“Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~ the real meaning behind this famous quote.

As the world around us appears to be falling to pieces, we wonder what’s happened and what we can do to bring peace to our broken planet. This was forefront in my mind today, as I searched the internet for inspiration on today’s Motivation Movement article. Fate drew me to this article “Gandhi didn’t actually ever say “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Here’s the real quote…” written by Joseph Ranseth, a speaker, author and transformationist. It discusses the famous quote by Gandhi and the real meaning behind these famous words. It was absolutely perfect.

“And while all of this “be the change” talk is good counsel, if we dig a little bit deeper, we realize that he wasn’t just telling us to lead by example, or to not get caught up in other people’s business while we still have our own issues to deal with.” ~ Joseph Ranseth

This, oh so famous, quote “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD”, is attributed to Gandhi, but Mr. Ranseth indicates Gandhi didn’t actually speak these famous words. The actual quote and meaning is much deeper. Before we get to that deeper meaning however, we should discuss why the notion of “be the change” is such a powerful one. Mr. Ranseth indicates three reasons for this. It:

  1. removes judgmental thinking from our minds.
  2. turns us away from complaining and toward self-transformation.
  3. creates a desire to transform the only part of the world which we control: OURSELVES.

If Gandhi didn’t speak those famous “be the change” words, what did he actually say?

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This quote speaks deep-rooted spiritual knowledge that we see the world as a reflection of the world within. The world is a mirror for how we view ourselves. In this full quote, Gandhi is guiding us to do the work of self-transformation. In most cases, we want to avoid facing ourselves, transforming ourselves. After all, who wants to do that? It’s so much easier to lash out at the world and blame others for our own problems and failings in life, but that’s not the answer.. There is no doubt that our world is broken. However, Gandhi is indicating here, if we want to change that world, and fix it, we need to look in the mirror, and fix ourselves first. We need to take a deep, long look in that mirror and cleanse ourselves of selfishness and insecurity.

“I try to make myself zero.” ~ Gandhi

Mr. Ranseth indicates, when Gandhi was asked how he gained so much power over the British empire he said: “I TRY TO MAKE MYSELF ZERO”. What does this mean exactly? This means to develop “selfless love” in every aspect of our lives. We only do things for the benefit of others, never for ourselves. In other words, we make ourselves zero.

Closing thoughts:

The current unrest in the world appears as the act of a society that is lost and in desperate need of direction and guidance. It’s easy to lash out at world leaders and a broken system and demand change. We must remember, that broken system was built by flawed individuals, just as lost as everyone else. Until we look in the mirror, and reflect on our own selfishness and insecurity, nothing will change. The current hate and violence, so prevalent around the world today, speaks volumes about how people view themselves. Now, more than ever, we must face the MAN IN THE MIRROR.


This is my final post for awhile. My family and I are moving across the country. We will be leaving my current home in Virginia at the end of July, and traveling to Colorado to begin a new chapter of our lives. After much thought and consideration, I have decided to halt blog posts until after we get settled in Colorado. I am hoping to be back at the beginning of September, but am uncertain about this timeframe. I’ll keep you posted. I really hate to pull back, but I believe it’s necessary, in order to focus on my family and this important change in our lives. Don’t go anywhere! I’ll be back!

I AM DIVERSITY By: Charles Bennafield

Today, in place of my normal “Middle-age Memoirs”, I am posting a previous article on cultural diversity. I decided to do this for 2 reasons. First, I am writing an article for the H.U.B., the Hawthorn University Blog, on insomnia, which is due today, and I’m just out of time. Secondly, and more important, it is fitting in the current political climate.

