Maya’s Magic! RIP Maya Angelou

Maya’s Magic! RIP Maya Angelou

maya angelouYesterday, the world shook with sadness at the news of the parting of Maya Angelou.

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

Social media was filled with tributes to the amazing lady; even people who may not recognise her name instantly, would recognise her world-famous poetry, quotes and philosophies.

It was such a blessing that Maya passed away as peacefully as she lived.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

It would be such a difficult, and very long, task to include everything I found inspirational about Maya in a blog post, simply because where could I start? Her entire life was inspirational. She had such a tragic start, living with abuse, being raped by a family member at the age of 8. Both the book and the film I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings had a lasting impression on me. The tragedy continued for a long time after that, however the challenges Maya faced, she used to transform herself into an icon of forgiveness and love.

“You may not control all of the events that happen to you but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

She went on to live her life leading by example. In her several autobiographies, she was always completely honest about what had happened to her, how she coped and how she learned from her challenges, bringing comfort to so many who could relate and learn from her strength.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Every woman in the world will appreciate her beautiful poem Phenomenal Woman. What a pleasure to find this video of the wonderful lady herself reciting it.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Thank you Maya. I will never forget how you made me feel.

 

Maya’s Magic! RIP Maya Angelou

366 Days of Kindness

366 Days of Kindness

I went to see a show last night, and what a wonderful show it was!

Bernadette Russell, as a result of seeing the devastation of the London riots in August 2011, decided to do an act of kindness every single day for a full year, and as 2012 was a leap year, this was going to be 366 days.

Bernadette decided to keep a diary of what she did every day. As time went on, she had to come up with some very creative ways of being kind, things that were as personal as she could make them to the receiver, that made them feel very special, and also things that were fun enough to keep Russell entertained and motivated to keep going, as she admitted was needed at times.

I expected the show to be quite a straightforward, if uplifting, lists of kindnesses, but it turned out to be a comedy extravaganza, performed by Russell and her partner Gareth.

Some examples from her diary:

Day 36: Left a fiver on the bus seat, but I wrote on the fiver explaining, in the  hope it gets passed around and spreads the word! This fiver did come back to me, months later, via Twitter, from a man who was given it in change in Nottingham and kindly posted a picture for me.

kindness, 366 days of kindnessDay 52: Left jar of sweets saying eat me at house near me. Rang bell, ran away.

Day 161: met this lovely man outside Waterloo station collecting for veterans. I gave him the scripscraps from my purse. Him: “Thanks” Me: “You’re welcome. Can I take a photo of you?” Him: “I’ll probably break your camera” Me: “No you won’t, a handsome man like you” Him: “oo *blushes* er.. ok.. thanks”. It got me thinking, I don’t give enough compliments. They don’t cost anything etc. Gonna do more.

Day 186: I got the homeless man sitting outside tescos a sandwich and rolos. He said he sleeps out. Blimey. In this. I couldn’t do one night.

kindness, 366 days of kindness, pound fairyDay 239: Left a little message and a pound coin on a park bench in Deptford.

There were so many examples of little kindnesses, that cost very little money, or no money at all, but put huge smiles on people’s faces.

What I especially liked were the personal connections made with strangers, people we wouldn’t normally come into contact with. In fact, as Bernadette demonstrated, it can be easy to approach someone who looks rather friendly, but how about someone who looks grumpy, or someone who is dressed in a similar style to a ‘London rioter’: Russell paid for a stamp in a Post Office for a young lad wearing a hoodie pulled up around his head, and his eyes down, he was very grateful for the help.

Often the people who don’t ‘look’ happy or look like negative stereotypes formed by society, are the ones who need the kindness, acceptance and inclusion, shown even more.

“If someone doesn’t have a smile, give them one of yours”

Kindness doesn’t have to involve giving money; in fact, it often means more without giving money:

  • Helping a pensioner lifting shopping into a car
  • Making homemade cards or positive messages, and leaving them in random places for people to find
  • Sitting with a homeless person, hearing their story, it’s often a powerful one, rather than throwing a fiver at them and walking away.

It reminded me of the homeless lady I gave my gloves to, because it was the middle of winter and I noticed, after giving her a cup of hot chocolate, how she wrapped her bare hands around the cup to warm them.

