Life changing true stories told to encourage, empower and inspire us!

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"Fill your mind with light, happiness, hope, feelings of security and strength, and soon your life will reflect these qualities." ~Unknown

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"The Greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance!" ~Brian Tracy

All post and stories are the sole property of Velvet Over Steel aka Coreen Trost. I write and create post in order to help others, so share as you want. I just ask that you link back or give VOS credit. Some of the stories are going into a book in progress. Thank You ALL.. for your support and help!!
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." ~ John Quincy Adams

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The History of Samhain

The Spirit Journey
 Given the stories and myths, the Samhain Festival is shrouded in mystery and evil…. However, for many it is actually a religious celebration; paying respect to ancestors, family members, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died.

Samhain is a harvest festival with ancient Pagan roots celebrated on October 31-November 1. The Old Irish name Samhain, means "summer's end." The festival became associated with the Christian All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and has hugely influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween, a name first attested from the fuller Scottish name All-Hallows-Even, from the 16th century.

Samhain marked the end of harvest, the "lighter half" of the year, and the beginning of the "darker half." It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days. Many scholars say that it was also the beginning of the Celtic year.

The Celts believed that on this night the border or veil between the dead and the living was at its thinnest because some animals and plants were dying. It thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. The dead could rise out of their graves and roam freely on the earth. It was once called the “festival of the dead” because of this.

This was the time of year that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered, for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and were left as offerings to the Nature spirits.

Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual. Bonfires were originally called bone-fires because after the feast, the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year.

Stones were marked with people’s names and also thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person's fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

In an attempt to copy the spirits or placate them, Celts had a custom of wearing costumes and masks. In Scotland the dead were impersonated by young men dressed in white, with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Turnips were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns. They were also used to ward off harmful spirits.

Samhain continues to be celebrated as a religious festival for both Wiccans and Pagans. It is one of their most sacred days. It is a fun time for them; however, it is also a time to honor the dead, communicate with the spirits and observe some of the rituals below.

• Celebrate the Harvest's End. Since Samhain falls on October 31, they also celebrate it as the end of the harvest, and honor the return of the King of Winter.

• Honor our Animals. Man's relationship with animals has evolved over thousands of years. They were once only a source of food. Now they are much more, our companions and friends. They honor the animal spirits in a ritual for Samhain.

• Honor their Ancestors. For many Wiccans and Pagans, the honoring of ancestors is a key part of their spirituality. This ceremony can be held by itself or as part of a group of Samhain rituals.

• Host a Dumb Supper. In many Pagan and Wiccan traditions, Samhain is celebrated with a Feast with the Dead, or Dumb Supper as it’s called. This is a solemn and sober occasion, and includes place settings for relatives and friends who have crossed over in the past year, as well as a chance to tell them what you never got to say.

• Celebrate the Cycle of Life and Death. Samhain is a time like no other, in that they can watch as the earth literally dies for the season. Leaves fall from the trees, the crops go brown, and the land becomes a desolate place once more. During Samhain, they take the time to remember the dead. They contemplate about the endless cycle of life, death, and eventual rebirth.

• Hold a Séance. Samhain is the night when they believe the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. Many take advantage by holding a séance and contacting the spirit world at this time.

• Honor the God and Goddess at Samhain. Some Pagan and Wiccan traditions and rituals include honoring the God and Goddess of their choosing.

Here is a blessing and meditation ritual anyone can do. Meditation is a great tool no matter what your Spiritual Practice or personal beliefs are.

Stare into the flame of a lighted candle; thinking about the goals that you are setting for the upcoming year. When done, say:

"Every beginning has an ending,
And every ending is a new beginning.
In Life is Death, and in Death is Life.
Watch over me, my loved ones, and all of my
Brothers and Sisters, here and departed,
Who, tonight are joined together again for
Fellowship and celebration.
Bless us all as we light our bonfires, our hearth fires,
And the eternal fires in our hearts.
Guide us and protect us,
Tonight and throughout the coming year.
Blessed Be! Blessed Be!"

As you say "Blessed Be!" stretch out your arms out as if to embrace all of your ancestors, your departed loved ones, and everyone on Earth. As you say "Blessed Be" again, embrace yourself with a reborn love and pride.

We can all benefit from setting goals, asking for guidance and protection along with blessing each other during Samhain and all year long. I hope you all have a Blessed Samhain!

Note: I was asked to 'Ghost write' this article for a well known web-site that helps people with both 'historic' and modern 'holistic' ways of helping people.  I was thrilled and hope you like this too! ~ Coreen  xoxoo

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Real Law of Attraction... By Carmen Honacker
There are so many books promising love, success, money, fame and fortune, if we only follow the rules of these two laws. Given how much material can be found on these topics, one would think that a lot more of us would be a lot more successful. This is because all of these “proven methods” don’t mention a few things that will not only drastically change the outcome, but actually leave you in the exact same spot you found yourself in before you read the book, minus whatever money you spent on the “proven method.”

The Law of Attraction

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all find the love of our lives, our soul mate and life mate, by just following the instructions of a book? Oh, how we hope… and each time another discovery is made that tells us that this is now the real way of finding true love, because new scientific discoveries, as well as ancient truths from a magical book hidden under a rock in the Sahara desert, which carbon dated back 5,000 years ago, are definitely going to work… even for you!

The Law of Attraction does work! But what most “experts” fail to share is the minor detail that you attract who you are, and what you think of yourself! You just have to believe—and, of course, you have to know that you deserve. Just keep repeating the mantra of “I deserve.” It might actually finally get stuck… and backfire!

Why, you ask? A person with low self-esteem, a person who is negative and down on themselves, will usually not suddenly become confident by reading a book, period. Yes, everything is possible, but not by sitting on your butt and doing nothing! Changes require work, and usually hard work! So a person without a shred of confidence will usually repeat the mantra, but take it to a completely new level of extremism. This is when they start telling the whole world “darn it, I do deserve!” The previously sad rants then turn into narcissistic statements of how great they are… and how, sadly, no one recognizes it.

Meanwhile, the love they are so desperately seeking stays hidden, because now they sound like desperate and still insecure tools, versus just being downers before.

If we are broken, we will usually attract others who are broken. If we are superficial, we will attract another, who is also superficial. The whole myth of opposites attracting is true for about one minute. Usually, opposites will drive each other crazy in the long run, and do not work out. And when I mean opposite, I mean truly opposite in character and being. Not something lame like different tastes in music or food!

Attracting true happiness has to always start with oneself and the willingness to grow, which means change. I’m a firm believer in therapy, but there are other ways as well. In order to attract what truly makes you happy, you have to first learn to be happy with yourself, knowing who you are and what you really want. Only when you know these things will you know what you truly deserve, without having to blast it from the rooftops.

The Law of Abundance

The same principal listed above also applies for this law. Hence, it is pretty difficult to achieve abundance! For example, when I lost my job, it was pretty hard to sit around and say to myself “don’t worry; you have abundance in your life. You’ll find something and you won’t lose everything you own over it.” The more time that went by, the harder it was to be “positive.” But I knew that if I started panicking or appearing desperate in job interviews, I’d just make my situation worse. But this is where it came in handy that I had done at least some of the work! I did know what I was worth and who I am, even though my foundation had become a bit shaky. I simply would not accept defeat. The thought of losing my home, my car or everything simply didn’t get any power from me. Oh yes, these thoughts occurred, but I would immediately stop myself in my tracks and do something productive, like writing. For some strange reason, maybe because I grew up in such poor conditions, money has not been a source of anxiety or fear in many years. Not because I am so well off, but because I won’t give power to the fear. And while I never became rich, I always had a roof over my head (a nice one), money to pay my car, buy clothes and eat the food I want.

The thing that no one likes to hear is that the life we are living is an immediate result of who we believe we are and what we think is possible. To become this person of Zen, the person who attracts others, in business and personal life, the one with the great friends, the nice things and the happy relationship, and the one who truly feels at peace with themselves and the world, one has to be willing to pay the price. And the price is work.

But I kept my eyes on the prize, and after a while it became a little easier. I started to attract completely different people and situations. But then, I no longer see myself the same way I did a mere year ago, not to mention two or three years ago. I can’t quite describe it, because I am still the same person—and yet, I am completely different. I can do and say things now that I never thought possible. With each passing day, the “new” me is getting stronger, while the old tapes in my head are slowly being overwritten and erased.

I do believe that both laws are accurate and will work. But boy, I never thought it would take that much hard work, dedication and will power to make them happen. So here’s your secret, free of charge. It’s also called “Common Sense.”   By: Carmen Honacker   One of the best blogger/writers I know & a great new friend!
"When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option. It’s a necessity." ~ Steve Pavlina
"The abundant life does not come to those who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others. It develops from within and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber." - William Mather Lewis

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Half Full & Aloha Friday!

"Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure, there your heart; where your heart, there your happiness." ~ Saint Augustine
Half Full Friday is a series of weekly posts that Eye Girl originally started in June 2009.We believe that a lot of our happiness is determined by our attitude about the things that happen to us. So by participating, we are deciding to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty. We are choosing to concentrate on the positives, instead of dwelling on the negatives. Our Half Full Friday posts are a way to do just that. They are a list of the things in our life that have brought us happiness over the past week. We are determined to find the something good in every day. Are you?
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” ~ Aristotles
For the next week, we challenge you to keep a list of at least one thing that brought you happiness each day.

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” ~ Robert Heinlein
This is what I'm Happy for this week:
  • I am extremely happy all my boys will be home for Christmas! 
  • Happy at least one of them will bring a friend with!
  • I am always Happy to have company!  The more the better! 
  • Happy to have a reason to decorate, bake and cook!!
  • I am very happy for a fast & productive week!
  • I am happy my son has a new mentor!  He seems really nice!
  • I was surprised.. yet Happy seeing someone on Wed!
  • I am happy for 2 fantastic meetings this week!
  • I am happy to have so many things to look forward too! 
"We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we feel loved!" ~ ME :-)
It's also "ALOHA FRIDAY" Everyone!!
If you want to join in the fun? Post your own question on your blog and leave your link at the Aloha Friday post at An Island Life. Then you can visit the other participants if you wish...It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends or see what people are thinking about this week and join in a conversation or two if you like.

"There is only one purpose in life, to love and be loved!" ~ unknown

My question:  What is the main ingredient to finding our Purpose in life?

My answer:   I believe it's Love!  We need Love to open our hearts and souls to all the possibilities that life has to offer. 

