Smile! Your on the page that might help you to take a break from your healing, dealing, and learning. I spoke of balance in my editoral-well here it is. I've complied a combination of topics and interests that I thought might give your heart, head and mind a rest. So take a deep breath, and relax and let your mind focus on something fun for a short while. I always welcome feedback, but even more so with this page. I would like to know what interests you have, what type of topics make you smile, and what you would like to see on this page. Please email me, and let me know:

-Melodie Downey, Editor/ Becoming Gold


>Read others feedback, to share your experience or thoughts, please go to the Feedback Forum.

>This week's question: What do you think can be done to protect children, as a means of intervention from Childhood Sexual abuse? What suggestions do you have for parents?


Click here for Table of Contents for the Smile Page


Thank you, and don't forget to take some time to smile!


The Launch of a New Website-The Altruistic Web - Lighting One Candle by Belle Wong*New

Article for May>Finding Learning Opportunities in Everyday Life Situations by Kevin Eikenberry *New

>>Work Break: A One Minute Mental Vacation, by Wayne F. Perkins *New

Eight ways to Be a Better Friend>> by Susie Cortright *New


Hobnob >>Hobnob Inn

Horoscope>>iVillage Astrologer, Kelli Fox

Featured Article-"Five Simple Ways To De-Stress Your Daily Routine"

Motivational Message-"Create Some Fireworks.."

Quick Laugh Contest>>Fraud of the Rings

Snapshots the Cartoon>>Jason Love

Featured Health Article>>Anti-Oxidants Galore! by Dr. John Maher

Zen Quote of the Day>>Zen Spot

Daily Financial Advice>>Cheapskate Monthly

Fitness Article>>Journal Your Way to Weight Loss/by Wendy Hearn

Daily Inspirations for Women>>








The Altruistic Web - Lighting One Candle by Belle Wong

In January, 2001, I tentatively signed up for the Christopher Leadership Course (, an effective speaking course offered by the non-profit Lumen Institute, in order to learn public speaking and increase my self-confidence. To my surprise, the CLC helped me learn more than public speaking, and did more than increase my self-confidence. It's philosophy? Leadership is not just about effective communication and confidence.

The CLC teaches that leadership means having a sense of responsibility towards others and being motivated by a sense of cooperation. In short, the course challenged me to really think about giving back to the community.

The CLC's motto is "Light one candle", based on the proverb that "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness".

Week after week I was challenged not only to develop my public speaking skills, but to think of others and the community in general. At the end of the course, my classmates and I were asked to each design a "leadership project", in which we committed to giving back to our community in some way. As a writer, the Internet has long been part of my community.

I have seen and experienced some of the bad things that happen on the Net: spam, flames, intolerance, viruses and the usual hoaxes. But I've also experienced so much more that is good, and speaks directly about Internet community, generosity and spirit.

It occurred to me that there aren't that many places in which you could find out about all the good things going on in and around the Net: the ordinary people who give so much of themselves, the numerous sites that promote friendship and community, the people who write articles, create software or develop products and offer them to the Internet community in the spirit of sharing.

And so The Altruistic Web was born. It is my Christopher Leadership Project, and it is my way of lighting my single candle.

I hope you enjoy the Altruistic Web. I encourage you to light your single candle - together we are in the process of creating a strong community of Net users based on human values of generosity, love and tolerance.

Belle Wong, editor, The Altruistic Web ( 2001 Belle Wong Editor, The Altruistic Web Helping good news travel faster!


Vantagepoints Finding Learning Opportunities in Everyday Life Situations

Current Issue Archive Subscribe- Volume 3 - Issue 7

Something to think about from the Discian Group Everyone has Something to Teach... "We can learn something from everyone, and I benefit in many ways when I act on that belief." - Kevin

When I was in college someone respected in our community told me that it was his philosophy that he could learn something from everyone. I thought a lot about that, and over time it has become a part of my life philosophy as well.

