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Archive for April, 2017

Kindness Weekly: Kindness is Strong

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.

Inspiring Quote

The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about. –Unknown

Member of the Week

thumb.jpgSISSYLEE! From playing your harp for hospital patients to creating “birthday boxes” and a community “poetry box”– thank you for your service. Send SISSYLEE some KarmaBucks and say hello.

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April 30, 2017

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space EditorEditor’s note: Some people perceive those who are kind as "weak". As the old saying goes, “nice guys finish last.” But it is the continuous CHOICE to remain kind, and to offer unconditional love despite others responses, that makes the kindest people also the strongest inside. Such people are not afraid to confront their own suffering, and can therefore truly understand and empathize with the suffering of others. –Ameeta space
space Smile Big space
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Small Acts of Kindness

space ITZMORGIE wrote: “Yesterday my friend and I walked around my neighborhood and gave flowers and smile cards to everyone. Some people even said we made their day.”
space amelianina1 wrote: “A co-worker told me that she was worried about her child, so I sent her a card and told her that we were praying for her.”
space janfour wrote: “I was noticing in my new neighborhood trash along the creek. I am checking to see if there is a group clean up I can join. If not, iI’ll start one!”
space Give Freely space
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Featured Kindness Stories

Story1 Her harp playing softened even this “tough nut” in the hospice unit.
Story2 The ‘sacks of hope’ from these sweet students, piqued the interest of the local press.
Story3 Her home-cooked meals feed a lot more than their physical bodies.
space Love Unconditionally space
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Idea of the Week

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Why We Need a Secular Sabbath

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April 30, 2017

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Why We Need a Secular Sabbath

I continue to keep the cornucopia of technology at arm’s length, so that I can more easily remember who I am.

– Kevin Kelly –

Why We Need a Secular Sabbath

According to writer and mindfulness teacher Pico Iyer, interruptions come every eleven minutes, leaving us with the feeling that we are never caught up on our lives. The constant interruptions from technology make us feel fractured and frustrated with life. When we are overly focused on technology, what is most important to us escapes us both in work and at home. Iyer suggests dedicating one day a week to a “Secular Sabbath” to rest techno-weary souls. During interviews with Google executives, Iyer found that stepping back from the use and demands of technology made employees happier, healthier and more productive. She says, “the point of sitting still is that it helps you see through the very idea of pushing forward; indeed, it strips you of yourself, as of a coat of armor, by leading you into a place where you’re defined by something larger.” { read more }

Be The Change

If possible, take one day a week, or a few hours a day each week, to put your devices aside and let yourself rest from technology. Notice how much more you feel at peace and in touch with the essence of being human.

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The Power of the Mindful Minute at Work: One Company’s Brave Exp

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April 29, 2017

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The Power of the Mindful Minute at Work: One Company's Brave Exp

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.

– William Blake –

The Power of the Mindful Minute at Work: One Company’s Brave Exp

Investing and finance aren’t exactly fields synonymous with mindfulness and kindness, but some companies are starting to change that. During his annual review at an investment firm, Birju Pandya’s boss looked at him and said, “You’ve done well. What do you want?” Pandya, now a senior advisor at RSF, calls it “the ‘Godfather offer'” of the investment bank world. His mind teetered on the verge of a typical answer and then he took a totally different tack, “I’d like to start every team meeting we have with a minute of silence,” he said. There was a long pause, then came the definitive answer, “No,” his boss said. But the next morning, perhaps after reflecting on all that his employee could have asked for instead, he softened and agreed to the unconventional request. An intriguing first step, but even he couldn’t have anticipated what would unfold from there over the next few years. In this brief video, Pandya shares the compelling domino effect of the collective mindful minute at work. { read more }

Be The Change

How can you or your employer implement mindfulness into a standard workday? Bring your suggestions to the table for your next team meeting or review. For inspiration check out 6 Mindfulness Practices for Leaders. { more }

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A Nobel Laureate on the Power of Not Knowing

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April 28, 2017

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A Nobel Laureate on the Power of Not Knowing

Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know.’

