11/11/11: A Gift of One

Today is the much anticipated 11/11/11.  Some believe that a powerful event will occur.  Others believe it is an extra special day for the spirit world to interact with humans.  Some believe it is a day for prayer.  And for others, it is a day containing a bunch of ones – 11/11/11, 11:11 am, 11:11 pm.

Over the past few years, the number “eleven/eleven” has become a daily reminder that I am deeply loved and cared for.  I am grateful for this symbolic reminder each time I see it (which, I must tell you, is quite often!).  The other day, however I noticed that these numbers are more than just a series of “elevens”.  What I saw was a series of  “ONEs”.  (No coincidence that in the past year I have been discovering and experiencing the magic and the power of this (new-to-me) reality that All-Is-One and that Love is One.)

Pondering this new view of 11/11/11 I recalled the following:

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One (from Deut. 6:4 and the great Jewish prayer, Shema Yisrael)

Albert Einstein’s insatiable quest – his “Unification” Theory of the universe that somehow everything is connected (now called “The String Theory”)

Quantum Physics now shows us that everything is connected- there is no separation

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word so that they may all be One, as you are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us…”  – Jesus’ prayer (John 17:20,21)

The gift of ONE.  (More than togetherness and more than just not being alone.)

Being that today is a day filled with “Ones”, I thought it a  perfect time to invite you to spend just One minute (or 11 minutes :)) with me experiencing and spreading the gift of Love, the gift of One.

Here’s what we’ll do:

Take a few, slow deep breaths.  Just relax and close your eyes.  Focus on your breathing so you can quiet your mind chatter for a few minutes.  Imagine that you and I are holding hands.  Feel the energy between us.  Breathe into it.  Now, invite friends and family you would like to join us.  Holding hands, we have now formed a circle.  In this moment, we are One.  Send Love around the circle of these people you dearly love.  Feel it flow from your hand to theirs.  Feel the Love travel around the circle.  Feel the warmth and well-being of it.  Experience the Oneness.

When ready, invite everyone in the circle to send this Love beyond the circle.  Intentionally send this warmth and Oneness outward.  Allow it to expand even more.  See it dance and envelop acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, strangers, enemies, animals, water, earth, sky and beyond. Remain with it as it continues to expand. Feel it.  Revel in it.   When complete, turn once again to your circle and thank all who have joined you.  Remind each other that “there is more where that came from” and agree to meet often to continue this new gathering of experiencing Love.

THANK YOU!

The gift of 11/11/11 is the gift of receiving, flowing and expanding Love.

It is indeed a day of “One”.

Joan Kappes

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What Is Prayer….Really?

Everyone is familiar with the word “prayer”.

“I’ll pray for you”

“Keep me in your prayers”

“Pray for ………”

We all know the word, yet have we experienced its unending and surprising gifts?   Today we are taking a personal look at prayer…..  (Hang on, this is not your traditional “What is Prayer” sermon!)

While in India, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) reflected upon the idea of prayer. This got me thinking.  I asked several friends to contemplate this simple, yet profound question.  Upon completion, new gifts were unfolded for each of us! I’d like to share with you what we received.

Today’s “leaping” exercise- Part 1:  Before continuing, I invite each of you to spend 15 minutes or so, pondering and writing your thoughts on “What is Prayer”?  Writing your valid and insightful thoughts prior to reading others experiences will gift you with seeing your own unique definition.  By clarifying your thoughts at the beginning, you will be able to clearly bring your wisdom and experience to the conversation.  (This is what each of the contributors did and we found it extremely rewarding!)

What is Prayer – Julie Gledhill

When I was younger my idea of prayer was that of a one sided conversation. A wish list given to an all powerful creator who would decide whether or not to grant those requests whether they be for a new item, the health of a loved one, spiritual understanding or world peace !!  As I have awakened to my own power as a co-creator my view of prayer has changed. I now see prayer as a two way communion, as a way of connecting with the spark of the creator in myself. I know that to connect with this part of me it is best to be in alignment with the energy of that divine spark; that is to be in a space of peace, love, joy, freedom, expansion… a space where inspiration can be felt and insights received. I understand that I play a part in the process of bringing forth those things I am asking for… and that to bring those forth I cannot come from a place of disempowerment and lack (which is where some types prayer are focused), but need to have faith/belief and gratitude for all that I have already co-created. So I believe prayer goes by many names. Meditation, contemplation, visualization just to name a few. All are ways of communing with the Creator who is a part of each and every one of us.