I feel that Love is how we connect to not only others, but also to ourselves.  We need those connections in order to learn life lessons, realize what our passions are and what our purpose in life is. 

We are here on this earth to enjoy Life... and the best joy in life is 'Love'.  It's the most important ingredient to both Happiness and finding our Purpose in Life.

"Love many things, for therein each lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." ~ Vincent van Gogh
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~ Lao Tzu
I hope that the people I care about know how much I love them.  I pray that I give my family and friends strength, encouragement, courage and mostly the warm feeling of loving arms around them... even when we are apart.  If you ever need any of that.. I am only an email or phone call away! :-)

Blessings & Hugs to you All,
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Whatever you give out in life is what you receive back in life... by: Rhonda Byrne

“Love life and life will love you back. Love people and they will love you back.” ~Arthur Rubinstein
The life of your dreams, everything you would love to be, do or have, has always been closer to you than you knew, because the power to everything you want is inside you!

Love is not weak, feeble, or soft.  Love is the positive force of life!  Love is the cause of everything positive and good.

Everything you want to be, do, or have comes from love.

The positive force of love can create anything good, increase the good things and change anything negative in your life.

Every day, in every moment, you make the choice whether to love and harness the positive force -or not.
Whatever you give out in life is what you receive back in life.

Give positivity, you receive back positivity; give negativity, you receive back negativity.

Life doesn't happen to you; you receive everything in your life based in what you're given.

Whether your thoughts and feelings are good or bad, they return as automatically and precisely as an echo.

Talk about the good news of the day.  Talk about what you love.  And bring what you love to you.

Love, because when you love... you are using the greatest power in the universe.

by:  Rhonda Byrne

image from

"If you love the life you live, you will live a life of love." ~ Mark Houlahan

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

There are times ...

"There are times in everyone's life when something constructive is born out of adversity... when things seem so bad that you've got to grab your fate by the shoulders and shake it." ~ Unknown

"There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself." ~ Lemony Snicket

"There are times when fear is good. It must keep its watchful place at the heart's controls. There is advantage in the wisdom won from pain." ~ Aeschylus  Source: Famous quotes

"There are times when words cannot express what we feel. And the little ways we try to help seem so small. Yet somehow through the love and prayers of friends, moves the almighty hand of God. May God hold you in the palm of His hand and comfort you with His everlasting love." ~ SMS Text

Last but not least... a Poem by Linda Lee Elrod for a friend.....

There are just can’t imagine how much I miss you sometimes!

Oh, I know you’re not in Timbuktu or anything, but there are times when not just anyone will do-

 Times when I really wish you were right here, right now to confided in, laugh with, and talk to.

It’s amazing how often I’ll wonder what you’d think about something or what you’d advise me to do in certain situations.

Or I’ll see something and just know that nobody else would think it’s funny or see it the same way … except you.

I guess what I want you to know is that even though we’re apart now, I still feel closer to you than I do to many people I see every day.

That’s just a fact.

And I thought it might make you feel good to know how very important you are to me… no matter where life finds either of us.
Linda Lee Elrod

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Art of True Forgiveness By Phoenix Adoni

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” ~ Robert Muller

When I look back on my life, I realize how much time I’ve wasted, how many beautiful moments lost and forgotten. Nothing really touched, no one really seen – not even me.
I’ve come to realize that so much of my life was spent holding onto the past – to resentments, blame, guilt and anger. And it was this resentful past that I was holding onto – keeping it alive – that I was projecting onto others and creating a predictable future of more resentments, more anger, more suffering.

My awakening came from a deep loss that caused me to stop, and I was given the gift of seeing myself clearly – my past, my present, my future and the interconnection of it all. I stopped running, and finally saw how angry I was at the people of my past, for the perceived wrongs, the slings and arrows thrown deep within my heart – and more importantly, the anger, the blame, the soul-numbing guilt and unforgiveness I’ve held myself hostage with.

I soon discovered that true forgiveness is letting go of the past and begins with truly forgiving myself for the situations, the pain and suffering I caused for others, realizing that I was doing the best I could at the time, regardless of how unconscious I was. I am not the same person I was a year ago, let alone ten minutes ago – I, we – are all evolutions in the moment of making.

True forgiveness is about forgetting. I grew up hearing, “I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget.” This, to me, is not truly forgiving. By not forgetting, the past is still kept alive in the present and its accompanied resentment. It’s not really forgiven from the depths of my life, honestly looking at myself and seeing that at some point in my life, I have done or made the same choices that have hurt another.

This isn’t to say that I’ve become a doormat for people to hurt me again, treat me badly, or dump their laundry off at my doorstep. It’s a paradox but, as I learn to forgive and forget, I’m now taking better care of myself – setting healthy boundaries, speaking up for myself and finally embracing my own power – at home within.

I’ve asked myself, as I ask you, what exactly I’m getting out of not forgiving another? I discovered that it was a way to protect myself from feeling the fullness and richness of the hurt, the pain, and its subsequent growth.

But more importantly, it was a method of punishment, by withholding my love and casting them out of my life. But in the end, I realized that it was me I was withholding love from, and without love for myself, without forgiveness for myself and others, how could I expect to ever truly love another?

