Astrophysicist Natasha Hurley-Walker of Curtin University in Australia was scanning radio signals across the cosmos last year when she came across a mysterious object that unleashed a burst of energy every 18 minutes. Researchers think the signals have a natural origin – like a neutron star – and are not signals from aliens. But Natasha said it was kind of spooky. “There's nothing known in the sky that does that.”
“The light that flows through you is Universal energy. It is the light of the Universe and you give it form. What you feel, what you think, how you behave, and how you live your life reflect the way you are shaping the light that is flowing through you.”
– Gary Zukav
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I am a conduit through which the energy of the Universe flows and takes shape. I am awake and fully aware of this divine activity as I consciously fashion my life with purpose. I am quickened by light, energy, intelligence, and love. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Avah Lamie of Vermont says a lot in the world needs fixing, like melting glaciers, plastics in the ocean, and the stress of Covid-19 in her school. “Kids fight a lot more now, and I see the worry in my teacher’s face.” But school counselors say there’s hope for us all because our children are resilient, as evidenced by the optimism of 11-year-old Avah. "There's a lot going on right now, but we can fix it."
"The moment we decide to fulfill something, we can do anything. Together and united, we are unstoppable." - Greta Thunberg, 19-year-old Swedish environmental activist
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, may I allow the energy and optimism of a child to lead me in ways of hopes fulfilled. I hold the problems before me as opportunities to demonstrate the love and creativity of pure Spirit. I am in union with by sisters and brothers, and we can do wonders through the Divine which sources us and makes us bright and strong. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
It was a remarkable day for stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped by more than 1,000 points on Monday before staging a remarkable recovery with a nearly 100-point gain. It was the same story for the S&P 500 and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which also slumped earlier in the day before making a roaring comeback.
“Why does true, abiding happiness come from within? Because everything changes. If your happiness is defined by outside things, then it’s like an emotional stock portfolio governed by the market.” – Matt Kahn, The Universe Always Has a Plan
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, today I remember my connection with the Divine and feel its changeless nature as my true center. I go within and find a peace that passes human understanding. All is well. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Teenage aviator Zara Rutherford's trip around the world was the journey of a lifetime and one for the history books. The 19-year-old became the youngest woman to fly around the world solo. Throughout her aviation life, Zara has supported women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers. “We women have amazing opportunities."
“The reality of the Divine Feminine manifests as keeper of the creative fire. As the love of Mother Earth. As the fierceness of the warrior. As the Cosmic Christ.”
- St. Hildegard of Bingen
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I give thanks for the Divine Feminine embodied in every soul. For the creative essence of life with which we are endowed. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
With a deep mindful breath, we announce the passing of our beloved teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, on January 22, at the age of 95. We invite our global spiritual family to take a few moments to be still, come back to mindful breathing, as we together hold Thay in our hearts in peace and loving gratitude for all he has offered the world. - Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism
Thich Nhat Hanh was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist, author, and leading voice in opposition to the Vietnam War. He was born in central Vietnam in 1926 and entered Tu Hieu Temple, in Hue city, as a novice monk at the age of 16. He is recognized as the main inspiration for engaged Buddhism.
“To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, thank you for voices of peace, compassion, and enlightenment. Thank you for the presence of Thich Nhat Hanh, for his touch on our lives and on the Earth. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
“Three religious leaders were standing at the altar, demonstrating their great humility by saying that, before God, they were nothing. Shortly, a low acolyte of the church approached and started confessing that he, too, was nothing. When the three bishops heard him, one elbowed the other and said, ‘Look who thinks he's nothing.’"
– Douglas Abram, The Book of Joy
Affirmative prayer: Today, I am nothing if not one with all that is! I release the illusion of separateness and harmonize with the infinite expressions of Spirit’s brilliance. I am, we are, a point of light in the mind of God, a point of love in the heart of God. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
In order to achieve more, do less. That’s the advice of Caroline Leaf, a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist. It's easier to work on one or two habits rather than striving to improve all aspects of yourself at once, she says. “Changes in thinking and behavior take about two months to build.” Her advice is to find one or two areas to work on in nine-week increments.
“What we demonstrate today, tomorrow, and the next day is not as important as the tendency which our thought is taking; the dominant attitude of our mind. If every day things are a little better, a little more health-giving and joyous; if each day we are expressing more life, we are going in the right direction.” – Ernest Holmes
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, today I am minding the storehouse of my mind. I take time to say a prayer, meditate, and to consciously affirm the goodness of life. I live in gratitude and see the conditions of my world rising to a sense of divine blessing. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Ida B. Wells, the famed journalist and activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, has been immortalized by Barbie as part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women series. "When kids learn about heroes like Ida B. Wells, they don't just imagine a better future, they know they have the power to make it come true."
“Everything that is great and inspiring is created by individuals who labor in freedom.” – Albert Einstein
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I look to the heroes of our world for inspiration, allowing their life statement to move me in ways of equality, freedom, and integrity. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
In the search for life beyond Earth, NASA's Curiosity rover has discovered the presence of carbon on Mars. This is noteworthy because scientists say life on the red planet, or on Earth for that matter, is not possible without carbon. The element bonds with other atoms, giving form and function to DNA. In other words, Carbon is a pattern maker.
“All is One. Mind and body are a unified whole and, at the bottom of it all, is…pure and intelligent energy that layers itself as patterns into infinity.” – Ernest Holmes
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I am One with the original Pattern Maker of life. I claim the bonding energy within this Divine Presence as the impulse of all that I think, say, and do. I am a lover of life and I carry on from this holy sureness. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
“Playing ping pong in Japan, I saw the best way to win any game is to never to think about the score. The point is to make as many people as possible around you feel that they are winners. The opposite of winning isn't losing. It's failing to see the larger picture.” – Pico lyer, What Ping Pong Taught Me About Life (Ted Talk)
Affirmative prayer: Today, I am a beneficial presence, abiding in unity consciousness. I surrender the illusion of separation and the stress of competition. I lay down the scorecard, realizing that the only point systems that matter are points of love, points of light, points of connection. I move from adversaries to allies, from one upmanship to one life. I am blessed, and I am a blessing. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
“Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I surrender my smallness, my narrow view of myself, and I embrace the truth of Oneness about my life, about all life. I give myself in service to the higher good. My hands and my heart are instruments of peace, compassion, and justice. May I be an avenue through which the Divine pours Itself into the world. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
With schools experiencing teacher shortages, superintendents, principals, and other folks are filling in as substitute teachers. A third-grade class at Meramec Elementary School in Missouri was in need of a substitute PE teacher when a local hero answered the call. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Harrison Bader showed up to lead the class. All hands on deck!
“Answering the call to step forward sometimes doesn’t make sense, but in your heart, you will know when it's right. There will be confirmation. You will take a step, and things will happen.” - Jeff Goins
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, today I make myself available, inviting the Universe to call on me when there is a need to be filled. I’m here, Spirit, reporting for duty, ready to serve. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
“Things are forever changing and I have found that, in these journeys of transition, when endings are done well, beginnings are more peaceful. CHANGE is actually a beautiful acronym: a Chance to Have A New God Experience.” - Rebecca Shinas
Affirmative prayer: “Today, I am thankful for the emergence of new God experiences in my life: new encounters, insights, and whole new vistas. I welcome change, and am glad to be on a life-journey of renewal and transformation. My mind is bright, my creative powers are activated, and I am poised for richness. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
San Francisco's swanky Millennium Tower, a 58-story residential skyscraper, is slowly sinking, which is causing the building to tilt about three inches per year. Engineers who are working to stabilize the skyscraper say it’s still safe to live there. In fact, the building could actually tilt 70 more inches before it becomes unsafe. Residents who love to bake are encouraged to wedge something under one edge of their cheesecake.
