It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Giving Thanks

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"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." —Melody Beattie

I've Been Thinking...

I love Thanksgiving. I also love the week that leads up to it. This has always been my favorite holiday and favorite time of year.

I love Thanksgiving not just because it focuses on food, family, faith, and football, but also because it is steeped in gratitude. Gratitude is always in the air at this time of year. I can feel it, I can sense it, and I love expressing it to the people in my life. I also love being on the receiving end of it.

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How to Help Kids Re-Adjust to In-Person Learning

BradleyN9.30 6 tips for helping kids adapt to going back to school

If your child has been participating in school through online learning for some or all of the past school year, the change back to in-person learning this year may be a big shift. Emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness and stress can all arise, and may even be amplified in this unusual time we are living through.

Despite the worries kids and their parents have about staying healthy in the pandemic, there is still excitement about students being back in the classroom, interacting with their teachers and peers. For many kids, this will be a welcome change from solitary learning. For others, the bustle of the classroom poses a big adjustment after logging in to school from the quiet of home for much of the past year. All this is on top of the anxiousness kids normally may feel when starting a new school year with new classmates, classes, teachers, and in some cases, new schools.

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How Our Loved Ones Communicate With Us After Their Death

pollyw8.21

The older we get, most of us have suffered the loss of a loved one. This can be hard even if you do believe in life after death. Keep reading and discover how our loved ones communicate with us after their death, and how you can communicate with them.

My schedule was packed full. I was taking off for a long weekend trip to Alaska for a wedding. My very talented hair stylist reached out and needed to change our appointment. The new schedule was perfect; but then she had to change it again because of an unexpected event.

In order for the new schedule to work we met on Sunday. The studio was empty except for the two of us. I can’t remember how the subject came up, but we began talking about death and life after death.

Our conversation was very candid and would not have been so deep, if other people were around. There was a little magic that happened to create a private setting. My hair stylist, Lisa, was just exploring the possibilities of life after death.

I began picking up on an older gentleman around her, like a grandfather. I saw light colored denim. He was also showing me flowers, lots of flowers. He also showed me he was very persistent.

Her grandfather had passed, and had worn light denim overalls. His wife, still living, has lots of flowers. We talked a little more about him and his wife. I mentioned again the flowers and how persistent he is!

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How to Create Waves of Happiness

laughingfamily

Something happened recently that I find super hilarious, while also incredibly encouraging and hopeful. The other day, I was running around doing my crazy morning errands. The kids wanted sushi in their lunches so I ended up going to WholeFoods to grab some for them. We ended up getting Dunkin Donuts too, which I know sounds obnoxious together, but it made my kids giggle!

And that reminded me of something: by making other people happy, causing them to giggle, and helping them do things they thoroughly enjoy, it makes me happy. Through this pattern, I can create a wave of happiness.

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Children Are In Charge

superhero-kids-with-superpowers

It may not
Look like it

But the children
are in charge

Their world
is not
collapsing

This is
The only world
They know

They are bringing
The infinite of their being
Now
Their love is mature
Fully grown

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Upside Down Love 

happy-family-together

I fall in love
With your essence 

And then unwrap
The story
That reveals
All your beauty

I love who you are
But I also appreciate
The life that made you

I only need to know
Enough
To love you
Which isn’t very much
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578 Hits

How To Be With Your Loved Ones Right Now

child-in-isolation-at-home

Are you missing family and friends? Have you lost loved ones close to your heart?

There is a simple Heartful way to feel connected with everyone I love.

While developing the HARMONY REFRESH, I discovered a profound attribute of hearts to connect with love.

A Harmony Refresh of feeling your heartbeat, being aware of your breath and relaxing into calm are the first three skills of the Seven Skills of Harmony. Click here for more info.

My father passed away over 40 years ago. I still miss him but a few years ago I realized, grief is not about getting over loss, it is honoring the love that is eternally shared in our Source.

It’s easy to think an attachment to the past maintains a connection to love. Longing for someone you love whether in or out of a body comes in two tones of emotion, the agony of loss and the joy of gratitude, both come from love.

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The Spirit of Hope and Expectancy

holidaymagic Penned by Anjie Hosley, The Spiritual Doula for Writefully So, Unlimited

The spirit of hope and expectancy is very much alive during this season; which is often called the most wonderful time of the year. This season is a time when many faith traditions and religions are celebrating the magic of high holy days. There is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, just to name a few and so many more celebrations. Most, if not all have stories that are about the miracle of life and hope. These stories have unexplained or miraculous phenomenal occurrences articulated to help inspire people and give them a sense of hope.

Many of these stories are based on mystical or magical journeys. I personally believe these stories are not just for the time period beginning with Thanksgiving at the end of November through January 1st each year. If we are willing to commit ourselves to carrying the stories’ spirit of hope and expectancy, we can experience their meaning through every day of our lives. We can experience wonder, possibility, and hope as our new normal.

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We’ll Be Home for the Holidays—and That’s Okay!

idyllic-christmas-with-my-mom-picture-id1190196389

I drove around my neighborhood the other day and noticed several houses already decorated for the holidays. Seeing the colorful twinkling lights around the windows and giant inflatable Santa Clauses waving from front lawns puts me in the holiday spirit.

But this year, as we all know ... things are different. A nasty Grinch called Covid-19 is trying to steal Christmas from us. With more lockdowns in place and more cases prohibiting us to cross borders and visiting our loved ones, the classic holiday song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is literally coming true for 2020.

I wanted to share some interesting parallels I learned about this popular song and our challenging year fighting the pandemic.

People were singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” when we were involved in another tough battle—World War II. The lyrics were written in the voice of a soldier serving overseas who is reminiscing about the holidays—surrounded by family and friends. This soldier looks forward to coming home and asks specifically for things that represent the holidays: Please have snow and mistletoe, and presents by the tree. The song, however, ends on a melancholy note with the soldier saying: “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”

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Finding Holiday Joy Despite the Pandemic

covidxmas Caring for yourself and practicing gratitude are among ways you can beat sadness, loneliness, and stress despite restrictions

Across America, people are wondering what the holidays will be like as pandemic-related restrictions on traveling and gathering drag on. Mental health experts worry about how adults and children will cope when normal ways of celebrating are curtailed.

About two-thirds of American parents are worried about the pandemic impacting the mental health of their children, according to a recent survey from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

The holidays are already a time when many people struggle to feel happy and joyful amid the festivities going on around them. This year many families and individuals are coping with feelings of grief after losing a loved one to the pandemic or other causes.

It’s always hard to face the first holiday without a beloved family member or friend. It will be even more challenging this year as many people choose to stay home and gather only with those in their households, especially for those who live alone.

Even during the best of times, the holidays can be stressful and disruptive to your body, your emotions, and your routines. So how can we manage feelings of stress, isolation, and loneliness this year during holidays marred by a global crisis?

This year, it’s more important than ever to take steps to guard your emotional, mental, and physical health. Here are a few ideas to help make your holidays joyful in spite of the pandemic:

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Homeward Once More

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After two and a half years in Florida, my partner Anne and I are moving back to Massachusetts. It is a decision of the heart. We are choosing to be closer to family and old friends and to remembered places that fill us with great love and appreciation. We are returning home. A few weeks ago, as I was on hold while buying our airline tickets to Boston, Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Homeward Bound” began playing in my ear. The synchronicity was unmistakable. I burst into tears.

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784 Hits

Is There Proof Love Exists?

asian-mother-with-daughter-of-mixed-chinese-and-african-american-at-picture-id1169676864 Is there proof love exists?

I have great joy in being with thousands of kids every year. Some might define me as a children’s musician but I prefer the job description of, Greatness Amplifier, Engagement Specialist, Experience Generator. I like this description for how perfect it is for what I do performing music with kids, while at the same time it’s not limited to any specific skills or career.

Is there proof love exists?

Children can prove
Love is not based on commitment
It is captured in a moment

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524 Hits

Kids Have Plenty To Say

group-of-smiling-preschool-students-picture-id1168223108 Kids Have Plenty To Say

As a full-time kid’s musician since 1990, I have the blessing of being with thousands of kids every year.

Kids have never said to me directly
“Teach me something”

But they ALWAYS
Have something urgent
To tell me

Maybe one of the best methods of teaching
Is listening

Acknowledging
What kids have to say.
Seeing them
and their ideas as valuable
Interesting
and inspired

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663 Hits

The Most Precious Possession 

IMG_5664-_20201007-215134_1 The Most Precious Possession

I had just finished a music performance at a preschool in Minneapolis. The children were playing on the playground while I was loading my car. Lucy who is barely three was standing by the chain link fence with her hand reaching out to me. As I walked over to her, she gently said, “Here, this is for you.” “You can take it home.”

What else could I say except “Thank You!” Doing my best to echo the sweet sincerity that the tiny white pebble from the playground was given.

The object had no intrinsic value, but the gift was priceless.
Kings cannot possess riches as precious as the generosity of Lucy’s pebble.

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Revival

meditating2 Revival

I have been daydreaming about a lovely family vacation in Hawaii with my children and husband. I have also been wanting some easy travel in a hippy van with my husband and dogs. I imagine us sitting outside under the stars. Both sound really good right now! In the past, if I found myself needing a break from daily life, I would plan a trip. Maybe I would go, or I would not, but it was always an option. Currently, the thing I would like to get away from the most will join me wherever I am. The pandemic has created a shadow over the state of mind for many people and places. This is not all bad.

One of the blessings of our global health concern is a reminder of wherever you go, there you are. The only way to escape the feeling of crisis is to get comfortable with who you are and your relationship with everything. You can’t escape you or the Universe!

This outbreak could be the catalyst for us becoming a mindful and evolved species.

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950 Hits

Ego Puppy’s Tips To Taking Radical Responsibility for Your Happy Holiday

happpyholidays Ego Puppy’s Tips To Taking Radical Responsibility for Your Happy Holiday

The holidays can be so much be fun!

Trimming the tree, old familiar traditions and the warmth of our family and friends. Those are the holidays… in a perfect world.

