Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Compassion, Change, and Singing

rabbit

 

California Votes for Cruelty Free Cosmetics

California just passed a law that will make it illegal to sell cosmetics or ingredients that have been tested on animals. The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act will go into effect in January of 2020. Read more below from The Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/california-has-just-approved-law-requiring-all-cosmetics-to-be-cruelty-free/#.W7JziKaNjSc.facebook

Rising Out of Hatred through Kindness

Derek Black, the son of a KKK Grand Wizard and godson of David Duke, broke free from the white nationalist movement. It was a gradual process that started when he went to college and his friend Matthew invited him to a Friday night Shabbat dinner. You can read more in this article or watch the video below. The discussion about change starts about four and a half minutes into the video.

 

Singing is Good for You!

It’s not hot off the presses, but here are some surprising ways singing can improve your mental and physical health:

http://vkool.com/benefits-of-singing/

Got good news? Share it!

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Awesome Stories 364

I’m happy to re-blog these Awesome Stories from Brad. Listening to Lek Chailert gives me hope. Seeing the love she shares with elephants always brings me a big heart smile. She is a hero of compassion. The other stories are important, too. We need to focus on solutions to help planet Earth and a healthier flow for change.

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories brings you climate solutions, compassionate care, and healthy change.

Climate Solutions

People need solutions. They don’t need more data, they need narrative. ..The only way we’re going to get out of this is to have a practical vision that we can all work towards. ~ Paul Hawken

climate solutions, Awesome StoriesI agree with Paul Hawken’s view that we need more focus on solutions, vision, and story, and less on the science and data. Too much information just locks in our paralysis and analysis. The world needs our actions, now! In reality, as Paul’s book Drawdown points out, we already have the technology to deal with climate change, but we need a shift in how we talk, write, and think about climate change. Currently, we’re locked into a mode of “fighting” climate change. As Paul points out, you can’t fight the climate. It is simply feedback from the planet giving us an…

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For the Dogs: Two Stories of Compassion

First, a story of miraculous healing. It  may be a little hard to watch at the very beginning, but it soon gets better and has a  happy ending.  I love how people didn’t give up on Thor and how he never gave up on himself.

 

This next story is about saving the abandoned dogs of Chernobyl. Some were hunted and killed by government officials. The survivors have been on their own for multiple generations, yet many are still friendly to humans.  I’m so thankful that the people of the Clean Futures Fund are stepping up to take care of these dogs.

 

Got good news? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Extending Compassion To All Living Things

I found this one-liner at Healing Soul Streams,  where blessings flow in abundance.

Extend our Circle of compassion Albert Schweitzer

Let us extend our compassion to all living things, including ourselves.

One-Liner Wednesday is extended to us by Linda G. Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/03/22/one-liner-wednesday-any-takers/

1linerwedsbadgewes

The One-Liner Wednesday rules (which I sometimes follow) are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


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Having Compassion for Our “Shoulds”

Loving Me, Too

sweet lady and calf

My mother never seemed like a dominating person. I remember her as patient and kind and much more easy to manipulate than my father who served in the marine corps until I was well into my teens. But in later years, when I observed my mother with my pre-teen daughter, I noticed a lot of “shoulds” directed at my daughter. Mom was trying to help of course. I wondered if the “shoulds” had always been there, if they had been handed down to me and incorporated so deeply into my psyche, that I wasn’t consciously aware of their abundance.

A couple days ago, I found this article  among the “Awesome Stories”  at “Writing to Freedom.” In “Seeking Wholeness,” Patty de Llosa, writes about accepting all aspects of ourselves, the good, the bad, and the parts of ourselves we try to push away and might not even be aware…

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From Prison Cells to Sanctuaries

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I have mixed feelings about zoos. I enjoyed taking my kids to the Milwaukee Zoo when they were young, and the zoo in Asheboro, NC had a lot of wide open spaces when we visited many years ago. Still, the big cats could have had more room. These zoos are more like parks, with some cages. The elephants, rhinos and antelope had plenty of pasture to roam. They were a far sight better than the roadside zoos which unfortunately still exist.

The zoos where animals are caged in spaces that remind me of prison cells should be illegal by now. I imagine what it would be like to have to stay in my living room all the time. That’s what some cages in roadside zoos are like for lions, and tigers and bears. They pace back and forth. I hate to even think about it.

