Wednesday, December 23

Today is Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Taking a walk, noticing every little thing. Seasonal decorations vary at this time of year.

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Spark delight by taking a pause.  As the year winds down and we find ourselves busy, taking a pause during the day can help reset our nervous system so we can see the joy and beauty all around us.  You can take a pause by taking a few belly breaths, reading a book, watching a puppy video, sharing a funny story. Stretching your body works wonders too.

An inspirational quote by Mark Twain: “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as a rightly timed pause”

Photo by: Fransiskus Filbert Mangundap

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am doing what I can. I am aware of myself and others, and I belong to a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. We are all connected. Together, we can do great things.”

Return to 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.
    • To restore the body, experience Ocean Breathing as taught by Jeff Warren
      • While belly breathing, imagine yourself floating on the surface of the ocean
      • Your breath is like the tide, as you inhale the tide rises and it lifts your body up, as you exhale the body relaxes. Feel your body being carried by the tide.
      • Smile and enjoy floating and gliding.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, December 21

Today is Monday, December 21, 2020, the December Solstice. Ten days left in 2020. In 1913, the first crossword puzzle was published in the New York World.

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Tonight, take a moment to watch the sun setting on the horizon. Over the next hour, you can get a once in a lifetime view of the Great Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction in the western sky. Without a telescope, they will look like a bright dot, and unlike stars, they will not twinkle. The last time they could be observed this close (at night) was in 1226.

This year, it also coincides with the December solstice, which is the longest night and shortest day in the Northern hemisphere and the longest day and shortest night in the Southern hemisphere. Take a moment to celebrate this special day.

An inspirational quote by Galileo Galilei: “Passion is the genesis of genius.”

Photo by Anthony Cantin

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am doing what I can. I am aware of myself and others, and I belong to a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. We are all connected. Together, we can do great things.”

Return to 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.
    • To restore the body, experience Ocean Breathing as taught by Jeff Warren
      • While belly breathing, imagine yourself floating on the surface of the ocean
      • Your breath is like the tide, as you inhale the tide rises and it lifts your body up, as you exhale the body relaxes. Feel your body being carried by the tide.
      • Smile and enjoy floating and gliding.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, December 18

Today is Friday, December 18, 2020.  In December 1903, Wilbur Wright flew the first airplane for 59 seconds over is distance of 852 feet

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Have a solo or virtual dance party.  Explore different genres of music to dance to: Latin, Jazz, House, Disco, Rock and Roll.  Remember, “Dance like no one is watching” and have fun!

An inspirational quote by Sharon Salzberg “You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere.”

Photo by: David Clode

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. As humans, we can create positive energy 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.
    • Flex and release your calf muscles, seated or standing.
    • Lift your heels off the ground and feel your feet stretch and your calves tighten.
    • Slowly release and flex your feet by bringing your toes up towards your shins. Feel the stretch in the calves. Then release and shake out each foot.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, December 16

Today is Wednesday, December 16, 2020.  Holly is one of the Flowers for the month of December.  Holly symbolizes many different things to different groups, among them: inner strength, peace and good will.

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Inviting joy and being captivated by an activity can bring Delight.  Explore a new game you have never played. 

    • Board games like backgammon, checkers, chess, scrabble, Go
    • Card games like solo, cribbage, hearts, bridge, solitaire
    • Paper and pencil games like dots and boxes, hangman, tic tac toe, categories, sim

You can find instructions and free online or app versions of many of these games.

An inspirational quote by Isaac Asimov: “The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing.”

Photo by: Airam Dato

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. As humans, we can create positive energy 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.   
    • Flex and release your calf muscles, seated or standing.
    • Lift your heels off the ground and feel your feet stretch and your calves tighten.
    • Slowly release and flex your feet by bringing your toes up towards your shins. Feel the stretch in the calves. Then release and shake out each foot.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

 

Monday, December 14

Today is Monday, December 14, 2020.  December was originally the 10th month of the Roman calendar; December comes from the Latin word “decem”—meaning “ten”.

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Find Delight in the outdoors.  Consider different ways to experience the weather.  Build a Snowman, jump in a rain puddle and enjoy the splash, walk through a pile of leaves, build a sandcastle, create a rock sculpture, watch the sun rise or sun set.

An inspirational quote by Rumi: “Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight.”

Photo by: Joe Byrnes

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. As humans, we can create positive energy 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.
    • Flex and release your calf muscles, seated or standing.
    • Lift your heels off the ground and feel your feet stretch and your calves tighten.
    • Slowly release and flex your feet by bringing your toes up towards your shins. Feel the stretch in the calves. Then release and shake out each foot.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, December 11

Today is Friday, December 11, 2020. Leading into the last 20 days of the year, it is a good time to reflect to close out this year stronger and wiser than when it started.

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Allow quiet. Relax your eyes and close your eyes if it feels comfortable. Be present with yourself. Shift your thoughts to the word “Delight.” What images come to your mind? Think of times when you felt delight. What comes to mind? Are there people, places, things, or times of the year that are associated with delight for you? Jot down some notes that you can return to in the future when you want to reconnect with those thoughts of delight. Consider ways to add moments of delight for you or others this weekend.

An inspirational quote by George Henry Lewes, “Books have become our dearest companions, yielding exquisite delights and inspiring lofty aims.”

Photo by: Lester Salmins

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. We are all human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • Relax your jaw. Gently bring your chin down to your chest, release your jaw muscles. Your mouth may open slightly.
    • Lift your head back up, leaving your jaw muscles loose and down towards your chest. Your mouth may open further.
    • Gently, lift your jaw up to close your lips and let your jaw stay relaxed. Smile and let your calm jaw muscles rest a bit more.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, December 9

Today is Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Middle of the week reminder to allow some quiet space for thoughts.

December Delights. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Create a space of delight.

    • Create a way to experience visual delight whenever you want. It might be a photo collage, scrapbook or posterity box filled with memories or things that delight you and cheer you up to see it.
    • Consider preparing options for aromatherapy using scented delights such as a scented candle, essential oils, potpourri or put favorite fragrances in hot water like a bath or boiling water.
    • Find ways to incorporate sensory delights for the skin. Silky undergarments or pajamas. Furry blankets or fuzzy slippers. Soft and fluffy scarves, earmuffs and socks are lovely too.
    • Surround yourself with delightful sounds. Create a playlist of your favorite uplifting pieces, record yourself or someone you love, singing or serenading you, capture the delight of a baby’s or small child’s peals of uncontrolled laughter.
    • Draw or write down thoughts and images that delight you and collect them in your journal over time.

An inspirational quote by Lisa Lieberman-Wang, “When life brings big winds of change that almost blow you over, close your eyes, hold on tight, and believe.”

Photo by: Yuiizaa September

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. We are all human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • Relax your jaw. Gently bring your chin down to your chest, release your jaw muscles. Your mouth may open slightly.
    • Lift your head back up, leaving your jaw muscles loose and down towards your chest. Your mouth may open further.
    • Gently, lift your jaw up to close your lips and let your jaw stay relaxed. Smile and let your calm jaw muscles rest a bit more.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, December 7

Today is Monday, December 7, 2020. It is International Civil Aviation Day, a day to thank all those who make it possible for us to fly.

Delights in December. Use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

After allowing moments of quiet, close out the moment with a smile & put your arms outstretched, overhead. Think about and recognize a gift of kindness from someone. It can be a stranger or someone you know.

    • Holding the door open.
    • Letting you go ahead in line.
    • Sending you a note of gratitude.
    • Picking up something you dropped.
    • Cooking or sharing a hot beverage with you.
    • Forwarding a funny meme or cartoon.
    • Texting or calling you to check in and see how you are doing.

Focusing on how others share kindness can generate more random acts of kindness towards someone else.

An inspirational quote by Maya Angelou, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

Photo by: Vitaly Sacred

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. We are all human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • Relax your jaw. Gently bring your chin down to your chest, release your jaw muscles. Your mouth may open slightly.
    • Lift your head back up, leaving your jaw muscles loose and down towards your chest. Your mouth may open further.
    • Gently, lift your jaw up to close your lips and let your jaw stay relaxed. Smile and let your calm jaw muscles rest a bit more.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, December 4

Today is Friday, December 4, 2020. On an island off the coast of Australia, there are Maremma sheep dogs protecting a colony of the smallest penguins from extinction from foxes.

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Engage in your hobby or create a new one:

    • Sketch, paint, color in your coloring book
    • Create music, listen to music or record your practice
    • Knit, crochet, needlepoint or sew
    • Sculpt, carve or engage in woodworking
    • Invent recipes, cook favorite foods, make beer
    • Add to your journal, write a blog post or work on a book
    • Fix an engine, build that model trainset, launch the model rocket
    • Go fishing, hiking or take time for bird watching
    • Learn about the night sky using an app to help you identify what you are seeing
    • Take photos, create a photo album or scrapbook
    • Explore a museum (even online), read a book, learn a new language
    • Play solitaire with real cards, work on a puzzle, etc.

An inspirational quote by Colin Wilson, “The mind has exactly the same power as the hands: not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.”

Photo by Hudson Hintze (NOT a Maremma sheep dog)

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. We are all human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • Open hands and rotate palms out and shake out and shimmy your shoulders. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, December 2

Today is Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The “Forest Man of India,” Jadav Payeng (1963-) has been planting trees for over 40 years since he was a teenager and he has created a forest of over 1,360 acres on once barren land. Tigers, elephants, rhinos, monkeys, deer, birds, and various other animals now call Molai forest “home.”

Delights in December. This month, use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Do something that makes you giggle. Here are some ideas to get started:

    • Spend time with a young child.
    • Play with a loving pet.
    • Talk to your funny friend, family or coworker.
    • Listen to a favorite comedian, funny podcast or audiobook.
    • Check out the “Humor” sections of websites that have fun visual posts like Pinterest.
    • Watch a movie or show that is listed in the “Comedy” genre.
    • Watch a baby or child giggling uncontrollably; there are many clips online.

An inspirational quote by Heidi Wills, “We can choose to be affected by the world or we can choose to affect the world.”

Photo by: Trevor Pye

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of a global community. I love myself and others 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 and compassion to all people. We are all human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • Open hands and rotate palms out and shake out and shimmy your shoulders. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP