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Archive for December, 2016

Krista Tippett on Sounds True

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December 31, 2016

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Krista Tippett on Sounds True

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

– Stephen Covey –

Krista Tippett on Sounds True

In this interview with award-winning journalist and author Krista Tippet, she shares insights on journalism as a force for progress, beginning, first, with a good question and active listening: “Good listening starts even before words begin to be spoken, even before we speak the question. It starts with the invitation we create, the way we create the invitation, the space we create. If it’s not trustworthy, if people think they’ve been brought in to be set up or to be — if people feel like they’re on the defensive or they have to explain themselves, then no matter how good my questions are, I haven’t established a space in which I can be a good listener or really draw them out in a meaningful way.” Tippet continues to share insights about hope, mindfulness, and the mechanics of social change. { read more }

Be The Change

Practice active listening in your conversations rather than merely waiting your turn to speak. Create a safe space for the conversation, and allow yourself to be surprised.

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Two Blind Brothers: A Cause Driven Clothing Brand

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December 30, 2016

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Two Blind Brothers: A Cause Driven Clothing Brand

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

– William James –

Two Blind Brothers: A Cause Driven Clothing Brand

“In an effort to shop from socially-conscious brands this holiday season, I came across an interesting startup that caught my eye. Two Blind Brothers is a cause-driven clothing brand that sells luxury causal wear and gives 100% of its net profits to medical research to cure blindness. Read on.” { read more }

Be The Change

Make an effort to learn more about the people, places and processes behind the things you purchase and use each day.

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34 Affirmations For Healthy Living

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I Trust You

This week’s inspiring video: I Trust You
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KarmaTube.org

Video of the Week

Dec 29, 2016
I Trust You

I Trust You

Karim Sulayman is an Arab-American tenor from Chicago. Ten days after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Sulayman teamed up with filmmaker Meredith Kaufman Younger to perform a trust experiment. Watch this silent video (set to Sulayman singing Sinead O’Connor’s "In this Heart") as Sulayman stands blindfolded outside Trump International Hotel in Central Park West in New York City and asks strangers to trust him.
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Madrid’s Robin Hood Restaurants

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December 29, 2016

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Madrid's Robin Hood Restaurants

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

– John Bunyan –

Madrid’s Robin Hood Restaurants

“It is early evening at a restaurant in central Madrid and Jose Silva sits down for a meal of rice, meatballs and vegetables as waiters flit from one table to another. All very normal, except for one crucial detail: Silva, 42, cannot afford to pay. He lives rough under the platform of a cable car station in Madrids sprawling Casa del Campo park, one of dozens of homeless people who have started dining for free at the Robin Hood restaurant that earlier opened this month.” Learn more about this innovative restaurant started by a beloved, 79-year-old rebel priest. { read more }

Be The Change

What can you do today for someone who can never repay you?

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An Artist’s Take on How to Deal With Heavy Things

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December 28, 2016

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An Artist's Take on How to Deal With Heavy Things

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

– Alan Watts –

An Artist’s Take on How to Deal With Heavy Things

“The world was falling apart. No one noticed at first. I tried to ignore it. But soon that became impossible. I wasn’t sure how to react. I tried to hide from reality.” In this wonderfully whimsical series of drawings, artist Grant Snider explores how to deal with the heavy, soul-crushing realities we are sometimes faced with. { read more }

Be The Change

The next time you face a challenging situation, take a moment to consider how you might “join the dance”.

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Orchestra for Ghaza

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December 27, 2016

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Orchestra for Ghaza

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson –

Orchestra for Ghaza

Daniel Barenboim is an Argentine-born Jew with a Palestinian passport. For 12 years, he has used his musical reputation to push for peace between Israel and its neighbors. In May 2011, he crossed from Egypt into Gaza with 25 handpicked musicians from the leading ensembles in Europe to play for an audience hungry for music. { read more }

Be The Change

This Saturday join an Awakin Call with Len and Libby Traubman, a remarkable couple and co-leaders of the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group, established 24 years ago. More details and RSVP info here. { more }

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Awakin Weekly: Five Prayers

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Five Prayers
by Thich Nhat Hanh

[Listen to Audio!]

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In gratitude, I bow to all generations of ancestors in my blood family.

I see my mother and father, whose blood, flesh, and vitality are circulating in my own veins and nourishing every cell in me. Through them I see my four grandparents. I carry in me the life, blood, experience, wisdom, happiness, and sorrow of all generations. I open my heart, flesh, and bones to receive the energy of insight, love, and experience transmitted to me by my ancestors. I know that parents always love and support their children and grandchildren, although they are not always able to express it skillfully because of difficulties they encounter. As a continuation of my ancestors, I allow their energy to flow through me, and ask for their support, protection, and strength.

In gratitude, I bow to all generations of ancestors in my spiritual family.

I see in myself my teachers, the ones who show me the way of love and understanding, the way to breathe, smile, forgive, and live deeply in the present moment. I see the Buddha or Christ or the patriarchs and matriarchs as my teachers, and also as my spiritual ancestors. […] I open my heart and my body to receive the energy of understanding, loving kindness, and protection from the Awakend Ones, their teachings, and the community of practice of many generations. I vow to practice to transform the suffering in myself and the world, and to transmit their energy to future generations of practitioners. My spiritual ancestors may have had their own difficulties and not always been able to transmit the teachings, but I accept them as they are.

In gratitude, I bow to this land and all of the ancestors who made it available.

I see that I am whole, protected, and nourished by this land and all the living beings that have been here and made life worthwhile and possible for me through all of their efforts. I see Chief Seattle, Thomas Jefferson, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez,Martin Luther King, Jr., and all the others known and unknown. I see those who have worked hard to build schools, hospitals, bridges, and roads, to protect human rights, to develop science and technology, and to fight for freedom and social justice. I see myself touching my ancestors of Native American origin who have lived on this land for such a long time and know the ways to live in peace and harmony with nature, protecting the mountains, forests, animals, vegetation, and minerals of this land. I feel the energy of this land penetrating my body and soul, supporting and accepting me. I vow to cultivate and maintain this energy and transmit it to future generations. I vow to contribute my part in transforming the violence, hatred, and delusion that still lie deep in the consciousness of this society so that future generations will have more safety, joy, and peace. I ask this land for its protection and support.

In gratitude and compassion, I bow down and transmit my energy to those I love.

All the energy I have received I now want to transmit to my father, my mother, everyone I love, and all who have suffered and worried because of me and for my sake. I know I have not been mindful enough in my daily life. I also know that those who love me have had their own difficulties. They have suffered because they were not lucky enough to have an environment that encouraged their full development. […] I want all of them to be healthy and joyful. I pray that all ancestors in my blood and spiritual families will focus their energies toward each of them, to protect and support them. I am one with those I love.

In understanding and compassion, I bow down to reconcile myself with all those who have made me suffer.

I open my heart and send forth my energy of love and understanding to everyone who has made me suffer, to those who have destroyed much of my life and the lives of those I love. I know now that these people have themselves undergone a lot of suffering and that their hearts are overloaded with pain, anger, and hatred. […] I pray that they can be transformed to experience the joy of living, so that they will not continue to make themselves and others suffer. I see their suffering and do not want to hold any feelings of hatred or anger in myself toward them. I do not want them to suffer. I channel my energy of love and understanding to them and ask all my ancestors to help them.

About the Author: excerpted from The Five Earth Touchings by Thich Nhat Hanh.

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Five Prayers
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Kindness Weekly: Seeing Kindness

KindSpring.org: Small Acts That Change the World

About KindSpring

For over a decade the KindSpring community has focused on inner transformation, while collectively changing the world with generosity, gratitude, and trust. We are 100% volunteer-run and totally non-commercial. KindSpring is a labor of love.

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The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. –Oscar Wilde

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December 26, 2016

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space EditorEditor’s note: Often times, we can either focus on all the small acts of kindness around us or choose to focus on the few sensational acts of fear and negativity. This is a time to bring renewed attention to what we indirectly chose to amplify in our lives through giving it attention. This week’s stories open our eyes and hearts and remind us — that we are an active participant in all that is happening around us. –Ameeta space
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Small Acts of Kindness

space KiwiCat wrote: “At the library, I left post-it notes with kind messages in self-help books.”
space Painiacs wrote: “Made Christmas bread to give out to mail people, UPS drivers, bank tellers etc. to say thank you.”
space mandymoo900 wrote: “Today I was able to make a small donation that helps put 4 meals on the table for people in need. “
space Give Freely space
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Featured Kindness Stories

Story1 A neighbor’s response to a stolen projector during Christmas restored faith in human.
Story2 When she looked closely, she saw that this was happening everywhere on her shopping trip.
Story3 This monthly tradition helps her cultivate deeper connections to her community.
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Idea of the Week

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Why We Love Our Own Creations

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December 26, 2016

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Why We Love Our Own Creations

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.

– Elder Uchtdorf –

Why We Love Our Own Creations

In this article, behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains why we feel joy and engagement when we make things ourselves. He discusses “The Ikea Effect” and how even small contributions to an item’s creation can lead to more affection and attachment to that item. He shares: “The lesson here is that a little sweat equity pays us back in meaning — and that is a high return.” { read more }

Be The Change

Create something that makes you happy and give it to someone you love.

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Kids in Hospital Receive Magical Christmas Surprise

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December 25, 2016

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Kids in Hospital Receive Magical Christmas Surprise

A little magic can take you a long way.

– Roald Dahl –

Kids in Hospital Receive Magical Christmas Surprise

This holiday season, kids in a hospital in Australia were able to see Santa and hang out in a winter wonderland without having to leave the building.In one day, photographer Karen Alsop took photos of 30 kids with Santa and a green screen at Monash Childrens Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. During their photo shoots, the patients expected a typical Santa photo. They had no idea Alsop had plans to edit the photos to show them hanging and spreading holiday cheer with jolly old St. Nick.” Take a look at her breath-taking, heart-warming work. { read more }

Be The Change

Add a dash of magic to someone’s life today with an unexpected act of generosity.

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