It is intuitively obvious that everyone has information and knowledge that I donít have. And it is easy for me to list things that I have learned, or am learning, from those around me. Parker teaches me about whales, Kelsey teaches me about living in the moment, Brett teaches me to slow down, and Lori continually teaches me about customer service "in the real world." These are people I interact with everyday.

"Nobody is totally useless. At the very least, they can serve as a bad example!" - Robert Sweet, Netizen

But this philosophy is harder to follow in many other cases. What about people I donít like? Or donít agree with? Or who look or act differently than me? How well does my philosophy hold up then? Iíve thought a lot about this, and Iíve determined that there is an ART to trying to learn from everyone I come into contact with. ART is an acronymÖ let me explain.




Asking.The first step is to ask myself the pivotal question, "What can I learn from this person?", or "What does this person know that would be helpful for me to know?" In some cases this is just an introspective question for me to consider. In other cases, the person may literally have information that would help me reach my goals, and I need to ask them outright.

Reflecting. Next I need to reflect on the answer to the question I asked. When the person has given me information, this means deciding how I can use this new knowledge. In the more introspective cases, reflecting means thinking about what Iíve learned, and thinking about how to apply that new information or insight into my life.

Thanking. It is important to let people know that you are appreciative of their help. The piece of knowledge they shared may warrant a phone call, a nod, a smile or a thank you note (or more than one of the above). Sometimes the learning comes from someone you never really knew, or have no way of actually thanking. In those cases, I believe that you can share your sense of gratitude by sharing the learning with someone else, doing a random act of kindness, or anything else that helps you show your gratitude by making your world (and those in it) a little better place to be.

I encourage you to think about my philosophy. Do you believe that you can learn something from everyone? If so, how can you make your learning more commonplace? Consider making an ART of this philosophy. I guarantee that applying this ART, whether once an hour, once a day or once a month will make you happier, wiser and move you towards your goals.

So ask yourself, who have I learned from today?

Yours in learning,

Kevin Eikenberry

The Discian Group 1.317.387.1424 1.888.LEARNER (toll free in the U.S.) This Vantagepoints has been reprinted in the following online publication. Let's Talk Motivation! International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) : 1524-6841 Copyright 1999-2000, the Discian Group. All rights reserved.




Work Break: A One Minute Mental Vacation

Work Break: A One Minute Mental Vacation How would you like to take a one-minute vacation? Do you think it can help you cope with your challenges each day?

Lets see how hypnosis and relaxation can help.

The purpose of this section is for you to learn how to relax in just a few moments. When you use several of these moments during a typical work or school day, you will find very wonderful results.

Just as it takes many repetitions of angry moments or stressful periods of time during the day to build up stress. It will take many repetitions of calm and peaceful periods of time to build a perfect "mental vacation."

To begin this vacation you may want to print these directions out and then either read them aloud to yourself or read them into a recording device. When you read them to yourself or into a device, picture yourself relaxing very deeply while you give yourself these suggestions. Whenever you see the following symbol, ....., this will signal you to pause as you read or talk to yourself.

Pause from 20 to 30 seconds at first. After you are finding yourself relaxing very deeply, you may want to change your pause to just three or four seconds.

Are you ready? Lets see how much we can really relax using this technique.

My Vacation Begins!

I will begin the relaxation process by focusing in my mind on a place where I always have total peace..... It may be resting beside a stream or a lake.... it may be watching the waves on the ocean.... It may be a scene high up in the mountains.... or it may be in the comfort of my own bed. Whatever I place in my mind I use for my vacation. The image I find will be the correct one. As I think about this scene.... my body is relaxing, deeply relaxing.... All of my muscles are going loose, and limp, and perfectly relaxed. Each and every deep breath that I take is relaxing me deeply. Nothing will disturb me during my vacation. If an emergency happens, I know I can respond very quickly..... My mind is keenly alert and aware, while my body relaxes, perfectly.....

