Brown Bag Organics

Five Favorite Things for July!

For July, 6 Degrees is emphasizing the idea of relaxation. And finding the time to re-group and to vacate your usual routines and relax is vital. That is the importance of having vacations, even if they are only for a short weekend! This month, we are celebrating summer and that includes vacations and finding the time to read a good book (visit our site and Facebook page for good recommendations!). The importance of family and spending time with family and friends is one of the best parts of making holiday plans. Here’s hoping all of our friends and extended family that follows 6 Degrees is ready to have a wonderful vacation time!  Number One: Celebrating Summer & the Fourth of July!   On the fourth of July, we have been looking back at past vacations with family and friends. And some of the best beach pictures and mountain vacations are remembered on Facebook posts and Social Media shares with friends. Here’s a link to 6 Degrees Writer, where we start the month with just sharing some special memories of past times spent in wonderful ways…. **Don’t forget that 6 Degrees of Film features our Friday Flix film reviews (including July movie premieres!), each week on Facebook!   Number Two: Thursday, July 7th is Global Forgiveness Day We must keep reminding ourselves that when we practice forgiveness, we should include ourselves in the process! Chances are you are like most of us, and that means being harder on Yourself than on anyone else! Write yourself a Lifetime Pass of Forgiveness, and join us at The Growing Group! We have just begun a new series of exercises that start each Monday with an Inspirational Mantra in your inbox. That includes a short list of weekly motivational exercises to begin the week right! We are now offering the Growing Group Journal also, for those who would like to begin journaling as a daily practice….   Number Three: Tuesday July 12th is National Simplicity Day   Simplicity can continue our idea of relaxation by striving to live simply and to stress less! My own commitment means I am going to work to throw things away and downsize! When I get stressed from all of the lovely “junk” I’ve accumulated through a lifetime, I am going to practice deep breathing and then go to Brown Bag Organics. Our online magazine and Facebook page offer hints and tips for those who want to live simply, to embrace a natural life-style, and to find easy ways to de-stress.   Number Four: World Listening Day on Monday July 18th/Seneca Falls is July 19th   These two days combine Two of my Favorite Things…I believe somehow that the concept of listening more to others and then celebrating all the women who worked tirelessly for the vote can go hand in hand!   In keeping with the idea of reducing stress, breathing deeply, and finding ways to relax, we know those things are in direct contrast to the news we see on our TV screens each day.  However, in finding ways to listen to the other side, and working to find solutions and ways to compromise and accept those things we know we cannot change, we will find that listening does help.   And, to celebrate 100 years of the women’s vote, 6 Degrees created the magazine “A Century of Women.” Our motto is: “We are not going back” and that means that we must listen and  then move forward to find progress and solutions to 21st Century problems! Join us and visit the site to see our new products that include T-Shirts, Totes and Mugs with “We are not going back” as our tag line.   Number Five: Saturday July 23rd is “Gorgeous Grandma” Day Celebrate all the women in your life and family who are gorgeous grandmothers! We have a winner here at 6 Degrees…Susan is my sister-in-law and she is a tireless and proud Grandma as well as a simply gorgeous lady! Send your pictures to us at 6 Degrees and nominate someone you know to win a tote celebrating the strong women in your life: “We are not going back!” …. We are excited each month to roll out new opportunities to connect with you! Join us on the website or online at 6 Degrees and visit some of our new pages: Brown Bag Organics and My Dog Journal are just two!

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Remote Work Wellness: 3 ways to work remotely and still practice Wellness

If you work remotely, you may experience unique challenges that lead to stress, anxiety and burnout.  And at 6 Degrees, we are committed to finding ways to improve mind and body wellness. Our guest writer is Eleanor Wyatt, founder of RemoteWorkWellness.org. Eleanor shares three ways you can confront these challenges head-on that can make working remotely an easier experience. Number One: Establish a Support Network   Because working from home can generate a feeling of loneliness, creating and maintaining a support network is key to wellness. While a support network can refer to groups that are beneficial for those with specific challenges such as substance abuse or mood disorders, it can also mean your friends and family who help you manage stress and keep you sane. Socializing is critical to mental health, as humans are an inherently social species that thrives when interacting with others. The feel-good brain chemical dopamine is a natural tension reliever released when we socialize. Verywell Mind notes that without a healthy support network, coping with pressure can be vastly more difficult. If you feel you lack strong connections, it might seem like a daunting task to find some. Making new friends isn’t always easy, especially as an adult. There are, however, ways to improve your social network, such as having a willingness to make the first move when forming relationships and meeting people through volunteering. Number Two: Make Self-Care a Habit   LifeWorks explains that self-care is a broad term that encompasses any activity that promotes wellbeing. The concept is distinctly different from something like care from a professional in that it generally refers to everyday habits. It can be broken down into smaller subcategories, such as physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.   More specifically, physical wellbeing might refer to eating nutritiously, getting quality sleep, and taking the time to get out and enjoy life outside of work. Emotional well-being could mean practicing self-compassion, keeping a gratitude journal, or ridding your home of any negative imbalance by decluttering and organizing. Spiritual well-being may include meditation, volunteering or connecting with nature. Self-care can cover much more than these examples. Since you’re spending much more time at home during the workday, consider sprucing up your home office to create a more positive and productive environment. Invest in some ergonomic office furniture, add some personal decorations and plants, and make sure your supplies are well stocked. Number Three: Take Up an Exercise Routine   Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety as well as prevent burnout. Regular exercise — which equates to about 150 minutes each week or 30 minutes a day for five days per week — can have profound health benefits.   If exercising doesn’t sound like any fun to you, consider a fitness tracker so your results are measurable. Also sometimes called an activity tracker, this gadget monitors the effects of activity on your body. It can measure items such as your heart rate, the quality of your sleep and how far you’ve walked or ran. This data can be sent to your computer or smartphone for you to analyze at your convenience.   Working from home can be distinctly difficult, but it doesn’t have to be so bad that you’re overwhelmed with negative emotions. With a little awareness of those challenges and the understanding of how to combat them, you can work remotely and still stay happy and healthy.

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Brown Bag: Carbon Capture is more than just an idea…

There is such a thing as “Carbon Capture’ according to the latest news…. Removal means we grab CO2 pollution already out there and sock it away permanently. And according to Environmental Tech Expert Heather Clancy: “…We are at a pivotal point in energy history. With the climate crisis accelerating, there’s an imperative to transition away from traditional, dirty energy sources as quickly as possible. The corporate procurement of 10 or 20 GW of solar or wind per year is insufficient when we need 50 or 100 GW added annually by the private sector to reach our climate goals.” Some of the best news about the exciting changes that are occurring regarding the mitigation of greenhouse gases surrounds the many companies that are now venturing into businesses surrounding carbon capture. Some Notable Examples are:   Climate Tech Fund just started and is a $100 Million dollar venture led by two women. Another company, Wilk, is a startup aiming to help disrupt the dairy industry by producing in a lab a dairy and infant formula. One Canadian company, Carbon Cure Technologies, has developed a way of injecting captured CO2 into concrete where it is mineralized and “permanently” stored. Carbon Cure’s corporate mission is to remove 500 million metric tons of CO2 annually by 2030, which in effect would be like taking 100 million cars off the road every year! San-Francisco based Heirloom is another company using innovative technology to reduce carbon. They use renewable energy to accelerate a natural process that uses minerals “thirsty” for carbon dioxide and encourages them to soak up the CO2 like sponges, turning them into stone.   Working on carbon renewal and storage seems to be an ‘all hands on deck’ methodology that is needed in this time of transition.  We clearly see that we are at a tipping point for climate change. The field of technology as well as the financial world has now begun to rethink their corporate mentality. When the “bottom line’ for companies is seen to profit from doing the right thing, then we are going to on the right path in terms of carbon capture. For that reason, investing in carbon renewal offsets is what the Frontier Fund is focused on. And finally, amid all the exciting news surrounding the companies committed to helping solve the climate crisis, there’s a company in Austin Texas called Terradepth which is using robots to collect information about the ocean floor! The direction that we are moving in is the right one. The “All hands on deck’ approach is one that has been long-needed and seems to be finding some companies willing to dedicate their corporate structure and mentality towards finding solutions for a greener planet! **Note: Information from this article was obtained in part from Green Biz Data Source

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Lent Vignettes: Some mindful changes for this Easter Season

  For this week of Palm Sunday, the Lent Resources from Creation Justice Ministries gives us a helpful guide to seek a greater understanding of the many ways we can become more involved with our carbon footprint on the Earth, as well as the many diverse issues that make up the environmental footprint we create. A Mother Lode of information at The EPA Website   For example, there are more than 16 categories of different topics that the EPA-the Environmental Protection Agency, lists that serve as guideposts for those who want to learn more on environmental issues that impact us. The topics listed include: Air/Climate Change/Environmental Justice/ Health/Mold/ Radon/ Land& Waste Cleanup/ Water Topics/Pesticides/Emergency Response/Greener Living/Lead/Science Topics/ Environmental Information by Location. So you can well understand that when we simply say we would like to learn more about the environment, there are so many different areas of interest that could include! Some mindful changes for this Easter Season   As we are heading into Easter season, there is a site that helps us understand Fair Trade issues impacting developing countries. Go to Equal Exchange Coop and learn more about the different gifts you might give, including chocolate and fruit. There is also a site on the EPA governmental website to help educate us on the impact of food waste and how to reduce the amount of food we throw away. Small changes in our lives, such as choosing reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones, can also impact the environment over time. Brown Bag Organics At 6 Degrees, we are also mindful of the many changes that are needed in this time of change and upheaval. This includes a war that makes us think about fossil fuels and trying to reduce our own energy needs and carbon footprint. We have a Brown Bag Organics page on the website, as well as the Brown Bag Organics magazine and Facebook page. They are all designed to help educate our followers about the many varied topics that make up the issue of Climate change and our environmental impact on Earth.  And as we are also approaching Earth Day on April 22nd, we are even more mindful of the changes we can make as we work together to plant trees & change hearts & minds! Creation Justice Prayer Here is a prayer from the Creation Justice site that helps us understand the needs of those who are praying for change: Like Job in the whirlwind, or Jonah in the storm at sea, we come before you in awe of your power, God. We recognize that today’s storms and whirlwinds are not your judgment on your people, but the distortion of natural systems through our own sin and hubris. As the storms and whirlwinds of the climate crisis accelerate around us, may our sanctuary be a place of refuge and resilience, where all of God’s creation might be protected and sustained, and from which we, People of God, might be sent forth to bring healing and justice.

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Five Favorite Things for April!

We should really start off with April Fools Day! April Fools is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s tailor made for those of us who are inclined to not take ourselves too seriously…And last month we honored those funny people we love most on “Let’s Laugh” Day. The theme for April is Green Shoots and Simple Abundance. This month, as with every month, it’s hard to narrow it down to just five favorites…but here goes: Number One: Library Week & Book Day! April 4th – 10th In April, we are kicking off the month at 6 Degrees thinking of books. Those books we love the most, and the ones that we never have enough time to read! On the website, there are 6 Degrees books of course, but also the books from Reverend Philip Lee. Reverend Lee wrote the much revered authoritative book on the Christian Right: “Against the Protestant Gnostics.” Another Canadian author and environmentalist is Philip Lee Jr. His newest acclaimed book is “Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River” There’s a  friend from my Church days, Sarah M. Bonnema, who has written a fantastic children’s book called “The Color of God.”  And there are some books offered from my mentor, Gretchen Rubin, who writes about happiness in “The Happiness Project” and also has a best-seller called “The Four Tendencies.” Oprah, of course, has her famous book club, and Gretchen Rubin does recommend a list of books to read on her site. We have started The Sunday Reads at 6 Degrees, and it features monthly book recommendations, but also a list of articles and long reads that are diverse and interesting as well as topical!   Number Two: World Health Day April 7th World Health Day is a time when we remind ourselves of the resolutions that we were going to make or the ways we were going to try and eat more veggies! So the new Brown Bag Series of Posts will help remind you that we can’t always be perfect, but it pays to stay informed, especially as we are all trying to find a balance of the new ‘normal’ in a post-COVID world!   Number Three: National Pet Day is April 11th I had a good friend who would tell me that every day was National Pet Day at our houses, because we loved our dogs so much! No matter what kind of pet you have, we celebrate them all…This month, we are most excited about the new Facebook page: My Dog Journal, and the website page offering a chance to send us pictures of your favorite pups to highlight on Tee-Shirts, on Mugs, on Totes or even on your Journal. We also offer a Pet Memorial Album, to download for sharing pictures of your beloved pooch that has traveled over the Rainbow Bridge. Here’s a link to the origins of that familiar phrase we pet owners use to acknowledge when our animals are ready to cross over to the other side.   Number Four: Easter Sunday is April 17th Easter Sunday is April 17th this year, and each week we have discussed in our Lent series a few topics that tie in to our Easter theme this year of Simple Abundance.  Not only do we suggest simple ways to become more mindful of what we eat, but also the things that we need to focus on in our everyday lives. They are the Green Shoots that give us hope and make us grateful for all the abundance we have here in America.   Number Five: April 22nd is Earth Day at Brown Bag Organics That brings us to Earth Day! This year, not only are we excited about the Brown Bag Organics tie -ins, with Green Resources and Carbon Footprint trackers, but also the Earth Day Products we can enjoy! Those practical items that will help us  be not only mindful of our planet, but also offer solutions as well as statements of how we plan to act in our everyday lives.   April is a time for grace and celebration, for fun and laughter as well as family and fellowship. In other words, we will enjoy the times we gather together as well as those times when we work and plan and look forward to the good times yet to come!   Have a wonderful Easter Holiday, all my friends who follow us at 6 Degrees. We are always planning new adventures here and look forward to hearing from all of you… Like and follow us on Facebook at 6 Degrees Writer and now at Brown Bag Organics and 6 Degrees of Film pages.   Don’t forget to download some fun Freebies like your 2022 Mini Planner and Self Esteem Journal. And check out the Earth Day line from Brown Bag Organics….Tee-Shirts/ Mugs/ Totes & Journals!   “Tell me what you pay attention to & I will tell you who you are”-Jose Ortega y Gasset   Check it out: Sunday Reads on Facebook Vignettes : April is Pale Fawn Fluff & The Serenity Prayer for the not-so Serene 6 Degrees of Film Round up: Monthly Film news and weekly updates on FB Lent Series: Brown Bag Organics Facebook Page My Dog Journal on Facebook