But, how many people live in a perfect world?

During this time of year, many are overworked trying to create the perfect holiday.

Shopping, cooking, cleaning, juggling in-laws and traditions that feel never ending… and when the whole thing is over you’re left feeling tired, empty and unappreciated.

Does this sound familiar?

It’s important to remember that when family comes together, stress is often sure to follow.

Let’s put an end to that this year!

Do you know how to enjoy the holiday and remain stress free in your natural state of love?

The key is to take radical responsibility for YOUR OWN happy holiday!

Imagine what an impact that would have on your entire family.

When your spouse or love of your life sees you in a relaxed state of love, imagine what they will feel.

And what about your children and grandchildren? When they see you truly enjoying the season, imagine how much better the holiday will be for them.

Have you ever flown in an airplane and listened as they tell you that in the event of a crash, you should put your own mask on first?

The same principles apply here. If you’re not consciously living in your natural state of love, you can’t help anyone else live in theirs!

Taking radical personal responsibility for your own Happy Holiday will have far reaching effects.

You’ll feel more relaxed and appreciative of the beauty of the season and so will those you love most.

Let’s get started:

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744 Hits

How Has Your Animal Helped You?

they-just-love-christmas-picture-id1086365714 How Has Your Animal Helped You?

Animals are miraculous gifts to us. The power of an animal’s love, intuition and wisdom is greatly underestimated—whether it’s an ape that not only understands but also responds to sign language or a special cat that made the news by instinctively knowing when its nursing-home residents were about to leave this world. Then there’s the dog that helps its therapist owner detect abnormalities in her patients’ bodies and the story of the amazingly brave elephants that impulsively knew they had to save themselves by moving to higher ground when a devastating tsunami hit the west coast of Sumatra.

Animals have been our spiritual companions since the dawn of time. Humans have honored them throughout history, as can be seen in those early drawings on the walls of caves—man and dog hunting side by side. Egyptians have treated cats like gods, American Indians have honored many different animals on totem poles, and the elders in the tribe would teach the children about the importance of each living thing.

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A Season of Giving

creative-turkey A Season of Giving

I've Been Thinking...

I’ve been looking forward to Thanksgiving all year. In fact, I’ve been counting down to it every day since it happened last year. Why? Well, as anyone close to me knows, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

I love the days leading up to it. I love the atmosphere surrounding it. I love that it’s a holiday all about gathering around with family and friends for food, football, and faith. I love that it means my house is full of laughter, and that my table is full of people expressing gratitude for this moment in their lives. I love that friends find comfort and a sense of belonging and home at my family table on Thanksgiving each year.

I also love that Thanksgiving isn’t about going out and buying gifts (which I’ve come to realize just stresses everyone out, anyway). No, Thanksgiving is about celebrating the gifts that are within us. It’s a holiday that’s about honoring the gift of friendship. It’s about recognizing the gift of family. It’s about opening your heart and your mind to the larger picture of family. It’s about reaching out to those who might not have a family or a place to go and inviting them to the table.

I’ve written many times before about our collective need to belong, and how we all feel a need to be invited and included. Thanksgiving is an opportunity for all of us to recognize not just our own internal need for those things, but the need that our loved ones and neighbors have for it as well.

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The Gift of Caring

firefighters The Gift of Caring
“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” — Mother Teresa


I've Been Thinking...

November kicks off National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness and National Family Caregivers Month. For us here at The Sunday Paper, it's an opportunity to focus on the huge issue of caregiving (in all its forms), as well as on the value and importance of care. 

My mission is to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and I’m relentless in my pursuit of it. That's why you often see curated news from the Women's Alzheimer's Movement (WAM) featured in this newsletter. My father passed away from the disease in 2011, so I know first-hand what a toll it can take on families. That's why I'm determined to do everything I can to stop it from happening to others.

Yesterday, WAM held its big annual event Move for Minds, which works to educate and empower you with the information you need to care for your brain health and prevent or delay Alzheimer’s. It’s also a chance to raise funds for much needed women-based research, and to honor the work of those caregiving for someone with this mind-blowing disease.

Caring for another human being is God's work, and how one cares for another person tells you a lot about them. It tells you whether or not they value the concept of care. 

Care can be exhibited in so many ways, but what I know to be true is this: when a person feels cared for, the world suddenly feels a little less scary and a lot more OK. When you feel cared for, you feel soothed. You feel secure. You feel safe. And trust me, feeling safe is huge.

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A Meaningful Conversations Moment

conversations A Meaningful Conversations Moment

I've Been Thinking...

At the Democratic debate last Tuesday night, the final question posed to the candidates was one about friendship.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked each of them to describe a friendship they’ve had with someone who has different beliefs than them. The question came in light of what I wrote about last week, which was the uproar over comedian Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game. Lots of people seemed to be upset by the debate question, but I found it revelatory in terms of how the candidates answered it and how they didn’t.

Having the question come up in a presidential debate at all tells us that there is a prevailing feeling of fear in our country. There is a fear that people don’t want to be, or are too scared to be, friends with people who have different beliefs than them.

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714 Hits

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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