The Real Alternative


Make It A Masterpiece

Poi spinning. Poi artist: Nick Woolsey

Poi spinning. Poi artist: Nick Woolsey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

Developing an authentic lifestyle–one that truly reflects what is important to you in all areas of life–is a work of art. It is your personal statement to the world. Are you creating your masterpiece with both the intention and attention a great artist gives her creation?

Reflecting on the ideas and manipulating the materials over time, the artist begins to clarify the vision and, as the piece emerges, watches, refining her ideas, adding this, discarding that, reworking, until the materials begin to match the vision. Once the realization of the dream is glimpsed, work accelerates, and joy and passion carry the piece to completion. Isn’t that much like our lives?

Few artists receive their inspiration from attempting to fulfill someone else’s idea of what the clay, paint, rock, notes, words, fabric or wood might become. Imitation in art is only the tool of the student as the techniques are learned. The truly authentic work of art must come from within the artist, through the techniques and media, into reality.

Similarly, you cannot live the dreams of your parents, the desires of your friends or the visions of another with passion and integrity.

Great artists understand that their art is their personal expression, and is, therefore, unique. The artist values the medium for its potential to express the idea. The artist works diligently with it– keeping the vision in view, making small adjustments, learning new techniques, experimenting–until the vision emerges in concrete form and becomes an extension of the artist. It is visible then to al

l who care to look. The piece bears the artist’s name and influences all who view it.

Sometimes, pieces do not please the artist and they are reworked, painted over, melted down, unraveled. These pieces have great inherent value. The artist’s vision is clarified, the materials better understood. This contributes much to the next project, the next work of art.

Sometimes, pieces become a legacy and influence many by their existence. These are the authentic works, the true expressions of the artist. These are the quality pieces, as Willa A. Foster, says, “Quality is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

You want your life to be of quality, filled with wise choices. Therefore, approach it with high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.

When creating a work of art, you must be present with it, fully engaged each moment, totally absorbed by the possibility you are actualizing and the potential you are exploring. This intense focus is required if you are not to be distracted by the myriad of seductive, and easy to justify diversions. It is a powerful process uplifting, inspiring, sometimes frustrating, satisfying, and, most of all, creative. When you are making a success of something, it s not work. It‘s a way of life.

Now, if by chance, you are thinking that viewing your life as a work of art, or a lofty contribution to the world, is impractical compared to a factual time-management, goal-oriented, bottom-line approach, please consider this. Every successful business, organization and corporation has two types of leaders, visionaries and administrators. Both are required. You need to be both visionary and administrator in your own life, to live a life of integrity, of wholeness.

After all, would you prefer your life to be a fleeting statistic, or a memorable piece of performance art?

By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

Source: Articles Directory

About the Author

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, has helped thousands to see life differently. Dr. Shaler connects people with their authentic selves, their purpose and values, and provides insights and inspiration to overcome the challenges of personal, family and business life. To learn more, visit: and join It’s free.


Attention Spiritually Sensitive People and Empaths: 9 Things You Must do to Feel Better

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Author: Mystic Twins

An empath is a highly sensitive person who can feel the emotional and physical states of people around them. This, of course, can be problematic for the individual while walking through crowds or being around people who are in a negative state of mind.

They also have the ability, if they set aside any bias or emotional attachment, to sense truth and the motives of others.

Unfortunately, there are many people who are highly empathic and don’t realize it. They struggle daily with not only their emotions, but those of everyone around them. Some attempt self-medication with alcohol or drugs, or are prescribed drugs, that compound the issue, by doctors who don’t understand the problem.

Thankfully, if you’re an empath, there are other ways to deal with it. Below are things we’ve learned, as empaths, that we must do if we want to feel good on a daily basis.

1) Diet is key. You must be careful about how you fuel your body. Sugar and junk food will affect how you feel more so than other people, so it’s best to avoid it as much as possible. Also, go easy on fruit sugar and make sure you are getting enough quality protein (not non- fermented, processed soy).

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2) Regular exercise makes everyone feel better, and it’s especially important for empaths. You don’t need to go to a gym to exercise, of course, and a crowded gym might not be the best place for you.

3) Make sure to schedule alone time to recharge; reading or walks in nature are two good ways. Regular solitude is a healing balm to the spiritually sensitive.

4) Be careful of who you allow in your inner circle. Don’t try to save toxic people.

5) Meditate daily to clear your mind and calm your energy. There are many ways to meditate. For beginners, we recommend just sitting quietly with your eyes closed, and focusing exclusively on your breathing, a mantra, or counting from one to 500.

6) Burn white sage or use other energy clearing and protection methods to keep your space energetically clean. We’ve written other articles about helpful psychic protection tricks. The more you use them, and the more faith and confidence you have in your ability to use them, the more effective they will be.

7) Know that you always have access to spiritual help and protection from the other side. We call upon Arch Angel Michael for clearing and protection often, and there’s no such thing as asking for too much help of him, or other helpful guides and beings of the Light, or God.

8) When you are feeling down, anxious, or otherwise negative, stop, breath, and ask yourself, “Are these feelings from me or someone else?” even if you are alone, you may be picking up other people’s thoughts or energy from many miles away. You have the option to reject outside, negative energy and the right to feel good. Stand your ground and refuse to take on the energy of others. Sometimes you just have to not care.


empathy (Photo credit: glsims99)

9) Finally, you need to be aware of the information we’ve shared previously about spirit attachment and possession, which can be more of a problem for empaths. A weakened energy state, due to various reasons such as excess drinking, drugs, or stress, can inadvertently invite toxic energy in the form of stray souls, entities, or even demonic energy, which can greatly interfere with all areas of your life.

It isn’t easy maintaining a balanced state of mind as an empath but following these tips will help you feel better. You’ll also have more energy to use your empathic ability in positive ways, such as being able to understand others’ perspectives acutely well, and offering guidance when appropriate.

Copyright © Stephen Petullo, Scott Petullo

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About the Author

Scott Petullo and Stephen Petullo help people make the most of their spirituality. The free Direct Your Destiny e-book can help you get on the right path with time-tested, invaluable spiritual tips, methods, and insights. Includes 13 Spiritual and New Age Myths and 11 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Psychic.


Proof God’s Universe Is Filled with Life Comes Closer

Kepler mission Delta II liftoff

Kepler mission Delta II liftoff (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

During Medieval times almost all Christian theologians accepted the Ptolemaic earth centered Greek view of the universe as an absolute universal truth. The Catholic Inquisition punished those who dared to voice other ideas.

I do not know why Catholic theologians believed that the rarity of life in our universe proves that God must have created life only on this planet. Perhaps they believed that if intelligent life were found to exist on other planets; it would diminish the miracle of God’s creation of Human Beings.

For me the opposite is true. That God’s universal creation is filled with life is simply the result of God’s love of living beings.

The Qur’an and the Hebrew Bible teach that the Living God created the whole universe to be conducive to the universal evolution of life. The Qur’an says, “We have not sent you but as a blessing for all the worlds.” (Al-Anbiya 107) Many commentators say “this refers to the 18.000 worlds created by Allah. Our world is one of them”. (Mir’at-e-Kainat, vol.1, p.77).

The Hebrew Bible says in the Zabur of Prophet David, King of Israel; “ Your kingdom is a kingdom of all the worlds; and Your dominion is for all generations.” (Psalms 145:13)

In January 2013, astronomers estimated that there could be at least 17 billion Earth-sized exoplanets in just our galaxy; the Milky Way. They also said that one in six stars could host an Earth-sized planet in a close orbit.

Now, two years later, proof that God’s Universe is filled with life is coming closer. NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered a star with three planets only slightly larger than Earth. The outermost planet, which is 50% larger than planet earth, orbits in the zone where surface temperatures could be moderate enough for liquid water and perhaps life to exist.

The star ranks among the top 10 nearest stars known to have transiting planets. The star is close enough for astronomers to study the planet’s atmospheres to determine if it has oxygen could possibly be conducive to multicellular life forms.

The star is a cool red M-dwarf about half the size and mass of our own sun. At a distance of 150 light years, the star ranks among the top 10 nearest stars known to have transiting planets. The star’s proximity means it’s bright enough for astronomers to study the planets’ atmospheres to determine whether they are like Earth’s atmosphere and possibly conducive to life.

For those who believe in the One God of all the inhabitable worlds, these two new scientific studies are not shocking. For unlike the Roman inquisition’s condemnation of Galileo, no Muslim or Jewish astronomer was ever condemned by a Muslim or Jewish inquisition, because Jews and Muslims never had an institution like the inquisition.

Also, because both Muslims and Jews had many philosophers who were critics of Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s science, most medieval Jewish and Muslim religious leaders did not feel they had to prevent new science from disagreeing with Greek science.

Thus, even as new discoveries always change the scientific understanding of God’s universe; the religious belief that the whole universe exalts God and reveals God’s glory remains the same.

As it is written in the Zabur of Prophet David, King of Israel; “The heavens declare the glory of God.” (Zabur of David-Psalm 19:2)

Rabbi Maller’s web site is:

Julius Wellhausen and the history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

A name on the map

The Tanakh and the Talmidim of Yeshua

Christian: if New Testament is false, why not Hebrew Bible too?

Kepler Breaks The 1,000-Planet Barrier With More Confirmed Discoveries

Three nearly Earth-size planets found orbiting nearby star

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Inside the Universal Life Church World Organization


By David Richerd

When it comes to the various denominations that have established themselves over the years, the Universalists are arguably one that is the most misunderstood. While there are some factions of the church that have been ridiculed for their quick buck mentality when it comes to being an ‘ordained minister’, there are actually many positive attributes to the church that gets overlooked. This is especially true of the Universal Life Church World Headquarters which does not follow the path of some of the other churches in the same denomination.

However, all churches have their flaws in certain regards, so it may not be surprising that some elements of a particular type of church may really stand out in the eyes of the public when the truth is that there are thousands, perhaps millions who worship in a church that offers real, direct services to its members. Churches around the world are often the butt of jokes or ridiculed for the actions of what turns out to be a small minority. Given that Christian churches in particular practice the art of turning the other cheek, it makes many of them easy targets.

The Emphasis on the Negative in the Universal Life Church

Entering the fold of the church by purchasing the rights to being a minister has become akin to a joke in many sections of the country. According to some accounts, around 35,000 people are entered into the church in this fashion. Whether that number is true or not, it remains rather a source of ridicule since there is no real age limit and many of those who have become ministers include celebrities ranging from The Beatles to Vanilla Ice to Stephen Colbert. That does not bode well for the positive aspects that an organization like the Universal Life Church World Headquarters is trying to fight through to get their message across.

The internet has now added speed to the elements of the Universalists that has brought about many negative connotations. Interestingly enough however, the beginnings of the church itself many years ago were rooted in one man’s search for fulfillment.

The Origins of the Universal Life Church

Kirby Hensley was a man who was looking for religious fulfillment in his life. Born in 1911, he grew up a Baptist, but switched to Pentecostal upon marrying his wife. Becoming a minister in the church, he still was not satisfied until he finally founded the Universal Life Church in 1959. Hensley’s vision was a place that unified the different belief systems that were dividing the world and in his home country of the US he had the freedom to develop the religion he viewed as all-encompassing.

The views of Hensley are still found today in the World Headquarters of the church, but unfortunately the very ideals that he viewed as crucial has been warped by some into a more profit-oriented venture. As with all new ideas, Hensley’s was one that garnered nearly instant appeal. Starting out of his own garage, Hensley’s vision quickly caught on an within a few years he was leading untold thousands thanks to his own convictions combined with a new approach that broke new ground in terms of organization. The appeal of the organization was that it didn’t have a uniform approach to its teachings or tried to establish a rigid structure like so many other movements had done.

