Friday December 25

Today is Friday December 25, 2020.  For many, today is a religious day, a holiday; it is also a day to celebrate peace and good will and reflect on the many gifts in our life.

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.

Delight in the joy of others.  Go for a walk in nature with family or friends.  Connect virtually with family and friends and share your celebrations.  Shovel the snow for a neighbor.  Share some baked goods or special dish with someone else.  Send a note of appreciation to someone who is working today.

An inspirational quote by Mother Theresa: “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

Photo by David Deshaies

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, September 21

Today is Monday, September 21, 2020, the International Day of Peace.

An inspirational Quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, “Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”

Photo by: Mary Anderson, Downtown Chicago in sunset from across Lake Michigan

During Self-Care September, we offer prompts to energize your self-care routine. We invite you to experiment with any or all the suggested activities to invigorate, your mind, body and spirit.

Self-Care Activity: Monday Mood Enhancers. Explore ways to refresh your environment to awaken your senses.

    • Set up your environment for calm by including nature exposures for your eyes.
    • Nourish your brain with your preferred music or sounds. Studies show that music can improve mood, brain function and behavior.
    • Sip an unsweetened tea that is different than what you are used to. Tea can be hot or iced. Many people drink Darjeeling, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Jasmine and Matcha or green tea. Some other popular flavors include Vanilla Rooibos (caffeine free), Oolong, Sencha, Moroccan Mint and Yerba Mate (caffeine).

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.
    • Begin your self-talk.
      1. Say to yourself, “I can step back.” See yourself step back in your mind.
      2. “I can clear my head.” Visualize a clean sweep of your head.
      3. “My body can calm.” Release your neck shoulders.
      4. “I can release.” Take a belly breath and full breath out.
      5. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, August 24

Today is Monday, August 24, 2020. The season progresses and the nights grow longer. Walking at the usual time in the morning, anticipating the sunlight, the air feels cool.

Inspiration: A Quote from R. M. Drake

“It was the way you laughed…I knew I wanted that in my life.”

Photo by Raphael Biscaldi

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. You may repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Think about those times you laugh or smile. The more of those times you can add to your list, the easier it becomes to see the patterns that elicit your joyful self.

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.
  • Organize your mind.
    1. Imagine a box with a lid. It can be colorful or plain. It can be large or small or any size you want. Put that box on the side.
    2. Take those feelings that don’t serve you right now and place them in the box.
    3. Now, place all the thoughts about things you don’t have control over, and place them in the box also.
    4. Close the box.
    5. You can come back to the box any time to add or examine what you have in there, but you don’t need to carry it with you. You can leave it for a bit. It will be safe there.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Friday, August 21

Today is Friday, August 21, 2020. Noticing the little things; appreciating how each being can add joy and interest to life. Enjoying every little thing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Bob Marley

“Love, friendship, laughter…Some of the best things in life really are free.

Photo by Dan Deziel, “Little shells”

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. You may repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt for today and the weekend: Reflect back on your week and think about the times you experienced love – you loved, you felt loved, or you witnessed love. Are there ways you can increase this weekend and in the next week?

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.
  • Connect with the Ground:
  1. Focus on your feet.
  2. Imagine drawing a chalk outline around each foot on the floor.
  3. See the image.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

 

Wednesday, August 19

Today is Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Over millions of years, wind and water have provided us with the most spectacular sites.

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are being released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to allow additional days to consider the prompts before advancing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Lao Tzu

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Photo by Tom Gainor

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. You may repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Spend some time physically moving your body through an activity more slowly, being mindful. Notice your experience: Did you notice any changes in your mood? How did your body feel? Does your mind calm when you deliberately slow down an activity?

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.
  • Connect with the Ground:
    1. Focus on your feet.
    2. Imagine drawing a chalk outline around each foot on the floor.
    3. See the image. Smile.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

 

 

Monday, August 17

Today is Monday, August 17, 2020.  On this day in 1903, Joe Pulitzer donated $1 Million to Columbia University, the beginning of the Pulitzer Prize in the United States.

