Monday, December 31, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

10 Smallest Colleges in The World!

10. Holy Apostles College and Seminary - 260 Students
Built in 1956, this college located in Cromwell, Connecticut, and only focused on the training students to be the leaders and another church official. At first, this college is for man-only, and then the Vatikan decided let women in. They even offer the online system.

9. College of Visual Arts – 172 Students
One of many visual arts colleges, built in 1924, located on Saint Paul, Minnesota. The College teaches students about the importance of combining visual arts and liberal arts. It focuses on the heavy arts such as statues arts, graphical arts, painting, etc. This college often motivates their student to express their skill at works.

8. Burlington College – 168 Students
Another college located on the East Coast, Burlington College is all about art, humanitarian projects, and humanities. Once known as the Vermont Institute of Community Involvement, the college has been there since 1972. One of the interesting things about this course is that many students will study abroad, especially in countries in the European Union. Recently, universities have also been able to work with the University of Havana to offer studying there as well. Burlington College is the only college to receive special permission from the Treasury Department and approval from Cuba, in order to establish an opportunity for American students to study at the University of Havana

7. Art Academy of Cincinnati – 156 Students
Founded in 1869 as the McMicken School of Design, Art Academy of Cincinnati is one of the most prestigious, and one of the smallest, arts colleges in the USA Today. The school offers four degree programs go to: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History, and Associate of Science in Graphic Design. There are some of very famous artists who have graduated from this Academy of Arts, such James Flora and Charley Harper. The School main goal is to help produce artists who will flourish in the world today

6. Bryn Athyn College of the New Church – 155 Students
Bryn Athyn College is located in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, which is about 20 miles from Philadelphia. This college has been around since 1877 and first used to train ministers. It is a Christian liberal arts center that focus on New Church and its teachings. The new church is a religious sect based on the idea and the life of Emanuel Swedenborg. This school offers all kinds of majors, including business management, biology, art, history, and many others. Although it is just a small college, it is very unique in their own ways. Despite not having all kinds of Sports Division team, the campus does have a competitive Ultimate Frisbee team

5. Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts – 151 Students
Although small, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, has been named as the "Best College" a few times. Located in Old Lyme, Connecticut, the college only two hours from New York or Boston, and most students take advantage of the main locations. This course is very meaningful for those who interested in art, whether it be painting, sculpting, or drawing. Lyme Academy praised so much that even in the New York Times talking about it, stating "... Many people in the art world believe the (Lyme) Academy has contributed to the rise of artistic representation.

4. Sterling College – 105 Students
Once known as Cooper Memorial College, Sterling College has since changed its name, although still reflecting a long history. Back to 1887, there are many Christian colleges is available throughout the U.S. but Kansas' Sterling College prides itself on the heavy emphasis put on the Christian view throughout campus. All faculty and students is Christian with the purpose "to develop creative thinking and a leader who understands the Christian faith." Despite a strong Christian school, the campus offers many majors for their students

3. Thomas More College – 84 Students
Although it is a very small liberal college, Thomas More College has been ranked by Money Magazine as one for "Best College Buys" and other ratings. This college has been around since 1921 and known as "co-educational Catholic school” located in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. Despite its size, the school offers a variety of possible majors, including nursing, business, criminal justice, and many others. In addition to learning, most students spend much time they visit the Cincinnati, which is not too far from the campus area of 100 hectares

2. Shimer College – 81 Students
Calling itself the "Great Books College of Chicago," said Shimer College set out to attract particular students in the world. The college has been around for 157 years, founded by Frances Wood Shimer Cinderella and Gregory. Shimer is a liberal arts college and offers only three departments: natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Campus focuses much attention on "The Great Books" which includes titles such as The Bible, The Iliad, Agamemnon, Oedipus Rex, Paradise Lost, Holy Law, and many others. Although the narrow focus of study, Shimer College also expressed aim is to create well-rounded students, all 81 of them

1. Alaska Bible College – 38 Students
Imagine, the students are only 38 people, so the campus is worth to be the world's smallest college. :P :P :P
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, December 24, 2012

When the storms came and the wind blew...

    There have been times in these last 4 years that I have wished that we had never adopted Anna. Even now I wonder why writing that last sentence does not bring a greater waive of guilt upon me. But to understand the whys and hows, you will need to journey back to a time when our family did not have Anna and did not know the power that one 9-year-old could hold over a family.
    There was, once upon a time, a family of 5. Two parents and 3 wonderful children who had been adopted from different countries. This family was very well adjusted. They had just purchased a new home, and mother was now able to stay at home with her children. Each child was well bonded to his/her parents, and the parents counted themselves as very fortunate in being blessed with the 3 most wonderful children on earth. This was my family. Our children were ages 6, 7 and 10 when we first saw the picture of Anna, a waiting child described as happy, outgoing, witty, friendly and eager to please. Our 10 year old had been wishing for a sister closer in age to herself, and we were not opposed to adopting again. This child, being almost 9-years-old, seemed like a good match for our boisterous, energetic family.
    Although we had adopted before, and in fact our 10-year-old was age 7 at adoption, this new adoption brought me much anxiety. Part of it was the idea of upsetting the birth order of the children, and part of it was simply the unknowns involved with adopting a child of this age. Still, her beaming smile and dancing eyes in photos eased my fears and with excitement we moved forward with the adoption.
    Many months later, at the end of 2000, my oldest daughter and husband traveled to adopt our new daughter, Anna. They would be with Anna in her birth-country for nearly 3 weeks.
    Four days after leaving, my very tired husband called to say they spent the last 2 days visiting Anna at her orphanage. She was a pistol and very anxious to leave the orphanage behind and come “home” (to the hotel) with her new dad and sister. I tried to pry out of my husband what exactly our new daughter was like, but all he would say is that she was outgoing and seemed very happy. My 10-year-old summed it up to me with, “Mom, she doesn’t act 8 years old. She’s like a baby!” I really didn’t know what to make of that…
    As the days went by and Anna came to stay with my husband and daughter at the hotel, more and more I began to feel a sense of unease about this adoption. Each time my husband called, it was with a fresh and frustrated report of the days events. Anna was making phone calls from the hotel while he was in the shower, or Anna threw a fit when he wouldn’t buy her a trinket. Anna, it would seem, was a handful. The final straw came one day when Anna left the hotel room and an hour long search ensued, finally finding her “hanging out” in some shops near the hotel. She yelled at and berated her new father with an obvious scorn. Back in the hotel room a translator was called. Anna would not give any reason for her actions except to say her father was mean for not buying her the items she had wanted in the shops. The next weeks Anna was never let out of sight. The adoption was completed and a very tired little group landed at the airport in our home city.
    Through all of this, I truly felt it was just a matter of my husband being a “softy”. I am the stronger parent in our relationship and I believed it was just a matter of getting our new daughter home where I could demonstrate a loving environment with good boundaries. Boy was I in for a big surprise!
    It is to my great fortune that we had adopted another older child before Anna. Although the first older child adoption hadn’t been without wrinkles, it was a progressive and very satisfying bonding experience. Our oldest daughter had few adjustment issues and was eager to be loved and give love. However, she had demonstrated, however gently, the culture shock, language issues, and sadness that come with any older child adoption. I was well prepared for these, thank God. What I was not prepared for is some of the damaging things that had been done and said to our newest daughter while she was still in her orphanage.
    Apparently, the older children in her orphanage are led to believe that when you are adopted by Americans, your life is a golden road filled with all the toys and games you could ever desire. You will never have to go to school, do chores, and of course you will have your way in any and all things. So deeply was this belief ingrained in Anna, that the crushing reality of her new home sent her into an absolute tail-spin of despair. A trip to the grocery store could have her lying in the aisles absolutely screaming and crying because I would not buy 7 cans of beans instead of 6. Meanwhile, I would stack the other 6 cans back on the shelf, attempting to send the message that if this behavior continued to be exhibited, she would get nothing. OH! How many times I would need to repeat this process for the lesson to sink in!
    When Anna first came home to us, it became very apparent that she did not have the maturity of a just-turned 9-year-old. In fact, she didn’t even relate to our 7-year-old. In maturity she was closest matched to our 6-year-old child. Her personality, described as outgoing & friendly, could only be described by her new family as bossy, abrasive, destructive and sneaky. Her method of “fitting in” to the family was to divide and conquer. Since she did not like 2 of her siblings, she set up a system of ignoring them, breaking their toys and ordering her 6-year-old sister not to talk to them. Lying was as 2nd nature as breathing. Though it all, I counseled my children as best as possible, and viewed these behaviors as “orphanage survival behaviors”. Dealing with them would take more patience than I ever know I could possess. Our other children found themselves horrified when she once dropped her pants and urinated in the drive way. Her face was never more than a ½ inch above her plate as she loudly ate her food. Her incessant whining about who had what, “Why I not have? Why you not buy for me? Anna needs! Anna needs! Anna needs!”
    I knew this was all behaviors that could be dealt with. With time and patience, Anna would learn. However, it quickly became apparent that the greatest obstacle might be insurmountable. Anna appeared to have absolutely no desire to bond to us. Her complete abhorrence for her father was apparent. She couldn’t stand to be in the same room with him (and no, she was not abused in her orphanage, she just had no use for her father). She told her sisters he was big, mean, old, fat etc. I asked her one night, “Anna, what is it you want from this family? We want you to love us.” Her response was simply, “I love it when you buy me things. I like my sister.” And the truth was, as much as she did not like us…….we did not like her. I realize how horrible that sounds, but the simple fact of the matter was this: This was an extremely unlovable kid. Defiant, whiny, loud, stubborn, disobedient, and irritating. It wasn’t that hard for my husband and I to admit to each other the truth: This Adoption was a Mistake.
    Once we admitted that, the next step was asking, “What is the solution?” The answer to that question is what this story is really about. Because if you have made it this far, you may just be thinking, “What an awful family! How could they not love a child that was now their daughter??” I know what you are thinking, because I would have thought and asked the same thing before Anna became our child.