– WisĂ…awa Szymborska –

A Nobel Laureate on the Power of Not Knowing

“Surrender to not-knowing” was the catchphrase of poet Wislawa Szymborska who offered this as a guide to participate in the wonder of creation as an artist. Whether a scientist, poet, or everyday worker we are all artists as we become co-creators in life. As we step into each moment with the willingness to allow for the unexpected to unfold, we make art with the stuff of our lives. The alternative for some is to control and define with closed minds what life should be instead of what it could be. Instead of contracting back into certainty Szymborska challenges us to live bravely in the “I don’t know” that defines the inexplicable nature of our existence here on Earth. By opening themselves to the unknown, artists of all kinds have been led to discoveries and inventions that have changed life on Earth for the better. Read more about Szymborska and her perspectives on uncertainty. { read more }

Be The Change

As we encounter what appears to be a road block or a solution, surrender to uncertainty and ask, “How else..? What if..? and Why…?” to solve a problem.

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The 2 Euro T-Shirt – A Social Experiment

This week’s inspiring video: The 2 Euro T-Shirt – A Social Experiment
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Video of the Week

Apr 27, 2017
The 2 Euro T-Shirt - A Social Experiment

The 2 Euro T-Shirt – A Social Experiment

Do you know who made your clothes? And if you did, would that change your purchasing and consumption habits? People wants cheap clothing, but don’t often consider who is paying the real price for fashion at a bargain. Take a look at how people at Alexanderplatz in Berlin reacted when they found out the conditions in which the 2 Euro t-shirt being offered in the vending machine was produced.
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Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Lessons in Giving Thanks

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April 27, 2017

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Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Lessons in Giving Thanks

The good man is the friend of all living things.

– -Gandhi- –

Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Lessons in Giving Thanks

In a consumer-driven society, it’s easy to take for granted the abundance of Earth’s natural resources by which we’re surrounded: fresh air to breathe, plants, water, and food. What if we looked at each of these life-giving sources as gifts, fellow persons even, rather than mere objects for our taking? YES! Magazine writer Robin Wall Kimmerer challenges readers to consider how we treat and interact with the organic materials on which our lives depend, and look more closely at how we can replenish as much as we absorb. The Honorable Harvest, an indigenous practice, applies to every exchange between people and Earth, and is governed by reciprocity, gratitude, and taking only what you need. Kimmerer writes, “When we speak of the living world as kin, we also are called to act in new ways, so that when we take those lives, we must do it in such a way that brings honor to the life that is taken and honor to the ones receiving it.” { read more }

Be The Change

What are some ways you can reduce consumption and give back to the Earth? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Will Rosenzweig: Business Lessons from a Quiet Gardener

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April 26, 2017

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Will Rosenzweig: Business Lessons from a Quiet Gardener

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.

– May Sarton –

Will Rosenzweig: Business Lessons from a Quiet Gardener

When William Rosenzweig learned he had been awarded the prestigious Oslo Business for Peace Award via a Google news alert — he immediately assumed it was spam. But it was in fact real. A 2010 recipient of this award, selected by a committee of Nobel Laureates for the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business, Will has spent more than twenty-five years integrating the practices and perspectives of an entrepreneur, venture investor, and pioneering educator in order to help transform global corporate business practice. Much of his inspiration in the corporate world comes from a seemingly unlikely place — the garden. Here is an excerpt from his acceptance speech. { read more }

Be The Change

Take a moment to observe or engage in the natural world today. What lessons can be extended to your areas of work? For more inspiration join an Awakin Call with Rosenzweig this Saturday. RSVP info and more details here. { more }

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Crazywise: A Filmmaker Explores the Heart of Mental Illness

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April 25, 2017

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Crazywise: A Filmmaker Explores the Heart of Mental Illness

I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.

– Brene Brown –

Crazywise: A Filmmaker Explores the Heart of Mental Illness

Phil Borges is a dentist-turned-photographer, author, filmmaker and social change storyteller. For more than 25 years, he has been documenting indigenous and tribal cultures in some of the world’s most remote, inaccessible areas. His recent film Crazywise reveals a paradigm shift that’s challenging the way Western culture defines and treats “mental illness” and highlights a survivor-led movement demanding more choices from a mental health care system in crisis. The film explores cultural differences with respect to consciousness, mental health and the relevance of Shamanic traditional practices and beliefs to those of us living in the modern world. More on Phil’s journey in this in-depth interview. { read more }

Be The Change

Find out what local organizations are doing in your community to decrease stigma toward the mentally ill, and explore how you can contribute to their work in your own way. Learn more about Phil Borges’ work here.
{ more }

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Awakin Weekly: Wonder of the Universe is Wondering In Us

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
Wonder of the Universe is Wondering In Us
by Paul Fleischman

[Listen to Audio!]

2207.jpgThe universe is very big and very old. It was only discovered by us in the twentieth century. When you look up at the night stars you aren’t seeing it. Our Milky Way galaxy alone has billions of stars, but we can see only thousands with our naked eyes. There are billions of galaxies like the Milky Way that can be seen through our telescopes, and the light by which we see distant galaxies has traveled for billions of years to enter the telescopic lenses. There may even be other universes. Our universe can be seen through the Hubble Space Telescopes and has been expanding since its origin fourteen billion years ago.

We are animals born to hunt, multiply, and adapt. Our brains grew to help us survive, and they set limits to our understanding. We can’t grasp the dimensions that numbers tell us about the age or size of the universe. The complexity of so many light-years and galaxies is overwhelming. In order to reduce our fears, we imagine we see patterns and parents, explanations and conclusions, often seeking comfort and security rather than accurate information. Yet we also can remain curious, inconclusive, hovering in wonder, unknowing in order to know more.

Our bodies contain octillions of atoms organized into intricate and functional patterns. All of our atoms came from Earth, which itself descended from previous suns and supernovae explosions. In our red blood cells, we contain cobalt, an element which is made only in supernovae. Our bodies are formed by trillions of cells that interact and cooperate. The numbers of atoms and cells are too big, and their interactions are too complex, rapid, and information-dense for us to understand. Our cells utilize chemical pathways that evolved in slow, interlocking success stories across billions of years. It took the history of the Earth for our complex brains and thoughts to become possible within life-forms.

We exist within a whole planet system. Green plants are the only living thing that can capture electromagnetic photons from the sun and turn invisible energy into sizzling bonds between atoms, to create the large molecules we call “food.” Plants also create the oxygen molecules we breathe. We breathe out the carbon dioxide that plants eat. All of life is interdependent and begins with sunlight, that comes from hydrogen atoms being fused in the sun. These solar hydrogen atoms are congealed from the energy that was released at the origin of the universe, which is everyone’s birth canal.

The universe has permitted the creation of living beings as complex, enduring, and insightful as we are. Our wondering minds are products of the universe. From within the universe, wonder about the universe has arisen, by accident, intention, or slow destiny. The wonder of the universe is wondering in us.

About the Author: Paul R. Fleischman is a retired American psychiatrist, writer and meditation teacher in the tradition of S. N. Goenka. Excerpted from his book, Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant.

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Wonder of the Universe is Wondering In Us
How do you relate to the notion that our wondering minds are products of the universe? Can you share a personal experience of a time you realized that the wonder of the universe is wondering in us? What practice helps you connect with wonder and inquire into it?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: We live in two universes: the universe within and the universe without.Since the dawn of life, we as human beings have been wondering about these two universes. We ask the core question; W…
david doane wrote: How else could it be except that our wondering minds are products of the universe? Everything is part of the universe, including our wondering minds. When the notion began to sink i…
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Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, ServiceSpace blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start an Awakin gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.

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Designing for the Circular Economy

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April 24, 2017

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Designing for the Circular Economy

We have to act now. Twenty-five years of research offers us the insight we need in order to start the transition towards the circular economy. We are at the tipping point of an immense system change.

– Dr. Annemieke Roobeek –

Designing for the Circular Economy

What do you do with a toaster when you no longer want it? Until recently, no one thought about that question until the toaster was ready for the scrap heap. Today, designers at the London-based Agency of Design are turning that practice on its head. As advocates of a circular economy, they believe that the best time to address end-of-life issues is when a product is first being designed and that items like your toaster should be thought of not as a disposable appliances but as products with value worth preserving. Read on to learn how these designers helping to keep products out of landfills even before they fly off the shelves. { read more }

Be The Change

Before you throw something away, can you think about how it can be reused, repaired, repurposed, or recycled instead?

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