Renew Your Energy with 15 Self-Care Actions

The stresses we encounter in day-to-day living can take a toll on our energy reserves.

Consider a few examples: watching too much television or listening to the world events on the news. These situations can invoke fear responses and become energy drains.

When we feel heavy, a little self-care can help us restore our vitality and energy. If you have been feeling a bit low or are in need of a boost, it may be a great time to do some of these self-love activities to help you stay balanced and resourceful.

15 Renewal Exercises

Two Friends on Chair Lift

  1. Spend some time in nature with a friend going for a walk or an outdoor excursion. Talk about things for which you are grateful.
  2. Practice some deep breathing. As you exhale, imagine your body releasing any sadness or grief. As you inhale, welcome in love and universal wisdom.
  3. Go on a media diet. If you find yourself watching too much television or news, put yourself on a media diet or fast. If you want to stay current, try reading the headline articles in your local newspaper or read the news online instead. By reading the news online, you can learn about current events in 10 or 15 minutes a day versus the hours that you may spend watching television.
  4. Learn something new. Get with a friend who has a skill you would like to learn, or schedule a class in something you are interested in.
  5. Make something. Creative energy always helps us feel empowered!
  6. Volunteer some time to help a friend or a cause that you find meaningful.
  7. Pets are naturally healing. Spend time with pets or animals. Take them for a walk, or give them some extra attention.
  8. A Tree's Healing EnergySpend time in nature’s healing energy, such as going for a swim, walking through a forest, or spending time in your garden.
  9. Learn a “healing or helping” skill. Then share it!
  10. Start a new hobby in an area that interests you, or you feel would make you happy.
  11. Free up some energy. Clean out your closets, and give things you no longer need or have outgrown to those who may want or need them.
  12. Write a story or a poem, and express something you value or feel is important.
  13. Invite a few friends over and teach them something you know that you feel would be fun, inspiring, or helpful.
  14. Fix something that is broken, or give an item a new and refreshing look.
  15. Let someone know you care! Write to a friend or send them a thoughtful, free e-mail card. A two-way conversation is even better! Just pick up the phone and call someone you have been thinking about. You may find they have also been thinking of you.

The Ripples of Creativity

We have learned from Alana that when one individual takes a creative action, it ripples through the whole and helps everyone. The more reactive energy we generate contributes to a downward spiral that is easy to get caught up in.

May any or all of these 15 self-love, self-care action tips spark your imagination and help you feel better and lighter! As we support each other in becoming lighter, our perceptions can begin to see a brighter and more loving world.

—Kirk VandenBerghe

A Model for Every Community: The Destiny Arts Center Grows Peaceful Warriors

Established in 1988 as a response to Oakland, California’s increasing rates of violence and crime and the corresponding decrease in accessible programs for youth, Destiny Arts Center seeks to “end isolation, prejudice and violence in the lives of young people.”

Youths often live with frustration and depression. Destiny Arts Center seeks to provide for them a safe environment designed for creative and positive expression.

Instilling in youths valuable feelings of safe worth and respect for others paves the way for a lifetime of positive participation at school and within the community, and inspires every child to achieve greatness.

Destiny Arts Center is a community organization to model in all cities, large or small.

Violence Prevention & Conflict Resolution

Destiny Arts Center Kids Learning Marial ArtsThe martial arts and performing arts programs serve as a proven violence prevention strategy for the center’s youths aged three years old to 18 by reinforcing positive and nonviolent behavior in the face of negativity.

Destiny Arts Center seeks to establish in youth the alternatives to provoking or reacting to violence. Through the programs staffed with positive and genuine instructors, the kids learn respect for themselves and for others, effective violence prevention strategies, and positive conflict resolution skills.

Effects on the Community

The programs offered through the center run at the most essential times in kids’ days: after school, on weekends, and during the summer. This gives the youths an accessible forum to “explore, express and reshape daily challenges through physical, emotional and creative growth.”

The instructors and alumni of Destiny Arts Center have witnessed kids become vocal in the community at large about nonviolence. When kids feel safe and have valuable self esteem, their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical growth is dramatic and positive. When kids learn how to engage their authentic selves and connect with peers and culture in a positive manner, the effects last a lifetime.

The following is a transcription of kids and parents talking about the effects Destiny Arts Center has had on their loves.

