Friday, October 30

Today is Friday, October 30, 2020. The bright night is beautiful, and tomorrow is the 2nd full moon this month, otherwise known as a Blue Moon. Does the moon bring people together?

For the month of October, we have shared Fun & Friendly Friday.

Enjoy the sky with friend(s) or family by staring into the sky at the same time- even if you are apart. Each time you pause to notice the beauty of a planet, a star, the moon, the clouds or colors of the sky, point it out so you can both share that experience. Follow it up by sharing something you appreciate about the other person. There are sparkles in the night sky for everyone even when sometimes they are obscured.

An inspirational Quote from Ryunosuke Satoro, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

Photo by: Dan Deziel, Harvest moonbeams.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Thinking of your physical body as your home, where you reside, think of deep breathing as like opening the windows on a bright sunny day with a nice breeze.
  • Become aware of how every breath that fills your body is like having wide open windows, filling your home with fresh, clean air and every breath out clears out and releases so that your home is a refreshed space for you to be in.
  • Experience the happy moment of being in your clean, refreshed home.
  • Smile, knowing that you can take moments to open and be present in this space, anywhere you are. Your body is your home.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, October 28

Today is Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Appreciating the trees and thinking. In addition to producing oxygen, trees remove pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air, provide food, shelter, and medicine and freely offer shade, windbreaks and flood control. They increase wildlife biodiversity, reduce stress and improve the appeal and value of the area for all inhabitants and visitors.

For the month of October, we share Workout Wednesday. Let’s pick it up.

Strength training is important for longevity and for maintaining independence. In addition to walking, incorporate these 5 exercises to work your whole body. If you are just beginning or new to these exercises, find someone who can show you how to perform these safely for maximum benefit. Work towards doing 10 reps of each of these at least twice a week. Fitness trainers, workout buddies, apps and online resources may be useful here.

  1. Squats (Knees stay over your ankles. Hold onto something if you need support. Squat back slowly, like you are going to sit down and then slowly stand back up driving your ankles into the ground)
  2. Lunges (Toes pointed forward; knees should stay over your ankles. Hold onto something if you need support.)
  3. Push away from your chest (Push in front: push-ups on the wall or floor, chest press with resistance bands or weights. Push up overhead in front of you: push up as if you are putting something on a high shelf)
  4. Pull towards your chest (Pull ups, resistance bands or 1-arm pull back with weights are best. Lat pull-downs work too.)
  5. Crunches (Laying on your back with knees bent, curl your abdominal muscles the best you can and while they are crunched up, curl a bit more by squeezing your ab muscle even more. See how many curls you can do before you have to release and lay back down. Change it up by lifting one leg. Repeat with the other.)

An inspirational Quote from Vidal Sassoon, “The only place where success comes before work is the dictionary.”

Photo by: Zach Reiner

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Thinking of your physical body as your home, where you reside, think of deep breathing as like opening the windows on a bright sunny day with a nice breeze.
  • Become aware of how every breath that fills your body is like having wide open windows, filling your home with fresh, clean air and every breath out clears out and releases so that your home is a refreshed space for you to be in.
  • Experience the happy moment of being in your clean, refreshed home.
  • Smile, knowing that you can take moments to open and be present in this space, anywhere you are. Your body is your home.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, October 26

Today is Monday, October 26, 2020. The sky is constantly changing. It is predictably unpredictable.

For the month of October, we have shared Mindful Mondays. Starting the week with mindfulness and creating mindful moments throughout the week, can be centering and healing. Today, is an outdoor immersion for centering and healing.

Take some time to experience being outside. Whether you are walking or standing, notice how you feel while you are outside. What are you feeling? Where does your attention go? Look around. How much of what you can see is made by humans and how much is determined by nature? Which colors do you like? What scent is in the air? Notice the temperature of the air on your skin. Is there a breeze? Is the wind blowing through your hair? Where do you feel the coolest temperature on your body? Do you hear birds? People? Cars? Trains? Planes? Notice the surface that supports your weight. Are you on a flat surface or is it uneven? Are you on a slope?

An inspirational Quote from Carol Dweck, “Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.”

Photos by Dan. Top, “Fall Rainbow” Right, “Texture.”

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Thinking of your physical body as your home, where you reside, think of deep breathing as like opening the windows on a bright sunny day with a nice breeze.
  • Become aware of how every breath that fills your body is like having wide open windows, filling your home with fresh, clean air and every breath out clears out and releases so that your home is a refreshed space for you to be in.
  • Experience the happy moment of being in your clean, refreshed home.
  • Smile, knowing that you can take moments to open and be present in this space, anywhere you are. Your body is your home.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, October 23

Today is Friday, October 23, 2020. Reflecting on the different perspectives and experiences in different places: it is the middle of Autumn in the northern hemisphere, and it is the middle of Spring in the southern hemisphere.

For the month of October, we celebrate Fun & Friendly Fridays.

Create opportunities to laugh with at least one other person. As the weather changes or during those times that we cannot see our loved ones easily, it helps to have alternative ways to check in with each other and to laugh and experience loving care.

Start your “Alternatives” list: a list of (creative) ideas on how you and your loved ones can laugh together, even when apart. Add to it as you discover new ideas.

To stay connected, and centered, you may choose to schedule routine reminders to check in with yourself. If you are feeling alone or you have not had enough laughter with loved ones, recently return to your list and activate one of your “alternatives.”

A Quote from Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Photo by Simon Berger

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

    • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
    • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
    • Allow yourself to breathe slowly and calmly, pausing after each breath in, and then pausing again after each breath out.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, October 21

Today is Wednesday, October 21, 2020.   Let’s start with an inspirational Quote from Mary Anne Radmacher “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

For the month of October, we set weekly reminders for Workout Wednesday.

The 1st two weeks covered planning ahead for how to maintain walking daily for 15 (or more) minutes -despite changing seasons and routines, and then, establishing a list and routines for interrupting sedentary time with physical activity to boost your health.  This week, we will focus on connecting your mind, your body and your sensory experiences using physical activity.

Find ways to combine pleasurable sensory experiences with physical movement for an extra brain and mood boost. Allow yourself to immerse yourself in these moments of joy. Examples:

    • Dance to great music. Bonus points if you move your arms and your hips and sing along freely.
    • Walk outside and feel the breeze, see the plants, the color of the sky and smell the outdoors. Bonus points if you take a picture to capture a moment on your walk.
    • Take a cool shower or submerge yourself into a pool after working up a sweat. Bonus points if you really notice the temperature and can gently move and let the water glide around you.
    • Bike and feel the sweat evaporating off your skin. Bonus points if you take time to stretch out your legs and back after your bike ride.
    • Listen to classical or jazz music while standing to cook. Bonus points if you slice, chop, mix, blend and stir everything by hand or exercise while you wait for food to cook.

Photo by: Amar Yashlaha

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Allow yourself to breathe slowly and calmly, pausing after each breath in, and then pausing again after each breath out.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, October 19

Today is Monday, October 19, 2020. Walking by the pond, watching the ducks and geese communing, some seem more relaxed and happier than others.

For the month of October, we continue to share Mindful Monday with you.

Today, we recognize the value of teaching young children to meditate to help them with their thoughts and feelings so that they can better focus and learn, as well as relax, rest and play. Children can learn to meditate remarkably quickly using their imagination.

Tejal V. Patel teaches children to meditate with a suggestion to sit cross-legged and imagine putting on a jacket and zipping it up all the way up (straightens the spine). Imagine putting on sunglasses by making circles with thumb and forefinger on each hand and placing them over the eyes and looking far out. Then, take the “sunglasses” off and rest a “lens” on each knee. Follow with deep belly breaths, saying “aah” with every breath out.

Children can learn deep breathing by imagining they are slowly blowing up a balloon or gently blowing on candles to make the flame flicker slightly. They can learn to relax their muscles when they are laying down and seeing how long they can make their body, reaching arms up and toes really long, stretching longer and then releasing. Children can create characters to represent feelings. They can name them and visualize those characters and watch them on a boat or train to get perspective and see them float, glide or speed by.

An inspirational Quote from Prasad Mahes, “The mind is like water. When it is turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.”

Photo by: Yannis Papanastasopoulos

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Allow yourself to breathe slowly and calmly, pausing after each breath in, and then pausing again after each breath out.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, October 16

Today is Friday, October 16, 2020. Smiles are the easiest facial expression to recognize and they are universally seen as signs of happiness. Across the world, in addition to smiles, laughter helps people connect and form social bonds.

For the month of October, we celebrate Fun & Friendly Fridays.

Virtual recipe share. Pick a theme or cuisine and schedule a virtual healthy meal with some friends or family you haven’t seen in a while. Have a virtual gathering to smile, laugh, cook and eat healthy together. Experimenting with a new recipe or using a favorite recipe is a bonus. Share your recipes from the gathering.

A Quote from Armand Dimele. “When people go within and connect with themselves, they realize they are connected to the universe and they are connected to all living things.”

Photo by Jonathan Daniels

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Allow yourself to be curious, what sensations do you notice: is the air warm, are the shoulders relaxed? If your mind wanders away from your focus on breathing it is OK, simply note that and then return to your breaths.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, October 14

Today is Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The human body has approximately 640 muscles and 206 bones in an adult. It is designed to move.

For the month of October, we share Workout Wednesday.

If you find yourself sitting for much of the day, now is a good time to start creating your list of physical activities you can do that interrupt your seated time to boost your health. Keep the list on your desk, or on the wall so you can see it regularly as a reminder. Pick at least 1 or 2 to include every day. Here are 10 examples to get you started. Keep adding to your list.

    1. Stand up every hour and at every commercial or break. Every time you stand up and sit down, you are squatting.
    2. Every time you pick up your mobile phone, get up. If you talk on the phone, then walk or pace.
    3. In the middle of a long stretch of work, when your mind is losing focus, reset with wall push-ups or push-ups on the floor.
    4. When you grab a tightly sealed water bottle, before opening it, use it to work your arms by holding the bottle and bending your elbows or shoulders in ways that cause you to lift or push the bottle. Do the same number of repetitions on each side.
    5. If you have been at your computer for a prolonged period, get up and walk to a window, roll your shoulders back, palms out, raise your chin and gaze outside.
    6. Use a smaller cup so you have to stand up and walk over multiple times to grab a refill.
    7. Walk to the farthest bathroom or use the one up the stairs.
    8. Before you sit down, bend forward and reach for your toes, stretching out the back of your legs and lower back. Slowly curl back up.
    9. If you have been staring at a screen for a prolonged time, rotate your head side to side slowly and then bring your chin up and down gently.
    10. Stretch out your back by curling your neck and back forward and then open your chest by rolling your shoulders back, and elongate your neck and back.

An inspirational Quote from Jerry Rice, “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

Photo by: Mary Deziel, Winterberry in Fall

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Allow yourself to be curious, what sensations do you notice: is the air warm, are the shoulders relaxed? If your mind wanders away from your focus on breathing it is OK, simply note that and then return to your breaths.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, October 12

Today is Monday, October 12, 2020. The average elephant can hear sounds from 2.5 miles away, an extremely healthy elephant can hear sounds from 6 miles away.

For the month of October, together, we allow Mindful Monday.

This week we invite you to practice Mindfulness through Transformational Listening.  After you have engaged in this type of listening, notice if were you able to recognize any difference in the flow of the conversation?  How did the speaker respond to you?  How did you feel?

    • During a conversation engage in listening without an agenda.
    • Give the Speaker your undivided attention- set aside thoughts about what you’re going to say while they are talking and just focus on the Speaker. Be present and listen fully.

An inspirational Quote from Dalai Lama “When you talk you are repeating what you know.  But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

Photo by: Archie Fantom

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Allow yourself to be curious, what sensations do you notice: is the air warm, are the shoulders relaxed? If your mind wanders away from your focus on breathing it is OK, simply note that and then return to your breaths.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, October 9

Today is Friday, October 9, 2020. Elephants hug each other and offer hugs to other species including humans, especially in tough times. Showing compassion and love connect living beings.  

For the month of October, we celebrate Fun & Friendly Fridays.

Reach out and connect with a group of people or a person you may not have seen in a while. They may live far away or your paths just may not have crossed in some time. Schedule a time to connect virtually. Some ideas: a cooking meet up, book club discussion or a walk & talk hangout. Whenever possible, it is nice to share video so you can see each other smile.

An inspirational Quote from Rachel Naomi Remen.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”

Photo by: Keyur Nandaniya

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

    • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.    
    • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.   
    • Focus on progressive relaxation by tightening and then loosening your muscles starting from you toes, working your way to the top of your head.
    • Take additional deep breaths and release your muscles further.
    • This can take as much or as little time as you choose.
    • Smile a huge smile to release your jaw and mouth muscles and continue on with your day or night, refreshed.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP