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Five Powerful Allies for Love, Compassion and Healing

Everything boils down to quality of life. 

Life is for living and we can do many things to aid in making our life pleasing.

This can happen in simple moments as enjoying a beautiful sunrise or sunset, rain drops hitting a leaf, the movement of water over rocks or up onto a shore, trees swaying in the wind, a meal spent with family or friends with candlelight and good conversation. A myriad of ways exist for our enjoyment.  

Within us, we have all we need. Sometimes though it’s nice to have an ally, a confident, a kindred spirit or one that just knows us and can connect on a higher level. 

These allies don’t have to be humans, they can come in many forms. One such form is what some call inanimate, a rock or crystal that was formed so long ago. It may seem that change nor consciousness is apparent. Yet they are conscious! Very different than us, our physical life span is short in comparison and is always changing or being changed.  

Would you like more compassion, unconditional love, forgiveness, generosity and healing in your life?

We help others by being the best version of ourself as possible.  So grab a stone or look at pictures of ones and “love up” on yourself. 

As we connect with a clean crystal (one discharged of negative energy) we aid not only ourselves but each other. Our consciousness attunes to the crystal and vice versa. It’s a subtle concept, yet enormous in character and potential. Our subtle nature supersedes words. It is this subtlety that heals, completes and shows our wholeness within ourself as well our union with all that is. 

Many of the green crystals resonate with the fourth energy system in the body, the heart, which is the seat of emotion and intuition. Let’s focus on a few today. (You will notice I use rock and crystal interchangeably, they are one in the same.) 

Mediate with them, carry them, place them, wear them; for they are endowed with consciousness. Cleanse them with the sun, moon, salt or a powerful cleansing stone. Just like we need baths, so do they. They can absorb negative energy, so it is important to discharge them every so often, dependent upon use.

My rocks, top and clockwise:

Raw Emerald, tumbled Aventurine, Raw Amazonite, Raw Calcite, Raw Unakite, Raw Aventurine, Unakite heart (tumbled by Lake Superior)

The middle stone, the heart shaped Unakite, I picked up in Ontario on the shoreline of Lake Superior. The rainbow rock beach I walked on many times is one of the reasons I began studying crystals. The raw unakite I found on my neighborhood gravel road. Unakite was named after the nearby Unaka Mountains. The rest of the crystals I discovered as I mined with my grandchildren in nearby Thermal City Goldmine.

 

 

Here is the short list of how these beautiful stones can be your ally.

Emerald

  1. “Of all gemstones, Emerald is the purest crystalline emanation of the Green Ray, color of the heart chakra. This chakra is at the center of our physical selves and it is our center on many other levels as well. It is the wellspring of the emotions, especially love and compassion.” Robert Simmons
  2. A stone of courage, aiding you to move forward.
  3. Helps one to develop a sense of beauty, harmony and justice.
  4. Offers clarity, wakefulness and a broad vision
  5. Strengthens the heart, heals inflammation and strengthens the immune system (to name a few).

Aventurine

  1. One of the best stones to stabilize and open the heart.
  2. Calms the emotions, encourages a positive outlook, relieves anxiety and fear
  3. Assists one in embracing challenging issues. Take things in stride when dealing with heavy issues, can help with humor or a feeling of lightness when in those challenging times.
  4. Supports the heart and stimulates life giving energy throughout the body.
  5. Naisha Ahsian’s  aventurine affirmation: I move forward with optimism, confidence and renewed vitality.

Amazonite

  1. Powerful heart stone helping to release toxic emotions and is an anti-anxiety meditation crystal.
  2. Brings joy, clarity and an understanding of universal love
  3. Assists in communicating higher truths and higher knowledge
  4. Awakens compassion
  5. Physically helpful in cell regeneration and healing after injury. Excellent for gout, arthritis and thyroid imbalances.

Green Calcite

  1. Clears the heart chakra of stress and other types of low energy debris.
  2. Aids in helping one’s sense of purpose and possibility.
  3. Brings in fresh energy to a room, especially helpful for those affected with seasonal disorders or depression. Can help release buried emotions.
  4. Allows one to desire forgiveness to self and others
  5. Assists with the elimination organs. Helpful for the absorption of calcium as well as dissolves calcification that builds up on broken bones and joints.

Unakite

  1.  Resonates with the frequency of love, compassion and kindness.
  2.  Helps you be in the present moment, let go of painful memories or addictive behaviors
  3. Super charges your spirituality.
  4. Comprised of red Jasper, pink Fledspar and green Epidote; it is solidly bound together and symbolizes growing together. Think of universal harmony.
  5. Physically supports healthy tissues: especially heart, lungs and connective tissues.
Sources: 

The Book of Stones, Who They Are & What They Teach, Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian; North Atlantic Books; 2015

Crystal Power, Crystal Healing, The Complete Handbook, Michael Gienger;  Octopus Books, 2009

The Crystal Bible, Judy Hall; Walking Stick Press; 2003

Julia ParsellJulia Parsell is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with an emphasis on the intersection of science and the sacred.  She writes from experiences and transformative understandings that have led her to an authentic and peaceful life. She goes by these names: mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. As home educator of her three children, she also developed/ran cafes, and maintained various leadership roles within her community.  Her greatest desire is to encourage others to live life fully.  Her passions are family, art creation, writing, and trail blazing. She loves her life in Western North Carolina.   

 




Compassion: Love For Self, Others, and Making Space for the 4-Train

We don’t need to change. We don’t need to improve anything. We practice deep compassion as we extend this same privilege to other people and things around us and allow them to simply be, especially those things that would easily turn our hearts bitter. 

As we practice yoga and meditation, we cultivate and practice being. We also reduce the suffering known as Dukkah, which would hold us back from experiencing our highest self.

One act of holding space is allowing yourself to be with a person or thing and allow them to be just as they or it is. I’m thinking of a friend who is sick or experiencing something mentally or spiritually challenging. Simply being with that person and holding space for them, without the need to fix or change anything, just being, allows a deep compassion to exist between the two of you.

Another act of holding space is the decisive act of making room in your heart for that which would sooner canker your heart with feelings and make your mind fester with “shoulds” and “what-ifs.” When you hold space for someone or something, you don’t have to fall in love with this person or thing but you are simply offering compassion toward them or it by not becoming sour toward it. And by so doing, you ultimately offer your own heart and mind in the same compassion–the heart that flourishes when it feels abundance and love, not bitterness, and the mind that abounds when it is sheltered from “should” and “what-ifs.”

 Here are an example of holding space:

 

The World: The NYC 4 Train once stopped en route causing me to miss my flight home.

Me: bought a NYC 4 Train T-Shirt–holding space for the 4 Train.

World: Just as it is.

Me: Accepting the world as it is.

 

Holding space is often the first part of forgiveness toward yourself and others.

This week, practice holding space for things that you either don’t understand or which bother you. 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Own Your Truth: A Simple Practice

Do you feel your way into your own unique truth or do you feel stuck? How can truth be your own and unique? Will it lead you to experience unconditional love? Can it offer you a peaceful existence? The answer is, yes!

What To Embrace?

Differences may separate you from another, yet they are avenues to help you learn and develop your own truth. Embrace these paths that make you unique. Just because the other person has a perspective unlike your own is not a reason to get upset, it is an opportunity to diversify your field of being. As you expand in consciousness so will your ability to not sit in judgement of another opinion, lifestyle, or even a massive hurt that has been delivered to you. There are many teachers and many ways to live this life, but the main ingredient is you. How you feel, explore, reach, heal and even hurt in the moment. What resonates deep within you so profoundly or maybe just slightly, in the beginning?  Allow yourself to breathe and just be. No resistance, no pressure, no expectations, just being.

What is Being?

The state of being is classified grammatically as a verb and verbs by definition show action. Yet, the state of being verbs actually show place: past, present, and future. They are “states”. Possibly you are familiar with this: being is doing. Reading this statement allows you to nod your head in agreement or scratch it. When being is doing, then a peaceful state exists. It is the full allowance of flow in one’s life experiences. Flow. Think of a stream moving over stones. The healthy water stays but a short time until it moves onward. The stagnant water is pooled and not allowed movement until a big storm comes and it is pushed out and back into the flow. The being is the movement of life as it should be, coursing over rocks, tossed about by storms, gentle at other times, and always navigating toward the larger body where it merges.
Can you feel this? Can you pull this analogy close to your heart and recognize the ebbs and flows in your life that have brought you to this day, to this experience, to this heartbreak, to this celebration? Master this one life lesson: allowance, not resistance. Our expectations and interpretations would then not disappoint, but be freed for exploration, learning and letting go.

A Worthy Practice

Here is a practice that has served me for years to make positive lasting changes in my life. I set an intention to make each day the first day of the rest of my life. Along with setting this intention, I filled my mind with rich words. These words were ‘tired and true’, wise and offered me much encouragement.

Some of my favorite quotes and sources to aid your practice

Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
“What lies behind you and who lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies
inside of you.”

10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Wayne Dyer
“Failure is just a judgement. It’s just an opinion. It comes from your fears which can be
eliminated by love. Love for yourself. Love for what you do. Love for others. Love for the planet. When you have love with you, fear can not survive. Think about this ancient wisdom, ‘Fear knocked at the door. Love answered and no one was there.”

Various writings by Henry David Thoreau

“Things do not change, we change.”
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be
solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness, weakness.”

The Words of Jesus and the Psalms (these passages particularly show the inclusion of all people, no matter who they are or what they have done with their lives).

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
“It is not the will of my Father who is heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matt. 18:14
“All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Luke 3:6
“When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” John 12:32
“The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that He has made. All Thy works
shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all Your saints shall bless You!” Psalm 145:9-10

Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer
“Knowing ignorance is strength.
Ignoring knowledge is sickness.
Only when we are sick of our sickness will we cease to be sick.
The sage is not sick, but sick of sickness, that is the secret of health.” verse 71

Mindfulness, meditation, and a sense of wonder can aid you in expanding your inner intelligence, allowing you to vault over previous unknown horizons of possibilities. Julia’s Journal 8/16/15
Be well and be at peace within yourself my friend.

Julia Parsell

Julia Rae Parsell

Julia Parsell is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with an emphasis on the intersection of science and the sacred. She writes from experiences and transformative understandings that have led her to an authentic and peaceful life. She goes by these names: wife, grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. As home educator of her three children, she also developed/ran cafes, and maintained various leadership roles within her community.
Her greatest desire is to encourage others to live life fully. Her passions are family, writing, and trail blazing. She is happily married in Western North Carolina. Please visit her blog here.

 




Darwin Was Wrong: Compassion Helped Fuel Human Evolution – NOT Survival of the Fittest

Compassion Fueled Human Evolution - NOT Survival of the Fittest

Posted By Irina Slav | New Historian

A new study of early humans has challenged one of the main tenets of Darwin’s evolutionary theory, the idea of the survival of the fittest, by suggesting compassion and the ability to accommodate “defective” members of the community actually played a significant role in how humans developed.

