Holidays gratitude is the attitude

Gratitude is the attitude -pay it forward

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Trees for the Troops is a nonprofit that has been giving holiday trees to families of the military since the Iraque war began as a way of saying thanks for your sacrifices and servce to us all. The following are 2007 final statics of who they served. You could help this year by clicking on http;//treesfortroops.org and donating or purchasing a tree for an affiliate across the US.


Number of trees -Delivered 16,846 trees

Number of farms donating trees – More than 750 farmers

Number of states from which the trees came – 29 states

Number of Trees for Troops Weekend (December 1-2) Locations where consumers could purchase trees and donate to Trees for Troops program – 40 retail locations and farms

Number of trees collected during Trees for Troops Weekend – Approximately 4,500

Number of bases to which the trees were delivered – 37 bases plus National Guard families in four states (CA, IL, NY, TN) Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy

Number of countries to which trees were shipped – 15

Number of miles the FedEx trailers traveled in delivering the trees – Estimated at 51,000 over the road miles … does not include miles to pickup and delivery points

Christmas Tree farmers and FedEx

donating trees and transportation to say Thank You to our troops and to make their holidays a little brighter.

Others are grateful too

Christie Boyd and Nancy Kemp probably choose to be thankful.
Because times are challenging, Christie and Freddy Boyd will forgo celebrating their anniversary at an expensive Buckhead hotel. That might make some people feel really down, but “Life’s too short to get bent out of shape over petty things,” said Kemp, a 58-year-old schoolteacher from Cairo. “Like my daddy used to say, ‘Sometimes you’ve got to haul off and be happy.”

Boyd and Kemp responded to a Thanksgiving blog posted on ajc.com. Most who responded expressed gratitude for their families and their homes even as they faced difficult personal problems. Boyd and Kemp were among those who responded most positively.

“I wake up in the dark every morning,” said Kemp. “But when I walk out on my porch, I see stars.”

Is happiness all a matter of perspective? Can one consciously choose to be happy?

“Absolutely,” said Paula Bloom, a clinical psychologist and contributor to CNN Espanol. “We all have a hypothesis for how we see the world, and we look for data to support it.

“If you think the world is a crappy place and that people can’t be trusted you will always look for it and find things that strengthens that belief,” Bloom said. But if you think the world is a good place, a safe place and that people are inherently good, you can look for data to support that as well.”

“You must decide daily if the world is good or hostile,” said Bloom, quoting Albert Einstein.

Boyd says she’s managed to maintain a positive attitude despite enduring personal tragedies such as spending 18 months caring for her terminally ill brother and moving into a motor home when her husband lost his job.

The current economic crisis is no different, she said.

In tough times, they choose to be thankful – BEN SMITH Wednesday, November 26, 2008
http://www.ajc.com/holiday/content/atlanta-holiday-guide/stories/2008/11/26/choosing_to_be_thankful.html

I am grateful today for the life and music of Mama Africa Miriam Makeba

Musicians, poets and politicians paid tribute In n Johannesburg for South African singer Miriam Makeba life. The 76-year-old performer stood for freedom of life and expressed it through her music for more than 30 years in exile after lending her support to the campaign against apartheid.miriam-makeba

She lived in harmony with all. At her national memorial service, her music reverberated with consciousness about the real conditions of South Africans. It was a national event with the former South African President Thabo Mbeki and current Deputy President Baleka Mbete present.
President Kgalema Motlanthe, in Washington for a G20 economic summit, paid tribute to Makeba in a video message.
South African trumpet player Hugh Masekela, once married to Makeba, performed a solo version of her song Welele to the accompaniment of soft clapping from the crowd.
Poet Maishe Maponya spoke of how her “lips touched our hearts with hymns of beauty” and how she had inspired her people with hope for the future.

“Let us say it loud and clear. Miriam Makeba was not affectionately called Mama Africa for nothing,” he said. “Her music reverberated with consciousness about the real conditions of South Africans.”
Makeba was the first black singer to win a Grammy award, which she shared with Harry Belafonte in 1965.
She was one of Africa’s best known singers, famed for hits such as Pata Pata and The Click Song.
Former president Nelson Mandela said she was the “mother of our struggle” and “South Africa’s first lady of song”.
Her body was flown home to South Africa on Wednesday; the country began a period of national mourning a day later.

Hundreds bid farewell to Makeba GMT, November 15, 2008

Courtesy of BBC image and excerts: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7729701.stm

Life your life is priceless. Do not waste a moment! You and what you do counts.
Please share something you are grateful for or how you are helping. It may inspire others.

I am grateful for each of you. Thank you.

Clearing communication challenges

“As people see their predicament clearly – that our fates are inextricably tied together, that life is a mutually interdependent web of relations – then universal responsibility becomes the only sane choice for thinking people.”  – Dalai Lama

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I am so grateful that  you are peaceful, supportive,

abundant, loving, healthy and fulfilled!

Designing pediatric units for healing

Could it be that neuroscientists and architectural design firms are finally working together to improve img_742998_1_0child-hospitalmedical staff performance and the healing of the patients? Those three ideas of health, healing and environmental impact is an old concept in holistic medicine, but finally provable to western neuroscientists. All can now begin to benefit.

A U.S. architectural firm has announced plans to work with neuroscientists to identify healthcare facility designs that promote performance and healing.

HMC Architects of Ontario, Calif., says it will work with a team of neuroscientists from the University of California-San Diego, citing recent studies showing building design, color and lighting affect patient health.

“Neuroscience provides a means for us to measure how the brain, body and building interact,” said Eve Edelstein, a UCSD neurophysiologist. “Neuroscience gives us the tools to understand how the engagement of our senses in architectural space influences our emotions, behavior and health itself.”

To measure brain responses to simulated building designs, Edelstein is using a virtual reality device called the StarCave, developed by UCSD, and resembling a small Imax theater.

“We’ve synchronized the technology in the cave so that we can record a person’s brain waves at the same time they’re moving about in a simulated architectural environment,” Edelstein said. “So with this technology, we can test out architectural designs without having to build them. We can test which features work and which features don’t work by measuring the influence of architectural features on mental and physical function.”

Recently a scientific review of 320 evidence-based design studies in the academic literature that apply to the field of pediatrics, concluded that the

physical environment of health care settings affects the clinical, physiological, psychosocial and safety outcomes among child patients and families.

The need to

minimizing or eliminating the harmful effects of such environmental factors as loud noise, high light levels and infectious pathogens should be the goal of children’s hospitals and other types of hospitals providing pediatric services. In particular, the neonatal intensive care unit has been the focus of many interventions proven effective in improving infant health outcomes.
Examples of proven low cost design recommendations implementable at any time are:

– Hand washing dispensers at each bedside and in all high patient volume areas
– Incubator noise reduction measures (earmuffs, sound absorbing panels) in the NICU
– Circadian (cycled) lighting in the NICU
– Artwork and virtual reality images to provide positive distractions

Examples of proven moderate to high cost design interventions implementable during renovation or new construction include:

– Single family patient rooms
– Adequate space for families to stay overnight in patient rooms
– Accessible indoor or outdoor gardens
– Visual access and accessibility to patients (e.g. through decentralized nurses’ stations)
– HEPA filtration for immune compromised patients

“The exciting news is that well designed hospitals based on evidence can actually increase patient safety and quality, reduce anxiety and stress for child patients and their families and also improve working conditions for hospital staff,” said Lawrence McAndrews, president and CEO of NACHRI.

“Bottom line is this report challenges children’s hospitals and adult hospitals that serve children to evaluate their built spaces and implement design interventions that can help their pediatric patients heal.”

1. Neuroscientists to help design hospitals – Staff Writers San Diego (UPI) Nov 13, 2008
http://www.interndaily.com/reports/Neuroscientists_to_help_design_hospitals_999.html

2. Hospital Design Can Heal According to First Comprehensive Report on Impact of Physical Environment on Child Patients Levent OZLER May 10, 2008  http://www.dexigner.com/design_news/hospital-design-can-heal-according-to-first-comprehensive-report.html

image courtesy of http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Medical&form=MXCA00&kwid=7f83624462863621dd19e66fc85a66bb

When you feel down and frustrated

Are you feeling like your direction is not in focus? Your family, your clients, things in general are not clicking?

That is the perfect time to get in a quiet place, take a walk in a park and count your blessings.

Then give yourself the following gift of this video.

After the video take another walk and write down step by step ways to make life more meaningful and do it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0DRk8dFjI

Send comments please to Mary                                                  img_7818