from without.

Pay no attention to thoughts of darkness.
Let them come and go and they will
dissolve to reveal the light of your own
still voice.

-- Butch James

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Thanksgiving is based on the premise that living a life
of appreciation and gratefulness leads to having more to
be thankful for. We have the ability to create blessings
in our lives through the power of our minds and the
choices we make.

-- Sir John Templeton

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The Qualities of Survival

Several years ago I found myself a long way from home
in a small prison cell. As a prisoner of war, I was
tortured, humiliated, starved and left to languish in
squalor for six years.
It's important that you get a vivid mental picture of
this scene. Try your best to smell the stench in the bucket
I called my toilet and taste the salt in the corners of my
mouth from my sweat, my tears and my blood. Feel the baking
tropical heat in a tin-roofed prison cell - not that you'll
ever be a POW. If I am effective in these few moments we
spend together, you'll see that the same kind of challenges
you face as a teenager, a student, a leader, or a parent,
are the same basic challenges I faced in a prison cell:
feelings of fear, loneliness, failure and a breakdown of
communication. More importantly, your response to those
challenges will be the same response I had to have in the
prison camp just to survive.
What qualities do you have within you that would allow
you to survive in a prison camp? Please pause here, think
about this question, and write in the margin of this page at
least five different qualities necessary for survival. (If
you've written faith, commitment or dedication, you've
already broken the code.)
As I worked my way through the first several months and
then years of imprisonment, I found I already had a
foundation of survival tools learned in life from my
parents, preachers, youth leaders, and teachers. And the
life-saving techniques I used in that prison camp had more
to do with my value system, integrity and religious faith
than anything I had learned from a textbook.
Sound like your life? The adversities you face in your
life can be just as debilitating to you as six years in a
Communist prison camp could have been to me. Now here's the
test: The next time you have a huge problem facing you, turn
back to this page and read not my writing but your writing
in the margin. You'll find that the same factors you've
written here, which would serve you well in a prison camp,
will serve you even better in the challenge of everyday
life.

By Charlie Plumb
from A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul

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Truth and Awareness

Separation and the judgement, limitation and
Fear that emanate from it also separates us from
Awareness, awareness of Truth.

It is impossible to know Truth within consciousness
Because consciousness is an aspect of ego and there
Is no truth in the ego because it is an illusion.

To know Truth we must become aware and to become
Aware we must allow separation to fall away.

All is One. We are not a body, we are spirit.
Time also is an illusion. There is only Now.

The remedy for all illusion is forgiveness or
Forgetting it. The way to forget illusion
Is to see all in the Light of Love as One with us.

Love erases or 'heals' all illusion and Truth
Returns to us through the awareness that this
Healing brings.

©Copyright
John McIntosh and Rev. Jo Ann "Ananda" Polito

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Aim at the sun and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher
than if you had aimed at an object on a level with yourself.

--F. Hawes

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Bluebird Of Happiness

A sign in a pet store read, "If anybody has seen the
bluebird of happiness, would you please notify this pet store?"
Happiness seems to be in short supply for many people. If the
results of recent surveys can be trusted, there is a general
decline of happiness in today's world. And people were not all
that cheerful a few years back. It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who
stated, "I might have been a minister for aught I know, if a
certain clergyman had not looked and talked like an undertaker."
(I have to say, though, that some undertakers I've known could
teach the rest of us something about joy!)

Joy and happiness are not always the same things.
Happiness can be thought of as more of a temporary, emotional
condition, often based on outside circumstances. Joy, on the
other hand, is deeper. You can be basically a joyful individual
regardless of a particular unhappy situation that you may be
facing. It is often a matter of keeping perspective on your
troubles, and especially when troubles seem to be in long supply.

You may know the story of the man who had a marvelous way
of keeping joy in his life. He was a carpenter. He followed the
same ritual every day when he came home from the job. He stopped
by a small tree in his front yard and placed his hand on a couple
of branches. Then, when he walked into his home, it was as if a
magical transformation had occurred. All of a sudden, the stress
was lifted from him. He became energetic and joyful, able to
fully interact with his children and his wife.