Destiny Arts Center, Growing Peaceful Warriors

Danny Glover at Destiny Arts Center

Danny Glover visits Destiny Arts Center

Emerald Mitchell: I come to Destiny because I love being a part of something that is just so profound. How many youth organizations are like us? You know, we dance. Some of us sing. Some of us rap. We act. We perform. But we do it for a reason. We include our own stories in our scripts, in our poems, you know, in our dances.

Any decision that I’m making that is a big decision—that will affect another human being, that will affect an animal, a plant, the environment, you know—we cover that stuff at Destiny. And so I’m doing something powerful, you know, and I’m affecting my community. So that’s why I hang out.

Matt Plut: Actually, it’s the philosophy of Destiny, really, that kind of sets it apart. Jake got fascinated kind of with the dancing and just the way they were teaching him, so we decided to start Destiny here on Saturdays. We live in San Francisco, so it’s a little hard for us to get over on the weekdays. But on weekends we’re here, on Saturday, and he does hip hop here and martial arts after hip hop.

Jake Plut: I used to sometimes get angry over stuff that I shouldn’t have. But now that I’ve joined Destiny, they’ve helped me with my life. I was in a competition. I managed to win two medals. I feel proud and it was a great experience for me.

Giana Cirolia: The five fingers of balance prevention and the seven steps of conflict resolution, they’re like the moment you start thinking about it, that’s like taking a breath and stepping back and just the idea of having that in the back of your mind gives you the chance to deescalate the situation.

Payomo Family (mother speaking): So, yes. I have four kids here between the ages of four and fifteen. The first few months I was really, really amazed with how it affected them in such a positive way. They were so excited to come. The energy and the self expression that you teach the kids and you allow them to have, it really gives them a lot of confidence and it also makes them want to share that.

What Does Destiny Mean?

Kids Empowered at Destiny Arts CenterYoung Man: If I could describe Destiny in word word, I’ll say mind changing. Eye-opening.

Older Man: Full of life.

Young Woman: Can I make up my own word?

Matt Plut: For us, community.

Payomo family (young man): My second family.

Young Woman: Fantastically beautiful.

Jake Plutt: Excellent!

Payomo family (mother): Talented.

Payomo family (young girl): Hope. Community. Beauty. Friendship. It’s love. Future. Growth. It’s amazing!

Man: I feel like it’s not about anything but helping children grow to their full potential as human beings. That’s what i would say. Rooted in contribution.

Young Girl: Awesome.

Payomo family (young girl): Fun!

The Spirit of Destiny Arts Center

Javier Santos: Unlike other places, the real hard neighborhoods where the people grow up, have it real rough, you know, and most of the time they don’t come out to be so positive. All they’re surrounded by is violence and hate, and they’re not really surrounded by that positivity and that peacefulness that they need to get to know themselves and get to be creative and artistic. And when you come to Destiny, I feel that you get that.

Herman Pecot: The spirit is very ripe here. The spirit of Bushido, the warrior’s code, Destiny really cultivates that part of the being. You know, the balance of power and peace and skill and kindness, all that mixed together. So that’s what we’re seeing.

Arianna Butler: I couldn’t imagine me without Destiny. I really couldn’t. And even when we have breaks from Destiny, I’m still like, “Dang! I miss dance class! Dang! I miss Sarah! Dang! I miss the company!”

Dalmacio Payomo: I can’t even explain how deep the bonds are between everyone in Destiny and the company, in the classes that I teach. The teachers that I work with are just amazing.

Everything You Could Want in a Youth Organization

Martial Arts KickGiana Cirolia: If I had two words to describe Destiny, I would say presence and energy.

Young woman: Beautiful and empowering.

Javier Santos: Positive. Family orientated. Strong, beautiful, caring. Real . . . hah! Real!

Emerald Mitchell: A short phrase? I’ll try to make a short phrase that can describe Destiny . . . “Everything you could possibly want in a youth organization.”

Fees and Funding

The Destiny Art Center offers scholarship programs to families who are unable to afford the fees for the various dance or martial arts classes offered. In addition to offering free trial classes, the center also enforces a strict policy that no family will be denied access due to a lack of funds.

Destiny’s success and ability to continue offering quality programs and a safe haven for kids is because of the continued support from the community. Be it through monetary donations, the offering of physical space for programs, or the valuable help from volunteers, Destiny Arts Center is thankful for all its support.

Watch The Video!

Programs That Teach Violence Prevention

Growing peaceful warriors does not mean being passive. It’s exactly the opposite as kids learn how to channel their energy while moving their skills toward violence prevention through dance and martial arts, games, and role playing exercises.

  • Real Talk – Real Moves: violence prevention for teens and young adults.
  • The ABCs of Anger: creative conflict resolution.
  • Self-Defense for Boys and Girls.
  • Moving in the Movement: using dance and theater as tools for social change.
  • Dance Basics: hip-hop, modern, African & Latin dance.
  • Martial Arts Basics: kung fu, karate & Capoeira.
  • Hip-Hop and Beyond: the African roots of hip-hop.
  • Theater for the People : theater games and exercises that explore the nature of life.
  • Yoga Program

If you want to learn more about Destiny Arts Center or to be inspired to create a similar organization in your community, please visit their website.

Learn more, click > Destiny Arts Center

On Being Authentic: A Visual Meditation & Free Online Course

Non-profit organization Global Mindshifts seeks to inspire a global dialogue that focuses collective interests and collective objectives to foster creative cooperation.

Change comes about from motivation, and motivation can come from many sources—such as our selves, our families, and our communities.

To find motivation within our selves, we must start an intimate conversation about our true, authentic being and intended purpose.

The following is a transcription of a visual meditation on being authentic created and narrated by Virginia Fitton for Global Mindshifts.

Meditation: Being Authentic

Rocks and Flowing WaterBe authentic: So, to begin, let’s try to get our minds around the words be authentic. What does that really mean, be authentic? Be real? What does that mean? Be genuine? What does that mean? Be your true nature?

As you look at the words be authentic you see that it’s addressing a perennial question: who am I really?

And the word authentic is related to the word author, originator.

And is there an original intent, purpose, an authentic purpose, something that you were designed originally to be?

Be authentic.

An Acorn Seed & Potential of Possibility

A Sprouting Acorn Begins to GrowI brought a seed. Look at it. What do you see? It’s an acorn, and all acorns are similar. They have an identity. And each one is unique: there are no two alike.

Look deep. Is there something embedded in the acorn, already there? A true nature? An original intent and purpose?

This acorn seed has the potential of possibility of becoming an oak tree. It has no choice about it. It cannot be a carrot. It cannot be a tomato. It can become an oak tree if it is in right relationship. In right relationship to the earth, to air, water, and sun. And if it is not in right relationship it eventually decays.

Now, what is your authentic nature? Do you have one? Is there something already written into the seed of your very being? Is there a design already given, already there that is in the essence of who you are? If it’s something that you have no choice about, it’s a given, something that you are originally supposed to become.

Becoming authentic.

Being in Right Relationship

Perhaps your authentic nature is to become as loving as the system that produced you. And what does being in right relationship have to do with it?

Right relationship with the earth, right relationship with others, right relationship to yourself.

What are the consequences of not being in right relationship?

We are certainly presented with an evolutionary challenge, an emergent challenge to become authentic.

Follow Along, Listen to Being Authentic Meditation

We are delighted to share this thought-provoking meditation with you. You’re also encouraged to check out this free online course that takes you through a series of discovery steps to help you flow through life with greater authenticity.

Click to experience the free > Discovering Your Authentic Self Series.

Discover The Gift: A Self-Discovery Film for Unlocking Your Unlimited Potential

Everyone has a purpose. Everyone has a contribution to make. Everyone has a place in this world. When these realizations are made, our global community is enhanced with joy, knowledge, love, and endless opportunity.

From what began as an honest quest of his own personal transformation, award-winning filmmaker Demian Lichtenstein, along with his sister Shajen Joy Aziz, created Discover The Gift (Equilibrium Entertainment).

This has since manifested into a movement of self-illumination for everyone to experience the extraordinary and powerful journey of self-discovery.

Create Your Own Reality

Discover the Gift's Shajen Joy Aziz & Demian LichtensteinWhat happens when one starts questioning the purpose of their life’s purpose? For Lichtenstein, this questioning led to Discover The Gift, a powerful documentary film illustrating the realization that each person on earth is here to release special gifts and powers that lay within.

In the film, Lichtenstein notes that individuals are a “singular manifestation of a cosmic destiny,” and as each person realizes his or her gift, they graduate to the next stage of their own evolution. This, in turn, stimulates the gifts in others.

The stunningly written and produced film depicts Lichtenstein’s admission—and that of Aziz—of not being present in their own presence and the struggle to emerge as true, authentic beings. Through a series of honest discussions, both Lichtenstein and Aziz come together after years of separation and discovered they individually have gifts to offer the world. And, through the process, they realized a gift they can share in unison: so began Discover The Gift.

The Process of Enlightenment

On the path of discovering life purpose, one will discover how to intentionally change their thoughts to manifest an honest and pure existence. It’s a discovery of living a life not made by one’s parents, clergy, or even politicians, but of finding the thing that makes one think, “I was born for this!”

How can one find his or her gift? It can come about in many different ways. For example, silence and solitude can help one become more in tune with themselves. This is an opportunity to give one’s self permission to dream, to forgive, and to love one’s self and others.

Process of EnlightenmentLife is just like a mirror: this is one of the most profound message delivered in the film. The human mind creates life for us. Life is the process of what we pay attention to or what we focus on. Lichtenstein advises viewers to follow their hearts in order to discover the greatest gift and adventures that could come their way. The only obstacle in life is ourselves!

Eight Universal Spiritual Laws to Change Your Life

The film and corresponding book by the same title discuss eight simple, yet profound, principles that help individuals discover their true potential:

  1. receptivity
  2. intention
  3. interaction
  4. feedback
  5. vibration
  6. gratitude
  7. compassion
  8. unity

This beautifully-created film includes the inspirational guidance from over 40 global leaders, each who offers their spiritual wisdom and guidance to viewers. Discover The Gift is about the possibilities that exist within every individual and society as a whole. This film delivers a powerful, universal message that will leave a lasting impression with everyone who watches and takes its meaning to heart.

The Second Annual Awareness Film Festival

Discover the Gift Dvd and BookDiscover The Gift made its debut at the second annual Awareness Festival, held early May, 2011 in Hollywood, CA. The mission of the Awareness Festival is to present films that bring awareness and open viewers’ eyes to some of the world’s most pressing issues regarding ecological perspectives, political impacts, the understanding of health and wellbeing, and scientific progress.

The Awareness Festival was created by the non-profit charity organization HealOneWorld.org. Funds generated from the event go to support the organization’s mission to help people learn about and receive preventative and alternative health care approaches to wellness.

Inspirational Words

Both the film and book of Discover the Gift is available for preorder prior to their release on June 14, 2011.

Discover The Gift (Harmony) is also a book of inspiration designed to show readers how each one has a special purpose in life that must be shared with the world. The book complements the movie, and unfolds the authors’ personal self-journeys of discovery while offering guidance for readers to do the same. The book is available in hardcover, as a Kindle download, or an audio CD.

The Discover The Gift book and video are a powerful combination and serve as a collective catalyst for unlocking individual and combined potential for creating more love, joy, and happiness in the world.

Learn more, visit Amazon > Discover the Gift DVD

View the book, click > Discover the Gift Book

View the Discover The Gift Trailer

Learn more, visit Amazon > Discover the Gift DVD

View the book, click > Discover the Gift Book

The Boo-Boo Zoo: Big Hearts Save the Lives of Injured, Orphaned, and Sick Animals

Two incredible people operate an amazing, life-saving refuge for animals. The East Maui Animal Refuge (EMAR)—also known as the Boo-Boo Zoo—is operated by Sylvan and Suzie Schwab.

At EMAR, domestic and wild animals are cared for with love by these two and their team of passionate volunteers.

Sylvan and Suzie are perfect examples of what is possible when one follows a path of true joy. Without their intervention, hundreds of animals each year would suffer and die.

Please scroll to the bottom, and read the latest News Bulliten.

The “Boo-Boo Zoo”

Boo-Boo Zoo on Maui, HiEMAR is a safe and nurturing place for injured, orphaned, or sick animals to reside. As the only place on the island of Maui to take in orphaned or injured wildlife, the Boo-Boo Zoo is a sanctuary for all animals regardless of what has happened to them. Animals are euthanized only if the volunteer veterinarian determines the animal is in irreversible pain.

The volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Moyer, is only one of several individuals that pitch in to make sure the not-for-profit EMAR is operating efficiently. Volunteers assist by cleaning kennels, feeding the animals—some of which require specialized feeding methods—and with general maintenance around the property.