    By the time we asked this of ourselves, Anna had been home a year. We had decided to teach her English at home (it was mid-school year when she arrived) and give her time to adjust before sending her to school. Although we began with just 15 minutes her day, Anna would cry, actually sob, and repeat over and over, “Watch TV! Want to watch TV! You are mean, mean mother. Very bad! Bad!” TVs had been on all waking hours in her orphanage and Anna had never attended school. Her obsession with watching TV, I felt, contributed to her inability to tell reality from fantasy. It’s hard to explain, but she just could not tell what was real or not. By the end of the summer we were up to about the 1st grade level and Anna had learned English at lightning pace. I could tell there was a bright mind in there that had never been tapped.
    Now almost 10 years old, she was still at about a 6 year old level in maturity. With our oldest daughter struggling in school, we made the decision to keep her and Anna home for a year to give them each a chance to “catch up”. I re-doubled my efforts to show Anna affection, be fair, and bond with her. And so, after that first year, my husband and I found ourselves with the all important question: “What do we do with a child we do not love and who does not seem capable of attaching to us?”
    Our first decision was NOT to disrupt. We would raise Anna as our child to adulthood and do the very best we could with her, expecting very little in return.
    Our second was for my husband to avoid contact with her, as he had completely lost all patience with her antics.
    Our third decision was that I would continue to “pretend” to love her.
    Our 4th was to continue homeschooling her, limiting her ability to cast us aside like so much garbage for her fantasy of a “good family” that was out there somewhere.
    There is not much more to say about the next year (her 2nd year home). She learned that obeying the rules meant privileges, disobeying meant a loss of the things she found fun. She learned, though with loud wailing, to do her chores. She never failed to cry and sob while cleaning her room or putting her plate in the sink. She learned to read and do math, though the tears flowed with any attempt to have her write sentences or engage her in any school work she deemed, “NOT FUN!” The rest of us learned to ignore her fits and accept that she would always be here, regardless of our feelings.
    In her 3rd year home, the changes began so slightly, so very, very quietly, that had she not been constant with them, I very well might have squashed them without ever even knowing they were happening.
    In order to tolerate her hatred, my husband insisted that when he walked into a room where she was, she must say, “hello dad”. At first she refused and continued to ignore him even when he spoke to her (which she had been doing for 2 years). He would then say, “Hello Anna”. If she did not respond, she went to her room, alone, for ½ an hour, a true torture in her estimation. She finally broke and without exception would start saying, “hello dad” when she heard him even come close to a room where she was. This led him to respond, “hello, Anna, what are you doing?” It was murderous torture for her to give even a 3 word response, but she would do it. This went on for months.
    In the meantime, I had grown so accustomed to being tough on Anna, being strict, watching for her to step out of line, waiting for her to talk back, throw a fit, or defy me in some way, that when she finally, quietly made up her mind just to do what was asked and expected of her, I didn’t at first notice it. It just suddenly came to me one day when I saw her helping to do the dinner dishes (her chore 2 times a week) without complaint, that she hadn’t been whining as much….in fact, she had been completing her homework assignments without crying for…hmmmm….weeks? How could I have missed this? And so, I began to watch Anna in a different way. That is when I found out the most difficult truth of all: My heart had hardened towards this child.
    It began the next morning. The girls were getting out of bed, giving me hugs, and I just wanted the hug from Anna to end as quickly as possible. In fact, I found myself almost pushing her away! That same afternoon I found the lunch table a mess and assumed it was Anna. I was ready to start her chastisement when her brother admitted it was he who had not cleaned up the table. How quick I was to blame our “difficult child”. That night, like every night, I lay down next to each child and let him or her just speak to me…..I noticed in myself a familiar rushed feeling as I lay next to Anna….I did not like feeling her next to me. OH! What and who had I become? Could I despise this child so much as to abhor her touch? The answer was simply, yes. Yes, I could. And Yes, I did.
    Anna, it seemed, was changing. I had been pretending to love her. Telling her I did, making sure she got hugs. Making sure she was warm at night, putting concern in my voice when she was hurt. We had vacationed as a family, and in every way tried to make her feel accepted as one of the family. But yes, I was also very hard on her in other ways. Still, this pretend love was the closest thing to “real” that she had ever had in her life, and it had been going on for almost 3 years now. Anna was responding to this. And I was a fool not to see it.
    As the next months came and went, I found myself making sure that I noticed Anna’s efforts, her attempts to control her behaviors, and her shedding of negative and disrupted traits that she no longer ‘needed’ in this new family. I prayed for God to soften my heart towards her, and I shared these happening with my husband. Our conversations about Anna became more positive and we started to relax our vigilant watchfulness towards her. My husband made more of an effort to tolerate Anna’s silences and discomfort with him, and to praise her for just about anything. It didn’t happen over night, these many changes.
    It’s been over 4 years now. Anna is now 13 years old. Her maturity level is at about a 10-year-old level now. She’s independent, but willing to listen and try advice. She loves to read books and is only allowed 1 hour of TV per day. She knows why and understands (and yes, accepts) why this is, and the other children must obey the same rule. We are more open with each other now. We talk with each other about improving our relationship, about her dreams and hopes for the future. Anna is part of our family now in a real way.
    Do I love her? Yes, in a way I do. I feel a great affection and respect for her, and the love is growing over time. It wasn’t an easy love to come by. But it is rooted now in fertile soil. We have weathered the biggest storm. Anna still won’t go off and do something with her dad alone, like the other children love to do, but she enjoys “Dad night” when my husband gives me a night off and takes the kids out for dinner and to the movie rental store once a week. She makes him cards and eagerly shows him her artwork. She gives him hugs, willingly now and that is something I would never thought would happen.
    And so I will end this story as it began. There was, once upon a time, a family of 6. This family was very well adjusted. They all had helped each other to grow and stretch in new and wonderful ways. They learned together about patience, love, faithfulness, dedication, forgiveness and hope. When the storms came and the wind blew, this family learned to bend together, but did not break. And all the grafted branches made the tree that much stronger.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ralph Waldo Emerson: excerpts from "The Over-Soul" (1841)


