Gretchen Rubin

Five Favorites for January from 6 Degrees!

Happy New Year to all! This year is one where there is so much happening (Everything…everywhere…all at once!), & it seems we are starting with a bang right out of the gate! This first week is about the resolutions that are always sort of a ritual we all know. We start off with the best of intentions but…life catches up with us and well…it kind of falls flat by that second month! We have been working on that in “The Growing Group’ by just ‘reframing’ the notion of starting off big and ending with a whimper. Just to begin this month, we are all taking a step back and looking at our “Life Audit’ notes and the journaling notes from last year. It can help us decide where to begin and when is the best time to start making those plans for all of the things we envision in our future life! Number One Favorite! New Resolutions for a New Year! A good idea:  Make a list of the most Realistic Resolutions and your Goals to work on…The key word here is “ Baby Steps.”  Just keep adding the small steps each month to take to make your long-term goals, your dreams & visions come true!   Number Two: Celebrating the Mind/Body Wellness Connection! The second favorite is focusing on the Mind/ Body Wellness Connection…which is officially on January 3rd.  (But we have extended our resolution for this to every day of the year!!!) Our Growing Group has focused a great deal on the links between taking care of your physical health and your own mental health in concert with the other things you do to stay healthy. Eating right and staying fit are important elements for a sound body. But making sure you have mental health breaks, a plan in place for times when you are under stress and need to talk and ‘vent’ with someone are all just as vital for your long-term health plans! Number Three: Gluten-Free Day! The Third Favorite is on January 15th– Gluten Free Day. I have a lot of recipes in the PC Cooks cookbook that just happen to be Gluten-Free. But the best place to pick up new ideas is online at our Strictly Gluten Free Magazine on Flipboard! Personally, I’ve eaten Gluten Free for almost 30 years (Long before it was a ‘thing!) So it’s nice to see so many different ideas and recipes on how to cook and live gluten-free-both online and in current cookbooks. Number Four: The Hunt For Happiness Week! Number Four is about Happiness…The Hunt for Happiness Week is a good time to begin your own journey to ‘up the game’ in your quest for greater happiness. Gretchen Rubin has a best-selling book, The Happiness Project’ and Oprah has a book out too: “Build the Life You Want”. Our own “Growing Group’ is the best place to start your journey for happiness. You will find weekly self-guided exercises and motivation each Monday to strt yor week off on the right note. And from there, you are not required to journal, but it’s suggested you begtin to keep a personal file or notebook for your own individual markers and challenges to keep you on track. More energy and motivation, inspiring stories and verse, new ideas and tips to help you raise you” “EQ” (Your Emotional Intelligence), are just part of the tools you will find when you join us at The Growing Group each week! Number Five: Celebrating Life! Finally, the Fifth Favorite thing is the Celebration of Life Day on Monday the 22nds of January. It coincides with Roe v Wade Day, and to me, there really isn’t a controversy to see here. We celebrate life, diversity, different opinions and viewpoints, but above all, we celebrate life.  And that includes the rights and freedoms that we all share and probably take for granted at times! So that is why it’s not a shocking thing to celebrate our goals, our plans for freedom and happiness, our resolutions to make in the New Year, and our own unique lifestyles that make us unique and defines who we are as individuals!

Five Favorites for January from 6 Degrees! Read More »

The Monday Muse: Your Growing Group Round Up

Here’s some of the latest articles and ideas you can find in our “Growing Group” magazine online. Please visit the site and like us on Facebook: For the Growing Group Round-Up Things to let go to ensure Happiness Happiness Habits to learn Promote your Passions Quick Tips to create a Happier You! Boost your morale when needed! Motivation you need to cultivate This month, we have been focusing on ways to find your ‘inner muse.’ And the Growing Group articles from the magazine all reflect some aspect of nurturing and cultivating that muse we all seek. Searching For Happiness One of our favorite Happiness gurus, Gretchen Rubin, has a book and a web site that is all about happiness.  She writes about The Happiness Project in her book and on her podcast. The topic of Happiness is a popular one these days. It seems there are many out there who offer formulas and ingredients that will lead to happiness. It’s natural that we want to find happiness, but in doing so,  there are so many ways to achieve that elusive goal, that we need to pause and ask what we want and need in our own lives. Because as we know, we are all so different in our goals and our talents, the things that bring happiness to some may not be the solution in our own lives. However, there is a new way of finding peace and contentment in our lives that gives us an edge. The authority that comes with scientific research has begun to develop and explore ways to guide us in our pursuit of happiness. There are several good books out there that are recommended in The Growing Group this month. One is, “The Happiness Advantage,”  which will help give you an edge in everything you do in life! The Mindset that the author mentions in this article is something we spoke of this past week in our exercises. Part of our journey of discover includes developing a stronger mental outlook. The Growth Mindset fits in with our Growing Group mission of developing ways to ‘grow, change & improve as a human being.’   The Science of Happiness The science behind uplifting habits and positive thinking is mapped out by researchers who work on the science of motivation for a living!  In order to set better and more functional goals for ourselves, there is a way to look at progress and monitor our achievements. Managing multiple goals and tasks, resolving conflict and self-control issues, and then looking at ways to bring balance into our lives are all part of the science of motivation. The people who surround us, who support us, and help us grow and thrive are vital elements to achieve success. You will find that when you set goals with a viewpoint of working to achieve things head-on, it is a superior plan rather than seeking out the habits and mindset of avoidance. The Positive Mindset for Success Once you find the positive mindset to help you achieve success, the other vital element is to find ways to chart your progress. So many of our desires and goals are often thwarted when we have setbacks,and we often feel like quitting. Or we may feel that the task before us is an impossible one. But in looking for ways to sustain momentum and motivation, we need to have a positive outlook. And taking baby steps helps us to achieve benchmarks to monitor our progress. Then we’ll know (& celebrate)  how far we’ve come! Some Growing Group Ideas:  When you need Motivation But as we are all human, we can often find ourselves feeling helpless or down about life. When we do find ourselves plagued with self-doubt, here are some of the ideas listed that can be quite helpful: When things go sideways, think of the Big Picture. If the Universe has a plan for you, then no decision is ‘right or wrong’ but instead, a choice that may take you down a different path! Think of the Mantra of “Pain is Inevitable sometimes….But Suffering is always Optional” The Growing Group reminds us that we are all part of a bigger picture. If we don’t maintain the status quo, but instead look to make connections, to find inspiration and look for your true calling, and things to satisfy your soul, then you will have to take chances. There is some things that are harder than others to achieve, but if we are to move forward, we must grow as humans and spiritual creatures. You are the one who must make a conscious decision to move forward in your own life! Even when it gets harder, and we are feeling down or have disappointments, we can develop that mindset that helps us achieve success and growth in our lives. Fighting one battle at a time is essential. Learning that the other battles that constantly shadow us and fill our heads are the ones we fought yesterday and the ones we will fight tomorrow. Regrets and resentments of yesterday’s past, mixed with the fear and dread of the shadows of the future can overwhelm and paralyze the best of us. Keep the mantra in mind of the Serenity Prayer. The wisdom to know the difference is all about knowing what we can and cannot change. What we can control, we can change. Everything else is made for the Serenity Mantra- Grant me wisdom to know the difference! Don’t tally up all your mistakes and failures of the past. Think of the things you have done and achieved where others have not dared to even try! Mistakes are something you need to let go. If you have a journal, write a mistake page. Then for each mistake, you must write something that you learned from a past mistake or a reason the mistake occurred. Finally, tear out the page and then light a match or throw it out! Letting go of past mistakes is the only way to

The Monday Muse: Your Growing Group Round Up Read More »

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

Five Favorite Things for April! Read More »

Monday Muse: Your Growing Group Round-Up

March has been a challenging month. This month, we’ve talked about how to meet those challenges in the face of ongoing adversity. And in the past weeks, there has been much that has been identified that would cause great strife and sorrow. Not simply the ongoing war that we hear of daily from a faraway place, but the struggles that we face here and in our personal lives as we wrestle with decisions that can affect our lives or our loved ones down the road. Some people have health challenges, others may have pressing family problems caused from other people or from those who are close to us. Financial struggles, and worry about what might have been or what could be are all a part of our list of things to worry about each day! The Growing Group cannot help us to relieve those worries by creating instant solutions to end all of our problems. However, those of us who are in the group can relate and feel empathy and even suggest solutions that may help alleviate some of the worry and fear that is generated and may be unwarranted in many cases. Here are some of the nuggets that have been pulled for you from the list of suggested articles by experts this month. They have already served to help me in my own quest to find closure and solace as part of an extended family that is grieving the loss of someone we loved dearly and has recently died. “You Got This” Quotes   To use when you need a boost and motivational encouragement for those hard tasks that all of us sometimes face! Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, Not ABSENCE of Fear– Mark Twain Do one thing every day that scares you–Eleanor Roosevelt I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles– Christopher Reeve You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you are going to go to bed with Satisfaction– George Horace Lorimer If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the Ordinary- Jim Rohn The first step in getting what you want is to have the courage to get ride of what you don’t–Zig Ziglar Life Goes on Quotes   Some quotes to use when we have discouragements, setbacks, and sorrows, and need to encourage ourselves to move on! Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go-Hermann Hesse Your Past does not equal your future-Tony Robbins I’ve had a lot of success; I’ve had failures, so I LEARN from the failure– Gordon Ramsey We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them- William Arthur Ward Virtual Mentoring: Upgrade your Life   Mentors- Do you have them? I have always been able to embrace the good advice and words of wisdom that my real-life mentors have given to me. But at times, we find ourselves in need of critical advice and may not have the practical and caring encouragement that we need from our friends and family. One of the newest guidelines that has intrigued me, as someone who has known the value of books all my life, is that we may adopt ‘virtual’ mentors. One way to do this is to simply research a subject that we need well-meaning and focused advice about, and then use the expert you need as a kind of virtual mentor. Doing this expands your horizons to those who are experts, who have lived and have experienced hardships or succeeded in difficult circumstances, and they are brilliant and wise mentors who can help you in a focused way. One piece of advice: Read a book carefully. Take your time and focus on the guided categories that will pertain to your specific needs. Find the time to take notes and take it all in. And if you are careful and can use the information to your advantage, who knows? You may be the expert writing advice on this subject someday! Mentally Strong People do this…   Don’t be afraid/ Have Faith/ Trust the Journey The advice you receive in this article is about ways to manage your expectations in life. And realize that sometimes, we build things up in our minds and have ideas of what our own success and failures can bring and that may cause more real emotional damage than simply allowing things to unfold. Letting go of expectations of what things are ‘supposed to be’ and living in the here and now is some of the best advice that anyone can give you.  And coping with life as it is-challenges and all/ warts and all- is the only way we can allow ourselves to grow. What to say to ourselves more often   Here is a list of some things that we need to say to ourselves more often. I have a journal, (and I advise all of my friends and Growing Group members to keep one too!), that is full of the types of self-encouragement that we need to expand on and use in our lives daily. There is a phrase called “self-love” that I am not as comfortable with. It is meant to convey the type of motivation and encouragement we all need to use for ourselves. But rather, I like to talk about our inner strengths, our own voice and spiritual guidance that is part of the whole that makes up your faith and your inner core of values and wisdom. Love is key to all we do and of course, we can never be truly happy and free without love for ourselves as well as others. Here are some key phrases to use and to keep in your personal journal: *I can’t control everything that happens I can control the way I RESPOND to what happens *I will not get caught up in what

Monday Muse: Your Growing Group Round-Up Read More »