He explained it this way: "That tree is my trouble tree.
When I come home I stop by the tree and, just like I leave my
tools in the truck, I hang my troubles up on that tree. Anything
that does not have to come in my house stays outside. Anything
which I do not have to deal with at home, I leave on that tree.
And then the next morning, I stop by the tree and pick up the
troubles I left there in the evening.

Then he adds, "It's a funny thing, though. Every morning
I always find fewer troubles hanging there than I remembered the
night before."

There is wisdom in knowing that some problems can wait
until tomorrow. And more wisdom in knowing what to hang on the
tree and what to bring in. Managing daily problems well is vital
to maintaining joy.

I wonder if the bluebird of happiness is nesting in his
trouble tree.

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MY RESIGNATION

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided
I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year old again.

I want to go to McDonalds and think that it's a four-star restaurant. I want
to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them. I want
to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a
hot summer's day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were
colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother
you, because you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care. All
you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the
things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible.

I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by
the little things again.

I want to live simple again.

I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork,
depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money
in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice,
peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

So. . . here's my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my
401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first,
cause . . .

"Tag! You're it."

Thanks Deb2 🙂 😉

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If I say a man is pulled by values, what is implicitly referred to is
the fact that there is always freedom involved: the freedom of man to
make his choice between accepting or rejecting an offer, i.e., to
fulfill a meaning potentiality or else to forfeit it.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search For Meaning

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I'll tell you a secret about this world: it meets you
exactly where it finds you and gives you what you
present to it.

So, if you go out there looking for anger, it will
justify your anger. If you go out there looking for
love, it will justify your love. If you're looking for
animosity and hatred, it will give you animosity and
hatred. It will match exactly what you put out.

That's the key if you want health, wealth, and
happiness.

- John-Roger
(From: The Tao of Spirit)

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Namaste
»§«:*´`³¤³´`*:»§«Serenity»§«:*´`³¤³´`*:»§«
"We are Love,
on every level of consciousness,
and we have eternity,
which is exactly the amount of
time we wanted, isn't it,
to be Love."
-- Elizabeth
»§«:*´`³¤³´`*:»§«:*´`³¤³´`*:»§«:*´`³¤³´`*:»§«
Don't forget to feed the hungry today!
http://www.thehungersite.com

Sweet Angels,
If you do not wish to receive this mailing,
please click on this address; [email protected]
and type in the subject line: UNSUBSCRIBE
You will be promptly removed from this mailing list. 🙂

If you are receiving this as forwarded mail and
wish to be on this mailing list for direct delivery,
please click on this address; [email protected]
and type in the subject line: SUBSCRIBE
You will be promptly added to the daily
"Serenity's Hope" mailing list. 🙂
Namaste!
Serenity

------------------------------------------------------------------------

October 6, 1999
10:18 pm
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Anonymous
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< < CREATION: A SIOUX STORY "The Creator gathered all of Creation and said, "I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality." The eagle said, "Give it to me, I will take it to the moon." The Creator said, "No. One day they will go there and find it." The salmon said, "I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean." "No. They will go there too." The buffalo said, "I will bury it on the Great Plains." The Creator said, "They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there." Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, "Put it inside of them." And the Creator said, "It is done." via Ntsskhome

October 6, 1999
11:37 pm
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KTHOMAS
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Thank you tears...what a beautiful post. I have printed this off to share with others. You have been given a gift from god to encourge the down trodden and uplift those with no hope. You are like a light house...a beaken of light in a very dark storm. God bless you and give you the peace and joy you so deserve. You are so beautiful...With all that is going on in your life you reach out and give so much. I know God is saying to you "well done my faithful sevent...well done". God Bless you.

October 9, 1999
12:05 pm
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GOD KNOWS...

When You are Tired and Discouraged
from Fruitless Efforts
God knows how Hard You have Tried.

