Author: Laurel Kilbourn

GratiTuesday – November 5th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Happy GratiTuesday! November is often thought of Gratitude Season here in the United States what with the Thanksgiving holiday a few weeks away. We may find ourselves reflecting on the past year’s events, and the people who have made an impact on our everyday lives. Perhaps you have a story of gratitude you would like to share.

Turns out a division of The Boston Globe is interested in sharing these stories of gratitude for publication throughout the month of November. Emily Turner of Boston.com posted an article – “Here’s how to share your story of gratitude” – encouraging readers to submit their gratitude stories. https://www.boston.com/culture/local-news/2019/11/04/thanksgiving-share-your-story-of-gratitude

Follow these simple guidelines to submit your gratitude story for possible publication:

  • Let them know what you’re grateful for in 500 words or less by emailing your story to community@boston.com
  • Please include your name and a photo with a brief description
  • They will publish your story, and share it on Boston.com throughout November

What are you grateful for?”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for new ways to share gratitude stories. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ___________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #bostonglobe #gratitudestories

GratiTuesday – October 29th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Another GratiTuesday. Another pause for appreciation. For example, this year I am knocked out by the amazing display of fall foliage here in New England. This happens every year, right? The answer is yes. However, this year I am apparently bowled over by the vibrant red, yellow and orange leaves blazing across the tree tops. Every time I walk out the door I stop dead in my tracks, mouth agog, and say to myself – sometimes out loud, “Thank you, Autumn.”

Have you ever been curious about the who, what, when, how and whys of deciduous trees and their seasonal color changes? If so, then consider exploring this delightfully nerdy article by Lauren Tierney and Joe Fox, “Fantastic Fall Foliage… and Where to Find It.” It was published October 9, 2019, in The Washington Post. The online article contains multiple maps, animated graphics, and even peers down through satellite imagery at various areas of the United States. [https://wapo.st/peep-these-leaves]

New England has an abundance of tree species, which contributes to a variety of brightly colored leaves. However, there is something to see all across the country. So whether you plan to hit the road for a leaf-peeping road trip, take a hike through your local woods, or peer out the kitchen window, there is a whole lot of carotenoid and anthocyanin to see out there. There is a whole lot of natural beauty to appreciate.

…the best color displays occur in forests that have a diversity of species — and trees that have the tendency to turn red.”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for brilliant fall foliage. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: __________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #kieljamespatrick #wapo #fallfoliage #leafpeepers

GratiTuesday – October 22nd

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Hello GratiTuesday. Been thinking about thank you notes. When I was a kid, my Mom was always after me to write thank you notes; to thank Gramma for the itchy sweater; to thank Kellie for inviting me to her 7 year old birthday party; to thank Mrs. Woodsworth for being my first grade teacher. Embarrassed to admit back then I rarely wrote those thank you notes to anyone for anything.

I may not have often sent thank you notes, however, I received many over the years. Each one lights me up. I save them. I savor them. I tape them to the bathroom mirror, re-reading them almost every day. What about you? Do you send thank you notes? Do you save the ones sent to you?

Not surprisingly, my Mom was not the only mom to get after her kids to write thank you notes to the grandparents. Seems author Leah Dieterich’s mom pressed her into the same practice. Thank you notes to people morphed into thank you notes to objects, memories, times and places. These thank you notes then morphed into a blog, which became a book, “Thxthxthx: Thank Goodness for Everything.” [https://www.leahdieterich.com/thxthxthx]

I do thank goodness for everything. These days writing thank you notes lights me up just as much as receiving expressions of gratitude; note cards, emails, texts, posts, as well as the elusive telephone call. Doesn’t matter what form they take. All thank you’s elevate both the sender and the receiver.

Dear Heart, Thank you for containing the word “hear.” It’s like you come with instructions. All Best ~ Leah”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful now for all the opportunities I now take to write thank you notes. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #thankyounotes #leahdieterich

GratiTuesday – October 15th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Happy GratiTuesday! As an expert in corporate wellness (www.omintheoffice.com), I am gratified to come across an article featuring a business leader who embraces gratitude in the workplace. His name is Sheldon Yellen, CEO of the property-restoration company BELFOR Holdings, Inc. Each year he handwrites 9,200 employee birthday cards to express gratitude for his employees.

The article written by Allana Akhtar, and featured in Business Insider, [https://www.businessinsider.com/ceo-writes-7400-employee-birthday-cards-each-year-2017-6], reveals that Yellen began this gratitude practice with and for his employees way back in 1985. The practice has expanded to include anniversary cards, holiday cards, and writing to his employees’ kids when they are sick. He reports the outcome has been greater team cohesion, improved communication from his employees, and fostering a culture of compassion in the workplace.

Focusing only on profit and forgetting that a company’s most important asset is its people will ultimately stifle a company’s growth,” asserts Yellen.

Career experts know the most effective managers are those who frequently offer positive reinforcement. Likewise, workers report greater respect for bosses who call attention to career accomplishments and express genuine interest in their well-being. In addition, employee surveys reveal they will quit their jobs if they do not receive meaningful recognition of their contributions from upper management. Clearly workplace gratitude has value.

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for leaders who lead by example . Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ______________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #businessinsider #workplacegratitude #corporateculturematters

GratiTuesday – October 8th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Happy GratiTuesday, Everybody! Do you run? I don’t. Well, not unless I’m being chased. Seriously, though, I have enormous respect and admiration for those who do run. Particularly those who run long distances. Often wondered from where do runners summon the will to push on in a long race, when it is evident from their pained expressions that the fun in the run may have been left behind. Could it be gratitude that propels these exhausted runners to their finish line?

Located an article in Runners World magazine by Gabrielle Hondorp that explores the link between posititivity and gratitude for runners, “The ‘Gratitude Mile’ Might Be the Trick You Need to Power Through Your Long Runs” [https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a29321193/gratitude-tips-for-long-run/].

This article mentions scientific research revealing lower heart rate and sweat response in those who engage in ‘positive self-talk.’ No surprise there.

However, the concept of the “Gratitude Mile” is novel. It was gleaned from tips posted by runners following the magazine’s Instagram page. The runners described getting a lift during a mid-run slump by mentally listing all the little things in life they are thankul for.

“It’s easy to focus too much on pace, times, and chasing the next PR (personal record). The Gratitude Mile helps you find yourself again and appreciate the fact that you are able to run at all,” says Melissa Emery. “I begin by simply taking notice and appreciating the simple things along my run.”

It’s easy to focus too much on pace, times, and chasing the next PR (personal record). The Gratitude Mile helps you find yourself again and appreciate the fact that you are able to run at all,” says Melissa Emery. “I begin by simply taking notice and appreciating the simple things along my run.”

Whether you run or not, we can draw parallels between this runner’s comment and the specifics of our own lives. We may find ourselves bogged down by any number of things in our work or relationships. Perhaps a stretch of time (or distance) reflecting on appreciating life’s little things will set the whole in perspective.

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for my umbrella on this drizzly day. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ___________________________________ laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #runnersworld #GabrielleHondorp #gratitudemile

GratiTuesday – October 1st

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Happy GratiTuesday, Y’all! Experienced a triple whammy this past weekend. Traveled to my home town for its 100th Annual Agrigultural Fair – drum roll, please – The Durham Fair, which hosted a high school reunion for all graduating classes of Coginchaug Regional High School since the dawn of time… and celebrated with family the birthdays of my niece and sister! Wowzer!

Naturally, this recent densely-packed, whirlwind weekend brought up all manner of emotions and ponderings about the experience of others. Shoba Sreenivasan, Ph.D., and Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D., psychology professors at the Keck School of Medicine, USC, write about the potential pitfalls of reunions in their article, “The Importance of Reunions: High School, Family and Friends: What can be gained by attending them.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-nourishment/201804/the-importance-reunions-high-school-family-and-friends-0

It isn’t difficult to imagine potential anxieties arising at the prospect of meeting up with any large group of people, whether you see them all the time, or only once every 100 years. However, these events also provide opportunities to revisit memories long faded, encourage communication and celebrate accomplishments (adventures!)

For those who want to learn more about themselves and make stronger connections with others, reunions can be a powerful vehicle for accomplishing this.”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for re-unions of all kinds and the people who arrange them. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________

GratiTuesday – September 24th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Happy GratiTuesday… Great news! “Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to be Happier” [ https://dailyhealthpost.com/gratitude-rewires-brain-happier/?utm_source=link&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=sq&utm_content=dhp ] Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, conducted MRI experiments measuring brain activity of subjects prompted to experience gratitude. Findings revealed increased activity in brain areas associated with moral and social cognition, reward, empathy, and value judgment.

Most notably, the study demonstrates that reflecting upon an emotional experience of gratitude recalls that lived-experience mentally, emotionally, and physiologically, as measured through brain scans of the subject’s neural activity, “…a simple gratitude writing intervention was associated with significantly greater and lasting neural sensitivity to gratitude – subjects who participated in gratitude letter writing showed both behavioral increases in gratitude and significantly greater neural modulation by gratitude in the medial prefrontal cortex three months later.”