Monday Muse: A Valentine’s Day Lesson in Love & Healing

  Learning to love yourself-This is a prerequisite for all things when talking about love. It is when you can truly love others and help others that you can learn to help and to heal others. In The Growing Group, there are several unexpected Valentine’s to give to yourself this February on Valentine’s Day. And these are ideas and quotes and motivations that will stay with you through the year!   Find Your Virtual Mentor The first is to find your mentors as you read your favorite books. Today is International Book-Giving Day, and a wonderful place to begin is to remember and revisit all of the newly-acquired mentors that you will find when you read the quotes and passages from your favorite authors. The notion of finding a ‘virtual mentor’ is one that can be familiar to all as we have revised our thinking during the pandemic years. So let’s take a moment to find some favorite passages and quotations that were part of the books you’ve read and loved through the years. For my part, Atticus Finch would be one of my virtual mentors for sure! (See the end of this to look for more suggestions of books to help guide you…)   The Metaphors of Love in your life… Looking at some of the metaphors found in The Growing Group magazine, we see they are used to illustrate how to think of your burdens and to bring about a positive mindset. The positive perspective is one of the best Valentine’s presents to receive! Look at “The Weight of Water’ in the metaphor for a glass that is half empty/half full and see how to look at the glass you are holding in a different light.  Looking at the cracks in the bucket in a different light is a helpful metaphor for the realization of how the cracks and leaks can also be of use to all of usl! And seeking the realization of the delights of eating a tangerine, or the benefits of floating in water…all of these are ways to look at ourselves and our lives in a different light! Another way to seek positive affirmation is by learning to handle criticism well.   Author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin advises us  to listen carefully and to learn to ‘enjoy the fun of failure,’ as she describes it! Valentine’s Day Quotes on Love & Motivation… Another way to learn how to see love in a different light is to seek affirmations and to seek love through the ideas that others use to inspire and motivate us. Here are some quotes from our Growing Group magazine that deal with the notion of love in all its different forms. How you learn to love yourself can affect the relationships and the amount and quality of love you ‘bring to the table’ to give to your family and spouse. And it may also be a reflection of the love you can generate and convey to others in your life. In other words, Love is the driving force behind all you do or all you should be doing! And that is the other important message from Valentine’s Day…. Walt Disney’s Inspirational Quotes From Walt Disney, here are some unique quotes to further advance the notion that we need to start within and move outward as we grow and expand our capacity to love… Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Jones’ do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life was brought — sometimes it isn’t much, either.” “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”   Black History Month reveals inspiring quotes on Love & ‘Making the Impossible-Possible!”   In honor of Black History Month, here are some of the most prominent African-American authors and influencers who have helped shape our culture, talking about love and loving yourself and doing the impossible! It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.” Eartha Kitt  “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”– Oprah Winfrey Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”– Muhammad Ali “You are your best thing.”-Toni Morrison “It always seems impossible until its done.”-Nelson Mandela  “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it-“Maya Angelou Recommended Reading to help you on your journey! Books to find your “Virtual Mentor” and to help guide you in your Growing Group journey! THE POWER OF FUN: HOW TO FEEL ALIVE AGAIN-By Catherine Price If you’re not having fun, you’re not fully living… A WORLD WITHOUT EMAIL: REIMAGINING WORK IN AN AGE OF COMMUNICATION OVERLOAD By Cal Newport LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST-By Devon Price For too many of us, our self-worth has become a function of our productivity. In other words, we only feel good about ourselves by working hard… TRACKING WONDER: RECLAIMING A LIFE OF MEANING AND POSSIBILITY IN A WORLD OBSESSED WITH PRODUCTIVITY-By Jeffrey Davis A refreshing counter-voice to the exhausting narrative hyper-productivity… Mantra: This week I begin with the thoughts of healing and of the power of love in healing. I will look at things I have taken for granted and now see and appreciate more.

Monday Muse: A Valentine’s Day Lesson in Love & Healing Read More »

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!

Five Favorite Things for June Read More »

Scroll to Top