Happy Holidays! I hope that you and your family had a great Thanksgiving and that you’re enjoying the holiday season. Michelle, Samantha, and I spent a glorious 10 days on the Big Island of Hawaii celebrating Thanksgiving and taking some much needed and deserved “down time.”
I love the holidays…and, for many of us this time of year can be very stressful. Family gatherings, parties, rushing around to find gifts and take care of things, decorating the house, sending out cards, standing in line…the list goes on and on.
One of the most challenging aspects of the holidays for many of us is dealing with other people – our family members, friends, and even strangers in stores, on buses, and in general. It’s easy to get annoyed, frustrated, or to forget about the power of appreciation.
My dear friend and mentor, Richard Carlson (author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff), has written a great new book called, Don’t Get Scrooged. In his honest, open, and straight forward style, Richard offers insightful, practical, and heart-opening tips for dealing with difficult people in a kind, peaceful, and stress free way. The book is wonderful and it will help you stay grounded, focused, and positive in the midst of this potentially stressful time.
For more information about this book, all of Richard’s other great books, and his 10th anniversary edition celebrating 10 years of his “Don’t Sweat” series (The Big Book of Small Stuff), check out his website at https://www.dontsweat.com/
Enjoy this book and Richard’s work. Have fun this week appreciating the holidays!
P.S. Below is a photo of Samantha in Hawaii getting ready for the holiday season. She does not get “Scrooged” at all!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a great time to be with friends and family, to connect and share with them, and to focus on what we’re grateful for in our lives. Sometimes, however, even on Thanksgiving it’s easy for us to get caught up in “doing” all of the things we need to do – cook the dinner, clean the house, travel, etc. While the details and logistics of this holiday can be involved, stressful, and even fun, it’s important that we remember the true essence of the day – to GIVE THANKS.
As we gather with our families and friends this coming Thursday, let’s take some time to really think and feel deeply about all that we’re grateful for, the people that we appreciate in our life, and the many gifts and blessings of our own lives. When we stop to pay attention, there are so many things for us to be grateful for.
When you sit down for your meal, have someone (probably you) start by sharing some of the things they’re most grateful for in their life. Have each person take a turn with their own “gratitude sharing” until you have gone around the entire table. To make things even more powerful a meaningful, see if you can spend some time with each person during the day and let them know what you appreciate about them.
By putting some attention and focus on what Thanksgiving is all about, not only will you have a more fulfilling holiday, it will allow you experience the incredible power of gratitude and appreciation.
Have fun and Happy Thanksgiving!
Today (Thursday, 11/9/06) Challenge Day was featured on Oprah. As I mentioned in my last post, I am so excited about this and am grateful that the amazing work of Challenge Day has now been broadcasted out to the world through the media force of Oprah Winfrey. This will allow Challenge Days extraordinary work to reach even more lives and touch even more hearts! My wife Michele and I have been involved with Challenge Day for the past six years. The incredible work they do for young people and their communities is truly transformational and life-altering.
Challenge Day teaches people to people to “be the change.” This is taken from the famous Gandhi quote, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” What a beautiful, insightful, and powerful statement. In my personal experience, it is much easier to say this and even understand it, than it is to live it. However, living this message and truly BEING the change we wish to see in the world is the only way real change can happen – within ourselves and in the world around us.
Challenge Day is a shinning example of an organization that is truly “being the change.” One of the suggestions that Rich and Yvonne Dutra-St. John, the co-founders of Challenge Day and two of our dearest friends, have for people is to practice daily “acts of change” with their friends, family members, and in their communities.
Today and each day, make a point to do one or more simple “acts of change.” It could be something as like a smile, a hug, an apology, an acknowledgement, or anything else. Do it from your heart and do it with the intention of making the world a better place. These simple acts are great ways for each of us to be the change we wish to see in the world.