I sat awake last night, with a heavy heart, as most people in our country have, I suspect. On top of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, we are dealing with protests and civil unrest. Our country, still quite young in the grand scheme of the world, has come a long way since its founding 244 years ago. With that said, we have a long way to go, with a lot of growing and change still needed. As I laid in bed last night, eyes wide open, with thoughts on our broken country, I searched for something to say in today’s article and came up with nothing productive. That’s when I decided to repost this article, which includes the poem “I AM DIVERSITY”, by: Charles Bennafield

This article is on cultural diversity, which hits 2 aspects of wellness environmental and social. In order to have a clean, peaceful, loving planet, and healthy environment, we need, social wellness, something seriously lacking at the moment. We need to learn to be accepting of others. This little post is my two cents on the issue. Wishing all of you safety and good health. Namaste my friends.


I grew up in a moderate size town in South Dakota. Looking back now, my environment was very safe and comfortable. but also created a certain naivety within me. My parents, now married for 50+ years, created a safe and comfortable environment, paying for private Catholic school, with a beautiful home, nice clothes and always a good meal. (My Mom is an AMAZING cook!) Yes my sister and I were lucky to have loving parents who instilled in us a sense of pride in our country, culture and work ethic.

My Mother is my inspiration, with strength of character, (She’s quite stubborn actually) and a heart of gold, a wonderful combination. She led by example, volunteering with Hospice, and working in a nursing home. She gives her all in everything she does and would do anything for anyone. I watch her now, as she cares for my 100 year old Grandmother, and my heart bursts with pride. (UPDATE: My Grandmother passed away last year at the age of 101… I miss her dearly) My love of God and my fellow man come from her.  From my Dad comes my empathy for others. Despite all of the traveling he had to do for his job as I was growing up, he was always at my side, comforting me when things weren’t going quite right.

In 1992, I married my best friend and love of my life. I took what I learned from my parents and entered the big bad world, still a naive South Dakotan, but that would change.  Our first taste of a new culture was as teachers on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Central South Dakota, home of the Lakota American Indians. We learned to love these beautiful souls, who were giving and kind. They taught me to love our planet, Mother Earth, and accept the differences in others. It was here that I began to understand that even though we are all different, we are all one, unified under God, one of their core beliefs.

Washington Dc, C, City, Cities, Urban, Cityscape

About 3 years after I was married, my husband and I moved to the East coast. Talk about culture shock! We moved from, South Dakota, population 700,000, and one of the poorest counties in the country, (Todd County, South Dakota) to a densely populated city and one of the richest counties in the country (Fairfax County, Virginia). We moved from a laid back and relaxed atmosphere to the stress and fast pace of the big city. Here I learned patience for others. (Something I’m still working on!)

In 2003, we set out on a new adventure. Armed with the knowledge from my parents, the wisdom from the Lakota people, and patience, we moved to England where we lived for about 3 1/2 years. This was an interesting time. We lived in a small village in England and traveled all over Europe, exploring its diverse cultures and beautiful people. While in England, I learned to love discovering the diversity of our planet. However, at the same time, the love of my own culture and country deepened profoundly. I was no longer that naive South Dakota girl, but a world traveler. It was during this time that I learned an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT LESSON, one I wish to pass on to all of you.

Oilseed Rape, Field Of Rapeseeds, Sunset, Landscape

The lesson I learned in England was one of CULTURAL DIVERSITY. Why is this such an important lesson? Cultural diversity means “the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society.”  This means we accept and respect ALL nationalities, cultures, beliefs, religions, languages, and traditions of other humans, while honoring our own. It means we don’t have to give up our culture or nationality to unite as humans or to come together as a planet. Embracing a nationality or culture doesn’t mean you dismiss others, it simply means you are  honoring your own.

So for today’s article, I am celebrating diversity, honoring my own nationality, and accepting the different beliefs and cultures of those around me.

To celebrate this, I present to you the song CELEBRATION, performed by children from around the world.

In my search for things to include in this post, I discovered the following poem I’d like to share with you. There is a jpg image at the bottom of the page, along with a PDF version, in case you’d like a copy.

I am Diversity
By: Charles Bennafield

I ‘m present in every place you go
Depending on your lens I’m friend or foe
I’m a force to be reckoned with
Like the winds of change I move. I’m swift.
I’m present when two or more are together
If embraced I can make the good even better.
I’m not limited to age, gender, or race.
I’m invisible at times and yet all over the place.
Don’t exclude me due to a lack of knowledge
Welcome me like the recruit fresh out of college.
Let me take my seat at the table
Even though I may be differently able
My experience, my passion, the authentic me
Can help add value for your company.
Learn about me; improve my underrepresentation
And I can provide a competitive edge to your entire nation.
I exclude no one. I am strengthened by all.
My name is Diversity and yes I stand tall.
Recognize me and keep me in the mix
Together there’s no problem that we can’t fix.
I am your best hope towards true innovation
And too many, I reflect hope and inspiration.
Your lives and companies will continue to change
Thus the need for Diversity and Inclusion will also remain.
Do all that you can to truly embrace me
And experience life’s fullness totally
I’m the thought lurking behind the unfamiliar face
I’m the ingenuity that helps your team win the race.
I’m the solution that came from the odd question that was asked.
I stand out in the crowd when I, Diversity, am allowed to be unmasked.
I’m diversity embrace me and we’ll journey far.
I’m Diversity include me and we will reach the shining star.
Coupled with Inclusion our lights burn longer
Together we are smarter, better and stronger
I am Diversity
Yes, that’s me

Written 3/8/2012 for The Conference Board Diversity Boot Camp Spring 2012 team

Closing thoughts

Remember, cultural diversity means we embrace our differences. It means allowing others to honor their nationality and beliefs without expecting them to change. When someone honors their own culture,  that doesn’t mean they are hateful or dismissive of others, it means they are proud of their country, culture and traditions.  We have a beautiful world, full of beautiful souls. By accepting our differences, by allowing others to take pride in their country and heritage, by learning from each other, we can come together as a planet. We all love where we come from, every one of us. Let’s honor that, let’s embrace that.


I ‘m present in every place you goDepending on your lens I_m friend or foeI_m a force to be reckoned withLike the winds of change I move. I_m swift.I_m present when two or more


The Motivation Movement: Anyway… (The REAL version!)

I am a bit under the weather today, so, I’m reposting this article. It was initially posted on my blog in January, 2017. The poem “Anyway”, continues to be a source of inspiration for me. This article discusses the true origins of this poem, which is normally attributed to St. Teresa of Calcutta. I hope you enjoy this repost.

The Original Article

Today’s inspiration was born on August 26, 1910 as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu  in Macedonia. You know her as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.

There is a “poem” circulating that is often attributed to Saint Teresa. This poem goes by many names: Anyway, Do It Anyway or Final Analysis. In my research into Saint Teresa and the origins of this poem, I discovered this “poem” was actually a sign hung in Shishu Bhavan, Saint Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta.** This sign contained the “Paradoxical Commandments” and the author is actually unknown.

Continue reading “The Motivation Movement: Anyway… (The REAL version!)”

The Motivation Movement: The Ocean Cleanup

I was recently contacted by Modest Fish, in regards to this article, which was posted last year in honor of Earth Day. Modest Fish, founded by Christopher Adams, is aimed at educating, informing and entertaining people about all things dealing with fish. If  you are a regular follower of my blog, you’ll know my son loves fish, the ocean and all things about marine life, AND he keeps fish, and it is NOT easy.

The folks at Modest Fish were grateful I had left a link to an inspiring article by Oceana.org, 10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SAVE THE OCEAN. Christopher, at Modest Fish, has written an absolutely wonderful article about the ocean. This article, 11 INSIGNIFICANT LIFESTYLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE TO HELP SAVE THE OCEAN, is an in depth look at the ocean, reasons to save the ocean, pollution statistics, effects of pollution and how you can help. In order to bring attention to this amazing article, I’ve been inspired to repost this article, and include their link. I’ll also post their article on my site, later today.

To see the Modest Fish article, FOLLOW THIS LINK, or the link at the bottom of the page.


Do you use plastic? Sure we all do. You’d be hard pressed to live your life without it. That being said, do you ever give any thought to where it goes when you throw it away? Well, to the garbage dump, right?

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 4.17.57 PM

Where is the biggest garbage dump in the world? The GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH. Did you know, at this moment, there are 5 garbage patches in the ocean. The biggest one is in the Pacific Ocean, and is twice the size of TEXAS!

Here’s a quick fact from the video below. “Approximately 1500 plastic water bottles are put into landfills and the ocean…EVERY SECOND!”

Watch the rest of this 3:00 video

to get an idea

as to the devastation this causes.


Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 4.50.34 PM.png
Boyan Slan – Founder and CEO of THE OCEAN CLEANUP

So, just how will all of the garbage get cleaned up and who will do it? I’d like to introduce you to Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of THE OCEAN CLEANUP, when he was just 17 years old. He is also the youngest ever recipient of the UN’s highest environment award, THE CHAMPION OF EARTH, in 2015.

He recognized the plastic problem in our oceans, and decided to invent a way to collect the garbage already in the ocean, instead of going after the plastic. So, in 2013 he began his work

He developed a system of nets, which use the ocean currents to concentrate the trash, therefor minimizing the cleanup time, from millennia, to a matter of years. The prototype was launched in 2016, with the first working model scheduled for deployment later this year.

What can you do to

help save the oceans?

  1. Eat sustainable seafood.– Ask your seafood restaurant or fish market to buy from sustainable fisheries. Look for special terms like “line caught”, “diver caught”, “sustainably caught” or “sustainably harvested. (1)
  2. Reduce energy use– The burning of fossil fuels acidifies the ocean. Bike, walk and use public transportation when you can. Turn the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter. (1)
  3. Use reusable plastic products– Plastic is the biggest villain in the ocean. Use cloth grocery bags and reusable water bottles.
  4. Pick up garbage and litter near beaches- Pick up any garbage when you’re out and about in nature, to prevent it from getting into the ocean or harming wildlife.

For more tips on how you can help visit:



  1. http://oceana.org/living-blue/10-things-you-can-do
  2. https://www.theoceancleanup.com/about/
  3. https://modestfish.com/ocean-pollution/

1 Minute Videos: Buddhist Monk shares his Secrets of Meditation

Hello all!

Here are a few good tips

on meditation from a buddhist monk.




Motivational Monday: A Beautiful Perspective on Following your Heart.

I’ve never trusted my own views or perspectives on anything, until recently. I have always had longings, instincts, feelings to perform tasks, act on ideas, or follow certain life paths. But I always let two things stop me fear and lack of self-esteem. The two worked hand in hand to thwart my efforts toward self-improvement, or simply acting on an idea.

I am notorious for procrastinating. A friend of mine once said that procrastination is simply fear getting in the way of our dreams. That same friend taught me to conquer my fear and live fearlessly, without regret, to follow my heart. Action conquers fear and the only way to live your dreams is to push past the fear. The times in my life, when I lived fearlessly, when I followed my heart, always ended up being the some of the best decisions of my life.

My blog, The Purple Almond, is one of those decisions.  I followed my heart when I started this blog, which took a huge leap of faith. And I’m so glad I did. I’ve learned so many things starting this blog and beginning to live fearlessly, but I’m going to share three of them with you today.

  1. First, you must be self-confident and recognize your unique and beautiful qualities;
  2. It’s important to view  everything from different perspectives;
  3. AND, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS…follow your heart.

When I started receiving awards shortly after beginning my blog, I was truly shocked. When I post articles, I am always following my heart and posting what I love. I have never felt that what I was doing was anything special. After all, I was just being myself.  I am still amazed and humbled by my brilliantly talented fellow bloggers when they nominate me for awards. That hasn’t changed and is the case with my three newest awards. For each of the 3 awards below, I’ve included an inspirational video, which highlights one of the three things I’ve learned since starting my blog.

Since this is going to be a long post, I’ll get to it.

Before that I’d like to reach out

to the bloggers who nominated me and say:



One Lovely Blog Award



By: Sincerely Sarah

“There is only one kind of beautiful,

and that is you!”