When You've Cried so long
and Your Heart is in Anguish...
God has Counted your Tears.

If you Feel that Your Life is on Hold
and Time has Passed you by...
God is Waiting with You.

When You're Lonely
and Your Friends are too Busy
even for a Phone Call...
God is By Your Side.

When You think You've Tried Everything
and don't know Where to Turn...
God has a Solution.

When Nothing makes Sense
and You are Confused or Frustrated...
God has the Answer.

If suddenly Your Outlook is brighter
and You find traces of Hope...
God has Whispered to You.

When Things are going Well
and You have much to be Thankful for
God has Blessed You.

When Something Joyful happens
and You are filled with Awe...
God has Smiled upon You.

When You have a Purpose to Fulfill
and a Dream to Follow...
God has Opened Your Eyes
and Called You by Name.

Remember that Wherever You are
or Whatever You are Facing...
GOD KNOWS

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THE VOICE

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."

No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you--just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

--Shel Silverstein--

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Bad Hair Days
By Charlie McCormick

What if each day
Was just a day
Like any other
And nothing more,
Neither good nor bad
Except that we
Declare it so.

Things will happen
As they often do
Reversing our
Well intentioned plans,
Challenging us at every turn
So that even the simplest things
Become a struggle.

We can wake up
To a world
In varying shades
Or tints of gray
Where nothing seems
To go our way
And call it a Bad Hair Day.

Yet, it is just a day
Like any other
A relentless procession
Of hands around the clock
Representing hours of the day
And minutes of the hour
And seconds of our lives.

To understand the value
Of a single day
Try missing one
If you can.
Each day is a gift,
An opportunity to live
A life we choose.

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I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed,
but I am bound to live by the light that I have.

-- Abraham Lincoln

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Sometimes we've desired something and didn't get
it, and we've cussed God, our wives, our husbands,
our lousy kids, and everybody else in the world --
and then weeks later the better thing comes forward.
Then we don't know what to do because we've put
God down, we've put our wife or husband down,
we've put the kids down, we've put everybody
down, but here comes this wonderful opportunity.

It's because Spirit, the substance of life, had the
better one coming for you and negated the one that
was not going to give you the fullness that you had
tuned in to. And so it looked like a curse, but the
blessing was right behind it.

- John-Roger
(From: Forgiveness, The Key to the Kingdom)

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If I have committed myself to God, I am free to commit myself to
another person in a way that creates the deepest kind of love between
two human beings. Because my happiness is not dependent on you, I am
free to love and serve you in the most joyous, exciting, and most
rewarding way; I am free to give you all my love because, through my
foundation in God, I know that the more love I give, the more I have to
give.

Alan Cohen, Rising in Love

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Spontaneous Creativity

When the consciousness is raised above the
Level of ego limitation it is possible to align
With all knowledge.

This includes 'All' creative expression.

In this environment of creation the dreams we
Desire to extend into our world become
Possible to manifest in an instant .

This is spontaneous creativity which transcends
The accepted human concept of time restrictions.

In a moment we are able to express a creative
Expression that most people take years to
Perfect.

History is laced with many who have expressed
This innate ability and are called proteges, yet
We all have it within us to express in this
Unlimited way if they will only accept the Oneness
Of our co-creative ability with the 'All that Is"

©Copyright
John McIntosh and Rev. Jo Ann "Ananda" Polito

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Being able to enter flow is emotional intelligence at its best; flow
represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the
service of performance and learning. In flow the emotions are not
just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned
with the task at hand.

- Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, (c) 1995, Bantam

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Just In Time

Do you ever worry about what MAY happen in the future? Or
do you find yourself anxious about things you have no control
over? If so, then a teaching from author and lecturer Corrie ten
Boom may be useful.

She learned a powerful lesson as a little girl. Having
encountered the cold, lifeless body of a baby, she realized that
the reality of death would someday strike her family, too.
Perhaps her father or mother or sister, Betsy, would soon die.