Ralph Waldo Emerson: excerpts from "The Over-Soul" (1841)

There is a difference between one and another hour of life, in their authority and subsequent effect. Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual. Yet there is a depth in those brief moments which constrains us to ascribe more reality to them than to all other experiences. For this reason, the argument which is always forthcoming to silence those who conceive extraordinary hopes of man, namely, the appeal to experience, is for ever invalid and vain. We give up the past to the objector, and yet we hope. He must explain this hope. We grant that human life is mean; but how did we find out that it was mean? What is the ground of this uneasiness of ours; of this old discontent? What is the universal sense of want and ignorance, but the fine innuendo by which the soul makes its enormous claim? Why do men feel that the natural history of man has never been written, but he is always leaving behind what you have said of him, and it becomes old, and books of metaphysics worthless? The philosophy of six thousand years has not searched the chambers and magazines of the soul. In its experiments there has always remained, in the last analysis, a residuum it could not resolve. Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence. The most exact calculator has no prescience that somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment. I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.
As with events, so is it with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.
The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Over-soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character, and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty. We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul. Only by the vision of that Wisdom can the horoscope of the ages be read, and by falling back on our better thoughts, by yielding to the spirit of prophecy which is innate in every man, we can know what it saith. Every man's words, who speaks from that life, must sound vain to those who do not dwell in the same thought on their own part. I dare not speak for it. My words do not carry its august sense; they fall short and cold. Only itself can inspire whom it will, and behold! their speech shall be lyrical, and sweet, and universal as the rising of the wind. Yet I desire, even by profane words, if I may not use sacred, to indicate the heaven of this deity, and to report what hints I have collected of the transcendent simplicity and energy of the Highest Law.
If we consider what happens in conversation, in reveries, in remorse, in times of passion, in surprises, in the instructions of dreams, wherein often we see ourselves in masquerade, -- the droll disguises only magnifying and enhancing a real element, and forcing it on our distinct notice, -- we shall catch many hints that will broaden and lighten into knowledge of the secret of nature. All goes to show that the soul in man is not an organ, but animates and exercises all the organs; is not a function, like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison, but uses these as hands and feet; is not a faculty, but a light; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and the will; is the background of our being, in which they lie, -- an immensity not possessed and that cannot be possessed. From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all. A man is the facade of a temple wherein all wisdom and all good abide. What we commonly call man, the eating, drinking, planting, counting man, does not, as we know him, represent himself, but misrepresents himself. Him we do not respect, but the soul, whose organ he is, would he let it appear through his action, would make our knees bend. When it breathes through his intellect, it is genius; when it breathes through his will, it is virtue; when it flows through his affection, it is love. And the blindness of the intellect begins, when it would be something of itself. The weakness of the will begins, when the individual would be something of himself. All reform aims, in some one particular, to let the soul have its way through us; in other words, to engage us to obey.

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

What are the Noetic Sciences?

What are the Noetic Sciences?
no•et•ic: From the Greek noēsis / noētikos, meaning inner wisdom, direct knowing, or subjective understanding.

sci•ence: Systems of acquiring knowledge that use observation, experimentation, and replication to describe and explain natural phenomena.

no•et•ic sci•ences: A multidisciplinary field that brings objective scientific tools and techniques together with subjective inner knowing to study the full range of human experiences.

For centuries, philosophers from Plato forward have used the term noetic to refer to experiences that pioneering psychologist William James (1902) described as:
…states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain; and as a rule they carry with them a curious sense of authority.
The term noetic sciences was first coined in 1973 when the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) was founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who two years earlier became the sixth man to walk on the moon. Ironically, it was the trip back home that Mitchell recalls most, during which he felt a profound sense of universal connectedness—what he later described as a samadhi experience. In Mitchell’s own words, “The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes. . . .The knowledge came to me directly.”
It led him to conclude that reality is more complex, subtle, and mysterious than conventional science had led him to believe. Perhaps a deeper understanding of consciousness (inner space) could lead to a new and expanded understanding of reality in which objective and subjective, outer and inner, are understood as co-equal aspects of the miracle of being. It was this intersection of knowledge systems that led Dr. Mitchell to launch the interdisciplinary field of noetic sciences.

Why Consciousness Matters

con•scious•ness: In our work, personal consciousness is awareness—how an individual perceives and interprets his or her environment, including beliefs, intentions, attitudes, emotions, and all aspects of his or her subjective experience. Collective consciousness is how a group (an institution, a society, a species) perceives and translates the world around them.

con•scious•ness trans•for•ma•tion: A fundamental shift in perspective or worldview that results in an expanded understanding of self and the nature of reality.

world•view: The beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and assumptions through which we filter our understanding of the world and our place in it.
The essential hypothesis underlying the noetic sciences is simply that consciousness matters. The question is when, how, and why does it matter?
There are several ways we can know the world around us. Science focuses on external observation and is grounded in objective evaluation, measurement, and experimentation. This is useful in increasing objectivity and reducing bias and inaccuracy as we interpret what we observe. But another way of knowing is subjective or internal, including gut feelings, intuition, and hunches—the way you know you love your children, for example, or experiences you have that cannot be explained or proven “rationally” but feel absolutely real. This way of knowing is what we call noetic.
From a purely materialist, mechanistic perspective, all subjective—noetic—experience arises from physical matter, and consciousness is simply a byproduct of brain and body processes. But there is another perspective, suggesting a far more complex relationship between the physical and the nonphysical. The noetic sciences apply a scientific lens to the study of subjective experience and to ways that consciousness may influence the physical world, and the data to date have raised plenty of provocative new questions.
IONS sees noetic science as a growing field of valid inquiry. Every new discovery leads to more questions as the mystery of human consciousness slowly unfolds. In the areas of consciousness and healing, extended human capacities, and worldview transformation, IONS keeps pushing the boundaries of what we know, advancing our shared understanding of consciousness and why it matters in the 21st century.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

The D-Spot: Dr. Dwight Webb-Building Heaven on Earth

The D-Spot: Dr. Dwight Webb-Building Heaven on Earth 09/03 by AwakeningZone1 | Blog Talk Radio

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Have enough confidence in yourself to know that with persistence, life has never failed you.

By Darnell Hill
San Quentin State Prison
I totally believe how one handles rejection is a matter of perspective: how one sees themselves, the motives behind getting their needs met, and is it a want or a need? Psychological and emotional development has a lot to do with how our perspective is formed based on low self-esteem or too much pride.
The best way to handle rejection that consistently works is building your self confidence. If we look at the “core issue” with handling rejection, it’s not about you being turned down for the job, date, marriage proposal or pay raise, it’s truly about how you feel about yourself after and where are those feelings coming from? For example, when I applied for my first job, I assumed that I would get the job so I started spending the money in my head before I had the job. I got my bubble burst when I was told that I was not picked. My devastation stemmed from the wrong motive I had with expectations of spending the money that wasn’t even mine yet to spend. The rejection of not getting the job triggered my abandonment issues, causing me to embrace my low self-esteem and fear of applying for another job. How did I handle it? I handled it by surrounding myself with good family and friends who believed in me and continued to encourage me. But even that wasn’t enough because until I started believing in myself and having the courage to step out on faith with persistence, sooner or later I got my heart’s desire.
The other issue with handling rejection is most people don’t want to wait for the later, because pride and expectations always want the sooner. How do we handle this? By having enough confidence in yourself to know that with persistence, life has never failed you. We only fail when WE give up. So, the next best way to handle rejection is to never give up. If one job says no, try for another until you get what you want. If the date turns you down, continueto work on his/her heart or someone else’s until you get a yes! The key is no matter what, believe in yourself! and continue to work on your self-confidence. Life has a way of allowing us to learn from the psychological and emotional stress that comes from handling rejection we may not think or feel we need at the time, but suddenly our motivation for life gets strengthened and we find ourselves back in the cycle of life that come with handling rejection in better ways than we thought we could all because our confidence level has risen. There’s no better way to handle rejection than to believe in yourself, be confident and never give up!!!
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spotlight on Minnesota Artist Bonnie Mohr!

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About Bonnie ~ How It All Began

It’s hard to define exactly what makes farm kids so unique from others. To this day, I remember fond childhood memories of the farm that shaped who I was as a child, and the events that would forever impact me to become the person I am today. Born the second oldest of eight children, to Fredrick and Marianne Bianchi, we lived a normal yet sometimes crazy life, filled with happiness, business, and embraced the labors of life on a dairy farm.
My parents were, and still are ‘salt of the earth people’, to whom I owe thanks and gratitude, for raising us right. They taught us that there is no replacement for hard work, and there is no greater joy or reward than achieving the things you dream of. We learned responsibility at a young age, and the importance of ‘helping each other out’, because that’s what it takes to make life go on the farm.

We learned to appreciate the simple things in life, like seeing a new born calf come into the world, braiding dandelion necklaces, and making mud cakes in our brooder house / playhouse. We were taught to finish our chores before we could play, that flying a kite or a backyard ballgame was just as special as going to the movies, that it’s ok to wear hand-me-downs and garage sale clothes.

I remember hot sultry summer days and stacking hay in the loft of the barn; and then mom would bring us ice tea, sandwiches and watermelon. In between loads, we would do acrobatics and gymnastics on the hay conveyor! We were taught to take pride in our work and be proud of who we are.
My parents were generous and welcoming to anyone and everyone. The examples my parents lived, fostered in me a belief that pride, honesty, integrity, charity and love for life all begin at home. We were rich in togetherness, good times, and pure country living.

Years have gone by, and I’ve now traveled the road of raising our own five children, with my husband John, seasoning our lives with some of the same rituals I grew up with. Our family continues to carry on a traditional lifestyle of dairy farming, enjoying the farm life and country living. I’ve used the courage that I was taught as a child, to become an artist and grow a business of it.

My work is a reflection of who I am, and what I believe. It is simple, and it is truthful! It defines moments, places, and things in life that are good, pure and right. I believe that if you engage your life and everything you believe in whole-heartedly , with conviction, passion and love…..everything else will fall into place.
Thanks for sharing in my journey of creating artwork. My hope is that it will put a smile on your face, peacefulness in your heart, and bring you back home to roots that are forever good.
Kindest Regards,
Bonnie Mohr
Read more about The Artist And Her Accomplishments…………..

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's almost 2013 for heaven's sake...

By Mastin Kipp
A friend of mine who is a brilliant, dedicated and respected yoga teacher here in L.A. once said as she was pacing around her house, "I'm faffing again!"

And I thought to myself - what is faffing? She saw the puzzled look on my face and said, "I faff a lot - I waste time doing nothing as a form of resistance. And I don't even know that I'm doing it sometimes!"

According to the Urban Dictionary faffing means to aimlessly waste time doing useless tasks. Ouch!

I do that all the time.

Here's how I faff...
1. Social media addiction
2. Email addiction
3. Social media commenting addiction
4. Cleaning up too much when I should be writing
5. Taking on projects that don't scare me, while avoiding soul projects that I know I should be doing
6. Living my life based on what other people think
7. Did I mention social media addiction?
8. Eating comfort food when I should be creating
Those are just to name a few.

We avoid our calling and, as a result, our lives by faffing our lives away. We faff every day and stay "busy" but it's a false sense of accomplishment. I'm amazed at how much can get done when I stop faffing and actually focus on what matters. I am also amazed at how much I do that doesn't really matter - or doesn't matter as much as the real soul's calling that I am meant to do.

And I suppose at the root of all this faff is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Fear of rejection. Fear of life getting worse instead of better. Fear of fear. And fear of fearing fear.

It's all fear and quite frankly it's all BS.

To faff is to miss out on life. To faff is to deny your soul. To faff is to ignore your Creator and make meaningless tasks seem important and important tasks seem impossible.

You were not born to faff. You were born to sail. To expand.

