Awesome Stories 224

This week Awesome Stories brings you solar beauty, life stories, mindfulness, student-directed learning and the joy of giving.

Solar Dance

Watch this awesome time-lapse video of the sun from NASA. It’s a surreal and beautiful video compiled from 1826 days in space, 200 million photos and 2600 terabytes of data! It must be nice to have access to this kind of technology. Enjoy!

Student Directed Learning

This is a great story about a student who felt his learning was lacking, so he decided to do something about it. Sam Levin noticed many gaps in the current system, leaving students unhappy, not engaged and not mastering learning. He created an idea for student-directed learning and presented it to his high school in Massachusets. They decided to let him create a semester trial called The Independent Project in 2010. The students managed their own time and curriculum, picking their own books, topics and processes with a little guidance from advisors who met with the students for one period a day. The project continues to this day with small numbers of highly motivated students who participate for one semester each school year.

New Wealth Tools

sacred earth, Awesome StoriesI love the question David Korton starts his article on replacing money as the measure of wealth. He asks “What if we measured wealth in terms of life, and how well we serve it?” Indeed! He urges that we need a new story that acknowledges our beautiful planet and the intricate web of life that supports us and many others species. Then we might finally step into our role as stewards of this beautiful place called earth. David has a successful business background, but has come to see the imbalance in our current system that puts money and corporations at the top of the value system while reducing the earth and many species to commodities to be used to create maximum profit. We organize our life with stories. This is why he feels so strongly that we need a new story based on the sacredness of life and the planet as a living being. I agree!

Mindful Matters

Jill Suttie explores her challenges with mindfulness, balanced by lots of research showing the benefits. I like how meditation and mindfulness boost productivity which is slightly counter-intuitive. Mindfulness also boosts problem-solving and mental flexibility. Just a few minutes of mindful breathing can reduce anxiety and stress, helping to keep us centered in our busy lives. Like any skill, mindfulness and meditation require practice, but they lead to many great benefits. Maybe you and Julie can start your practice today!

The Joy of Giving

Mark and Ismini Svensson embody the joy of giving. They decided to forgo their honeymoon to travel around the US giving to others. They spent the last two years on 50 Acts of Giving Back. With funds from their wedding, they traveled around the country offering random acts of kindness in all 50 U.S states. Their adventure inspired so much support that they started a non-profit called StayUNITED. StayUNITED focuses on improving the quality of life for children and youth by focusing on education, health and wellness.

May you find the joy of giving what is yours to offer the world. Have an Awesome Week!



14 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 224

  1. This is such an uplifting post. Thank you Brad. I LOVE that NASA video. It’s incredible and fascinating to watch. The new wealth tools also makes a lot of sense and seeing the planet as living being. I feel like this precious planet needs a lot of love and nurturing at this moment in time. Blessings, Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome Lisa. I’m delighted you enjoyed the stories, and I agree about loving mother earth. Maybe if more of us would send love, as well as live more in harmony, the weather would settle down. Regardless, offering love is always a good choice! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Of COURSE I love these posts – these are my absolute favorites that you publish: just to see that there really is so much good in the world. It’s easy to focus on the bad for whatever reason, but when you highlight the positive it becomes easier to see that really, there’s so much more good than bad.
    In any case, that NASA video was so moving it gave me goosebumps. And the student-directed learning tugs at my heart. As I work with kids in this afterschool program, I want them to direct themselves in some respects: choosing what to study, choosing and creating self-interest clubs, etc. So good to see you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cynthia. I’m delighted that you enjoy the upbeat stories. I do it to both remind myself and hopefully inspire others. I love that goosebump feeling that seems to happen when it’s something really true or important for me. I bet you’re a good teacher with your caring heart.
      All the best with your new job and moving.


  3. Student directed learning makes so much sense! The first paragraph of the article really says it all – our future leaders are going to school to learn, yes. But, the even stronger underlying reason is so that they can learn how to learn. That idea is thrust upon them once they reach college, but why not expose them to that type of learning environment earlier if they are ready.

    To be honest, this is the essence of home schooling also. You are not shadowed by a teacher directing you. It is your responsibility to manage your time and meet your obligations. This is good preparation, not only for higher education, but also for daily life.

    This was an enjoyable set of stories once again Brad. Thanks for sharing and best wishes for an inspired day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you have a good handle on home schooling. As you mentioned, self-directed learning helps children learn how to deal with learning and life. Thanks for our online communication and connection. I appreciate you Dave.


  5. I loved the video of the sun, Brad. I was just struck by the courage inherent in the very notion of a sun– to be out on its own, so to speak, in the depths of space, and to blaze away so completely. Who does that!? It is a little anthropomorphic, I know. I think it was the music… 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous all — but the Svenssons stole my heart hook, line, and sinker!! What incredibly inspiring people!!!! Thanks for lifting us up yet again, Brad, even during your busy birthday week!! p.s. Cheers to YOU and another spectacular journey around the sun… 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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