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Lent Vignettes: On Denial & Affirmations

The practice of Lent has often been associated with denial and giving up certain things in order to remind Christians of the sacrifices that Christ made for us. In the practice of Lent, there has been an emphasis on fasting, on denial, and on taking things away. In a different pattern, the idea of Lent can be practiced with mindfulness. Tracking your Carbon Footprint Instead of thinking about ways to fast or to give up, the idea of  simply drinking a glass of fresh water and saying a prayer of thankfulness for clean water can be a new practice. And visiting the site where you may track your Carbon Footprint may lead to new ideas about ways to ‘green’ your home. These are affirmations, and positive ways to declare your intentions of living pro-actively and mindfully going forward. In keeping with the practice, the Book of Genesis in the Bible begins by telling us that God asked his newly created human to tend to the Garden and till the Earth! (Genesis 2:15) We are keepers of the Garden and the little blue dot which is the beauty of Earth. Think of a list this week of affirming actions you can take to help become a better steward of the Earth during Lent.

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Five Favorite Things for March!

The month of March is filled with fun and happiness. 6 Degrees website is celebrating all month long with ways to “Find your Laughing Place.”  Our Irish heritage is able to sync with the fun and spirit of Mardi Gras as we begin the month on Fat Tuesday, March 1st this year! We will continue the party with friends & family who have always loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This year, the fun begins on Wednesday, March 16th (My Mom’s birthday!)….and we continue the celebration on Thursday, March 17th the “official’ St. Patrick’s Day Holiday!. Here are the dates and some more of our favorite things in March to count down the many ways to find your own personal laughing place! Number One: Mardi Gras! Tuesday, March 1st begins the month right with Mardi Gras! Celebrating the spirit and energy that is unleashed each year in the city of New Orleans, we will be following along on Facebook, so join us at 6 Degrees Writer…And remember to sign up for our Lent series each Sunday: Spiritual Signs of Spring. Number Two: Hug your Dog Day  Hug your Dog Day is Thursday, March 10th. And of course, we hug our special pooches every day we can! This is an exciting new page and special Facebook page for 6 Degrees also. We will feature the downloadable Memorial Journal, for those of us who remember and never forget our friends who crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  And along with our monthly magazine, “Doggie in the Window,” our new products page will also have a special place for mugs & T-shirts & Totes that our personalized with pictures of your favorite Fido! After all, our dogs are always the gateways to find our true laughing place!   Number Three: Let’s Laugh! National Let’s Laugh Day is Saturday, March 19th. I don’t know about you, but some of the best things in life for me are those moments when I can laugh with friends and think of the good times we’ve shared.   The International Day of Happiness is also celebrated that day! So let’s remember to laugh and celebrate…and join us on Facebook and Social Media as we are looking for stories about some of the funniest women you know in your life (I have some doozies!). Of course there are funny men and women…but we are honoring women this month with National Women’s Month too!   Number Four: Mindfulness comes with World Water Day World Water Day is Tuesday, March 22nd. Brown Bag Organics will be launching our special page dedicated to celebrating our abundance of water. One of our many blessings living in a country with so many abundant things is our land, with water as a precious commodity to be shared and conserved!   Number Five: The Oscars are here! Sunday March 27th It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year for those of us who celebrate film and love all the trappings that go with the Oscar Presentation! At 6 Degrees of Film, it’s hard to believe our book is nine years old this year! And the blog posts we present monthly of film round-ups, plus our weekly Facebook posts and the E-book of “The 100” are all a part of the ongoing celebration of film! Check out our new products pages where you can order special T-shirts, mugs & totes with 6 Degrees of Film logos as well as those featuring some of your favorite movie posters and stars from the past! And don’t forget to sign up for the latest in film right here… I am remembering that old poem that goes something like, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” (Robert Louis Stevenson) And though we all face trials and tribulations in our lives, there are some moments that need to be carved out to celebrate and enjoy and simply have fun and laugh! Here is hoping that March brings many such days to your doorstep, friends, and that you will look for more ways to find your “laughing place!”   “Part with self-conceit, for it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows”– Epictetus