To grow. To live a bigger, brighter version of your life. And to do this - look at where you faff and turn your faffing into fear tackling. It's almost 2013 for heaven's sake - isn't it time we stopped faffing and started living?

Food for thought....


Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is one of the toughest blogs I've ever had to write.

Written By Mastin Kipp
This is one of the toughest blogs I've ever had to write.

To find the words was difficult. I hope that I will serve you with what I am sharing today. It was written from the heart.

Because of my maximized schedule these days, I write my blogs a few days ahead of time. And over the weekend, so my team can take the weekends off, I pre-write Saturday/Sunday and Monday ahead of time so that they aren't working on the weekend. It's a beautiful thing to be able to manage, but then life happens.

I have not been able to write a blog yet about what happened in Connecticut - and I really thought about whether I should or not. And the more I thought about it - the more that I felt like I should.

But before I do, I want to start with a prayer:
Dear God/Father/Mother/Source/Spirit/Uni-verse, please help us to mend our hearts from the tragedy in Connecticut.

Please help to comfort the pain of the parents who lost their children too soon. Please surround all of those whose lives have been forever changed because of the actions taken by fear and ignorance. There can be no deeper pain than losing a child. Please help our nation to wake up and take action so that this never happens again. Please help us to heal our breaking hearts and please help us, even in this dark hour - to find Love in our hearts for the darkness of the world - for we know that Love is the only power that can heal our world.

It's unimaginable that something like this could happen in modern times and in America. But it did. And not only our country, but our world has been and will be affected by this for years and decades to come. Because I am writing this blog a few days after there has been SO much covered on the news - I am not going to focus on the tragedy, the details of the crime or any of that.

I feel that the best way for me to honor the children and you, my dear Reader, is to do what I do best - which is be vulnerable, real and share my heart with you.

This moment in time will spark much debate about what is to come. New gun laws. A discussion about mental health.

Should we arm our teachers? And finger pointing will happen.

Which special interest group is responsible for this? What does the Constitution say and is it up to date with modern times? This is a debate that should be had and that will be had. If you feel called to join that conversation, do it. We need leaders to pioneer the way. Action must be taken. But, today, the conversation I want to have is a spiritual conversation. Of course a spiritual conversation includes action and policy, but that is not what I want to talk about today. It's not my place because I don't have the answers. But what I do have is a feeling in my heart that I need to express. And I hope that in doing so, I have served you.

As much as we would like to, we must not hate the darkness. We must not lash back with the same level of evil that visited us.

Spiritual practice counts when the pressure is on. It matters most when we are tested the most. And what happened on Friday is perhaps one of the greatest tests that we as a nation have faced since 9/11.

The question we must ask ourselves - which is the single most important question we can ever ask ourselves is this - what are we going to make this MEAN?

The answer to that question will determine the outcome.
Well, I can't answer this question for the nation, for the world or for you. But I can answer it for me.

When I look at the actions from last week, what it means for me - is that many people on the planet have forgotten who they really are. Their connection to The Divine, their connection to their community, their connection to themselves is fragmented. And the painful, debilitating grip of separation has its grasp on many people in the planet.

And so, while more laws and more action must be taken - ultimately what will change our planet, not just from events like what happened last week in America, but the events that happen like that all over the world every week - is a shift in consciousness.

Einstein said that problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created it. And it's time to admit that we as a culture, as a species, are addicted. We are addicted to violence. We are addicted to a fuel supply that is killing the Earth. We are addicted to the illusion of separation. We are addicted to our righteousness. We are addicted to profit. We are addicted to consumerism.

This is not just about gun laws and mental health. This is a wakeup call - a call to see our commonalities and Love each other for them, rather than to hate our differences. This is a call to wake up and see that the world is in pain and that we have the solution through working together, rather than tearing each other apart. This is a call to deepen compassion for a world that is fragmented and has placed personal achievement at the expense of others ahead of the common good. It's a call to make humanitarian values the bottom line and economic values a secondary motivation.

To me, the action of last week makes me have even more resolve to do my work. And I believe that now, more than ever - with such a display of darkness - that the world needs more Light. More Light from me, more Light from you and more Light from anyone that you know.

We cannot solve this problem and many others from a place of more rules. We need more Love. And that starts with you and me. Imagine what would have happened if poor Adam would have had more Love. If he had been able to feel the joy of serving others; if he had felt special and unique because he was being praised for his talents. Imagine if just one person could have touched him and given him hope instead of despair. Imagine if he had had the tools that we do to change his life.

Imagine how different the world would be. And to make sure that this kind of thing never happens again, we need more Love, more compassion, more giving, more serving - we need to wake up and remember to connect within and to remember that we are all connected. And that the actions of one affect us all, and that actions of all affect the one.

There is no escaping this reality. We shall either prosper together or not. This moment in time is a wakeup call.

What will you make it mean for you?

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Is one young man with severe mental issues now to blame for a society we all took part in creating?

Its pretty clear that Adam Lanza was a victim too.  I’m really struggling with the idea that one young man with severe mental issues is now to blame for a society we all took part in creating.  Adam is not the problem, Adam is the symptom.  Each and every shooter is like an ulcer on the skin of America….they keep bubbling up and we curse them (and are aggravated by them) we temporarily change our ways to accommodate them and eventually throw a mediocre fix at them.  The scar never really heals because we only treat the surface and not the core issue. For those who profess to be Christian, live by your faith right now.  You say each person was created in the image of God, so too was Adam…and we are not here to judge each other remember?  In life we are both teachers and students to each other. Are we going to learn or (once again) burry our heads in the sand? Adam has a family that is grieving today too; his Dad, his brother, his Aunt’s & Uncles and all others who knew and loved him.  What he did Friday morning was beyond comprehensible; unconscionable evil we simply cannot wrap our minds around, but he wasn’t raised by himself or in a vacuum. We are all victims to a society we created and must now change.