Hensley’s approach was not only unique, it had wide appeal and the congregation grew considerably as a result. However, while this led to well respected organizations like the World Headquarters of the Universal Life Church, it also opened up the organization to members who did not have Hensley’s vision in mind. It’s little wonder that certain individuals would take advantage of this situation. With the advent of the 60’s counterculture, the Universal Life Church grew considerably and reached over 100,000 ministers. As the organization grew, it did spawn a number of offshoots that are still around today. However, arguably the most respectable remains the World Headquarters which is located in Boca Raton, Florida.

What Separates the Universal Life Church World Headquarters from the Rest?

The truth about the Universal Life Church World Headquarters is that the name is similar, but actually goes back well before Hensley founded his version of the church. In addition, while the church does welcome people of all religious backgrounds, it is exclusively Christian and preaches the Bible and its teachings. However, it does ordain ministers over the internet, but the functioning of the church itself is different.

While there are certain similarities, they are only on the surface as the World Headquarters has managed to use some of the best elements of the Universal Life Church movement and incorporate that into their outreach. With the focus being on the positive and working towards saving souls around the world, their efforts in using the internet to reach out has garnered them a considerable following. Add to this the focus on Christian teachings and the church has a much stronger appeal that works toward saving souls while still embodying the principles that make this church so appealing.

In the end, while there may not be a total escape from the reputation that other churches in the Universal movement have made to scar their efforts, the truth is that the Universal Life Church World Headquarters has managed to garner a reputation that has extended well beyond the antics of churches with similar names and has provided many people with a real choice that is steeped in what the best of the Christian religion has to offer.

While by no means perfect, it does need to be pointed out that they have created a reputation based on their works that needs to be separated from the rest. Just like the troubles that other organizations such as the Catholics, Baptists and other Christian Churches who do not want their name associated with groups that have done more harm than good, so it goes for the Universal Life Church World Organization.

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Find the most popular top rated universal life church online. is best universal life church World Organization.


“Interfaith Space” at University of Nevada will open in January 2016

English: The Fleischmann Atmospherium Planetar...

The Fleischmann Atmospherium Planetarium, located on the University of Nevada Reno campus in Reno, Nevada. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Special to

“Interfaith Space” in the $44 million William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR), currently under construction, would open in January 2016; UNR President Dr. Marc A. Johnson told Rajan Zed today.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and who met Johnson in his office, has commended UNR for accepting the longstanding need of students of interfaith space for reflection, meditation, etc., and thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. It is a step in the right direction, Zed adds.

Johnson told Zed that this Space would be open to all campus student groups belonging to various religions/denominations and non-believers for reflection and meditation. This room would include various cabinets where each group could keep their required icons and articles locked to be brought out when needed.

President Johnson also informed Zed that initially the Interfaith Space would be open from eight am to nine pm daily, with the possibility of opening it for 24-hours seeing the need and feasibility. It would be a quiet place for all students to use free-of-charge, he added.

Zed stresses that with the presence of Interfaith Space, UNR students will have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success after they graduate from here. Interfaith Space will be another feather in UNR’s cap in making it a world class educational institution, Zed points out.

Johnson further told Zed that 70,600 square feet Student Achievement Center, besides Interfaith Space, would also include Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Career Studio, Advising Center, Student Veterans Center, Disability Resource Center, Counseling Services, etc.

This building “will help our students to become great scholars” … will also offer support areas “for students to continue learning outside of the standard classroom environment”, a UNR brochure indicates.

Many universities in USA and Canada already have prayer/meditation room for quiet reflection and spiritual exercise.

UNR, founded in 1874 and which has about 20,000 students, is known for helping to create the world’s most accurate atomic clock, earthquake expertise, highly ranked MBA program, several Pulitzer Prize winners and for “study of the behavior of matter at extremely high temperatures and densities.”  About half-a-dozen Hollywood films were shot here and it is home to one of the largest earthquake-simulation labs.


Storytelling affects human biology, beliefs and behavior, say DARPA researchers

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By Steve Hammons (originally posted 12/13/2014 at Transcendent TV & Media)

Read any good books lately? How about a compelling TV drama or movie? We all like a good story, and good stories can affect us in significant ways.

