Jobless Woman Finds Generosity On The Streets

May 7, 2010 by  
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I was very moved by this CNN story.  Most people when losing everything end up drowning  in self-pity.  But sometimes some of us face adversity head on.   They accept their situation and let go of what their life was like and in doing that discover a new life.  Shay Kelley is one of those people.

Denver, Colorado (CNN) — When Shay Kelley lost her marketing job she got worried. When she lost her home and her car she got mad.

“I went off into the woods and I started yelling at God,” she says. “I didn’t know why God would lead me up to this point in my life just to have me left with nothing.”

“I was like, ‘Just tell me what my purpose is, tell me why I’m here and if you’ll just tell me I’ll work harder than for anything I have ever worked for anything else in my entire life.’ ”

Within weeks she had her answer: Travel to all 50 states in 50 weeks. Collect canned goods for charities along the way and take a ton of pictures. She has dubbed it Project 50/50.

Gallery: Project 50/50

She stayed with friends while she waited tables and got together enough money to buy “Bubba,” her 1984 Ford pickup truck. She packed her camera, which she calls “Roxy,” and her dog, Zu Zu, and hit the road.

She began on New Year’s Day in South Carolina, randomly going door to door to collect canned goods.

“I set a goal of 200 cans a week, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but the premise is [that] doing a little bit adds up to a lot,” Kelley says. “After a year, [that's] 10,000 canned food items.”

She began to meet homeless people as she dropped off the canned goods, and she says they have surprised her with their generosity.

She met Donald, a retired Navy sailor, at a library in South Carolina.

“He invited me to go to lunch to buy me a hot meal because I had been eating PowerBars for three days,” Kelley says. “I found out after he left — after he paid the tab and paid my meter — that Donald was homeless, that he was actually living in the shelter.”

“That was the first week when I learned the people with the least tend to give the most.”

Donald was one of the first people she photographed. She posts her pictures on her website and Facebook page as she goes. She has more than 1,000 Facebook fans following her travels…Continued

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Striking A Balance

May 4, 2010 by  
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Yesterday I went to see a film with my parents – I’m still in Brazil – about a very prominent medium who died in 2002 at the age of 92, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_Xavier).

The film was poorly made but that is not the point of this blog.  The point is in a scene – based on an actual televised account by the medium about the episode – the medium is on a plane flying from one state to another when the flight encounters a lot of turbulence.  As the plane dips and shakes, the medium starts screaming and praying in fear for his life. That made no sense being that the medium’s entire life had been lived conversing with souls.

Now let me make my disclaimer here; I don’t believe people converse with souls that continue to be whom there were in life in heaven.  Back to my point; while on live television this medium recounted his experience and laughed at himself and the absurdity of his flying experience. How could have him be afraid of dying?  Wasn’t his whole work about letting others know death was just a continuation of life only in a different realm?

The scene crystallized a thought for me which is; we are beings of opposing thoughts and feelings.  We may be searching and being on the path of love, gratitude and positivism and have the voices of jealousy, and hate within us.  We are not black or white.  We are all the colors and finding contentment and a life style that suits us, is about finding balance of all the voices within us.  It is hearing the voice of fear but not letting it over take our life.  We converse with it but we don’t listen to it.

Chastising ourselves because we have all the colors within us it is not healthy or kind but acknowledging them and striking a balance is.

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All About Happiness

April 4, 2010 by  
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We all want it, but are we going about it the right way?  I am convinced that a state of well being and satisfaction is closer and more attainable than we think.  Homes, money, power, success can all be good things but they don’t necessarily bring well being if we’re not in touch with what really matters to us. Who cares about a big house if we feel empty inside? Who cares about power if we don’t love and respect ourselves? And success? We can be successful today and live in fear of tomorrow. A sense of well being and satisfaction will come from:

1  – Living in the moment (if we are present we can enjoy what we have today.  We can enjoy each other and the world we live in)

2 – Slowing down (if we are always in a hurry we are full of stress and have not time to appreciate anything)

3 – Giving up control (we can’t control everyone and everything.  Life, others, the planet all have a rhythm and that’s what makes it all interesting)

4 – Relationships (relationships with the mailman, cat, dog, neighbor, family, friends, strangers)

5 – Remembering to do simple and inexpensive things for ourselves everyday (a meal, a glass of wine, a walk, a massage, etc.)

And here’s a really good article on happiness that I wanted to share:

10 Grateful Steps to Happiness

Beach

[Photo by nattu]

PsyBlog has gone gratitude-mad this week, what with reporting experimental evidence that practicing gratitude can increase happiness by 25% and reviewing ‘thanks‘ , the book by the study’s author. To round it off here are Dr Robert Emmons’ top 10 tips for actually becoming more grateful, and consequently more happy.

1. Keep a gratitude journal
Sit down, daily, and write about the things for which you are grateful. Start with whatever springs to mind and work from there. Try not to write the same thing every day but explore your gratefulness.

2. Remember the bad
The way things are now may seem better in the light of bad memories. Don’t forget the bad things that have happened, the contrast may encourage gratefulness.

3. Ask yourself three questions
Choose someone you know, then first consider what you have received from them, second what you have given to them and thirdly what trouble you have caused them. This may lead to discovering you owe others more than you thought…Continued

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Practicing Gratitude Can Increase Happiness by 25%

April 2, 2010 by  
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I really like this post.  What Dr. A. Emmons refers to as gratitude I believe it to be a direct result of being  in the moment.  In living in the present with awareness we experience many simple and profound aspects of life and we are grateful for that.  Let me know what you think.

Cycling

[Photo by Morningstar Lee]

Psychological research finds that people’s happiness levels are remarkably stable over the long-term. Whether you win the lottery or are paralyzed from the neck down, after about three to six months you’ll have returned to your usual level of happiness. While these findings are deeply counter-intuitive, they also raise a serious problem for those wanting to increase levels of happiness permanently.

A possible answer comes from recent research in the psychology of gratitude. Yes, you read that correctly – being thankful might be the key to raising your happiness ‘set-point’. And there is some good experimental evidence to back up this theory…Continued

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