The recipe to this kind of horror is clear and evident!
Every time a parent endorses violent video games or movies they contribute to the possibility of mental instability in a child (remember, there were babies at the midnight showing of the extremely violent Batman movie where the last crazed shooter erupted?) and every time a parent allows a day care or television to play a bigger role in their child’s life then they do, this adds to the recipe...and when parents decide to allow their kids to primarily grow up eating fast food, junk food and drink sugary drinks yep you got it, they add to the recipe. When parents are painfully aware that their child is socially awkward and isolated but ignore it hoping it’s just a ‘phase’ that they will grow out of, again they add to the recipe of disaster. And when parents own guns and do not follow safety #1 which is to keep them locked up (with ammo and gun in separate locations) they add to the dire outcome.  
It’s not just the parents who know these truths! 
Teachers, Doctors, Neighbors and Clergy also have a role to play in helping the parent of an emotionally challenged child. Statistics now report that 1 in every 150 child in this country has some form of autism.  If we don’t find a way to intervene with mental health services and remove assault weapons from our society, we’re looking at an America that will become more and more violent. When a person has cancer, do they have to wait until it’s at stage 4 to start treatment? Why then does a person have to demonstrate that they are either harm to themselves or others before serious mental health services are offered? Often they don’t get treatment until the worst has happened.  Why is it this way America?

What happened to letting kids be kids?  Shouldn’t they be protected from violence in movies and games? Just the other day, I was flipping through TV channels and I heard a cartoon voice say,”Jackass.” It was none other than Bart Simpson talking to his Dad Homer. “Wow”, I thought ~ I’m actually offended by this. We have lowered our parenting standards to the point where we find disrespectful behavior, insolence and zero boundaries as acceptable.  Adam was a born perfect and beautiful (and just like the first graders he murdered) he had a big bright future in front of him. But at some fork in the road he walked into the dark forest and couldn’t find his way out.  Take a look around and ask yourself, “Am I doing all I can do to make this a more peaceful society?”
America, wake up! It takes a village!

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

P!nk - Try

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

I tried to love affirmations, really I did. But affirmations didn’t do me any favors.

By Danielle LaPorte
Affirmations are like screaming that you’re okay in order to overcome this whisper that you’re not. That’s a big contrast to actually uncovering the whisper, realizing that it’s a passing memory, and moving closer to all those fears and all those edgy feelings that maybe you’re not okay. Well, no big deal. None of us is okay and all of us are fine. It’s not just one way. We are walking, talking paradoxes.
— Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are
I came of age in the New Age of the ‘90s. I had affirmation cards before I had business cards. And I tried to love affirmations, really I did. But affirmations didn’t do me any favors. When my mouth was saying, “I am fearless and courageous!” My brain was saying, “I’m scared shitless.” So then not only did I still feel scared, I also felt like a fake.
If you say that all is well, when all is not well, or that you’re skinny when you’re feeling fat, or that you’re healthy when you’re sick—well, to state the obvious, you’re lying to yourself. Self-deception creates a cognitive dissonance so that, despite the positive-sounding phrasing, you’re creating inner tension and conflict.
Contrived affirmations take you out of the present. Rather than facing what’s real, we try to plaster over the difficult truths with happy thoughts. This is false optimism and it’s damaging. It undermines our capacity to be with what is, and to access our real strength and spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity includes the capacity to acknowledge our fears while maintaining our confidence and faith.
Affirmations have become a tool for fear management, rather than the more productive process of fear analysis, or as Pema Chödrön puts it, “uncovering the whisper . . . moving closer to all those fears . . .” Fear is natural and it deserves respect and compassion—don’t insult your fear by smothering it with saccharine affirmations. Be scared. And . . . be brave.
Scientific research proves that positive thinking and affirmative words work. No argument there. Do we need pep talks? Hell yes! Are you the very best person to coach yourself through despair? Hell yes! Do we want to end our suffering and return to limitless bliss, and infinite awareness? Yes, yes we do! Do we need to talk ourselves through it? Abso-speakin’-lutely!
So, then, speak the truth. Affirm your desire. Declare your intentions. Recall your successes. Your psyche will believe you. Your body will feel you. Your Soul will thank you for the straight-up communication. Here’s how:
You’ve got an important meeting. You’re scared. You really want this to go well. Look in the mirror and tell the truth: I’m scared. I really want this to go well. I most desire to feel energized, creative, leadership and love. So far, your unconscious trusts you. You’re in integrity with yourself. This is actually helpful.
Now if you really want to get your energy up, state some beliefs: I believe in the goodness of humanity. I believe that I’ve got what it takes. I’ve got the best intentions and I’m full of creative ideas.
Keep it up. State some facts, some evidence of your greatness—recall your successes. I nailed this the last time. I won the debate competition. I gave the best wedding toast ever heard. The team raved about my last round of ideas.
There’s more where that came from. You can give a voice to what you’re doing that’s working in your life right now. I see that I am already living this in my relationship with my best friend. I am courageous with my husband. I’ve been having my most creative ideas ever this week.
If you want to keep stoking your fire, pour on the desire: I want this job. I really want to feel at ease. I desire for this pain to lift. I desire to be swept away by compassion. I intend to finish first in my league.
And then really go for it and state your intention: I am going to give this my all.
All truth. No filler. You didn’t bullshit yourself once, nor did you adopt someone else’s projection of your perfect reality.
# # #
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Same Love.