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Five Favorite Things for June

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of June. Time flies this year, as we are at the half-way point for 2021. So much has happened that it’s hard to keep pace with it! COVID is still with us, but we are a big turning point in tamping down the spread of the scourge in the USA. So that is something to celebrate as we approach the Fourth of July weekend here in the states. And there is so much going on when you are starting a business! So that has been daunting and challenging but rewarding as well. Here are the five favorite things that are part of this past month. Number One: Influencers! My influencers: Gretchen Rubin has been one of my ‘go-to- influencers in starting the Growing Group business and modeling the projects after her own Happiness Project. Another favorite is Holley Gerth, who is also a kind of spiritual guide for my work, as she also uses faith-based messaging to support her work. Oprah, of course, has a strong base of her own work and website devoted to inspirational and motivational messages. We all bow down low to her, as she is the font of wisdom regarding all things connected with positive motivation. And lately, ladies like Mika Brzezinski who created Know Your Value, have been an important touchstone for those older women, (and younger career women), who are looking for guidance in how to navigate the treacherous waters of the workplace. It’s more than just a phrase or a mantra that helps you. It is a way of living when you are a woman with a career of ‘a certain age’ in any business! Number Two: Dogs are always favorites! Dogs of course, the rescue world has many specialty breed sites for those with a love for certain type of breed. In my case, Above and Beyond focus on English Setter rescues, and they have done amazing work. I’ve recently been in touch with this group, and these dedicated women (and men) often travel to other countries, Greece and Turkey as well as other places, to find dogs who have been abandoned or must fend for themselves on the streets. Their stories all touch the heart. And since my own sweet dogs have passed over the bridge, it’s a worthwhile cause even if you cannot adopt or foster a dog. Please consider donating to one of these remarkable rescue groups. One of my favorite cartoons says it all. The two dogs sit on a dock looking out at the water, and the one with wings we realize has passed on. The live dog says: “They still talk about you…” The deceased dog says: “I know.” Number three is Politics! 21st Century News! I know, it’s hard to believe anything that has to do with politics can be a favorite topic these days! But I have been active in political blogging for over a decade, and my site is Red State/ Blue State. I have a blog and an online magazine by that name. Plus I have a Twitter account and it’s active with my 21st Century followers on a daily and weekly basis. The book I am working on is Notes from the Underground; My Life in the Resistance. For those of you who are on the other side of the aisle, just remember that one of the ways I talk about politics is called Red State/ Blue State. The magazine online tries to look at two sides of the issue and we don’t allow the type of vitriol and name-calling that is always active on Twitter and Facebook! So with that in mind, all points of view are welcome as we begin to roll out the book later this summer. Number four is my Diet for Life story My Diet for Life E-book is almost ready! This e-book has been a story that I’ve wanted to tell for the past five years or more. One of my close friends is the subject of the first section, dealing with those who face life-threatening health challenges and ways that diet can often alleviate the need for heavy duty medications and drug cocktails.  The other stories are personal ones about diet and how it changes your life. That includes my own story of gluten-free living for the past 25 years or more…. The Brown Bag Organics roll out has been part of the story. Brown Bag Organics was created over 20 years ago, and it’s now a blog and also a magazine with articles on ways to eat healthy and spend less!   Number Five: The Personals The Personals: This past month we honored Dads on Father’s Day by featuring their stories in social media. In my case, my Dad, who served in World War II, was in a photography unit, so I had a great picture of him with his trusty camera…. July is going to be a great month for us in Florida. We look forward to a big Fourth of July celebration to help kick-off an era that hopefully puts COVID in the rear view mirror! Hoping all have a wonderful time and some fun plans to celebrate with friends and family! ML at 6 Degrees PS: Sign up here to keep up with all the latest from 6 Degrees News!

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