Monthly Archives: November 2014
The history of Thanksgiving finds itself in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast. This is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. The two centuries that followed this experience marked the days of Thanksgiving with celebrations by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until the Civil War in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November from here on out.
Psychology of Thanksgiving
Psychological research has found that our happiness ‘set-point’ is remarkably difficult to move over the long-term. Recent research has begun to explore one simple method for increasing this happiness ‘set-point’ that does have a measurable and sustained effect. This method is practicing being grateful. A large aspect of being grateful is understanding the impermanence of everything and the powerful effect of being present. These two concepts work together to uncover the complacency we often find ourselves in.
How does one actually practice gratitude in a way that is not mechanical but rather in way that invokes deep feeling? This is the difference between doing something out of routine rather than being in the moment. Less is more when we do things from a place of deep feeling. Here are 5 exercises for the mind:
- Write down 5 things you are grateful for
- Choose someone you know, then consider what you have received from them and what you have given to them
- Reflect on yourself and how much you give and how much you allow yourself to receive in your daily life
- Remember a negative event or circumstance in your life and explore what it could teach you, acknowledge it and see if you can be grateful for that hard lesson
- Do an action based on what is necessary even if you don’t want to do it, then see if you can be grateful for choosing to do the right thing needed at the moment
As you practice, notice any shifts inside you and use this filter of gratitude as a mindful experiment. Use this day (and days to come) to share your gratitude with other people and acknowledge for yourself how much you have to be thankful for even if at first glance this may not seem to be the case.
The award-winning film about the high environmental costs of dams that outweigh their value, and the restless beauty of wild, restored rivers.
Watch it, rate it, share it.
On the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society promotes the Great American Smokeout. This day, which this year falls on November 20th, is intended to encourage smokers to focus on their health and make a plan to quit smoking. Tobacco use greatly increases a person’s risk for lung cancer, as well as deteriorates his/her overall health. Because of tobacco’s addictive qualities, quitting smoking can be very difficult, and often results in relapse. However, the American Cancer Society offers valuable tool, resources and support to help an individual quit successfully. These resources can be found here.
Quitting smoking reduces one’s risk for coronary disease, stroke, prevents aging, as well as cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus. With the advantages of ceasing smoking, the American Cancer Society would like to encourage you, a family member, a friend to take tomorrow to participate in the smoke out and utilize the day to focus on bettering your health, one day at a time.
Waves of Kindness is a global initiative that was created in 1988 to help bring focus and awareness on kind acts despite the daily bustle of work, family, money, health and other stressors. November 13 of every year is a day where people are asked to slow down and focus on acts of kindness that come from a place of love and humanity. Asking people to slow down can be a daunting task as we live in a world that is fast paced and time focused, filled with to do lists, schedules and planners. Even relaxation has to be scheduled in just so that we can regroup and refocus on taking care of ourselves.
The goal of today is to partake in a kind act, which will then lead the next person to participate and so on, so that kindness, love and respect can reach each and every person around the world. If you would like to learn more about creating waves of kindness, please click on the link here. Information on how this project got started, how you can participate, as well as upcoming events are all listed on the website. Let’s take time to slow down on our busy day and focus on one kind act that we can pass onto others.
Most people associate the word “yoga” with words like “stretch,” “relax,” “breathe,” and “calm.” People across the globe have been practicing yoga for centuries, and here in America, we are finally catching up. This ancient practice is now being observed and studied, and researchers are finding that yoga really does, in fact, help people calm down. Not only that, but it can uplift people out of a bad mood!
If you have been feeling anxious or depressed, or are simply interested in learning more about how yoga can be used to improve mental and emotional well-being, you may want to attend the Yoga for Anxiety and Depression Workshop at The Long Island Center for Yoga in Babylon. The studio will hold the workshop tomorrow, November 13, from 7:45 – 9:15 pm. The cost is just $20, and what you’ll learn may benefit you for the rest of your life.
Although meditation has been popular in certain cultures for thousands of years, it seems as if it is only just starting to be recognized as a useful practice here in the United States. Many people here are now turning to meditation as a way to deal with anxiety, depression, and just the stress of their daily schedules.
For some, finding time for meditation seems impossible. When can we all squeeze THAT in, with everything else we have to do? No matter how you look at it, there will always only be 24 hours in the day. But to help us manage our time better, there are plenty of meditation Apps available. The Apps can be set like a timer. All you have to do is choose the amount of time you want to meditate for and start the App. No need to check your watch to make sure you aren’t running late – the App has you covered! It will ring after the amount of time you set it for. On top of that, many of these Apps come with alerts to remind you when it’s time for your meditation practice, ensuring that you never forget to take some time to nourish your mind!!!
Visit the App store and download the Meditation App that suits you.
Happy November! This time every year some men take on the challenge of not shaving the whole month for various reasons. I’d like to bring to you attention the Movember Foundation, “a leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health.” While I’ve never participated in “No Shave November,” before, I’m partaking this year through the Movember Foundation.
“The Movember community has raised $559 million to date and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries. This work is saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.
The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember (formerly known as November), to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men’s health programs. To date, 4 million moustaches have been grown worldwide, but we won’t stop growing as long as serious men’s health issues exist.”
To support, donate, or just follow how hairy things get with my moustache, go to:
And if you’re up for it sign up yourself, join my team, or join Movember as an individual as we work towards building awareness of men’s health issues.
Vote the Environment on
Tuesday November 4th, 2014
Voting is an action we can all take, the ballot a place we can all be heard
Find your polling place, information on voter rights, absentee voting and much more.
Seventy percent of the profits from the sale of crowd-sourced posters go to the artists and HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters.