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Armless Man and His Blind Best Friend Have Planted More Than 10,000 Trees in China

It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then you hear a story about people overcoming all odds to help others and it completely changes your perspective of the world.

Two Chinese men, 53-year-old Jia Wenqi and 54-year-old Jia Haixia, have been doing something amazing for the last 13 years. They have planted more than 10,000 trees around Yeli Village in northeastern China, a region which once was covered in nothing but rocks and weeds. But what is really stunning about this story is that both friends have severe physical disabilities – Haixa is completely blind and Wenqi is a double amputee with no arms. Yet, it did not prevent them from accomplishing their mission.

Haixia was born with congenital cataracts which left his left eye blind. In 2000, he lost sight in his other eye after a work accident. Wenqi had a tragic accident at the age of three years old, as a result of which he lost both of his arms.

But even despite these challenges, the pair of friends did not lose faith in the good and did not give up on their life. In 2002, when Haixia and Wenqi were struggling to secure jobs, they came up with a plan to make money on planting trees.

However, it was not only about money. The two friends wanted to revive the area around their village to create a better future for the next generations. Thus, they leased 8 acres of land near the Ye river from the local government and set to make their plan a reality.

Our tree planting may not have much substantial benefit for the present generation, but it leaves a green environment to the next one,” Haixia told The Globe and Mail. “We are physically disabled but mentally healthy. We have this big dream in our heart to leave a stretch of green to our children.

Since then, Haixia and Wenqi have planted over 10,000 trees in the area and it all became possible thanks to their dedication and, most important, teamwork. The friends have learned to overcome their disabilities by constantly helping each other.


Louise Hay - Positive Affirmations for Healing

Louise Hay's book Heal your Body was recommended to me over ten years ago by a dear friend and by now my version is about to fall apart and pages have come off. 

In it you can look up a list of medical terms for most common illnesses with short explanations for for mental causes for these physical illnesses as well as positive affirmations for how to overcome them. Every time my husband, or my mom or friends tell me about an ailment, I can't resist flipping through the pages of Louise Hay's book because deep down I believe that your body tries to communicate with you and you have to find a way to understand it. 

I think it's important to be aware of the connection between the mind and the body and because I believe that positive thinking can have a big impact on our lives I chose to put this post in Personal Development rather than in Lifestyle. And when I came across Louise Hay's website  the other day I wanted to share it with you; I thought that I would like to start some of her mediations that help you with self-love and self-love is something I want to work on more but you can find all kinds of other affirmations on her site. Here is a link

At the same time I would like to express in a very exaggerating way: Please don't think that her books and affirmations can heal all your illnesses. What I do want to say is: It's definitely good to be open for different perspectives and "new" ways of thinking when it comes to your struggles in life and little things you could change for a better, lighter, and fulfilling life. 

Lousie Hay is a well known motivational and spiritual author, who has come a long way and it's interesting to read a little bit about her background story. 

"Louise Hay was born to a poor mother who married Hay's violent stepfather. When she was about five, she was raped by a neighbor. At fifteen she dropped out of high school without a diploma, became pregnant, and on her sixteenth birthday gave up her newborn baby girl for adoption.

She moved to Chicago, where she worked in menial jobs, before moving in 1950 to New York. At this point she changed her name and began a career as a fashion model. She was successful at this, working for Bill Blass, Oleg Cassini, and Pauline Trigere. 

In 1954, she married Andrew Hay, but after fourteen years of marriage Louise was devastated when Andrew left her for another woman.

Hay said that she found the First Church of Religious Science on 48th Street, which taught the transformative power of thought. Hay revealed that here she studied the metaphysical works of authors like Florence Scovel Shinn and the Religious Science founder Ernest Holmes. 

In the early 1970's Hay became a Religious Science practitioner. In this role she led people in spoken affirmations meant to cure their illnesses. She also became popular as a workshop leader.

She studied transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his university in Fairfield, Iowa.

In 1977 or 1978 she found she had cervical cancer, and she concluded that its cause was her unwillingness to let go of resentment over her childhood abuse and rape. She refused medical treatment, and began a regimen of forgiveness, therapy, reflexology, nutrition, and occasional enemas, and claims she rid herself of the cancer. She declared that there is no doctor left who can confirm this story, but swore that it is true.

In 1976 Hay wrote a small pamphlet, which came to be called "Heal Your Body." This pamphlet was enlarged and extended into her book You Can Heal Your Life, which was published in 1984. As of February 2008, it is still on the New York Times best sellers list. 

Around the same time she began leading support groups for people living with H.I.V. or AIDS that she called Hay Rides. These grew from a few people in her living room to hundreds in a large hall in West Hollywood. Her work with AIDS patients drew fame and she was invited to appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Donahue" in the same week in March, 1988. 

You Can Heal Your Life immediately landed on the New York Times Best Sellers List. More than 35 million copies are now in print around the world in more than 30 languages and has been made into a movie. 

Louise Hay established Hay House Publishing. It is the primary publisher of books and audio books by Deepak Chopra and Doreen Virtue, as well as many books by Wayne Dyer. 

In addition to running her publishing company, Hay runs a charitable organization called Hay Foundation that was established in 1985." (

Danielle LaPorte - Day Planner

I wrote a post about this planner in the ideal-l section of my blog but I wanted to connect it with a post in personal development because I think that this planner has potential to also work on your personal growth. 

Enjoy the other post here

The black dog in my life

Millions of people have a depression. In a report from WHO (World Health Organisation) from 2015 it says that more than 350 million people are affected worldwide. 

On average about 1 in 20 people reported having an episode of depression.

Here is how WHO summarises depression:

"Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.

Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life. At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide. When mild, people can be treated without medicines but when depression is moderate or severe they may need medication and professional talking treatments."

There are so many different types of depressions, with so many different levels (mild, mediocre, severe), different versions (mothers who have postpartum depression, so called baby blues, seasonal affective disorder or bipolar disorder) that hit you in different waves and portions.  

A lot of people and societies look at depression as a weakness in a person's character, as something the person should snap out of and simply deal with.

If I had cancer, people would be more understanding with my situation and sympathetic because  cancer is considered a terrible disease. Why is it considered a terrible disease? - Because it is disease. And so is depression. It doesn't have one single cause - brain chemistry, hormones, and genetics all play an important role. 

Then again there is so much discussion going on about whether depression is an actual disease or not. I'm not a scientist or doctor. I'm not trying to argue. I want to draw attention to symptoms that are real for so many people. Symptoms that can lead you to suicidal thoughts. 

If your child or husband or girlfriend or mother had these symptoms, would it matter whether depression is a disease or not? All that would matter is that there was a health system that knows  how to deal with it beyond pharmacological treatment, a social net that was informed, understanding, and supportive, a way out of darkness and sadness and away from suicidal thoughts. 

Have a look at this article from Healthline to read a quick summary on depression. 

Here is a great animation that envisions how it is to live with depression. 

Neale Donald Walsch

I had and still have my ups and downs, sometimes within a short time span of a day or even an hour. I can feel good and safe in one moment, and scared about my future, frustrated and then sad about my life situation in the next.

It's called having a depression. It comes in different versions, portions and waves. I'll talk about that in another post

Today, I want to introduce Neale Donald Walsch to the ones, who don't know him yet. 

He is a modern day spiritual thinker and became famous with his books Conversations With God

Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue Book1
¥ 1,768
By Neale Donald Walsch

He is not an Eckhart Tolle or Byron Katie, who helped me through many mental crisis. 

I know this doesn't help to advertise the guy but there is a tiny voice in my heart that resists him as a person, probably because he and his audience look like harmless next door neighbours with clothes and hairstyles from the 80s, hiding dirty little secrets behind closed curtains. 


His video discussion about money and abundance and books Conversations With God, as well as When Everything Changes Change Everything, which I'm reading at the moment, hold a profound truth and help me change my perspective on how to deal with life. 

His messages overlap with a lot of core statements from Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie.  

If (and I know how hippie like that sounds) your heart feels ready for taking all that in, then don't miss out on the books and video I mentioned.



I'll write up my comments in the booksss section about When Everything Changes Change Everything when I'm done reading.