The study, by anthropologists Isabelle Winder and her father Nick Winder, focused on small and isolated populations of early humans who were forced to mate in ways that had a negative effect on the diversity of the gene pool. In spite of the inherent risks, they managed not only to survive but also to advance by overcoming the challenges represented by defective genes. The authors call their hypothesis the ‘Vulnerable Ape’ model, in which the central idea is that it wasn’t the individuals with the strongest and healthiest genes that had the best survival chances, but the ones who could survive despite their “weak” genes and even turn them into advantages.

Some of these “defective” genes was responsible for hominins having to cope with hair-free skin or with straight feet that made climbing trees much more difficult. What allowed them to cope with these defects was the compassion of other members of the community, and the ability to innovate, the ability to learn new behavior and the willingness to experiment, the Winders believe. The need for socialization must also have played a lead part in this, writes Phys.org.

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2 Things You Can’t Thrive Without

Girl with a Flower by Cherie Roe Dirksen

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ` Maya Angelou

Who can’t agree with the above statement from the late and great, Ms Angelou? We all want the full juicy experience that the cornucopia of life can lay tumbling at our feet.

ROFLOL, Drive and Grace

To have strong, hot passion — in whatever we endeavor to do — is the delectability of living this life. To be able to laugh at our fragile mortality and existential situations is pure magic and can be one of the most important exercises in our daily routine. And to be bestowed with style is simply flamboyantly fabulous, darling! They all make life more livable (and in the case of style — our wardrobes heavier and our wallets lighter).

But the two things I think are paramount to living the life extraordinaire are to have a limitless supply of love and compassion.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” ` Dalai Lama

I think the Dalai Lama hit the nail on the head with that one. These two ‘traits’ are our innate tools to a trade-up in human existence.

Most of us want peace on earth and the sense that we are evolving and not devolving. Although on the surface it might look like society is on an insidious degeneration, I feel that where love and compassion exist — even if it is in small packages (after all, we’re going to do this one fabulous soul at a time — one courageous community at a time) — there is hope for reprieve.

Connect, Love and Fertilize — Happy Days!

Love holds our intrinsic ability to connect with and hold space for each other (fleshy or furry) and the planet (and the universe!) — it’s the glue that holds existence together IMHO (soon I’ll be writing these articles in pure acronym — God forbid!).

Compassion fertilizes the soil for love to grow strong (*violin softly playing in the background*). If we can’t empathize with each other we are doomed. Truth is not singular and we need to open up to the possibility that not everyone thinks the way we do…duh! Retaliation is never going to lead us to peace.

The antithesis would be to hold fear for others and even possibly for our planet (that can appear so volatile at any given moment). Fear often leads us to judgment — the need to make someone right and someone wrong — which inevitably closes down the channel to empathy and understanding.

Hippy Nonsense!

I know I’m going to get some people shaking their heads and saying that love and compassion ‘aint going to cut it — we need justice in the world!

I’m not arguing the fact that justice may indeed need to be withheld for a community to run smoothly, I’m just pointing out that you can still have love and compassion for a person(s) who has done ‘wrong’. Instead of condemning someone for life, try to see if you can rather figure out the ‘why’ (compassion) and then treat the root of the problem (with love).

Okay, said my piece now. Ciao until next week.

Cherie Roe DirksenCherie-Roe-Dirksen_172x200 is a self-empowerment author and multi-media artist from South Africa. To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site www.cherieroedirksen.com.

Her ambition is to help you to connect with your innate gift of creativity and living the life you came here to experience by taking responsibility for your actions and becoming the co-creator of your reality.

You can also follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment).

Cherie posts a new article on CLN every Thursday.  To view her articles, click HERE.

Other articles you may enjoy:

7 Ways To Create More Love & Connection in Your Life

How To Use LOVE to Dramatically and Quickly Improve Conditions on Our Planet

Kids Who Grow Up With Pets Are More Emotionally Intelligent and Compassionate

Open Your Heart Chakra For More Love, Compassion and Healing

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The Science of Compassion: Kindness Is a Fundamental Human Trait

Source: Big Think

Throughout his life, Thupten Jinpa (the Dalai Lama’s primary English translator) has studied the connections between science and compassion. In his latest book, A Fearless Heart (https://goo.gl/5Ysblw), Jinpa builds off a landmark lecture given at Stanford Medical School to explain how we can take a scientific approach to train our compassion muscle to relieve stress, fight depression, improve our health, achieve our goals, and change our world.

Transcript:

When we talk about the science of compassion it’s also tied down with science of empathy. Empathy is compassion, altruism, kindness. They are all very interrelated and much of the current scientific studies really fall into two main categories. One is the study of altruistic behavior, particularly in animals and very young children. And the thinking is that if we can see altruistic behavior in animals and very, very young children that it must have very deep biological roots. So that’s the kind of logic behind why they are focusing more on animal studies and children. The other important area that overlaps the science of compassion is the study of empathy. And again here a lot of the work has been done on nonhuman primate studies and there is an American professor at Emory by the name of Frans de Waal and he was one of the pioneers. Many people might have seen the video of apes, you know, there were two juvenile apes fighting and one of them loses and another ape who’s not a blood relation comes over and hugs him and consoles him. So it clearly is an indication that empathy can be found in nonhuman primates as well.

And then there are some interesting studies coming from the studies of meditators who meditate many hours on compassion and then looking at their brain. You can actually see the brain’s expression in action. So this is called functioning in an MRI which has the ability to look at a brain in action as it were. At least the claim is that the meditators are unlike novices like us have some ability to consciously direct their attention and thoughts so in the scanner, the brain imaging scanner, you can ask the meditator can you do this? Can you do that? Can you just stay at the level of empathy and feel the pain? Now can you move onto compassion wishing the other person to be free of something or wanting to do something about it. And try to tease out what brain signature, brain regions get activated when you are just in empathy feeling and when you are moving onto compassion when you are wishing to see the relief. In this way the whole mapping of the brain regions that are involved in something like compassion is beginning to be done.




3 Ways to Tap Into the Joy of Serving Others

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By Deborah King | DeborahKing.com

How To Be of Service and Why It Matters

The best thing you can do for yourself and the planet is to be of service to others. You can practice every energy medicine technique in the book—journal your deepest feelings until your wrist hurts, meditate twice daily, pray, connect with Mother Nature, clear your chakras, release your limiting beliefs, etc., but if you aren’t being of service, you are not fully living in the light.

Being of service doesn’t have to include the big gestures you might be thinking about. You don’t have to quit your job and give up your life to join volunteers in a far-off area to help disaster victims, or donate your life savings to charity. You don’t have to work at a food bank or with at-risk teens, unless you want to. Being of service is not only about what you do, but also about how you do it. True service means that you are doing what you are meant to do, and doing it with compassion and love. For example, there are a lot of anti hunger organizations that you can help.

Understanding that service is both attitude and action helps you to see that the opportunities for being of service are constant in everything you do. Let that car into the lane ahead of you, smile at the tired-looking bank or grocery store clerk, offer to help someone with their hands full carry their drinks at Starbucks. These gestures may seem small, but each one sends a ripple of love out into the universe. And chances are, you will have uplifted the person you helped and possibly inspired them to also be of service, further stretching the reach of kindness and love. Enough ripples create a wave, and selfless service is the first step to spurring a wave of deep and boundless love to wash over the world.

Here are a few additional tips for how to be of service

1. Chop wood, carry water. 

This is the phrase I use in my energy healing courses and workshops to help teach my students that being of service does mean you have to do the work, get your hand dirty so to speak, whatever that means for you. Anything you do that gives of your time and energy in order to benefit someone else, as long as you do it with love and without expectation of reward, counts as being of service.

For you, this might mean planting trees in a neighborhood park, or walking dogs, or playing violin on a busy street corner. Perhaps you’re a birthday party clown or a food server or a window washer. Service can be any deed or action that elevates others. After all, that clown is making kids laugh, a restaurant server helps to feed customers, a street corner musician gives a little art to brighten the day of passersby. When you do your work from a place of light, that light radiates to everyone you interact with like a beacon of hope, compassion, and love.

2. Figure out how you would like to help.

It’s really hard to act out of love if you’re miserable, and serving others while resenting the work or the people will fill you with negativity rather than love, which doesn’t actually help anyone. So take the time to do some soul searching and think about how you would like to serve others. Try not to think about what your parents or partner think you should do, and as much as possible, shut down any self-doubt that tells you you aren’t capable of doing something, and really focus on getting in touch with your true feelings about what you want to do.

Journal about it, mull it over, ask your guides, and I bet you’ll find that the way you want to serve takes advantage of your unique gifts. You were given your gifts for a reason, so use them! If you’re great at organizing, or wonderful with children, or can paint portraits, or are a born counselor or energy healer—these talents are the way to serve authentically and without resentment or irritation. In this way, being of service can help to awaken and strengthen your special skills as well as help to heal and uplift others.

I’d like to mention here a rarely discussed truth about being of service: it’s okay to enjoy it! There seems to be the misconception that service must be somber and joyless, but who wants to be helped by someone who is all doom and gloom? Joy creates joy. If you are joyful in your service, everyone around you will be buoyed up by that happy energy, too.

3. Check your ego at the door.

Expectation of reward is the greatest obstacle to true service. There are two types of giving: that which seeks recognition, and that which serves in silence. If the reason you are serving others is so that you will be seen serving others, you are feeding your ego and not feeding the greater good. If you want to be known as a “good-doer” more than you actually want to do good, then you are not truly being of service. Even those in healing or helping professions, like doctors or therapists or teachers, are only really being of service if they do those jobs in a compassionate, selfless manner. A doctor who helps others solely to advance her personal power and greed is not embracing the attitude of love true service requires.

Focusing on others without thinking of yourself is what makes service a spiritual practice; the process forces you to step outside your small selfish Earthly self and think of the greater interconnectedness of all life. As a spiritual teacher, this in an important lesson I teach: since the universal field encompasses us all, what you send out into the universe comes back to you, so sending positivity to others improves your own life as well. And, as a bonus, when you stop worrying about your own progress and success, that’s when Spirit rewards you with exactly that.

If you are interested in this type of learning, please check out my LifeForce Energy Healing




MUST READ: Teen Writer’s Incredibly Sane & Conscious Article on Paris Terrorist Attacks

united with franceBy Meha | Reading and Raving

My heart bleeds for Paris. I can’t imagine the fear and terror the people must be facing right now. My heart goes out to the people of Beirut, the victims of the Beirut attacks. My thoughts are with the poor souls in Japan. I can’t begin to comprehend what effect that kind of disaster must have. I so wish that the refugees of nations like Syria had homes and welcomes wherever they went. There are tragedies the world over, and I am so incredibly sorry about each one of them.