EMAR is funded entirely through private donations. With a $20,000 to $25,000 monthly operating cost associated with caring for the approximately 500 animals that reside at EMAR, the Boo-Boo Zoo is always grateful for the generous donations by individuals and businesses. These donations cover the costs of vet supplies and medications, food for the animals, lease costs, and utilities.

In the Beginning: A Self-Rehabilitation Program

Suzie was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the 1970s. She decided to live the last of her days somewhere new, and ended up living next door to Sylvan in Maui. Once the two began dating, Sylvan noticed how much joy Suzie radiated when caring for sick or injured animals, despite her own pain and illness. He started presenting her with more and more animals in need of her caring touch, and eventually EMAR started in 1977.

Sylvan studied with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to learn all the different methods and elements of caring for all types of animals. EMAR operates under licenses granted by both state and federal departments of Fish and Wildlife, giving the Boo-Boo Zoo permission to rehabilitate animals.

Sylvan and Suzie always maintain that because of the opportunities to care for and save the lives of these animals, Suzie’s own life was saved; today she is cancer-free.

Not-For-Profit Animal Sanctuary

Two acres of land near Haiku, Maui, is dedicated to the nurturing and caring for a variety of injured and orphaned animals. From cows to ducks, cats to deer, horses to dogs, and owls to pigs, EMAR takes in approximately 500 animals per year, half of which are wildlife. Each of the critters has his or her own incredible animal story that as led them to the Boo-Boo Zoo, just like this one:

An Owl Story of SurvialMy name is Kuuipo, which means Sweetheart in Hawaiian. I am a pueo,  an endangered Hawaiian owl. I was hit by a truck, so my legs don’t work. I love people to hold me, talk to me, and I am very loving back. I am especially thankful to Lynn, a wonderful volunteer here, for her undying love and care for me.

EMAR operates to complement other rescue organizations rather than duplicate services. For example, EMAR is different from the Humane Society as it accepts and cares for injured wild animals. Without the existence of the Boo-Boo Zoo, these animals would die. On rare occasions EMAR has adopted out animals, but encourages people to adopt from the Human Society as an act to “save a life.”

All donations made to the EMAR are tax deductible. The not-for-profit organization has in place several different East Maui Animal Refuge donation options, including an animal sponsorship program. EMAR also gratefully encourages people to volunteer and care for the animals (as with volunteer Lynn, who was nursed Kuuipo back to health).

For more information on the Boo-Boo Zoo, watch the video below, and visit the East Maui Animal Refuge (aka The Boo-Boo Zoo) website.

Watch the Boo-Boo Zoo Video

NEWS BULLETIN 2011 – Animal Confiscation

The wildlife permits for the East Maui Animal Refuge have been suddenly suspended due to The Refuge’s No-Kill policy, which is and for nearly 30 years has openly been in conflict with Wildlife Rehabilitation laws.

Dept. of The Interior US Fish and Wildlife Service confiscated 5 Hawaiian Pueo, 4 Barn owls, Two Cattle Egret, a baby cardinal, 3 sparrows and 2 house finches.
Most of these birds, certainly all of the owls, have been euthanized.

Fearing a similar fate to our small herd of Axis deer, EMAR immediately negotiated a “stay of execution” for our remaining animals.
Thanks to the outcry of the public Sylvan has attained a “grandfather” clause for our existing herd.

The Dept. of Land & Natural resources (DLNR) has inspected the property and assured us that as long as we are actively working to come into compliance no further actions will be taken against us.
We now begin the process of creating a deer enclosure within DLNR’s specifications. The initial estimate for the fence alone is approximately $20,000.00, material and labor.

To regain our original as well as important additional licenses and permits and to be able to continue the important services of EMAR to Maui Community and it’s animals, very expensive, labor intensive changes must be made to the existing enclosures and habitats of our Refuge as well as building a facility that can house all wildlife separate from the domestic animals and establish a program that complies with the law in order to regain wildlife rehabilitation permits.

Please, Help us Help the Helpless.

EMAR is desperately trying to find a way within these laws to continue as a No-Kill Sanctuary but if we are to be able to take in any injured wild life in the future we must come into compliance with State and Federal law.

To do this EMAR needs financial support, skilled labor as well as expert wild life re-habbers and legal advisors.

EAST MAUI ANIMAL REFUGE
25 Maluaina Pl, Haiku, HI 96708
808-572-8308