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Ahhhhhhhh Those Dreaded Resolutions

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking at change in a new light via Kathy Freston

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CARTOONB 1/1/2012 10:13PM

    Lean on, my friend!

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NASFKAB 12/29/2011 4:13AM


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NASFKAB 12/29/2011 4:13AM


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SILLYHP1953 12/28/2011 5:33PM

    Leaning into my goals...I like that, I think I can do that, I can do that, I am leaning into my goals. Sometimes it takes me a while to actually write an affirmation in it's proper format. I show up here every day, too, and can't imagine my life without spark in it.

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LYNMEINDERS 12/28/2011 4:07AM

    Just what i needed to hear....
Kathy's books sound great....will look to purchase them and read them....

Thanks heaps....

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AJDOVER1 12/27/2011 9:24PM

    Thanks for this, John. I always wait until my birthday before I make my resolutions -- that's the real New Year for me.

I know you'll find your way to first place by the end of 2012!

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REDSHOES2011 12/27/2011 12:36PM

    Nope, I don't make resolutions.. I keep basic's 1.track the food, 2. exercise and 3. keep working on habits.. All the rest are irrelevant- some goals happen when we work with the first three "basic needs" from the bottom of Maslow Needs Pyramid...

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TERRIPAL1 12/27/2011 10:20AM

    Thanks for being here every day ! Your blog was perfect!
I loved the "rock paper scissors "lol!
You're so right regardless we all learn something!
Thanks again and Happy 2012!

Comment edited on: 12/27/2011 10:21:23 AM

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HDHAWK 12/27/2011 9:45AM

    You hit the nail on the head John. I could consider this year a total failure as far as weight loss and health goes, but like you, I show up here every day. Even when I have months where I gain or maintain I'm learning something and not quitting. I truly hope we can both figure out what we need to to get and stay healthy in the coming year. emoticon

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Practicing The Basics

Thursday, December 22, 2011

ďÖ..But practice it in the quite small things, and then you will find you will do it easily, naturally, lovingly, trustingly, in the big things of life.Ē

My dad has been in and out of the hospital since early September. Heís 88 and my mom is 81. I am 450 miles away and the lionís share of taking care of all the details involved Ė doctorsí visits, rehabilitation, physical therapy, home health care Ė has fallen to my youngest sister. At times this has included transporting my mom to the hospital in the middle of the night when dadís had a setback. She is tired and stressed. In the midst of all this her oldest daughter was married. Iíve been where she is and I know you feel as if the walls are closing in. A lot of what she has to deal with involves phone calls to health providers and the like Ė time consuming.

I have struggled with what I could do to help. The other morning I asked her to make me a list of people she called daily. I have started making those phone calls for her. Itís not a big thing and all told it takes about thirty minutes of my time in the morning. Itís removed a small burden from her.

My sister called yesterday morning. She went to her exercise class for the first time in over a month. She felt great and when I spoke with her last night she said it really made a difference in her day.

Simply put, the basics of life, love and no one really knows how wonderful (lol) I really am. A small thing making a huge difference in someoneís day.

ďÖ..But practice it in the quite small things, and then you will find you will do it easily, naturally, lovingly, trustingly, in the big things of life.Ē

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 12/25/2011 8:56AM

    Helping someone in your family sometimes makes a difference, glad you've made it, John!
Merry Xmas!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/25/2011 8:57:14 AM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/24/2011 3:25PM

    It's so nice that you can help her from that far away. I have been through what she is going through and it's very stressful. I hope your father has a complete recovery soon and many more healthy years.

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GEEMAWEST 12/24/2011 12:11AM

    That is so awesome, John. You have done more than you can ever know for your sister.

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NASFKAB 12/23/2011 4:19AM


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LYNMEINDERS 12/22/2011 5:19PM

    Thta is so so true.....
Something to take into 2012 and work on for me.....


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BLACKROSE_222 12/22/2011 11:48AM

    Wow, you and your family have such an amazing bond. I'm thinking of all of you.

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KENDRACARROLL 12/22/2011 11:04AM

    Thirty minutes to you - I bet it feels like 3 hours to your overburdened sister.
You are wonderful indeed :)

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KKINNEA 12/22/2011 10:02AM

    Wonderful, love this.

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SILLYHP1953 12/22/2011 9:29AM

    I'm sure taking over those phone calls helped you as much as your sister. I only hope I never reach a point where a lot of care for me is needed. I wish the very best for you and yours today and all days.