What truly mystifies me however is the attitude certain people adopt towards these catastrophes. Some people seem unable to grasp that tragedies like these transcend issues of politics and machination. It is beyond my powers of comprehension to understand how upon hearing of the nightmares ravaging Paris, the immediate response of the likes of Ted Cruz and Ben Carson is “don’t let any more refugees into the USA.” Not only does this frankly racist and bigoted declaration demonstrate a lack of the most basic grasp of the Charlie Hebdo crisis- the perpetrators of that attack were largely born and bred in France itself, not Syria- it is a total evisceration of acknowledgement of the plight of the refugees, forced to flee their homes by the same terrorist organisations that the West so despises.

Other people have been spewing equally ignorant comments about how “muslims need to go” or how the “jihadist religion strikes again.” I’d like to point out that there are 1.7 million Muslims in Paris- more than in any other Metropolitan area- and 4.7 million Muslims in France. There are Muslims who are as much victims of this attack as any other Frenchman. The Muslim religion, I must emphatically point out, does not in any way promote terrorism, but that’s not the point.

The point is that Muslims should not have to defend their faith in the wake of every act of terror since 2001. The Islamophobia that plagues the internet right now is simply another example of responding to hate with hate. I take this opportunity to remind you that terrorism has no religion. It is the work of terrorists, extremists who act under the guise of a religion whose beliefs do not truly align with their own. I suggest undertaking some basic research which would reveal that the motivations of terrorist organizations such as al-Quaeda and ISIS are entrenched in power-grabbing and political conflict far more than the false “religious agendas” they cite.

Unfortunately, there is another end of the spectrum. There are people who choose to berate the media for the attention on Paris whilst ignoring the plights of Beirut, Syria, Israel, Palestine etc. It is true that the atrocities of the third world are too often overlooked by Western Media, but is it necessary to belittle the horrors in Paris to assert this?

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7 Tips To Deal With “Not So Easy” People & Build Up Your Good Will Bank

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By Zeenat Merchant Syal | Positive Provocations

“When you have done something good, you have started ripples which are spreading and you will be surprised how far they will go.”

How often do you do something, for someone, without expecting anything in return? How often do we think of creating good will. For most, the joy of giving comes primarily for the acclaim they get; For others, the pleasure is solely in knowing that they made life happier for someone else.One of the mysteries of life is, that our most valuable possessions are those things that can be shared without lessening them. Least valuable are those things that get diminished by being shared.

We must remember that, it is only in giving that we receive and in serving that we are remembered.

Service is the only rent we can pay for the space we occupy, while we are here in this earth. Silent recognition and remembrance of our services are the dividends we receive for our investments in our “Good Will Bank”.

Related Article: How Gratitude and Compassion Can Train Your Brain to Be Happy

Build Up Assets in Your “Good Will Bank”

If we make a habit of doing something nice each day and making someone happy in someway or the other, we will be surprised how quickly it can enrich and change our life. It does not have to be something big. The important thing is that we are doing it for the joy of doing, the pleasure of giving-not for something in My Africa Adventurereturn. We are thus building up assets in our “Good Will Bank”.

Let us not forget that one of the greatest blessings of life is, that we are called upon to live one day at a time. To be successful in our efforts towards, creating good will, we must harness our heart with love, understanding and kindness and direct out entire effort towards achieving this goal with a sincerity of purpose. There is no preparation, nothing predetermined for starting an account with the Good Will Bank. Besides these investments are safe because this Bank never fails.

Related Article: 3 Life Lessons of the Heart Chakra for More Love & Compassion

Are you Depositing in a “Grudge Bank”?

As opposed to this “good will bank” outlook on life, there are people who are constantly finding faults in others and always carry grudges and complaints in their hearts. Such people remain unhappy themselves and make others unhappy too. Their deposits go in a “Grudge Bank”, and can only bring them misery, ill-will and loneliness.

There is nothing worse for a our character than to harbor grievance. It eats in to you and the only person that suffers from a grievance is the one that is fool enough to feel it. Such people, end up growing old without having any real friends and well wishers.

When was the last time you did something without expecting anything in return? How rich is your Good Will Bank? 

7 Tips to Earn Good Will ~ while dealing with all the “not so easy” people in your life

Today I give you a list of ways you can Earn some Goodwill while dealing with all the “not so easy” people in your life.

Most of us know that dealing with people can sometimes be the hardest thing to do or wrap your head around. But an attempt in the right direction can make you Goodwill Rich.

Just step inside of yourself and Try these Tips and you’ll know :

  1. Acquire the art of kindliness and persuasion. Kindliness is an attribute of the strong.
  2. Put consideration to human dignity before anything else.
  3. Get rid of double standards in thoughts and behavior; one for others and different for yourself.

Related Article: Awesome 3-Min Video on Einstein’s Circle of Compassion

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Inspirational Photos of People Helping People in the Wake of Nepal Earthquake

Editor’s Note: This is a an inspirational photo essay. You can read our main story about the Nepal earthquake here, learn about what a 7.9 magnitude means here, and view a home video of the aftermath here.

NEPAL-EARTHQUAKE-aftermath-man-helped-by-two-others

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ~ Dalai Lama

Nepal-earthquake-aftermath-men-pouring-water-on-woman-featured

Wherever there is tragedy, there is always compassion and support, and often even heroism. We humans are hard-wired to be compassionate and empathetic.

nepal-earthquake-man-on-stretcher-cared-for-by-others

In the early hours after the devastating Nepal quake, the people there rose to the occasion to sooth and help each other.

Nepal-earthquake-aftermath-injured-girl-being-helped

Children and adults alike received loving assistance from both professionals and bystanders.

Nepal earthquake stretcher 1

Nepalese bonded together to carry their wounded countrymen in makeshift stretchers.

