Tag: gratituesday

GratiTuesday – May 19th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ On this GratiTuesday I find myself gearing up for World Bee Day, which is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20th, 2020. I am giddy with anticipation. I love bees! Love, love, LOVE bees. I do. It’s true!

Bees are one example of the symbiotic relationships between species which make humankind’s very existence within the delicately balanced ecosystem of spaceship earth possible. Bees be one of the reasons we be. In fact, Albert Einstein pondered their role in the cosmos and wrote, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then (humans) would only have four years left to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more (humans)!” Yikes!

Clearly there are many reasons to appreciate bees. Not the least of which is their critically important role as pollinators of nearly 75% of world food crops. From apples, to almonds, to avocados, bees be out there in the world, doing what bees do best. The bees be buzzing from one flower to another – up to 7,000 in a single day! – picking up a little pollen here, and dropping off a little pollen there. Next thing you know, flowers become fruits and the cycle of life continues. Ta-daaaaaa!

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, FAO for short, offer six ways we can show gratitude to our friendly neighborhood bee pollinators:

  • Grow native plants in your gardens
  • Buy raw honey from local farmers
  • Make a bee ‘water fountain’
  • Avoid using pesticides, fungicides or herbicides
  • To ensure pollination create good bee habitats
  • Learn more about bees to conquer any lingering fears http://www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1127922/

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then (humans) would only have four years left to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more (humans)!”

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 bees! Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #WorldBeeDay #SavetheBees #HappyBeeDay

GratiTuesday – May 12th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Another GratiTuesday. Another Tuesday that feels like a Sunday, or a Thursday, or… a… day. A day like any other day in this long string of days that bleed one into another after another after another. I’m feeling it. You may be, as well. Yeah, I’m having one of ‘those days.’ You know… one of those days we referenced back in the ‘good old days.’ A day that’s a little off-center, a little lopsided, a little too… too… (sigh.)

So, what’s to be done with a day like this day, that feels like any other day, devoid of special interest or anticipated activities. Weeeellllllllll… it says here on the calendar that today is GratiTuesday. On GratiTuesdays I seek out ways to locate and/or express gratitude. Why? Obviously, it’s because I’m an obnoxious do-gooder intent upon sprinkling sunshine into all the dark corners of the world. Actually that’s a pretty good idea (evil cackling.) No, but, seriously, I do this gratitude-thing because it works for me. Every single time I bring my attention to appreciation and gratitude, I feel better. So… I write about it each week… and digitally share here in the blogosphere with anyone who may stumble upon it, because… you – dear reader – may also find it beneficial.

Earlier in the week I stumbled over a book that was published a while back – in 2010, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Gratitude Changed My Life. This memoir, written by John Kralik, chronicles his personal experience with gratitude. Specifically how the simple act of writing thank you notes positively impacted his life. Hmmmm. Now there’s an idea for something to consider doing on this day with not a lot of doing going on. Just a thought… (wink wink.)

Kralik writes that the reactions from his heroes – all those to whom he wrote thank you notes – “kept me going, wanting to see what would happen next.” Indeed. That’s why I get out of bed every day. What about you? For more information about Mr. Kralik’s book visit: https://rusoffagency.com/non_fiction/365thankyous/

Oh and by the way, just because I teach yoga and meditation and do Reiki doesn’t inoculate me from the human experience. I be just like you be; weird and wonderful, all wrapped up and loosed upon the world… Just. Like. You (big warm smile.)

Kralik writes that the reactions from his heros – all those to whom he wrote thank you notes – “kept me going, wanting to see what would happen next.”

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 this day like any other day. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________#laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #covid19 #besafestaywell #thankyounotes #365thankyous #johnkralik

GratiTuesday – May 5th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Acknowledging GratiTuesday. Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me pretty near everyone’s mental health has been strained to some degree over the last eight to ten weeks here in these United States of America, and all around the world, and apparently long before March of 2020. Regardless of whether you and/or your loved ones are well or not, front line and essential workers or not, working from home or not, financially strapped or not, all in the home together or not, we have all been affected by some aspect of COVID19.

How we process and manage daily elevated stressors over extended periods of time often devolves into less healthy options. For example, I confess to baking and eating a fair number (okay – a LOT!) of chocolate chip cookies over the past few weeks. These coping strategies perhaps soothe in the short term, yet fall short of successfully building resilience; a.k.a. the bounce-back effect. Thank goodness for May and Mental Health Awareness Month!

The good folks at Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit addressing and promoting the overall mental health wellness of all Americans, have published FREE downloadable ‘Tools to Thrive’ on their website: https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month

My personal favorite among these tools involves their Tips for Success around “Owning Your Feelings”:

  • Allow yourself to feel
  • Build your emotional vocabulary
  • Try journaling
  • Consider the strength (intensity) of your feelings

What’s more, the American Psychology Association has a COVID19 Resources page should you be considering Tele-Mental-Health/Tele-Psychology services: https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/

One more thing… before you do anything else… Breathe. In fact, stop doing everything else… and breathe. Just breathe. Focus on the breath… moving in and out of the body through the nose. Breathe in. Breathe out. Notice the breath… how it moves the body… what it sounds like… Breathe.

Breathe.”

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 simple ‘follow the breath’ meditations. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #COVID19 #mentalhealthawarenessnmonth #mhanational #apa #breathe

GratiTuesday – April 28th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Circling back to another GratiTuesday. Coming ‘round to being real about my personal experience in quarantine. Of course, I acknowledge others may be feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, grief, frustrated, exasperated, desperate and potentially bored out of their freaking minds!!! Not me. Not once. Not at all since this whole global pause began back in mid-March.

I have no idea what’s next. So I am imagining it will be wonder-full.”

~ Laurel Kilbourn

Maybe I’m weird. Maybe I’m wired different. Psychologist Jonice Webb recently published, “Seven Reasons Some People Actually Feel Better and Happier During the Pandemic,” in which she lists variables that may explain why some folks seem to be managing this experience with a bit more ease. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2020/04/7-reasons-some-people-actually-feel-better-and-happier-during-the-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR3YXZzlghSZfYjmC9GdrUK5GmOb9bPGs6xRWLXiNs0LvDrdMTcyr0e3Jqg

For example, people with Chronic FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) might find it easier to relax now because pretty nearly everybody has been strongly urged to stay home alone. Nothing to miss out on there! Or perhaps you fall into the category of ‘extreme introvert’ and are silently thrilled there is now nowhere to go or be or do, “Hallejuhah! Flying solo! Woohoo!” Either way, winning, wouldn’t you agree?

As for me… Well, it could also be my daily (and sometimes moment to moment) practice of ‘sitting in witness consciousness.’ Not really sitting per se. Could be doing anything or nothing. I guess it is more like I am ‘observing the observer’; curious about all that arises within me and around me. Engaged yet not necessarily invested or attached to any thing. I’ve also heard this practice described as ‘radical acceptance’; this is what is happening right now and there is no arguing with the IS. While I am extraordinarily grateful for the deep, inner peace I find with this practice, I am – at the same time – still and always!, excited about the potential for a new tomorrow. I have no idea what’s next. So I am imagining it will be wonder-full.

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 peace in solitude. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #jonicewebb #FOMO #introvert

GratiTuesday – April 21st

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Hello Gratitude. Hello GratiTuesday. One week ago, on GratiTuesday, I spied a video on the topic of gratitude, made by my friend/teacher/mentor, Chandra Cantor. I was elated! Chandra is a phenomenal yoga and meditation teacher, not to mention a glorious, bright, sparkly, deeply real human, whom I admire and respect enormously. I remember thinking, ‘Whatever she has to say on the topic of gratitude is sure to be illuminating.’

And it was. It IS. Gratitude is often contemplated as an external awareness of people and experiences for whom we are thankful. Chandra turns this inside out and invites us to cultivate gratitude first for ourselves. For example, suggesting you acknowledge and appreciate you for taking good care of you, noting “When I do this, I feel so good.” From this place of personal internal gratitude – acknowledging self – she invites us to then expand and cultivate our gratitude beyond the self, “all the way out, the whole world, every being!”

You can find this video, “A few words about gratitude,” on Chandra Cantor’s YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/EQYMbcE1VDY

When I do this, I feel so good.”

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 Chandra Cantor. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #chandracantor

GratiTuesday – April 14th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ GratiTuesday. Some folks aren’t feeling it. I get it. That’s valid. Our current paradigm is demonstrating the very definition of uncertainty. Friends and family have expressed fear and concern, not just for their health, but also for their future wellbeing. Everything we trusted and counted on cannot be trusted or counted on. Uncertainty can be scary.

So whatever you are feeling is perfectly valid. Feel it. I know from personal experience that putting on a brave face, and brushing ‘it’ up under the rug, pretending everything is “fine just fine,” won’t do you any favors in the long run. Those feelings – the real ones, whatever they are – they will catch up with you. This experience is traumatizing. This is a crisis.

