The Legacy of Dr. Wayne Dyer

August 31, 2015
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Rest In Peace Dr. Wayne Dyer || www.messagesofhope.com || Image Credit and Collage: Leslie Carothers

 

Were you as influenced by the writings of Dr. Wayne Dyer as I was? His notions of personal responsibility and spirituality changed my life when I was young.

I was numb when I heard yesterday that he passed away. His family posted this note on his Facebook Page.
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As we begin the week, and with Labor Day a week from today, I want to start by asking you, dear readers, to spend a moment in silence, wishing this beautiful man and soul a peaceful transition into the next phase of his life.

One thing that’s for certain?

The legacy of Dr. Wayne Dyer will live on forever.

Many will write about his books, his speeches, his famous friends etc. but…

Did you know he was raised in a series of foster homes and that his father, an alcoholic, abandoned his family when he was 3 years old?

Did you know that, over his lifetime, he helped raise over 100 million dollars for public broadcasting?

He changed his life, and in so doing, he changed ours.

He WAS #messagesofhope for millions of us, the world over.

Here are two of my favorite quotes of his that have influenced and inspired me over the years. I invite you to please share yours, too, in the comments or over on the Facebook Page of Messages of Hope at

http://facebook.com/MessagesofHope1

Dr. Wayne Dyer Quote || www.messagesofhope.com

Image Credit: *watercoloring* on Zazzle || Dr. Wayne Dyer quote || www.messagesofhope.com

Image Credit: *watercoloring* on Zazzle. [ Please click here if you’d like to purchase her map images.]

I hope you will join me in sending deepest condolences to Dr. Dyer’s family and all who care so deeply for him over on his Facebook Page at:

http://facebook.com/DrWayneDyer

He was a transformational spiritual leader and a great humanitarian who had a gift for turning complex ideas into words that could pierce our souls and #makeadifference.

May he rest in eternal peace.

~~~
Leslie Carothers

http://messagesofhope.com 

Opening image credit: my own. 

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Imagine

August 20, 2015
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Image Credit: Kunito Imai || www.messagesofhope.com
My encounter with a homeless man, and how it impacted me, is the topic of today’s post, dear readers.

Here’s the story.

Last weekend, I saw a homeless man at my local street corner with this sign,

“I’m not a drunk, I’m not a drug addict, I’m a former Marine trying to get by.”
image of homeless man || Collage created by Leslie Carothers || http://messagesofhope.com

That stopped me cold and this was the next thought that ran through my mind, “Even if this man’s sign is a lie to get money, what if it’s true?” and then my next 2 thoughts were:

“Who am I to judge because there but for the grace of God go I?”

“What if he’s a homeless veteran that fought for me so I could sit here in my air conditioned car in the middle of 100 degree heat about to turn in to this parking lot so I can buy fresh food for the week?”

I rolled down my window and dug to the bottom of my purse to give him money. The smile he flashed to thank me lit up my world. It was pure sunshine. 

After that happened, I started thinking about The Butterfly Effect, Edward Lorenz’s famous discovery that a very small change in initial conditions can and will create a significantly different outcome. I started thinking about how many homeless people think they don’t matter, that they don’t make a difference, and never will again.

This man didn’t have anything material to give, but because he gave me his smile, he changed my thought patterns. He made a difference.

What if just 3 of us, like the 3 butterflies whose wings are fluttering in tandem in the opening picture of this post, practiced non judgement towards the homeless we see?

Could we help them know they still matter, that they are not alone? Could that be the key to unlocking their sense of hope for a better future – and ours?
John Lennon Monument - NYC || Image Credit: Ramy Majouji || www.messagesofhope.com

If you love John Lennon’s famous song like I do and have a few extra minutes, click the image above to listen to and see the original video of him singing IMAGINE.

It has been viewed over 20 million times.

#andtheworldwillbeone
#messagesofhope