Nepal-Earthquake-aftermath-people-carrying-stretcher-running

Army and citizens worked side-by-side.

nepal emergency stretcher

People comforted each other as they faced the devastating loss of loved ones, sacred monuments and homes.

nepal-earthquake-aftermath-people-hugging

We at CLN send our love and prayers to the people of Nepal for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

NEPAL-EARTHQUAKE-embrace

Want to do your part from right where you are? Donate to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund on Global Giving.

Read our main story about the Nepal earthquake here, learn about what a 7.9 magnitude means here, and view a home video of the aftermath here.




How Virtual Reality Can Change the World by Making Us More Empathetic Towards the Plight of Our Fellow Humans

Source: TED

In this TED Talk, Chris Milk talks about how virtual reality can be used to connect us to the world’s most vulnerable people in a profound way: “we become more compassionate; we become more empathetic; we become more connected; and ultimately we become more human.”

Milk showed a video representation of a VR film titled “Clouds Over Sidra,” which follows a twelve year old in the Za’atari camp in Jordan – home to 84,000 Syrian refugees. It follows her to school, to her makeshift tent and more.

The film was commissioned as part of the UN’s advocacy at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It offers a unique perspective into the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“By leveraging breakthrough technologies, such as virtual reality, we can create solidarity with those who are normally excluded and overlooked, amplifying their voices and explaining their situations.” – Gabo Arora, film collaborator & Senior advisor at the UN.

It’s the first ever film shot in virtual reality for the UN, using the medium to generate greater empathy and new perspectives on people living in conditions of great vulnerability. The film’s powerful capacity to allow anyone on a global scale experience life within a refugee camp has the ability to inspire the message of hope amongst not only the millions displaced but also those motivated to act.

Milk concluded his talk with the following:

“Virtual reality it’s not a video game peripheral. It connects humans to other humans in a profound way that I’ve never seen before in any other form a media. And it can change people’s perception of each other. And that’s how I think virtual reality has the potential to actually change the world.

“So, it’s a machine. But through this machine we become more compassionate; we become more empathetic; we become more connected; and ultimately we become more human”




6 Tips To Help You Turn Your Life Around Quickly

Source: Infinite Waters (Diving Deep)

Ralph Smart of Infinite Waters shares some tips to help you quickly turn your life around when you think things aren’t going to get better.

1) Be kind and compassionate to people because you don’t know what they’re going through.

2) Next, ask yourself, “Who’s life am I living?” and make sure you are living YOUR life.

3) Realize that depression (deep rest) is normal. It’s just a pit stop. Change the tires and get moving again.

4) Take the pressure off. This is the real key. Let go of your expectations. Let go of who you think you should be, what you think you should be and what time you think you should get there by.

5) Don’t Be with people and share with them.

6) Accept yourself because you are enough.




30 Simple Effective Ways To Be A More Generous Partner

By  | yourtango.com

Often overlooked, being selflessly kind, is incredibly crucial in relationships. In fact, it’s one of the top three indicators of a happy marriage, along with sexual satisfaction and commitment.

According to a study by the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Projectcouples who reported a high amount of generosity in their relationship were five times more likely to say their marriage was “very happy.” I mean, who doesn’t want that?

And luckily, whether you’re married or in a relationship, being mindful can be effortless—it just takes small gestures.

So what are they?

Here are 30 super simple ways to be more generous:

1. Give your significant other a genuine compliment. Without expecting one in return.

2. Surprise your partner with their favorite meal. Even when you were really craving sushi.

3. Make him or her coffee in the morning. You may have to get up a little earlier, but making their morning will be worth it.

4. Wake your sweetheart up with a massage. Is there a better way to rise and shine?

5. Hold his or her hand. In public and on the couch at home.

6. Hand over the remote. As hard as it may seem at the time, remember it’s just television. It’s not worth the argument.

7Leave a handwritten note in their pocket. Even one that simply says “I love you” shows how important they are to you.

8. Pick up their favorite snack on the way home. It’s a small gesture, but one that shows you were thinking of significant other.

9. Tell him or her how sexy they are. Who doesn’t want to hear that? Keeping things flirty and reminding your partner you’re attracted to them goes a long way.

10. Let it go. The dishes, the clothes on the floor, the milk he forgot at the store. Forget the little things.

11. Get your partner to crack a smile after a long day. It’ll make them forget whatever they were stressed about.

12. Let him or her have the last bite.

13. Make reservations at their favorite restaurant on your next date night. 

14. Share. Whether it’s some of your Ben & Jerry’s or your blanket, remind them what’s yours is theirs.

15. Make a list of things you love about your partner. And share it with them. They’ll feel loved and appreciated.

16. Listen. Without interruptions. It shows you care and will help you communicate better. Even when you’re arguing, it’s important for them to know they can express themselves and they’ll be respected.

17. Cooperate. Think things through before making impulsive decisions or jumping to conclusions.

18. Cheer them up. Even when you’re having a bad day.

19. Say “Thank you”. For the little things and the bigger ones.

20. Do a small task for your partner. Whether it’s taking their clothes to the cleaner’s or washing their car, helping them out when they’re busy lets them know you’re a team.

21. Breakfast in bed. Who wouldn’t appreciate that? Can’t go wrong.

22. Make reservations at the vegan or BBQ restaurant they’ve been dying to try.

Read the rest of the Ways here.




Empathy – Our Power to Melt Separation

In recent years, the process of ‘restorative justice’ has been used more and more frequently as a way of dealing with crime. As a part of the process, offenders are brought face to face with the victims of their crimes, to hear how they have suffered as a result. The aim of this encounter is to bring healing, for both victim and offender. The victim transcends their rage with some understanding and forgiveness towards the offender, and the offender empathises with the victim, becoming aware of the real meaning of their crimes.

This process changes lives. Victims feel free of the weight of hatred and are able to move on; offenders have a wider sense of perspective, and are less likely to re-offend. Sometimes offenders don’t meet their specific victims, but just the victims of similar crimes. But this still leads to a new awareness, and new patterns of behaviour.

This highlights the amazing power of empathy.

To a large extent, all crime and all cruelty are the result of a lack of empathy. It’s a lack of empathy which makes someone capable of attacking or oppressing other people. A lack of empathy for another tribe or country makes warfare and conflict possible. A lack of empathy towards other ethnic groups, social classes or castes makes oppression and inequality possible.

What is Empathy?

Empathy is the ability to ‘feel with’ another person, to identity with them and sense what they’re experiencing. It’s sometimes seen as the ability to ‘read’ other people’s emotions, or the ability to imagine what they’re feeling, by ‘putting yourself in their shoes.’ In other words, empathy is seen as a cognitive ability, along the same lines as the ability to imagine future scenarios or to solve problems based on previous experience. But in my view, empathy is more than this. It’s the ability to make a psychic and emotional connection with another person, to actually enter into their mind-space. When we experience real empathy or compassion, our identity actually merges with another person’s. The separateness between you and the other person fades away. Your ‘self-boundary’ melts away, so that in a sense – or to an extent – you become them.

If you experience this state of connection with another person, then it’s impossible to treat them badly, except unintentionally. You recoil from their experience of suffering in the same way that you recoil from your own suffering. In fact, you feel a strong desire to relieve their suffering and aid their development.

Empathy has powerful psychological benefits for us too. Research shows that people who are more empathic feel more satisfied with their lives, and have better relationships. Some scientists used to belief that human beings are naturally selfish and individualistic, but more and more research is showing that empathy – not selfishness – is ‘hard-wired’ into us.

Animals often show empathy towards one another, even to members of different species, and this manifests itself in random acts of kindness. As Lynn McTaggart – author of The Bond – puts it, ‘Animals often partner up with members of unrelated species… There are even instances of an animal from one species adopting those of another.’ And within their own species, animals often share food to make sure that weaker members of their group are fed, even when they have to sacrifice their own food.

Are Women More Empathic?

Studies have suggested that women are generally more empathic than men. For example, studies have shown that women are significantly better at ‘reading’ people’s emotions purely from looking at their eyes. Other research has shown that women’s friendships tend to based on mutual help and problem sharing, whereas men usually develop friendships based on shared interests, such as sports and hobbies.

Men and women have also been shown to have different speaking styles. Women’s conversations usually last longer, because of their use of more ‘back channel support’, such as nodding, smiling and other gestures. If they disagree, they tend to express their opinion indirectly rather than making a statement, helping to avoid confrontation. On the other hand, men tend to more blunt and opinionated. They use more imperatives and tend to ‘talk over’ more. As the psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen puts it, ‘men spend more time using language to demonstrate their knowledge, skill and status.’

This makes sense: after all, the vast majority of ‘man’s inhumanity’ throughout history really has been man’s. Almost all wars have been orchestrated and fought by men, and most social oppression has been inflicted by high status men, seeking to protect and increase their power and wealth.

This also makes sense in terms of women’s role as mothers. Surely their nurturing role encourages empathy, because of the need for a strong emotional connection to children. At the very least, you could say that this emotional connection would have made it more difficult for them to lose the ability to empathise.

Empathy with Nature

Empathy can spread beyond other humans, to other living beings and to nature itself. Many of the world’s tribal peoples respect nature because they sense that it’s alive, and because they feel connected to it. They sense that all natural things – not just animals but plants, stones and the whole Earth itself – are not just objects but beings, who are part of the same web of creation as them. They empathise with plants, animals and the Earth, and so are reluctant to damage or destroy them.

As the great Native American philosopher Luther Standing Bear wrote, for the Lakota Indians, ‘Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them.’ As a result, wrote Luther Standing Bear, anticipating the modern animal rights movement, ‘The animals had rights – the right of a man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness – and in recognition of these rights the Lakota never enslaved an animal, and spared all life that was not needed for food and clothing.’

This attitude brought a sense of responsibility. Many indigenous peoples saw – and still see – themselves as the caretakers of nature, with a responsibility to preserve harmony. As Chief Edward Moody of the Nuxalk Nation says, ‘We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.’

To a large extent, our environmental destruction is a manifestation of our lack of empathy for nature, and the Earth. Our strongly developed ego means that we experience a sense of ‘otherness’ to nature, that we can’t sense its aliveness, and so don’t feel any qualms about exploiting and abusing it.

Healing Through Empathy

Just as the lack of empathy makes cruelty and oppression possible, the presence of empathy heals conflict. The wider empathy stretches – from victims to offenders, from one ethnic group to another, from nation to nation and religion to religion – the less brutal and more harmonious a place the world will become.

And perhaps most importantly, as Restorative Justice shows, to some degree empathy can be nurtured. When people are brought together in a neutral context, with an open, trusting attitude, empathy naturally establishes itself. Distinctions of ethnicity, religion and other superficial ‘identity badges’ begin to fade away, as does the sense of grievance and rage derived from past events. The same could be said of nature too: when human beings spend time in natural surroundings, relaxing into its stillness and space, a bond naturally establishes itself.

And it’s this bond which is surely our true nature. Empathy shows that the concept of separateness is an illusion. Empathy is simply the experience of our true connectedness, the exchange of feeling through the channel of shared consciousness which unites not just all human beings, but all living and non-living things.