I would like to add here that I myself received an act of kindness, as I was gifted my ticket to the show. I was going to go anyway, and hadn’t bought my ticket yet, when somebody who had already paid found they couldn’t go, so gave me their ticket. I am very thankful.

Russell’s message is that if everybody does a small act of kindness every day, we will be living in a very different world. This movement is sweeping across the planet in a very powerful way. If we can teach our children this, the entire world can be improved within a generation.

Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy, kindness, 366 days of kindnessI bought a copy of Russell’s children’s book ‘Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy’, at the show, and it was lovely to speak with her personally and she signed the book for my 7-year-old niece. I got home and read it, and decided I need to buy another – for MYSELF!

It has such beautiful suggestions for very simple things that children, and adults as it turns out, can do every day. This is not a little paperback of lists. It is a large book, bigger than A4 size, with fully illustrated, and funny, pages and exercises to do, written in language that will engage children of all ages. It is a book that children will want to return to time and time again.

Buy ‘Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy’ at Amazon.co.uk

Buy ‘Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy’ at Amazon.com

The 366 Days of Kindness tour has only a couple more shows running:

Brighton, England – 19th & 20th May 2014

Cardiff, Wales – 28th May 2014

Details HERE – I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Please join the Kindness Revolution yourself, and help change the world, one kindness at a time.

www.366daysofkindness.com

Twitter: @betterussell #366daysofkindness

Facebook: #366 Days of Kindness

366 Days of Kindness

No such thing as a small act of kindness

No such thing as a small act of kindness

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Scott Adams, Creator Of Dilbert Comic Strip

kindness, plato, be kind, patience, love

“In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.”
Brian Tracy, Motivational Author

 

“The best portion of a good man’s life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
William Wordsworth, Poet

No such thing as a small act of kindness

Just Love

Just Love

 

Just Love

 

Just Love

3 Steps for Having Money Conversations With Your Partner

3 Steps for Having Money Conversations With Your Partner

Money Conversations With Your Partner, money talksIt starts a week from today!

Join us for our 9-day The Art of Love Relationship Series, starting next Tuesday, April 1st!

Register for this FREE event HERE

Gina DeVee, one of the 55 love and relationship experts featured in The Art of Love Relationship Series, will be speaking on a panel about “Overcoming Money Madness: The Secrets To Navigating Rough Financial Waters With Ease.” Gina recommends following these 3 steps when having conversations about money with your partner:

“Step one is related to how we can sometimes be polarized in our thinking in society, where something needs to be either one or the other—and I’m a big fan of taking a stand for the ‘and.’ So for example, if one member of the couple wants to save and the other wants to take a trip to Italy, really exploring first and foremost how might both be possible? How can you create or manifest the funds to do what both people desire?

My second step is to be really curious in love. Relationships are teachers. So if your partner says, ‘I really think that we should buy this house,’ or ‘I really think that we should pad our nest egg,’ rather than react because you have the opposite viewpoint, really be curious about your partner, and discover why that is important to him or her, and see what else you can learn and fall more deeply in love with that person for, and how it can expand your own viewpoint.

And then the third step that really requires personal responsibility is to know thyself. Most of us are just operating out of money rules that were passed down to us versus really investigating for ourselves what is true for us. So if one person thinks, ‘Oh, I must buy a house,’ well, is that true for you and is that really part of your own value system, or did your parents tell you you were throwing money away if you were renting? So really knowing what your own truth is, is critical.” —Gina DeVee

Join Gina and all 55 of the world’s most respected love and relationship experts during our 3rd annual FREE 9-day The Art of Love Relationship Series. Starting on Tuesday, April 1st, you will learn the latest insights about how to have a more connected, satisfying relationship—and deeper love—than you ever thought possible.

Register for the free event here, and watch 3 pre-event bonus interviews with Deepak Chopra, Dr Jenn Berman and Michael Bernard Beckwith

3 Steps for Having Money Conversations With Your Partner

Getting What You’ve Been Craving In The Bedroom

Getting What You’ve Been Craving In The Bedroom: How To Make Your Sex Life More Intimate Than It’s Ever Been

Dr. Jenn Berman

Getting What You’ve Been Craving In The Bedroom: How To Make Your Sex Life More Intimate Than It’s Ever BeenDr. Jenn Berman is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles. She is the host and lead therapist on VH1′s Couple’s Therapy where she does intensive therapy with celebrity couples. She has appeared as a psychological expert on hundreds of television shows including The Oprah Winfrey ShowThe Today ShowThe Early Show, and HLN.

Watch Dr Jenn Berman and Arielle Ford Now – at absolutely no charge

Open communication about sex is what makes sex better. But navigating those conversations can be really tricky business. Discover how to comfortably and effectively communicate with your partner about sex — and then reap the rewards!

In the main event webinar you’ll also learn:

  • The #1 reason a partner withholds sex – and what to do if that’s happening to you
  • Where, when and how to bring up the subject of sex
  • How to ask for what you want – and get it!
  • Important do’s and don’ts for flirting with your partner
  • How to break the news that you’ve been faking – and end up (actually) satisfied!
  • The #1 way to give suggestions so your partner wants to take them
  • Top 4 reasons – especially women – lose their libido (and how to get it back)
  • Why surrendering could be the sexiest thing you do

Watch the short video with Dr Jenn and Arielle here!

This video is just a small preview of a truly remarkable, free online event Arielle is hosting for the third consecutive year: The Art of Love Relationship Series set to kick off on April 1st, 2014. Starting with the LIVE kick-off on April 1st, and for 9 more powerful days, you’ll hear from over 50 of the world’s most respected love and relationship experts . . .Art of Love Relationship Series 2014

They’ll be sharing the latest insights about how to have a more connected, satisfying relationship—and deeper love—than you ever thought possible.

(Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss it!)

Faculty for the series includes Dr. John Gray, Harville Hendrix, Alison Armstrong, Dr. Gay Hendricks, Dr. Katie Hendricks, Neale Donald Walsch, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Claire Zammit, Lisa Nichols, Arielle Ford, and many others.

Dr Jenn Berman will also be participating in Seminar 4: Becoming Partners In Parenting: How to Parent As A Team Even When You Disagree alongside Jacqueline Green and Dr. Laura Markham.

Watch the Video & Register for the Event at No Charge

P.S. Even if you have already registered for the event, enter your details again to watch the video.

Getting What You’ve Been Craving In The Bedroom: How To Make Your Sex Life More Intimate Than It’s Ever Been

The Art of Love – Relationship Series 2014

The Art of Love – Relationship Series 2014

Art of Love Relationship Series 2014I have a brand new, never-before-seen video to share with you!
It features world-renowned mind-body physician and New York Times #1 bestselling author Deepak Chopra and bestselling love and relationship author Arielle Ford.

In this short video, Deepak shares powerful, fast-working tips that will not only help you create a whole new level of connection and intimacy with your partner than you ever imagined possible . . .

They will also help you to identify and break unconscious habits that stand in the way of true intimacy. And if you’re not in a relationship right now but are hoping to be someday soon, these insights will help you experience the deeper levels of intimacy you’ve always wished were possible when that happens.

Watch Deepak Chopra and Arielle Ford Now – at absolutely no charge

Most of us want to feel truly seen, heard and understood by our partner, and to experience the kind of close connection we know we deserve. But in our modern world, we’re so busy and distracted that often there just doesn’t seem to be enough quality time available to spend with our partners to begin with . . . In this short video:

“The 4 Simple Steps To Deeper Connection:  How to Overcome the Challenges of a Modern  Relationship and Find the Intimacy You Crave”

Deepak shares techniques you can use right away to overcome those challenges by taking better advantage of the time you do have together to create more closeness and intimacy in your relationship!

Watch the short video with Deepak and Arielle here!

Deepak and Arielle dive right in, sharing the techniques you can use to build more connection in your relationship! In this video, you’ll discover . . .

  • 3 daily habits that will increase intimacy

  • A simple mindset shift that will create the conditions that cultivate love instead of smothering it or pushing it away

  • The 4-step process that will help you give up your need to control and instead allow you to get closer

  • How to find and maintain a state of “allowing” so that love flows to and from you freely

Access the Deepak Chopra and Arielle Ford video Now

This video is just a small preview of a truly remarkable, free online event Arielle is hosting for the third consecutive year: The Art of Love Relationship Series set to kick off on April 1st, 2014. Starting with the LIVE kick-off on April 1st, and for 9 more powerful days, you’ll hear from over 50 of the world’s most respected love and relationship experts . . . Art of Love Relationship Series 2014

They’ll be sharing the latest insights about how to have a more connected, satisfying relationship—and deeper love—than you ever thought possible. (Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss it!)

Faculty for the series includes Dr. John Gray, Harville Hendrix, Alison Armstrong, Dr. Gay Hendricks, Dr. Katie Hendricks, Neale Donald Walsch, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Claire Zammit, Lisa Nichols, Arielle Ford, and many others.

Watch the Video & Register for the Event at No Charge

Here are just a few of the enthusiastic responses Arielle has received from people who have attended The Art of Love Relationship Series in the past:

“I’ve experienced a shift of consciousness. Instead of empty and lonely and longing for love, I feel full, beautiful, and ‘in love’ with a sense of expectancy and readiness for this love relationship about to manifest!” —Nia

“This program has taught me so much about myself and my perception of love. I have been awakened and forever changed by my new knowledge. All the questions I’ve had have all been closed. This is the big piece of the puzzle that has been missing for me my entire life!” —Heather

“I was floundering in a sea of failed relationships, but now I look to the future with hopeful expectation!” —Al

“I now feel a sense of healing and opening of my heart so I can love and be loved. I highly recommend The Art of Love for anyone searching for a soulful connection and anyone who wants to grow the existing love connection.” —Karen

Join me, and together we’ll take in everything this brand new series has to offer!

P.S. Remember, you’ll get instant access to the video with bestselling authors Deepak Chopra and Arielle Ford sharing the latest research and advice on how to create a more intimate and connected relationship than you ever thought possible!

Watch the video now at no charge

The Art of Love

Aviel’s gift of a kidney

Aviel’s gift of a kidney

aviel_elsa, donate a kidneyA few days ago I wrote about Aviel and his courageous decision to leave his life in the UK to go to Argentina to donate a kidney to his father.

I had the opportunity to chat with Aviel at length about his decision, a decision that, for many, could have been much easier not to make.

Aviel’s childhood, and much of his adult life, has not been an easy path. Many who experience such insecurity tend to become bitter that they have not had the best start, or blame their parents. However, Aviel has the spirit to see that his challenges, and the people in his life, have been some of his greatest teachers, and his clearest mirrors.

Aviel’s life began in Israel, born to Argentinian parents. His dad, Horacio, and his mum, Ilana, although both from Argentina, had met and married whilst living in Israel. They had a stormy relationship, and Aviel remembers when he was 6 years old, they were considering divorcing, but they didn’t quite get that far.

Aviel described his father as very strict, who would often use a belt to mete out discipline. Whilst frowned upon these days, it was not considered so harshly abusive around 30 years ago. What hurt Aviel more than the discipline was his father’s inability to demonstrate a loving parental bond, although he says he accepted his father must love him as he is his father. Aviel worked hard to seek his father’s approval, but never felt like he could quite achieve it.

At 8 years old, the family moved to Argentina to live. However, during the years 1980-1984, there was big political strife in Argentina; it was during the Falklands war, and when Aviel was 12 years of age, Ilana decided to return to Israel as she considered it more peaceful there. Horacio, however, decided to stay in Argentina, so they did begin their divorce at that point. Aviel recalls they received two letters from their father, but then nothing.

When Aviel was 15, Ilana remarried and they moved to a kibbutz. which is a mostly self-sufficient community where the main occupation is agriculture. This obviously shaped Aviel’s future as he met his future wife on another kibbutz, and when he later moved to England he spent much of his future life living and working in voluntary agricultural communities, training young people with disabilities.

At 19 years old, Aviel met his wife. It was a very compelling attraction, which progressed very quickly, within a couple of weeks, to them living together. Almost immediately, his wife showed unpredictably violent behaviour to him, and although Aviel was initially shocked, he somehow quickly accepted that, in his experience, this was how some people showed their love, as this was what he had experienced from his father, and so not put off by this, he married her. He had an Akashic Records reading done, and was told that he had known her 3 times in past lives, and this seemed to be why the attraction was so strong.

At the age of 22, by which time Aviel and his wife had moved to England, Aviel received word from his mother that his father was back in Israel. Aviel flew to Israel to meet Horacio twice, the second time taking his wife, son and daughter with him. Aviel described their meetings as quite ‘official’, they were interested in each other’s lives but he felt their interaction lacked familial emotion.

Over the following years, Aviel and his father established some email contact, although brief and very infrequent. Aviel remembers if he contacted his father, Horacio would respond, but was never the one to initiate contact. During these years, Horacio had returned to Argentina.

At the age of 28, after the worst instance of violence from his wife to date, Aviel knew he had to leave his marriage. He took up a voluntary position at an agricultural community in Yorkshire, where he made the organisation aware of why he had come to them, and they were very supportive to him and helped him establish safe contact with his children, the eldest of which, his son, was only 6 years old, and his two daughters. The attraction between Aviel and his wife was still strong, however, and Aviel described the break-up as ” the hardest and most freeing thing (he) ever did”. Looking back, he believes she represented the relationship he had had with his father.

aviel_elsa2Over the last 3 years, Aviel’s impulse to see his father again became stronger, he had not seen him for over 14 years. By this time, Aviel’s son, who was now 16, had come to live with Aviel at the community project. Shortly after, Aviel received an email from his father saying he was ill, but Horacio was quite evasive and played down the severity of his illness. On investigation from other relatives, Aviel discovered that Horacio was on dialysis and more ill than he would admit.

Aviel’s life became turbulent again; changes at work led to him leaving the community project, and he was now readjusting to being a full-time father again. Luckily he found another project to go to where his son’s needs were met as well as his own. But he was desperate to see his father. His concerns became greater as his dad was still not being open about his illness. Horacio still never made the first move to contact Aviel, only responded briefly and quite distantly.

Aviel heard from relatives that Horacio’s only hope now was to receive a kidney transplant. Aviel did not hesitate to email Horacio to tell him that if it was possible, Aviel wanted to donate a kidney. Horacio refused. He did not want Aviel to risk his life for him. One might wonder if Horacio felt he didn’t deserve for his son to make such a sacrifice for him, after his not being around or close to his son for all those years. Such a thought did not cross Aviel’s mind; he just knew it was something he wanted to do, but got the impression his father didn’t care if he lived or died. Sometimes, as humans, we feel it is easier to refuse a gift than to accept that we would in fact be very grateful for it, especially if we feel we may not be deserving of it.

Aviel made arrangements to visit his father, who had now married, in Argentina in mid-2013. Aviel believed this may be his last chance to see his father. Horacio lives in Neuquen, which means flying to Buenos Aires first, before flying on to Neuquen.

Two days before Aviel left for Argentina, his telephone rang and he recognised the caller ID as being from Argentina. His eyes began to water as he described how he just stared at the screen for a few moments before answering. I sat nervously listening to Aviel, as I thought he was going to relate some bad news, but it was quite the opposite. Aviel was overcome with emotion as he joyfully told me it was his father calling him. For the first time in his life, Aviel’s father had initiated personal contact with Aviel. This was a huge breakthrough for them both, and Aviel now knew that his unfailing love for his father was being felt by Horacio and reciprocated.

Horacio was calling Aviel to find out when he was due to arrive in Buenos Aires as Horacio wanted to meet him there. This concerned Aviel as his father was seriously ill now, and doing the journey from Neuquen to Buenos Aires would involve Horacio either missing a dialysis treatment or arranging to have dialysis in Buenos Aires. Horacio would not be deterred though, and Aviel was absolutely overflowing with joy as he described the emotion of their meeting in Buenos Aires airport. They met with a HUG, and this was a mutual hug. Horacio and Aviel moved towards each other and met halfway at the airport. This completely dispelled Aviel’s earlier one and only fear of the trauma they may both feel if they were unable to emotionally open up to one another, the painful feeling he had experienced at earlier meetings.

During Aviel’s visit, he met Maritte, Horacio’s new wife. Aviel felt his father’s attitude to life improving, and again made the offer of his kidney. Horacio became more receptive to considering the offer, and in time said he would really be open to it if it were possible. Aviel’s immediate response was “Great. He wants a kidney. How can we make this happen?”.

Aviel stayed with Horacio and Maritte for around six weeks. In that time they investigated what was needed in order for Aviel to donate his kidney. They found that Aviel satisfied 2 out of the 3 criteria necessary for the donation to occur: he was the same blood group, and he was a genetic match. Two other people had also been investigated as potential donors: Maritte, who was the same blood group, but wasn’t a gene match; and Horacio’s sister, who was a gene match, but the wrong blood group.

However, this wasn’t quite enough to satisfy the third criteria, that the donor had to be a blood relative, a requirement in Argentina. Although biologically, they knew Aviel was his blood relative, but because Aviel was born in Israel he was not registered in Argentina as a relative of Horacio. So the next step was to go to the Israeli embassy and obtain a copy of Aviel’s birth certificate. By the time Aviel had to leave Argentina in October, this hadn’t arrived yet, but he has since had communication that it is now at the Embassy waiting for him to collect.

When the time came for Aviel to leave Argentina, again his love for his father was palpable as he described their emotional farewell at Neuquen airport. Aviel’s plane was delayed by 3 hours, and they both saw this as a blessing and filled the time with learning more about each other and cementing their bond. Then ill as his father was, Horacio stood and waved to Aviel the entire time Aviel left the terminal building until he boarded the plane.

Although seeing his father on dialysis was painful, Aviel is very philosophical about life, and why, even though painful, some things happen to us. Aviel sees his father’s illness as a blessing in some ways. Perhaps the suffering has forced Horacio to accept the situation, and surrender to accepting the love of his family and the people around him. And perhaps the reason why Aviel was his only possible donor was for the purpose of bringing them together.

Sometimes it is easy to criticise our parents for not being how we see some other parents with their children, but we need to remember that just as we are a product of our parents and upbringing, so are they a product of their own parents and upbringing. We often don’t know what kind of upbringing our parents had, but when we become older and wiser, we can often gauge this from how our parents are.

Aviel also got to know and love Maritte during his visit and knows his father is in good hands. She will ensure he is kept strong enough until the transplant can happen.

During the several hours I enjoyed chatting with Aviel, I did not sense one single ounce of fear or trepidation about the transplant, only excitement that he could do this for his father.

avielpetsAviel was upset about leaving his 19-year-old son and his animals, although he knows his son has a secure apprenticeship with the community project they both live at, which is growing organic and biodynamic crops. His son will move into Aviel’s lovely, comfortable static caravan (he currently has his own trailer caravan next door), and he will take care of Aviel’s beautiful cat Howee, a huge Maine Coon, and his dog Elsa, an even huger Leonberger. The photograph on the right here may show them as average size animals but, believe me, they are both huge! As we sat chatting, Elsa was laid on the sofa between us, sucking on a sweater of Aviel’s. Aviel said she has been doing that a lot lately, he says she knows there is something going on, as dogs do.

Aviel knows his position at the project, and the attached accommodation, is not guaranteed to still be available when he returns to England, but he showed little concern for that. That concern pales into insignificance and is unimportant to him when he considers his higher purpose.

avielAlthough it was evening time in the middle of winter, I could just about make out Aviel’s outdoor surroundings in the dark. His caravan is surrounded by forestry and rivers, and as well as his agricultural work, he looks after the pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys and chickens that live in the areas around his caravan. As I left, the moon was full and huge, and I had a sense of his quiet life, surrounded by nature, that must be a big influence on his knowing that nature and all life works perfectly. There is meaning and purpose to everything, and Aviel has found his purpose, to love unconditionally and save his father’s life. I believe there will be more than one life saved by Aviel’s amazing gift of love.

Aviel’s gift of a kidney

Let animals show us the way to be more human

Do you remember watching cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Roadrunner etc. when you were younger? They showed us the rivalry between the different species.

I remember my own cat often being chased by dogs when I was a little girl. In fact, he was caught by one and had to have a steel pin put in his leg to hold it together after being smashed up in one such attack.

Well, it seems that with our new world consciousness developing, our animals are being affected for the better too. I love reading stories such as the following one about amazing animal companionships.

dogcatstoryMy mother’s friend adopted this lovely dog after he was abandoned by his previous family. His name is Shaun.
Shaun had always been very good at eating all his food. Every last bit that was, he ate it.
One day he started leaving a little bit behind. He wouldn’t eat everything, no matter what. He always left a little behind. Every morning when my mother’s friend… checked Shaun’s bowl, the food was gone. That was very strange, because Shaun always spent the night by her side.
One night she decided to investigate the food situation. She waited quietly by the food bowl and then, in the middle of the night, a cat came through the window and ate the remaining food. She noticed the cat was actually pregnant. She realised that Shaun had been saving his food for the mummy cat. A week or so later the cat came into her house and gave birth to 6 little kittens. Shaun took care of them as if they were his own babies. My mother’s friend adopted the cat too (her name is Meow) and they took care of the kittens until they all found a loving home.
Nowadays Meow and Shaun live happily together as a family and they each have their own bowls of food. ♥♥♥

This following video shows a story I saw recently on a UK TV programme about animal odd couples. Pippin the deer is now fully-grown, has a fawn of her own and lives in the wild, but still returns regularly to hang out with Kate.

And for some more examples of unlikely but cute animal couples:

As the speaker in the video says,

“Co-operating works. Being social works.”

Top Ten Reasons to Activate the LAW of GRATITUDE

gratitudeWhat would your day be like if you started and ended it by simply noticing all that you have in your life? If you count all your assets, you always show a profit. Gratitude is a natural high.

When you live in tandem with your spirit, appreciating all of life and what you have, you discover more joy and kindness in the world. Miracles happen everywhere all the time, but only those with an “Attitude of Gratitude” seem to notice them. This circle of peace grows and you return to your natural state of joy, love and peace, knowing you are whole and complete just as you are.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Cicero

The following is a list of the top ten reasons to adopt the Law of Gratitude in your life:

1. Being in Gratitude Only Has Positive Side Effects.

Positive emotions make you feel good and offer a sense of comfort. When we take a few moments to express our appreciation inwardly or to another, immediately we begin to feel happier, more relaxed, more optimistic.

2. Feelings of Gratitude Provide Short-Cuts to Miracles.

Negative thoughts and feelings create an interruption in the natural flow of life. When you are feeling positive and grateful you accelerate what it is that you desire. Consciously appreciating what you already have is the short-cut to manifestation and the secret to personal fulfillment.

3. Thoughts of Gratitude Flood Your Body with Immune-Boosting Endorphins.

Studies also provide evidence that a positive, appreciative attitude enhances the body’s healing system and general health. When you hold feelings of thankfulness for at least 15 to 20 seconds, beneficial physiological changes take place in your body. Levels of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine decrease, producing a cascade of beneficial metabolic changes. Coronary arteries relax, thus increasing the blood supply to your heart. And your breathing becomes deeper, raising the oxygen level of your tissues.

4. Feeling Grateful Puts you Back into the ‘Flow of Life’ at the Speed of Thought.

Thoughts create things. If you are feeling and thinking positive thoughts, you create positive situations. You draw positive people to you. Like attracts like.

5. Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life.

Feelings of gratitude turn what you have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast or a house into a home. Gratitude makes sense of your past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

6. Feelings of Gratitude Give You a ‘Natural High’.

Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system. Studies indicate that daily gratitude exercises result in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. Grateful people experience less depression and stress, are more likely to help others, exercise regularly and tend to make more progress toward personal goals. People who feel grateful are also more likely to feel loved.

7. Gratitude Provides an Immediate Sense of Well-Being.

Gratitude, it turns out, can help us better manage stress. Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress.

8. Feeling Grateful is the Main Cause of ‘Sustained Joy’.

Focusing on the gifts one has been given is an antidote to envy, resentment, regret and other negative states that undermine long-term happiness. Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.

9. The More You Give — The More You Receive.

You always get more of whatever you appreciate. When you express love, gratitude and sincere appreciation, you naturally expand. Consciously appreciating what you already have is the short-cut to manifestation and the secret to personal fulfillment. The more you assist others, the more you will assist yourself.

10. When You Are Genuinely Thankful Anger and Fear Disappear.

One of the incredible truths about gratitude is that it is impossible to feel both the positive emotion of thankfulness and a negative emotion such as anger or fear at the same time.

gratitude_journalTo Practice This Thought:
• Be lavish in your gratefulness.
• Make gratitude a daily ritual. Keep a gratitude journal.
• Be thankful for whatever forces you to deal with your own strong emotions.
• Set aside an hour or two to do nothing much except be grateful.

Focus on what is working in your life and what IS right in the world. It doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be. Before long you will notice that more things will fall into place with little or no effort on your part. Gratitude is a wonderful tool to use to feel good fast.

An attitude of gratitude brings you peace and overflows to those around you. Gratitude is a natural high. When you live in tandem with your spirit, appreciating all of life and what you have, you discover more joy and kindness in the world. Miracles happen everywhere all the time, but only those with an “Attitude of Gratitude” seem to notice them.