Category Archives: Midweek Mindfulness

Gratitude in the New Year — Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier

Katie Daisy 2020 weekly planner

Image of the Katie Daisy 2019-2020 On-the-Go Planner

As we enter a new year, many of us contemplate developing new habits with the desire to enrich our lives. While some of these resolutions can be lofty goals, one simple practice of expressing gratitude or keeping a gratitude list can have a lasting impact. A weekly planner or wall calendar is a wonderful place to jot down your lists and then reflect back on them at the end of the year.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Here’s more from the Harvard Health Publishing website:

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).


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Sale — 2020 Calendars, Limited Stock

Midweek Mindfulness with Michael J. Green: The Emergence — January 24, 2018

Celtic Blessings 2018 wall calendar

Image from our Celtic Blessings 2018 wall calendar featuring artwork by Michael J. Green. Click for more info.

The Emergence

Beneath the chaos and disorder of these days of purification, something is drawing ever closer, even as in the darkest of night the first glimmers of light announce the dawn. Pay heed and attend, for it is a birthing, a becoming, a returning. It is what the ancient people called The Emergence. Continue reading

Midweek Mindfulness with Mark Nepo — July 12, 2017

The Book of Awakening 2018 wall calendar

Image from The Book of Awakening 2018 wall calendar. Stacked stones © Dietmar Voorwold. Click image for more.

“This is the trick to staying well, isn’t it: To feel the sun even in the dark. To not lose the truth of things when they go out of view. To know there is still water, even when we are thirsty. To know there is still love, even when we are lonely. To know there is still peace, even when we are suffering.”
Mark Nepo


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Happy Birthday to H. H. the Dalai Lama

Image from our Dalai Lama 2018 wall calendar. Photograph by Rosemary Rawcliffe.

“One of my fundamental beliefs is that not only do we inherently possess the potential or basis for compassion, but also the basic or fundamental human nature is gentleness.” — H. H. the Dalai Lama, from Healing Anger

Previously, in honor of his 80th birthday in 2015, we shared Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind.


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Midweek Mindfulness with Joseph M. Marshall and Jim Yellowhawk — April 12, 2017

Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

HONOR
For any person, any society, any nation to remain strong, honor must be one of the values to live by. Strength is not only a physical trait but it can also be woven into the spiritual and philosophical threads that bind a person’s character and that of any society or nation as well. There is no true strength without honor. Without honor, there is only force without reason or compassion. Without honor, strength is only a brute weapon, and the consequence is that “might makes right.” Furthermore, honor must be applied to all the many aspects of life, be it friendship or politics, words or deeds, peace or war. Without honor, a warrior is defined only by the weapons in his hand and not by what is truly in his heart as a human being. Without honor, a warrior acts only with the weapons in his hand and not by the values that make him a person first.
— Joseph M. Marshall
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Midweek Mindfulness with Pema Chödrön — February 22, 2017

Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we already are. — Pema Chödrön

Pema Chodron 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image from our Pema Chödrön 2017 wall calendar. Japanese white-eye on blossoming plum tree, Honshu, Japan © Toshiaki Ono.

When people start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they’re going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It’s a bit like saying, “If I jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I could get a nicer house, I’d be a better person.” “If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person.” Or the scenario may be that they find fault with others; they might say, “If it weren’t for my husband, I’d have a perfect marriage.” “If it weren’t for the fact that my boss and I can’t get on, my job would be just great.” And, “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.” Continue reading

Midweek Mindfulness with Joseph M. Marshall and Jim Yellowhawk — November 9, 2016

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

COURAGE

Courage is not exclusive to any one person or calling or to any situation or circumstance. In a world that is constantly in motion, each of us has much to face each and every day. From the simple to the complex, from the mundane to the heartstopping, each of us has to live our lives with the strengths and the weaknesses we have. We should not blame our weaknesses or yearn for the strengths we do not have; we should instead use who and what we are, at any given moment in our lives, to enable ourselves to take the next step and the next after that. That is courage. As the world swirls around us, having courage is the only way to move with it and face what it will bring.
Joseph M. Marshall


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