I am taking a very deep breath now..... As I inhale I notice how my chest expands to take in each cleansing breath. As I exhale, I notice how all of the tension leaves my lungs..... I feel good, I feel fine, I feel perfectly and completely, relaxed..... Nothing will disturb me. Each and every breath that I take is assisting me in relaxing deeply, soundly and perfectly. I am thinking about a place that is very relaxing..... As I firmly picture that place in my mind, my body relaxes perfectly.

All of my cares are just drifting away. I may feel myself relaxing in this very calm and peaceful place. I feel and see and hear and smell this scene of deep, relaxation. All of my cares are drifting away. I know I can always bring them back when I want to, but I prefer to let them drift away..... As my cares are drifting away..... My body relaxes deeply, soundly and perfectly..... When I go to bed tonight, I will sleep soundly as well. I will let all the tension of the day drift off into space. Now I am ready to emerge from this wonderful state of mind. Whatever was bothering me before this session will cease to bother me at all. Whenever I use this exercise, I will find myself relaxing very quickly and very deeply. At the count of three, I will emerge from this condition. One..... Two.....Three..... I am wide awake..... alert..... and feeling good in every way!

How are you feeling? I hope you are feeling great. This exercise may take you three to five minutes initially. Read this script into a tape recorder or other recording device. Use it any time you desire. The best time to beat stress is before it has a chance to take hold. Use this exercise before entering those stressful periods of the day. This will make it harder for stress to take hold. Then, use it while going through periods of stress. Finally, use it just after a stressful period. Once you practice this exercise, you will be able to relax in just about a minute.

Five or ten strategically placed "mental vacations," will vastly improve your life. Feeling good in every way.

Have a fantastic day!

Wayne F. Perkins

18662 North 42nd Street Phoenix, AZ 85050 Phone: 602-647-4280 Fax: 602-971-6967





Five Simple Ways To De-Stress Your Daily Routine

(ARA) - Stressed out? You're not alone.

According to the American Institute of Stress, Americans are more stressed than ever before. Forty three percent of adults suffer adverse health effects as a result, and 75 to 90 percent of adult visits to primary care physicians are precipitated by stress-related problems. Stress also causes approximately one million employees to be absent on any given workday, and ultimately is responsible for nearly 50 percent of employee burnout and 40 percent of worker turnover. "Stress is an inescapable part of modern life," explains Todd Imholte, vice president of Hopkins, MN-based Environmental Graphics, the United States' largest producer of wall murals. "Whether we like it or not, we're constantly juggling a myriad of professional and personal responsibilities, often with too little time to do any of them justice. Add in technology, which now allows us to be "on call" during our leisure time via cell phones, pagers and e-mail, and it's no wonder our stress levels are higher than ever before."

That's the bad news. The good news is that there are a variety of stress management techniques that can be easily incorporated into the busiest daily routine. Imholte offers a few suggestions: TOP FIVE STRESS-BUSTERS

1. Go for a walk - on the beach, in the mountains or around your neighborhood. Just 20 minutes a day can work wonders, both physically and mentally.

2. Bring the outdoors indoors. Decorate your home with nature-inspired decor to help you relax and soothe the soul.

3. Take up an enjoyable hobby. Whether it's painting, playing an instrument, knitting or fly-fishing, choose something that will force you to calm down and enjoy the moment.

4. Try Tai Chi, meditation or prayer. By focusing on within, you'll acquire a proper perspective and better control over the anxiety-riddled external world.

5. Hug your spouse. Kiss your children. Pet your dog. Laugh. Be playful ... spontaneous ... and have fun. Imholte emphasizes the importance of creating a peaceful, nurturing home environment. "At the end of a busy day, most of us want to 'cocoon' and escape from the hectic outside world. Adding a wall mural like "Oriental Garden", "Cinnamon Bay", Clouds" or "Hawaiian Sunset", helps 'bring the outdoors in with soft colors and calming images." "Serenity", Environmental Graphics' newest nature-inspired offering, depicts a tranquil garden of rich roses, lavender wildflowers and moss-green shrubbery. A welcoming floral-covered arch and park bench complete the garden oasis motif. When added to a room, it helps establish a balance of color and texture, while emanating a feeling of harmony throughout. "I wanted this work to create a place where individuals could go to refresh their mind and spirit," says "Serenity" artist Christa Kieffer. "As they look at the mural, they feel connected to their own private view of the country. The hazy background, in particular, helps them envision they live in the place of their dreams." "When you look at the mural, you're automatically transported to a quieter, gentler place," adds Imholte. "Your blood pressure lowers, your muscles unclench, and you're better able to enjoy the rest of your day."

For a full-color brochure that includes wall mural designs and local dealer information, call toll-free (888) 205-0914 or visit their Web site at To purchase WallMurals, visit Home Depot, Sherwin Williams or your local home center or paint and wallcovering retailer.

Courtesy of ARA Content,, e-mail: ###







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Create Some Fireworks...

"I think most people have a lot more fireworks in them than people give them credit for."

- Tom Peters

"Find Your Fireworks!" - Kevin Eikenberry

STOP! STOP! Write down 3 things you could do to make your day fantastic. Write now! What have you got? Weaving a basket? Shooting some baskets? Reading the rest of that novel? Calling a friend? Going dancing? Something more personal or more zany? Great. Do it tonight (if not right now.) I know, you've got tons to do (you ought to see my desk...) Even if you only spend 15 minutes - do it now. It will make the rest of your day more enjoyable and more productive. If someone asks you why you're doing it - tell them a friend told you too, then have them read this.

After you've created some fireworks for yourself, why not help someone else get a bang themselves? How can you make someone else's day brighter? A co-worker? Your spouse? Kids? The bus driver? Find someone who's day you can brighten! Share your fireworks with them, and everyone both of you come in contact with all day will be glad you did. I'd write more but I'm off to shoot baskets (indoors) with Parker . . . and find some fireworks!

Happy Fourth of July,

Kevin Eikenberry

the Discian Group/

This Vantagepoints has been reprinted in the following online publication. at 

The Elite at International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) : 1524-6841 Copyright 1999-2000, the Discian Group. All rights reserved.






Fraud of the Rings

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Sci-Fi Cartoon Contest. Copyright 2000 by John Cook.




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Eight ways to Be a Better Friend, by Susie Cortright

Being a friend isn't just something that we do. It's a skill that we can learn and improve upon. Here, eight ways to be a better friend.

Number One: Like yourself The first step in having a good relationship with a friend is to have a good relationship with yourself. When we genuinely like ourselves, we become more attractive to other people. We have more to offer others because we are not constantly focused on our own image and reputation. We become better friends because we don't cling. We are secure enough to spend time with a friend because we want to, not because we need to. And relax--the journey to self-acceptance is life long. Practice it in small steps along the way.

Number Two: Choose wisely Relationships among true friends take a steady dose of time and energy--two resources in limited supply for all of us. Identify the friends with whom you wish to create a closer bond. It's perfectly okay if not all of your acquaintances make the list. The closeness of your connections is far more important than the length of your guest lists. Number

Three: Make the time Friends are important in many ways--so much so that these relationships often take on a life of their own. You owe it to yourself (and to your friends) to make these relationships a priority. Carve out some quality time for one another.

Number Four: Make the first move This is where I have trouble, and I know I'm not alone. If you want to improve your relationships, put your fear of rejection aside and start taking more risks. Invite your friends to lunch. Organize a new playgroup. Invite them over for dinner. Too often, we fail to follow up with our friends. Don't miss out-just make the first phone call. Your friends are just as anxious to get together as you are.

Number Five: The Golden Rule Treat your friends as you wish to be treated. Stated another way: "To have a friend, be a friend." Focus more on being interested than on being interesting. Be enthusiastic and energetic. Avoid complaining, gossiping, and criticizing.

Number Six: Sweat the Small Stuff Make your friends feel significant by remembering small kindnesses. Notice her new haircut. Remember to ask about her mother-in-law's surgery. Send flowers or a simple email when you know she needs it most.

