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Archive for February, 2018

Fritjof Capra on Life and Leadership

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February 28, 2018

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Fritjof Capra on Life and Leadership

Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity.

– Fritjof Capra –

Fritjof Capra on Life and Leadership

“Sustainability is not an individual property, but is a property of an entire web of relationships. It is a community practice. This is the profound lesson we need to learn from nature. The way to sustain life is to build and nurture community. Because of the close connection between sustainability and community, basic principles of ecology can also be understood as principles of community. In particular, they can be guiding principles for building and nurturing sustainable learning communities. They are extremely relevant to taking leadership positions and bringing about systemic change within our schools.” { read more }

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For more inspiration join this Saturday’s Awakin Call with renowned author, physicist and systems theorist Fritjof Capra. RSVP and more details here. { more }

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Spotlight On Kindness: Staying Calm In The Storm

In the face of looming crisis or hardship, we so often seek to act or react quickly — aiming to save, fix, or rescue ourselves and others. But as the farmer in this week’s video reflects, the wise response often is to take the time to attune to the unfolding situation, and trust that internal guidance will move us to act skillfully — in the right manner and at the right time and pace. – Preeta

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“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye
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Editor’s Note: In the face of looming crisis or hardship, we so often seek to act or react quickly — aiming to save, fix, or rescue ourselves and others. But as the farmer in this week’s video reflects, the wise response often is to take the time to attune to the unfolding situation, and trust that internal guidance will move us to act skillfully — in the right manner and at the right time and pace. – Preeta
Kindness Rocks
Kindness In the News
For the better part of an hour, passengers watched shreds of metal from the plane engine flap like feathers on the wing. The passengers countered the terror with acts of courage, grace and love.
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Kindness is Contagious.
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The harpist played for 2 hours in their family’s sacred circle as they all held space together for their mother lovingly in her final hours.
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The Orphan
Hugs Farmer John made a painful decision to allow the orphaned baby lamb and the herd to work it out. Once the baby lamb stopped chasing the flock, the world became drawn to him.
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An Eastern Philosophy, Wabi-sabi, embodies the beauty of imperfection, or the notion that beauty resides in flaws and ultimately opens the space for love.
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David Fryburg: Inspiring Kindness Through Images

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February 27, 2018

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David Fryburg: Inspiring Kindness Through Images

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

– Henry James –

David Fryburg: Inspiring Kindness Through Images

We live in a world where news stories are riddled with negativity; wars, crashes, political and social strife fill our living rooms and enter our most personal of space, our homes. What are the implications on our neurological and physical health? And what are the effects when this is turned around and people are exposed to positive news, see acts of kindness and learn of human goodness? This was the question that Dr. David Fryburg asked himself after experiencing what he calls a “sort of news-induced depression”. His exploration led to the founding of Envision Kindness. More about David’s uplifting work and journey in this interview. { read more }

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What is one small thing you can do today to spread kindness?

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Awakin Weekly: Wisdom Of Grieving

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Wisdom Of Grieving
by Terry Patten

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tow5.jpgNot only is grieving a stage of the spiritual activist’s journey, but the grieving process itself often unfolds in stages, which can be described using Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s famous five stages of grief. These five stages–denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance–describe the process of psychologically responding to the prospect and reality of any catastrophic loss.

Denial can be said to be a defense against suffering and grieving. If reality is too painful, don’t face it. Maintain equilibrium and good humor by closing the metaphorical eyes, or the mind. Turn off the new, doubt its veracity, change the channel.

While we can certainly criticize people’s motivations for disengagement, it is also true that the attitudes communicated in media are often reactive and draining. So there are good reasons to practice skilfull, selective disengagement from the 24/7 news cycle. Making intelligent and economical use of media and politics disciplines tendencies toward both mindless addiction and reactive avoidance.

Anger easily becomes a habitual defense against feeling loss, sadness, and fear. There are very good reasons to be angry. Anger is the energy to change what needs to be changed. But healthy anger rises and falls, rather than becoming a chronic state, and it stays in touch with grief.

The next stage is bargaining, an attempt to regain lost equanimity, perhaps by imagining alternative scenarios that mitigate the sense of loss. Whereas true equanimity is based on opening up to all of reality, including its darkness, bargaining seeks to keep painful realities at bay. It is a more sophisticated form of denial.

The fourth stage is depression. When it is clear that heartbreaking loss cannot be avoided, the being is at least temporarily shattered. We begin to fear losing something we have always depended upon and taken for granted–such as the company of a loved one, the restorative and healing grace of Mother Earth, or the ability to live in prosperous, secure, open liberal society without doing anything to protect or defend it.

Mature, responsible adults are charged with staying intelligently related to the realities of our lives. But that requires us to pass through all the harrowing stages of grief into acceptance.

True acceptance recognizes the reality of our situation and accepts responsibility to arrive in basic equanimity and a capacity to act. We find a way to choose life, even in a world that includes horrific losses. We choose engagement with reality, including the gritty and not always pleasant involvements with people we may not like and in situations we would prefer to avoid. We know we have arrived in acceptance when we are in motion, doing what we can to make a positive difference. We find deep equanimity.

About the Author: Terry Patten is an author, who supports the marriage of spirit and activism. Excerpt above is from The New Republic of the Heart.

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Wisdom Of Grieving
How do you relate to the notion that to arrive at maturity, we have to pass through all five stages of grieving? Can you share your personal experience of going through all five stages of grieving? What helps you stay in motion, doing what you can to make a positive difference?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: I have experienced losses of dear friends, father and mother, and three brothers and three sisters and the latest loss of my dear wife. I have learned about death and dying by going throug…
david doane wrote: People arrive at maturity in all kinds of ways. When dealing with a loss, passing through all 5 stages of grieving is a way to arrive at maturity, but it’s not a have to. Not everyo…
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Some Good News

7 Simple Ways to Cultivate Comfort
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Kindness Stories

Global call with Fritjof Capra!
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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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Innovation Means Relying on Everyone’s Creativity

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February 26, 2018

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Innovation Means Relying on Everyone's Creativity

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.

