Awesome Stories 323

This week Awesome Stories brings you beauty, foster care, healing sleep,

Finding Beautybeauty, Awesome Stories

This article is a good reminder to practice looking for beauty where we are. Alanda writes about the power of beauty to transform. While having a bad day, Alanda found beauty in a red onion and it shifted her whole day. “As I peeled back the outer layer of one, the sun caught the red in the skin, it lit up like a ruby, and I gasped at the startling beauty of it. Thoughts stilled, and the red glow absorbed my being in gratitude and awe.” Now she finds little touches of beauty in her daily life that become portals to finding wonder, grace, and awe. I found similar beauty in gardens; watching a bee feed on pollen, or butterfly flit about the garden became moments of grace that transformed my mood.

Fixing Foster Care

First Place for Youth may have figured out how to fix one of the key failings of foster care; dropping services for kids who are kicked out of the system at 18 or 21. Currently, almost half of the kids who age out of foster care end up in jail within two years. The abrupt end to the care and services at a time when most youths are still learning to grow up becomes a fast track to trouble. This article highlights the problem for kids like Pamela Bolnick who can’t handle living on their own at 18. Thankfully, she eventually found First Place for Youth and is one of their many success stories. They created a support system for youth to teaches them how to support themselves. The youth are provided with an apartment and taught life skills focusing on finding a job, income appropriate housing, starting college or trade school, and healthy living.

Healing with Sleep

The evidence is overwhelming, it is irrefutable.  Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body health each and every day. ~ Matt Walker

sleep, Awesome StoriesMost of us know intuitively that sleep is important, but the latest research shows that sleep may be the most important factor in whether we age well or not. Matt Walker’s research at UC Berkeley has been at the forefront of sleep research, linking sleep deprivation to psychiatric disorders, obesity, risky behavior, post-traumatic stress disorder, learning, and memory loss in old age. Even our emotional stability is linked to getting enough sleep. In Matt’s estimation, lack of sleep is the most critical health challenge of our times. For more fascinating details (like tips on helping the body prepare for sleep), read this Daily Good article on sleeping enough to be awake. Do yourself a favor and make your sleep a priority.

Seeds of Change

Karen Washington has blossomed along with her garden projects around the Bronx in NYC. Growing up in the projects, she is no stranger to the challenges of poverty and city living. It started with a simple garden in an abandoned neighborhood lot. From that humble start, Karen has become the “queen of urban farming” in NYC by assisting dozens of neighborhoods to build community gardens, teaching workshops on farming, and promoting racial diversity in agriculture. She serves on multiple boards, met Michelle Obama, and just started a farming coop in upstate NY to supply food for area residents. Her goal is to empower, feed, and teach Black Americans about the power of growing your own food.

May we feed our body and soul with good food, sleep, beauty, and relationships. 


27 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 323

  1. Amazing story shares Brad.. and yes even the humble onion shines it beauty in the world.. Sleep is one of my major healers.. I am often lacking energy after lunch time.. and take myself off to bed for a power nap.. 😉
    I have always found the rules about foster care here in the UK hard, as those cared for through out their early years by caring foster parents face being removed into the harsher world aged 18.. We do not turn our own children out into the world until they find their feet and can support themselves.. Not all are as lucky in finding good support systems..
    A great post to highlight this Brad and the happier ending for Pamela.

    My hat is off to Karen too with her community gardening.. You knew my vote would be all smiles to this one Brad..
    Wonderful collection my friend..
    Hope you have a relaxing weekend.. Take care..
    Hugs Sue 🙂

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      • 🙂 there are many such souls as we dear Brad.. Not all on WP.. but who quietly work in love and kindness towards others.. Which is why it brings me Hope that the world despite its harshness and cruel depictions of terror, shows me three quarters of the world are plugged into good.. We just need to keep helping turn the switches on to illuminate 🙂 ❤ And oh boy once we are all switched on and AWAKE.. what a change this world will see.. Keep living in that Light dear Brad.. as I now am.. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful reminder that we can find beauty everywhere….we only have to look. As for fixing foster care….we have also had cutbacks over here through the conservative government, and it’s not good. We need to invest much more in young people…and not just money! I believe that every community should have a garden, be at a school, a town, a corporation…everything….The garden brings meaning and substance to our lives. Janet 🙂

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  3. Hey there, friend! Alas, it’s been a busy weekend and I’m a bit late getting to my favorite blogs. But, of course, I love this post. Seeds of Change is so wonderful and the foster care thing: for a long while, I’ve known about the holes in the system. Working in education, one of my big life choices was to remain child-free so I could focus on not only other kids, but also my own dreams which will hopefully, in turn, help the world and children who so badly need it. I’ve often thought about fostering an older child (they’re much harder to place and adopt), but I am waiting until I’m at a place in my life where I feel like I have adequate time and space. The cool thing is, that can happen at any age. Ah, there are so many folks here on the planet already, I have the biggest need to help the folks already here. 🙂 Thank you for this post.
    In other news…thank you for posting about Irene. I knew she had been ill, but I didn’t know her most recent developments. :/

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    • Thanks for caring about the kids, Irene, planet and so many things Cynthia. I hope to play my part too which may be simply spreading uplifting stories and helping a few friends. We each do what we can and together the journey is easier and richer. hugs and blessings, Brad


  4. All amazing stories Brad…love the power of beauty to transform…so true….the importance of sleep I have bought into for years and it does ring true. I was really fascinated by the foster care issue…as I started reading, my mind immediately went to small babies and then realized the issue was at the other end of the spectrum. I hadn’t thought about that aspect, but so true and enlightening…appreciate you sharing that…love the urban farming story…love it…love it!!

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