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Global Oneness Day – October 24, An Invitation to Create a World of Peace

Founded by Humanity’s Team in 2010, Global Oneness Day is an annual opportunity for thousands of us who care deeply about our world to be together in solidarity, and experience our oneness with the Divine and each other.

Humanity’s Team is an international spiritual movement whose purpose is to communicate and demonstrate the G1D2015_Logotimeless truth that We Are All One, with God and life. It proposes a New Spirituality (not a new religion) that enlarges and enhances humanity’s current beliefs about God and about life in ways that could change how we live with each other, bringing peace and harmony to our planet at last. Key to the New Spirituality is a belief that God is not separate from anyone or anything — and neither are we.

Global Oneness Day brings together dozens of passionate speakers whose commitment and insight into Oneness have inspired millions. On this day, we see We Are All One with the Divine, each other and our Earth home.

The purpose of Global Oneness Day is to create a shared consciousness of Oneness. By coming together, we believe we can build a global community devoted to living as One. Global Oneness Day is a time for people across the globe to join in celebrations of all types, such as cross-cultural and interfaith gatherings, song and dance gatherings, walks in nature, meditation circles, and reading of the Oneness Declaration – all in true communion and remembrance of Who We Really Are!

The Global Oneness Day virtual summit continues to grow as the rallying point of celebration. Join us to hear dozens of renowned speakers share how Oneness can be realized and expressed in daily life, so that our global society blossoms into greater health, harmony and happiness. There is no cost to participate in this live, interactive event. Replay after the summit is also available when you register. http://www.globalonenesssummit.org    /?inf_contact_key=f1e39ea57c52971eae56e144bdd65a3fba5b555e0c3c4b695ace5ea23732449e

In addition, it only takes a few minutes to join the global community of almost 100,000 people who have already mandala-with-everyone-300x225signed the Oneness Declaration. http://humanitysteam.org/sai/oneness-petition/document The Oneness Declaration expresses the very spirit of Global Oneness Day. It is a mirror for reflection and inspiration. Even if you can’t participate in our Global Oneness Day program this year, we invite you to please join us in signing the declaration. Together we can make our world a better place.

Serious Food Waste Occurs Due to Confusion over “Sell-By Date”

I have developed a strong interest in food waste since I began volunteering at my local food pantry. We help to alleviate food insecurity in the local community by rescuing perfectly edible food that is often past its “sell-by date.” I have cultivated this interest, in part, because food waste also contributes to global warming, another  long-time concern of mine.

According to a recent article in The Guardian, if food waste were a country, it would rank as the third highest national emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China.

The worst food waste occurs in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where consumers waste 39% of all food purchased, followed by Europe, where about 31% of all food purchased by consumers is thrown away.9a326bf5b6200284da7377644df83796

With the global population rising, wastage of products including 45% of all fruit and vegetables and 20% of meat is one of the greatest challenges to achieving food security. If the amount of food wasted around the world were reduced by just 25% there would be enough food to feed all the people who are malnourished, according to the UN.

According to Business Insider, experts estimate that $165 billion worth of food gets tossed each year, much of it wasted, out of fear of bogus expiration dates.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises you to purchase the product before the “sell-by date,” but most expiration dates are largely made up. According to The National Resource Defense Council, the “sell-by dates” simply tell you when food will reach its limits for “optimal quality.”

The USDA notes that it’s OK to eat these foods past the expiration dates on the packaging, with the exception of infant formula. The USDA advises parents to not buy or even use baby formula once the “use by” date rolls around.
A rule of thumb to go by is to pay attention to when you purchased or opened the food, rather than what the packaging says.

If in doubt, the website StillTasty provides helpful tips on when to dispose of hundreds of household goods.

We need more ways to educate the public with regard to the definition of the “sell-by date,” in order to dispel the fear of consuming expired food, thereby reducing food waste. It seems to me that many of us waste a good deal of money, as well as the opportunity help those in need, by disposing of edible food we fear is no longer fit for consumption.

Creating a World of Peace for Everyone

Recent news of the United States Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage, as well as calls to remove Confederate flags in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, has moved me to share with you, a group called The Evolution Revolution, www.evolutionrevolution.net in which I am one of many like-minded individuals around the globe who is honored to play an active role.

The Evolution Revoultion is part of Humanity’s Team. Humanity’s Team, a top-rated global nonprofit, was founded by Neale Donald Walsch, a modern-day spiritual messenger and the author of Conversations With God, as well as 30 other books.

In his book, The Storm Before The Calm, Neale raises seven simple questions, the first of which is, “How is it possible for nearly 7 billion people to all say they want the same thing – peace, prosperity, health, happiness, safety- and still be unable to produce it after thousands and thousands of years? The intention of these questions is to begin a Global Conversation. GlobalMeal1

Members of the Evolution Revolution are joining this gentle revolution because we believe, as Neale has said, “The problem in the world today is a spiritual problem, and we are trying to solve the problem at every level except the level at which the problem exists.”

We believe at their core, the problems in the world are not political problems. They are not economic problems. They are not military problems. The problems facing the world are the result of our beliefs, and as Neale states, “The solution is to change our most basic beliefs, the most damaging of which have to do with humanity’s belief in separation and limitation.” mandala-with-everyone-300x225

This is NOT about starting a new religion. Rather, members of The Evolution Revolution come from many persuasions and we believe there is peaceful common ground, where all religions and non-believers can come together for the benefit of all humankind. The underlying message of The Evolution Revolution is that, “We Are All One.” We all have the same basic wants. We all want safe food, good health, safe communities, a sustainable world, security, etc.

We seek not to convince others with different points of view to embrace our mission. We understand that, “Ours is not the only way. Ours is just another way,” as Neale offers.  Rather, we seek to encourage other like-minded individuals to join with us. Perhaps after taking a deep look at the mission and scope of the Evolution Revolution www.evolutionrevolution.net, you will feel that this includes you.

Bartering Makes Good Business Sense

Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using money.

I believe that bartering can open doors for entrepreneurs so I recently joined a local barter exchange called Bay Bucks. . There are hundreds of small local businesses that belong to Bay Bucks, and collectively, these businesses offer every possible good or service one can imagine.