By not forgiving myself, my past and the people of it, I was miserable, becoming hardened, more angry and living in my head rather than my heart. I was slowly killing my spirit, depriving it of the love it needed to ensure its survival. I again had to ask myself, as I ask you, is this worth it? Is my happiness and peace worth the anger and blame and suffering? I said “No.” Maybe you will, too. It was my first step in healing my heart. Perhaps it will be yours as well.

Practicing forgiveness is a life-long process that never ends, but leads to the mastery of life and love. That’s not to say that we’re not human – I still struggle and have difficulties forgiving at times, but as I practice, my time in peace increases. I’m realizing that forgiving truly is an art, for when I truly forgive, my heart warmly opens, overflows with love, and as each one of us practices this gentle art, our love for ourselves grows, extends to all people, and paints the rich tapestries of each holy moment that we call our lives.  By Phoenix Adoni

“Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” ~ Sara Paddison

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Half Full & Aloha Friday!!

“I think being positive is so important. To me, it is a life skill. You’ve got to find ways to be positive and be good to yourself and treat yourself and take care of yourself. Put on lipstick in the morning and get out there. Don’t sit in your house and wallow. There’s nothing positive about that.”
Half Full Friday is a series of weekly posts that Eye Girl originally started in June 2009.We believe that a lot of our happiness is determined by our attitude about the things that happen to us. So by participating, we are deciding to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty. We are choosing to concentrate on the positives, instead of dwelling on the negatives. Our Half Full Friday posts are a way to do just that. They are a list of the things in our life that have brought us happiness over the past week. We are determined to find the something good in every day. Are you?
"Of all the medicines in the inner life, a smile is by far the best medicine." ~ Sri Chinmoy
For the next week, we challenge you to keep a list of at least one thing that brought you happiness each day.

"To live happily is an inward power of the soul." ~ Aristotle

This is what I'm Happy for this week:
  • I was very happy to be Super busy this week! 
  • I'm even happier the week went really well!
  • I'm happy for my son's job interview this week!
  • I'm happy I made Thanksgiving plans!
  • I'm happy to be learning massage! Great Class!
  • I'm happy for winning a book give away!
  • I'm happy I ordered Alex J. Cavanaugh's new book!
  • I'm very happy for my continued growth!
  • I'm happy for great conversations this week!
  • I'm happy for an awesome Social Media class on Tuesday!
  • I'm happy for weekend plans!  YES!!
"Happiness is the only thing on earth that cannot be paid by any diamonds, gold or money." - Unknown
"Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul." ~ Democritus, (460?-370? BC)

It's also "ALOHA FRIDAY" Everyone!!
If you want to join in the fun? Post your own question on your blog and leave your link at the Aloha Friday post at An Island Life. Then you can visit the other participants if you wish...It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends or see what people are thinking about this week and join in a conversation or two if you like.
"Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have." ~Rabbi Hyman Schachtel
Question:  What are your simplest pleasures that cost little to nothing?  

My Answer:  I love being outside on a nice day.  Doing anything from working in the yard to sitting and reading.  I love cookouts with family and friends.  I also love having game nights with friends, playing cards or even the Wii... 'Outdoor Adventures' and 'Rockband' are my favorite games so far. :-)  

How about you?  Share your simplest pleasures with us!
"Happiness comes from spiritual wealth, not material wealth... Happiness comes from giving, not getting. If we try hard to bring happiness to others, we cannot stop it from coming to us also. To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it." ~ John Templeton
Blessings & Hugs to you All,
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What does 'Love' mean to you?

‎"The world is a great mirror.  It reflects back to you what you are.  If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly and helpful to you.  The world is what you are." - Thomas Dreier

Love is the emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.

 In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. In religious context, love is not just a virtue, but the basis for all being ("God is love"), and the foundation for all divine law, which most refer to as the Golden Rule.

What does 'Love' mean to you? Here's what it means to me.

First of all, love is Not about you! Did that take you back? Well, it's true! Look at the love that 'most' parents have for their child or children at the moment they are born. When they are totally helpless and can't give anything back... we love that child the moment we see or hold them in our arms. I think this is the purest form of Unconditional love without any thought of ourselves!

"Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of the loved one's qualities or actions. The paradigm of unconditional love is a mother's love for her newborn."

"Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself." ~ Jean Anouilh

Loving someone only when you get your way or the other person does what you want them to do..... is not unconditional love and certainly not true Love. Accepting them, a child or an adult in your life for who they are; believing in them and supporting them in their dreams and the desires of their heart... is truly Loving them.

Love is to me an overwhelming feeling of warmth, care, kindness, courtesy, generosity, compassion and concern for another persons happiness, safety and well being. Whether that be a child, a spouse, a partner or a friend!

Love is not being selfish or self serving. To me it is the complete opposite infact. It also is not controlling, doing things for manipulation or reacting with anger or violence. Which includes name calling or verbal abuse... no matter what the excuse. These are not ways you treat someone you Love, let alone show your love for them.

When you 'truly' love someone, you want them to be happy. No matter whom that is with or where they go to be happy. From the child wanting to be in the band at school, instead of playing football, and their parents accepting that. To the parent who allows and accept their son or daughter's career or college decision.

I've known young people who got 'disowned' for joining the military after high school. How sad that is?! No matter what their reason for joining, they are doing what they either feel is right or because they feel it is the best way to get training, job experience and or an education. They are making the biggest and bravest decision of their life and deserve not only respect but the love and support of their family and friends.... at the very least!