~~~
Leslie Carothers
www.messagesofhope.com

#GivingHopeAHomeByGivingBack – Forever – To The Charities You Care Most About
~~~

If you would like to read about the entire vision for Messages of Hope, please click the link below.
http://messagesofhope.com/the-story-of-messages-of-hope-2

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My #Whole30 Clean Eating Journey + 5 Tips To Help You Get Started

August 16, 2015
Filed under: Uncategorized — Leslie Carothers @ 12:43 pm

Food As Art || Clean Eating || Image Credit: Amber at @RawVeganBlonde || http://messagesofhope.com Friends of Messages of Hope, in today’s post, I’m going to start a series about clean eating, which will include a very personal story that I hope might help some of you, too. I’ve come to learn, through my own body’s experience, what a difference the right food, in the right quantities, can make in my internal health, the way I function, how I can function, how I feel, and how I look.

If being healthier internally, getting rid of that feeling of brain fog and lethargy, having glowing skin, growing hair, eyelashes and nails and losing weight – with just a slow walk for exercise- is something you think might be good for you, too, then this series will be one you will want to follow.

This journey is still new for me, friends.

I’m only 3 months into it and I’m still learning every day, but I am going to take you with me as I learn, so you can perhaps use this information I’m learning yourselves, and/or share it with others you know who might be helped by it, too.

I want to spread messages of hope about the connection between food and health and how you can, with some shifts in how you eat, what you eat, and how much you eat, improve your internal health, the overall quality of your life, and see visible {and wonderful and fast! } differences in your skin, hair, nails, teeth, eyelashes and weight.
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I’ve come to realize, through my reading and research, that many of my own friends + millions of people really are in distress with health issues of one kind or another – cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, auto immune diseases, etc.

I’ve come to believe, through what I’ve experienced in my own body, that some of these diseases are preventable and reversible through our food choices and that some of the worse symptoms of those dis-eases that are too far gone to be reversible, can be helped through better food choices.

So, this series will share it all and I’m going to start today with the beginning of my own story + five tips for you if you decide to start it, too.

Ready?

 MY OWN STORY 

I started this journey because I was really, really unhealthy [I had elevated cholesterol to the point of being pre-diabetic] and I was fat, over 200 pounds at 5″6″ tall,  and every morning when I woke up, I felt like I could barely get up. 

My brain felt foggy, my joints ached, and I didn’t have much energy.

I realized I could not go on like this – and didn’t want to. I knew I needed to make a change… or die early.

So, when a friend of mine on Facebook asked her friends if they wanted to join a group about clean eating, I said YES. And there, in that Facebook Group,  I found women who were truly supporting each other, and helping each other learn how to make better choices about food. In that Group, I was introduced to a program called the #Whole30. {Thank you, Vitania!}

I had never heard of it, but I was willing to give anything a try. I’m an all or nothing kind of person, so I liked the idea that this program told me exactly what I could and could not eat for 30 days and why. I also liked that there were so many recipes online on the tag: #Whole30.

It made it easier for me to find information, fast.

So, I went on the #Whole30 program whose premise is to eliminate, for 30 days, all known inflammatory foods, and then, after the end of the 30 days, to add them back in, one by one and slowly to your now clean gut, so you can really feel what foods impact your own body negatively, and which ones it can tolerate.

This is the book that gives you the science behind why it works, the plan and the recipes.
Whole 30 || www.messagesofhope.com
The Whole 30 program requires you, {for just 30 days -although I’ve chosen to keep eating this way because I feel so much better } to:

Eliminate all sugar {fructose} including all sugar substitutes like honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, stevia, truvia, aspartame, etc.

This means reading every label really carefully, as a lot of the organic foods we buy, or foods we think of as healthy like organic or non – GMO foods {and marketed to us as healthy } are full of added sugars. If you don’t know about this yet, see the article from the New York Times linked to at the end of this post. { Thank you, Faith, for the tip to this article. }

Eliminate all dairy. This means no cheese, no milk or milk products, no butter.

But, you can have ghee, which is clarified butter. It is so much more DELICIOUS than regular butter!
And, I’ve learned how to make a cheese substitute, with yeast flakes, which is delicious, too.

My favorite ghee brand EAT GOOD FAT ghee || www.messagesofhope.com
Eliminate all wheat and gluten. Bye, bye pizza, bread {even Ezekiel -this one was hard for me! }, cereal, oats, etc. 

Eliminate all alcohol, including wine. The ethanol in alcohol wreaks the almost identical havoc on your metabolic system as fructose {sugar} does.

Now:

MY TOP FIVE TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED WITH CLEAN EATING 

1. Be prepared to love grocery shopping again. It will take the place of your current retail store addiction pretty quickly :) . For me, it took the place of Sephora.

2. Get out your favorite dishes, prettiest silver and glasses and use them. Clean eating is all about eating pretty and creating a ritual around sitting down and being mindful about what you’re eating and why you’re eating.
Image Credit: Leslie Carothers || www.messagesofhope.com

3. You will need to make time for the preparation, especially at first when you’re not used to it, but if you do the preparation for the week in a 2 or 3 hour stint, or break it up into tiny segments when TV commercials are on, it becomes really, really easy.

Just figure out how to prepare in a way that works for you. Who knows, maybe that’s the middle of the night for you? It’s all good, but you have to do it. Prep is key.

3. Be prepared to patronize your local farmer’s market and if you don’t have one, there are many places online now where you can buy and have fresh fruits and veggies delivered to you once a week. In Austin and Houston, http://farmhousedelivery.com does this, and to find a home delivery service in your city, Google *home delivery fresh fruits and vegetables in ____ [ put your city in the blank]* and you will find a local source for your city!
FarmhouseDelivery logo || http://farmhousedelivery.com || Houston, Austin

Fresh Veggies and Fruits Delivered To Your Door Weekly || www.messagesofhope.com || http://farmhousedelivery.com

4. Be prepared to spend a little bit more money at first to buy the foods and spices you might not have in your pantry already but to spend a LOT LESS money later, because you won’t be eating out, unless you want to – or are travelling.

Bottom line for me? I’m saving at least $300.00 a month now, if not more, because I’m not eating out and I’m not patronizing Starbucks.

Lastly, be prepared to start a Pinterest board of food as art to keep you motivated, if you love beauty like I do.

And a good place to start is with the art of @rawveganblonde.

Amber, who started a clean eating journey of her own, has now created a brand called AMBA LIVING, where companies like Anthropologie are commissioning her for her unique works of art made from fresh vegetables and fruit – also available as prints in her online store.

See http://ambaliving.com and be prepared to fall in love!

Isn’t this artwork of hers beautiful? {Hello Hermes scarf!}

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I hope this has been helpful for you, and if it has, please share it with your friends who may need some help getting started on a clean eating journey, too.

I will be sharing much more about clean eating and clean eating tips on The Hope Blog in the weeks and months ahead and invite you to leave your own stories in the comments.

You never know who may be helped or healed by reading your story or your own tips.

Lastly {and for real this time!}

Thank you to all of my own friends who may be reading this and have supported me so far in my own journey, especially Vitania, Robin, and Sarah.

You ladies #makeadifference.

And here’s the article in the NY Times, that I promised you in the opening paragraphs. Don’t miss reading this about the movie, THAT SUGAR FILM, about how many of the foods that are marketed to us as healthy and look healthy from the packaging are actually full of added sugars:

well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/8/14/what-eating-40-teaspoons-of-sugar-a-day-can-do-to-yo

This is 40 teaspoons, the amount of sugar a lot of people put into their bodies, every day, without realizing it. The amount I put into MY BODY, or more, until I began clean eating.

Click the picture to watch the trailer for the movie.

THAT SUGAR FILM

