Lessons learned from Big Fish

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My little family took off spontaneously to a large, lake town about two hours away from our home, for a needed break.  The lake is fed calcium from the nearby limestone rock, which makes the lake a pristine blue color that seems to feed the soul. You can just sit and look at the water shimmer, the hues shift with the current and the quiet nourishes every part of you.  I sat watching four large pelicans fish in a shallow spot that was only about two feet deep. It was beautiful, the blue lake contrasted by these large, white, floating birds.

I then watched my husband head out to the same shallow spot with his fly rod in hopes of doing a little ‘carping.’  He waded in water less than a foot and would lift up these golden, shining fish that had large, open mouths.  It reminded me of a great Tim Burton movie, ‘Big Fish’ that we then watched that night. It seemed fitting to watch a movie of the same name, after catching such large fish earlier in the day.

Here is a Synopsis of the movie ‘Big Fish’: The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father’s elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father’s great feats and his great failings. -from imdb

So, while we watched I took notes on some of the epic lessons that were held within the movie. Hopefully you will take away a lesson learned & then watch the movie if you have not seen it.

“The biggest fish in the river gets that way by never being caught.”—Life is like that. The more you try, the more you journey, the more you learn, the wiser you become.

“The more difficult something became, the more rewarding it was in the end.”—I believe this to be true with every difficult change, every surprising struggle, every lesson learned. If you don’t have difficult moments, where will you find the reward?  If your life was eternally easy, where would you learn? How would you learn?

“This town is more than any man could ask for. And if I were to end up here, I’d consider myself lucky. But the truth is, I’m not ready to end up anywhere.”—There is a timing in everything that happens to you. This is where your gut feelings, your inner compass guides you to what you truly need for your life.

“It was that night I discovered that most things you consider evil or wicked are simply lonely, and lacking in social niceties.”–every person has a story, a reason for the way they are. Take the time to understand. There have been numerous situations within my life where I have met a person with a distasteful personality and thought “what is their problem” to only understand a little better, once I came to know their story.  One such story…A woman who worked as a cashier at a local Riteaid near my home. My husband and I frequented the store for small necessities to only leave on every occasion wondering what this woman’s problem was because she was cold and nasty in every encounter. Within a year we ended up living in the same building as this woman. We were not excited, but began to slowly get to know her. We came to find out that she had been struck with the AIDS virus and was deserted by her family. She felt very alone and judged by everyone around her. Our hearts ached for this woman. You never know ones journey.

“Fate has a cruel way of circling around on you. After all this work to leave Ashton, the girl I loved was now engaged to one of its biggest jerks. There’s a time when a man needs to fight, and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost, that the ship has sailed, and that only a fool will continue. The truth is, I’ve always been a fool.”—Never give up. Fate does have a way of circling, testing and making sure you know what you truly want. If you ask and continue walking faithfully in the direction of your desires, you will begin to understand that someone truly is listening and wants what is best for you.

“Truth is, I’ve been thirsty my whole life. Never really known why.”—What are your thirsty for? Some people get stuck never grateful for what they have, always wanting more and more, until they finally see what they have is more than enough.

“A dangerous path is made much worse by darkness.”—Seek the light in all you do or you will need to watch every step you take in the darkness. Each step will become darker and darker, leading you further away from the light.

“A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.”—This one I truly understand even more deeply since my mother has been living with me. Every story she tells about her childhood, her mother, her father, sinks into my well of memory. I listen more intently, hoping to grasp the details, the way she tells the story, the emotion that wells up in her, the sweetness, the true moments of immortality that seem to live on in her every word. It’s priceless.

Well, there are lessons all around us, we just need to seek after them. I am trying to take more and more out of all I do, the movies I watch, the stories I read, the conversations I have…they all lead to learning at some level. Seek to become better in all you do.

Greatness is all around us.  Growth is in everything.  I will leave you with this last quote from the movie…

“It occurred to me then, that perhaps the reason for my growth was I was intended for larger things. After all, a giant man can’t have an ordinary-sized life.”

I believe there is reason for growth in everyone & that everyone is intended to live for larger things, to learn daily, to seek wisdom, to live beyond an ordinary life, a life rich with gratitude, a life that God intended you to find in every step you take.  Enjoy your journey.

Peace and beautiful things to you today.  -Heather

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Lessons from Eat Pray Love

ImageIt is a wonderful thing to know that their are no coincidences, that life gives us signals we need, stops us to listen, helps us to begin to notice the things we truly need. Again I was gifted a needed coincidence. I had been feeling like I needed to watch the movie Eat. Pray. Love. I had not seen it since it came out in theaters, so I was curious to understand why I was being drawn to it.  I was having a bit of a down, migraine day, so I put the movie in and watched it for about 20 minutes before the idleness began to wear on me, the thoughts played that I had too many things to do, so I got up. I decided maybe a walk might shake things up and get my blood flowing. I walked, I listened to a podcast of someone I had never heard before, she took a call from a caller who began to parallel her life with the life of Elizabeth in the movie Eat. Pray. Love.    Now, we all know this movie has been out for years, so this struck me as a gift, I knew I needed to go home and finish what I started and see what spoke to me through this movie. Here are some of the things I took away…

Pray: with your heart. Her desperation led her to her knees. “Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don’t have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Dolce far niente—In Italian means “the sweetness of doing nothing.”  In America we do not take advantage of this, we work, we work until the day is done, we rarely have moments of “doing nothing.” I am not sure how we have become so accustomed to this way of life, but each and every one of us need to learn something from the Italian culture and enjoy more moments of sweet nothing.  “Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure.Ours is an entertainment seeking-nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one….This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype- the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax.”  -Elizabeth

Express yourself with gestures: I loved this!! Everyone kissing, giving thanks for delicious food with the “Muah!” May we all “Muah” everything we have.

The Augusteum: This was a meaningful moment in the movie because it was a place of great ruin. Elizabeth began to see the parallels of ruin as a gift in life, the road to true transformation.

Master your thoughts: let it be. “At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.”

Give selflessly to others: Elizabeth’s gift to the young Indian girl who was getting married into an arranged marriage was a gift of selfless beauty, a genuine gift.  There was another sweet gesture when Elizabeth had friends and family send money in lieu of her birthday & she was able to build a home for a single mother in need.

Tutti: I just loved the meaning of the little girl’s name “Tutti” which means “Everyone.”

Forgive yourself: let go of the ocean of regret. “There’s a crack (or cracks) in everyone…that’s how the light of God gets in.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert

God dwells within you as you: When you shine, you are doing His will. You are the true essence of who He created. “We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert          “Your treasure – your perfection – is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.” -Elizabeth

Have faith: “There’s a reason we refer to “leaps of faith”–because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don’t care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is indeed rational; it isn’t.  If faith were rational, it wouldn’t be–by definition–faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be…a prudent insurance policy.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert

Finding balance: Balance is not allowing someone to love you any less than you love yourself.  There was another great moment…Elizabeth says, “I couldn’t keep my balance.” Ketut responds, “Sometimes losing balance for love is part of living balance in life.”

“Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.” 

Avoid fear: Fear leads you to run away from all the great possibilities of your life.

Choose happiness: “I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

“I keep remembering one of my Guru’s teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t you will eat away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

The Quest–the journey:  “I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest”- a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting(which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments)and set out on a truth-seeking journey(either externally or
internally),and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all -to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”

There were so many gifts that seem to be hidden within this movie. I hope you seek to find gifts and gems in everything you do.  Peace and love to you.  -Heather

Ideas to Nourish your SOUL

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“It takes a fearless soul to live in the mystery.”  -Elizabeth Lesser

To me this says—you have to FEAR LESS to truly believe in the faith of something greater…bigger…the whole of all that is. The awareness that you are Divinely connected to a God that wants what is best for you. From that Divine connection comes a guidance, a belief, a faith that all that is mysterious, unanswered, feared can be hushed with a whisper from the guidance you hold within.

To be able to fear less we must be patient and have a simple understanding of who we are seeking to become. We are little children in spirit, we seek to be better, but our smallness leads us to believe that our greatness is hiding. While we play this game of hide and seek, we must daily seek to understand our deepest needs.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”  -Rainer Maria Rilke

Seek to do things that will bring you closer to what your soul needs, to the higher aspiration of yourself. When we begin to  strive to “LIVE EVERYTHING” the things that help us grow, the moments that challenge us, to have patience with the questions that are unanswered, to jump, to sing, to love, to live…we will begin to be who we are meant to be. Like a child, we begin to shine.

Here are a few ideas to help you on a quest to nourish your soul:

Listen to your feelings: I cannot say this enough. You have inner tuition and guidance that is a gift given to you, but if you do not listen, it is of no use to you. Begin to feel and notice things that are given to you as a direction. Ex: If you are drawn to a book to read–buy it, read it. If you feel you are meant to call someone, do it. We often receive a little nudge to do something, but how often do we do it.  I have a great story that goes along with this. Last week my husband was going on a little day trip & I had this feeling to suggest the audio book, The Traveler’s Gift. He came home in ah of what he had listened to & began to explain the parallels of our life and the character in the book—guy who just lost his job, is married to a brunette, they have one daughter, the main character gets to a point where he tried to take his life…& then the story begins to help him with different life lessons from men throughout history. My husband loves it!! He is listening to the rest of it this week. No question—it was inspired for this time in our life. Listen to the needs within. Allow yourself to be guided & you will begin to see the gifts these directions hold.

Self-worth: Do you have limiting beliefs about yourself that is holding you back. Not loving yourself is a tough place to do soul work. I know I do have limiting self believes and I know it is a process of working through insecurities to get you to a higher place. We often see and focus on our personal inadequacies. Dove did a great campaign that illustrates how we personally see ourselves in a more negative light than most people around us. Here is a link to the “You are more beautiful than you think” Real Beauty Sketches…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE   It is very powerful, so take a look. We need to begin to focus and appreciate our personal strengths and the beauty we truly hold within.

Do things that light you up—things you love: Fill your day with as many possible moments of something you enjoy doing. Whether you love reading to your kids, being with your family, riding a bike, listening to beautiful music, talking with good friends, eating good food, being creative, going on a walk, do something that sings to your soul. Your soul needs nourishment and pleasure, so if you just fill your day with stress and worry, what does your soul have to feel good about.

Get quiet: Turn off the television. Take a break from the world. Take a nap, meditate, yoga, breathe. Quieting your world does wonders for everyone. I have been chopping television out of my daughters routine. Yesterday, I sat with her quietly and told her she could draw, color, listen to calming music and have some quiet time. She sat there with me for a few minutes and then said, “This is stupid. I hate this.”  I calmly shared with her the options again and we decided to snuggle up together and fall asleep. It was nice to see her rest. Her little body goes and goes, so the sleep was just what she needed–she awoke refreshed and relaxed.

Plant something: Everyone has there “something” that nourishes the soul. The other day I was having a conversation with my mom and she was quite emotional. She has been living in my home for nearly two years, after someone swindled my parents out of their retirement. She was having a moment, missing her home, wishing she had more money…I looked at her and whispered, “what do you really need?”  She began to cry even more, “Peace.” She then began to talk about how she missed her yard, how she missed planting flowers, tilling, watering and how it was so nourishing to her soul. I smiled, “we have a whole yard you can plant flowers or we can get you a big pot to container garden.”  She smiled.      Everyone has that little something that helps to nourish within. Seek to find those moments and do little things that will bring you hope, that will make you laugh, that will hold you close to the divinity within you.

Most of all…LOVE. Love reminds us of all things. It heals, it helps, it circles, it connects, it remembers where we truly came from.

Peace to you. Have a beautiful day.  -Heather

Happy Earth Day!

ImageMy daughter lit up when she got on google this morning and noticed their fabulous, interactive logo. It was a delight of blooming trees, moving moons, jumping fish, swirls and scenery. It was playful and full of wonder…just like our planet…WONDERFUL!  I sang…because it’s Earth Day!! So today I am sharing tips, tricks and fun things to make your day even better, help the planet and make a small difference…wherever you are!

 

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

1. Little things do make a difference: turn the water off while you brush your teeth, fix leaky faucets or running toilets, put cans and bottles in the recycle bins, clean your air filters to help with efficiency, turn down your thermostat when you go to bed, turn off your lights when you are not using them and unplug appliances, washing laundry on cold not hot settings, take shorter showers, even driving within the speed limit cuts down on gas consumption, which helps the planet.

2. Clean out your closet—I am sure you have something to donate. There are plenty of people who could reuse your items and be grateful for them.

3. Plant a tree: One of the challenges on Earthday.org is to plant one billion trees

4. Change out your light bulbs for energy efficient ones. Even if you begin to change one at a time, the investment will pay for itself in the years to come. Compact fluorescent light bulbs last 10 times longer than a standard bulb and use at least two-thirds less energy.*science 

5. Sign up for paperless bills by paying them via the internet.

6. Ride your bike when you can, instead of driving your car. 

7. Spring clean your community. I am sure wherever you are there is some trash to pick up. Grab a bag, some friends or family and make it fun!! Turn it into a race to see who can get the most amount in a certain time. 

8. If the weather is nice open a window or door and let the fresh air in & turn off your air-conditioning. This will help conserve energy & bring in a little breeze.