She anxiously worried about this possibility until her
father came in at night to tuck her into bed. Corrie burst into
tears and sobbed, "I NEED you. You CAN'T die. You CAN'T!"

Her father sat on the edge of the narrow bed and spoke
tenderly to his daughter. "Corrie," he said gently. "When you and
I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?"

She sniffed a few times and considered the question.
"Why, just before I get on the train," she answered.

"Exactly," he continued. Then he gave her assurance that
was to last a lifetime. He told her that a wise God knows when
she will need things, too. "Don't run out ahead of God," he
cautioned her. "When the time comes that some of us have to die,
you will look into your heart and find the strength you need --
just in time."

Corrie and her family were sent to concentration camps
where she suffered greatly during World War II. She, indeed, was
to experience the deaths of her parents and sister, as well as
numerous friends. She was to endure hardships which she could
never have imagined as a young child. But the words of her father
stayed with her and proved to be true. "You will look into your
heart and find the strength you need -- just in time." Regardless
the suffering or hardship she encountered, when she looked inside
her heart she found the strength she needed -- just in time.

If you find yourself worried or anxious about an
uncertain future... perhaps you are running ahead. You have not
yet been given the ticket for the journey. But if what you fear
should ever arrive, it is then you must look inside your heart.
The strength you need can be found there -- just in time.

-- Steve Goodier

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The Magic Pebbles

"Why do we have to learn all of this dumb stuff?"
Of all the complaints and questions I have heard from my
students during my years in the classroom, this was the one most
frequently uttered. I would answer it by recounting the following
legend.
One night a group of nomads were preparing to retire for the
evening when suddenly they were surrounded by a great light. They
knew they were in the presence of a celestial being. With great
anticipation, they awaited a heavenly message of great importance
that they knew must be especially for them.
Finally, the voice spoke, "Gather as many pebbles as you
can. Put them in your saddle bags. Travel a day's journey and
tomorrow night will find you glad and it will find you sad."
After having departed, the nomads shared their
disappointment and anger with each other. They had expected the
revelation of a great universal truth that would enable them to
create wealth, health and purpose for the world. But instead they
were given a menial task that made no sense to them at all.
However, the memory of the brilliance of their visitor caused
each one to pick up a few pebbles and deposit them in their
saddle bags while voicing their displeasure.
They traveled a day's journey and that night while making
camp, they reached into their saddle bags and discovered every
pebble they had gathered had become a diamond. They were glad
they had diamonds. They were sad they had not gathered more
pebbles.
It was an experience I had with a student, I shall call
Alan, early in my teaching career that illustrated the truth of
that legend to me.
When Alan was in the eighth grade, he majored in "trouble"
with a minor in "suspensions." He had studied how to be a bully
and was getting his master's in "thievery."
Every day I had my students memorize a quotation from a
great thinker. As I called roll, I would begin a quotation. To be
counted present, the student would be expected to finish the
thought.
"Alice Adams - 'There is no failure except ..."
"In no longer trying.' I'm present, Mr. Schlatter."
So, by the end of the year, my young charges would have
memorized 150 great thoughts.
"Think you can, think you can't - either way you're right!"
"If you can see the obstacles, you've taken your eyes off
the goal."
"A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and
the value of nothing."
And, of course, Napoleon Hill's "If you can conceive it, and
believe it, you can achieve it."
No one complained about this daily routine more than Alan -
right up to the day he was expelled and I lost touch with him for
five years. Then one day, he called. He was in a special program
at one of the neighboring colleges and had just finished parole.
He told me that after being sent to juvenile hall and
finally being shipped off to the California Youth Authority for
his antics, he had become so disgusted with himself that he had
taken a razor blade and cut his wrists.
He said, "You know what, Mr. Schlatter, as I lay there with
my life running out of my body, I suddenly remembered that dumb
quote you made me write 20 times one day. There is no failure
except in no longer trying.' Then it suddenly made sense to me.
As long as I was alive, I wasn't a failure, but if I allowed
myself to die, I would most certainly die a failure. So with my
remaining strength, I called for help and started a new life."
At the time he had heard the quotation, it was a pebble.
When he needed guidance in a moment of crisis, it had become a
diamond. And so it is to you I say, gather all the pebbles you
can, and you can count on a future filled with diamonds.

By John Wayne Schlatter
from A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul

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The higher order of logic and understanding that is capable of
meaningfully reflecting the soul comes from the heart.

-The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav

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Awaken to the Storyteller Within

"Each of us has a story to tell, a story to share with the world.

Artists and writers are in the storytelling business. Others have
different ways of telling and sharing their stories. The tackle shop owner
sells bait, hooks and sinkers, and tells people where to fish and about the
big one that got away. The master carpenter tells his story by carving and
hanging a wooden door so well crafted that it swings shut gently on its own.
The quilter tells her story by commemorating important moments from her life
in quilts that are colorful works of art.

Each of us has a story to tell and our own way of sharing it with the
world. It comes out through our words, through our work, and through the
simple action of our daily life. Listen to the stories of the people around
you. Listen with your soul. Learn to value without judging and listen with
an open heart to the beauty of each story and the importance of the
storyteller. Learn to value and appreciate the story you are living now.

Awaken to the storyteller within and share your story with the world.
Tell it with joy and flair. Commit to telling it with love and passion.
Tell it through living your life fully, doing your work well, and creating
the best life you can. Be who you are and love being that.

Live your life from your heart.
Share from your heart,
and your story will touch and heal people's souls.

-- by Melody Beattie

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"Without my pen, my thoughts
would remain just thoughts."

-- Glen Ridless

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"There are, it may be, so many kinds
of voices in the world, and none of
them is without significance."

-- 1 Corinthians

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"The only gift is a portion of thyself."

-- Emerson

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BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

Set your standards high
You deserve the best.
Try for what you want
And never settle for less.

Believe in yourself
No matter what you choose.
Keep a winning attitude
And you can never lose.

Think about your destination
But don't worry if you stray
Because the most important thing
Is what you've learned along the way.

Take all that you've become
To be all that you can be.
Soar above the clouds
And let your dreams set you free.

by Jillian K. Hunt

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It takes a high degree of intelligence to cooperate
with what is going on.

In your mind, however, you will usually not allow it
to be like that. You'll say that it is not so.

It is your attitude towards things that either blocks
you or frees you.

- John-Roger
(From: The Tao of Spirit)

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Namaste
»§«:*´`³¤³´`*:»§«Serenity»§«:*´`³¤³´`*:»§«
"We are Love,
on every level of consciousness,
and we have eternity,
which is exactly the amount of
time we wanted, isn't it,
to be Love

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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The role of a teacher is to point a flashlight at certain areas of
consciousness. Some teachers shine the light on themselves, others shine it
in your eyes. A good teacher shines his or her light out into the world and
shows you how to use your own eyes to see.

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When Storms Blow

When storms blow, let us learn to
Let go.

When the mirrors of life reflect an ugliness
Within we would prefer to ignore, let us
Learn to let go.

When we feel used and abused by others, let us
Learn to let go.

When illness and dis-ease cross our path, let
Us learn to let go.

When we are tempted to give up and give in
To the challenges of life, let us learn to let go.

For of ourselves we are nothing and have no
Real power of our own, but within us is the power
To calm any storm if only we will learn to let go
And let God.

©Copyright
John McIntosh and Rev. Jo Ann "Ananda" Polito

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Envision a moment of quiet solitude where all is calm and serene.
Being still and breathing easy, nothing disturbs your tranquility.
The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and all around you is peaceful.

This magic moment defines the golden age of peace, a single solitary
experience of silent stillness.

The greatest gift is silent stillness.
To receive this gift, just be here now.

Let your body be still,
let your mind be silent,
let your heart be open,
let your breath be free.

In this moment is all there is
Between each breath is the key
With each inhalation I receive love
With each exhalation I release fear
In the stillpoint between
I know peace
Is this not all there is?

Love is all
All is one

Peace is now.

It begins with one person making a choice between love and fear. In
that one personal decision, the consequences reverberate throughout
the universe. A pebble tossed in the ocean of humanity is never
lost. It ripples throughout time. Become a pebble and drop into that
vast sea called life. Be a pebble of love.
____

When there is light in the soul, there is beauty in the person,
When there is beauty in the person, there is harmony in the home,
When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation,
When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.
-- Ancient Chinese proverb
____

In each moment, there is only the choice between love and fear. The
choice is easy to make. Once the choice is made, the path becomes
clear.

Life is a spiritual journey, a soul's way home through darkness and
light. Knowing who you truly are is enlightenment. Now you are aware
of the presence and the purpose of your path. Now it makes perfect
sense. Now you know you are not alone, you were never alone. Now you
are one with the infinite unfathomable mystery of life, the source of
all creation. Now within you is the power, the magic, the light of
love.

God is love. God is not fear. Who says to fear God? What is fear?
What do you fear? Fear of death, fear of loneliness, fear of loss, of
lack, of pain and suffering.these are all illusions of separation, our
separation from god.

There is only one god, one supreme source. Our separation through time
and space is dissolving, our time now is one of unity. The tide of
humankind is turning.
_____

Whether we call ourselves communists or capitalists, Hindu
or Buddhists, Moslem or Christians, whether we are blind,
lame, well or happy, this earth is ours. not someone
else's. it not only the rich man's earth, this earth is
ours.yours and mine.
-- J. Khrishnamurti
_____

The pendulum reaches its apex and begins to swing the other way. We
are the pivotal generation that makes the shift. Never before has any
one generation the power to change the world as we. We are the bridge
between the past and the future at the gateway of the millenium. We
are the cultural creatives that declare the values that will prevail.

In the next 100 days, let us examine our values, our lives and make
conscious choices on what we bring into the 21st century. Let us
express them to one another, let us see what really is important as a
world together. Let us lead the way in The Golden Age of Peace.

September 22nd begins the countdown of 100 days to the New Millenium.
Now is the time to change our daily practice and to create a structure
that fully supports the best in us. What does our heart desire, what
keeps us from manifesting our dream? Daily practice brings forth our
truth. It takes just 28 days to make or break a habit. Here is our
golden opportunity to be who we really are.a child of god.

Fall is the time of the Teacher, a time to share the wisdom of our
harvest. And here we are, at the close of the 2nd millenium, heirs to
the ancient and modern treasures. What do we value, what do we hold
as our standards as we write a new chapter in history. What ideal do
we live in the new millenium?

We have a great power to change our ways, to discard old attitudes and
habits that no longer serve us, that in fact, hinder us instead. We
have a moment to clear out our emotional, mental and physical closets
of all the stuff that clutters our lives. We can make each day a
celebration of our completion, as we cross into the new millenium,
fully cognizant of our sovereignty and divinity.

I invite you to join me on this journey of 100 days - to fully
appreciate each day and to complete the transformation that your heart
desires. To prepare for this quest, we begin with a tabula rasa, a
blank page.

0
zero
empty
nothing
a blank page
an empty canvas
the balanced sheet
learning the value of nothing
out of nothing everything begins
and yet we fear having nothing
having nothing what do we fear
letting go into nothingness
releasing our sense of self
our separateness
our individuality
our ego
being
one
drop
in
the ocean
of eternity

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Fear Not. What is not real, never was and never will be. What is real,
always was and cannot be destroyed.

The Bhagavad Gita, The Bhagavad Gita as translated by Eknath Easwaran

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"Learn what you are and be such." --Pindar

The most precious gift we can give those closest to us is
honesty. Yet we often hide our true selves from friends,
fearing we won't be accepted or loved if we let them see the
real us. Often, we show parts of ourselves that hide who
we really are. We have often heard ourselves or others say,
"My parents would just die if...," or, "Don't argue in front
of the children."

If we hide too much behind false images, we run the risk of
losing track of what is real and what is false. We become
actors instead of real people, trying to please Aunt Jane, our
grandparents, our big brother, or our children.

When we conquer our fear of letting others in, we are able
to see ourselves honestly. When we discover that others
accept us as we are, we can accept and love ourselves. To
know oneself is to know a person of value.

"What part of me have I been hiding?"

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By your thinking, you are either adding to your good or you are taking
away from it. The law is inexorable. Failure or lack in your life is
simply the result of continuously "minus-ing" yourself. Conversely,
success and prosperity are the results of constantly "plus-ing"
yourself.

Eric Butterworth, Spiritual Economics

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THE ONE AND ONLY YOU

Every single blade of grass
And every flake of snow
Is just a wee bit different,
There's no two alike, you know.

From something small like grains of sand
to huge gigantic stars,
Each one was made with this in mind;
To be just what they are.

How foolish then, to imitate,
And how useless to pretend,
When each one of us comes from a mind
Whose ideas never end.

There'll only be just one of me
To show what I can do,
And likewise, you should feel very proud
That there's only one of you.

So don't copy -- Create!

(author unknown)

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Let Us Serve

Divine Spirit within, let us serve.

Lift us above the ebb and flow of
The endless fear of the ego and
Let us serve.

Part the veil of confusion and indecision,
And let us serve.

Dissolve the guilt and judgement that
Separates us from our fellowman, ourself,
And let us serve.

Return our awareness to Truth and open
Our hearts again to the Love that is the
Source of our life, and let us serve.

That we may receive All that we are, let
Us give it to all, let us serve.

©Copyright
John McIntosh and Rev. Jo Ann "Ananda" Polito

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When Is Quitting Time?

Newspapers once reported about a young Taiwanese man who
wrote 700 love letters to his girlfriend in a two-year period.
At least two letters a day! Seven hundred letters telling of his
undying love for her and encouraging her to accept his marriage
proposal.

Two years of sending letters got results. She announced
her engagement... to the postman who delivered all those letters!
(I suppose she just became accustomed to his face.) Lucky for the
postman that her boyfriend didn't give up too soon!

There may be a time to give up, but there is certainly a
time to persist. My kids, for instance, often wanted to give up
music lessons. We encouraged them not to quit. "Stay with the
lessons," I told them.

I have spoken with many adults who have said, "I used to
take music lessons when I was a child. I regret the fact that I
quit too soon. I wish I knew how to play the piano today."

I have never talked with an adult who said, "I took music
lessons when I was a child. I regret the fact that I didn't quit
sooner!"

Of course, it's not about music lessons... it's about
knowing when to stay with something and knowing when to quit. How
many books were never written because someone quit too soon? How
many relationships died prematurely and how many dreams never
came to fruition because someone gave up them?

Maybe it's not yet quitting time.

-- Steve Goodier

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If we believe that the universe is unfriendly and that our very souls
are in danger, peace will be elusive at best.

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Fire In The Soul

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The moment that captures us now is all we have for certain.
We can dream endlessly about next week and next year, but
there are no guarantees. Thus, it is important to care for
ourselves and others in this moment. Have we expressed
our love to any one of the many special people in our lives
today? The effort is small and yet paramount in its impact
on how the day unfolds for the givers and the receivers of
caring words that inspire--words that speak of love.

Someone close needs our attention today--our
encouragement, our inspiration, our recognition. And we
need the commitment to focus outside ourselves if we are
to discover the gifts promised us in each twenty-four-hour
segment of life. It is not coincidence that we feel pulled
toward particular people, that we select certain groups to
identify with.

Contemplative thoughtfulness about our presence in this
time and place will assure us we are needed for the loving
growth of many. The mystery unfolds by design.

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Insist on yourself; never imitate. That which each can do best,
none but his maker can teach him.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I saw the angel
in the marble
and I just chiseled
until I set him free.

-- Michelangelo

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Every blade of grass
has an angel
bending over it
saying, "Grow, grow."

-- THE TALMUD

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