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Why I became a foster parent

Why I became a foster parent

A gift I gave myself that keeps on giving: Opening our home and souls to our foster children

BY RICK LEED — Everyone understands the concept of ‘giving’ to a child in need by opening your home as a foster parent and potentially (though not necessarily) proceeding to adopt that child. The most common and simplest way to view this metamorphosis is that you are doing good by helping someone else — by sharing your safe, warm personal, family home with a child who might otherwise live in a ‘group home’ (the word that has replaced the word Dickens made famous, “orphanage”) .

It is true: you are doing good by helping another.  But the good you are doing is hardly one-sided.  There are many studies, much research, and a long social and spiritual history that shows that the biggest beneficiary is the giver of this gift.

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Muslim wedding ceremony

Marrying a Muslim man in post-9/11 North America

Islam means “submit.” I’ve used the code of my adopted faith to accept, and turn, public opinion

GUEST COLUMN: REBECCA JONES *— When I met my husband, then-roommate, he was living in the basement of our shared student apartment. We became friends simulating Star Wars battles with toy light sabers and fell for each other watching a Ghostbusters marathon. Sheltered from the world, we seemed to have more similarities than differences.

To be quite honest, it still sits strangely when I hear people say I married a “Muslim man.” I feel like I fell in love with a boy who happened to be Muslim. That was almost 10 years ago.

But just because I fell in love, didn’t mean I fell in love with his faith.

* Rebecca Jones is a pen name requested by the author to protect her family from any potential backlash.

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My divorce? A scary rebound relationship? Call them my “secret projects” for healing

CONFESSIONS: “When my little brother said I was like a T-shirt for women who shack up with abusers, I knew I had hit rock bottom”

ANONYMOUS — Sometimes I feel fondly — even grateful — for hitting what I consider rock bottom . . . so long as I never have to visit there again.

If there’s a contest between life’s ups and downs, ups are in. Some people pop pills to stay up.

Up is nothing to sneeze at, certainly, but I also believe that down is a place where you can do some foundation work for a personal renovation.

My downward journey started . . .

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The new improved way to get stoned

The new improved way to get stoned

Hint: It isn’t meth. Simply holding a few colored gemstones healed my mind, body and spirit. Crystals rock!

BY SUSANNA BELLINI — I once met a woman, a former geologist who after years of handling stones eventually discovered they held energetic and spiritual properties. She left geology to become a healer.

Years later, at a very low point in my life where I struggled in an unhappy relationship and was about to lose a big freelance IT contract, that woman—and my own experience with her healing stones—kept coming to mind.

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A spiritual response to violent crime

“One should not have to lose a child, especially in the violent manner in which mine was murdered, to learn the things that are indispensable to living.”

Linda White’s workshop at the Happiness & Its Causes Conference in San Francisco was co-sponsored by Soul’s Code.  A doctor of psychology, Linda specializes in restorative justice, and finding ways for victims and offenders to reconcile.

BY LINDA WHITE — It was November 18, 1986, and my mother’s birthday.  I had planned to spend the entire day with her, doing anything she wanted, since it was “her day.”  I awoke, however, not to that pleasant expectation, but to a phone call from my five-year-old granddaughter, Ami, telling me that she was home alone and she didn’t know where her mother was.

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The Ice Storm still

Living in fear: We appeared to be the perfect family

My mother’s first hospitalization for attempting suicide came before I even knew what the word meant

BY SUEANN JACKSON-LAND — I can close my eyes and see myself at around 8 or 9 years old, sitting with my knees scrunched under me on the floorboard of a 1974 Dodge Coronet. The first poem I wrote was a prayer. Rounding the corner in that same old big brown boat that disguised its ugliness as a car, I can also clearly remember hanging on to the interior door handle as the door swung open and I looked at the pavement racing past me.

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Where my spiritual path and science meet

Where my spiritual path and science meet

“Can enlightenment happen through meditation and practice?” Drawing on Eckhart Tolle, her personal experience and science, the answer is: Yes


By Anonymous — I began meditating about two and a half years ago, at the urging of a then-friend (translation: a fellow I was very briefly dating.) I was an avid journal-writer, and felt that was enough for clearing the detritus-of-the-day from my mind.

But a couple weeks later, when someone came into my office and was handing out flyers for beginning meditation classes, I decided to take up the invitation. My work ‘situation’ was super-stressful, and I thought that meditation might help ameliorate the effects more than what I saw people around me using to cope — from Ambien to alcohol.

I also have an intuitive faith that if something is put in front of my face two or three times, it’s probably a Moby Dick of a message from something beyond my mind trying to jog the latter.

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Church for the 21st century: an oral and aural buffet we can all savor

Church for the 21st century: an oral and aural buffet we can all savor

An Episcopal priest comes to the realization that what we have labelled God is actually ”absolute intelligence” expressed via humans

BY DAVID RICKEY — Recently two events have changed my center of gravity. First, attending the Parliament for the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia in December of 2009 and then going to Haiti for the first time in June of 2010 and, at the same time, reading “The God Theory” by Bernard Haisch.

The Parliament gave me the opportunity to experience people from an amazing variety of spiritual perspectives, all talking and sharing in a way that opened my eyes further to the truth of the “interfaith” reality of TRUTH.

My trip to Haiti was my first encounter with incredible poverty as well as the resilience of the human spirit that I could see in the faces of the Haitian people. My reading “The God Theory” gave “solidity” to my own questions and emerging answers about this amazing mystery I call God.

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How to find your voice

How to find your voice

A Danish pop star turned-spiritual-teacher spreads the word of speaking consciously

GUEST COLUMN: SUZANN RYE — I believe that anything is possible. . . that anything you set your heart and mind to achieve, you can. And I believe that we are all born with infinite wisdom. If we don’t get too distracted, if we don’t forget what we know and intuitively feel to be true, we will instinctively understand what to do with our lives, which way to go, and how to fulfill our dreams. Our heart will tell us.

The above is taken from “Little Voice”, a story that I wrote  as part of the best-selling inspirational book, Living in Clarity.

I’m Suzann Rye, author, inspirational speaker, spiritual coach, artist, and voice performance coach, and this is my story. . .

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Remembrance of war past

A Vietnam vet’s journey from a “19 year old hippy kid” to a life coach

GUEST COLUMN: OSCAR TRUITT — When I was drafted into the army in 1969, I was a 19 year-old hippy kid who believed in the concepts of peace and brotherly love.  When I went to Vietnam, I had the idea that I would never shoot my weapon at anyone.

But the first time out in the field, the guy walking behind me was hit by sniper fire.  Everyone started shooting. I did too — to protect him, and the others.

Firing a weapon became an act of group consciousness, not individualism. It was not done from selfishness, but from a concept of brotherly love that I had thought I believed in, but had never understood until that moment.  I discovered that I didn’t know what I believed in, and didn’t know who I was.

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