For more information on challenge day, go to https://www.challengeday.org
Over the past few weeks I keep getting passionately inspired by things I’m seeing and hearing in the media. Even in the midst of the negativity and violence in the world and the bitter attack ads of our up-coming political campaigns here in the United States, it feels like something big is happening and that a new level of consciousness is being expressed on a larger scale. Below is a list of some things I’m very excited about that I want to share with you. These are all inspiring examples of good things taking place – in the world and through the media. I hope you will check them all out:
1) Challenge Day on Oprah, 11/9/06 – Next week on Thursday, 11/9/06, Oprah will feature the incredible work of Challenge Day for the entire hour of her show. Challenge Day is one of the most amazing organizations on the planet. They deliver powerful, heart-centered, transformational workshops for middle school and high school students all over the world. These programs create peace, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and understanding for teens, schools, and communities. Their vision is to create a world where every child feels “safe, loved, and celebrated.” I am on the board of Challenge Day and my wife Michelle and I have been involved with this great organization for the past 6 years. Rich and Yvonne Dutra-St. John, the co-founders of Challenge Day (who are also our dear friends), will be on the show next week and are in discussions with Harpo Productions (Oprah’s people) about a long-term relationship. This is BIG, really BIG. I hope that you will watch the show next Thursday (11/9) and/or record it. Also, let others know about it. For more info check out https://www.oprah.com and/or https://www.challengeday.org
2) The “Free Hug” guy – Have you seen the powerful video on youtube.com featuring the guy (Juan Mann) from Australia who walks around with the “free hug” sign and gives people hugs? If not, check it out – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4 This is one of the most inspiring videos and stories I’ve seen in a long time. This video got onto youtube.com about 3 weeks ago and now over 5 million people have seen it. The video was featured on Good Morning America and Juan Mann was on Oprah this past Monday. On that show, Oprah gave away $1,000 to each person in the audience, along with a video camera. She said that they could not spend the money on themselves or anyone in their family, they had to give it away to someone who really needed it or to someone doing something to help or inspire other people. And, she challenged them to do this within one week, to film what they did, and then to send in the video to her. Oprah is incredible. Something BIG is happening! Watch this video and forward the link to as many people as possible…and, let’s all start making “Free Hug” signs.
3) The Secret on Larry King Live – The documentary film The Secret came out earlier this year. We loved it so much, I featured it in my email newsletter three months in a row and we have purchased a half-dozen copies so that we lend them out to as many people as possible. The Secret is all about the universal law of attraction and about how to create anything and everything you want in your life. Last night, Bob Proctor, Rev. Michael Beckwith, and a few other people (all of whom were featured in The Secret) were guests on Larry King Live and they were talking about the law of attraction. There is going to be another Larry King Live show, on November 16th, focused on this same topic, with more guest from The Secret. Something big is happening! If you can, watch or record Larry King on 11/16/06. For more info about The Secret, check out https://www.thesecret.tv
These are just a few of the amazing things that are out there right now – in the media and getting into the “consensus reality.” I am so hopeful, inspired, and energized by these examples and expressions of love, appreciation, and possibility. There are clearly some really BIG THINGS happening and I am grateful to all of us who are putting our positive energy and intention in these directions. Let’s all keep up the great work and keep supporting people, shows, movies, books, and organizations that bring more love and light into our world…it is time!
With Excitement, Passion, and Gratitude,
Samantha, our eight month old, loves it when I rub my beard on her belly. We play the beard-rubbing-belly game as often as possible. My new favorite sound is the joy-filled laughter of my beautiful daughter…it fills me with such a sense of joy, appreciation, and fulfillment. I love it and no matter what kind of day I’ve had, as soon as I hear her laugh and see her smiling face, all is well.
What makes you laugh? And when I say laugh, I mean that deep, belly laugh that makes your toes tingle and your face hurt. Some of us don’t have the opportunity to laugh like that very often. Most of us did as kids, remember? The power of laughter is incredible. Scientists have proven that laughing can heal our bodies and, of course, lift our spirits.
My friends Matthew and Terces Englehart have a powerful workshop called “The Abounding River.” This workshop is all about abundance and gratitude. They believe that it is essential to laugh deeply on a daily basis and by doing so, we open ourselves up to receiving abundance in our lives. Throughout their workshop, there are many times when the entire group has to stop and laugh as hard and as loud as possible for an entire minute. It is a great exercise.
Check out the Abounding River workshop website, which also happens to be the website for Matthew and Terces‘ amazing local chain of raw food restaurants located here in the San Francisco Bay Area called Cafe Gratitude – https://www.withthecurrent.com/ Their site, their restaurants, and their work are amazing.
This week, see if you can find that place within you that loves to laugh and let your laughter out. Laughter is one of the best, most powerful energies we can express. And, when we do we tap into deep passion, excitement, and gratitude within us. What a great way to live!
With Appreciation and LAUGHTER,