Number Seven: Listen Good listeners are hard to find, and honing your skills can be a long-term project. A few tips: Slow down. Try not to finish your friend's sentences. If you catch yourself planning your response while your friend is still talking, gently remind yourself to focus on the speaker. Show her you are listening. Maintain eye contact. Offer nods and murmurs that indicate you understand her point of view. Minimize distractions. Ask questions. Be careful with advice. Assume your friend wants to just vent her frustrations, not ask you for a plan of action. Avoid the phrase, "what you ought to do is..." Offer your opinion only if your friend specifically asks for it (and you believe she will benefit).

Number Eight: Be loyal We all need someone in our corner. If your friend isn't there to defend herself against gossip or criticism, speak up, and know she would do the same for you.

Written by: Susie Cortright Autoresponder- 01-00


Copyright © 1999-2000. Susie Michelle Cortright & Momscape. All rights reserved.



Anti-Oxidants Galore! by Dr. John Maher

Natural sources of antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E and beta carotene, are some of your best defenses against coronary-pulmonary aging. Choose from these foods when eating at least five servings per day of fruits and vegetables, better yet 9 servings:

Vitamin C: red pepper, brussels sprouts, papaya, orange, chestnuts, butternut squash, kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe, kale, pink grapefruit, sweet potato, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. {The latter 3 also help the liver detoxify poisons and "bad" estrogens (16-hydroxyestrone) that promote breast, colon, cervical and prostate cancer.}

Vitamin E: almonds, spinach, parsnips, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, asparagus, sweet potato, wheat germ, brussels sprouts, peanuts, pecans.

Beta carotene: carrot, butternut squash, cantaloupe, sweet potato, kale, watercress, apricot, red pepper, turnip greens, mango.

A good rule of thumb: eat from the fruit and vegetable "color palette" each day and include red, green, orange, and yellow.

By the way, eating lots of anti-oxidants keeps your lungs strong. The proof? According to a 3/14/98 article in the FASEB Journal, people who ate the most antioxidants were able to exhale almost 1/2 cup more air in 1 second than people who ate much less. The ability to inhale and exhale volumes of air is called "Vital Capacity" and is perhaps the best physical exam indicator of life expectancy!**

And need I remind you that lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer? AND 18% of VICTIMS NEVER SMOKED! So eat your 9 servings of a rainbow variety of fruits, seeds, nuts and vegetables. Then take a professional quality multi-vitamin/mineral with at least 1000mg Vit C, 100 IU Vit E, and 15,000 units of mixed carotenoids (not just beta-carotene), and 200mcg of selenium. As iron is a pro-oxidant, it should not be included usually except in the anemic, childrens formulas and for menstrating or pregnant females*.

Pregnant females and those desiring or even "at risk" for pregnancy should limit Vit A supplementation to less than 5,000 units a day.

About the Author:

Dr John H Maher Ed., "Longevity News" "Your Prescription for Wellness" More Details at:



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Journal Your Way to Weight Loss

I believe that deep inside you, in your heart of hearts, you are the only one who instinctively knows the best way for you to achieve weight loss. What I want is for you to get in touch with this. I donít believe that in the long term it works if I or anyone else tells you what you need to do to lose weight. It's a process you need to discover for yourself. You're a unique person and you will have a way of losing weight that is uniquely yours. You may know someone who has lost weight by taking up running and that has helped them to lose weight. However, for you even the mere thought of taking up running may be unpalatable and so this may not be a method that works for you.

When you want to lose weight, one of the first things you need to do is to really get in touch with yourself. Identify what leaves you feeling happy, sad, frustrated, angry. Think about your needs, your wants, your goals and the changes you want to make for yourself. Most weight loss programmes, and particularly diets, pull you away from yourself and your body. My intention is to make you really connect with your body, understand what it wants and then move forward. Only then will real weight loss will occur.