 

What is Prayer – Randall Krause

A silent cry of the heart.  An urgent yearning to feel and connect with the Source of life, of healing, of love.  Whispered wishes into the hoped-for ear of Unknowable Mystery.  When all else fails, a hopeful reaching out, beyond my smallness.  Surrender to what is far greater than me.  Trust; ultimate trust.    My heart’s sweet song for her long-lost Home.

 

What is Prayer – Janet Nestor

I believe we are all one – that you and I are one with each other, and one with our God.  In my life,  prayer is an ongoing dialogue, an exchange, a conversation.  Within my prayer conversations I ask questions, listen for answers, make comments, give gratitude, enjoy the spiritual experience of divine love and the feeling of being enfolded in its embrace, ask for guidance, receive insight, ask what is needed from me and listen for the reply.  The contact is instant.  The conversation loving, inspiring, and often very funny.  I can laugh, cry, and express myself just like I would with any trusted family member or friend.  It seems to me that prayer is meant to be ongoing and as natural as talking and breathing.  The God of Creation would never allow you or me to be born into this hectic, sometimes violent world, without the “internal wiring” to Phone Home.  For me, prayer feels like a phone call home.  Prayer is an act of trust and love between a human soul, God and those spiritual beings appointed to love, teach and guide you and me throughout our lifetime.  Just as I believe that prayer is as natural as breathing, I believe that the spiritual acts and interventions that we call miracles are examples of what is possible when we are fully connected and trusting in Spirit.  Miracles happen when we let go and let God.  The necessary state of mind needed for a miracle often comes about during loving, quiet,  prayerful moments.  In those loving, quiet moments there are no limitations and miracles are possible.

 

What is Prayer – Kathleen Rossi

God is no further than our hearts. Gratitude is a silent prayer of Thanks. We are in a constant state of prayer when we are grateful, happy, kind and loving. Words are used in directing this state of being. Words are used to propel the power of our hearts into a specific direction or to a specific person. Words however are not necessary but being in a state of loving intent and being grateful that our intentions will manifest, is critical.
Read Kathleen’s beautiful reflection in its entirety – Click Here

 

What is Prayer – Wren Myers

….Let’s see. So far, prayer is, for me at least, a specific last ditch request for help in response to a perceived problem. So, it’s like the genie coming out of the bottle to grant me wishes, but only if I’m on the edge of the cliff or facing some other deadly peril. If I’m backed far enough into a corner that regular human responses haven’t worked, I go to the superhuman approach. And, of course, the problem has a full head of steam by then and there s no longer the easy fix.  No real surprise that I feel as if I’ve had no great response from my prayers, is it?  Perhaps it would be better if I changed my approach. Maybe I can make prayer as constant as my breathing, as something to apply to all aspects of my life, as a reflection of thanks for the things already done and received. Perhaps I could live from the result of my prayers before I even ask. Perhaps I could be like those who seem to live in a state of wonder all the time.  Sounds like a great plan.  So why haven’t I?…..

Read Wren’s honest and inspiring reflection in its entirety – Click Here (you’ll want to read the conclusion!)

 

What is Prayer” – Joan Kappes

Prayer, for me has been an evolving gift. My prayer experience originated from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances (I Thess 5:16-18) These 3 have resonated with me for decades.  When I was young, I was puzzled by “pray constantly” – how do you do that?  Clearly, one cannot recite prayers 24/7!  As I grew, I realized that this kind of prayer goes far beyond words.  My prayer has become a relationship with the Divine.  It is breathing with All-That-Is.  It is communing from the heart.  What I’ve also come to powerfully know is that God is Love.  Prayer, for me is now the receiving of this Love.   Prayer is creating a space to receive Love.  My prayer has become 24/7 and takes many forms.  Traditional worship, words, no words, music, nature, movement, stillness, silence, noise, being in relationship with another, working on a project, meditation, church, no church.  My life has become the prayer…

There is much wisdom in this reflection!  Today’s “leaping” exercise” – Part 2: Spend “prayer time” each day reading and re-reading this post.  See what new gifts unfold for you.  Then, please gift all of us by sharing  your experiences of prayer. Use the comment section below.

Special “Thanks” to Elizabeth Gilbert, Julie Gledhill, Janet Nestor, Randall Krause, Kathleen Rossi, Wren Myers and YOU for Coming to “The Edge” Today!

