What Brings you Joy?

This morning a cardinal and other birds were singing, I worked in a community garden with friends, and I saw a new butterfly. This brings me joy.

As this pandemic retreats, what is bringing you joy? Being outside, seeing birds, butterflies and new lush green plants? The beginning of June has brought hiking, biking and gardening and lots of joyful outside time for me. Seeing people in person again has also been a time of joy and freedom.  I am so thankful for the science and the vaccines that have made it possible for us to get our lives back. It is now time to get back to enjoying everyday! Take pictures of what brings you joy, and send them to us.

swallow tail butterfly

Butterflies bring joy

milkweed

What are the special events to celebrate in June? June 5,  is World Environment Day, June 8 is World Oceans Day and June 19, is Juneteenth. June 20 is Father’s Day. All of June is Pride and Gun Violence Awareness Month. See the Actions for Happiness calendar below for joyful ideas. This June take pictures of what brings you joy. Send them to us.

Take care of our beautiful Earth

World Environment Day , This is our moment.

We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature.

Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. 

Join #GenerationRestoration

READING LIST:

 Hundreds of lakes losing oxygen:  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2021-06-02/hundreds-of-lakes-in-us-europe-are-losing-oxygen#:~:text=

7 Educational Nature Activities for Kids You Can Do at Home This Summer – EcoWatch

UN World Oceans Day 2021 – UN World Oceans Day  

Join the Fresh Start Challenge! – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Six skills we need as citizens who can’t agree on scientific facts – StarTribune.com

Biden takes aim at all factors hampering Black Americans – StarTribune.com 

98 stories of garbage: State plans to expand 4 over-stuffed landfills in metro – Twin Cities 

‘The Ancient Woods’ Review: Deep in the Forest – The New York Times (nytimes.com) 

15 Healthy Foods That RDs Say Will Make You Happier | Eat This Not That  

 June 19th is Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month. 

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence will mark Wear Orange weekend June 4-6, and we will honor and remember the lives, families, and communities who have suffered and continue to suffer the ongoing scourge of American gun violence.

Take pictures of what brings you JOY

March Motivation

mindful march
Spread kindness and touch the earth

May March sunshine on your shoulders make you happy!

Happy March! Be kind to the Earth, be kind to yourself, and be kind to others! The Actions for Happiness calendar ( below) has many good suggestions to be more mindful and spread kindness.

March brings me joy. The longer days and the hope of spring are motivators to get outside and notice the changes, even if it is just melting snow. Everyday the outdoor world is waiting to be explored, your own neighborhood is perfect. Even 5 minutes of mindful observation will lighten your mood. Breathe, smell the earth, let the sun, rain and snow tickle your face, touch the wind, talk to the trees, hear the sunrise/night fall, smile and be kind.

This March pay attention to how you can reduce your carbon footprint: Can you reduce idling your car or drive less? Can you eat less meat and waste less food? How can you reduce the waste and plastic you generate? Can you buy less things and be a smarter consumer? Just doing a little bit can make a positive difference. Thank you and good luck!

Reading List:

Embrace Winter challenge: Go bird-watching or stargazing – StarTribune.com 

Making ourselves worthy of our vaccine – StarTribune.com 

UN Releases Scientific Blueprint to Address Climate Emergencies – EcoWatch

Sounds of Silence: The Extinction Crisis Is Taking Away the Earth’s Music – EcoWatch 

Enjoy many good suggestions below to have a Mindful March:

be mindful
Be mindful of your footprint on Earth

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.

 

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

Optimistic Outside October

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

None of us knows the future, and at this moment in time it is hard not to be fearful about it. We can’t shake this awful pandemic, and we are in the middle of an important election. The next month is full of uncertainty. We have leaders scaring us about the future and telling us the” Mob” and violence are going to take over. Some elected officials share lies and conspiracy theories. They say they won’t follow the rules and leave office if they don’t win? With all this what is there to be afraid of?

I got several pieces of mail this week telling me the “Mob” is taking over if I don’t vote for certain candidates? Who is this mob? Does frightening people get you to vote for them? I hope not. I wonder if I am part of the “Mob” because I want equal rights, justice, clean air and water for everyone? Confusion and fear are the goals of these people. Our mental and physical health are both at stake with this silly rhetoric.  Don’t listen to it!

We must do better than this. Choose instead to be hopeful and optimistic. Don’t feed this fear, instead feed optimism. Start each day with a positive action. See some ideas below. Also, everyday get outside and enjoy the beauty of October.

 When you are optimistic you and look at your days with hope instead of fear. Optimism wins and helps you see beyond fear for a better future and a better world. The Actions for Happiness group has thirty-one suggestions and ideas to help us be optimistic. See their ideas below:

https://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/922208/october_2020.jpg

Wishing you an optimistic and outside October!

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. 

March Madness

I voted sticker
Vote for science and truth!

As we enter March the world is gripped with a great uncertainty. The Coronavirus is creeping up on us, and in the United States we have a government that is more interested in their image than actually dealing with the Coronavirus crisis. This administration is good at one thing, blaming everyone else for their problems. We can’t trust what they say because they lie constantly, don’t believe in, or understand science, nor the experts. Gut feelings will not solve a health pandemic.
More uncertainity is brought about by the primary elections being held. The public is uncertain as to who has the energy and ability to take on and lead the United States with integrity.  Please vote for science and honesty in your primary election.

Then there is our warming climate. Yes, I love warmer winters, but enormous challenges face us in the future.

And more evidence the Trump administration is not honest with us.

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” Carl Sagan

This March search out truth, share ideas that only have reliable sources, wash your hands, find beauty everyday, and practice mindfulness! The Actions for Happiness mindfulness calendar below: