International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge

Image from our Girl Power 2021 wall calendar featuring illustrations by Kelly Angelovic.

International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

The theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge. Here’s an excerpt from the IWD website:

A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.

Visit the IWD to read about more ways to celebrate.


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — February 2021 — Free to Download

February is the second month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. As the only month to have a length of less than 30 days, February is the shortest month of the year. The month has 28 days in common years or 29 days in leap years, with the quadrennial 29th day being called the “leap day.”
Flower: Violet
Birthstone: Amethyst

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – Imbolc (Pagan/Wiccan)
2 – Groundhog Day
6 – Waitangi Day (New Zealand)
12 – Chinese New Year (Ox)
12 – Lincoln’s Birthday
12 – Losar (Tibetan New Year)
14 – Valentine’s Day
15 – Flag Day (Canada)
15 – Nirvana Day (Buddhist)
15 – Presidents’ Day
16 – Mardi Gras
16 – Vasant Panchami (Hindu)
17 – Ash Wednesday (Christian)
17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day
22 – Washington’s Birthday
26 – Purim (Jewish)
27 – Full Moon, 3:17 am EST

See download tips and system instructions below: Continue reading

Random Acts of Kindness

Illustration by Clairice Gifford from The Art of Kindness 2021 wall calendar.

Random Acts of Kindness Week, which will be observed February 14-20, 2021, is an annual opportunity to unite through kindness. Formally recognized in 1995, this seven-day celebration demonstrates that kindness is contagious. It all starts with one act — one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend. It’s an opportunity for participants to leave the world better than they found it and inspire others to do the same. Since inception, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation estimates that millions of individuals, celebrities, businesses, schools, and partners have participated in these weeklong celebrations.

Here is more from their website about the theme for 2021:

We are upholding this annual tradition of celebrating kindness because we know everyone can use more kindness in their lives. Scientific evidence shows us the positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness. Even the smallest act of kindness can change a life.

In 2021, we encourage everyone to Explore the Good and Make Kindness the Norm.

Stories come to us on a daily basis. They are beautiful and heartwarming, but mostly they give us hope. We hear of seemingly insignificant moments where a stranger helps another stranger and impacts the rest of their life with a small gesture. When we tune into kindness happening around us, the day seems a little bit brighter. The week seems a little more manageable.

These stories are nothing new or unique. They are YOUR stories. They are OUR stories. Help us Make Kindness the Norm by spreading it in the simplest ways.

Even with all the challenges facing society, the Random Acts of Kindness foundation wants to remind the world that there is still so much good going on.

There are lots of wonderful resources and free downloadables on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.


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Imbolc and Candlemas: Spring Growth

Brighid’s Mantle by Jen Delyth featured in the Celtic Mandala 2021 wall calendar.

Last week we looked at the Hindu festival of early spring. This week we welcome the early spring with a few British Isles holidays in honor of new growth: Imbolc and Candlemas. Celebrated on February 1 and 2, they fall halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and can be considered the beginning of spring.

Imbolc is the Celtic name for the holiday celebrated on February 1. The name is alternately derived from words that refer to washing and pregnant bellies and ewe’s milk, because this is the time when lambs are born out in the fields and the earth is prepared for sowing, a time to ask for protection for young animals and tender crops.

February 1 is also the feast day of St. Brigid, who began her life as a pagan goddess and ended up a Christian saint. The goddess, Brigid or Bride, was a fire and fertility goddess with a temple at Kildare where an eternal flame burned, tended by vestal virgins. The saint, Brigid, was born in the fifth century and established the first monastery in Ireland at (where else?) Kildare. Many of the saint’s legends resonate with the qualities and aspects of the goddess. St. Brigid is often associated with light and fire, she multiplies butter and milk, she brings people sheep and cattle, and she can control the weather. To celebrate St. Brigid’s day, people leave a loaf of bread on the windowsill for the saint and an ear of corn for her white cow. Wheat weavings called “Brigid’s crosses” serve as charms to protect homes from fire and lightning.

February 2 is known as Candlemas in the Christian church, thanks to a passage from Luke 2:21 in which the baby Jesus is heralded as “a light for revelation” when Mary goes to the temple for the rite of purification required for women 40 days after giving birth to a baby boy. The spark of the candle burning in the darkness becomes the symbol of new life. Candles are brought to church to be blessed on this day and taken home to serve as protection from disasters. In Hungary, according to Dorothy Spicer in The Book of Festivals, February 2 is called “Blessing of the Candle of the Happy Woman.” In Poland, it is called “Mother of God Who Saves Us from Thunder.”

In North America we celebrate February 2 by observing a groundhog who predicts the weather for the upcoming 40 days by rousing from hibernation to check out the sunshine. If he sees his shadow (meaning it’s a sunny day), he goes back inside and winter continues. If he stays out, then spring will come early.

If you are lucky at Candlemas you can see the stirrings of spring. Here in Seattle, the witch hazel and the boxwood are blooming, perfuming the air with sweet scents. Snowdrops (the flower of St. Brigid) are opening their snowy white bells. In colder climates, you might look for signs of a thaw or just treasure the extra few minutes of light each day.

