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!

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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.

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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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