INSPIRATIONAL STORIES Page
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Spiritual Links and Videos
(from the Dalai Lama)
(another perspective on "Aspects")
(Hawaiian "Huna" Healing)
Women in Art
500 Years of Female Portraits in Western art.
One of the worlds most incredible courageous human beings !
God is at the Window
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He
was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced
in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little
discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he
saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot
fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and
grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile,
only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she
said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally,
let's wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny
told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to
him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day,
Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said,
"I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper. " Sally just smiled
and said," Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to
help." She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing
and Johnny stayed to help. After several days of Johnny doing both his
chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He
came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma
knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You
see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but
because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long
you would let Sally make a slave of you."
Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done ... and the devil
keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad
habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) whatever it is. You need to
know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole
thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves
you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you
will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God
is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you,
but He forgets.
The Seven Wonders of the World
A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the Seven
Wonders of the World. Though there were some disagreements, the
following received the most votes:
Egypts Great Pyramids
The Taj Mahal
The Grand Canyon
The Panama Canal
The Empire State Building
St Peters Basilica
The Great Wall of China
While gathering the votes, she noticed that one student had not
finished her pager yet, so she asked the girl if she was having trouble
with her list.
The girl replied "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind
because there are so many."
The teacher said "well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help
The girl hesitated, then read "I think the Seven Wonders of the World
The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The things we overlook
as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wonderous
! A gentle reminder - that the most precious things in life cannot be
built by hand or bought by man. (and truly, are a gift from God).
The Wooden Bowl
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and
four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was
blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's
shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off
his spoon and onto the floor. When he grasped the glass milk spilled on
the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the
mess. "We must do something about Grandfather", said the son. "I've had
enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So
the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There,
Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a
wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction,
sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only
words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he had dropped
a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood
scraps on the floor He asked the child curiously, "What are you
making?" Sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for
you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old
smiled and went back to work
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears
started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both
knew what must be done. That evening, the husband took Grandfather's
hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of
his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason,
neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was
dropped, when milk was spilled, or when the tablecloth was soiled.
On a positive note, I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second
chance. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open
heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that every
day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that
human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat
on the back. I've learned that no matter what happens or how bad it
seems today, life goes on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned
that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you will
miss them when they are gone from your life.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she
handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and a late friend.
I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a
life. I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.
But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of
others, your work, and doing the very best you can, happiness
will find you. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a
catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something
back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that
you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did
10 Biggest Lies that Stop People
from Getting What They Want
by Cynthia Kersey
They say that "everybody's a critic," and that never seems truer than
when you're pursuing a dream. There will always be well-meaning people
who want to "protect" you from your "unrealistic fantasies."
Critics tried to discourage the people profiled in Unstoppable.
Everyone ignored the negative input and achieved their goals.
Follow their lead and you, too, will be UNSTOPPABLE!
1. The timing is all wrong. In
1987, prior to accepting Paramount's offer to host a late-night talk
show, Arsenio Hall was told by everyone: "It's too hard to crack into
the late-night ratings. Television isn't ready for a black talk show
host. This is America, and you can forget it."
The only opinion about your dream that really counts is yours
2. Why don't you get a real job? Not understanding his desire
to become Mr. Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger's family pleaded with
him, saying: "How long will you go on training all day in a gymnasium
and living in a dream world?"
3. It'll never work, you'll lose everything. Weeks before she
opened her first store, cosmetic tycoon Mary Kay Ash's attorney said:
"Liquidate the business right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If
you don't, you'll end up penniless."
4. Don't rock the boat . In response to Muriel Siebertís
application to be the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock
Exchange, officials responded: "The language on the floor is too rough
and there's no ladies' room." She bought a seat anyway and
remained the only woman there for nine years
5. It's never been done before. Upon applying for a job after
graduation from Columbia University, announcers for NBC Radio responded
to Sally Jessy Raphael: "You have the perfect voice for broadcasting,
but you should get a job as a secretary. We're not using women."
6. You don't have enough talent. Responding to his desire to
become a recording artist, Ray Charles' teachers said: "You can't play
the piano, and God knows you can't sing. You'd better learn how to
weave chairs so you can support yourself."
7. Don't even try, you'll just be disappointed. When
auditioning for a part in a high school musical, a teacher rejected
Diana Ross saying: "You have a nice voice, but it's nothing special."
8. You don't fit the mold OR you're not the right "type."
Trying to convince her she didn't have the right look, fashion
photographer Richard Avedon told Cher: "You will never make the cover
of Vogue because you don't have blond hair or blue eyes." When
she did make the cover, Vogue sold more copies than it had ever sold
9. Don't give up your day job. Commenting on the first
manuscript of an unpublished author, a New York publisher told James
Michener: "You're a good editor with a promising future in the
business. Why would you want to throw it all away to try to be a
writer? I read your book. Frankly, it's not really that good."
Michener's first book, Tales of the South Pacific, later won a Pulitzer
Prize and was adapted for stage and screen as South Pacific.
10. There's no market for it. When hearing his plans to launch
Perrier in the United States, several consulting firms advised Gustave
Leven: "You're foolish to try to sell sparkling water in the land of
The negative comments of others merely reflect their limitations ---
not yours. There is nothing unrealistic about a dream that aligns with
your purpose, ignites your passion, and inspires you to plan and
persevere until you attain it. On the contrary, it's unrealistic to
expect a person with such drive and commitment not to succeed.
Choose to be unstoppable
Top Five Regrets of the Dying"
From a memoir of Bronnie Ware
' life and how it was transformed by the
regrets of dying people
For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who
had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was
with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I
learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some
changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as
expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually
acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed
though, every one of them. When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do
differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself (not the
life others expected of me).
BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their
life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how
many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a
half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices
they had made, or not made. It is very important to try and
honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that
you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few
realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their
children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of
this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the
female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed
deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a
work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious
choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you
think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become
happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with
others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never
became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed
illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a
result. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may
initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly,
in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier
level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your
life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends
until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them
down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let
golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets
about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.
Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.
But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical
details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial
affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds
the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for
the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and
weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and
relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks,
love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end
that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and
habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their
emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them
pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When
deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their
life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is
a long way
from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again,
long before you are dying. Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose
consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my
big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no SantaClaus," she jeered.
"Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that
day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always
told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot
easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I
knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told
her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she
snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going
around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your
coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second
world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General
Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about
As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was
a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something
for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she
turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but
never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big
and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas
shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching
that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to
buy it for.
I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the
kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about
thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with
bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's
Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never
went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a
note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew
that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I
fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby
Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it.
It looked real warm, and he would like that.
"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter
asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied
shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed
a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a
bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of
the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and
ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me
over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and
forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept
noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave
me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."
I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down
on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to
open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering,
beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized
that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said
they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his
team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that
And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might
as well dance.
Ten Spiritually Transmitted Diseases
by Mariana Caplan
It is a jungle out there, and it is no less true about spiritual life
than any other aspect of life. Do we really think that just because
someone has been meditating for five years, or doing 10 years of yoga
practice, that they will be any less neurotic than the next person? At
best, perhaps they will be a little bit more aware of it. A little bit.
It is for this reason that I spent the last 15 years of my life
researching and writing books on cultivating discernment on the
spiritual path in all the gritty areas—power, sex, enlightenment,
gurus, scandals, psychology, neurosis—as well as earnest, but just
plain confused and unconscious, motivations on the path.
Several years ago, I spent a summer living and working in South Africa.
Upon my arrival I was instantly confronted by the visceral reality that
I was in the country with the highest murder rate in the world, where
rape was common and more than half the population was HIV Positive men
and women, gays and straights alike. As I have come to know hundreds of
spiritual teachers and thousands of spiritual practitioners through my
work and travels, I have been struck by the way in which our spiritual
views, perspectives, and experiences become similarly “infected” by
“conceptual contaminants”—comprising a confused and immature
relationship to complex spiritual principles—that are as invisible, yet
as insidious, as sexually transmitted disease.
The following 10 categorizations are not intended to be definitive but
are offered as a tool for becoming aware of some of the most common
spiritually transmitted diseases.
Fast-Food Spirituality: Mix spirituality with a culture that
celebrates speed, multitasking, and instant gratification and the
result is likely to be fast-food spirituality. Fast-food spirituality
is a product of the common and understandable fantasy that relief from
the suffering of our human condition can be quick and easy. One thing
is clear, however: spiritual transformation cannot be had in a quick
2. Faux Spirituality: Faux
spirituality is the tendency to talk, dress, and act as we imagine a
spiritual person would. It is a kind of imitation spirituality that
mimics spiritual realization in the way that leopard-skin fabric
imitates the genuine skin of a leopard.
3. Confused Motivations:
Although our desire to grow is genuine and pure, it often gets mixed
with lesser motivations, including the wish to be loved, the desire to
belong, the need to fill our internal emptiness, the belief that the
spiritual path will remove our suffering, and spiritual ambition—the
wish to be special, to be better than, to be “the one.”
4. Identifying with Spiritual
In this disease, the ego identifies with our spiritual experience and
takes it as its own, and we begin to believe that we are embodying
insights that have arisen within us at certain times. In most cases, it
does not last indefinitely, although it tends to endure for longer
periods of time in those who believe themselves to be enlightened
and/or who function as spiritual teachers.
5. The Spiritualized Ego: This
disease occurs when the very structure of the egoic personality becomes
deeply embedded with spiritual concepts and ideas. The result is an
egoic structure that is “bullet-proof.” When the ego becomes
spiritualized, we are invulnerable to help, new input, or constructive
feedback. We become impenetrable human beings and are stunted in our
spiritual growth, all in the name of spirituality.
6. Mass Production of Spiritual
Teachers: There are a number of current trendy spiritual
traditions that produce people who believe themselves to be at a level
of spiritual enlightenment, or mastery, that is far beyond their actual
level. This disease functions like a spiritual conveyor belt: put on
this glow, get that insight, and–bam! –you’re enlightened and ready to
enlighten others in similar fashion. The problem is not that such
teachers instruct but that they represent themselves as having achieved spiritual mastery.
7. Spiritual Pride: Spiritual
pride arises when the practitioner, through years of labored effort,
has actually attained a certain level of wisdom and uses that
attainment to justify shutting down to further experience. A feeling of
“spiritual superiority” is another symptom of this spiritually
transmitted disease. It manifests as a subtle feeling that “I am
better, more wise, and above others because I am spiritual.”
8. Group Mind:
Also described as groupthink, cultic mentality, or ashram disease,
group mind is an insidious virus that contains many elements of
traditional codependence. A spiritual group makes subtle and
unconscious agreements regarding the correct ways to think, talk,
dress, and act. Individuals and groups infected with “group mind”
reject individuals, attitudes, and circumstances that do not conform to
the often unwritten rules of the group.
9. The Chosen-People Complex:
Unfortunately, the chosen people complex is not limited to Jews. It is
the belief that Our group is more spiritually evolved, powerful,
enlightened and, simply put, better than any other group.” There
is an important distinction between the recognition that one has found
the right path, teacher, or community for themselves, and having found
10. The Deadly Virus: “I Have
Arrived” This disease is so potent that it has the capacity to be
terminal and deadly to our spiritual evolution. This is the belief that
“I have arrived” at the final goal of the spiritual path. Our spiritual
progress ends at the point where this belief becomes crystallized in
our psyche, for the moment we begin to believe that we have reached the
end of the path, further growth ceases.
I believe that a critical part of learning discernment on the spiritual
path is discovering the pervasive illnesses of ego and self-deception
that are in all of us. That is when we need a sense of humor and the
support of real spiritual friends. As we face our obstacles to
spiritual growth, there are times when it is easy to fall into a sense
of despair and self-diminishment and lose our confidence on the path.
We must keep the faith, in ourselves and in others, in order to really
make a difference in this world.
[adapted from Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual
Path © Sounds True, 2009]
A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.
In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”
Hands started going up.
He said, “I am going to give this $20 bill to one of you, but first let
me do this.”
He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked “who still
Still the hands were up in the air.
“Well, “he replied, “what if I do this?” He dropped it on the ground
and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up,
now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?”
Still the hands went in the air.
“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter
what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not
decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the
dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.
We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what
will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to
those who love you.
The worth of your lives come not in what we do or who we know but by
WHO WE ARE!”
© Copyright 1999 - 2020 David Isaacson