Originally published January 2015. 


Waverly FitzgeraldWaverly Fitzgerald was a writer, teacher, and calendar priestess who studied the lore of holidays and the secrets of time for decades. She shared her research and her thoughts on her Living in Season website and in her book, Slow Time. Waverly passed away in December 2019 and is remembered for being kind, talented, and generous—especially in the aid she provided to many writers, both aspiring and well-established, with her wellspring of knowledge.

 

 


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — January 2021 — Free to Download

January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after the Latin word for door (ianua), since January is the door to the year and an opening to new beginnings. The month is conventionally thought of as being named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer).
Flower: Carnation
Birthstone: Garnet

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – New Year’s Day
6 – Epiphany (Christian)
7 – Christmas (Orthodox Christian)
14 – Old New Year (Orthodox Christian)
16 – Religious Freedom Day
18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
20 – Inauguration Day
26 – Australia Day (Australia)
26 – Republic Day (India)
27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day
28 – Tu B’Shevat (Jewish)
28 – Full Moon, 2:16 pm EST

See download tips and system instructions below: Continue reading

Hygge: Finding Comfort in Winter

Image from A Year of Mindful Living 2021 wall calendar.

Hygge (pronunced HOO-gah) is the Danish way of embracing winter that embodies loving connection and ease. Dwelling. Savoring. Slowing down. Making ordinary everyday moments more meaningful, special, and beautiful.

I love how this philosophy mirrors the Taoist, Feng Shui and Chinese Medicine paths of being in alignment with the season. With winter being so yin (cold, dark, wet and damp), it’s a time for deep rest, relaxation and restoration. We can balance this with some strong yang chi — fires, light and warmth!

Here are some simple ways to create your own at home experience of hygge…

  • Slow down and really relax — Take a nap by the fire. Turn off our phone, tv and computer and connect. Share food, music or poetry with loved ones without distraction. Watch the sunrise or moonrise. Enjoy pure “being” and presence!
  • Create warm, cozy spaces — Use faux fur throws, flannel sheets, soft sweaters, slippers, a blanket tent and so on.
  • Decorate only with what you love — Go natural and organic by hanging fresh or dried tree branches and fresh flowers or greenery in every room.
  • Illuminate with soothing light — White candles in clear glass jars. Mirrored sconces. Fairy lights. Fires in the fireplace. White paper star pendants.
  • Savor comfort — Love your favorite people. Create comfort and shelter for yourself and others. Cuddle with your cat and dog. Light a candle at breakfast. Take a hot bath. Stick cloves in a fresh orange.
  • Create sacred sanctuary and community — Enjoy the good and simple life. Savor the present moment. Walk in the woods. Have a bonfire outside. Make snow angels.
  • Eat warm foods — soups, porridge, congee, stews. Drink hot chai, tea or cocoa. Enjoy artisan chocolate or chutney. Bake bread.
  • Declutter, simplify — Be content in simple things. Enjoy BEING instead of doing!

Gwynne WarnerGwynne Allyn Warner is the founder of 10,000 Blessings Feng Shui and practices Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui as a disciple of Grandmaster Professor Lin Yun. She was certified as an Advanced Feng Shui Consultant by Helen and James Jay of Feng Shui Designs. Gwynne began her studies in Buddhism in her early twenties while living in London where she became enamored with Kuan Yin and thereafter received her Bodhisattva Vows with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Her expertise has been treasured by creative small businesses, service professionals, performing artists, Chinese medicine practitioners, healers, and interior designers among others. For more information and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website.


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — December 2020 — Free to Download

December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and is the last of seven months to have a length of 31 days. December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar, which began in March.
Flower: Narcissus
Birthstone: Turquoise, Zircon, and Tanzanite

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – World AIDS Day
7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
8 – Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
10 – Human Rights Day
11 – Hanukkah Begins (Jewish)
12 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)
21 – Winter Solstice
21 – Yule (Pagan/Wiccan)
25 – Christmas
26 – Boxing Day (Canada, UK)
26 – Kwanzaa Begins (African American)
29 – Full Moon, 10:28 pm EST
31 – New Year’s Eve

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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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — November 2020 — Free to Download

November is the eleventh and penultimate month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the last of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the last of five months to have a length of less than 31 days. November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar. November retained its name, despite novem coming from the Latin for “nine,” when January and February were added to the Roman calendar.
Flower: Chrysanthemum
Birthstone: Topaz

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – All Saints’ Day (Christian)
1 – Day of the Dead (Mexico)
1 – Daylight Saving Time Ends
2 – All Souls’ Day (Christian)
3 – Election Day
11 – Remembrance Day (Australia, Canada)
11 – Veterans Day
14 – Diwali (Hindu)
20 – Universal Children’s Day
26 – Thanksgiving
29 – Advent Begins
30 – Full Moon, 4:30 am EST

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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Dreaming of 2021… Wall Calendars, Planners, and Desk Pads