I've known people who could not do anything to make their parents proud and receive the loving support they so wanted, needed and deserved. All they ever heard was that their grades could have been better, sport performance better, career choice better... the list went on and on. They never felt loved, not even by their own parents. How very sad!

I personally have the example of my middle son moving to Chicago for a great job 2 years ago. It was hard to see him leave and I still miss him a lot. But he is Happy there, so I'm very happy for him and proud of the fact that he took that leap of faith and works so hard toward his goals and Happiness! That is what's important!

My oldest son is in Texas right now working a clinical rotation. He told me last week he likes it there and will be applying for a few jobs in the area after graduation. Again, he is Happy and sees opportunities there... so I am happy for him and will survive the long distance and missing him.. knowing he is going to be Happy. That's what love is all about!  Wanting the other person to be Happy!

On the other hand, I've had friends who have made decisions based on reasons other than career goals or personal happiness. Out of overwhelming responsibilities or family problems and even guilt. In those situations it has been very hard for me to be happy for them or at peace with their decision.

No matter if it's a family member or a friend, I know it's really none of my business. However I have cared for these people and feel sadness for each of these situations just the same. If I thought they were happy or could be happy in their move or decision, then I of course would be happy for them also. So I pray for them to find happiness... No matter where that happiness is for them or no matter who that happiness is with. To me that is True Love...!

"Love means making the other person happy, even from a distance." -Submitted by Middream

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant or rude;
does not act unbecoming and is not selfish;
is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness or evil, but rejoices with the truth;  it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
"It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
"Love never fails...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is Love."~1 Corinthians 13:4-7,13

For a great book on communicating love to someone practically, try the best book I know on that subject The Five Love Languages by Gary Smalley    Below, he gives this simple explanation of this famous Bible passage and quotes and is not meant to be a technical commentary.

Love is patient,

True love is unconditional, that is, it does not depend on the attributes or lack there of the person loved, therefore, it is willing to give as much time necessary, and as much space as necessary for that person to grow.

love is kind and is not jealous;

Love seeks to give others something of benefit for their welfare, and consequently, rejoices when they do benefit.

love does not brag and is not arrogant;

To lift one's self up in reference to others leaves no room for unconditional, graceful love.

does not act unbecoming and is not selfish;

To act inappropriately, shamefully (morally, especially in the area of sexual purity) is not in accordance with true love. Love never seeks it's own gratification but rather the interests of others.

is not provoked,

Selfishness seeks to manipulate others by stimulating certain selfish emotions. Love will not do this to others, nor will it let it happen to itself.

does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Forgiveness. Let it go. Bitterness is the acid. You are the container. Get rid of it or it will kill you.

does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

Love does not somehow gloss over things that are going to be hurtful. True love originates from the truth.

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If love really is unconditional, it will hold any weight, face any doubt, persist through hopelessness, and last any trial

Love never fails...

If it did, would it be love?

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Someday, faith will not be needed, for we will see God. Hope will not be needed, for when everything is fulfilled, there is no need for hope. But love, yes, to it there will be no end. If it did, it wouldn't be love.

~ The Five Love Languages books series by Gary Smalley

One last note:
A smile - is a sign of joy.
A hug - is a sign of love.
A laugh - is a sign of happiness.

And a friend like you??
Well...that's just a sign of good taste!!

Love you all more than you know!
~ Coreen

Monday, October 18, 2010

Every Monday Matters - Don't Be a Litter Bug!

This week's EMM: Eliminate Litter From Your Life!

- 250 million tons of trash is generated each year in the U.S.

- 4.6 pounds of waste is created every day by the average person.

- Common litter includes cigarette butts, plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers, fast-food packaging, bottle caps, 6-pack can holders, glass bottles, and plastic straws.

- Men and women are equally likely to litter.

- People under age 15 are least likely to litter; people under the age of 25 are most likely to litter when in a group; and, people over the age of 25 are most likely to litter when alone.

- In one single day, nearly 7 million pounds of litter were removed from beaches, lakes, and streams.

- Animals from nearly 443 species are entangled in or ingest marine debris annually. The majority of these die from starvation, exhaustion, or infection.

People litter because:

- there is a presence of other litter.

- it’s the easiest way to get rid of unwanted things.

- littering is acceptable by people who pay taxes to have someone else pick it up.

- dumping is a social activity we learned from our parents and passed on unconsciously to our children.


+ Don't be a litter bug!!! And encourage others not to litter! (On campus, there are garbage cans in and around every building. So do your part to keep our campus beautiful!!!)

+ Spend one hour today picking up litter. Or decide that every time you see a piece of litter today, you’ll pick it up and throw it away.

+ If you see someone littering, politely ask them to pick it up. Or pick it up yourself and maybe the person who dropped it will see you and get the hint.

+ Organize a team of neighbors, friends, co-workers, or group members to pick up litter in a specific neighborhood (or on campus) for an hour. Make it more fun by turning the cleanup effort into a contest. (The Service-Learning Office can provide gloves and bags!)

+ Enjoy making a difference, getting exercise, getting to know people better, and having cleaner surroundings.


If every person picked up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 300 million fewer pieces of litter. If every person picked up 10 pieces of litter, there would be 3 billion fewer pieces damaging our environment. If you and your friends spend just one hour today picking up litter in your own neighborhood, you will not only pick up thousands of pieces of trash, you will also make a tremendous impact on your community!

What is the Every Monday Matters program?

Monday used to be the least favorite day of the week, but that is changing. EMM is based on the idea that every Monday people can make a difference in their life and the lives of those around them. No matter how big or small the actions, they matter. And not only do people have the power to make change, they have a social responsibility to do so. Not out of guilt, but out of an appreciation for every living thing in the world. Together, each person can make a difference in the world and raise the collective consciousness, thereby creating a legacy worth participating in…one Monday at a time.

For more information about the EMM movement visit:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Banish Negative Voices by: Yemaya

Our histories supply each of us with a library of old memory tapes. These can support or plague us in our day to day lives and behaviors. If you have issues with confidence and self esteem, it may well be that your “old tapes” are negative or destructive. These voices can be subliminal, so that you’re not actually aware of them unless you really tune in and pay attention. When you get those feelings of “not being good enough,” that’s the time to tune in and see if there’s an image or memory there. Will you hear a grandmother, father, or older sibling telling your childhood self something negative, perhaps more than once?

It might have been an off-hand remark to them, yet you have a broken record of their words of discouragement. These are “old tapes.” These can come from past or even current lovers, friends or even our own low self esteem! We collect them, and if we do nothing to banish them, they can drum up a virtual chorus whenever we attempt to move forward, take risks, or even add new people, places or things to our lives!

“Hugin” and “Munin” were magical ravens of myth and legend, also known as “Thought” and “Memory.” Nordic tales of these two creatures were that they could control a person’s destiny! Using “Thought,” or conscious thinking, when a “Memory,” or old tape, affects you in the moment that it occurs, can heal or banish those negative influences from your mind! Old tapes are phrases or words that repeat so often that they have “worn a groove” into your thoughts. You can replace them. The concept is easy, it’s the actions that take a concerted effort on your part.

You must seek out the phrases, thoughts, or memories that are stuck in your mind and write them down. Now you can find the “balance statement.” If the old tape says “you aren’t smart,” you can balance that with “I’m smart enough for all I do.” If the tape says “you aren’t that pretty,” balance it with “I am beautiful.” After you’ve written down the balance statement, use them as positive affirmations. Put them up around your home. Most importantly, when that memory causes a negative reaction, stop, breathe, and then tell yourself that “the TRUTH is…” and put in your positive statement to balance it – and more than once. Before you know it, you’ll have rewritten the old negative tapes with a new, more balanced view of yourself!
By: Yemaya

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Half Full & Aloha Friday!!

"You must try to generate happiness within yourself.  If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace." - Ernie Banks
Half Full Friday is a series of weekly posts that Eye Girl originally started in June 2009.

We believe that a lot of our happiness is determined by our attitude about the things that happen to us. So by participating, we are deciding to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty. We are choosing to concentrate on the positives, instead of dwelling on the negatives. Our Half Full Friday posts are a way to do just that. They are a list of the things in our life that have brought us happiness over the past week.

We are determined to find the something good in every day.  Are you?
"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections." - Unknown
For the next week, we challenge you to keep a list of at least one thing that brought you happiness each day.

"Happiness is not found at the end of the road, it is experienced along the way. So take not for granted each moment of your life and you will find a reason to be happy each day." - Unknown
This is what I'm Happy for this week:
  • I'm happy for a great conversation with my son in Chicago!
  • I'm happy for a great weekend! 
  • I'm happy I am Open Minded and Open Hearted!
  • I'm happy I'm planning another Chicago Trip!
  • I'm happy for a lot of writing time this week!
  • I'm happy for time to think about life! 
  • I'm happy that I have faith & Believe in many things that I can not see!
"Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness." - Saint Augustine

It's also "ALOHA FRIDAY" Everyone!!
If you want to join in the fun? Post your own question on your blog and leave your link at the Aloha Friday post at An Island Life. Then you can visit the other participants if you wish...It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends or see what people are thinking about this week and join in a conversation or two if you like.

"Fate - everything happens for a reason.  And when fate happens look for the good in it as it is there!" ~ Catherine Pulsifer

Question:  What is 'Fate' to you?

Answer: I believe that 'Fate' is an instance when we are destined for an event or experience.  However I also believe that because of the 'free will' of ourselves and others, we have many paths or destinies to choose from after that 'fateful' event.  I believe it's what you do with the event, information or person after 'fate' brings them into your life, is what matters.  That is where our 'free will' comes into play.

Such as when we meet someone whom we were meant to meet for whatever the reason.  To learn, grow, love or whatever the experience was for us.  How much these people influence or change our lives is based on the free will of each... after the meeting. 

I can think of many people in my life time that I was meant to meet, so each time I feel it was 'Fate'.  I think even the inspiring stories and post I read on many of your blogs, I was meant to read because they changed my mood, heart or way of thinking in some way.  Each time I am inspired or moved my someone... I feel it is 'Fate'. 

The word 'Fate' come from the Latin term fatum, "a spoken decree presumed to come from the gods," the existence of fate has been a topic of debate throughout existence.
The concept of fate dictates that one's destiny is inevitable and predetermined. Those who believe in fate generally feel that it cannot be changed and that they must live out the story that has been written for their life as it is laid out. 

Modern thinking however dictates that our futures are a combination of fate and free will. There are certain characteristics inherent in our beings and destinies we are here to fulfill, but we can choose how we act in our circumstances, thereby influencing our paths. 

"I'm talking about fate here - when feelings are so powerful it's as if some force beyond your control is guiding you to someone who can make you happy beyond your wildest dreams." - Submitted by Kay

Love and Happiness to you All!!
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Honest Communication from the Heart

 "People have important things to communicate. Speaking from your heart allows the emotionally difficult, the ordinary, and the wonderful things in our lives to be communicated and received." ~ David McArthur and Bruce McArthur, from the book "The Intelligent Heart"

In the book and presentation '8 to Great', motivational speaker for positive change MK Mueller writes this to describe High-Way 5: Honest Communication.

"Once we get in touch with our emotions through High-Way 4, we’re ready to practice communicating them honestly with others in a self-responsible way. The practice of non-defensive listening and assertively asking for what we want will empower us and deepen our connection to those around us. When we risk taking responsibility rather than blaming others for them, we combine the first four High-Ways into an “inner-state” of loving joy." ~ MK Mueller
"The genius of communication is the ability to be both totally honest and totally kind at the same time." ~ John Powell

Sara Paddison, author of the book "The Hidden Power of the Heart" writes:

"Being vulnerable doesn't have to be threatening. Just have the courage to be sincere, open and honest. This opens the door to deeper communication all around. It creates self-empowerment and the kind of connections with others we all want in life. Speaking from the heart frees us from the secrets that burden us. These secrets are what make us sick or fearful. Speaking truth helps you get clarity on your real heart directives."
"We take communication for granted because we do it so frequently, but it's actually a complex process." ~ Joseph Sommerville, PhD

Doc Childre, Bruce Cryer and Howard Martin from HeartMath LLC and authors of "The HeartMath Solution" write:

"In communications that are difficult or draining, ease into the heart and find something to appreciate about the person you're dealing with, or find a feeling of compassion or kindness. This will clear your mind and give you the coherence you need to know what to say next. That's energy efficiency at work."
"Be on the lookout for strain in each other, and with compassion and understanding, lend a helping hand and a mature heart. Helping each other manage emotional strain can yield creative alternatives and build a new foundation for heart-based communication and hope." ~ Doc Childre

In the book "From Chaos to Coherence" ~ by Bruce Cryer and Doc Childre; Coherent communication is based on four key principles:

1. Achieve understanding first
2. Listen nonjudgmentally
3. Listen for the essence
4. Be authentic
"Communication sometimes is not what you first hear, listen not just to the words, but listen for the reason." ~ Catherine Pulsifer
"It is no longer enough to be smart — all the technological tools in the world add meaning and value only if they enhance our core values, the deepest part of our heart. Acquiring knowledge is no guarantee of practical, useful application. Wisdom implies a mature integration of appropriate knowledge, a seasoned ability to filter the inessential from the essential." ~ Doc Childre and Bruce Cryer, From Chaos to Coherence

"Intuition does not always appear as the ingenious breakthrough or something grandiose. Intuitive thoughts, feelings, and solutions often manifest themselves as good old common sense. Common sense is efficient." ~ Doc Childre and Bruce Cryer, From Chaos to Coherence
"Words are just words and without heart they have no meaning." ~ Chinese proverb
All of these are important to consider and think about next time you have a serious or heartfelt conversation with someone.  Whether it be a personal communication with a family member or friend.  Or a business related conversation with a boss or co-worker.  

I personally strive to use all 4 of the Key principles in my communications; both in person and in my writing.  It truly makes a difference if you communicate only with your head or if you communicate through your Heart! 

When you're looking for honest communication, think about where your conversation is coming from.  If your words are coming from your heart, the person you're talking to just may start communicating from their heart back.  What's more honest  and authentic... than two hearts communicating?
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Every Monday Matters - Help Animals

October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month!

This week's EMM: Adopt a shelter animal or volunteer at an animal shelter!


- There are 4,000 to 6,000 animal shelters in the U.S.

- Nearly 8 million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters each year.

- Approximately 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year because there are not enough homes.

- 1 out of 4 dogs in shelters are purebreds. Adoption fees are usually much less than the cost of purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

- Only 16% of owned dogs and 15% of owned cats were adopted from an animal shelter.

- Many shelters vaccinate, de-worm, and spay or neuter for free.


+ Go to a shelter near you to see if there is an animal with which you “connect.” If not, search online at ( or the SPCA for a pet available for adoption.

+ Speak with an adoption counselor at the shelter about whether your choice of a particular type or breed will be best for you.

+ Only select a pet if you have a realistic understanding of the time, effort, and money required to provide a healthy, loving environment for your pet.

+ If you decide that adopting a pet isn’t feasible, you can always choose to volunteer at an animal shelter.


Animals are unconcerned about age, looks, or physical ability; they accept you just as you are. If you’re thinking about getting a pet, seriously consider adopting. Not only will you be saving your new pet’s life, but you’ll also be rewarded with years of companionship, entertainment, unconditional love, and increased opportunities to meet others. If you're not able to adopt a pet, then volunteer to help connect pets with their future pet parents!

What is the Every Monday Matters program?

