Inspiring Stories on Earthseals, Peace Through Gratitude
Welcome to Inspirations! Global Community For All sends out this e-zine filled with short, inspiring stories of love, healing, and empowerment once every three months. We share these wonderfully inspiring stories to encourage and inspire each other to be the best we can be each day of our lives. If you would like to receive each issue of Inspirations as it is published, click here. Thanks for joining us, and may these words inspire us to ever deepen our commitment to love, heal, and empower; to open to divine guidance; and to choose what's best for all.†
My Life Intentions & Life Purpose ó Fred Burks
Global Community for All's suggestion to write down my deepest life intentions and frequently review them has been awesomely empowering for me. Since first writing them in detail late in 2002, I've been changing and refining these intentions on a regular basis. This has helped me to feel a continual, deep resonance in my mind and heart every time I read them. I find myself excited to be moving ever more clearly and with ever more focus in my day-to-day life.
I keep this list posted over my bed where I review the main intentions every morning. It's so great to start off each day remembering what I'm here for! I also go through the entire list once a month or so. I invite you to develop, refine, and fully live your life intentions and life purpose in whatever way feels right to you, so that you might experience the joy of living with a greater sense of purpose and intention every day. Please note that my core challenge in life is arrogance, so you may notice some intentions developed specifically to deal with that.
I will do my best to choose what's best for me, for you, and for all of us.
Reminders Throughout the Day
May I be real and authentic in my interactions with myself and with all in my life.
Inspiring Myself and Others
May I inspire all to connect with the magnificent divine essence in all beings.
Coming Together to Create a New Paradigm
I invite all of us to open to ever greater transparency both in ourselves and in the world.
My Life Purpose
I deeply commit myself and my life to inspiring both personal and global transformation through love, healing, and empowerment, and to inviting all to join me in opening to divine guidance as we choose what's best for all of us in every moment of our lives.
Living in his car in 1988, Paul Hoffman was awakened in the middle of the night by a powerful dream of making stickers with a photo of the Earth taken from space, and getting them out to people. He immediately got up and wrote the idea down so he would remember it.
Over the course of the next year, little by little Paul's dream became a reality. He got permission from NASA to use their famous photo of the earth, gave his life savings to a printer who made 88,000 stickers, and began to give them away to everyone who might possibly want them. Now, 15 years later, he has distributed over 15 million EarthSeals to people all over the planet. He's even been listed several years in Who is Who in Service to the Earth.
Paul's life turned around in the early 80's. He had been living in an old post office truck parked behind a hippie restaurant where he washed dishes in exchange for one meal a day. Then one day, he made a conscious decision to reverse the cycle of negativity that he had grown up around, and that had permeated him and his life.
Noticing that his thoughts constantly reminded him of all that had gone wrong in his life, and of all the respect that he wasn't getting, Paul decided: "If I want respect, I need to give respect. If I want honor, I need to give honor. If I want wealth, I need to give wealth. I need to give to this world, instead of just sitting back and continuing to complain about why there is not enough honor, respect, wealth, or love in the world!"
So he set out to give back, to help out, to make a difference where he could. This was the turning point that led directly to EarthSeals. Instead of just complaining about "what's so," he went out to be what the world needed, and matched it to what he loved to do.
Part of EarthSeals' uniqueness is Paul's decision from the beginning to give them out by donation only. It wasn't important whether or not a person could afford to pay for them. His philosophy was and continues to be, "Get them out there. Do some good. Put them in the hands of those who will appreciate them."
When he first approached advisors of the U.S. Small Business Administration, they would not even discuss the project unless he dropped the "by donation" idea. Never one to be easily co-opted, Paul went ahead and gave away 30,000 of the stickers for free. He found that when people did start sending back donations, the amount they sent was often several times what he would have charged if he had set a price. This more than made up for the school kids who could only afford a dollar, or the kid from Indonesia sending his five cents.
These days, you can typically find Paul wandering around at events, "EarthSealing" the crowd. "Want a sticker of the Earth?" he asks. At a recent peace demo in San Francisco, his backpack laden with many rolls of stickers, he meandered through the crowd with a huge smile. "Easiest way that I can think of to get thanked by 4,000 strangers in one afternoon," he says beaming.
Paul keeps on giving them out, sending them around the world. On the back of the sticker is Paul's address (PO Box 8000, Berkeley, CA 94707-8000, www.earthseals.com) and a suggested donation for those who want more. People write him from countries around the world. Travelers note that giving out EarthSeals delights people all over this planet. Paul even has some printed up with the backing translated into various major world languages, so that people in Russia, China, and Brazil can get some for their friends, too.
"Get them out there! Let people remember where we all live, what it's all about." Paul particularly loves that EarthSeals have no words on the front. "Words divide. Pictures unite," he says. He now coaches "high potential, currently stuck" people on how to "make the match between what the world really needs to have done and what you really want to do." As a result of acting on one powerful dream, Paul has created a vehicle that has carried him from being a "poor hippie" living in his car, to being a powerful catalyst for positive global change.
Finding Peace Through Gratitude ó Nancy Smeltzer
Moffitt's ideas have had a profound effect on my outlook on life. It began when the title "Selfless Gratitude" caught my eye while thumbing through the pages. The words immediately spoke to me of noble virtues. While I aspire to be a loving, selfless person, I figure that I can use all of the help I can get to stay on my chosen course. I began reading.
As I am often plagued with depression, his belief that through joyful appreciation one can connect with the universe resonated well with me. I have found that I do feel a profound oneness with the universe when I can remember to show gratitude. He went on further to say that there are three ways to choose to express your gratefulness. "O.K.", I said, "I can believe that." I kept on reading.
His first two ideas may be hard for me to remember when I'm down. He began by saying that it's easy to be grateful when you're happy. He then went on to ask, but what about when you're emotionally torn? I instantly identified with that sentiment, as I can positively glow when I feel great. However, when I'm depressed, I wallow in my dismal depths, and have a really hard time seeing any cause for rejoicing. He said that it is when we are at a low point that it is most important to be grateful. Reading this, I had to ask, "So, how am I supposed to be thankful when I'm in despair?"
As if anticipating my question, Moffitt went on to say that a second way to foster connection is to reflect on your past feelings of gratitude. You had it before, so where did it go? "Nowhere, really," I thought. His take was that gratitude shouldn't be a trade off for the gifts of the world. In other words, don't just offer up a thank you when things are going well for you.
His third suggestion, while easy to accept, I know that I don't do enough. Give thanks to those souls, he says, both known and unknown who have helped you in the past, and do so now. In other words, the ancestors who helped shape your world deserve more than just a nod. It's easy to think fondly of my father and grandparents. Of course I'm glad that I knew them. I'm now trying to extend these feelings towards all of those that came before me and fought battles on a wide variety of fronts.
I think that those women artists who are older than I am and who got "women's'" art to be accepted, deserve a bow of appreciation from me. I'm also trying to remember to show gratitude to those who labor to make my world a better place. For a while now, I've been doing the following. When I see the cleaning person in a public bathroom, I thank her for keeping the place so nice and clean. Her smile makes me all the more glad that I said something to her, and the joy comes back to me, doubly blessed.
The article "Selfless Gratitude" was only six pages, but what a powerful change those words have made in my life. Gratitude = Connection = Joy. Got it! I've had a chance already to try out some of these ideas, and feel that they'll be useful in shaping my outlook on life. I have definitely filed the original article I read in a bright yellow folder among my important papers. Now, the test will be if I can remind myself of all of the glorious things for which I'm thankful when the going gets rough. Now where was it exactly that I put that folder?
All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of a single candle.