This week Awesome Stories brings you inspiration, understanding Muslim, secular sabbath, and the love of bees.
I’m considering winding down the Awesome Stories series. I find myself feeling both bored and conflicted writing weekly about living with passion, inspiration, and purpose, yet not living these values.
Muslim, Marine, and Muse
Mansoor Shams is a 34-year-old retired U.S. Marine who wants to help people understand the Muslim faith. For several years now, he has been traveling around the country talking to people about his faith. Mansoor wants to break the myths and stereotypes that too many of us hold about the Muslim faith. He also wants to help create more open dialog, understanding, and compassion. The prevalence of xenophobia that has come to the forefront since the 2016 US election has inspired this mission and website MuslimMarine.org. Watch this touching video of Mansoor talking to people around the country.
Pico Iyer makes a compelling case for why we need to slow down and spend time in stillness or what he calls a “secular sabbath“. There is no doubt that we are bombarded daily with information in our modern digitally wired, always available, world. Even big corporations are waking up to the benefits of taking time outs from technology. Many people (including fellow bloggers) regularly take days off from the web in an effort to slow down, relax our overstimulated nervous systems and recharge. Research shows that these digital holidays act much like meditation, and can boost our immune system, slow aging, reduce stress, and enhance concentration, creativity, and general well-being.
Photographer Robert Bengston has changed the nature and direction of his art. For many years, he was a successful photographer, creating both commercial and art photography. In 2012, Robert realized his art was all about him and his art, so he started Inspiration Campaign to use art to uplift and empower others. Robert’s vision is to combine crowd-sourced content and purchasing power to buy and place inspirational messages on traditional advertising spaces like billboards. The campaign started in San Francisco with messages like “Humankind. Be Both, Love First, and You Matter.” The Inspiration Campaign wants to focus our collective power to counter the media’s focus on negativity, consumerism, and fear. Or as I like to say, together we rise. Read this article to learn more about Robert and his inspiring ideas.
The Love of Bees
Bees are very gentle. When you hold a bunch of bees in your hand, you can feel the vibration in your heart. ~ Meredith May
Meredith May inherited her love of bees from her grandfather who was a beekeeper in the central coast of Big Sur, California. She learned not only to love these gentle insects, but the community that comes from beekeeping. Taking care of bees, Meredith feels grounded and connected to something bigger than herself. In this article, she talks fondly about her family, bees, and storytelling as ways to connect. Thank goodness for people like Meredith who help preserve the tradition of beekeeping and taking care of these amazing creatures. According to various studies, bees are responsible for pollinating about 30% of our food crops and 90% of the wild plants in the world.
May your week be full of compassion, inspiration, and connection.