Cultivate Gratitude with a Thank You

What are you grateful for? How do you practice gratitude? We love this list of 5 “Thank Yous” from Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. shared on the Psychology Today website. He suggests that we use this as a simple checklist to build our sense of gratitude which in turn will allow our sense of well-being to flourish.

  1. Thank you, nature. Wherever you are, there is something in nature to hear, to see, and to appreciate. It might be the sun, the wind, the trees, mountains, a flock of birds, a backyard pond, or one caterpillar. Pausing to give thanks to one element in nature allows you to connect with life outside of yourself, not to mention nature offers a boost to well-being.
  2. Thank you, people who offend me. There’s a good chance you’ll disagree with someone or become upset by something someone says during the holidays. It’s easy to be reactive and to argue back. It’s tough to mindfully breathe, speak with care, and/or let it go. It’s even tougher to say “thank you” to them. But why shouldn’t we thank someone that offers a different viewpoint? Doesn’t this challenge us to be better? Doesn’t it offer us new opportunities to use our strengths such as curiosity toward a new perspective and critical thinking to examine the pros and cons of the opinion? Using our strengths in this way helps us grow. Imagine yourself saying thank you in such a scenario this weekend: What would happen if you did?
  3. Thank you, my loved ones. That’s an obvious one. But what is less obvious and something few people do is to offer depth to the gratitude. Rather than – “thank you, mom” or “I’m happy you’re my friend. Thank you,” offer a specific example and rationale for why you appreciate the person. You might say – “thank you, dad, for being there for me after I broke up with my boyfriend. You have always been caring and supportive of me when I’m down and I so appreciate that.”
  4. Thank you, my body and mind. There’s plenty of gratitude to be pushed out to others and the world. What about yourself? (intrapersonal gratitude). Give thanks to your body, your mind, and your spirit. You might reply that you have an illness or that your body is breaking down. Isn’t that a time to be even more grateful? To appreciate the vitality that exists within your body and mind? As the prominent spiritual teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh observes, this present moment is a wonderful moment because it’s another moment you’re alive. You can smile. You can connect. And, you can appreciate yourself.
  5. Thank you, toothbrush. We take our routines for granted: brushing teeth, washing our body, walking down steps, eating breakfast, driving to work. We are creatures of habit and these routines keep us sane. They sustain us, give our mind mini-relaxation periods, and provide us with a sense of comfort and normalcy. That doesn’t mean we can’t stand to be a bit more mindful of what we are doing. Saying “thank you” to your toothbrush deepens your appreciation of health habits and also breaks you out of your autopilot trance during the day.

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Giving Tuesday — Planting Seeds of Kindness

Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday is an annual opportunity for everyone to commit to supporting a charity that speaks to your heart. Support can come in many forms — some of your time, a donation, or the power of your voice to share the good works.

The #GivingTuesday website has many resources and suggestions for getting involved. You can also refer to the Charity Navigator website to find global, as well as, local organizations to support.

Here at Amber Lotus, we’ll be supporting our long-time partner Trees for the Future. TREES is celebrating 28 years of service. They are dedicated to ending extreme hunger and poverty across Sub-Saharan Africa by revitalizing degraded lands. It has been our honor to support them since 2008. As of July 2017, we had funded the planting of 650,000 trees. For #GivingTuesday, we have pledged to fund the planting of an additional 10,000 trees. And we have committed to planting another 90,000 by the end of 2017. Please visit the TREES website to learn more about their wonderful programs.

No matter what type of seed you decide upon — your time, your financial support, your voice to share, or actual seeds with organizations like TREES — we know that these acts of kindness will flourish.

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Artist Spotlight — Barbara Dziadosz Loves to Cook and Draw

The Kitchen Art 2018 wall calendar features the charming illustrations of Barbara Dziadosz. The lighthearted 1950s-style illustrations featured in this calendar lend a retro feel to today’s whole-foods movement. Bright colors and fresh textures showcase imaginative food combinations that will have you experimenting with even your tried-and-true recipes — and will encourage you to include the most important ingredients of all: joy and love.

As for her love of cooking, Barbara says, “In a time of abundance, it’s more important than ever to know the difference between filling up our bodies with food and eating well. Even though we live in a hectic world, it’s essential to take our time and create fresh and seasonal dishes. This is why I have chosen to illustrate healthy, easy, and quick recipes that are perfect for everyday life.”

Barbara is a freelance illustrator who specializes in screen printing, character design, and editorial design. Originally from a small town in northern Poland, she was raised in Hamburg and studied at HAW Hamburg (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences). During this time, she had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of printing techniques and fell in love with the simplicity of screen printing. She currently works for various national and international magazines and clients, and is in the process of creating a cookbook with healthy recipes. Visit her website to see more of her work.

Fishink did a wonderful Q&A with Barbara exploring her inspiration:

Which artist’s would you say that you most admire and why ?
I’m very influenced by vintage illustration from all over the world. I admire Russian avant garde illustrators like Boris Ermelenko, the bold works of Fernand Nathan, Olle Eksell, Leonard Weisgard, Alice and Martin Provensen; Miroslav Sasek, Art Seiden, Arnold Edwin Bare and many, many more. I also love old advertisements like the one from bally or old food illustrations. There is jelly eveywhere and woman serve big meals to their husbands in their pink kitchens. I also love old Czechoslovakian, Polish and Russian matchbox labels and vintage travel posters, mainly from England. I could not limit myself to one artist or one direction. Each one of them has something that fascinates me. What I mainly love about those kind of illustrations is the limited colour palette, the bold shapes, and the beautiful printing techniques they are made with.

How did you first get interested in screen printing, and do you have a preference between printing and digital means of producing an illustration ?
I started screen printing some years ago as a workshop at my school. It was hard to get in this workshop, as there is a very limited number of participants. When I finally got in, I printed as if there was no tomorrow. I printed a series about love in Morocco, which gave me the opportunity to learn everything about screen printing and its possibilties. As I began, I printed with even layers, as I didn’t know better. After this project, I decided to limit myself to just three colours and to make them semi transparent, to achieve more varieties. Nowadays I mainly work digitally, as screen printing takes too long. I’m finishing up my studies and won’t have access to the screen printing studio anymore, so I decided to learn to do my work digitally. Before that, I did all of my illustrations with classic printing techniques such as lino and wood cut, etching and lithography.

Can you describe the process you take when creating a new piece of artwork ?
I always start with some sketches and write down whatever comes to my mind by thinking about this project. When I have done that I search for some reference and do some rough sketches. When I’m satisfied with them, I take a picture of my scans and proceed digitally. I rearrange the sketches to one illustration and print it out, to add some hand drawn element. I colour it digitally, add the hand drawn element and voila!


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More Kitchen Inspiration for 2018 from Amber Lotus

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — November 2017 — Free to Download

November is the eleventh and penultimate month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the fourth and last month to have the length of 30 days. November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar.
Flower: Chrysanthemum
Birthstone: Topaz or Citrine

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – All Saints’ Day (Christian)
1 – Day of the Dead (Mexico)
2 – All Souls’ Day (Christian)
5 – Daylight Saving Time Ends
7 – Election Day
11 – Remembrance Day (AU, CA)
11 – Veterans Day
12 – Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í)
20 – Universal Children’s Day
23 – Thanksgiving

Free desktop wallpaper for November

See download tips and system instructions below:

Mac Users: Click thumbnail image above to see a preview of the downloadable graphic. Then Ctrl+click that image and select the command “Save Image As” in the pop-up menu to save the image to your computer. Some browsers allow you to click and drag the image to your desktop. Then use your System Preferences to change the desktop.

Windows Users: Click thumbnail image above to see a preview of the downloadable graphic. Then right-click that image and select the command “Save Image As” in the pop-up menu to save the image to your computer. Some browsers allow you to click and drag the image to your desktop. Then use your Personalization Settings to change the desktop.

Note: Desktop wallpaper calendars are free for personal use only.


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2018 Calendars for Everyone on Your List

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Artist Spotlight — Chris Burkard: Traveling the World

Call of the Wild 2018 wall calendar

We are honored to welcome Chris Burkard to our family of contributing artists for 2018. He captures the grandeur of Mother Nature in heart-stopping detail while conveying the unique spirit of each place. He is very active on Instagram, sharing images from his adventures to over 2.8 million followers.

Chris BurkardAt thirty, photographer Chris Burkard has seen more of the world than most of us could possibly hope to see in several lifetimes. From Iceland, Norway, and the Russian Far East to India, the Pacific Islands, and South America, he captures his journeys in images that bring faraway places to vivid life.

Burkard is often referred to as a surf photographer, and for good reason. He began contributing to SURFER, where he is now staff photographer, in his early twenties. But that job description may leave too much out, since he also shoots adventure travel, epic landscapes, portraiture, street photography, and extreme sports that have nothing to do with the ocean.

Burkard has published several books: The California Surf Project (2006), with friend and co-author Eric Soderquist; Plight of the Torpedo People (2012); Russia: The Outpost Vol. 1 (2013); Distant Shores (2013); and, most recently High Tide: A Surf Odyssey (2015).

Burkard’s commercial clients include Apple, J.Crew, Land Rover, Microsoft, the North Face, Patagonia, Sony, and Swiss International Air Lines. His work has been published in GQ, National Geographic, the New Yorker, Outside, Vogue, and Wired.

Burkard and his wife, Breanne, have two sons, Jeremiah and Forest. They live in Arroyo Grande on California’s Central Coast.

Call of the Wild 2018 calendar by Chris Burkard


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We’re Excited to Share! Introducing Our New Calendar Titles for 2018

When someone asks what there is to do, light the candle in their hands. — Rumi

Amber Lotus Publishing has been illuminating spirit in the world since 1988. (2018 will mark our 30th anniversary!) It is our great joy to continue to hold that intention carefully as we craft our products.

This year we’re deeply honored to offer the first calendar – an Amber Lotus exclusive – featuring the calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hanh. Each work of art in The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh offers a serene expression of his artistry and a timeless interpretation of Buddha’s teachings.

We’re delighted to welcome Katie Daisy to the Amber Lotus family. We have a new wall calendar, a weekly planner, and a coloring book featuring Katie’s inspiring art and unique perspective on living a life with purpose.

Instagram phenomenon Chris Burkard joins us again to create Call of the Wild, featuring his stunning adventure photography combined with his observations on the power of the natural world.

We have a new Rumi calendar featuring text from Coleman Barks paired with exquisite contemporary Persian art. Other new offerings include The Artful Cat, Heart Land, Kitchen Art, Mandala Meditations, and two new weekly planners: Love This Life and Eat Well, Kiss More, Travel Often.

We are grateful for the creative collaboration we share with our customers, artists, authors, reps, and friends, each of whom, in his or her own way, illuminates spirit in the world.

— In gratitude


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Happy October Full Moon!

Today is also the Mid-Autumn Festival. Read more from Waverly Fitzgerald >>


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — October 2017 — Free to Download

October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the sixth month to have the length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old Roman calendar, October retained its name (from the Latin ôctō meaning “eight”) after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans.
Flower: Calendula or Cosmos
Birthstone: Opal or Tourmaline

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
2 – Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
4 – Mid-Autumn Festival (Asian)
5 – Sukkot Begins (Jewish)
9 – Columbus Day Observed
9 – Indigenous Peoples Day
9 – Thanksgiving (Canada)
13 – Simchat Torah (Jewish)
19 – Deepavali/Diwali (Hindu)
20 – Birth of the Báb (Bahá’í)
24 – United Nations Day
31 – Halloween
31 – Samhain (Pagan/Wiccan)

Free October Wallpaper

 

See download tips and system instructions below: Continue reading