~~~
Leslie Carothers

~~~
www.messagesofhope.com

I invite you to please subscribe to The Hope Blog by entering your email address in the right hand sidebar. If you do, you will receive each new post in your inbox, to read at your own convenience.

Thank you! 

#givinghopeahomebygiving back – forever- to the charities you care most about.

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Breathing

August 14, 2015
www.messagesofhope.com (3)

breathe || hope quotes || www.messagesofhope.comWhen I’m feeling anxious, I breathe. Long, deep breathes. In……out….. in……out…… in……out. No matter where I am, and no matter what’s going on around me, I can always rely on deep breathing to center and calm me.

Could this maybe work for you, too? If you’re not used to taking long, deep, breathes, I would like to encourage you to try it. It may not work the first, second or third time to calm you down and make you less anxious or fearful or whatever you might be feeling, but, I promise, if you make it a regular practice, your own breathe will become your best friend in reducing your stress levels and allowing you to think more clearly.

Breathing helps because when you’re concentrating on taking those long, deep breaths, your mind isn’t focused on whatever else is occupying it and you are supplying your body with oxygen.

You can sit at your desk or in bed, or on the couch, or anywhere, and take long, deep breaths….in….out….in….out.

Soon, your mind will become as clear and calm as this.
calm ocean || www.messagesofhope.com
And if you want to, add in prayer and/or meditation to your breathing.

If you do, you will see and feel, over time, your ability to calmly handle the stress and/or calamities that come your way, [and we all have them] – shift.

Breathing is free.

Breathing deeply heals.
the cross || prayer || www.messagesofhope.com

Has a deep breathing practice shifted your life? If you’d like, please share your story in the comments. Many will see it and your story might be just the story to help someone make it through another day.

YOU can #makeadifference
#messagesofhope
~~~
www.messagesofhope.com

