You know what I love most about this crazy roller coaster ride we call life? I appreciate the opportunity it gives us each and every day to do better and be better. And through challenges, heartbreaks and rock bottom moments, we pick ourselves up, keep growing and learn more in this ongoing classroom of life. We just need to be fully conscious and open our eyes and hearts to take advantage of it.

Take this week’s round-up of top posts, for example. Scroll down and you’ll discover new movements and programs changing our world, ways to become a better person, how to get clear on your fears and take control of your own destiny. Not a bad list for the beginning of the week.

Puppies Behind Bars: Helping Inmates and Veterans Alike

(Forensic Focus) – Dogs provide a wealth of physical and emotional health benefits to their owners. It’s no surprise then that they are not only helping war vets to reduce symptoms of PTSD, but also transforming the lives of the inmates who train them. This is a remarkable story about an inspiring program that identifies the powerful relationship between man and dog.

Unschooling – What’s the Real Story

(Family Mental Health) – A new parenting movement causes controversy. Take a look at what unschooling is and decide for yourself whether it’s a radical idea done right or a reaction to school bullying and competition done wrong.

Flex Your Moral Muscle: God Can Change Your Brain

(World of Psychology) – Can you change the way your brain works? It seems that you can. Exercise your brain like a muscle and you’ll become a better, more virtuous person.

Why You Fear Love and Success: Monday’s Mindful Quote with Rumi

(Mindfulness and Psychotherapy) – Why is it that when we finally get what we want we suddenly don’t want it? This post reveals the reason why love and success actually make us feel scared and upset rather than feel happy or joyful. Monday’s mindful quote may also help you to be conscious of it and learn how to embrace it.

Becoming v. Being

(360 Degrees of Mindful Living) – Read this and ponder your own destiny; to live like an anchorite, someone who is afraid of change and finds safety in “being what one has become” or to be an eremite who is open to the path of self-discovery and is “interested in just being.”