A monthly newsletter to support and inspire your Heartspoken life. November’s focus is gratitude. [Reading time under 5 minutes]
November 10, 2018
What’s going on at Riverwood
The fall colors finally arrived here in the Shenandoah Valley! They didn’t last long—and they were more yellow/orange than the usual reds—but it was still glorious. As I write this in early November, even the pine trees are shedding old needles, and every gust of wind creates a raining of leaves and needles. Here’s a picture of the bright yellow carpet forming under my silver maple tree.
What’s going on in your part of the world? Send me a photo and I’ll post it to the Heartspoken Facebook page.
✧ NORTH—Faith: Look for common ground
Mid-term elections have come and gone, and regardless of your political leanings, I think we can all agree that the work of compromise and civil discourse is hard. I’ve been thinking so much about how to connect with others from the heart instead of the head (where dogma and intractability seem to reside). I call on you to reframe your relationships with those who feel differently than you about the current political hot buttons. Look for common ground. Parker Palmer suggests we open the way to genuine dialogue by asking, “What do you most love in life?” He says it helps both parties to focus on each other’s humanity instead of their differences. As a seeker of the Heartspoken Life, I’m all in for that.
✧ SOUTH—Connection: What if our differences are just an illusion?
When science and philosophy join forces, the results can be fascinating. “What Would Happen If Everyone Truly Believed Everything Is One?” explores an age-old question and takes it out of the realm of religion and into the realm of science. It was written by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Scientific American’s “Beautiful Mind” column.
✧ EAST—Self-Awareness: Want to be happy? Be grateful
Never gloss over Gratitude as just a sappy, sweet emotion. Brother Steindl-Rast, in this wildly popular TED talk, makes the compelling case for a simple practice that can transform your life and ensure that those things which inspire gratitude don’t get lost in the shuffle of our busy lives.
Stop, Look, and Go.
Create “stop signs” in your life. This can be a simple as a sticky note on your mirror or a reminder on your phone. When you see the stop sign, take the time to look around and be present in the moment. Appreciate whatever is going on. Then open your hearts to harness your creative power to make a difference. Go.
From Heartspoken’s archives, I was amazed how much of this message was in my own post: “Gratitude: The Secret Sauce In The Recipe For Happiness.”
✧ WEST—Nature: Fall’s life lesson on getting rest
The leaves on our trees are dying, turning brown, and falling off. It’s easy to think of this with sadness and allow dread for the coming cold season to impact our happiness. But I love to think about the incredible complexity of life going on inside those trees as they prepare for their critical winter dormancy. They are resting and storing up the inner resources to burst forth again in spring. We humans should learn to incorporate these cycles of rest and restoration into our lives more often, especially in our habits of sleep.
In James Clear’s excellent guide, the “Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night,” his short section on the “Purpose of Sleep” is especially worthwhile.
I was also fascinated by this post and infographic “61 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Sleep.” It’s pretty clear that as a society, Americans don’t get enough sleep.
What I’m loving right now: Dave’s Killer Bread
What a delicious, nutritious bread with a heartwarming story that started when Dave got out of prison after 15 years…
Dave Dahl was welcomed back to the family bakery by his older brother Glenn. He seized the opportunity and worked tirelessly to develop a killer new recipe for organic and Non-GMO bread. The bread is now the #1 organic bread in America and the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation is helping other companies do what they do: give ex cons a second chance.
Look for it in your grocery or check out the many varieties from Amazon. My favorite (so far) is the Organic Good Seed Thin-Sliced. Toasting brings out the nutty flavor, and I love it with butter or cream cheese.
If you celebrate Thanksgiving in your part of the world, I hope it is filled with love, connection, and scrumptious food. I’ve just posted one of our family’s favorite recipe: Curried Fruit. It’s a great side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner. Please share your favorite recipe on the Heartspoken Facebook page.
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“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ~G.K. Chesterton
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