About a month after listing my services on Bay Bucks as a Life Transitions Coach, another member of Bay Bucks, specializing in website development, used Bay Bucks to purchase one of my life transitions coaching packages.

In turn, I am very low tech, and my website was in need of a major overhaul, so I decided to buy services directly from her company using the Bay Bucks I had earned from her purchase. (A quick look around my website, and you will see the help I have been blessed to receive.) barter-a-skill

Although, a complete history of the bartering system is not the intent of this article, the history of bartering dates all the way back to 6000 BC, long before money was invented.

Besides the fact that no money is involved, another advantage is to bartering is that there is flexibility. For instance, related products can be traded such as portable tablets in exchange for laptops. Or, items that are completely different can be traded such as lawn mowers for televisions. Homes can now be exchanged when people are traveling, which can save both parties money.

When bartering, you do not have to part with material items. Instead, you can offer to swap a service for an item. For instance, if your friend has a laptop that you want and their car needs work, if you are good at fixing cars, you can offer to fix their car in exchange for the laptop. The value of items being traded can be negotiated with the other party. You can buy items by exchanging an item you have but no longer want or need. barter-week-italy-960x1363

A disadvantage to bartering is that at times, it is easy to think the item you desire is worth more than it actually is, while underestimating the value of your own item.

I believe the barter system is a creative way to connect and collaborate with and other people and businesses in the local community and beyond.

Bay Bucks hosts mixers every couple months where local business owners can meet, but actual exchange of goods and services is done via the website.

On Bay Bucks, members don’t necessarily trade with one another directly like we did. They offer their goods or services, and in return, can take advantage of any other members’ goods or services.

Bay Bucks receives a small commission on trades. Every time someone buys a service on Bay Bucks, Bay Bucks receives seven percent of the value of the service in cash. Every time someone sells a service, Bay Bucks receives five percent of the value of the service in cash. These are the only costs.

Barter exchanges in the USA are considered taxable revenue. According to the IRS, “The fair market value of goods and services exchanged must be included in the income of both parties.

How do you feel about bartering? What kind of experiences have you had with it? Does your community have a local exchange like Bay Bucks?

How to Use Your Intuition to Make the Best Decisions

A Quote From Confusion To Clarity, The Book

A Quote From Confusion To Clarity, The Book

What is intuition? How often do you trust and follow your intuition? How can you strengthen your intuition and harness it to serve you?

Intuition has been defined in many ways including: inner wisdom, the voice of your higher self, the voice of God, a gut feeling, and inner guidance, to name a few. The definition of intuition that best resonates with my own intuitive sense of the word, is the one by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, who describes intuition as “being in touch with the wisdom of the body.”

According to Marla Mitchell, a professional spiritual and medical intuitive, “Everyone has intuition. The more you acknowledge it, the stronger and more accurate it gets.”

How do you acknowledge your intuition? For starters, many people experience intuition as a feeling in part of their body. I experience mine at times in my solar plexus and at other times, I hear a definite knowing, a yes or no, with regard to the best direction to take in a specific situation. What feelings or words do you notice as a truth signal that guides you?

In a world where we have often been taught to value rational thinking and information that comes to us from outside sources over our own inner-knowing., how often do you trust and follow your inner-truth signals? What makes intuition confusing is that sometimes we allow our thoughts to get in the way and talk us out of what we sense. This occurs when our intuition is not strong enough to direct our thinking or we feel unready to act upon what our intuition is telling us. We need a balance of both intuition and rational thinking to make the wisest decisions.

Hindsight being what it is, how often have you looked back and said, “I should have followed that hunch I had about such and such?” Intuition can help you make decisions in every area of your life, from business and relationship decisions, to what to eat for lunch. Steve Jobs called it, “more powerful than intellect.” Intuition is even used by the U.S military. It has helped troops to make quick judgments during combat that ended up saving lives.

Spending quiet time alone and engaging in mindfulness meditation which stills the mind and trains it to focus only on the present moment, can help you hear and adhere to the voice of your intuition. Learning to clear your mind without focusing on anything in particular can have a similar effect. Paying attention to your dreams which draw information from the subconscious can also provide powerful intuitive direction with regard to handling situations in your daily affairs.

Tools to Strengthen Your Intuition

David Stevens, professional intuitive and founder of Yoga of the Mind suggests doing a blind reading.

  1. Sit down at a writing table with three blank index cards.
  2. Think about a decision you are currently grappling with and write three solutions for it, one on each card.
  3. Turn the cards blank-side-up, shuffle them and place them face-down on a table.
  4. Run your hands over the cards and notice the feeling of each card.
  5. Assign a percentage to each card based on how powerfully you’re drawn to it.
  6. Turn the cards over and take note of the answer with the highest percentage.

Another fun way to practice strengthening your intuition is to take two index cards and write yes on one, and no on the other. Turn them blank side up and ask a yes or no question while running your hand over the top of each card. Turn the card that you feel most drawn to and follow through with the answer.

What is your experience with using your intuition? How do you experience the voice of your intuition and from where does it arise?

Ethics in Life Coaching

Near the end of my life coaching course with Life Purpose Institute, while studying for the certification exam, I came across a section in our manual that discusses the board certified coach code of ethics as put forth by the Center for Credentialing & Education.

As I studied the section, it occurred to me that although coaches need to abide by ethical and legal standards, coaching clients, and prospective clients also have a right to be aware of these coaching ethics, since this piece could serve as one of the guidelines for them in choosing a coach.

In life coaching, as in any profession, it is critical to work with clients from a place of integrity. If client issues arise that the coach is not qualified to work with, they are supposed to refer the client to an appropriate professional and remain within the scope of their coaching practice. Benefits-of-Life-Coaching

Life coaches are obliged to truthfully inform clients of their credentials and experience without overstepping their boundaries or advising a client in any area in which they are not trained and legally qualified.

Coaches by definition do not give advice to their clients. They partner with their clients and collaborate with them by offering strategies to help them break through blocks and to reach their goals.

Coaches are facilitators but the client is the one responsible for determining what their goals are, and for following (with the coach’s support and use of professional coaching tools) their agreed upon action steps to reach those goals. Coaches cannot and should not make promises or guarantee results to clients or potential clients.

From the outset, clients should be clear about what they can expect regarding responsibilities, results, confidentiality, and financial agreements. This is generally done through the use of a written client agreement signed by the both coach and client.

If a client asks a coach for a professional referral to a third party, the coach is supposed to disclose to the client, any commission or compensation they receive from making the referral. Coaches are supposed to maintain good client records which are to be kept and kept confidential regarding the content of the coaching sessions.

Though client goals can change, the coach should not continue to work with a client who is not progressing under their guidance. Coaches are supposed to avoid pushing their own agendas on the client. Competent coaches are trained and certified professionals but they are not therapists or gurus and must not misrepresent themselves or the coaching profession.

Coaches should receive training through a reputable, accredited coaching organization to learn the particular skill set that coaches use to best serve their clients’ needs and they must not allow their own biases to affect their work with clients.

If you choose to work with a life coach to help you move through a life transition of any kind, or a spiritual life coach to learn spiritual tools which you can then apply to your daily life, such as connecting with your own intuition and using it to live your life more intentionally, the most important thing is to find a coach with whom you feel a comfortable rapport, someone with whom you feel invited to work in a focused and sacred space, and someone trained and qualified to coach you in the area you choose.

That said, information on coaching ethics provides added insight into the coaching profession, and what you as a client can expect when hiring a professional coach.

Traveling Solo Through Chile For Personal Growth – Part 2

After my three month visit to Chile in 2007, I returned to The States to find that in my hometown, there is a school which offers certification to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL).  It turns out there are many programs of this nature offered both on site and online.

The TEFL class I attended took place Monday – Friday from 9AM to 6PM for one month and includes both classroom learning and student teaching. Although the course takes only a month to complete, the work to complete it takes every waking moment of your life for the entire month.

Upon completing the course and obtaining certification, the school offers a lifetime job placement service. Most of the students in my class had a pretty good idea of where in the world they wanted to teach. Many of my classmates planned to teach in South Korea. My plan was to return to Chile, this time, to live and work for a while.

In March 2008, I returned to Chile having arranged to stay with one of my Spanish teachers for a week while finding a place to rent.  I got a job teaching English to business professionals, at one of the many language schools in Santiago.

There is a push for business professionals in Chile to know English and job promotions are often contingent upon learning English. Employers pay for their employees to attend class and as students, they are highly motivated.

I was hired by the language institute but quickly learned that most of my classes would not be held at the institute. Instead, most of my day was spent traveling throughout the city, from business to business, wearing a backpack filled with books, to teach my students in their offices, while eating empanadas on the run. Chilean food is for the most part bland, and they remove the peels from everything, even tomatoes, before eating.

Chilean Independence Day Celebration

I loved my students and teaching English but my day was often very long and tiring. You can earn a living doing this type of work if you stay busy.

Because it takes time for businesses to enroll their students and for classes to start, it is important to have money saved before embarking on the journey to this type of career.

In Chile, if you work for an institute under contract, you will receive a temporary resident’s visa, allowing you to stay in the country for one year.

My first job was not a contract position which means I had to leave the country every three months in order to renew my tourist visa. The fastest and least expensive way to do this is to take a seven hour bus ride from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina, a beautiful city with close proximity to vineyards, skiing, and thermal springs.

You can go through customs and immigration and return immediately on the next bus if you are inclined, but most folks spend at least one night in Argentina. These trips require careful planning during the winter months since it is possible to get snowed in for quite some time which is problematic if you are scheduled to teach classes.

In 2008, I taught English from March until November and then traveled through Peru on a tour and to the Antarctic Peninsula on a ship. Lima, Peru is a four hour flight from Santiago. Peru is a beautiful country with wonderful food although I don’t recommend the cuy (Peruvian Guinea pig.) Peru feels much more like South America to me than does Chile. It’s a place I definitely recommend visiting.

Peruvian woman selling hand woven scarves made from alpaca wool.

Peruvian woman (with her alpaca) selling handcrafted items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer in Antarctica

 

 

Antarctica has 24 hours of bright daylight all summer long. After a day, you lose all track of time. It is a magnificent place with lots of penguins. I even saw an Albatross fly over our ship.

We attended fascinating lectures with scientists who were stationed for one year on the peninsula to study global climate change.

 

In January 2009, I returned to The States for two months, to re-group, before planning my next work/travel adventure. So stay tuned…

Traveling Solo Through Chile For Personal Growth

Bust of Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda at his home on the coast in Isla Negra, Chile

Bust of Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda, at his home on the coast in Isla Negra, Chile

I traveled solo through much of Chile, (the birthplace of Pablo Neruda, one of my favorite poets) having arrived there from The States for my maiden voyage in June 2007. As a poet, my intent was to write poetry in what is often referred to as the “Land of Poets,” improve my Spanish, and explore the unfamiliar culture.

I was keen on avoiding the hot summer weather here in The States. Since Chile is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed. Thus it was quite chilly (no pun intended) when I first arrived, in early June, in this faraway land, where I knew not a soul. Since I planned to stay for three months (to fully avoid summer heat,) I arranged in advance to rent an apartment in Santiago, Chile’s capital city.

I had a couple years of Spanish under my belt, and had even lived in a Miami neighborhood known as Little Havana for a while. My Spanish skills were fairly good, until I moved to Denver, Colorado in 2000 and stopped using them. Denver is a city with a large Mexican population. Many of the Mexican people I met don’t speak Spanish. They come from families that have been in The States for several generations. Since they go back so far, their families no longer pass their language down with the generations.

Thus was my language preparation for arrival at the Santiago airport on June 6, 2007 at 7:30AM. Instantly, I was seized; alone, and handicapped, in the early morning airport rush, where I couldn’t understand a single word of Chilean Spanish, AT ALL. Zero, Zip, Nada.

A winter's day in Santiago, Chile

A winter’s day in Santiago, Chile

I hadn’t planned on enrolling in Spanish language classes right away, but due to my predicament, the first phone call I made just hours after arriving, was to Escuela Bellavista, a language school in the city. Clutching the receiver with a sweaty palm, I spoke to the voice on the other end. “Do you speak English?” I asked in desperation. “Yes,” he replied and then continued. “If you study here, however, this will be our last conversation in English. You will only be allowed to speak Spanish at the school, and on tours you attend with the school as well.”

A total immersion sounds like just what I need, I thought. I started classes the following day and couldn’t have made a better choice. The school uses a particular method of teaching known as the Direct Method. It is so subliminal, as a student, you don’t even realize you are learning. The teachers use mime and play games with the class in Spanish.

There was so much humor in these Spanish mime games, we learned Spanish through our laughter; and fell in love with the language and each other. Our teachers introduced us to Chilean music during break between classes. They danced with us in the lobby of the school.

In the high-end beginners class, where I was placed, we were immediately taught survival skills for travelers such as: asking how much things cost, asking and giving directions, purchasing tickets of all kinds, handling a wrong number politely on your cell phone, booking reservations, how to rent an apartment, how to make an appointment with a doctor, how to tell the nurse what’s wrong, how to order in a restaurant, how to complain about service and accommodations, all weather related vocabulary including the necessary clothing…

My favorite class was at the open-air fruit and vegetable market. Our teacher had us ask the vendors about the produce, and the prices. She took us shopping out in the real world, where we tasted what we didn’t know and wanted more.

The school teaches Castilian Spanish, not Chilean Spanish. All Chilean people understand and can speak fluent Castilian Spanish but that is not what they speak on the street. Surviving The Chilean Jungle is a three-volume dictionary filled with Chilean Spanish including Chilean slang. Both words and expressions that continue to grow and evolve over time, make it a living language.

Even when Chilean people speak Castilian Spanish, they are difficult to understand at first because they omit pronouncing the letter s in most words. Instead of saying, “estufa, “ they say “etufa. “ The word means heater, an issue worth a tissue or two on a frigid August night!

I spent a fun five (half-days) a week, for two and a half months at Escuela Bellavista and two delicious weeks traveling, including a week in the Atacama Desert (the driest desert on earth) and another in the Lakes region, a region of beauty with active volcanoes, and a 10 hour drive, south of Santiago. (Please click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view. )

The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile Driest Desert on Earth

The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile
The Driest Desert on Earth

 

I kept the promise I made to myself, wrote poetry daily while living in Chile. Some of the poems I wrote in Chile, were accepted for publication, and along with several others, also appear in the book, Poetry For Living An Inspired Life. This was my three month experience in Chile but as some of you know, I later lived there for three years. Stay tuned for more about Chile, its food, culture, geography and more…

Puerto Varas in The Lakes Region of Chile  (background, Volcano Osorno)

Biodanza: Poetry of Human Encounter

Biodanza (biodance) literally means the dance of life. It is a system of personal growth using music and movement to develop one’s instincts, self-awareness, communication, and confidence. Biodanza facilititates the deepening of one’s bond with others and with nature, allowing participants to express their feelings more fluidly.

I was first introduced to Biodanza in 2009 while living in Santiago, Chile. As I began participating in weekly classes, I noticed that I felt more grounded and emotionally open as a result.

Biodanza was created in the 1960s by Chilean psychologist and anthropologist, Rolando Toro who experimented with the effect of music and dance on psychiatric hospital patients. Toro introduced upbeat dances with happy rhythms that stimulated patient’s motor responses. The result was a remarkable increase in patient’s capacity to judge reality. Toro observed that their deliriums and hallucinations began to vanish.

In 1970 the Catholic University of Chile invited Rolando Toro to create the first Biodanza class, which at that time he called “Psychodance.” Biodanza sessions eventually found their way to healthy people in non-clinical settings.

Biodanza has been described as a series of exercises and movements that promote self-esteem, the joy of life, and the expression of emotions. People who participate regularly, say that biodanza enhances their creativity, vitality, and focus on the present moment. Within the dance, participants are invited to connect to their essence until all their senses and cells are awakened to the joy of being alive.

Biodanza uses a variety of international music to bring forth free self-expression, and is not choreographed. Dancing is done alone, in pairs, and in groups. No previous dance experience is required and there are no age requirements.

The Biodanza system is now taught in 54 countries around the world. Perhaps biodanza is available where you live. The magic of biodanza will open you to greater joy.  I invite you to come dance with life.

A Coach Approach to Personal Growth

I began as a psychology major in college, but my parents were so dead set against it that I eventually gave up and became a dietitian instead. Many years later, I am now studying to become a life coach. Before making my recent decision, I had briefly considered becoming a minister. So what is the difference between a psychologist, a life coach, and a minister, besides education?

In a nutshell, coaching focuses on the present and is oriented to achieve a future result. Psychotherapists on the other hand, focus on the past and on fixing pathology. A minister uses particular rituals and leads rituals that often adhere to a particular set of beliefs.

Coaches ask questions based on what is happening now, questions that move the client where they want to go, not where they have been. Coaches ask questions that are direct but not directive. For example, what would you like to change? What do you really want in this situation? How can you take action to move toward the outcome you actually want? The client must be ready to work on moving their lives forward without delving into the past.

Psychologists often teach clients problem solving strategies. Coaches do not give advice. Instead, they ask questions to draw clients out of themselves, to identify what their goal is and what motivates them to want to achieve it. Coaches help clients by asking questions which guide the client in creating their own action steps for reaching a goal as well as their commitment to a time frame for each step.

A life coach holds the client accountable for each step along the way, within the time frame set by the client for achieving each step, and helps the client identify any potential blocks or obstacles that could arise. If a client identifies blocks including beliefs that may be holding them back, the coach asks questions which cause the client to remember things which enable them to re-frame their limiting beliefs.

By asking clients what they would like to achieve and identifying their core values, coaches give clients something to think about. Without giving advice, they help clients bring out their own wisdom and potential to solve their own situations by focusing on what motivates the client to want this change.

If you have goals you’d like to achieve and are ready to go beyond what the Handel Group has identified as your inner chicken (that voice that tells you, you can’t do something,) your inner brat, (that part of you that wants everything right now,) and your inner weather reporter, (that false belief that tries to convince you of all the reasons you will never change,) coaching may be just the right relatively short term approach for helping you move forward to achieve your goals, and finally realize your dreams.