– Pablo Picasso –

Innovation Means Relying on Everyone’s Creativity

“You can’t hate someone whose story you know”. This motto highlights the work of Meg Wheatley, a well-respected writer, teacher, and speaker. In this informative piece, she reflects on the creative potential that emerges when we begin to treat organizations as living systems, rather than machines, and remain open to the possibility of adaptation and change. Drawing from 6 paradigms, Wheatley explores what happens when we dissolve our stereotypes and preconceived notions, and work together to welcome and support the ideas and experiences of those around us. No two of us see the world the same, Wheatley argues. Yet it’s our diversity that drives ingenuity, invention, and possibility. { read more }

Be The Change

Find a way to connect with someone who’s different from you this week. What was the experience like for you? Reflect on similarities that arose that might have surprised you.

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7 Simple Ways to Cultivate Comfort

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February 25, 2018

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7 Simple Ways to Cultivate Comfort

We rise by lifting others.

– -Robert Ingersoll- –

7 Simple Ways to Cultivate Comfort

How can we find comfort for ourselves and bring it to others, amidst sadness, stress, or loss? We need not look beyond our capacity to lend an open ear, share a warm smile, offer a hug, or voice a simple thank you. In this insightful article, author Colette Lafia shares 7 ways we can be messengers of comfort, bringing peace and compassion to ourselves, families, friends, communities, and the world around us. ΓΆReal comfort can be found in the context of daily living. It is a grace. We just need to open our arms and receive it.ΓΆ { read more }

Be The Change

Choose one of the 7 suggestions and practice it this week. What was it like for you and the receiver? Share about your experience in the comments section below.

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Five Boys’ Response to Bullying

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DailyGood News That Inspires

February 24, 2018

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Five Boys' Response to Bullying

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

– Theodore Roosevelt –

Five Boys’ Response to Bullying

Every morning, the students at Franklin Elementary in Mankato, Minnesota, take the Pledge of Allegiance. But five fifth-grade boys embody “liberty and justice for all.” When the boys noticed their classmate with a learning disability getting teased, they banded together and made him a part of their gang. Watch this short film in which the boys themselves tell you why they did what they did. { read more }

Be The Change

When you meet someone different from what’s considered the norm, give them room to express themselves to you or the group. Find out more about who they are and where they are coming from.

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Jean Vanier: The Wisdom of Tenderness

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DailyGood News That Inspires

February 23, 2018

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Jean Vanier: The Wisdom of Tenderness

If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.

– Mother Teresa –

Jean Vanier: The Wisdom of Tenderness

Jean Vanier’s life demonstrates tenderness. A philosopher, a Catholic social innovator, and the founder of The L’Arche movement, which is centered around people with mental disabilities, he has devoted his life to the practical application of Christianity’s most paradoxical teachings: that there’s power in humility, strength in weakness, and light in the darkness of human existence. The 147 L’Arche communities are in 35 countries and have become places of pilgrimage and transformation for those involved and the world around them. They create a culture of welcoming, where tenderness and touch are important, where the disabled teach what it means to be human. In this interview, Vanier describes his work with the disabled and predicts that the future of the world will be one in which the little lights of love will spread and be places where people love each other. { read more }

Be The Change

Vanier recalls that Mother Teresa fought feelings of anguish and advised us to stop thinking about the anguish and start loving people, “We will be healed by the poor so let’s get down to it.” Examine your feelings of anguish, then demonstrate your love – perhaps by volunteering with a local organization that works with the poor and/or disabled. { more }

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What If We Believed That No Lives Mattered Less Than Other Lives?

This week’s inspiring video: What If We Believed That No Lives Mattered Less Than Other Lives?
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Video of the Week

Feb 22, 2018
What If We Believed That No Lives Mattered Less Than Other Lives?

What If We Believed That No Lives Mattered Less Than Other Lives?

"Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. Each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship [and] love…Full-time employment is offered for more than 200 men and women at a time through an 18-month program that helps them re-identify who they are in the world, offers job training so they can move on from Homeboy Industries and become contributing members of the community – knowing they count!"
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Living Needs Aging: A Conversation with Ashton Applewhite

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DailyGood News That Inspires

February 22, 2018

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Living Needs Aging: A Conversation with Ashton Applewhite

All aging is successful because otherwise you are dead. Living needs aging. There is no best or right way to age. Each of us will make different accommodations and find different meanings.

– Ashton Applewhite –

Living Needs Aging: A Conversation with Ashton Applewhite

In this interview ageism expert Ashton Applewhite discusses what she has learned over the course of her work. “People literally don’t realize that it is no more acceptable to criticize someone on the basis of age than on the basis of anything else about themselves, I think the most important thing to think about is language– because we live in a youth-oriented society, we tend to use young to equate with good things and old with bad things…I started interviewing people over eighty who worked. Everything I learned about these remarkable people I was meeting and from my own research completely contradicted all these notions I had about what it would like to be that old, about immobility, about the way you move through the world, the way you see yourself. I assumed that older people were depressed because they were really old and going to die soon. In fact, older people have better rates of mental health than young or middle aged people because of neurological changes that occur in the brain. It was hard for me to believe that people were less afraid of dying as they got older…. It is a function of the fact that the awareness that time is short doesn’t fill people with dread; it makes them spend their time more wisely.” { read more }

Be The Change

Ashton’s Applewhite’s Consciousness Raising Guide. { more }

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