After experiencing the longest Government Shutdown in U.S. history, all of us have become more aware, of how a lack of federal services could impact our daily lives.  The Shutdown created extreme hardship and struggle for a vast number of people. The Shutdown had a huge domino effect on the businesses that depend on the lost incomes.  People’s lives seem to have become political bargaining chips used to demand action without negotiation or legislation.

If it had gone on much longer it would have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Americans.

It seems whenever there is a catastrophe, or natural disaster, the “Good Samaritans” and the “Givers” of the world, are always willing to show compassion. We all seem to pull together to help, but after the initial shock wears off, communities struggle to rebuild and rebound long after the contributions stop coming in.

One of the most obvious downfalls in the coming of the digital age, is how separated and divided we have become as a nation. Most people when they hear this statement, think of it in terms of ideology and political leaning.

The divide goes much deeper than that. In more innocent times, the people next door, were neighbors and friends, not just the people we live next to.

Us humans spend so much time interfacing with digital devices, that we tend to miss opportunities to forge a stronger connection with co-workers, neighbors and people in the communities where we reside. It is so easy to live in a bubble these days. We wake up, go to work, come home, do chores, and relax. The weekend comes and goes in a blur, and then the process is repeated.

This latest Government Shutdown should be a wakeup call for all of us. The implications were staggering, loss of food stamps, housing subsidies, and so many services that everyday Americans have come to rely on. Far reaching services that we all take for granted. Clean air, Clean water, Safe Transportation and a well inspected Food Supply, just to name a few.

It is sad that it takes disasters for people to look away from their daily routines and try to help those less fortunate. Disasters aside, there are opportunities right in front of each of us every day.

Homelessness is exploding, and so many people are barely getting by. It is time for all of us to realize, that the government seems more and more about partisan political gain, and less about the needs of the people they were elected to serve. Expecting people to work without pay, while the legislators continue to live in luxury is injustice at its highest level. If the legislators went without pay, and forced to share the pain, a speedy resolution would be all but insured.  Reliance on bureaucracy to put humanity before political gain, has always seemed to be a lesson in futility. We all have an opportunity to help make our own corner of the world a better place to live.

All of us appreciate a helping hand when its offered, but how many of us seek out ways to lift the spirits of the people in our midst? The quote below has so much truth and yet so few understand its value.

“When you become detached mentally from yourself and concentrate on helping other people with their difficulties, you will be able to cope with your own more effectively. Somehow, the act of self-giving is a personal power-releasing factor.” Norman Vincent Peale.

We could all do more. We could all benefit from a little less phone time and a lot more human interaction. There are always opportunities to make a difference if we seek them out.




Connect A Vision featured article:

We each have within us a huge amount of untapped creative potential, a vast landscape of undiscovered inner creativity.

But how often in YOUR life do you truly unleash your creativity?

How often do you feel that you’re creating as naturally and fully as you’re able, where ideas and action all flows easily and freely?

It’s very likely that you’re not creating as often, or as fully, as you’d like to be.

So here are 7 simple ways you use to can tap into your inner creativity today:

1. Listen to yourself. What do you really want to create? Not what do you think you SHOULD be creating or what do your friends, family and colleagues think you should be creating, but what do YOU want to create? What creative project inside you burning to get out?

2. Give yourself time. If you’ve not written a novel before, how realistic is it to expect to write your first in a weekend? Give yourself time to learn, develop and have fun creating as you go. If you don’t enjoy your creativity, how motivated are you going to be to continue?

3. Find a creative environment. This can be a room where you live, a corner in a library or a bench in the local park. To give yourself the best chance to produce your best work, find somewhere you’re happy to create, and where the pressures and distractions around you are as few as possible.

4. Get yourself a cheerleader. No, not a young woman with pom poms. Find someone who will encourage and support you and your creative work. Who’s the most positive person you know? It doesn’t need to be someone else who creates like you do, just someone who’s going to be a great source of positive energy and consistent encouragement for you.

5. Break Creative Projects down into chunks. If you try to paint a complex and multi-layered picture in a couple hours it’s unlikely you’ll be very creative with all that pressure you’ve placed on yourself. Instead, go easy on yourself, set smaller, achievable targets on the way to your larger goal of finishing the creative project.

6. Reward yourself often. When you do good creative work, acknowledge what you’ve done and congratulate yourself. And not just every time you finish a major project but at all significant steps along the way. Just showing up willing to start creating each time is a great reason to celebrate.

7. Create a little each day. This tip is possibly more important than all the rest. The key to creating consistently rewarding and fulfilling work is to create a little each day. Fit it in your schedule every day – early in the morning, late at night, over your lunch – whatever time works for you. Stick to this for just 2 weeks and notice what an impact it starts to have on your creativity.

So there are 7 simple ways you can use to unleash your creativity, starting TODAY.

Pick one of them right now (at least!) and get creating!

Over time, the more different ways you try and the more you’re willing to experiment, the greater the positive impact on your creative life will be and the more you’ll naturally increase your creativity.

Good luck and happy creating…


© Copyright 2007 Dan Goodwin

Want to learn more about how to unleash YOUR creativity? It’s easy: just sign up to “Create Create!” – Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin’s free twice monthly ezine – today, and get your FREE copy of the “Explode Your Creativity!” Action Workbook. Head on over now to

Article Source:
Article Source:


Connect A Vision 

The Missing Piece for Those In Need. Your non-profit connection to 200+ free social services in the Portland Metro Area.



About Right Brain Thinking:

If you’re not a content creator, wait a while. The 21st century is to content creators what the Industrial Revolution was to factory workers. More and more people are finding more and more ways to parent, make money, find friends, and generally live well by relying on creativity. In this article, noted author Martha Beck offers some suggestions for tapping into the creativity that we all possess.


This morning I sat down to write about how we can all learn to better use the right hemispheres of our brains. For 30 minutes, I tapped restlessly at a laptop. Nothing much happened, idea-wise. Flat beer.

Finally I resorted to a strategy I call the Kitchen Sink. I read bits of eight books: four accounts of brain research, one novel about India, one study of bat behavior, one biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and one memoir of motherhood. Next I drove to my favorite Rollerblading location, listening en route to a stand-up comic, a mystery novel, and an Eckhart Tolle lecture. I yanked on my Rollerblades and skated around, squinting slack-jawed into the middle distance. After a while, a tiny lightbulb went on. “Well,” I thought, “I could write about this.”


The Kitchen Sink, you see, is one way to activate your brain’s creative right hemisphere. Every writer I’ve ever met uses some version of it, as do Web designers, cartoonists, TV producers—all “content creators” who regularly face the terrifying thought, “Well, I’ve gotta come up with something.”

If you’re not a content creator, wait a while. The 21st century is to content creators what the Industrial Revolution was to factory workers: In a world where information is superabundant, unique and creative ideas are hot-ticket advantages both personally and professionally. More and more people are finding more and more ways to parent, make money, find friends, and generally live well by relying on creativity. I’ve seen this shift among my life-coaching clients. For instance: Michaela develops financial-planning strategies for stay-at-home moms. Mary runs a long-distance mother’s support group via Skype. Alyssa’s innovative T-shirt designs keep selling, recession or no recession. The demand for creative thinking is both a challenge and an opportunity. It requires us to use more than the logical left-brain skills we learned in school. These days, we all need to get back into our right minds.

Read more online at:


(Read the complete article.)



Parkinsons & Exercising

Maintaining normal muscle tone and function is an important aspect of the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In part, medication administered for your illness achieves this goal. However, to realize the full benefit of the medication, daily exercise and activity are essential. By building activity into your daily routine, you can more easily maintain good muscle tone and build confidence in your mobility. A little exercise goes a long way.


For people with Parkinson’s, moving around does not come as naturally as it once did. It might seem counterintuitive, but to increase your confidence moving, you have to move!

  • Build physical activity into your daily routine: Include gardening, housework or washing the car, as you are able.
  • Walk with a friend or family member: A little exercise does EVERY body good.
  • Attend a community exercise program. Call 1-800-4PD-INFO to find an exercise group near you.
  • Move around frequently: If you watch TV, walk during commercials.
  • Put on some upbeat music and dance.

There may come a time when you need extra support. Don’t worry, there are plenty of options.

(Read and Learn more by clicking here)




Some people with Alzheimers use alternative treatments-such as herbal remedies and natural dietary supplements– though there is scant scientific evidence of their benefits. If you’re considering any alternative treatments or want to advise a friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s on alternative strategies, it’s a good idea to discuss your interest with a health care professional.


A look at complementary treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Nutritional supplements, herbal medicine for Alzheimer’s and the Alzheimer’s diet.

Some people with Alzheimer’s use alternative treatments-such as herbal remedies and natural dietary supplements– though there is scant scientific evidence of their benefits. If you’re considering any alternative treatments or want to advise a friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease on alternatives, it’s a good idea to discuss your interest with a health care professional.

Here are some non-medication options for helping the patient with Alzheimer’s Disease:

Treatment Strategy for Alzheimers

  • Identify and address suspected underlying causes of Alzheimers.
  • Use of dietary and nutritional strategies to improve cognitive function.
  • Use of antioxidants to decrease oxidative damage.

(Click Here to read the rest of the article.) 



Article Publisher:


Earth On the Edge