How Meditation Contributes To Personal Growth

A Quote From Confusion To Clarity, The Book

A Quote From Confusion To Clarity, The Book

Have you ever had problems that won’t go away, recurring situations that cause you to ruminate, rather than guide you to focus and to be at peace in the moment? There are situations in everyone’s life that can only be understood on the level of the soul, rather than with the rational mind. You know which situations these are because if you were able to understand them by thinking enough about them, eventually they would be solved but instead confusion remains, just eating away at you.

I often find that by simply relaxing and clearing my mind, I suddenly realize something that had eluded me for a very long time when I tried to figure it out through working with my mind. These realizations often seem profound when they arrive (when we arrive) but what I believe is more profound, is that meditation opens us in a way that can enable us to quickly receive our own inner wisdom and guidance, leaving us with powerful new perspectives that can change our daily lives. All it takes is practice, and the willingness to surrender.

There is no correct way to meditate and there are many different ways to meditate. I use four different meditation practices, one on a daily basis, and the others, from time to time. Morning meditation I believe is the most important because it sets the pace for the day. We have sixteen, if not more waking hours in front of us as we face each day. By taking part of an hour early in the day for meditation practice, I establish my intention and rhythm for the day, and the rest of the hours seem to fall into place. This is because meditation has a residual and cumulative effect, the more consistently we do it. “When we learn to listen with our soul, our life becomes larger,” is a quote in my first book, From Confusion To Clarity, which goes into greater depth about the many benefits of having a meditation practice.

What is your preferred meditation practice? My daily practice involves chanting in front of a scroll which serves as a focal point. I’ve also done Transcendental Meditation which is the silent repetition of a mantra, given especially to you by someone trained in TM. You are not supposed to share your mantra with anyone or ever say it aloud. It is meant to be yours and yours alone. My mantra was given to me several years ago by a teacher who had just returned from a retreat in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM. I won’t forget the moment my mantra was first whispered in my ear or the many benefits I’ve received since embracing both of these practices.

Since those early days, I have also used the Holosync Solution, which is sound meditation with headphones, and involves listening to rain and crystal bowls, as well as guided meditation with Neale Donald Walsch, where you write down a question, and the answer to your question is received during the meditation. All of these are powerful forms of meditation, for me and many others, and I highly recommend them, I have friends that do yoga, and I have tried different types of yoga but none seem to resonate with me. You must find what works for you.

Like meditation, inspirational quotes can serve a similar purpose in the sense that they help to remind us of and reinforce, ways in which we can reframe our thinking. There are many places to find daily inspirational quotes. I invite you to visit me at https://www.facebook.com/MicheleHarveyAuthorPoet where I post inspirational quotes twice daily. If my inspirational quotes resonate with you, please become my friend or subscriber.

Taking a walk in nature, doing the dishes, sweeping leaves, dancing, all these things and many others, can serve as meditation practice when you relax into the present moment, attune with your senses, and when your mind is clear and unattached to whatever thoughts may occur. What is your preferred meditation practice? How has your life improved since you started meditating? What do you find challenging about meditation? What if anything holds you back from embracing a daily meditation practice?

What Do You Do When the Bottom Drops Out? by Michele Harvey

400_1200358798_gotas-de-aguaThe other day I was boiling water for coffee when suddenly I noticed the pot was not only empty, it was bottomless. The bottom of the pot had literally melted off, and was stuck to the electric burner. Staring in disbelief, I lifted the pot from the stove, stuck my head in, and looked right through the bottom and across the room at my son, who couldn’t believe what had happened.

In life, what do you do when the bottom drops out? Do you make it your mission to find out who or what is responsible, and to try to even the score? Do you analyze what happened, analyze your options, blame yourself or someone else, or freeze in your tracks, stuck, unable to make a quick recovery? Do you complain? Do you phone a friend?

When you take a course of action that leads to a dead end, how does it make you feel? Do you take it personally when things don’t turn out the way you planned? How quickly do you find new ground and carry on? How flexible are you?

Are you strong like water, immediately able to pour yourself into, and take the shape of a new container? Do you show up with humor and gratitude, as a larger version of yourself, or do you simmer for days, wondering what went wrong?

What about the rest of the pot? Do you discard the whole thing, calling it another one of your ideas that didn’t work? Can you find use for the scrap metal, mold it into treasures that will serve a part, hold a place in your new trajectory?

Often when a course of action leads to a dead end, it is because something larger, more durable, and broader in scope, is just waiting to be discovered. A fresh path, an unheard calling, a better way of doing things, is on your horizon. Something you overlooked, something more meaningful that you would not otherwise have attempted, but that is part of your purpose, stands before you, seeks you, and will become clearly apparent to you, as you surrender your perceived limitations and open to welcome it.

Create a Life of Golden Memories by Michele Harvey

“Without helping others, life has no meaning. It’s how we lose ourselves. It’s how we find ourselves.” Michele Harvey

A few weeks before the New Year, many of us begin to look ahead with hope and fresh intentions. Some folks also look back, remembering with gratitude, relationships and events, or ruminate over unresolved loss from a state of nagging despair.

For the past month, I participated in a series of teleseminars, and have made the decision to become a Spiritual Life Coach in 2014. You see, I have been meditating for quite some time now, on something my spiritual teacher, Neale Donald Walsch, said to me on 3 separate occasions over the past 2 years. “Michele,” he said. “Your life is not about you. Your life is about everyone else whose life you touch, and the way in which you touch it.”

Each time I heard those words, I felt as if I was staring into the hollow of a shoe several sizes too big for petite feet. Nonetheless, I decided to focus my intention on growing into a larger version of myself, and with this intention, have drawn just the right program of study into my life.

In my book, From Confusion To Clarity, I discuss how life for me fell apart in 2011, with the death of my first born son, as well as the loss of another relationship, which evolved and changed form, contrary to my conscious desire. It was during this time of suffering, that I learned from my teacher, “The quickest way to experience having something, is to give it away to someone else.” For example, if you want more love in your life, give love to others. If you want more money, give money to others who seem to need it more than you. If you need more patience, give patience to someone else who requires it.”

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, this exercise does work. For by giving those things freely to others, without expectation of anything in return, you start to see that you have the very things you thought were lacking. I, as well as countless others, are now having this experience. In fact, by helping others, we step outside the victim mentality of rumination, and instead create space where actual miracles can occur. What we give to others, always comes back to us C2C3dbookmultiplied, sometimes,from some highly unexpected sources, and not necessarily from those we have served. My book gives countless examples of this, and you can easily apply it. Create a year of golden memories rather than rumination and regret. This is my fervent wish for everyone. Happy New Year!