Prayer – it’s unique.  It’s a gift for all – Joan Kappes

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook and Twitter, etc! Let’s “soar’ together!

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If Habits Are Just Thoughts, Then………..

Habits – they’re everywhere!  Good habits, bad habits, habits we want to change, habits we want to create.  They are extremely useful, yet are we aware of them?  Do they serve us or do we serve them?

Let’s take a deeper look at habits from a “Come to the Edge Today” point of view.

There are two types of habits – action habits and thought habits.

Have you experienced this?  It’s early morning.  Your toiletries are scattered on the counter.  You remove the top of the deodorant container, raise your arm only to discover you have already put it on, totally unaware of having completed the task just a few seconds earlier.  (I do this frequently, by the way!)  A habit of action.

How about this?  You begin driving and “wake up” to discover you have arrived at your destination, literally driven there by habit – unaware of the details of the drive.  A habit of action.

Have you listened to your mind chatter?  Example:  The mind talk that goes on when you look at yourself in the mirror?  “OMG.  Ugly.  Old.  Fat.  What’s wrong with me?  I should be thinner….. (on and on and on…)”.  A habit of thought.

Another example:  “My family does not approve of me or my life choices.  I can do nothing right in their eyes.  It must be me.  I must change for them to earn their love.”  A habit of thought.

Both action and thought habits are tools.  Our life can be richer because of them. Because action habits originate from thought, we will focus the remainder of our time together upon thought habits.

Thought habits are nothing more than repeated, practiced thoughts.  (Any thought can be practiced into a habit; they can come from anywhere and do not have to show proof of legitimacy.)  A thought habit is only a thought that is thought and thought and thought until we become so familiar with it that we think it is “true”.  It becomes “a given”.  When we forget this and think we are bound by it, the habit now controls us.  It is what keeps us “stuck”.  Not only do we unknowingly think they are “true”, we often think these thoughts are who we really are!

Examples:

  1. The habit of seeing yourself as unworthy.  This is only a habit of thought!
  2. The habit of seeing yourself as lacking in money.  A habit of thought.  (And, since you get what you think about, guess what is showing up?)
  3. The habit of seeing others as being judgmental with you.  This habit shows itself to you as people always seeming to judge you.
  4. The habit of playing the victim or martyr in relationships. This too, is a habit of thought!

WOW!  If thought habits are nothing more than repeated, practiced thoughts, then the above examples can be changed to:

  1. The habit of seeing yourself as loved and worthy!  A new habit of thought!
  2. The habit of seeing yourself as abundant in all areas of your life (remember, you get what you think about! $)
  3. The habit of allowing others to hold their opinion of you.  Because you have developed the habit of believing you are worthwhile, it doesn’t matter what they think.  You become free of their opinion – favorable or not!
  4. The habit of believing you are loveable and respected and worthy of love in return (no more need for martyrdom)

Today’s “leaping” exercise:   How are habits changed?  Not by breaking them.  Breaking a habit only focuses more attention upon what is unwanted.  Deliberate, new habits are created.  This happens beautifully and powerfully by:

  1. Becoming aware of your thoughts!  Keeping a notebook of what you are observing is very helpful.
  2. Clearly deciding what you want your new habit to be (Be specific. Name it.  See it.  Feel it.)
  3. Committing to change.  Commit to your new creation.  This means committing to observing habits of thought, creating  new ones through focus and using diversion techniques** (see below) to mold thought. This means committing to it every hour, every day.
  4. Focusing solely on the new habit!!  By focusing only on what is wanted, the old habit will quickly lose its steam and soon the new thought will become a habit that serves you!
  5. Using your imagination and creativity.  Have fun developing and expanding this new idea!   Allow yourself to imagine becoming the “new you”!
  6. Persistence, persistence, persistence!  The current thought habit did not come overnight and the new one will take a little time.  Like getting in strong, physical shape, it comes with persistence and time.
  7. Being patient and enjoying the process!  Remember that living life is about enjoying the journey!

**The diversion technique:  Diversion is a fabulous tool for creating a new habit.  Have you observed a clever parent remove an unsafe toy from a toddler?  They do not yank it away, they use diversion: “Here, honey, look at this new toy – isn’t it wonderful?”   The same tool can be used by us.  Focus on the new thought and its advantages, not on the old one that is no longer serving you: “Here mind-of-mine, let’s play with this new thought!  Let’s just experiment with it, ok?” (If it works for a 2 year old, it can work for our clever little egoic minds that always want to stay busy.)  Works like a charm once you play with it a little!

Life at “Come to the Edge Today” is filled with deliberate, life-giving and freeing habits, and the beauty of it – YOU get to choose!  – Joan Kappes

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

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How to Experience Joy- Everyday!

Don’t you just love moments when you experience pure joy and aliveness?

Recall a moment when you felt totally at peace and alive. Remember the feeling of it?  The joy and Oneness of the moment permeated your whole being!  You felt (and were) totally alive!  This feeling – this reality, is what we strive to experience everyday.

Living our days with the intention of experiencing joy is a powerful way to live.  It is a top priority here at “Come to the Edge Today” because it is where “the good stuff” lives!  It opens doors that struggle and worry can never open.

For me, music is the quickest, most effective way to open the “joyful pathway”.  It changes the lens through which we view the world and leads us to a new, higher vantage point.

  • “There’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.” – Mickey Hart
  • “Music is well said to be the speech of angels.” – Thomas Carlyle
  • “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

I offer these songs (below)  as a portal.  A portal for experiencing the joy of your life!

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Listen to the following music with the intention of connecting with your joy (or use one of your favorite joy-filled songs).   Before playing, bring to mind something that gives you joy – something you greatly appreciate.  Keep this in the back of your mind as you experience the tunes.  Allow yourself to “get into it” – sing, dance, move your feet – whatever moves you to experience more joy!  Repeat daily.  Why?  Because one joyful experience leads to another.  (Thirty days from now your “joyful pathway” will be beautifully expanded and will lead to experiencing even more joy!)

_______________________________________

Michael Buble – ‘Feelin’ Good’

 


Shania Twain -‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’

________________________________________
Lovin the joy-filled path at “The Edge” –Joan Kappes

dreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

Photos courtesy of TinyPic   Videos – You Tube

 

 

Listen. Trust. Act. – A Heart’s Invitation

“Ask yourself, “What is the dream of my heart?”  Listen to your answer, then trust and act.”

When was the last time you asked yourself what you REALLY want to experience in this lifetime?  When was the last time you had a real conversation with your heart/soul?  When was the last time you listened?  When was the last time you acted?

For years, my friend Mary has dreamt of being a nurse’s aid.  Each year, she briefly opened her heart’s door allowing this passion to peak its head out.  With room to soar, this dream would blanket her with unmistakable warmth and energy; Mary reveled in its hope and possibility!  Soon however, excuses, logic and fear would once again stuff the dream back into her heart.  These dreams, belonging only to her, would patiently wait for another opportunity to be heard and trusted. Finally, after 15 years, she allowed her dream to fly free, once and for all!  As a result, the timing, logistics and yes, even the money were manifested perfectly.   She exclaimed “Now I have a reason to get out of bed in the morning!”

We know our passions exist, don’t we?   We also know where they live.  They patiently wait for us to  open our heart’s door.  When we dare to listen, trust and act, we will be on a new pathway – one that will make us jump out of bed!

So, take time to listen.  Dare to allow your dream to be put into words.  Write it on paper!  Trust that you are guided.  Trust that you are worth experiencing this passion that can only be yours.  Know that you will be guided to act.

The first move is yours.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Allow yourself 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted time.

Breathe deeply for 3-5 minutes, allowing your mind to be quieted.  (This exercise is going to come from your heart center, not your mind.)   If it helps, play soft, gentle music.

Either in your journal or at the computer, ask yourself the following questions:

What do I REALLY want to experience in this lifetime?

What is my passion?  (What can I do 24/7 with energy to spare?)

What are my lifelong dreams?

Write these questions on paper or computer, then stop and listen.  Listen with your eyes closed.  Literally focus your attention on your physical heart area.  Breathe.  Listen.  Breathe.  Listen.  Breathe.  Listen.  This may take a little time; know that the answers are already present. When you feel prompted, begin writing the answers.  Continue to listen to the answers rising from within.  Acknowledge them.  Allow them to become real to you.  Focus only on the answers.  (If any logic, excuses or mind chatter creep in, notice they are there and lead your thoughts gently back to the answers on the page).

Then, write the following:  “Thank you, dear Heart and Source-of-All for helping me acknowledge my dreams and passions.  Thank you that you have patiently waited for me to open the door.  From today onward, I allow this dream to fly and to become a reality in my life.  I allow You the freedom to create the circumstances, people and events to manifest this into my life.  I trust You.  I trust Me.  I will act when inspired to act.  Thank You for creating this dream with me.”  Read this daily for at least 30 days.