9. Get outside and go on a walk, a hike, a bike ride & turn off your television, computers, games. 

10. Begin recycling. There are a lot of people who still don’t recycle. If you are one of them begin with recycling cans or water bottles, paper or sign-up with your community for a recycling service, but do something.  Example: If an office building of 7,000 workers recycled all of its office paper waste for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking almost 400 cars off the road (Source: EPA & Science.howstuffworks.com)

11. Change out any leaky faucets: Slow the flow. A faucet leaking just one drop per second wastes over 1,300 gallons per year! A leak from a hot water source wastes both water and fossil fuel, creating more greenhouse gasses. Please begin to fix this issue. *Rustletheleaf

12. Go to earthday.org and pledge an act of green or just check out some of the things they have going on. Get informed.

13. Cut down on eating meat: I am not against people eating meat, its your personal choice, but cutting down may help the planet. FYI The United Nations have concluded that meat production is responsible for around 18% of global CO2 emissions. 5,214 gallons of water are required to produce a single pound of beef, and the EPA estimates that more than 27,000 miles of US rivers have been polluted by livestock waste.  *huffingtonpost

14. Carpool

 

Other ideas:  Fun things to do to teach your family about Earth Day…

Children’s Story: Read this great story to your children to help them understand Earth Day and how one person can make a difference…http://holidays.kaboose.com/earthday-cando.html

Earth day crafts using recycling or reusing materials: http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/earth-day/recycling-or-reusing-materials-to-make-new-crafts.html

Another fun link from Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/artsycraftsymom/recycled-earth-day-crafts/

Check out the beautiful nature artist Andy Goldsworthy: Go to Google Images and type in Andy Goldsworthy—amazing. He also has numerous books. Inspiring Natural pieces he creates.

Teaching your children– I just came across this & thought you may enjoy this article (Kids Get Arty: Andy Goldsworthy) http://www.redtedart.com/2012/11/14/kids-get-arty-andy-goldsworthy/

Have a beautiful day. Get outside, enjoy this beautiful world we live in and do something positive to make a small change in your family, your community, your world!  Peace to you.

CHANGE=Better things are coming.

Image“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”   -Paul Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

It’s funny the things you think about in anticipation to change. My little family is amidst a possible move because of job relocation. Ideas seem to whirl about, wonder plays through everything—you watch HGTV and see other places and you wonder where you may land, where you may or may not want to land.     You look around at your collection of belongings and know instantly if you could let go of the bed lamps, the tan, suede chair, the hand-carved wooden box you picked up on your trip along the Oregon coast, the colorful butterfly collection that is held in glass, the metal birds gifted to you by someone you love, the books, the vases…the items go on and on, but you seem to know what items play to your hearts desires, the sentiments that are held within each precious piece.

Change does have an unexpected opportunity to shed light on the things that truly matter. My husband on more than one occasion has held me close and comforted me saying, “things will be okay, because we have each other.”  That simple line of words brings comfort and I know it to be true. I know this whole experience is to help us learn—learn a plethora of necessities..patience in our ability to just allow, to have hope and pray for what is yet to be, to believe in one another, to have faith in something so much bigger, to understand this moment, this day. This change is but a lesson that unfolds each day. Another gift of surprise—something unexpected, something gifted to help us grow and become better for it.

I leave you with a thought of change…What is one thing you would like to change about yourself or your life? What is stopping you? What are you afraid of? What are you holding on to? Change does not have to hold you hostage to your best self. Change is merely a tool for your personal growth. We become stagnet, stuck, listening to our old habits and thought patterns, content to be comfortable, not willing to step out into a greater existence of who we could be.    My challenge for you—think of something that scares you, something that will set you on a path to do something for yourself that will ignite your soul, change you just a little, move you in a different direction, make you see things differently. Do something small for you—shake up your life, let go and feel the fear, but know that any small change that moves you is a good thing!!

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers—but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.”  -Katharine Hepburn

I am seeking to embrace the change!! Join me.

Here are some ideas to help in embracing any kind of change:

Explore: seek out new things, things that may scare you a little. Have you always wanted to rock climb? go try it. Are you terrified of karaoke, grab and friend and begin in the basement. Have you been afraid to get a massage–go get one. Always wanted to learn a language, head to the podcast library and download some learning. Do something that helps you step out of your routine, your comfort. It will help you feel alive, ignited and ready to try something else.

Let go & open up new spaces: Begin to de-clutter your surroundings. You can feel what you need to get rid of, what is taking space within your walls and begin to allow openness in to your life. There is a great Zen teaching…Empty your cup…The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.” Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”  This is a great metaphor for life. How can you have so much clutter, noise, distraction and expect to invite anything new into your life. When you are open and willing to change, you will be ready for something better.

Accept and say Yes: Whether it is a job change, a relationship change, a move, a life change, going against or fighting change is not going to help you. This change was gifted to your life and you need to find a way to allow. You need to accept the change and understand this is where you are at this moment in your life.  I heard a great metaphor that goes along with this beautifully. Life is like a river, there is a natural flow, a current. You can either lie on your back and enjoy the float and see where the current takes you or you can try to swim against it and have a tough time trying. Change comes and goes, it is what you take from it that will be the true gift for your life.

Have patience: This has been the hardest thing for my husband and I. We have a hard time waiting for results, waiting for answers, expecting things from others…patience has been one of our biggest struggles, so we constantly pray for gobs of patience & we smile & laugh our way through it!! I know it has been extremely tough for my husband to not have 50-100 emails each morning, to have his phone not ring, to not feel the amount of responsibility he is used to has been a huge change. I look at him and say—enjoy it while it lasts, because it will all come again & then the real patience will have to step in.

Well, I hope these ideas will help you in embracing any type of change you are dealing with in your life. Cheers to everyone making, creating, experiencing change. Let’s look at it as a good thing—a gift—a surprise!!  Have a beautiful day!   Heather

Some last thoughts on change…

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” -Steve Jobs

“When we are no longer able to change a situation–we are challenged to change ourselves.”  -Viktor E Frankl

“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”  -Harrison Ford

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”  -Maya Angelou

WOW!

ImageWith Earth Day coming up in less than a week, my little family decided to go see the new IMAX movie “Flight of the Butterflies.”  It was an amazing movie that held beauty, magic, wonder and inspiration within its story. To me, it was truly a story of miracles and the difference one person can make.

So, today’s post is about people who have made a difference in this beautiful world of ours. I hope their stories inspire, motivate and help you see a glimmer of the potential you hold within. I am going to begin with the heroes of the movie, Dr. Fred Urquhart and his wife Norah…

Dr. Fred Urquhart and his wife Norah: Fred began his love of butterflies as a young boy and wondered where the butterflies went for the winter. That one little thought sparked his journey that would take him years and years into the world of Monarch butterflies. He read everything he could get his hands on in his youth, which then led him to eventually become a zoology professor. He observed, watched, followed and knew the only answers he would find were held in the wings of this beautiful butterfly. He began creating glues that would stick to the wings to track where these miraculous creatures went. Eventually he and his wife founded the Insect Migration Association (known today as Monarch Watch). This association enlisted thousands of volunteers across North America to tag butterflies hoping to find their migration route. From the year 1940 until the year 1974 they searched and searched, hoping to find the hidden answer to where the millions of butterflies disappeared to. Two scientists in Mexico helped in the search and in 1974 hidden in the mountains west of Mexico City millions of butterflies were found. The treasure was finally found. A life long search had come to an end and the end was beautiful.  For more information, pictures and story details go to http://www.flightofthebutterflies.com   AMAZING!

“I do not know of any species of insect that has aroused a greater interest among the populace in many parts of the world than the monarch butterfly. One of the great pleasures Norah and I have had in our studies of the monarchs has been receiving letters from children and adults alike, expressing their delight at being introduced to the study of nature through our program of monarch butterfly tagging and research. It has been a source of great happiness for us.”  -Fred Urquhart, 1987

Rachel Louise Carson: She was a marine biologist who became a full-time nature writer & her books are credited with truly advancing and helping the environmental movement. She had many books that made a difference, but her book Silent Spring gathered examples of environmental damage attributed to DDT in Sept 1962. She died two years later.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature–the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”  -Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Julia Butterfly Hill: She lived in a 180 foot tall, 1500-year-old California Redwood tree for 738 days December 10, 1997-December 18, 1999. She lived in the tree that she called “Luna” to stop loggers from cutting it down.

“Nature’s wisdom teaches us that where life is in motion, it’s healthy; where it’s stagnant, it’s dying. But people have to interpret that journey in a way that’s authentic for them…whatever helps you. We call it “finding your own true north”–like on a compass. In production-drive societies, we’re tricked into believing that true both is outside of us. So we’re constantly looking outside ourselves to figure out if this is the right job, the right house, the right relationship, the right subject to be studying. But our true north is invariably inside us…if we do what we love to do, what we’re inspired to do, what we believe in, it creates an entirely different response.”   -Julia Butterfly Hill

For additional inspiration—here is a link to a list of 26 people making a difference.  http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/green-local-heroes-2010#slide-1

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”  -Robert F Kennedy

There is also a great book about kids making a difference in the world. I duplicated the stories this past Christmas and incorporated them into our day. There are some great stories. the book “Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Changes: Courageous Actions Around the World” by Gath Sundem

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.”  -Anne Frank

What one little thing are you going to do today?? Something to think about.

Make it great!!  -Heather