From Confusion To Clarity: Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less is available @ http://micheleharveyauthor.com, CreateSpace.com, Amazon.com, etc.

The Abundance of Our Oneness by Carolyn Field (Featured Writer)

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“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.”
―Swami Vivekananda

Everybody knows that lots of little things can make a big thing. One tree can become part of forest, one pebble, a beach, one blade of grass, a park land, one voice, a chorus.
Everything gravitates towards each other. We are coming together if not in physical proximity then in virtual proximity and in growing awareness of each other and of our connection. Just noticing that we are linked will create the wave of awareness that will blazon the Earth.

There is something strangely vulnerable about one small tree standing alone, or one pebble laying on a path, or one blade of grass growing in a crack on the ground or one human creature sleeping in a doorway. Something strangely vulnerable, yet also hopeful because there is always hope.

We are not meant to be alone. So if one tree can make a forest, what can one forest make? If one pebble can make a beach, what can one beach make? A forest, a beach, a park land, a chorus, all of these and many more collectives create awareness of the abundance that surrounds us. Where there is abundance, there is positive energy sparking and fizzing, and where there is an abundance of sparking, fizzing positive energy there is the probability of divine transformation. Like an interaction between chemicals that creates something staggering.

So too, our awareness of Oneness. Just as we notice that we are linked to one another, we will come to realise that we are linked to everything and that everything is linked to us. What a breathtaking awareness that is. You and I are One with each other, with the Universe and with Divinity. The awareness of our Oneness shall bring opportunities for a new higher nature to be possible which will in turn activate a powerful metamorphosis bringing peace, joy, satisfaction and all encompassing love.

You Are Love

Each moment is the breeze
on a rippling green sea.
Absent are expectations,
I have no illusion of need.
When you see, without you,
nothing can be perceived,
your true abundance is clear.
You are love. You are loved.

(Poetry For Living An Inspired Life: Poems as Spiritual Meditation, page 19)
Copyright © 2013 &beyond by Michele Harvey – all rights reserved

Why Are We Always In Such A Rush?

“As soon as you’re born, they make you feel small, by giving you no time instead of it all.”

John Lennon

While in line at the local post office recently, I struck up a friendly conversation with the person in front of me. When I mentioned I was new in town, Jim informed me there used to be a larger post office in another part of town, which had since closed its doors.

With five folks on line in front of him, this offered us a chance to talk about where Jim lived prior to coming to Steamboat Springs, as well as what Steamboat Springs is like during the winter ski season. After about five minutes, Jim remarked that he misses the other post office because he never had to wait in line, to which I responded, “Think of all the nice people you get to talk with, while waiting in line.” Jim chuckled, as he stepped up to the counter.

Why are we always in such a rush?

longer than winter
the line…
at the bank


Copyright © 2004 and beyond by Michele Harvey – all rights reserved

Do we believe we will not live long enough to accomplish all our priorities? Are we afraid of wasting our time, when we would rather be doing something else? Is it because we are an impatient lot who can’t defer gratification? Is it all of the above?

The other day, a cashier whisked me aside so she could ring up the one customer waiting behind me. I was putting away the coins she had just given me.

If we value our time so greatly, why not make all moments valuable? We have become somewhat cold and socially awkward, in my opinion. Leo Buscalia, also known as “Dr. Love,” wrote about how we stand in crowded elevators, staring at the door, missing opportunities for numerous encounters with others all around us. How often do you see a group of friends sitting in a booth at the diner, interacting with their cell phones, instead of with each other?

At times we may truly be in a rush,
like when someone we love is visiting for a short time, or when we are keeping others waiting, and of course during a true emergency. Nonetheless, when even the express lane seems slow, it may be prime time to simply slow down, inhale the frenzy, and exhale the peacefulness from our heart to the world. Let’s embrace ourselves, one another, and what exists all around us in each present moment of what we refer to as time.

Food for thought and the upcoming holiday season? Books make great holiday gifts that you can order online.

Consider gifting my books, From Confusion To Clarity (Introduction by the author of Conversations With God, Neale Donald Walsch) and Poetry For Living An Inspired Life, both of which, I believe will increase your experience of the present moment.

Signed copies of both books can be shipped anywhere and are available respectively @ http://micheleharveyauthor.com and http://micheleharveyauthor.com/books/ Until next time…

Wishing you every blessing,

Michele Harvey Author

It’s Hard to Place a Hat on a Headless Cowboy

Myphoto.jpgThere’s so much I’d like to say to you. I started an exciting new job this week, working for an authentic western clothing store that has been in this here Colorado town since 1905. The store has been run by its founding family for five generations which makes it iconic. Locals, tourists, folks from everywhere visit our store. We sell high end western style clothing, and accessories like hippo leather boots, bear skin soap, cowboy hats, Wrangler and Levi jeans, leather jackets, belts and more, along with lots of shiny bling.

On Saturday, former vice president Dick Cheney came in and was gifted a pair of fine leather boots.

I met a man who comes from the family of some well-known
cowboy poets, and have been hearing lots of country western and blue grass music in the store..

One day, this one line lyric just came through my hand:

“It’s hard to place a hat on a headless cowboy.” © 2013

It’s just something I picked up on this week, as one of our sales girls tried to place a fallen cowboy hat on a headless mannequin. When I think about it, it’s a metaphor for a lesson I’ve learned before, admittedly, again and again, which is… we can’t change other people, or mold them to fulfill our expectations, unless they are willing, in which case they change themselves, consciously or otherwise.

I believe we can encourage positive changes in our world, but ultimately, it boils down to changing ourselves. When we change, people around us may also change, but more importantly, our experience of those people will change, even if they themselves don’t seem to. When our experience changes, we can learn to accept things as we perceive them.

When we can do this, we can then decide how we choose to show up and what we can do to be supportive from where we are, in response to our new perspective.