However, rather than unraveling and spinning out… And if spinning is what you need, then spin away. When you spin back – and you will – perhaps then we can re-locate our centers, feel a bit more grounded, reflect on the right now ramifications of this crisis. Author and poet Kathleen Norris, from her book Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life (2008; Penguin), reminds us, “The word crisis derives from the Greek for ‘a sifting’,… to jostle, sift and sort things until only what was most vital would remain.”

Sifting through our thoughts and feelings. Reflecting on what is most vital. This can be the thread that draws us back down to solid ground, and sets our feet upon the path toward the wellbeing we determine for our future selves. That’s right. This crisis has set the stage for what is to come. Yet, how it all unfolds is up to you. Ask yourself, what is most vital? What enlivens you? What are you grateful for? The answers to those questions will light your way… or at very least illuminate what IS right now.

The word crisis derives from the Greek for ‘a sifting’,… to jostle, sift and sort things until only what was most vital would remain.”

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 gift of crisis. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ___________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #covid19 #crisis #kathleennorris

GratiTuesday – April 7th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Another GratiTuesday entering our fifth week of quarantine here in Massachusetts. ‘Cabin fever’ is beginning to affect a number of people who either now work from home, or took early retirement, or have always worked in their homes. “Irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors…” (Oxford Dictionary English Language) Sound familiar?

In addition to providing for our physical health and wellbeing, self-care directed toward our mental and emotional wellbeing deserve equal attention. Eileen M Feliciano, a doctoral level Psychologist in NYS with a Psy.D. in the specialities of School and Clinical Psychology, posted “MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS TIPS FOR QUARANTINE” to Facebook on March 23rd, 2020. There are twenty-five tips listed in this post. It’s worth a read through.

Tip number five resonated quite strongly with me today:
“5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well…”

My goodness. Aren’t we fortunate to have these technological resources available to us? Yes, indeed. I am certainly grateful for them. Also appreciate the numerous creative virtual activities shared with me through friends and family. Perhaps something listed below will appeal to you and yours:
VIRTUAL…

  • Coffee Chats
  • Happy Hours
  • Walks or Hikes
  • Fancy Dress Dinner Parties
  • Netflix Watch Parties
  • Play Dates for the Kiddies
  • Birthday Parties
  • It’s Tuesday! Parties
  • Crafting – knitting, quilting, making masks for frontline workers
  • Dance Parties
  • Concerts
  • Theatrical Productions
  • Re-enacting scenes from well-known paintings and films
  • and on and on…

Human ingenuity in the face of adversity is our crowning glory.

Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well…”

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 technology and other resources available to me by virtue of my privilege. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #covid19 #mentalhealth #eileenmfeliciano

GratiTuesday March 31st

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Holding fast to a gratitude practice – which for me includes this GratiTuesday blog – may be more important now than ever before. Researchers have conducted numerous studies validating measurable benefits of gratitude. https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/ This research, in combination with her clinical experience working with people in crisis, inspired Jem Wong Boyle, LMFT, to post “Gifts of Gratitude in the Midst of the Covid-19 Crisis” https://thriveglobal.com/stories/gifts-of-gratitude-in-the-midst-of-the-covid-19-crisis/

Yeah, yeah, sure, we can easily count our blessings, express appreciation for people, situations, and things in our lives that we label “good.” However, if you are looking for a real boost from your gratitude practice, Jem Wong Boyle proposes we look deeper when we find ourselves wading through the muck and the mud, “As a therapist who regularly helps my clients get through other types of crises, I know that to really enjoy the full benefits of gratitude we want to appreciate the “bad things” for their golden nuggets of wisdom.”

Consider reflecting on the following statements: I’m grateful that the Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to…

  • Question what we’ve accepted as true
  • Gain clarity
  • Get creative and motivated
  • Discover our own inner strengths and value
  • Remember that we are all connected

As a therapist who regularly helps my clients get through other types of crises, I know that to really enjoy the full benefits of gratitude we want to appreciate the “bad things” for their golden nuggets of wisdom.”

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 “nuggets of wisdom.” Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: __________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #covid19 #JemWongBoyle #nuggetsofwisdom

GratiTuesday – March 24th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Thankful on this GratiTuesday for all the essential workers. These people are, quite frankly, putting their lives at risk just doing their jobs. Their work is essential because it maintains critical infrastructure and will ultimately save our lives.  

Who are these essential workers? The obvious answer is doctors and nurses; really everyone working in healthcare, such as all medical caregivers and hospital workers, coronavirus testing and laboratory personnel, and of course, medical researchers and scientists, here and abroad collaborating to identify effective treatments. First responders – firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, 911 call center employees – are without question essential workers. As are those workers whose jobs keep our lights and heat on, clean water flowing from our taps, toilets flushing, internet internet-ing, and mass transit transiting, not just the essential workers to and from their essential work, but also those who manage our food supply from it’s source to our local grocery stores.

And there it is… food. Food production, packaging, and distribution; from farm workers to manufacturers, truckers, grocery clerks, restaurant carry-out and quick serve food employees, food banks and other food services to address those whom our country identifies as the “food insecure.” This list of food supply personnel is incomplete, as are the lists above. 

For a more comprehensive list developed by CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency), closely tied to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “to help State and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security,” please visit https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce.  Please note, CISA’s list is not meant to be a federal directive, or standard.

Massachusetts residents received an emergency order from Governor Baker yesterday, “… effective Tuesday, March 24th at noon, all non-essential business shall close their physical workplaces and facilities to all workers, customers and the public.” A video of Baker’s announcement in which he elaborates on the criteria for essential services, businesses and workers, as well as links to lists, etc., can be found at https://www.mass.gov/news/governor-charlie-baker-orders-all-non-essential-businesses-to-cease-in-person-operation. The Massachusetts emergency order will remain in effect until noon on Tuesday, April 7th. 

… effective Tuesday, March 24th at noon, all non-essential business shall close their physical workplaces and facilities to all workers, customers and the public.”

Governor Charles Duane Baker, Jr. / Massachusetts

After reviewing the lists published by mass.gov and  CISA, it is clear the list of essential workers holding up our sky is massive. Think about it. Look around  – wherever you are, whatever you are doing, eating, in any way consuming – acknowledge that  someone else has contributed to ‘its’ very presence in your field of awareness. 

It’s also clear that those of us who happen to work in non-essential fields have a vital role: Be Safe, Stay Well. In addition, please consider providing the support requested by our essential workers to whatever degree is possible for you and your family. We will get through this… working together. 

Remember what I wrote in last week’s post?  

  • I have complete faith in humanity
  • We pull together during crises
  • Our capacity for compassion is boundless
  • We are creative problem solvers
  • Adapting to novel environments and situations is what we do!
  • Science, scientists, medical professionals are ON it
  • Ultimately, I’m betting we will find value in pressing pause

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 all essential workers. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #covid19 #essentialworkers

GratiTuesday – March 17th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Thankful for this GratiTuesday. Amid the uncertainty and isolation of the global COVID-19 health emergency, my gratitude practice is more important than ever before. Last week’s post reflected on the immune boosting benefits of a gratitude practice. This week’s reflections were inspired by a question posed to me by a student just after the last live-in-person yoga class I taught. She asked me, “Are you freaking out?”

Honestly, no. Despite 100% of my corporate and private clients pressing pause on their existing, as well as future wellness programming, events and sessions, through the end of July, I was feeling optimistic. At that point I had no earthly idea how to address this full stop for both of my businesses*. However, the future viability of my businesses was not actually my primary focus in that moment.

My first thoughts, going back three weeks or so, were:

  • This is a very serious situation on every level – medically, economically, politically…
  • Many people may feel frightened
  • People have died and more will die
  • Pay attention – Be mindful
  • Self-care is a key factor in preserving our good health and well-being
  • Seek reliable sources for news and information

Last Friday, what popped out of my mouth in response to this student’s question was:

  • I have complete faith in humanity
  • We pull together during crises
  • Our capacity for compassion is boundless
  • We are creative problem solvers
  • Adapting to novel environments and situations is what we do!
  • Science, scientists, medical professionals are ON it
  • Ultimately, I’m betting we will find value in pressing pause

Pressing pause. Perhaps we will all – individually, locally, nationally, globally – find value in pressing pause. Interrupting our, for the most part, mindless rushing from one activity to the next, offers an opportunity to take stock. Hellbent as so many of us are on ‘getting it all done’, or ‘getting it all period’, we rarely pause to assess the impact of our life style on our life experience. Consider re-framing “Social Distancing” as an “Intentional Retreat”; a time for introspection. Instead of breaking down, this could be a chance to break out, break free. You might decide to expand in new ways, or withdraw from that which no longer serves you. Wow! The possibilities are limitless.

Ultimately, I’m betting we will find value in pressing pause”

Incidentally, in case you were wondering about my business(es), both Om in the Office and laurel blossom yoga are back on track having expanded our business model to include virtual yoga and meditation over various online platforms. Client response has been encouraging. YES!!!

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 any opportunity to pause. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________

#laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #virtualyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #covid19