Monday used to be the least favorite day of the week, but that is changing. EMM is based on the idea that every Monday people can make a difference in their life and the lives of those around them. No matter how big or small the actions, they matter. And not only do people have the power to make change, they have a social responsibility to do so. Not out of guilt, but out of an appreciation for every living thing in the world. Together, each person can make a difference in the world and raise the collective consciousness, thereby creating a legacy worth participating in…one Monday at a time.

For more information about the EMM movement visit:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Lotus Touts... tips for a Good Life and Great Relatioionships.

Lotus Touts means Good Luck.  It originates from Feng Shui which is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positives.  There are many translations and spin offs of it.  Feng Shui is demonstrated in architecture now and western cultures are embracing it.

The Lotus Touts is a list of  Good Guidelines for Life and Relationships.  They should be posted in our homes right along with 'Love is' and 'House Rules' prints.  There's some mighty fine advice in these words, even if you're not superstitious. This Lotus Touts has been provided to you for good luck and good advice only. 

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.

FIVE.. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye..

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

NINE.... Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice

TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.

For more on Feng Shui and tips to improve your life, relationships and bringing more positive energy into your life:  About Feng    Absolutely Feng Shui   The World of Feng Shui

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Illusion of Fear... by Phoenix Adoni

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~ Anonymous

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 The universe is comprised of only two energies – two choices that we as individuals make and can experience: Love or Fear. Every moment of every second of every day, we are constantly choosing one or the other. It is by the light of our own consciousness that we can become aware of when we are on auto-pilot and can then actively, consciously choose love over fear.

Fear is a manifestation of our ego, and the ego is concerned with only one thing: keeping us miserable, which ensures its survival. It is the ego where our past remains very much alive, and to ensure that it keeps us trapped, it projects our fearful and painful memories into the future to try to predict the outcome. It rationalizes that even if the future is miserable, at least I can be certain of what’s to come. The end result is that we loose the present moment – the only moment we have – where only Love resides.

When we become aware that our fear is generated by ego, and how and when it is manifested, we are much more in power to choose not to follow its dark and well-trodden path. Fear’s usual manifestation comes in the form of guilt, judgement, blame, anger, internal conversations or arguments with ourselves or others, and the refusal to forgive. These manifestations are first directed at ourselves, creating unnecessary suffering, which we project from our own minds onto people, places, and situations, all in an attempt to avoid looking at ourselves truly and deeply.

In my own life, I’m realizing how much time I have wasted, how much suffering I have created and how much happiness I have denied myself. As I begin to see my mind drift into fearful fantasy and imaginings of the future, I realize that it is all coming from a past experience I’ve had, and how by this form of visualization, I am re-creating the same for my future.

Once I become aware of my ego’s attempt to cloud the sunlight of my being and lead me away from the reality of Love, I return to my breath, to the present moment, and I realize that I have the power to choose my own thoughts – thoughts of Love, or the ego’s illusion of fear. And when I choose love, kindness, forgiveness, I am quickly reminded that fear does not exist, except in my past, which cannot touch me. I realize that the only reality in each unfolding moment is only Love.

Every moment you see yourself wandering that well-trodden path, breathe gently into your heart, allowing it to spread its warm embrace throughout your body, and realize that you are a brilliant manifestation of Source, which is nothing but pure, gentle and all-embracing Love for self, others, and all of humanity.

~  Phoenix Adoni

"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." - George Sand

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Half Full & Aloha Friday!

"Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert G. Ingersoll
Half Full Friday is a series of weekly posts that Eye Girl originally started in June 2009.We believe that a lot of our happiness is determined by our attitude about the things that happen to us. So by participating, we are deciding to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty. We are choosing to concentrate on the positives, instead of dwelling on the negatives. Our Half Full Friday posts are a way to do just that. They are a list of the things in our life that have brought us happiness over the past week. We are determined to find the something good in every day. Are you?
"Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit." - Norman Vincent Peale
For the next week, we challenge you to keep a list of at least one thing that brought you happiness each day.

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet." - James Oppenheim
This is what I'm Happy for this week:
  • I was happy to see my mom and favorite Aunt! 
  • I'm happy for great clearance bargains on Saturday!
  • I'm happy for a great weekend with my 'sister' friend!
  • I'm happy for friends who understand me!
  • I'm happy for learning new skills this week! 
  • I'm happy for another 'guest' blog post!
  • I'm happy that my son's dog, only had a sprain!
  • I'm happy for the wonderful local Vets!
  • I'm happy for students helping me with my garage.
  • I'm happy for the love of my family and friends!
"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within." - Ramona L. Anderson

"Until you are happy with who you are, you will never be happy with what you have." - Zig Ziglar

It's also "ALOHA FRIDAY" Everyone!!
If you want to join in the fun? Post your own question on your blog and leave your link at the Aloha Friday post at An Island Life. Then you can visit the other participants if you wish...It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends or see what people are thinking about this week and join in a conversation or two if you like.

"Give your stress wings and let it fly away." ~Terri Guillemets
Question:  What do you do to relax and get rid of stress?

Answer:  I walk, listen to inspirational or relaxing Cd's, light candles or incense, sit in a whirlpool or hot tub when available and write in my journal or Blog. :-)
"Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life." ~Terri Guillemets
Blessings & Hugs to you All,
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