Poetry? There will be more poetry to come. I can feel it at times when I’m tangled in clothes hangers, caught in the groove, still doing the best I can…

Until next time, POETRY FOR LIVING AN INSPIRED LIFE: POEMS AS SPIRITUAL MEDITATION, my newest book, available at http://micheleharveyauthor.com/books/ is a book I believe you and your friends will truly enjoy. (Also available on Amazon) and if you haven’t yet read, From Confusion To Clarity, my last book, it is available on the home page of this site at http://micheleharveyauthor.com

RESISTANCE, WHY IT DOESN’T GO AWAY, by Jannietta Robinson – Featured Author

There is safety
in the sameness of days spent
in the familiar grave of earth: yet still
the silent seed senses
there is life elsewhere

Sometimes it comes as a stirring
an unknown warmth
a scent new and fresh
and the earth is moved to speak
of miraculous things….
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From Awakening: Copyright 2013 Janet Robinson

We are strange and peculiar beings built with an inner desire to grow. No matter who we are or where we are: no matter what we have or haven’t achieved so far the human being is programmed to reach for growth. Psychologists call this programming the organismic valuing system – our inner tendency to move towards an experience of the highest, truest, most beautiful expression of who we are.

It seems that we are born to experience greatness.

And yet there is within us something that resists this growth.

There is within us a place of inner darkness; a place that cannot see or feel or vision our true potential. I’ve heard this place of darkness referred to as the ‘the innate predator’ of our souls. It is our inbuilt tendency to resist our personal unfolding and it works in direct opposition to our organismic valuing system.

The innate predator works with our unconscious minds to create obstacles to our growth. Often we remain unaware of it until such a time that we begin to actively seek our own growth. Then we can find that when we make a decision to do something to enable that growth we end up discovering 101 reasons why we shouldn’t commit to our desired course of action!

Here’s an example from my own life.

I made the commitment to write this blog. It’s something I want to do. I believe its part of my journey towards finding and using my voice and yet despite this conviction I find myself procrastinating. I sit down at the computer and do almost anything but write the blog: e-mails, Facebook, my website, other people’s sites – all these pull me away from the task in hand!

Why is this? Why despite our best intentions do we seem to sabotage our own efforts to improve and grow into the fullness of who we are?

It may be helpful to return to the opening lines of poetry and the analogy of ourselves as a seed. A seed has the potential to become something beautiful but in order for this to happen the seed must be planted in soil. The soil is dark, heavy and damp and it bears down on the seed, covering it and almost suffocating it YET the seed does not resist the soils darkness it works with it. The seed knows that the soil provides the exact, fertile ground needed for it to grow. All the seed needs to do is to lean into this heaviness in order to find its way through the darkness towards the light.

And the same is true for us.

We, like seeds, are programmed for greatness BUT in order to achieve that greatness we must learn to navigate our own inner darkness. This means that when we feel resistance we should embrace it and use it as a vehicle (a tool or map) to help us find our way to the light of our own greatness.

Wherever you are right now, whatever you are experiencing you can be sure that you are receiving the exact right conditions needed for you to fulfill your greatest potential here on earth.

Life is always bringing us opportunities to grow and develop; to remember our wholeness as tri part beings; mind, body and soul. Yet when we resist Life’s offerings we sabotage our ability to grow.

Resistance hardens us; it breeds stress and tension which create a barrier that only serves to strengthen our resistance.

When we find ourselves in resistance it can be wise to ask ourselves which aspect of Life (of the Whole, the Divine), are we not allowing ourselves to experience?

Much of my own life has been spent in resistance. We have already identified procrastination as one way that resistance shows up but perhaps some of the following will be familiar with you too?

•Resisting the present moment by daydreaming about the past and/or dwelling on anxieties about the future

•Resisting your body’s signals for rest and pushing on regardless.

•Resisting feeling the full extent of your emotions – especially the ones you perceive to be negative

•Being reluctant to express an opinion

•Avoiding saying “Yes” to something you really want to do because you fear failure

THE ROOT OF ALL RESISTANCE IS FEAR.

Resistance comes from the small self who does not have the ability to vision life beyond itself. The small self fears it will be lost in the process of growth and so it is in its interest to stay small and resist the growth process.

So how do we begin to change all this?

How do we begin to let our resistance work for us as opposed to against us?

The key is awareness.

We begin by identifying areas of resistance in our lives and asking ourselves, “What does this resistance feel like? What does it look like? Does it have a shape or colour or sound?”

Getting a picture in our minds eye can be helpful especially if we compare it to a picture of what we perceive our growth would look like.

Here are two images I play with.

The first is the seed lying dormant in the soil (resistance) compared with the picture of a full blossoming rose (growth).

The second is a sailing ship, masts down, anchored in the harbour (resistance) compared with a ship at sea, in full sail enjoying the freedom of the ocean (growth).

There is of course nothing WRONG with living life as a seed or an anchored ship. The choice is always ours. There may be good reasons why we want to remain in resistance at the moment BUT if we desire growth then we must choose, at some point to at least set sail!

We move from resistance to growth by taking small, manageable steps; by feeling the resistance and moving slowly but surely in that direction until it begins to soften. Hence I begin to write this blog despite insecurity, doubt and the anxiety that it may not be well received by its readers!

So what is it that you are resisting right now?

My advice is to move slowly, gently and deliberately towards it. Stay open and curious about your resistance. Keep your pictures in mind; the small self and the larger self. Know that the Divine wants you to grow and achieve your potential.

We are all partakers in the great adventure of life – there is little fun or enjoyment in playing small. I know, I’ve done it most of my life. But no longer!

So feel and see yourself reaching your full potential and hang onto that feeling – it is your birthright; you were born to feel that way.

You are not small, weak, and insignificant. You are not meant to be overlooked. You are meant to be noticed, to wave your beauty at the world, to celebrate your life.

Resistance is here to help you. It is your guide. Give thanks for it; embrace it; then go out and LIVE YOUR LIFE!

“Jannietta is a poet who loves the power of words to heal and transform lives. After facing a series of losses in her life she now embraces with joy the process of re-discovering her true self and celebrating the wonder of being alive. She is author of Barefoot on Green Grass, a collection of poetry that explores love, loss and relationship and Wild Swans Flying a book of contemplative poems on love, life and landscape. You can find our more about her by visiting at www.jannietta.com or by following her on Facebook ”

LETTING GO
from POETRY FOR LIVING AN INSPIRED LIFE:
POEMS AS SPIRITUAL MEDITATION

(the book) by Michele Harvey

photo: smartboydesigns.com

photo: smartboydesigns.com

Though we are never alone
It sometimes feels that way.
From the simmering stirs
Of early summer,
To deer that hide within the mist,
Life is a constant wanderer.
Everything one day drifts away.
So I’m crafting myself
A seaworthy sail,
Inviting the moment to take me,
Surrendering anchor,
Grateful for the birth of the new day.

The Real Reason Why I Wrote: From Confusion To Clarity, Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less (What’s In It for me?)

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On March 27, I did a radio interview about my new book, From Confusion To Clarity: Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less, with radio host, Maggie Holbik of Crystal Clear Coaching. If you find books on personal growth and contemporary spirituality engaging, yet are still on the fence about whether to add my book to your collection, I invite you to listen to this radio show, which you might have missed, but which you can hear at your convenience by clicking on the link at the end of this page, so kindly read on, because what you won’t hear on the radio, is the meat of the matter in this month’s blog post:

During the show, I was gratefully, caught off-guard when Maggie asked, “What do you hope to achieve by writing this book? What sets your book apart from other books about personal growth? I say gratefully because these questions have since stayed with me long enough to shed new light on my own understanding of “what I hope to achieve” through sharing with you, the messages found in my book.

Among lots of other things, my book discusses a particular meditation taught by Conversations With God, author, Neale Donald Walsch, a modern-day spiritual messenger. It is not the only form of meditation I use effectively, nor is it the only one I recommend, but this meditation in particular does have a profound impact on me whenever I do it.

I learnt about Neale’s meditation (which gives one the opportunity to have a two-way dialogue with the Divine, hear the voice of the soul, God, or whatever name you choose to explain the glue that holds life together,) through attending one of his workshops in a large room filled with people. To the best of my knowledge, other than taking a course with Neale, either online or on-sight, or knowing someone who has, most people are not familiar with his meditation.

I bring this up because many of you, as well as your friends, and family members, have read at least one of the many books written by Neale Donald Walsch, yet how many of you, your friends, or family members, have gone to a spiritual retreat, and learned a meditation that profoundly changed your life?

I am just an ordinary person, not spiritual master, nor life coach, nor reverend, though these days I do behold more with reverence than ever before. Having experienced the different things my book discusses, I believe it can serve to bridge the gap, leading more of us ‘ordinary people,’ to delve more deeply into teachings and the life work of teachers like Neale Donald Walsch, Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and many others, and to actually embody the tools they offer through their teachings, by making them a way of life.

Perhaps my book will urge you to look at their online calendar of events and make some plans, or to meditate regularly, or to make one of the 30 user-friendly activities in my book, a part of enriching your life. If not, I believe my book, From Confusion To Clarity: Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less, will encourage readers who are stuck and suffering, by providing them with easy but highly effective tools that allow one to change poison into medicine, and to lower the volume on their personal pain.

Below is the link to my radio interview. I do hope you’ll listen and feel free to share this blog and/or radio link with your friends and family members.

Radio Show (blogtalkradio) with Maggie Holbik (host) and Michele Harvey Author & Poet http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ggmradio/2013/03/27/crystal-clear-coaching-with-maggie-holbik

For signed copies of From Confusion To Clarity: Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less, please visit the home page of this website.The book is also available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and CreateSpace.com and will soon be available on SMASHWORDS.

To read daily quotes From Confusion To Clarity, please visit facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleHarvey?ref=hl and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/confusionends/from-confusion-to-clarity-the-book/

I hope you’ll join me and comment on what you have found here.

Hugs till next time,

Michele

Each Day is a Fresh Start

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On March 30, 2011, I suffered the loss of my beautiful first born son, David. I was living in a foreign country when he died somewhat unexpectedly, and when my world fell apart. For a few days, I was immobilized. It seemed that every truth I ever knew was gone. I was afraid to go outside because I didn’t want to see the school children walking by in their blue uniforms for fear that I would break down among them.

It was during this time that I received an email about an interactive online course being offered by my teacher, Neale Donald Walsch. It proved to be the course that changed the course of my life. I learned a meditation that enables me and others, to have a two-way dialogue with the Divine, to ask questions and have them answered.

Two years later, I admit that awakening is not a static condition. For me, personal growth is something I have to strive for on a daily basis because at times, I seem to easily forget the things I have learned.

What I have held onto from my Holy experience, is that things are always as they should be. Things are always perfect. There are no mistakes. What this really means is that by letting go of judgments and labels, by taking a square look at whatever is showing up and accepting it, we can decide who we are and how we respond, in a more conscious sense.

I have chosen to show up differently since 2011 because I believe that so much of what I thought I understood before that time, no longer feels right. For example, no longer do I believe in scarcity in terms of life expectancy, resources, or anything else.

When we don’t believe in scarcity, we can cherish the present moment, and we can be much more giving to our world, which naturally includes us.
We can become more conscious of how we respond to one another and how we use our resources, including money, which is just as much a reflection of our consciousness, as anything else.

The warm and assuring hug I felt around my heart from the Divine during that meditation, has left me with only inspiration. In fact I believe it may have saved my life.

By sharing pieces of my shifting experience with all of you, through poems and books, it helps me fulfill how I have chosen to show up. And so it is to you my friends, that I am eternally grateful.

That said, I am currently embarking on the audio book version of From Confusion to Clarity and have been blessed with a recorded introduction to the audio book, by gifted actor and singer, Mr. John Allan, who also hosted the radio show, Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast, which aired in 60 countries. If you are hooked on audio books, I hope you will give From Confusion to Clarity a good listen.

I am writing a book of poems as well, which will consist of many of the poems currently on the facebook page, Poetry for Living an Inspired Life https://www.facebook.com/#!/PoetMicheleHarvey and will include many other poems never before seen on social media.

What questions do you have about the material in From Confusion to Clarity? How has the book, particularly the activities at the end of the book, affected you? What opinions would you like to share? Speak to me! If you would prefer not to share your questions here, please email me at clarity@confusionends.com and I will respond to you within a few days. I invite you to visit the facebook page on which I share quotes from the book, at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleHarvey?ref=hl

Hugs until next time,
Michele