A great way to understand yourself is to start writing a journal for weight loss. I would advise against writing down a list of the food youíre eating, although I'm well aware that for many people seeing what they eat set down in black and white usually makes them think twice and reconsider. What I would be looking for first is for you to start uncovering exactly where you are now. What is going on in your life? What problems are you facing? How are you feeling? Please donít dwell on this in your mind too much. Just put pen to paper and start writing. Write about whatever is going through your mind at the moment. I would suggest that one of the most important elements is to write freely and make a note of whatever comes into your head. It may not appear to have anything to do with your eating habits but you will often find that there is a connection, even if it isn't apparent until much later.

You may want to choose a particular time each day to write this journal or carry it around with you and write when you can. It's a very liberating experience to be able to get it all out of your system and down on paper. I know the majority of my clients have resisted this at first and yet later they've said that it really helped them immensely. As time goes by, Iím sure you'll be amazed at what you start to uncover by making entries in your daily journal and from then on you can start to work at making the changes which feel right for you. I encourage you to start writing your journal today!

Copyright © 2000 Wendy Hearn P O Box 5047, Milton Keynes, MK4 2ZP United Kingdom Phone UK 01908 522114 Fax 01908 261047 Email Wendy at




Exercise as an antidote to depression and anxiety is not a new concept. In the 18th century Scotland, doctors in mental hospitals prescribed heavy farm chores as "the best medicine" for their patients and documented marked improvements in mood and behavior. Now scientists are studying the link between exercise and mood changes at close range and coming up with some fascinating results.

One expert in the field says "exercise is clearly associated with mental-health benefits." And moderate exercisers show lowered blood-pressure levels and a resultant positive mood. The key is moderate exercise, performed a minimum of 30 minutes, three or four times a week. Brisk walking, swimming, lifting weights, and bicycling - all achieve good results.

People who exercise regularly, even at something as simple as walking or bicycling, are more flexible. They experience less stress on the muscles and joints when they do bend down the wrong way. Conditioned muscles recover faster, too. It's the couch potato who hauls himself erect one Saturday afternoon to rake the leaves or shovel snow who has trouble.

The big problem we all face these days is living a stressful life. All families seem to be too busy to sit down together and share the joys and pleasures of life. The little things that once mattered are no longer important and now there is a race for more money, more time and more material possessions.

By using simple relaxation techniques, exercising and making changes in our lifestyles, we can manage stress and take control of your lives! Once you have become aware of stress, it's time to relax! There are many techniques for relaxing (and no one method is better than another), but the most basic is deep breathing. One of the body's automatic reactions to stress is rapid, shallow breathing. Breathing slowly and deeply is one of the ways you can "turn off" your stress reaction and "turn on" your relaxation response.

Still another relaxation technique that can help you reduce stress is "clearing your mind." Since your stress response is a physical and emotional interaction, giving yourself a mental "break" can help relax your body as well. When you clear your mind, you try to concentrate on one pleasant thought, work, or image and let the rest of your worries slip away. A short and quiet walk can do wonders and just a walk around the block will clear your head and often give you a new spurt of energy.

Muscle and joint aches and pains are a common complaint for many of us, living as we do in a sedentary, high-stress society. The clichť warning us to "use it or lose it" isn't far off the mark. Our bodies pay the price for long hours slumped at our desks or nestled in a soft chair watching television. And if you think some of our aches and pains are just another consequence of aging, you're wrong - more often, it's a result of inactivity and weaker muscles.

Doctors now say that walking is one of the best exercises. It helps the total circulation of blood throughout the body, and thus has a direct effect on your overall feeling of health. There are things such a aerobics, jogging, swimming and many other exercises which will benefit a person both physically and mentally. Researchers agree that exercise helps to ease anxiety and lift spirits. is an absolute goldmine of secret information, how-to-guides, reports, software, money making guides, business opportunities, financial advice, personal/health reports, electronic books, consumer reports, internet marketing guides, internet marketing software, FREE stuff, money savers, cheap internet services, secret websites and much, much more. Please visit us today!