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CARTOONB 12/22/2011 9:26AM

    I'm glad you found a way to help your sister. Sometimes the smallest things do make the biggest difference.

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COCOONGIRL 12/22/2011 8:28AM

    So true...what a loving and kind thing you have done for your sister!! I take care of a lot at home ( I have a sick husband, a teenage son, a son in college and a full time job)...but when someone does even the LITTLEST thing it is SO helpful!! What a kind and loving thing you have done for her! It really does go to show that the smallest of things make a HUGE difference....

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My Two Year Anniversary: Thoughts and The Like

Monday, December 19, 2011

It wasnít until this morning that I realized Iíd been part of Spark for two years. I knew it was in December, just not sure when. So I guess I need to write the obligatory look back/ look ahead and all that other neat stuff.

I began this journey weighing 326 pounds. At one point I was all the way down to 250 pounds and then then everything unraveled. In the spirit of total candor and honesty when the weight started coming back on I freaked. My confidence went in the toilet. I felt ashamed and more than once just thought about deleting my account. I was going to be fat my entire life. There are 1118 reasons I didnít. They are the friends Iíve found here. They are the people who have alternately slapped me and hugged me depending on what Iíve needed. They are the folks who sent a kind word or a Goodie or simply made me laugh hard and forget what I perceived as problems and issues.

I have learned about balance. I learned that no matter how far you run, how fast you run, spin or swim that unless you balance body, mind and spirit, you simply replacing food with exercise as an addiction and as an avoidance mechanism so you donít have to address the issues in your life that derailed you to begin with. Iíve learned that no matter how much karma you pour into it your body is a machine and no machine can push itself forever without breaking down. Donít misunderstand, I believe in a balanced exercise program. I just learned that dragging me out of bed seven days a week at age 58 only gave me back and leg issues.

Iíve suffered a lot of physical pain in the past six months. There are days I could hardly stand up and I only shared this with a few people. I felt totally and completely disconnected from the world around me. I was reminded of something I heard years ago. ďGod creates from nothing and until we are nothing God cannot create.Ē I have seen my physical activity limited to painful walks to the car. I spent money on MRIís, physical therapy, chiropractors, neurologists and the like, only to be told to lose weight and exercise. I looked in the mirror and discovered my pain and my limitations all came from inside of me and that maybe, just maybe if I began getting back to basic activities and started looking for positive outcomes, life would be much better. It is.

I am learning to balance my life and am realizing itís not all about awards, recognitions and the like. Itís about looking deep inside and resurrecting you. Maybe you never really knew you or maybe you just got lost in all the stuff that piles on top of us and makes so terribly unreal. It means balance comes from letting go of people, places and things that gave up on you or took a vacation once you hit a bad patch in your journey. Itís learning to grieve fore that loss, the friends who lost interest when you could no longer, run, jump or cycle to very well.

I have learned it is not about food but my relationship with food and all its come to mean in my life. I learned idolatry is not always an altar with a three headed monster and incense.

Bottom line, if The Spark Dude and all his minions asked me to rate the process after two years, on a scale of one to ten I would have to give it a fifteen. I donít believe Iíd have discovered as much about me as I have.

Long term goals? When I write a year from now I want to be more balanced in my life then I am today. Thatís as good as it gets. Itís a journey and all that rot we pump out but itís also a voyage of discovery that requires an amazing amount of courage. BTW: I have managed to keep off 26.7 pounds in the past two years.

Thank you for being part of my life

ďIím gonna sing till my feet turn blue
Iíll sing loud enough to go through
the mountains to you

Iím gonna dance when the music stops
When soft hearts they canít sit still

Oh wake up the day
Darken the night
Lighten my eyelids cause I donít wanna sleep
While youíre shining so brightĒ
The Wailliní Jennyís

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 1/3/2012 10:35AM

    As usual, well said. Balance is a long journey. The important thing is that you choose to continue the journey.

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CATHERINEL66 1/3/2012 5:41AM

    Happy (belated) 2-year spark-versary. Wow, time went by fast!

Congrats on the weight you've lost. I'm choosing to focus on that piece!

I think the challenges, particularly the health issues, are the stuff life throws our way, always, that we have to cope with. And you're coping, and moving forward. There were days in the last year in particular, where a walk back and forth to the mailbox was a feat. Really. And it made me want to cry, because nope, it wasn't something I was getting a blue ribbon for, but dang, I should have!

