This week Awesome Stories brings you magic trees, mid-flight miracles, smiles, eco-heroes and love.
Last week I wrote about greening your home as a way to help create a more sustainable life. Nao Ueda takes sustainable living to a whole new level with her commitment to living gently on the planet. She lives in an urban environment, goes carless 5 days a week, works from home as an environmental advocate, collects rain water, raises chickens and more. Nao definitely lives her values, serving as an inspiring role model and eco-hero. And she’s not stopping, she has plans for solar power, wood stove, carpentry, home brewing, sewing and more! Wow!
image by Dero Sandord
Sad update. I just found out that Nao died on July 29th from self inflicted wounds. This is another powerful reminder that we never really know what others are going through. Let’s spread the kindness with smiles, listening and helping hands. You might just change a life.
Hundreds of Smiles
Simple joy. This video is simply sharing the energy of many smiles. Enjoy! 🙂
Mile High Magic
Here’s a heart warming story from fellow blogger Shauna at Luggage Lady. “I witnessed the closest thing to a miracle I have ever experienced in my 20-year flying career. I had met Victor Marx during boarding when he greeted the flight crew with his beautifully inspiring book. What I didn’t know was how swiftly this gregarious passenger would morph into Guardian Angel…As I was serving drinks during flight, a teenage boy traveling alone told me he was on the verge of having a panic attack. His skin tone appeared pallid and he was shaking profusely… His demeanor teetered on agitated terror.
Enter Victor — acclaimed public speaker, author, and survivor of an unimaginably abusive childhood — specializing in helping abused and troubled youth worldwide!! Within moments of him talking to our frazzled young traveler, a complete transformation occurred. Turns out this child was also a victim of abuse. Victor knew precisely what to say… When I checked on him later, his color had returned and his hands were steady. “I can’t believe this happened — Victor rocks,” he gushed. “I’m going to call my dad the minute we land and tell him I forgive him.”
The Psychology of Hope
Researchers have found that hope has a role in creating better health, attitude and performance. Most interesting to me is the idea that hope is a complex arrange of feelings and outlook that can be learned. Anthony Scioli, a professor of psychology at Keene State College and author of The Power of Hope, has shown that hope can be developed. Scioli created a more complex view of hope, beyond psychology, that is rooted in our essential self and spirituality. His research shows that faith is the foundation for hope, as well as strong interpersonal connections, gratitude, patience and charity. And surprisingly, hope is the best predictor of well-being.
I’ve heard of grafting trees, but this is amazing. With a growing passion for fruit trees, Sam Van Aken learned about a local orchard, filled with a treasure of rare and unique heirloom fruit varieties, that was going to be destroyed. Sam decided to preserve the orchard and began experimenting with grafting different heirloom varieties until he came up with his Tree of 40 Fruit. He considers these trees an art project in design, research and preservation. They grow 40 different kinds of stone fruits on one tree, including peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines and more! Sam has grown 16 of these magic trees so far, planted mostly in museums, community centers and private collections. I would love to have one of these trees! Imagine one tree that treated you to a rainbow of colors in the spring, followed by a variety of fruits at different times all summer long. Awesome!
Anything for Love
Some of you may know about Locks for Love, an organization that accepts donated hair and money to make wigs for children suffering hair loss for any reason. The idea is to help boost their confidence. Here is a great example of friends and family showing their love for a friend going through cancer. Watch and weep!