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are being released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to allow additional days to consider the prompts before advancing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Anne Frank

“I can shake off everything as I write, my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

Photo by: Gene Devine

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. You may repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: What does courage mean to you? Remind yourself of the ways you have been courageous.

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.
  • Connect with the Ground:
  1. Focus on your feet.
  2. Imagine drawing a chalk outline around each foot on the floor.
  3. See the image.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

 

Friday, August 14

Today is Friday, August 14, 2020. Some rocks glow and some sparkle. Sometimes it’s only noticeable when the lighting changes. 

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are being released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to allow additional days to consider the prompts before advancing.  

Inspiration: A Quote from Morgan Freeman

“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.”

Photo by Florian Wehde

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. Repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Take some quiet time to write down everything on your mind. Look over your list. Add more to it. See what’s on your mind. Be curious about your mind.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

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.
  • Close your eyes and feel.
    1. With eyes closed, notice what your body is feeling.
    2. Taking deep belly breaths, scan your body and notice the sensations in different areas.
    3. Imagine a warm glow calming the areas that need to be calmed.
    4. Stay there for a moment and just allow the calmness. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,    

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

 

Wednesday, August 12

Today is Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Looking around and noticing all the beauty visible on earth. Feeling a sense of connection to the greater goodness of the world.

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are being released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to allow additional days to consider the prompts before advancing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Germany Kent

“Live your life in such a way that you’ll be remembered for your kindness, compassion, fairness, character, benevolence, and a force for good who had much respect for life, in general.”

Photo by Mary Deziel, “Skyworks.”

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. Repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Think about times when you have been energized or inspired. What caused that? How can you increase that?

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

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.
  • Close your eyes and feel.
    1. With eyes closed, notice what your body is feeling.
    2. Taking deep belly breaths, scan your body and notice the sensations in different areas.
    3. Imagine a warm glow calming the areas that need to be calmed.
    4. Stay there for a moment and just allow the calmness. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

 

Monday, August 10

Today is Monday, August 10, 2020. Feeling refreshed after an early walk and watching the sky change from dark to light and all the colors in between.

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are being released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to allow additional days to consider the prompts before advancing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Carol Moseley Braun

“Magic lies in challenging what seems impossible.”

Photo by Jake Fagan

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. Repeat this prompt daily until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Before bedtime, pause and focus your attention on how your body is feeling and consider writing it down. After that acknowledgement, get into a comfortable position and practice deep belly breathing, paying attention to your stomach rising and falling. Count your breaths. Give yourself a few quiet moments. Observe how this changes or is the same from day to day.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

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.
  • Close your eyes and feel.
    1. With eyes closed, notice what your body is feeling.
    2. Taking deep belly breaths, scan your body and notice the sensations in different areas.
    3. Imagine a warm glow calming the areas that need to be calmed.
    4. Stay there for a moment and just allow the calmness. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings, 

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

 

Friday, August 7

Today is Friday, August 7, 2020. Bunnies and squirrels, fish and turtles, birds and bees, share their lovely surroundings. 

After today, the Daily Gifts of Vitality will only be released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to allow additional days to consider the prompts before advancing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Alan Maiccon

“The good you find in others is the reflection of the good that you have yourself.”

Photo by Slawek K

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. This week includes deliberate practices to nurture our connections to the world around us. Consider writing down your reflections.

Reflective Journaling Prompt for today and the weekend: Think about who you were grateful for today, this week or in the past month.  Write a gratitude letter to at least 1 person on your list. Studies show that sending a gratitude letter increases happiness in both the sender and receiver. So you get to boost 2 people when you send that note.

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

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.
  • Choose a centering word that is neutral to you and simple. You might choose “now” or “one” or “peace.”
    1. As you exhale, say your chosen word. Focus on the vibration of the word as you hear it. Repeat.
    2. As you exhale and say your word, imagine dropping a smooth pebble in clear water and watch it gently settle gently on the bottom, relaxed and comfortable.
    3. Finally, as you continue your deep belly breaths, notice the ripples on the water are gently gliding out. Repeat your word on every exhale until the ripples have settled.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP