A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Integrity: The Key to Getting What You Want

By Marcia Wieder

The most critical attribute for realizing our dreams is integrity. In a conversation about dreams, integrity is essential and can be summarized this way: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Honor your word and agreements and you will be living with integrity, where dreams really do come true.

Simple, yes, but not always easy. Vastly overscheduled, often the person it's most difficult to keep our commitments with, is yourself. As you practice upholding your values, you are given opportunities to show up or to sell out. When you are challenged, do you lose sight of what matters to you? Do you have an internal pulse, a set of conscious principles that you live your life by?

If you are committed to a life of joy and abundance, filled with love, generosity and contribution, integrity is a must. Integrity creates trust and accountability. Surrounded by crowds, you can feel lonely if you re not true to yourself. Without integrity, you can have great wealth and still feel worthless. And lacking integrity, you won't trust yourself or have faith in your dreams.

When we leave things unresolved or incomplete, we are out of integrity. You can recognize something as incomplete by how you feel about it. Is the matter settled? Do you worry about it? How is it impacting other areas of your life? When you are complete with something you don't even think about it. There is no agitation or energy wasted.

It's up to you to decide if something is incomplete or not, but it's difficult to focus on future dreams when you are consumed by your past. Incompletions can be notorious and contagious as one leads to another. Buried under burdensome annoyances we can feel lost, afraid or confused. Take Jake for instance. He didn't pay his taxes for two years. The IRS put a lien on his assets, so he was labelled a bad credit risk. He couldn't buy a house or rent an apartment. Eventually he lost his credit cards. He was caught in a downward spiral that also undermined his confidence and self esteem.

Linda let her parking tickets pile high and never got around to paying them. She became afraid to drive her car because she might get towed. Concerned about driving to work, she eventually lost her job. A small detail led to a bigger concern, which led to an even worse problem.

Carol had a room in her home that she called the "black hole," filled with incomplete items. Since she and her husband were trying to sell their house, she knew it was time to tackle that project. She came up with a list of over one hundred "items to do." They included returning things she had borrowed, writing letters, even mailing back an inexpensive bracelet she had stolen from her local drug store when she was a teenager. It took some time and effort, but with each item she handled, Carol felt lighter and freer. Within a few weeks of completing her list, they easily sold their house. Completion creates freedom.

First Steps
This powerful process of exploring what's been left unsaid, undone or incomplete in your life is one of the most awesome things you can do to free yourself and have more access to your dreams. If undertaken to the best of your ability, this may be the most profound thing you have ever done.

Look at all these important areas and use this formula as a guide to scrutinize your life. The areas to explore (but are not limited to) include your body, mind, home, work, finance, and people (living and dead).

  1. Write down what you feel incomplete about with anyone or anything.
  2. List what you need to do to complete it.
  3. Complete as many items as possible.
How do you complete something? You may need to write a letter or make a phone call. You may need to forgive someone or just declare "it's over." On some items, you might need to create a project plan or you might not even know yet. Just do your best to get rid of anything that is weighing you down.

Removing clutter will give you greater clarity and energy for the things that are important to you. As you complete what you can, feelings of pride, accomplishment, and peace of mind, can motivate you to take on even the tough things. Free to move forward, now you can tap into the flow of life. The more your life is in order, the faster and easier your ability to manifest dreams will become. It's just that simple.

Marcia Wieder is a best-selling author and speaker who is known as America's Dream Coach®. She's known for giving inspiring and moving talks to AT&T, The Gap and American Express. She appeared several times on Oprah and The Today Show. She's also a syndicated columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle. For more information, to receive a free audio e-book, "Jump Start Your Dream", to join her community of Dreamers, or to experience a powerful weekend designed to help you exceed your expectations and achieve your dreams - please visit the DreamCoach site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Pot of Panatunies

(c) Tony Masiello 2008

As many times before, my gardening rituals brought about some thoughts. The other day I learned a lesson; but not one of which I didn't know about already. The lesson just became clearer because of my hands-on experience. We have a large pot of panatunies growing in our back yard. You might ask, What are panatunies?? When our daughter was about 3 years old she proclaimed the name of our petunias by combining the name pansies and petunias. We have used that name ever since to describe our petunias.

Just like roses, if you want more blooms to occur on your petunias, you need to snap off the dried up buds. I don?t mind at all deadheading petunias or roses; in fact it?s rather relaxing. But here I was working with this big pot of petunias, which are a beautiful deep purple. As I was standing on one side of the pot I picked all the dead ones I could see, and thought I was through. However as I began to move around the pot I began to see more and more of them.

For a while I thought I would never finish. I began to lift up the stems to discover more underneath.
The result I am always trying to bring about is to help maintain a nice looking pot of panatunies. This work always rewards me with new blooms. A few days of laziness had got me to this place and I was paying the price. The thought that came to me is that if we procrastinate, we pay a price or even worse. We may have to do something over and over to keep the beauty of what we want to accomplish.

In other words, change your perception, your view. Heck, stand at a different spot if you have to. There are times (sometimes many) that you feel you?re going around in circles picking off old dried blooms, but what you are really doing is clearing up old negative garbage and being persistent trying out new ideas.

If you want your life to look and feel great there are times that you may have to do something over and over while you?re looking under your old beliefs and picking them off to bring forth new and vibrant ones.

Ideas with right action equal a great life, but if you don?t feel you?re there yet then go back to the pot of panatunies and start over again. You will then find your life enriched with new vibrant blooms.


Tony Masiello is an Author and Intuitive Consultant. He is the author of the e-book, Whispers from the Universe, which is a collection of writings that will help you, motivate you, inspire you and guide you along the inner path of your life. http://www.whispersbook.com

Offering 20 personal development and spiritual growth programs at Higher Awareness

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How to Use Willpower for Perfect Health

By Wallace D. Wattles
Excerpt from "The Science of Being Well"

In the practice of the Science of Being Well, the will is not used to compel yourself to go when you are not really able to go or to do things when you are not physically strong enough to do them. You do not direct your will upon your physical body or try to compel the proper performance of internal function by will power.

You direct the will upon the mind, and use it in determining what you shall believe, what you shall think, and to what you shall give your attention. The will should never be used upon any person or thing external to you, and it should never be used upon your own body. The sole legitimate use of the will is in determining to what you shall give your attention and what you shall think about the things to which your attention is given.ll belief begins in the will to believe.

You cannot always and instantly believe what you will to believe; but you can always will to believe what you want to believe. You want to believe truth about health, and you can will to do so. The statements you have been reading in this book are the truth about health, and you can will to believe them.

This must be your first step toward getting well. These are the statements you must will to believe: That there is a Thinking Substance from which all things are made, and that a human being receives the Principle of Health, which is his life, from this Substance.

That a human being himself is Thinking Substance - a mind-body permeating a physical body, and that as a person's thoughts are, so will the functioning of his physical body be.

That if a person will think only thoughts of perfect health, he must and will cause the internal and involuntary functioning of his body to be the functioning of health, provided that his external and voluntary functioning and attitude are in accordance with his thoughts.

When you will to believe these statements, you must also begin to act upon them. You cannot long retain a belief unless you act upon it, you cannot increase a belief until it becomes faith unless you act upon it, and you certainly cannot expect to reap benefits in any way from a belief so long as you act as if the opposite were true.

You cannot long have faith in health if you continue to act like a sick person. If you continue to act like a sick person, you cannot help continuing to think of yourself as a sick person. And if you continue to think of yourself as a sick person, you will continue to be a sick person.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Do Not Fear Being Alone

By Meilena Hauslendale

One reason why so many people in this world continue to stay in unhealthy relationships is because they are afraid of being alone. They would rather be with someone that mistreated them or caused them discomfort than to be by themselves. So instead of perhaps waiting for the right person to come along, they grab hold of the person that is available right now. They might overlook some defect of character to simply fulfill their need for company. This can create a monotonous life pattern for the individual involved.

We are given periods of being alone for a reason. It is part of a healing process for some and for others it is a part of waking up to look at truth and reality. When someone avoids this period they never complete the process and therefore carry with them unnecessary baggage or resentments with them into the next relationship they are presented with.

A lot of times we discover that being alone can really just be a state of mind. Being alone can actually have benefits to us especially after a period of difficulty. It allows the time that we need to reflect on what just occurred in our lives. We can kind of stand back and look at ourselves from an outsider’s perspective. We can look at our roles in relationships. Maybe we performed in a manner that was not beneficial to us. Maybe we took on more responsibility than what was necessary.

Taking these moments to reflect can allow us to re-evaluate our wants and needs
in a partner and most important in ourselves. We can look beyond our circumstances and gain a fresh perspective on where we would like to be in our future. We can think about what and who we would want to become. We can look at where we want to go. We can re-evaluate what priorities are the most important to us and look at what priorities have changed.

We can take the time to develop our character and regain any strength that may have been challenged along the way. Know that our periods of being alone never do go to waste. They merely prepare us for whatever greatness lies beyond our own conceptions and they prepare us for moments worth the wait.

Artist and inspirational author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, 'Making Your Purpose Your Business' and 'Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships.'

Offering 20 personal development and spiritual growth programs at Higher Awareness

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Changing Lives

Duane Spears

continuation from yesterday...

Three days later, I was back working that same area and had three cars stopped. While I was writing the tickets, I noticed that a car coming up the hill had stopped across from me. There were three or four guys in the car. It was obvious to me that they were waiting to talk to me.

I finished the last ticket and the driver of the car got out and walked over to me. He had a very sad look about him. I could tell something was bothering him. As he approached me, he asked, "Do you remember me?"

"Yes," I replied, "you are Christopher."

He then said, "You taught me a valuable lesson the other day when you told me that everything in life matters. I didn't believe you then, but now I do."

"How do you mean?" I asked.

"Do you remember the boy on the motorcycle?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied, "I do remember him."

"Well," he said, "he was my roommate and that is why I waved him on. I thought I was helping him. After he turned around he made a wrong turn and went down a street, which ended in a cul-de-sac and hit a large planter in the center of the cul-de-sac. He died instantly. You were right when you said everything in life matters."

I was shocked and found it hard to believe, even though I had been with LAPD for 18 ½ years. We talked for a few more minutes. I expressed my sorrow, we shook hands and then we both left.

I rode to the station in Venice and looked up the traffic reports for the 6th of January and sure enough there it was. I still could not believe it. I mentioned what had happened to another officer whose was in the station at the time. His response was that the kid deserved to die for fleeing the scene; I thought this cannot be happening; I don't want to be like him.

As police officers and especially motor officers we are suppose to be saving lives, not pleased because some kid made a bad decision and died. Over the next several days I gave a lot of thought to this situation and my life in general. I decided I didn't want to be a police officer anymore and I needed a change. So I resigned in February 1986 after 18 ½ years with LAPD to pursue my passion, network marketing.

I thought that I should listen to my own advice about how everything matters and look at this situation as an opportunity to make some serious changes in my life. I've never regretted leaving LAPD even though my business plans didn't quite work the way I had hoped back in 1986. But over the years they have and I have had a successful network marketing business since 1995.

Could now be the time for you to make a life change? If it is, I would encourage you to do so. Based on my experience you will not be sorry. I will be 65 in September 2008, I'm in great health and could not be happier.

Duane Spears is an MDI subscribers and was born and raised in Osawatomie, Kansas. He graduated from high school in 1961 and joined the US Army. After 3 years with the Army, he went to Los Angeles in 1966 and joined the Los Angeles Police Department. Duane quit LAPD after 18½ years to work a network marketing business. That company went bankrupt after 6 months. Duane then learned the mortgage business opened his own office on Hollywood Beach in Oxnard, CA in 1989. Later in 1995 he joined another network marketing company, left the mortgage business and has been with them for the past 13 years. In 2000, Duane moved back to Osawatomie to be near his son. You can reach Duane at duane@duanespears.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Changing Lives

By Duane Spears

Some years ago I attended a self-improvement seminar and the speaker was Jim Rohn. He said, "Everything matters in life, some things a little and some things a lot, we just don't know which is which." And I believed him.

Now if I may, I would like to relate a personal experience which occurred when I was a motorcycle officer that strengthened this belief and taught a young man that everything in life does indeed matter.

I was a motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department and I was working speed complaints out of West Traffic Division. On the 6th of January, 1986, I was working a speed complaint on one of the streets in the hills of Bel Air. It was around 9:30 in the morning. I was stopped at the base of a hill and had set up my radar on the handlebar of my motorcycle and was watching the traffic coming down the hill.

This was a residential area and the road was narrow with numerous curves and was posted at 25 miles per hour. I had just finished writing a couple of tickets when I heard the audio on the radar, looked up the road and saw a small sports car coming down the hill. I glanced at the digital readout on the radar unit and saw that the car was traveling close to 50 miles per hour. I stepped out into the street and waved the driver over to the curb.

The driver was a young man in his early 20's on his way to UCLA for a morning class. I told him why I had stopped him and started to write him a ticket. He, of course, didn't want the ticket and tried to talk me out of it. His name was Christopher and he was a good kid. But he was trying his best to get me to not write him a ticket. Never rude, always polite, but determined to convince me to let him go.

We bantered back and forth, he would raise his voice in support of his position, but I calmly explained why he should get the ticket. When he saw I was still going to write him the ticket, he asked me, "What If I had not stopped, you were not on your motorcycle, would you have chased me?" I replied, "Most likely not".

About this time, I heard the audio on the radar and noticed that the digital readout registered 52 miles per hour. I looked up and saw a young man coming down the hill on a motorcycle. I stepped out in front of him and waved him into the curb. He was going too fast and passed us, but he was slowing down. I walked towards the motorcycle rider and my back was to Christopher.

The motorcyclist had turned around and was coming back to me. The he suddenly made a quick U-turn and sped down the hill. I turned around and walked back to Christopher and said, "Well, one got away."

He said, "I waved him on".

I said, "What?"

He said, "I waved him on."

I replied, "Oh, no! You should not have done that."

He had a puzzled look on his face and asked, "Why not, it won't matter?"

I told him everything in life matters, some things a little and some things a lot. We just don't know which is which. The look on Christopher's face clearly indicated to me that he did not believe me. I finished the ticket and we talked a little more about life and philosophy, then Christopher went to class and I went to court.

To be continued tomorrow.......

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Choose What You Want In Life!

By Patrice Steen and John Robson

"You don't have to buy from anyone. You don't have to work at any particular job. You don't have to participate in any given relationship. You can choose."
-- Harry Browne

Choice. It's all about freedom--the freedom to pick one thing over another. Are you choosing what you want from life? "Oh no," comes the reply. "I can't because... I haven't got enough education... I need to look after my family... I don't have enough money... I don't have the time." What's your excuse?

The truth is that we have choice in every single moment of our lives. For those who are destitute, the choices in life are fewer. But the rest of us often think we don't have freedom when we simply haven't claimed our power to choose differently. How do you typically make decisions? Do you do so based on:

  • "shoulds" - doing what you believe you should do.
  • pleasing others - doing what others want or expect you to do.
  • fear - choosing the safe route for fear of doing something different.
  • habit and reaction - you don't even think about what you're doing–you've always done it this way?

On the other hand, you own your power to choose when you decide on the basis of:

  • desire - choosing something you want
  • need - responding to deeper desires
  • authenticity - you know who you are and what you stand for
  • creative expression - you strive to be more.

So how can you open to choosing differently?

  1. Be clear about what you want. Have a sense of purpose. With a target to aim for, you'll know what will serve you best.
  2. Stop and ask yourself questions: "Why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve?" Write down your answers. Be more conscious of how you are spending your precious time, because this is your life passing by. This will help you say, "Wait! I don't want to do this anymore!"
  3. Never allow yourself to play the victim. Victims have given away their power. You alone are responsible for your life. When you fully accept this, you will claim your inner power to make better choices. Change often comes from nothing more than a shift in perspective.
  4. Be open to possibilities for yourself. Select one area of your life where you are unsatisfied, and choose something new, something more for yourself. Do different things and do things differently. Risk more.

Empowerment arises from the three Cs: Choice, Courage and Change. They are yours to claim. You'll be astounded at how easy it will be to take charge once you've made up your mind to do so. You have the opportunity to create a future that's very different from your past. And remember: not choosing is also a choice.

"It is always your next move."
-- Napoleon Hill

To get clear on how you can make better choices for yourself, get our free "7 Ps" Personal Performance Process. 25 questions to keep you clear, balanced, focused and in integrity. Plus learn about our Personal Development Plans, free Inner Journey newsletter, and daily email coaching for personal and spiritual growth.

Offering 20 personal development and spiritual growth programs at Higher Awareness

Friday, September 12, 2008

Creating Opportunity

By Jim Rohn

An enterprising person is one who comes across a pile of scrap metal and sees the making of a wonderful sculpture. An enterprising person is one who drives through an old decrepit part of town and sees a new housing development. An enterprising person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life.

To be enterprising is to keep your eyes open and your mind active. It's to be skilled enough, confident enough, creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities that present themselves... regardless of the economy.

A person with an enterprising attitude says, "Find out what you can before action is taken." Do your homework. Do the research. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation of what's to come.

Enterprising people always see the future in the present. Enterprising people always find a way to take advantage of a situation, not be burdened by it. And enterprising people aren't lazy. They don't wait for opportunities to come to them, they go after the opportunities. Enterprise means always finding a way to keep yourself actively working toward your ambition.

Enterprise is two things. The first is creativity. You need creativity to see what's out there and to shape it to your advantage. You need creativity to look at the world a little differently. You need creativity to take a different approach, to be different.

What goes hand-in-hand with the creativity of enterprise is the second requirement: the courage to be creative. You need courage to see things differently, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take a different approach, courage to stand alone if you have to, courage to choose activity over inactivity.

And lastly, being enterprising doesn't just relate to the ability to make money. Being enterprising also means feeling good enough about yourself, having enough self worth to want to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in your future. And by doing so you will increase your confidence, your courage, your creativity and your self-worth, your enterprising nature.

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

Offering 20 personal development and spiritual growth programs at Higher Awareness

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Weird Things You would Never Know

  • Horses can’t vomit;
  • Butterflies taste with their feet;
  • In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the world’s nuclear weapons combined;
  • On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year;
  • On average, people fear spiders more than death.

Paradox of Our Times

  • We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints;
  • We spend more , but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less;
  • We’ve been all the way to the moon and back; but we have trouble crossing the street to meet our neighbors;
  • We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice;
  • We’ve multiplied our possessions, but reduce our values; we talk too much, love too little and lie to often;
  • We’ve learned to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, but not life to years.

What Makes Your State Special

  • In 1976, CO became the only state turn down the Olympics;
  • The Frisbee was invented at Yale University in CT;
  • DE has more scientists and engineers than any other state;
  • At 259 square miles, Jacksonville, FL is the US’ third-largest city;
  • It was in GA in 1886 that pharmacist John Pemberton made the first vat of Coca-Cola.

Offering 20 personal development and spiritual growth programs at Higher Awareness

Monday, September 8, 2008

Use Your Mind to Age Faster or Slower

By Jon Benson

Probably the most common question I get other than "do you lift weights?" or "how much can you bench" is, "How do you get those abs?" Not many bodybuilders carry 6-packs around the entire year, and I'm no exception. However, during a 'peaking phase', my abs are pretty decent for a guy who was once completely obese!

They're shocked at my first response, and you will be, too: "What are you thinking about when you eat? "After a few seconds of blank stares, I usually get the reply, "I don't know... never really thought about it!" "Exactly," I say. "How do you plan on getting any part of your body to respond, including your abs, without concentration on the challenge?"

However, it's more than just 'concentration' - I'm literally telling my body what I want it to do with the food I'm eating, with the workout I'm doing, and with the cardio I'm performing. I often touch my mid-section to make a stronger connection. I'm constantly visualizing myself with the abs I want. I never waver from that vision. When I do, that's when the fat loss slows down. Sounds too hocus-pocus? Give it a shot and then talk to me!

Let me give you one brief example of the power of thought on the body, (and you can see dozens more in "Fit Over 40" ).

In the book "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcom Gladwell, a fascinating study was noted about the power of mere association with physical performance. A group of individuals were asked to read documents that were riddled with subtle "age" words, like "prune", or "wither". They were then asked to walk to a hallway to take another test. They were not told the reason for the readings, or why the readings changed.

The result? Each time the person read more "age" words, they literally ALTERED the way they walked down the hall. Speed slowed down considerably... even posture changes were noted. They literally began to "act old". If you think this does not work in reverse, think again.

By Jon Benson. You can see dozens of ab routines inside the Fit Over 40 e-book. Every ab routine will work optimally once you change how you perceive the power of your words and your thoughts!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"The Inspired Heart"

Book review by Peter Shepherd

When I was in my early twenties, I remember understanding well the song by Cat Stevens that spoke of ties and possessions: "Well I ain't got nothing, but it don't worry me, I came to this life like a free walking tree; no need to be tied, no need to be–they call me Jzero." Several times in my life I've been through that scenario, having lost everything–but in retrospect, gaining everything. It gives you a new start.

Jerry Wennstrom was born in New York in 1950. "I don't have much of an impressive bio," he admits. All I could do was paint, and because there was nothing else that I could do very well, painting was what I most identified with as a human being. It didn't hold though. I let it all go, became nothing, and found everything."

After destroying all of his art and giving away everything he owned, Jerry began a life of unconditional trust, allowing life to provide what was needed. He lived this way for 15 years, wandering, seeking and listening, and then finally began his art again, from a very different perspective. His book, 'The Inspired Heart - an Artist's Journey of Transformation,' tells of a life driven by a singular requirement: to remain fearlessly attuned to the heart.

"It was a powerful, holy experience that left me shaken and empty, but exhilarated," says Jerry of the destruction of his works. Free to seek and discover a meaning to his life, Jerry found plenty and writes movingly and profoundly about his journey.

I like to read the last page of a book first, then go back and take my time, knowing how things turn out. Jerry just trusted how things would turn out. Anyway, these are excerpts from the last page, as he sums up...

"We are at a rare time in the history of our world. Consciousness is attem[ting to come through the spirit of our lives. It brings with it all that we need to live out its gift. At the same time, our old ways of being on the planet are beginning to fail. Our social forms and structures are radically changing and breaking down. Our mopther, the Earth, is ailing! We are truly in uncharted territory.

"Perhaps the Holy Fool in us trusts that this, too, is God. The light could not exist except in relation to the dark. When we hold this Fool's vision, we can begin to see that where we stand now is holy ground, perfectly in place under our feet, ready for our next step in a meaningful direction. This unknown, mysterious universe will show us the way that it needs to go!"

And, "A time may come when you are asked to let go of everything you think you are and all that you think you possess. If you can give yourself to this process, what will emerge will be a truer self in a truer world. All that is most important to you, all that seemed to be impossible or gone forever, will be sanctified and returned to you. This is the wisdom of the Holy Fool!"

What comes before is an inspiring read.

A video of Jerry's life and work, "In the Hands of Alchemy," is available from Parabola. Jerry is available for film showings, speaking engagements, and workshops with his wife - singer and adult education teacher, Marilyn Strong. His web site is JerryWennstrom.com.

Offering 20 personal development and spiritual growth programs at Higher Awareness

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Negative Thoughts Can Make You Ill

BBC Health

Having negative thoughts really could make you more illness-prone, say scientists. A study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences links "negative" brain activity with a weakened immune system.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied people with high levels of brain activity in a region linked to negative thoughts. Those with the highest activity levels responded worse to a flu vaccine.

Scientists already knew that pessimists - people rated as more sensitive to negative events - show more activity in a part of the brain called the right pre-frontal cortex. More activity in the left pre-frontal cortex is linked to positive emotional responses.

Dr Richard Davidson, who led the research, studied 52 people aged between 57 and 60. Each of them was asked to recall one event which made them feel very happy, and one which left them feeling sad, afraid or angry.

The electrical activity in these parts of the brain was measured to check whether their left or right pre-frontal cortex was more active. Afterwards, each volunteer was given a standard flu vaccine shot.

Vaccines work by eliciting an immune response which should hopefully persist and help the body tackle a genuine infection threat if it should arrive.

Each research subject was tested over the following six months to gauge the success of the vaccine by measuring the levels of antibodies generated by the vaccine. Those who had shown the most powerful right pre-frontal cortex activity also had the worst immune reactions.

The reverse was true for those who had the most powerful reactions in their left pre-frontal cortex, the side associated with happy reactions.

Dr Davidson said: "Emotions play an important role in modulating bodily systems that influence our health... We turned to the brain to understand the mechanisms by which the mind influences the body."

Source: BBC

Offering 20 personal development and spiritual growth programs at Higher Awareness

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


By Kristie Phillips

I lost my innocence on April 25, 2006, two days after my 34th birthday.

I woke up that morning with hope and more faith than I had ever had in my life. With a quiet confidence that I had prayed with my whole heart and God had heard me, and He would help my family and me in our time of need. But what did God actually do? Nothing. My Mom died that morning. She was 60 years old. I went to bed that night numb with shock, but with my eyes wide open.

Mom’s loss was sudden, complications from a surgery that had seemed to go well. She was released from the hospital four days after the surgery and was recovering on schedule. Then she started having pain, and before anyone, my dad, the surgeon, or even she herself realized how bad her condition was, she collapsed and never woke up again.

The surgeon told us he didn't know what happened. Usually if a patient has pain or complications, there is time to diagnose the problem and treat it, but my mom deteriorated so fast, there was no time. We finally concluded that God just took her. There was no other explanation.

The day I lost my Mom, I lost my faith as well. I never thought I would have an easy life with no problems, but I had firmly believed my entire life that God would hear my prayers and answer them. Growing up I heard so many stories about God miraculously making illnesses disappear, healing people against all odds, and answering impossible prayers, that I couldn't understand why He wouldn't do that for my family. I was terribly disappointed and angry with God. I refused to pray any more at all.

I never told anybody how much I hated God. I was afraid my Christian friends would argue with me and quote scriptures about how all things work together for good and how God will never fail us nor forsake us, and that's not what I needed to hear since I felt that God had failed me.

A few weeks before Mom's death, in early April before we even knew about her surgery, I had noticed an 8-week continuing education class on Grief and Loss, offered by the local community college. It was a new class and stood out among the computer, hobby, and self-improvement offerings. Although I felt drawn to the class, I did not register because I felt strange going when I had not experienced a loss myself. Little did I know that a few weeks later I would have plenty of experience.

I returned to work a week after Mom's funeral and signed up for the Grief and Loss class, still unsure of whether I should go. Somehow I showed up. I had nothing else to do. And in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but wonder if this was God providing for me after all. The instructor, Nancy Murphy, was patient's advocate who worked with the elderly in nursing homes and who had a desire to help people understand death and grief. She had lost two of her brothers as children, a third brother when she was sixteen, and her father a year-and-a-half before.

The three other students in the class included a large black man who had recently become a pastor; his wife, who had lost her grandmother, her mother, and her sister all to breast cancer; and a small 20-something former heroin addict, whose teenage sister had committed suicide when she was thirteen. They were not the kind of people I would normally associate with, but they understood the loss I was going through and I found the class to be very comforting.

Nancy was so kind to me and stayed late after every class to talk to me and see how I was doing. We would stand in the parking lot for half an hour after class talking. Nancy told me the class might be too early for me, too soon after my loss. Many adult children who lose their parents don't fully feel the impact of the loss for months, and they tend to join support groups months later instead of right away.

But, I think the class was exactly what I needed at the time. The class gave me direction, gave me people who understood what I was going through, and led me to some books to read that gave me a greater understanding of grief. Without the class, I would have been lost and unprepared to deal with what I was feeling.

The funny part is that a continuing education class would normally be canceled if it had less than six students. This had happened to me several times in the past. But somehow, this Grief and Loss class was allowed to run with just four students. I think it was because Nancy was so enthusiastic to teach it that the coordinator at the community college made an exception.

A year later, in August 2007, I saw Nancy Murphy again in a restaurant at lunchtime. She was as sweet and kind as she had been the year before. She told me that she had not taught the class again; she had gotten busy with work and in the future would try to target the class to healthcare workers. I tried to explain to her that the class was perfect timing for me and exactly what I needed. She said the class helped her as much as it had helped us.

How can you tell the difference between coincidence and God providing for you? I like to think that God provided that Grief and Loss class just for me. I would have been very apprehensive about going to a grief support group and probably would never have gotten the help I needed. But classes I'm not afraid of. I have a Ph.D. I've gone to lots of classes.Nancy Murphy said that she has to believe there is a purpose in loss. She has to. That's the only way she can make sense of it and have some peace. And I think she's right.

My faith is coming back slowly, little by little, but I know it will never be the same. I will never believe like I once did. I will never be as faithful, innocent, and naive as I was before. I will always remember how God disappointed me.I can only hope that God has a plan and a purpose for my life after all and my mom's death was a part of it. And when I doubt, I think about Nancy Murphy, her kindness, and her Grief and Loss class that only ran at the exact time I really needed it, and I wonder.
Kristie has been inspired by the stories on MyDailyInsights over a year and wanted to share her story in the hope of inspiring others. She is 35 years old and lives and works in Cary, NC as a Textile Chemist. She has been writing ever since high school and college, but has gotten distracted by the twists and turns of life, and only recently has been taking her writing more seriously. She can be reached at kristie225@gmail.com