As a result, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been researching how storytelling affects you, me and other people around the world.

Throughout human history we have been telling and listening to stories. Ancient humans sat around the nighttime campfire and shared tales with the clan and tribe. Oral histories were passed on to the next generations, often in story form. And, of course, human societies and cultures used the written word to tell their stories.

Based on this, researchers at DARPA indicate that we may be somewhat hard-wired to respond to such narrative stories. A DARPA project called “Narrative Networks” explores the neurobiology of listening to stories and how attitudes and behaviors can change as a result.

A story may cause us to look at something in a new way and change our views about people, life and the world around us. Storytelling can change our behavior, for the better or worse. The human tradition of storytelling has significantly influenced individuals, groups and societies, according to DARPA researchers.


On the DARPA website, the Narrative Networks research page says, “DARPA launched the Narrative Networks program to understand how narratives influence human cognition and behavior, and apply those findings in international security contexts.”

The DARPA Narrative Networks webpage asks, “Why do people accept and act on certain kinds of information while dismissing others?” Answers to this and other questions “have strategic implications for defense missions,” the DARPA statement claims.

An article on the Live Science website about the project referenced DARPA language during the start-up of the program: “Narratives exert a powerful influence on human thoughts and behavior. They consolidate memory, shape emotions, cue heuristics and biases in judgment, influence in-group/out-group distinctions, and may affect the fundamental contents of personal identity.”

The Live Science article also noted, “Despite the functional goal, the early parts of this program seem more like a literature class at a liberal arts school than a secretive military operation.”

Wired also covered the program and reported in an article, “Another reason the Pentagon would want to spend time upping its sensitivity quotient is because of an ongoing effort on its part to understand the ‘human terrain’ of the battlefields in which they fight.”

An Information Week article on the program noted, “The agency [DARPA] said that because of these influences, narratives play an important role in the context of security during military and intelligence engagements.”

In addition, DARPA researchers say that understanding how storytelling affects human neurobiology may lead to insights about helping people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Storytelling has also been put forth by marketing people as a method in advertising, brand identity and customer/consumer acquisition and loyalty.

An article in today’s New York Times said, “It’s been called a strategic tool with ‘irresistible power’ by Harvard Business Review and ‘the major business lesson of 2014’ by Entrepreneur magazine. What exciting new 21st-century technology is this? The age-old art of storytelling – something humans have done since they could first communicate.”

“Learning – or relearning – how to tell stories requires some skill. And consultants are lining up to teach it – sometimes for a hefty fee,” the Times article stated.

The DARPA project on storytelling is part of a much larger recognition that stories seem to affect people on deep levels that we may not fully understand. There are indications that human neurobiology and neurochemistry may play a role. Chemicals in our brains and bodies may be released when we are exposed to a story that resonates.

Today, stories are told via many kinds of open-source media platforms and devices. TV, movies, digital, print and other media all serve as types of open-source intelligence for people around the world.

And there are many kinds of stories to hear.

Which ones click? What stories use “positive psychology” and resonate as truthful and meaningful, while others are recognized as false and manipulative? What storytelling lifts us up, or brings out the worst in us. What narratives take us to a better world, or to “the dark side?”

The DARPA study may find some answers.

For more information: DARPA Narrative Networks webpage

About the Author

Steve Hammons is the author of two novels about a U.S. Government and military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena. MISSION INTO LIGHT and the sequel LIGHT’S HAND introduce readers to the ten women and men of the “Joint Reconnaissance Study Group” and their exciting adventures exploring the unknown.

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Paranormal Phenomena – Telepathy

English: Example of a subject in a Ganzfeld ex...

A subject in a Ganzfeld experiment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The holiday season is in full swing, and I’ve been busier than usual. So I thought I’d post a link to a recent volunteer Q&A I did at

The questioner is asking about telepathy. I thought he or she was quite insightful by trying to probe some possible underlying dynamics.

I can’t reproduce the full Q&A here for copyright reasons. But I am able to link to the page.



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