“Build a strong foundation and you can reach even the most unthinkable heights.”
- M.J. Moores
Affirmative prayer: By my courtship of the Divine and my belief in the goodness and unity of life, my foundation of being is rock solid. I build my life on the spiritual principles of oneness, cause and effect, and love, knowing that all things are working together for my highest good. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
The EPA estimates there are more than 2 million abandoned oil and gas wells in the U.S. that can emit methane gas. But Curtis Shuck Jr., a former oil executive who founded the Well Done Foundation, is addressing the threat. Their mission is to fight climate change by plugging the wells and restoring the land. “We can make a real impact on the environment by closing these wells, and inspiring others to do the same.”
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. You have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
Affirmative prayer: I center down today and invite the Divine to inspire and guide me in ways of a greater Good for myself, my companions, and the world. I know what I am to do. I know how love can be made visible by my actions, and I give thanks for being equipped with the vision, passion, and talents to fulfill a mission of selfless living. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Maya Angelou is the first Black woman to be featured on a U.S. quarter. The design is the first in the American Women Quarters Program, which honors extraordinary women who have contributed to American culture. Acting Mint director Alison Doone said, "Generations will look at these coins and be reminded of what can be accomplished with vision and determination."
“Launch out into the deep. Launch out with faith, with determination. Launch out with fear on your shoulder. Embrace the possibilities. The winds are changing for you and your dream. It's in your hands.” - Nicola Ramsaran, author and mental health advocate
Affirmative prayer: Inspired by the words of Maya Angelou, “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within,” I affirm that I am in God’s life and God’s life is in me. By my faith and vision, I see my dreams and my grand potential richly fulfilled. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
A new Smithsonian exhibit entitled “Futures” invites visitors to explore what the 21st century and beyond may look like, drawing from technology, art, design, and history. It then challenges visitors to use their own creativity to interact with the exhibits and imagine a better world. Curators want people to know that solutions and answers are born from their inspiration.
“When Life created us, It gave us two great endowments of God: love and creativity. Love, so that we may have confidence, peace, and joy in living; and creativity so that we can express ourselves.” – Ernest Holmes
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I open to inspiration and reach into an indwelling source of answers, goodness, and healing activity. I energize the creative sector of my consciousness, and trust that, even now, inspired ideas, opportunities, and right action are bringing me home to wholeness. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
A recent study found that, since the start of the pandemic, many people have learned to celebrate life’s little successes. Finishing a book, discovering a new food, finding cash in the pocket of a jacket, or getting a call from an old friend are victories worthy of celebrating. No matter the achievement, there’s no such thing as a small win. A greater sense of well-being awaits.
“Be not lax in celebrating. Be ablaze with enthusiasm. Let us be an alive, burning offering before the altar of God.” – Hildegard of Bingen
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I honor and celebrate life in the endless ways it shows itself: in my family and friends, in my home, in nature, in the moments of the day. There is only one Life, and I open my heart to its Divine essence, everywhere present. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Li Jingwei was 4 years old when he was kidnapped from his home in Yunnan province, China, 1988, and taken to live with another family in the Henan province. Growing up, he would comfort himself by drawing crude maps of his home village. Finally, at the age of 30, he posted a drawing online with such detail that authorities were able to identify the village and reunite Li with his birth mother. "I've found my baby," his mother said through her tears.
Mapping out your future in the form of images, phrases, and inspirational words that you see every day will reinforce your desire to achieve what you’ve envisioned. - Robert Cheeke, author, speaker, and bodybuilder
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I forge a clear mental image of that which I seek. My vision is inspired from on high and, equipped with the love and strength of God, I place wings on my feet. I am coming home to the success, joy, and a dream fulfilled. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Brian Hamilton, equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks, was doing his job at a hockey game when a fan, Nadia Popovici, held up her phone to him with the words, “The mole on your neck is possibly cancerous. Please see a doctor!” Brian did see a doctor, learned the mole was indeed cancerous and had it removed it. “That woman saved my life.” He and the Canucks thanked Nadia by raising $10,000 for her medical school costs.