Empathy Meditation

Think of someone you love, and be aware of the warm feeling that wells up inside you. Hold on to that warm feeling, and let it spread throughout your body, including to any parts of you body where you feel discomfort. Let it flow into your mind too, so that you feel empathy and compassion to your own thoughts, even the negative ones. Think of all the people around you, in the rooms or buildings close to you, and imagine that warm glow of compassion leaving your body and spreading to them. Think of all the people in your city, in the streets and buildings, and expand the warm feeling to them too. Thinking of all the people in this country, across the towns and countryside, and expand the feeling to them too. Then expand it further, to all the people on this planet, the millions of people in all the different countries. Feel the glow of compassion spreading from your being to the whole world, and into the space above you, rising up into the sky and the whole universe.

Cultivating Empathy

  • Use your imagination to picture how the world looks through other people’s eyes. Think about how other people’s predicaments make them feel, and how their experiences mould their perceptions.
  • When you speak to other people, give them your full attention. Don’t think about other things, look into the distance or look at your i-phone. Giving people your full attention shows that your respect them, and establishes a strong connection, which enables empathy to flow between you.
  • Before you condemn another person for behaving badly, think about the reasons for their behaviour. Is it because of bad experiences they’ve had in the past, or because of personality traits that they have no control over?
  • Be altruistic and kind to others. Make sure that your life contains an element of service, where you part the needs of others before your own e.g. caring for the sick or elderly, charity or voluntary work. Altruism and service help us to transcend separateness, and to connect with others, creating a follow of empathy.

Steve Taylor Ph.D is a senior lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He is the author of Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of Our Minds and The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era.




10 Lessons From Dalai Lama That Will Change Your Life

Robert Locke | Lifehack

It is not often that Oprah Winfrey is lost for words! Yet this was exactly what happened when she asked the Dalai Lama a very pertinent question, which is recounted in the book by Victor Chan entitled The Wisdom of Forgiveness.

She asked him, “Have you ever had to forgive yourself for something?” His Holiness replied, “My attitude towards mosquitoes is not very favorable, not very peaceful. Bed bugs also.”

Oprah was astounded that there was nothing else to be forgiven for in a life spanning 78 years.  Forgiveness and compassion for all living creatures are the two pillars of the Dalai Lama’s teachings. Let’s discover together how his teachings will change your life.

1. Be compassionate.

“The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.”

Dalai Lama

Research now shows that when you are compassionate, you experience a similar feeling of pleasure as when you have sex, good food or a relaxing holiday. Basically, showing compassion is good for your health. Take compassionate action and get the “giver’s high.” Benefits are reduced stress, more regular heart beat and improved immune system.

You can show compassion by understanding the person’s feelings and emotions. That means talking to them and trying to share what they are going through. It is more demanding than a mere act of kindness. If you are compassionate, you are going to get emotionally involved. You also ask what help is needed. You could apply this to:

  • A friend who is ill
  • Someone who has lost their job
  • A relative who has been bereaved
  • Someone going through a separation
  • A homeless person

2.  Be kind and help others.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

Dalai Lama

Being kind and generous costs little and the benefits you gain in happiness are considerable. That was the conclusion that Michael Norton and colleagues at the Harvard Business School came to, after doing some very interesting research. The volunteers who gave away some money were happier than those who had spent it on themselves.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Dalai Lama

3. Find happiness.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”

Dalai Lama

In the rat race, the one thing you really want at the end of the day is the capacity to find happiness.

When he was interviewed about this, the Dalai Lama said that we are bombarded with messages about material possessions. There are very few messages about forgiving, being compassionate, patient, tolerant, and kind. You really have to give those values top priority in order to be happy.

“Happiness is not ready made—it comes from our own actions.”

Dalai Lama

4. Discover inner peace.

The Dalai Lama advises everybody to spend a little time alone each day. Time to reflect and chase away the negative thoughts such as anger, resentment, jealousy, and tiredness. Try to replace those with positive emotions such as optimism, gratitude, love, and peace. He rightly says that the truly calm mind is the source of happiness and good health.

5. Do not harm others.

“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

Dalai Lama

If you start telling lies, gossiping and spreading nasty rumors, bullying, and taking advantage of others, then the negative fallout from them will come back to haunt you. These are just a few of the actions that can harm others.

6. Nurture your friendships.

Friendships should never be undervalued. They need tender loving care because they can generate trust and affection. Real friendships will never depend on money or political clout.  It is a sad fact that neglected or stillborn friendships lead to loneliness. This is one of the risk factors which probably contributes to depression in our society.

7. Don’t let technology rule your life.

Did you know that the Dalai Lama has over 8 million followers on Twitter?  While he admires the advances in social media in helping us to communicate, he nevertheless warns against its overuse for the following reasons:

  • It can control your life—look at people in restaurants using their cell phones.
  • Who is in charge? You or the technology?
  • It is a poor substitute for real friendship.
  • It cannot help you to be compassionate.
  • Real human interaction will suffer.

“We are the controller of the technology. If we become a slave of technology, then that’s not good.”

Dalai Lama

 8. Don’t argue or fight; just negotiate.

“Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”

Dalai Lama

Whether it is an international crisis or an argument with your partner or boss, the key to a peaceful, non-violent outcome is dialogue. In this way, you learn the art of compromise and negotiation. His Holiness recommends that you should never bring up the past but concentrate on what is causing the present problem.

9. Be gentle with the earth.

In order to survive, we have a duty to preserve this planet as best we can. Learning how to recycle, looking at ways to create alternative energy, and learning about the current issues are all ways that can help to delay the tipping point.

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