In an ideal world, there would be no zoos, only sanctuaries and parks with natural habitats. But since zoos do exist, we can be sure to only support the most humane and natural facilities, or none at all. I applaud the work of Jane Goodall who has done so much to improve conditions for chimps, and those who create and maintain sanctuaries like the one Shirley goes to in this moving video:

We can make a world with no chains and no more cages, a world with love and compassion.

Today’s stream of consciousness prompt was, “zoo.” If you’d like to find out where your stream of consciousness take you, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/04/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-3016/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 

 


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The White Room

I’m re-blogging this story, written by Victo Dolore, in honor of Ruthie, my former co-worker who died from ovarian cancer. Ruthie was full of compassion for every human being. She worked especially hard to fight the stigma against pregnant women addicted to drugs. She worked to teach compassion to medical professionals in delivery and the NICU. She would love this story so much. To learn more about Ruthie and her continuing mission, you can visit: http://www.championsforcompassion.com/


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My Last Circus – Sentiments from the Big Top

My hope is that some day, not too far away, all elephants,
all lions, tigers and bears, will be wild and free or protected in natural sanctuaries.

I’m thankful to Jana Green for sharing her experience with such compassion.

The Beggar's Bakery

Photo by Jana Greene Photo by Jana Greene

By: Jana Greene

It would be my last circus.

I’d always loved the circus – everything about it. The popcorn and cotton candy, the distorted and loud fanfare music, the smell of sawdust in the enormous tent, and the animals. I especially loved the animals, garishly dressed in sequined headpieces that matched the tacky attire of their human counterparts. The animals – especially the elephants – always made my heart race.

But last year, the elephants only made my heart break.

I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I knew in my heart of hearts that it would be the very last circus I’d  attend. I knew it for certain, because I couldn’t bear the pain on the animals’ faces. The elephants, in particular, with their intelligent eyes that don’t just reflect pain, but also the countenances of broken spirits. Listless, resigned, going through all…

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Jesus, Judas, and the Deeper Story

This week, I’m revisiting the movie, Jesus Christ Superstar.  You can read more about the film and the role it played in my life here.

As I experience these scenes thirty of so years later, I understand more. I understand some of the struggle Judas must have felt, so well depicted in the performance of Carl Anderson. I also appreciate the modern day instruments of war framing the dream scene:

 

Today, the last supper scene sharpens my awareness of the self- righteous complacency we can fall into with, “Always hoped that I’d be an apostle…”

But Jesus brings us back to a complicated reality. He knows the deeper story as he orders Judas to go and betray him. We see some of Jesus’ human side and feel the turmoil, and the love, between Judas and Jesus.

 


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Re-blogging about Very Hard Things

Sometimes computers are hard for me. Or maybe it’s just my I phone. When I tried to re-blog this post with my phone, other random post parts jumped in uninvited.  I deleted the post, and now, I’m starting over on the lap top.  But it says I already re-blogged the post. Oh Well, there’s always a way.

http://tonningsen.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/very-hard-things/comment-page-1/#comment-6973

I like the post from Eric Tonningsen’s blog because it gives three clear suggestions to help make coping with very hard things possible.

Like in January when I put my Golden Retriever, Jesse,  “to sleep.” I had no idea when I started to re-blog Eric’s post that I’d get to process some of this grief again, but that’s how grief is sometimes.

https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/ill-see-you-on-the-other-side/

I used Eric’s suggestions then and now.

I found, and still find, beauty in the memories of  our life together, Jesse’s protectiveness, and how he loved to swim.

I let family help me but asking my husband to carry some of the weight (figuratively and literally carrying Jesse when he couldn’t walk) and calling my father on the phone from the vet’s office to pray with us.

I had compassion for myself, reminding myself of all that I’d done to try to make Jesse comfortable, and that I would get through saying goodbye to him. I feel sad remembering this now, but after nine months, it has gotten easier: the waves of sadness do not come as often and they’re not as intense. (Deep breath.)

I would just like to add that, in my experience, God can help too. When I don’t feel like I have the strength to get through something, I ask:

“God help me, get through this,”

Courage comes to me from a power greater than myself.

I know I am never alone.