This is life at “Come to the Edge Today” – experiencing the bliss of finally listening to our sweet, inner voice of wisdom, surrendering to it, trusting it, acting upon it –

Joan Kappes

dreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

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What is YOUR Word?

Today’s “leaping” exercise is a word game.  It’s interesting, insightful and unique – so play with me, ok?

I discovered this exercise while reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert – a wonderful book about a woman taking her leap, answering the invitation to “Come to the Edge”.

Elizabeth is living her lifelong dream –adventuring in Italy, India and Bali.  As the scene opens, she is engaged in a conversation with her Italian friend, Giulio:  “Giulio asked me what I thought of Rome.  I told him I really loved the place, of course, but somehow knew it was not my city, not where I’d end up living for the rest of my life.  There was something about Rome that didn’t belong to me, and I couldn’t quite figure out what it was…”  “Giulio said, ‘Maybe you and Rome just have different words.’  “What do you mean?”  Then he went on to explain, that every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there…”  “Giulio asked, ‘What’s the word in New York City?’  I thought about this for a moment, then decided.  “It’s a verb, of course.  I think it’s ACHIEVE.  (Which is subtly but significantly different from the word in LA which is also a verb:  SUCCEED.  ….”  Giuli asked, ‘What’s your word?’  “Now that, I definitely could not answer.  It’s not MARRIAGE, that’s evident.  It’s not DEPRESSION anymore, thank heavens.  My word might be SEEK.  Over the last months in Italy, my word has largely been PLEASURE, but that word doesn’t match every single part of me.  In India, my word might be DEVOTION.  I don’t know the answer, and I suppose that’s what this year of journeying is about.  Finding my word.”

What a great question!

What is my word?  It’s amazingly revealing to consider what “my word” is currently and what it has been in the past.    It once was MULTITASK.  I was defined by it.  It was helpful and I did enjoy it for a time.  A few years ago, my word became SEEK.  My current word embodies my year long journey at “The Edge”.  My word is a verb: FLY.

The beauty of this game …there are no rules and no judgments to be made.  Ask yourself:  “What is my word?”  (A notebook is helpful at this point.)  Listen for the immediate response.  Your Heart will reveal the word, if not immediately, then soon.  Allow yourself to sit with the word.  How does it feel?  How has its path shaped you?  Reflect on some of your words from years past.  (All of us will have many words in our lifetime!)  Enjoy reminiscing on how and when the word changed and how you have grown from it.  Are you enjoying your current word’s path? Notice it.  Feel it.  Know that you can, if you choose, change your word and its path.

Isn’t this wonderful?  Thanks Elizabeth Gilbert for sharing the three words from your experience at “The Edge”:  Eat.  Pray.  Love.

And thanks to you for sharing your word with all of us (see comment section below)!Joan Kappes

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

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Thanks For Being In My Circle

This month is my one year anniversary of “Come to the Edge Today“! THANK YOU  for  sharing this amazing journey with me!   In honor of all of you fellow “leapers”, I’d like to share with you a favorite poem (author unknown):

THE PEOPLE IN MY CIRCLE

 When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend.

Then I became a woman and found that if you allow your

heart to open up, God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you’re going through things with your man.

Another friend is needed when you’re going through things with your mom.

Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and

their activities. Another, when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or

just be. One friend will say, ‘Let’s cry together,’ another , ‘Let’s fight together,’  

another, ‘Let’s walk away together.’

One friend will meet your spiritual need, another your shoe fetish, another your

love for movies, another will be with you in your season

of confusion, another will

be your clarifier, another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life, on whatever the

occasion, on whatever the day, or wherever you need them to meet you with their

gym shoes on and hair pulled back, or to hold you back from making a complete

fool of yourself…Those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one person, but for many, it’s wrapped up

in several.. One from 7th grade, one from high school,

several from the college years, a couple from old jobs. On

some days your spouse, mother or father, on some days

your neighbor, on others, your sisters or brothers, and on

some days, your daughters or sons.

(And, for me, some days it is you, dear readers, journeying together at “Come to

the Edge Today.)

Thanks for being in my circle.

With Gratitude – Joan Kappes

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated, inspirational posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”).  Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc!  Let’s “soar’ together!