#givinghopeahomebygiving back – forever- to the charities you care most about.

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Meet 12 Year Old Artist Kaia Miller

August 12, 2015
artist- 12 year old Kaia Miller - insta- (2)

artist - 12 yo Kaia Miller || Instagram: growingrainbows || www.messagesofhope.comWith her mother’s written permission to use her images, I’d like to introduce you today to 12 year old artist, Kaia Miller. Kaia lives in New York City and on Sept. 17th, will be in her first gallery show at Ricco/Maresca in NYC.

When I first saw Kaia’s images, thanks to the INSTA feed of my real life friend, Lynn Byrne, author of the blog, Decor Arts Now, I was immediately drawn to them. When I found out Kaia is only 12 years old, I felt a real sense of hope about the future.

If young children can be/are… this in tune with their world/our world/the world, I believe, despite all the negative news we are all bombarded with everyday, that everything will all be ok.

For me, looking at art, beautiful interiors, reading literature and listening to fine music have always been ways to tune out the negative and tune in to what feeds and heals my soul, at a deep level.

Kaia, shown below in this self portrait she made, has an intuitive artist’s eye that captured my heart. When I emailed with Kaia’s Mom, Emily, about permission to use Kaia’s images in this post, I asked if she could have Kaia give me an artist’s statement.

What I received back was a voice recording from Kaia, which is beyond wonderful to have, but I haven’t figured out how to upload a voice recording so I can’t share it yet. When I figure that out, I will include it. I can share, though, four of the things Kaia said in it:

1. Hi, my name is Kaia and I make self portraits.
2. I make these images on my phone.
3. My inspiration comes to me in my dreams or from just walking around.
4. I make one once a day.

artist- 12 year old Kaia Miller | Insta: growingrainbows | www.messagesofhope.com
If you love Kaia’s images, too, please follow her on Instagram at

http://instagram.com/growingrainbows

Kaia said in her voice recording that she would like to have lots of people following her on Instagram so she could inspire more people.

Here is another image of hers that I love.
Artist- 12 year old Kaia Miller | Insta: growingrainbows | www.messagesofhope.comIf you happen to live in New York City, and/or will be there on Sept. 17th, I invite you to meet Kaia in person on Sept. 17th, where she is one of the artists in *ME*, the show opening the fall season at Ricco/Maresca.

The gallery is located at

529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor,
in the 529 Arts Building in between 10th and 11th ave.

Kaia’s Mom and I are fine tuning the details right now, but Kaia will be one of the artists with ecards on www.messagesofhope.com, when the ecard/ecommerce portion of my site launches later this year.

If you choose to send one of Kaia’s images as an ecard to a friend, Kaia can make money from her art, which will inspire other young artists to create , too,  and 20% of my own net profits on your purchase will go to any charity you choose and care about, from the long list of charities that will be available on the dropdown list at checkout.

Readers,

I hope you have been as awed and inspired by Kaia’s art as I have been.

If so, please help your friends know of Kaia’s gift by sharing this post and following her on Instagram.

Kaia,

Good luck with your first show and thank you for your permission, via your Mom, to share your beautiful images with my readers.

You inspire me with your vision for our world and I wish you every success in your first show.

artist- 12 year old Kaia Miller || insta: growingrainbows || www.messagesofhope.com

Leslie Carothers
www.messagesofhope.com

#givinghopeahomebygiving back – forever- to the charities you care most about.

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Following Your Intuition

August 9, 2015
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Angels in clouds || Image Credit: Leslie Carothers || www.messagesofhope.com
This morning, Sunday morning, August 9, 2015, I participated in Kumud Ajmani’s #SpiritChat on Twitter, something I’ve been doing for years now, along with people from all over the world and from all walks of life, who come together for an uplifting hour of conversation and sharing about topics of spiritual interest to them.

This morning’s chat, guest hosted by nationally known career coach @MaggieMistal, [formally the director of learning and development for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia ] was on the wonderful topic of intuition. I don’t know Maggie in real life, but I really enjoyed her thought provoking questions and reading everyone’s responses to them.
Trust your instincts ||  www.messagesofhope.com
I’ve long felt, but now know, after reading everyone’s answers to Maggie’s  questions, that intuition is always with us, but we may not be ready for, or always like, the intuitive guidance we *know*, in our hearts, we are receiving.

Have you ever been stuck – in fear – that if you act on your intuition, the rest of your life might fall apart, as you know it?  Has that thought ever stopped you from acting on strong internal guidance?

I have and I’ve delayed my own flow because I haven’t been ready to trust. I haven’t been ready to let go of my fear. What if? What if? What if? plagued me, and sometimes continues to plague me.

And I now know, for sure, I’m not alone.

However, when you are truly following your intuition, even through your fear, there are sometimes signs that seem to be unmistakable. To help you feel less afraid. Signs that seem to come from above, that say “Just trust.” Just trust that everything will work out.

Just…have faith. 

On the day I launched this site last weekend, I was out taking my normal morning walk. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was thinking to myself, ” In just an hour or so, I’m going to be sharing with everyone I know this site I’ve been working on [and delaying out of fear ] for 2 years –  is actually now live on the web.”

The logo for http://messagesofhope.com

Internally, I was excited, but I was also scared. It felt so personal to me. Like giving birth to my baby. Almost too public. I wondered if it would resonate? Would people like it or would they just ignore it?

So, I did what I do. I prayed while taking my morning walk that people would not ignore it. That they would understand the vision and the mission of #givinghopeahomebygivingback -forever, and that they would want to help me create this vision to help the charities they care about receive money – forever.

And the big elephant in the room?

Would they support it even though they knew it also meant I might make money?

Would people understand and be ok with the idea that Messages of Hope is right now, a for-profit *social good* site  until I die, when I can then give 75% of the net profits [versus 20% now, when the ecard portion launches this fall ] to the charities people care about, forever, since I don’t have children to leave anything to when I go?

I didn’t know and I still don’t know. I am simply acting on faith.

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As I was thinking these thoughts, I looked up.

