Actions For Happiness!

 

And kindness, too!

“If we can’t change the circumstances, perhaps we can alter our attitudes.” Dr. Dale Anderson

The events of the last few weeks in the U.S. Capitol are depressing. This doctor was in the Startribune this week, I hope you can find a way to brighten your day. The Actions For Happiness calendar follows.

Upbeat techniques

Dr. Anderson outlines ideas to be happy in his book, “Never Act Your Age.” They include:

• Maintain good posture in order to present yourself in an upbeat matter. There are lots of techniques for practicing good posture — including the classic book on the head — but Anderson suggests that whenever you feel yourself slumping, take three steps backward. Your body will instinctively adjust its alignment, raising your head, neck and shoulders.

• Keep your eyes wide open. Be aware of what’s going on around you, searching, exploring and connecting. Mindfulness!

• Smile, even if you’re wearing a mask. Keep your forehead and cheeks up. Strive to appear radiant and alert.

• Do something that makes you feel better. Go for a walk. Call an old friend. Turn on upbeat music. Surround yourself with pleasing aromas. I would add, find beauty in your day!

• Shake up your routine. Sit in a different chair at the dinner table. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand. “Welcome new, novel and challenging encounters.”

January Hope

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
― Abraham Lincoln

“Our democracy isn’t about any individual, even a president—it’s about you”  Barack Obama

Special days in January: It is a historic month for the United States, giving us all hope! Let’s start by telling the truth, being kind, and working for justice.

January 5, Senate elections in Georgia

January 6, Congress meets to certify votes for the new U. S. president

January 7, 1789, The first U.S. election for president was held

January 8, Clean off your desk day!

January 14, Bald Eagle Day

Bald Eagle
Symbol of the United States

January 15, Martin Luther King’s Birthday

January 18, MLK Holiday

January 20, Inauguration Day, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in as president and vice president of the United States.

From the Actions for Happiness group ideas for January 2021:

How can we be happier in 2021? Things have been really tough over the last year and we’re still in difficult and uncertain times. This January, we’re encouraging everyone to focus on small daily actions to create more happiness for ourselves and others. We can’t change the situation, but we can choose to show kindness and respond positively whenever possible.

 

What have we learned?

After all the loss of life, sadness, loneliness, lies and chaos of 2020 lets hope we have learned some thing from the disfunction and poor leadership we have faced. I thought this letter to the editor had a lot to say:

Can we understand that if we can apply these lessons to the climate crisis, we’ve taken the most pro-life action possible?


As the pandemic year of 2020 comes to a close, we need to ask if we’ve learned from it, or whether we are doomed to repeat what we did not learn. Did we learn that there are serious personal and global consequences from destroying nature and the web of life that we’re part of? Did we learn that truth matters, not only as an ethical imperative, but as a requisite for a successful democracy? Did we learn that science matters and that disregard for the lessons of science robs humanity of tools that sustain life? Did we learn how countries that were united by common purpose and mutual trust were more successful in combating the pandemic than countries without unity and trust? That there is a critical role for leadership and democratic governance? That in this interdependent, globalized world, our health and future are bound together across national boundaries? That our future depends on putting cooperation above national interest?


Can we imagine how these lessons apply to the climate crisis? Can we understand that if we don’t apply these lessons to the climate crisis, the systems that support all life on our planet cannot be sustained, and COVID-19 will seem like child’s play by comparison? And finally, can we understand that if we can apply these lessons to the climate crisis, we’ve taken the most pro-life action possible?  Lyndon Torstenson,   Startribune.com 

December Good Will

kindness
Kindness creates a ripple, spread it now.

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a Conspiracy of Love” Hamilton Mable

After nine months of a pandemic everyone needs extra attention! December is a month of Kindness and the Actions for Happiness have many good ideas below. It is a time to reach out and spread good will!

Spread good will and kindness to the Earth also! December is a time that we generate of lots of landfill waste. Too many Amazon and UPS trucks rumble on my street. Use some of your “at home time” to see how you can reuse what you have,  simplify your shopping, and generate less garbage by buying less.

December days to celebrate:

December 1, AIDs Awareness Day and National Giving Day

December 2, Pollution Control Day

December 7, Pearl Harbor Day

December 8, Bodhi Day

December 10, Hanukkah, and Human Rights Day

December 15, National Tea Day

December 21, Winter Solstice and the first day of winter

December 24. Christmas Eve

Christmas 25, Christmas

December 26, Kwanzaa

December 31, New Year’s Eve

kindness
Remember to be kind to the Earth!

 

Kindness Matters

World Kindness Day 2021

A smile is an international way to show kindness. Smile today!

kindness
November 13, is World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. This day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, has the purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.

Non-violent November

Victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance” Diwali celebration

These are challenging times as Covid-19 continues to harm our communities and families. To make things worse we are living in a time of misinformation and darkness. Many refuse to accept the truth. As the American election takes place it is my wish we move out of the darkness of lies and fear into a new beginning of hope, science, understanding and truth.

It is a hard when we have an American president that doesn’t see reality and truth. Somehow, and it will be hard, we must accept the results of the election with non-violence and hope for a better world. Every vote must be counted, our democracy depends on it, and then we must accept the results. Important November days to celebrate and look forward to with hope:

November 1, World Vegan Day

November 3, American Election Day

November 10, World Science Day for Peace and Development

November 11, Veterans Day

November 13, World Kindness Day

November 14  Diwali “Victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.

November 15, America Recycles Day, make it a day to reuse and reduce

November 26, Day of gratitude, Thanksgiving Day

Below the Actions for Happiness people have a calendar for New November with many good suggestions to try something new:

Hope
New November

Justice for All

In Memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice

Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that others will join you.” RBG

“If you want to be a true professional you will do something outside yourself. Something to repairs tears in our community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that’s what I think is a meaningful life is. Living not for yourself, but for ones community.” RBG

Rest in Power

 

International Day of Peace

Peace
Peace

The 2020 Peace Day Theme: Shaping Peace Together Celebrate the International Day of Peace by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. 

Join me to spread PEACE together. Take 3 breaths everyday to inhale peace to yourself, and exhale peace to all. Together we can Love the world to Peace

Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream, a song by Simon and Garfunkel

Last night I had the strangest dream I’ve ever known before… I
dreamed that all the world agreed to put an end to war… I dreamed
I saw a mighty room… the room was filled with men… and the papers
they were signing said they’d never fight again. And when the papers
were all signed, and a million copies made, they all shook hands and
bowed their heads and greatful prayers were prayed… and the people
in the streets below were dancing round and round… while swords and
guns and uniforms lay scattered on the ground… Last night I had the
strangest dream I’ve ever known before… I dreamed that all the world
agreed to put an end to war…

Take 3 breaths everyday to inhale peace to yourself, and exhale peace to all. Together we can Love the world to Peace

Take 3 breaths for peace

September Searching

Searching for Truth

This Actions for Happiness post is about self-care and telling the truth! Living in a pandemic we need self-care and we need truth.

Climate march in New York City
We must demand a higher standard for telling the truth, don’t believe everything you hear!

Part of self-help September is telling the truth, but what do you do when you have elected officials that lie, lie and lie some more, and citizens that believe their lies? People that lie are unhappy, they can’t accept reality.  These are strange times with a pandemic, and the need for correct information is enormous. When elected officials have a misunderstanding of the truth, and create alternative facts, and others don’t correct and challenge them we are in big trouble. If we don’t have a set of facts to agree on, people searching for truth make things up and spread theories about what they believe might be true. This is like ancient people trying to make sense of what they don’t understand. We need to have a base of facts to work from and we have lost that. Yes, I misled the U.S.

Democracies can not survive without understanding what is really happening. That is why we have universities, scientists,  news media and newspapers to search out the truth. In order to function as citizens in our society and in our democracy, we need to have a common basis of facts.

This is not ancient times, we have science, we have a hard working journalists and educators that are masters at getting the facts correct. At this time in history we all need a active commitment to always tell the truth. Start with telling the truth yourself, and demand truth-telling from all your acquaintances. Telling the truth is easy, demand it from everyone!

How do you start to search for truth?

  • Get the facts and be open minded. We often think we are correct when we aren’t.

  • Do additional research, read newspapers, and ask questions.

  • Make sure your sources are credible.

  • Ask yourself, does this make sense?
  • Never spread things unless you know the source and check at least 2 more sources. Facebook, friends, family, and Fox talk shows, are not reliable sources.

 

From September of 1939:

All I have is a voice

To undo the folded lie,

The romantic lie in the brain

Of the sensual man-in-the-street

And the lie of Authority

Whose buildings grope the sky:

There is no such thing as the State

And no one exists alone;

Hunger allows no choice

To the citizen or the police;

We must love one another or die.  By W. H. Auden

Ten more self-care ideas to get you through the pandemic from the Washington Post. Read here.

Here is the Actions For Happiness calendar for September. An important part of self-care involves telling the truth and never spreading falsehoods. 

Superior Views, Summer 2020

Extra fresh? Extra wet? Extra extra? Extra beautiful? Extra Great? Extra gitchy? Extra deep? Extra wide? Extra voluminous? Extra fishy? Extra rocky? Extra clean? Extra cold? Extra Superior?” @Lake Superior (twitter)

monarch butterfly
Monarch on goldenrod

Yes, extra Superior! A world pandemic is still raging, elected leaders incite violence, forest fires and hurricanes are constant, but no drama on Lake Superior. By  August the lake has warmed and the contrast between the cold lake and warm air isn’t so extreme causing less drama. This lack of drama makes the big lake more peaceful as the gentle waves ripple to shore.

The loons call, and the eagles screech from their tree towering over the lake.  The hummingbirds like little fairies hover and suck nectar from the last of the plants as they prepare for  their long journey south.

Frittilary butterfly in July
August garden on Lake Superior.

Plants are turning brown, and yellow golden rod dominates. Blooming plants were early this year so they lose energy and turn brown sooner. Only a few butterflies remain, they have been replaced by grasshoppers, and like the birds the chipmunks are already busy preparing for winter.

July was a perfect time to indulge in watching butterflies and monarch caterpillars. Every new caterpillar was a celebration. Unfortunately, something else found them to be joyful food, and they disappeared.  We suspect the chipmunks. Their numbers were too many this year, and they seemed to be watching my treasured caterpillars as much as I was!  Every new butterfly I see I hope they were one of my precious fat caterpillars.

hummingbid sits at feeder
Female ruby-throat hummingbird

Surprisingly,  in July the lake had a harder time keeping us cool from the hot humid summer south of us, but August brought 70 degrees days while a hundred miles south it was a hot humid 90 degrees.

On to September and more change, turning leaves and intense beauty! Extra beautiful!