“When you see something that is not right, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” – John Lewis, US congressman and civil rights activist
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, may the words of my mouth and the prayers of my heart align with truth, kindness, and good will as I go about this day. May I be a beneficial presence for all in my arena. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
A Shiloh Shepherd named Tinsley saved two lives by going for help after a car crash. Police responded to a dog loose on Interstate 89 in New Hampshire around 10 pm and, when they approached her, she ran back up the interstate through traffic, leading police to a pickup truck that had rolled off the highway. Her owner and a friend were there, suffering from injuries and hypothermia. "This was a real-life Lassie situation," police said. “Tinsley saved their lives.”
“Noble and great. Courageous and determined. Faithful and fearless. Characteristics that carry a confidence and that can change your life.”– Sheri Dew, author and publisher
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, may I be faithful to what I love, to be the mama bear of my community, helping to keep my companions safe, nourished, and whole. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
No worries, at the end of the day, and you're on mute are some of the phrases that folks have heard enough. They appear on the Banished Words List offered by Lake Superior State University. The phrases that make the list each year are considered overused to the point of uselessness. That being said, I fear the words have become the new normal.
“The pupil asked the rebbe, ‘Why does the Torah tell us to 'place these words upon our hearts, rather than in our hearts?' The rebbe answered, ‘Because our hearts are closed, so we place them on top of our hearts. And there they stay until, one day, our heart breaks and the words fall in.’" – Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness
Affirmative prayer: Today, I am mindful of the power of the words that are in my heart and that come out of my mouth. My words echo what I believe. They are affirmative prayers that set the course of my living. Today, I speak with spiritual insight. I affirm the goodness, beauty, and abundance of life. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Emperor penguins stay warm in Antarctica’s brutal winter by huddling up and using a nifty trick to ensure everyone gets some comfort. They shuffle every 30 to 60 seconds, reordering themselves so every individual gets to cycle through the warm, central part of the huddle.
“Within and without, we are conversational bodies, created to live most fully and most healthfully in community. In community we learn what it means to belong to others and to a story that is bigger than ourselves.” – Christopher Smith, How the Body of Christ Talks
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I am grateful for the deep connection with the people in my orbit. I see others – all others – as emissaries of the Divine, acknowledging their revered place in my life. Our kinship creates a living world which brings warmth, color, and joy to our homes, our workplaces, our community. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
“The creation story is built on a prayerful phrase: ‘Let there be…’ Not: ‘There will be,’ or ‘Dear God, make it be.’ There was no suggestion of effort, strain, or anxiety. Just, letting. The Kingdom that is within us is a finished kingdom, and that for which we pray is done even before we ask.”
– Eric Butterworth, The Creative Life
Affirmative prayer: Today, in faith and confidence, I know that my prayers are answered before I speak the words. This holy decree manifests as guidance, healing, resolution, and abundance. It’s love. It’s love made visible in my life and in the lives of those for whom I pray. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in cooperative ways, says forestry ecologist Suzanne Simard. They are linked by an underground network of fungi that resembles the neural networks in the brain. In one study, a Douglas fir that had been injured by insects appeared to send chemical warning signals to a ponderosa pine, which then produced defense enzymes to protect itself.
“Each faith tradition offers an image of a sacred web into which we are woven. We are the glittering jewels at each intersection of the net, reflecting all the other jewels. We reach each other through the threads, passing information across the expanses of space.” – Matthew Fox
Affirmative prayer: Today, I am at home in God’s heart. I see my place in the cosmic network of the Universe, sensing my connection in spirit, mind, and body to my world companions. I give thanks to be a vital part of a shared life. Amen.