And saw the angel wing cloud in the opening photo of this post that continued and continued to grow, right in front of my eyes. I took 6 videos of it, so I could always have them to remember the moment. I’d never seen anything else like it. It was the only cloud in the entire sky.
Angel cloud from www.messagesofhope.com
I got chills all over, and I’m getting chills again, thinking about it, as I type this.

It was, for me, an unmistakable sign that intuition has guided me on the right path, even though I can’t see one step ahead to what will become of this.

Many of you don’t know I’m a trained labyrinth facilitator through the http://veriditas.org program Dr. Lauren Artress founded at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Image Credit: http://wari.cat, yoga at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on the labyrinth
If there’s anything that walking the labyrinth so many times, and holding the energy as I witness others doing the same has taught me over the years, it is this:

just put one foot in front of the other, and you WILL reach the center, even when you can’t see it.

This picture by famed yoga photographer, Wari Om Yoga Photography, [and the one above it showing people doing yoga on the labyrinth ] shows how we simply sometimes have to stretch ourselves to believe it, act on it and have faith that, by following our heart felt intuition, we are on the right path.
yoga on the beach
Friends, I’d love to hear, in the comments, your thoughts on how you’ve followed/or are following your intuition, your own inner guidance, despite fear.

Please don’t be shy. The more honestly and vulnerably we share, the more we help each other grow into living our best lives.
***

Leslie Carothers

Messages of Hope
www.messagesofhope.com

#givinghopeahomebygiving back – forever- to the charities you care most about.

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How Do You Recharge?

August 5, 2015
- Nature does not hurry, yet everything

- Nature does not hurry, yet everything

Good morning!  As I look at this image I’m sharing with you today, I am reminded of the famous quote by Lao-Tse:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

I’m the kind of person who gets anxious when I have a long to-do list, I want to get it all done, right now.  Are you this same kind of person? I need to remind myself that usually, at the end of every work week, everything on my to-do list, that seemed overwhelming at the first of the week, did actually get accomplished – or most of it.

In the middle of a busy week, a busy day, a busy moment, I we might not be able to go to the beach and sit in a bright red Adirondack chair for hours on end, but I we can stand up and take a walk for a few minutes in nature and breathe deeply of fresh air and remind myself ourselves, that I am we are making progress. This is my way of re-charging and re-focusing and it helps.

I think sending our body’s cells little #messagesofhope and affirmations is a good thing to do. Do you?

Do you say positive things to yourself, to thank yourself for being such a hard worker, whether you’re working inside your home and living by yourself, or working inside your home and in the community as a Mom or Dad taking care of kids and/or elderly parents and volunteering, or whether you’re working outside of your home, taking care of the needs of a business and then going home and tending to the needs of yourself and others?

What is your #redchair moment each day? How do you relax and recharge? What positive things do you say to yourself to remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can – even on those days when laying on the sofa is the best you can do? And PS: we all have those days – trust me on that one.

Please share your ideas with me on the tag #redchair and, with your permission, I will share your first name + last inital and your ideas in a future post so we can all learn and be inspired by each other about how we each recharge to keep ourselves in a positive, hope-FULL frame of mind!

http://messagesofhope.com
I invite you to also share your re-charge ideas with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the tags: #messagesofhope + #redchair – so I can see them and re-share them with the friends of Messages of Hope on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

http://facebook.com/messagesofhope1 
FB/MessagesofHope1

http://twitter.com/messagesof_HOPE
TW/@messagesof_HOPE

http://instagram.com/messagesof_HOPE
INSTA/messagesof_HOPE 

I wish you a wonderful day ahead, full of tiny re-charging moments that re-energize you, and, if you’d like to pin or share this beautiful image taken by Pamela Koudelka, with the quote on it by Lao-Tse, please pop on over to http://messagesofhope/hope-quotes, where you will find it.

Thank you!

Leslie Carothers

www.messagesofhope.com

#givinghopeahome…by giving back….forever 

 

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