You might have thought I forgot, but here it is! For the first time in video, I share with you my favorite things from 2013 as well as a few surprises.
By Doreen Virtue
I was at a dinner party with several famous spiritual authors. Across from me was a well-known television psychic, and sitting next to her was Esther Hicks (of Abraham-Hicks fame). I was uncomfortable because the psychic had publicly disparaged my work in the past, but I sat there anyway, pretending that everything was okay and trying to make pleasant conversation with her. But she didn’t play nice with me, and everything she said to me felt like a put-down. Finally, the psychic looked directly at me and announced loudly to the table, “I just hate people who love unicorns and rainbows!”
Awkward silence. My energy fell. My face grew hot.
Then Esther Hicks saved the day. She looked directly at the psychic and said with perfect strength: “Well, maybe that’s because you haven’t yet had the experience of unicorns and rainbows!” There wasn’t an ounce of sarcasm or placating in Esther’s voice or energy. She was speaking purely from a place of fearless and centered power.
Everyone at the table was quiet. I wanted to run away or duck under the table.
Then the psychic shifted her body weight, sighed, and replied, “Hmm, perhaps you’re right.”
I looked at Esther with gratitude for teaching me one of my most important life lessons that evening. She showed me how to maintain dignity and inner peace in the face of harsh energy. Since then, I’ve devoted myself to studying and practicing this spiritual art.
I discovered that there’s a vast difference between being “nice” and being “loving.” I had lived my life as a “nice girl,” covering up my feelings to protect others, and sugarcoating what I said to avoid conflict. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” was my philosophy. I respected authority without question, and stuffed down my feelings. Then those pent-up feelings would become unbearable and I’d either confront the person who triggered them or leave the relationship.
I thought I was being nice.
I was being fearful, which is the opposite of love.
As I prayed for help with my relationships, I began to receive important life lessons. I’d hear them as intuitive “downloads,” meaning a knowingness or Aha! insight would suddenly appear. Sometimes the lessons would be accompanied by visual or auditory teachings. I’d see visions or hear a voice in my right ear, which is the way the angels have communicated with me since I was a child.
The first lesson I learned was that sensitive people like me were “sent” here as Earth Angels with an important mission: to defuse and reduce conflict on this planet. Our mission doesn’t involve ignoring conflict. It involves resolving it. We Earth Angels are like loving-but-firm parents sent here to express God’s benevolent power to help others.
Here’s an example by way of analogy: If a child wants to only eat candy and says that doing so makes him happy, would a good parent allow this?
Of course not. Even if the child cries or gets angry, a good parent must say no to the request to continually eat candy. The parent may moderate this response by occasionally giving candy, or may substitute healthier treats. However the situation is handled, though, it comes down to the parent being strong enough to say no.
That metaphor is applicable to our life mission. When there’s conflict on the planet—whether it’s an argument between partners or feuds between countries—it’s akin to little children throwing tantrums because they’re not getting their way. We as Earth Angels need to assume the parental role, bringing about a peaceful resolution.
Managing conflict can be uncomfortable because Earth Angels are so attuned to energy. We can feel when others are stressed, angry, sad, or uncomfortable. Their emotional energy affects us directly. Fortunately, we can use our awareness to shift this discomfort in a healthier and more peaceful direction.
Remember the metaphor of the caring parent: she gets involved in her child’s conflict because she loves him. With a loving heart—whether it’s with your child, a friend, your spouse, or a co-worker—you step in and tell the truth. You reveal your real feelings, because you know it’s the only route to a long-lasting and healthy relationship.
Holding your feelings in is like putting a steadily increasing amount of air into a balloon. There’s a limit to how much air the balloon will hold before it explodes!
The preceeding was an excerpt from “Assertiveness for Earth Angels: How To Be Loving Instead of ‘Too Nice'” by Doreen Virtue, published by Hay House (November, 2013), available at bookstores or online at www.HayHouse.com.
About Doreen Virtue:
Doreen Virtue holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in counseling psychology; and is a lifelong clairvoyant who works with the angelic realm. Doreen is the author of “Healing with the Angels”, “How to Hear Your Angels”, “Messages from Your Angels”, “Archangels & Ascended Masters”, “Solomon’s Angels”, and the “Archangel Oracle Cards”, among other works. Her products are available in most languages worldwide.
Who doesn’t love Snoopy? I mean, I was offered the chance to review “Snoopy: Cowabunga!” A Peanuts Collection, and obviously I said yes. I grew up reading pocket Peanuts books and my father is a big fan. However, what can be done to make a Peanuts book worth reviewing? How can you make it new or different? Well, guess what? “Snoopy: Cowabunga!” is incredibly exciting!
First off, we’re talking 214 pages of full color Peanuts strips. And that’s right, I said FULL COLOR. I didn’t get that in my little pocket books. Along the side of the pages is a little Snoopy running back and forth. Yup, there is a bit of flip book action going on too!
Once you’re done reading the strips there is actually MORE to do! There is a section of activities at the back of the book. Learn how to make a bird feeder for other Woodstocks out there, make a Snoopy finger puppet, or learn how comics can reflect life. There’s still more activities, and there is a poster of all the Peanuts characters.
Now, let me just take a moment and blow your mind. At this point I assume you’re impressed with all “Snoopy: Cowabunga!” has to offer, well here’s the really amazing part. Suggested U.S.A. retail, $9.99. All of this for only $9.99! Hello holiday gift for like, everyone! Because like I said, who doesn’t love Snoopy?
By Alanna Zabel
Even if you do not work in an office, you most likely spend time sitting in front of a computer – and possibly slouch every now and then? These repetitive patterns can tighten your hip flexor tendons, weaken your lower back and poorly affect neck and shoulder alignment. The following five stretches are a great way to minimize muscle tightness from sitting in a chair for long periods of time. Remember, sitting with good posture is one of the most effective ways to work your abdominal muscles (isometric), so take advantage of this great ab workout at work.
Low Back Release: Sitting in your office chair, make sure you have a few feet of room in front of you. With your feet on the ground, parallel and hip-distance apart, bring your hands to the front of your knees.
a) Arch your back for length, lifting your chest towards the ceiling (hold for 3-5 breaths), then
b) fold over your legs, reaching your hands towards your feet with your head dropping towards the floor. Hold another 5-8 deep breaths here.
*If you have any herniated discs, forward bending is contraindicated. If this is the case for you, stay with the first portion of this exercise (a) for 5-8 breaths.
Wrist Relief: In a seated position, with your feet on the ground, parallel and hip-distance apart, hold your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Bring your hands together and interlace your fingers, then turn your hands “inside out” away from you. Hold for 5-8 deep breaths.
Chest Opener: Still seated, grab the outside edges of your chair (with palms facing in towards your body). Lean forward, pushing your chest out and up, possibly straightening your elbows. Hold for 5-8 deep breaths.
Seated Pigeon: Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, two or three inches above the left knee. Keep your right foot flexed throughout this exercise/stretch. Use your right hand to brace your right knee and your left hand to hold your right foot. Lengthen and arch your back, pulling your chest forward until you feel a stretch in your back, glutes and thighs. Hold for 8-10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Quad Stretch: Sit on the edge of an armless chair or bench so that your right hamstring and right glute are on the left side of the chair, and your left glute is 1/2 of the way off the chair. Once your body is stable in that position (you may need to hold your desk in front of you), bring your left foot behind you so that the top of it is pressing toward the floor. Push your left hip forward and lift your chest (more advanced, reach your left arm over your head). Hold for 8-10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
About Alanna Zabel:
Alanna Zabel is the founder of AZIAM Yoga. Voted “Best Yoga Instructor in LA” by Los Angeles Family Magazine in 2011, Alanna is a certified yoga, fitness, Pilates and dance instructor who is passionate about teaching holistic and organic wellness.
Alanna focuses all of her work on the personal Self realization of those she is working with. She enjoys leading yoga retreats nationally and internationally, including her Detox Yoga, Surf & Yoga and Seva (service) Retreats.
Alanna is the author of As I Am: Where Spirituality Meets Reality which incorporates a 21-day program called The Dharma Zone. It is intended to help readers find their true self and purpose while minimizing outside distractions. To compliment her program, Alanna has recorded twenty-one meditations to coincide with each day of her program. The AM Meditations set is available on CD and by download on iTunes, Amazon and iAmplify.
With a flare for style, Alanna is the owner and designer for the premium lifestyle brand, AZIAM Active Wear. Beyond her accomplishments as an instructor, performer, program director, writer, and designer, Alanna is a creative force and a teacher with a passion for organic living. She has been featured in Self, Fitness, People, InStyle, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Details, C – California Lifestyle and Yoga Fit magazines, as well as having been featured in several yoga/fitness productions.
by JB Sanders
On to Turkey Day!
Castle for Sale — Cheap!
At only $179,000, I mean cheap. Nestled in the Helderberg mountains of New York State, this little artistic ruin is a perfect get-away retreat.
Here’s a company making modular robot parts you fit together to create any robot you can imagine. And have a module for. Check out the video, it’s pretty cool.
Interactive 3D Interface
Behold another glimpse of the future — or a really odd off-shoot that never goes anywhere. Tough to say sometimes. Scientists at MIT’s Media Lab have developed a primitive interface for interacting with digital objects in 3D — not holograms, actual physical moving objects. Watch the video.
Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Supertrain
New York to Montreal in 35 minutes? Yes, please.
Dr Who at 50
The show started 50 years ago, and is still going, making it the longest-running SciFi show on Earth television. Here’s a nice retrospective of the show, focusing on the TARDIS, from the BBC.
Real Photos, or Miniatures with Perspective?
Take some very cool model cars, add some fake terrain, and then get the perspective JUST right in front of some real buildings: what do you have? Some amazing photos.
Not the Most Ideal Writing Situation
Still, the data collected should be interesting. A Dutch writer is donning a cap full of electrodes every time he sits down to write his latest novel. Scientists plan on pouring over the data collected this way, and then doing the same thing to 50 readers as they peruse the novel. What will they find?
Thousand-Year-Old Forest Discovered Under Glacier
In Alaska, scientists have uncovered a forest that last saw the light a thousand years ago.
Full-Scale Millenium Falcon Built for Star Wars VII
What do you call that? It’s not a model — maybe a “replica”? Anyway, JJ Abrams had it built (so the rumor goes) for filming. It’s a 1:1 scale set.
Abandoned Sites Ready-Made for Your Villainous Lair
Yeah, ok, it’s another Cracked article, but it’s so, so much fun! Villainous HQs nearly ready for move-in. Just need to add that laser fence.
Amazon Brings the SciFi
Want that really cool new smart-phone? Don’t want to wait for it? Order it with Prime Air shipping, and watch the helicopter drone drop it off in 30 minutes. Think I’m talking about some futuristic science fiction world where electronics, books or any other smallish item can be delivered in the same time the pizza delivery ninjas can get you a hot pizza? Nope. Amazon is really actually working on delivery drones, and a promised 30 minute delivery time. Watch the video.
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: http://glenandtyler.blogspot.com
At this point in my life I’ve read quite a few books about Zen Buddhism, and since it’s me I’ve forgotten a healthy chunk of what I’ve read. (Seriously, I’ve got an awful memory, even for things I really want to learn and retain.) However, despite my crappy memory I feel quite certain I’ve never encounter a Zen book quite like “Living the Season: Zen Practice for Transformative Times” by Ji Hyang Padma.
Often Ji Hyang Padma shares stories from her own life and own experiences making “Living the Season” part memoir. The Zen Buddhism discussed in the book is based on what is practiced in Korea, which you rarely read about in the West. I’d never seen it before so I found that very interesting. I learned that my favorite goddess, or Bodhisattva if you hang with the Buddhists, Kwan Yin, is referred to as Kwan Seum Bosal if you’re a Korean Buddhist. “Living the Season” has loads of exercises. Once Ji Hyang Padma gets you meditating the sky is the limit. Literally. One of the exercises is sky gazing!
Ji Hyang Padma’s writing is sincere in acknowledging what most of us already know, we’re in a time of upheaval and change. Her message is to understand how we’re all connected and work to be of service to each other and also be of service to our planet. All of this is conveyed in her beautiful voice, filled with authenticity. “Living the Season” is a story, a Zen practice, and a mission statement, not to be missed.