I think the important thing is to just keep going. Which you are. And to keep learning during the journey -- which is about WAY more than food / counting calories.

You ROCK buddy, and I'm so glad to have connected with you here!

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SILLYHP1953 12/28/2011 5:40PM

    Balance...that really is it, isn't? So simple, but not easy. I'm glad you've been here two years and glad you plan on staying.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/24/2011 7:32PM

    I hope the next year is the best yet! Congrats on sticking with it and keeping off those pounds.

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NASFKAB 12/23/2011 4:22AM


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HDHAWK 12/22/2011 8:16AM

    I'm sure she feels a huge burden has been lifted. The bigger thing may be that she doesn't feel she's in this alone since she's the closest and has to deal with any immediate needs. I'm sure she appreciates your help more than you know.

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MARCYNA 12/22/2011 3:36AM

    Hi John, glad you've made it!!!!
I am really becoming aware exercising can be my new addiction....I wish I could let it go , and stay in shape, but I am afraid it will not happen!!!!
Let's keep on finding our stability & balance!!!!

Comment edited on: 12/22/2011 3:37:45 AM

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PINETREEGIRL 12/22/2011 1:11AM

    John, I am glad that you are still here. It always makes a difference to me to see you here. You're a part of my fundamental 'just getting going' friends, and seeing you is very important to me! Congrats on the anniversary! May you have many more to come!
warmth and affection,
Pine Tree Girl

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CARTOONB 12/21/2011 11:06PM

    Happy Anniversary. I'm glad you've stuck around.

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HLPRATT 12/21/2011 11:50AM

    great blog I admire your honesty- Just keep plugging away

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CLOVER2 12/20/2011 2:16AM

    I agree with the consensus here, we would all have missed a wonderful opportunity in getting to "know" you! I always check to see if you've left anything for us, I agree that when we take the time to listen we can learn so much from ourselves and each other.

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LYNMEINDERS 12/19/2011 7:37PM

    Awesome as always.....

Congratulations on your anniversary....thats superb emoticon

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SPARKLISE 12/19/2011 5:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Cheers to your 2 years and I can't tell you how glad I am you didn't give up on yourself and on us!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RR1_RR1 12/19/2011 4:04PM

    Awesome- happy anniversary! I love the part about God:) your right too, sometimes its not about overdoing it- everything in moderation...go with the flow and learn from the good and bad! emoticon

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MARYMO22 12/19/2011 3:41PM

    so true - it's an amazing journey with all it's ups and downs.... I too have learned alot about myself - enlightening
thanks for sharing

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IRISHBEANERGAL 12/19/2011 1:50PM

    Life is about the journey not the destination.

Glad you are sharing a virtual path with me.


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GETFIT2LIVE 12/19/2011 1:47PM

    John, I too am glad you have stayed; it's not all about the number of pounds lost or the miles run or cycled or whatever else. Those are not nearly as important as the things we learn about ourselves along the way. The times when we are tempted to give up or disappear are the very times we most need to reach out to others and hang on for dear life; we really do need one another.

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GEEMAWEST 12/19/2011 12:48PM

    I am so happy to know you, John. And that wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for Spark. Let's hang in there together!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, Cheryl

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WORKINGSTIFF 12/19/2011 11:04AM

    Right on, John!

It's been 8 years for me (see my latest blog), and honestly, the greatest part of the journey has been learning about myself, just as you say in your blog.

Take care and know that there are people here who truly care about you and will be there for you on your journey.


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HAPPYSOUL91 12/19/2011 9:48AM

    Spot on John! If we aren't in balance some part of our life will fall apart and it is the part that always fall apart. Glad to read that your insight has opened up a new world for you.

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TEACHING1ST 12/19/2011 8:29AM

    John, every time I read what's on your mind or in your heart, I learn something more about myself! Thank you for staying with have so much insight to life in general and for that....and your 'virtual' friendship, I'm so thankful!

Christmas blessings and happiness throughout the new year. Balance will come!


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NASFKAB 12/19/2011 8:24AM


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GLORY63 12/19/2011 8:18AM

    I think we can all say the same thing about ourselves. Until we look at the reasons why we are doing the things we already know are bad for us, we can only have small victories.

emoticon - here's a little ringing of the bells to a more balanced you in 2012.

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HDHAWK 12/19/2011 8:17AM

    I for one am glad you've stuck around. Sometimes I wonder why I keep my account open when I've managed to do nothing but gain since summer. At least I'm in a holding pattern now. I would miss the friends and support I've made here too much to quit. I know I'll get to a healthy, "balanced" place with nutrition and exercise at some point. It's just taking longer than I'd like. emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 12/19/2011 7:25AM

    I hope you start to feel better! Stay with Spark and read The Spark has helped me alot. Wishing you a Merry Christmas! Keep Sparking!

Wendy emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUPPETB 12/19/2011 7:20AM

    I'm glad you stayed to continue using Sparkpeople. Especially when you feel most alone, it is so nice to know there are so many people you can turn to. We all have one thing in common..... love of Spark! Keep on with your journey and I know you will continue losing weight and hopefully feeling better every day. Take care. Ann

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Sharing a Bit More Wisdom on Life (Not My Own, LOL)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This is from the wisdom of Robert Fulgham

Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do, and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life.

Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.

Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: look.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.

Think what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world -- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKNLOVE 12/20/2011 5:53AM

    I remember thnis well...It was posted in my classroom whnen I used to teach K4. Thanks for the happy memory you brought to me by posting this reminder.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/16/2011 10:25PM

    Great advice!!

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AJDOVER1 12/15/2011 12:13PM

    very cool. Let's stick together.

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CIVIAV 12/15/2011 8:30AM


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SPARKLISE 12/15/2011 7:19AM

    I LOVE the idea of a nap in the afternoon.! emoticon
I wonder if we could make it into a law! emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 12/14/2011 11:13PM

    Too true!

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LYNMEINDERS 12/14/2011 3:55PM

    Thankyou so much for having this and posting it...
I love it....
One of the Graduation speakers at last Saturdays Grad had this as part of his speach and wasn't able to write fast enough....
Thankyou so much

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HDHAWK 12/14/2011 2:47PM

    I wish more of our parent would send their kids to school with these ideals. It seems common sense has gone out the window for many.

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BLACKROSE_222 12/14/2011 2:18PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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ERINBEAR1876 12/14/2011 11:17AM

    I love this list. It was fun to read it!!

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JUNEBUGABEE 12/14/2011 8:34AM

    Wonderful! I work with 1st graders, and these little things are so important for all of us to remember. Thanks for sharing.

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Looking For Answers In Our Lives, I Wanted To Share This With You

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A friend is struggling right now. Their world isnít ending but one of my grandmaís always said ďNo problem is a small problem if itís your problem.Ē They wrote me a long letter and half way through I was reminded of something I havenít read in ages, the Desiderata. Truth be known, I should read it every morning. Its chock full of precise wisdom and advice and if I choose to make it my goal, Iíll be the happiest person alive.

Because I love you I thought Iíd share it with you

ďGo placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happyĒ

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLISE 12/15/2011 7:17AM

    I've never heard of this but it sounds really deep.
Thank you for sharing it.
Lots of truths we need to hear-I liked the "do not feign affection" as we near the Christmas season.
emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 12/15/2011 12:34AM


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CMBELISLE 12/14/2011 10:14AM

    Thank you! I'm going to keep a copy.

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MKPRINCESS007 12/13/2011 10:24PM

    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

So much speaks to me here, but these two lines jumped off the page for me. It is so true. We create so much in our minds, much more than the reality.

Thanks for loving us and sharing this with us!


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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/13/2011 10:11PM

    Great refresher. I hadn't read it in a long time.

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DARE2LIVE2011 12/13/2011 5:24PM

    Keeping this one in my favorites! Thanks for the great reminder.

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LYNMEINDERS 12/13/2011 4:04PM

    So so true...thankyou

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HDHAWK 12/13/2011 12:32PM

    Thanks for sharing. Very true.

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LINDAJ0621 12/13/2011 11:09AM

    I had forgotten about this too...I am printing this out as a reminder! Thank you!!!

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TRISTAROSE 12/13/2011 10:47AM

    Thanks for sharing this John!


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MUSTANG_SALLY2 12/13/2011 9:56AM

    What a great start to my day. I need to print it out! Thank you.


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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 12/13/2011 9:51AM

    Thank you for sharing, John. I think each one of us could benefit from reading these words each day and reaffirming our place in this vast universe.

Have a happy day!


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WORKINGSTIFF 12/13/2011 9:50AM

    Being a child of the 60's, I've seen this on posters and heard it in song for many many years...

Thank you for this. I'm going to copy it and print it and hang it nearby for a constant reminder.

Have a great day!


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