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Entrée: Determination from The Foundation For a
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I am a teacher in a school for blind and visually impaired children. When
someone inquires about my job, I get the same reaction almost every time. They
express concern and pity for my students and comment on how difficult it must be
to work with children who have such a life-altering disability.
Instead of telling them not to feel sorry for my students, I invite them to drop by for an afternoon. Few take me up on the offer, but when they do, they leave changed. I love to watch their astonished expressions when they see us practicing for track events and basketball, or for the school play we put on each spring. They are amazed that we surf the net, read the classics, and participate in statewide science fairs.
My students are a group of the most determined and bright children I know. They solve complex problems with remarkable insight and creativity. They have to work not only against their inability to see, but also against the stereotypes in the minds of those around them. And when my kids set their mind to something, stand out of their way.
Their resolve to succeed in an often-unfriendly world makes what might have been a difficult life, a truly extraordinary one.
About the Foundation:
The Foundation For a Better Life has, as its creed: "The values we live by are worth more when we pass them on." Looking for good news, or a way to discuss values with your children? The mission of The Foundation for a Better Life, through various media efforts, is to encourage adherence to a set of quality values through personal accountability and by raising the level of expectations of performance of all individuals regardless of religion or race. Through these efforts, the Foundation wants to remind individuals they are accountable and empowered with the ability to take responsibility for their lives and to promote a set of values that sees them through their failures and capitalizes on their successes. An individual who takes responsibility for his or her actions will take care of his or her family, job, community, and country. Go to http://www.forbetterlife.org for more!
Main Course: Follow That
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Chemistry 165, in college. I might have heard it in high school Chem, but who paid attention back then? Not me, 'cause I wasn't probably going to use that stuff in real life anyway. Now in college, I was paying for the privilege of being educated. So, I paid tuition, and I paid attention. The prof said, "There is no such thing as a free lunch. TINSTAAFL. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: the principle upon which the Universe operates. Nothing comes without a cost. Give and Take." Science... hmmm...
Miracles? Why, they're just the operation of the Universe in ways that are not readily understood by the average individual. A Course in Miracles maintains that miracles happen all the time, and that they are residing, right now, within our minds. It is a matter of perception, a matter of asking the question, and freeing one's mind for the real answer. Doesn't matter just HOW it works. It just does. Philosophy... hmmm...
Seems to be a connection between these two. O.k., I'll buy it. So there must be a cost, somewhere. I have to give, in order to receive. TINSTAAFL. What cost, my dreams to be fulfilled? What must I do to change my perception and bring even a small miracle into my life?
Trust the Universe.
There is nothing without value that exists in the Universe. All was, is, and will be for a divine purpose, and all is connected. But the Universe doesn't always operate within the confines of my understanding of it. It is necessary to trust that the circumstance I am reaching for, the dream that can be fulfilled, will be - if it is the best, and most appropriate, step for me to take at this time in my life. Or later in my life, maybe.
It is not enough to intend, or to meditate, although it is important to do that as well. I must communicate, express the desired outcome aloud. I must ask the Source. I must believe that the Source will provide. If I share my desires, with the understanding that Spirit is receptive to what I am saying, the Universe will help me to co-create, guiding and assisting me to have what is needful. I will participate in the partnership of bringing my dream alive in the real world by helping to map out its design. It helps to be open to feedback, too. So many times, I forget that prayer is two-way communication.
Never give up.
I will meet Discouragement at the door, and make sure to whip the welcome mat out from under his feet before I slam the door in his face. Just because my desire hasn't been fulfilled doesn't mean it won't be. It's probably about timing, anyway. Patience, perseverance, courage, determination - stick-to-itiveness, my mom called it - giving up just isn't an option, if my dream, my miracle, is that important to me.
Relax into the moment.
I must keep doing what is necessary in the everyday to continue upon my Path in all other respects. Water the plants, make the bed, work, sleep, visit friends, study, exercise, and so on. I can prepare myself, I can arrange my life in every other way, to receive the blessing of a fulfilled wish. I can hope, but that hope may be fruitless unless I am willing to shoulder my other obligations and duties in every way. Dreamers may only be living in their Future. I can become fully alive and empowered, as I really need to be, in my Now.
Fear is the absolute enemy of authentic empowerment. It is the driving force behind sorrow, regret, despair, self-pity, resentment - I won't bore you with the rest of the list. It is the death of dreams. Brian Tracy, a master of motivation, is quoted as saying if you "Do the thing you fear, then the death of fear is certain." Follow your star, simply because to do so is to defeat the enemy of your own empowerment!
If I am willing to pay the price, I can follow my wished-upon star.
Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2004
Second Helping: The Tools of
Accomplishment by Michelle Maddox (The Natural
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I was a mother at 17. I graduated from high school with two daughters. I graduated from college with four children. I went to graduate school. Don’t ask... I have no idea where I found the will or determination to accomplish those things, since all the cards were stacked against me. There were plenty of people who bet against my finishing any of it. Little sleep, tons of studying, determination and sacrifice of anything remotely comfortable were the prices of reaching those goals. I’m the original non-traditional “anything”. But having fun is a mandatory part of my goals and I accomplish having fun as part of every day I live. I truly love life.
I encourage you to follow your dreams; do not let anyone dampen your spirit, or hold you in check, in your explorations of this planet we share. The boogey man is NOT around the corner, although he may have resided in your home, or mind, at some point. You have what it takes to live life to the fullest. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. Follow your heart. Prepare your plan for a successful voyage.
Experience can change your life. My gift to myself for my fortieth birthday - that’s 40th - was to learn to pilot a plane because I was terrified of it. Terrified of flying. After three months of studying and practicing, at sunrise on May 7th, I piloted a plane over my house in Johnson County, Kansas, the land of helpless housewives in the 4th richest county in the US of A. Not only did I fly a beautiful little butterscotch Cessna 172 over the house with a wing waggle, but my four children were in the yard as I did the unforgivable by flying in close enough to see their waving hands. That experience opened a whole new world to me. And this is what I want to share with you:
If you can dream it, you can do it. If you can live your dream, Heaven is possible. And that Heaven is right here on Earth.
Use your will, your wits and your mind. Test your wings. Take a calculated risk. You'll love the results.
About the author:
Michele is an explorer, poet and successful working mom (not necessarily in that order!). Exploring Four Corners as a solo hiker is dicey at best. Make that a single female and eyebrows raise. Michelle has had many pleasant chuckles about the reactions of individuals, families and males to seeing a woman putting up her tent, hiking a fairly “interesting” trail and simply traveling through the wonderful Four Corners area of the United States unaccompanied and unafraid. Learn more about Michelle and exploring the Four Corners area (Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico) by visiting The Natural American.
Soup to Nuts: From the feedback
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A warm welcome to ibdmc, group10tt, and ddiluca - all new subscribers to Friday's Inspiration Weekly, as well as Teresa R and Luci G - new subscribers to InboxInspirations, within the last week. Our communities grow!
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Just Desserts: Also Highly
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Check, Please!: Brought to you
by F.I.'s *Shameless Commerce*
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Party's over, go home - The rest of the stuff: Back to top
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