This week Awesome Stories brings you possibilities, connections with nature, spiritual evolution.
Anything is Possible
Jen Bricker is an amazing young woman. She was born without legs and given up for adoption. Her adoptive family gave her endless love and support to do anything she wanted. Jen was fascinated by Dominique Moceanu and gymnastics so she decided to try tumbling and went on to compete at the state level, placing 4th competing against able-bodied athletes. More amazing is that Dominique turned out to be her sister by her birth parents! Jen also played softball and volleyball, then later performed as an aerial artist with various troops on national tours. Lately, her focus has been on public speaking to inspire others to push beyond limits and fear to live fully. You can learn more about Jen’s inspiring story on her website or the video below.
Prison Moss Project
Nalini Nadkarni is a forest ecologist and researcher who loves sharing her passion for nature. Not surprising to me, she found that bringing touches of nature into prison helped the inmates reduce stress and violence, find connection and meaning. She helped start the Prison Moss Project in 2003 at the Cedar Creek Correctional Center in Littlerock, Washington in an effort to both reduce the harvesting of wild moss in the Northwest and bring touches of nature to the inmates. They were eager to try the project, leading to an avalanche of research, learning, building a greenhouse, creating a garden, and changing lives. The project led to better social connections and a sense of contributing to nature by growing mosses and many other plants. Even inmates simply shown videos of nature showed a reduction in stress, agitation, and violence. The project also thrived because Washington and other state facilities are eager to create sustainable projects that reduce their environmental footprint and sometimes save money.
I really resonate with many of the insights from this article by Joanna Macy. She found a book of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke called Book of Hours that has become a sort of touchstone for her life, offering insights and pointers for her life journey. While I haven’t integrated my Christian upbringing Buddhist studies like Joanna, I do relate to the idea of layers of truth, circling the center, but never complete. The more I study, question, and ponder, the less I know anything as certain. Joanna writes about how many of Rilke’s poems spoke to her heart and offered insights for her journey. Read her touching article called The Force of the Storm to learn more about Joanna’s fascinating journey and her beautiful insights gleaned from Rilke’s poetry.
May your week be full of inspiration, connections with nature, and spiritual evolution.