Consider these three activities to increasing your felt-experience of gratitude, and rewire your brain for increased well-being, compassion and happiness.
1. Keep a daily journal of things you are grateful for—list at least three. The best times for writing in your journal are in the morning as your day begins or at night before sleep.
2. Make it a point to tell people in your life what you appreciate about them on a daily basis.
3. When you look in the mirror, give yourself a moment to think about a quality you like about yourself or something have recently accomplished.

… a simple gratitude writing intervention was associated with significantly greater and lasting neural sensitivity to gratitude – subjects who participated in gratitude letter writing showed both behavioral increases in gratitude and significantly greater neural modulation by gratitude in the medial prefrontal cortex three months later.”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for a brain that lights up with gratitude. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: _______________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #neuroscience #dailyhealthpost

GratiTuesday – September 17th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ GratiTuesday Greetings! Loving late summer this year, as is usual for me. Celebrating every outdoor moment, preferably on the beach. Ignoring the all-too-early introduction of all things pumpkin-spice and Halloween. Insisting on summer’s presence right up until the autumnal equinox, and even then soaking up every ray of sunlight like a squirrel stashing its stores for the cold, dark season to come.

Late summer is held as The Fifth Season in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., a research psychologist specializing in mind-body medicine, shines some light on the influence of the seasons on our psyche – individually and collectively – as well as for our personal physical health and well-being. He writes, in a HuffPost article, “The Promise of the Five Seasons”, [https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nature-cycle_b_3423989], of our innate connection to Nature. Acknowledging each season’s particular sensibility offers us an opportunity to intentionally connect and flow with the rhythmic cycles of nature.

Spring: Embrace the Power of New Beginnings
Summer: Create Abundance
Late Summer: Gain Rootedness
Autumn: Find the Justice of Letting Go
Winter: Dream of Quietude

Late Summer is at the center of this cycle. It is the fulcrum point around which the other four seasons revolve. It invites a pause for reflection and assessment in between the cycles of growth and decay so one may become grounded. “You see who you have been, who you are and who you want to be,” writes Cardillo. Late Summer’s fruits create the ideal set up for Autumn and Winter.

You see who you have been, who you are and who you want to be.”

Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D.

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for the season of reflection and grounding that is late summer. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________________________________________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #JosephCardillo #huffpost

GratiTuesday – September 10th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Happy GratiTuesday! Let’s keep it simple, shall we? Integrating a gratitude practice into your daily life can be as easy as the ABC’s. Consider moving through the alphabet, making note of each letter with the first word that comes to mind, and finding a connection for gratitude with whatever pops up.

For example, A is for Autumn, just around the corner, with its crisp weather and brilliant foliage. I am grateful for this glorious annual reminder of nature’s cyclical dance.

This practice from Brother David Steindl-Rast’s book introduction, Stop-Look-Go: A Grateful Practice Workbook and Gratitude Journal is shared fully on gratefulness.org.

… It takes practice to achieve gratefulness…”

Brother David Steindle-Rast

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful now for autumn’s promise of dancing leaves. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: _________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #brotherdavidsteindlerast #abcsofgratitude

GratiTuesday – September 3rd

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ It is GratiTuesday… right now. Another benefit of practicing gratitude – however you choose to do so – is that in so doing, in each moment of the gratitude practice, you are fully present. This type of present moment awareness is fundamental to delivering its much sought after benefits such as reduced anxiety, decreased depression and more restful sleep.

Michelle DeWitt expands upon this theme in an article written for The Panchamama Alliance entitled, “10 Questions To Bring More Awareness To Your Gratitude Practice.” [https://blog.pachamama.org/10-questions-to-bring-more-awareness-to-your-gratitude-practice] She briefly explores the pitfalls of a culture that values immediate gratification and materialism, and then offers the antidote; letting go of past disappointments and future expectations through a present moment gratitude practice.

…the type of peacefulness and happiness that comes from within is significantly more fulfilling and sustainable than happiness obtained externally.”

Michelle DeWitt / panchamama.org

Thankfully, Michelle provides a list of 10 prompts to redirect our attention:
1. What relationships am I thankful for?
2. What am I grateful for that I learned about myself the past year?
3. What activities am I grateful for?
4. What insights have I gained that I’m grateful for?
5. What have others done that has benefitted my life – even if these people are strangers?
6. Is there anything I’m taking for granted that I’m grateful for?
7. What challenges have I been faced with? What did I learn and how can I be thankful for them?
8. What about my environment can I be thankful for?
9. What opportunities or privileges do I have that I’m thankful for?
10. How can I say thank you to others, to myself, to Mother Earth and to the universe more often?

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful now for the Panchamama Alliance. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________

[for more information about panchamama.org considering watching https://vimeo.com/327109597]

#laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #awareness #panchamamaalliance #michelledewitt

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