I’d like to thank Keith McArthur at My Instruction Manual., who nominated me for this award. I first met Keith when he asked me to be a founding member of the Facebook group Self-Improvement Bloggers Alliance (SIBA). Keith’s wonderful blog includes inspiring posts, quotes and books. Here is his blog description in his own words:

“In April of 2017 I got a second chance at life when my sister gave me a kidney. I’m determined not to waste this precious gift. My Instruction Manual is my exploration of how to be happy, healthy, connected, organized, inspired and fun.”

Thank you Keith! I am so grateful to have received this award from you! Thank you for thinking of me.


The rules of the One Lovely Blog Award are simple:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers and inform them of the nomination  
    • (at the bottom of the page)

7 Facts About Me

  1. My grandmother is 100 years old.
  2. I have one sister and no brothers.
  3. I have a double major in Elementary and Special Education.
  4. I have been married for 25 years.
  5. I hate “slimy” food.
  6. I wear contacts/glasses.
  7. I have blue eyes.

Thanks again to Keith! You are amazing! I’m excited to be a part of SIBO and trying to get it off the ground.

Blogger Recognition Award



By: Apple

(This one is REALLY cool!)

“Here’s to those who always

see things differently.”

A HUGE THANK YOU to Sophie at Food Zesty, who nominated for this next award. Sophie’s blog contains amazing recipes, such as Pasta Pie (Makaronopita). Here is a bit about Sophie in her own words:

“Welcome to a small corner of my Greek Heritage. Growing up in New York from Greek parents, was a challenge of its own…but the traditional food, tastes and aromas that my mother cooked always travelled me back to Greece.”

Thank you so very much Sophie! I am so very grateful for this nomination. You are amazing!

Here are the rules for accepting this award

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10-15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
    • (Bottom of the page)

This is how I started my blog:

I was the blog writer at a credit union a few years ago. When I quit the credit union to go back to school, I missed blogging. I decided to start my own blog, passing on the information I learn along the way.

New Bloggers Advice:

  1. Socialize with other bloggers – When I say this, I mean follow others, like other people’s blogs, reblog other posts, and comment on articles. Basically, it’s the “Golden rule” of blogging. Treat others how you wish to be treated. We all like follows, comments, likes and reblogs. So, pass on the love.
  2.  I highly recommend a schedule – This will help you be consistent and organized. You’ll be more likely to get followers if they know what to expect and when.
  3. WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART! (I know there was supposed to be 2, but I couldn’t decide, so included 3!)

Unique Blogger Award


Follow your Heart

By: The Journey of Purpose

“You’re time is limited.

So, don’t waste it living

someone else’s life.

Don’t be trapped by dogma.”

I’d like to pass on a huge, sincere and heart felt THANK YOU to Nisha at InspiresN. Nisha’s blog posts delightful recipes, inspiring quotes and beautiful photography. Here’s a bit from Nisha:

“InspiresN is dedicated to some of the things that I am passionate about and inspires me . Here I shall feature my tried and successful recipes , memorable and favorite clicks, lessons learned in photography with tips and tricks .( I am a beginner in photography and hope to better as I click and explore) and quotes.”

Nisha…THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! I am honored you thought of me for this wonderful award. It’s a first for me. Thank you again!


  1. Share the link with the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. In the spirit of sharing love with our blogging family, nominate 15 people and notify them. (Bottom of the page!)
  4. Ask them three questions.

 Questions from Nisha:

  • Q1. How do you get the motivation for new posts in your blog?
    • My nutrition posts come mainly from what I’m learning in school. I also do a lot of reading and documentary watching, which gives me many of my ideas as well. The news is always full of great nutrition tid bits.
    • As far as my motivation posts, I simply follow my heart. I just start searching and something usually “pops up” or jumps out at me.
  • Q2. What is your favorite travel destination ?
    • When I lived overseas, we saw a lot of beautiful countries, but my 2 favorites are Greece and Scotland
    • I have a dream of one day visiting Antarctica
  • Q3. What was the most proudest moment of your life ?
    • Wow, I can’t pick just one. 1) my kids being born 2) my older son graduating from HS 3) my younger son being nominated to 5 different honor societies 4) Me graduating from college and entering Graduate School. 5) Getting married to the man of my dreams.

My questions for my nominees:

  1. If you could sit on a bench for an hour and talk with ANYONE (Past/present/dead/alive) … who would it be and why?
  2. If money were no object, what would you do with your life/as a career?
  3. If you could travel to Mars to live and help start up a new colony, would you go, even knowing you’d never return to Earth? Why or why not?

My nominees are:


  1. BethanyKays.com
  2. Heart-bridges.com
  3. Ididnthavemyglasseson.com
  4. Megalaskitchen.com
  5. Lucykeepsitsimple.wordpress.com
  6. Pureandsimplekitchen.com
  7. thequiethappy.wordpress.com
  8. theutopiauniverse.com
  9. yogaliciouslifeblog.wordpress.com
  10. lifexperimentblog.com
  11. soulgifts.com.au
  12. gardner1015.wordpress.com
  13. alongthegrapevine.wordpress.com
  14. recipereminiscing.wordpress.com
  15. the-emma-edit.com

Okay everyone! There you have it! I hope you enjoyed everything.  Please give all of the phenomenal bloggers above a visit and a follow! Have a wonderful day everyone!

(BTW-Since it’s a holiday today, this is the only post for today!)


Motivation Monday: Gratitude – by Louie Schwartzberg

In a world with polarizing politics, severe weather, violence, hate, disease, etc,  it’s important to realize that all life, all people, all animals, all plants are important, and precious. We are all in this life together, doing our best to live a good life.  We need to open our hearts and minds to others and be grateful for what we have.

Being open minded to different opinions than your’s, different thoughts than your’s, different beliefs than your’s, unites us and makes us stronger as a human race. United we can accomplish anything.

Being grateful for what we have, for waking up everyday, for having food to eat, for having water to drink, for the blue sky, for the colorful flowers, for the green trees, for the animals helps bring happiness and joy to our lives.

I wanted to share an absolutely beautiful and touching video, which reminds us of the value of life and the importance of being grateful for what we have.

I hope you enjoy it

as much as I did…

Have a great day everyone!

Let us stop for a moment to pray and meditate.


Have you seen this? Over the rainbow…

I recently saw this video circulating on Facebook.

This one is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. 😃

It makes a perfect pick-me-up for a Monday morning, especially considering today is LABOR DAY!

THANKS to everyone for what you do everyday to provide for your families and contribute to the beauty of our country and world.

In the video, a few members of a group from Perth, Australia known as “The Liberators” boarded a train one Monday morning. Founder of the group, Peter, gives a short, but very motivating speech, in which he thanks the people for waking up so early to make their way to work and provide for their families. What happens next is beautiful and inspiring…

You can find the full story behind this beautifully uplifting video here:

The story behind the train ride

From the blog: Inspiralight.

One final message:

This will be the only post this week.

I will be turning in my final assignment for my current course tomorrow, and will be taking a complete break from all forms of social media,

including this blog. 😁

I will see you right back here,

one week from today on

Monday, September 11, 2017

same time, same place

with my full schedule back in place!

Have a beautiful week everyone!

Let us stop for a moment to pray and meditate.

30 Second Videos – Why Worry?

I decided to change things up a bit for my weekday morning posts. Instead of posting tips, quotes or bits of info, I’m going to post short, 30 second videos. They may inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry or help you cook. Who knows? You’ll just have to check in and see. 😉

Today, for the first video, I have a short, light hearted look at worrying. Do you worry? I do. I’m a chronic worrier. It’s really silly to worry, especially when you look at from the viewpoint of the video below.

Have a look:

Have a great week everyone!


Don’t worry!

Let us stop for a moment to pray and meditate.