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

How might you give back and thank someone for how they brighten your day?

By Lissa Rankin
I just received a check in the mail for $9.61 from Kimya, a woman who told me that my blog post Stop Striving. You’re Already Enough inspired her and that she tithes to people who spiritually feed her and make a difference in her life. This is the third such check I’ve received from people who also share this practice of tithing to those who fan the flames of their soul. Having never heard of such a practice, it inspired me to invite you all to do the same.
If I were to start such a practice right now, I’d owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to the people who have inspired me along the way – Rachel Naomi Remen , Martha Beck, Louise Hay, Bernie Siegel, Brene Brown, Marianne Williamson, Kris Carr, Wayne Dyer, Richard Bach, Anne Lamott, Christine Northrup, Chris Guillebeau, Elizabeth Gilbert, Eckhardt Tolle, Byron Katie, Sheila Kelley, Martin Seligman, Judith Orloff, Jonathan Fields, Mama Gena, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Larry Dossey, Sera Beak, Danielle LaPorte, Neale Donald Walsch, and countless, countless others.
I’d have to drain my bank account to even begin to express the immensity of my gratitude for how deeply these people and many others have touched my life.
But what if, instead of going backwards in time, I started today? What if YOU started today?
Tithing For Inspiration
Growing up in a family of three Methodist ministers, I was certainly taught to tithe – to give 10% of my earnings to the church as gratitude for all God’s blessings. But I have to admit, it always felt a bit like a racket. I never really resonated with the church, and although I know they tried to do good in the world, it wasn’t the kind of good I wanted to do.
But giving money to the people who teach me, who lift me up, who inspire me? Now I can track with that!
It has left me looking at what inspires me in a whole new way – and just the process of trying to decide who to send money to leaves me in a state of so much gratitude.
Right now, I’m reading Sera Beak’s The Red Book. And I’m going slowly through it because I’m getting SO MUCH out of it (Sera is my kinda spiritual teacher! I wrote about her work here). Because she’s contributing so much to my spiritual growth through the workshop I took with her and her book, I want to tithe to her. So I just sent her a little love letter – with $100. It feels good to me, and I hope it gives her a lift the way Kimya’s $9.61 check gave me one, and I hope it reminds her that the hard work she does getting her message out in the world isn’t in vain, that she has touched my heart and many others.
Who Would You Tithe To?
Who inspires you? Who makes your days brighter? Who might you tithe to?
It doesn’t have to be an author or blogger or teacher. It could be the janitor that always smiles and asks about your day and really means it. Or it could be the woman at Starbucks who knows exactly how you like your latte and serves it up with such devotion that your day always begins with love. Or it could be the nurse at your doctor’s office or your secretary at work or the woman who cares for your child.
How might you give back and thank someone for how they brighten your day?
I’m committing to tithing in this way. Will you join me?
Paying it forward,
PS. Bless you Kimya. You made my day :)
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Friday, December 7, 2012

When you tell the story of how you want your life to be...

"Love and appreciation are identical vibrations. Appreciation is the vibration of alignment with who-you-are. Appreciation is the absence of everything that feels bad and the presence of everything that feels good. When you focus upon what you want - ;when you tell the story of how you want your life to be - you will come closer and closer to the vicinity of appreciation, and when you reach it, it will pull you toward all things that you consider to be good in a very powerful way."
- Esther Hicks

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shine Bright Like A Diamond!

By Joey Parker
Okay listen up Lovers, YOU MATTER!
I recently heard that powerful statement by the brilliant Iyanla Vanzant, and it’s echoed within me ever sense. Each one of us matters, we have arrived on this planet for a reason and we are here to fulfill our greater purpose. It’s SO easy to get lost in our own noise, but take a step back, breathe, and remind yourself this bit of wisdom.
Embrace your story. In life we all are going to face roadblocks and sometimes even fail miserably, but this doesn’t mean you are any less than anyone around you. You are perfect as you are. The quickest way to feeling inadequate is when we begin to compare ourselves. Trust me, I am guilty of this, but it’s important to try and work to stop this. In my experience, it’s the quickest way to feeling personal failure and awakening that inner self-doubt within me.
We all have such unique talents that help this world flourish. Instead of wanting to be the next Oprah Winfrey, remind yourself you are the next YOU. No one can do it better. No matter the path you are on, what happens next lies in your hand. The fate of tomorrow is in your control. This very moment is an opportunity to steer your life in any direction you choose. As you head down this path, keep that Iyanla statement within you. When times are tough remind yourself, you matter.
Let go of picking out your imperfections; let go of this negativity that you may be exuding. The reason you are feeling this way is because you are feeling outside pressure from the world around you. Embrace your flaws and OWN the exact person you are. In fact, I truly believe when we embrace our authentic selves, we will go much further in life.
When we step into the shoes of the person we truly are and embrace our inner weirdness, we will attract the exact world we believe in. Not everyone will love the person you are and that is okay! In life I have learned you will never, ever be able to impress everyone, but I would rather be happy with who I am than mold into someone I am not. As RiRi says, Shine Bright Like A Diamond!
“Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.” ~ Andy Warhol
Love & Light,

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!


The Guest House.

The Guest Houseby Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"How did this happen? Why, why, why did this happen to me?"

"People talk about the reality of their life as if it is important. And we want you to understand, it's only the temporary indicator. Do you go to the gas station-your gas gauge is on empty-do you go to the gas station and look at your gas gauge in horror? "How did this happen? Why, why, why did this happen to me?" Do you lay your head on the steering wheel and just sob? "Oh, look what it's come to. I'm finished. I've lived all of this life, and look where I am." Or do you just fill up?"

- Esther Abraham-Hicks

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!