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Kindness Matters!

The holiday season signifies a time of togetherness and community. 

That’s why it’s the perfect time to reflect on the power of kindness and how it impacts those around us. 

A small act of kindness can go a long way in making the people around us feel appreciated. We can spread more kindness in our daily lives by sharing a few kind words with our peers or gifting loved ones with a sentimental present.

It’s truly the thought that counts.  

Kind Acts Count

The kind acts we do for others, or others do for us, don’t go unremembered. 

We may not know what someone is going through, but showing someone we care about is meaningful. 

Kind acts have a way of connecting us and inspiring us all to show each other more empathy. 

Make Kindness A Routine

Kindness can become a habit if we let it!

We can add some kindness into our everyday routines by taking a moment to do something nice for another person. 

We can implement kindness by holding the door for the person behind us, texting our friends a sweet message, or offering to help a coworker in need. 

Show Self-Kindness

Along with being kind to others, we must also be kind to ourselves. 

During the holiday season, we might be busy prioritizing friends and family, but we also leave some self-love for us. 

We can make time for self-kindness by treating ourselves to our favorite meal or having time alone to recharge.

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Treating Yourself With Compassion

Do you ever find yourself showing compassion to others before yourself?

Do you have a hard time quieting your inner critic?

Do you struggle with asking for help when you need it?

Being kind to yourself and putting your needs first is not selfish. Practicing self-compassion can help you be kinder and fully accept your authentic self.

It’s Okay To Ask For Help

It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. The truth is, we all need a helping hand from time to time.

If asking for help does make you feel uncomfortable, you can start with some small asks and work your way up. The more you ask, the more comfortable you’ll become. 

Accept Who You Are 

We’re humans, not robots. We all have flaws. There will always be little things we wish were different, and that’s okay. Instead of constantly trying to “fix” our flaws, we can embrace them.

We can also focus on the parts of ourselves we’re proud of. What do you love about yourself? What makes you unique? 

Practice Saying No

It’s so easy to say yes to family, friends or co-workers right away just out of habit. You only have so many hours in a day and can only take on so many things. 

Just because you want to help someone doesn’t always mean you should. You may not have the time to take on a new project, or it may not align with your values. 

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Appreciating the Little Things

We all have our own unique set of items, people or experiences that bring us joy. 

Some experience joy from drinking a cup of coffee, discovering a new book or taking a daily walk.

No matter the activity – if it makes you happy, you should continue doing it.

Whenever you find yourself feeling stressed, focusing on what brings you joy can help transform your mindset. 

Appreciate Your Routine

Most of us thrive on routine. Finding a routine that makes you feel happy, relaxed and at ease is something to be grateful for.

For example, it’s very common for people to start the day with a cup of coffee or tea.

Yes, you may love the taste of your morning beverage, but you also may find comfort in the ritual. 

It can take months or even years to land on a morning or night routine that makes you happy.

 If you have found one you love – celebrate that. 

Celebrate Problem-Solving

Even though we may not always realize it, we face and solve problems on a daily basis.

Discovering a new route home that avoids heavy traffic or learning how to navigate a confusing tool for work are both great examples of daily problem-solving. 

Whenever you navigate an obstacle (big or small), you should be proud that you have the skill set to tackle it. 

Practice Social Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you find joy in your everyday life. 

But contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t always found through meditation or going on a nature walk. 

You can attain mindfulness socially too. Appreciating your interactions with family, friends are peers falls under the umbrella of social mindfulness.

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World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day
By: Jen Champion, Vista Yoga Instructor
On November 13, 1998, The World Kindness Movement inaugurated World Kindness Day. The organization’s formation was unified at a Tokyo conference on September 20, 1997, when Japan brought together kindness organizations from around the world. The movement organizers created this day as a time “to highlight good deeds in the community. Focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us.”
Events occur around the globe, increasing discussion and gestures of kindness. Events include volunteering at charities, pop-up car trunk gifting, distribution of kindness cards, posters, and painted rocks. Group meditations and paying it forward in shopping lines are more common.  On Sunday, November 13, Vista Wellness Center offered their 2nd-anniversary celebration.  We enjoyed singing bowl meditation, yoga and a group kindness meditation.
May I be well, May I be happy, May I live with ease, May I be kind
May you be well, May you be happy, May you live with ease, May you be kind
May all be well, May all be happy, May all live with ease, May all be kindBe kind to yourself.  Feel the loving kindness you are deserving of. It is then, you will have it to share.Resources for getting ideas on how you can feel and share kindness.
You can start a ripple of kindness in your community.  Doing an act of kindness can encourage others to be more kind as well.  Tag! You’re it!
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Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20th marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time to commemorate those in the transgender community who have faced stigma and discrimination.

This day first started in 1999 as a time to honor the life of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed. Advocate Gwendolyn Anne Smith held a vigil to memorialize her, which began an important tradition that continues to this day.

Now Transgender Day of Remembrance signifies a time to come together and remember the transgender people who have lost their lives due to violence.

We can offer our support, understanding and compassion to those who continue to struggle to live their truth. By doing our part to educate ourselves and advocate for transgender rights, we can work to make a difference. 

On this day, we can also participate by attending vigils or events in our area, listening to stories told by transgender voices, and donating to charities that support those in the LGBTQ+ community. 

To learn more, check out the resources below. 

Transgender Resources

Tips For Allies of Transgender People

Transgender Day of Remembrance Resources

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International Men’s Day

On November 19th, we can recognize International Men’s Day as a time to emphasize the importance of men’s well-being. This day was first created in 1999 by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh to honor his father’s passing. Men’s issues are not one size fits all, and there are many different paths for how to show up as a man in this world. International Men’s day is meant to highlight…

  • the mental and physical social issues faced by men 
  • the role that men can play as active parents
  • men as positive agents of change in society; role modelling inclusive behaviors

International Men’s Day is also a great opportunity to focus on gender equality. We can all do our part to inspire togetherness by empathizing and understanding another person’s point of view. 

We can continue to encourage those in our community to the values, character, and responsibilities we all can carry when wanting to make a change. Together, we can work toward strengthening our relationships and supporting one another. 

This is a chance for us to lead by example and make impactful contributions. To learn more, we can watch videos, attend events, and recognize those in our community who are making a difference for the better. 

“We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill.” – Wangari Maathai

Check out the resources below to learn more. 

International Men’s Day

History Of International Men’s Day

Six Objectives Of International Men’s Day

Why International Men’s Day Is Important For Inclusive Cultures

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Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is a chance to reflect on the diverse history, traditions, and culture of Native American people. 

During this time, we can learn more about the challenges that Native American people have faced and gain knowledge of their history to raise awareness in our communities. 

Native American Heritage Month was established in November 1990, when Congress and President George H.W Bush signed it into law. This month now marks a time where we can remember the struggles Native people have faced and honor them. 

Today, we can celebrate the achievements and contributions of Native people from the past and the present.

It’s a great time to educate ourselves by reading stories written by Indigenous voices, attending events, and learning more about their history. 

Check out our resources below to learn more.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

November 2022 Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month | United States Courts

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Bringing People Together

As the year is coming to a close, we can reflect on the connections and relationships we’ve made – new and old. 

It’s also a great time to build deeper connections with the people in our lives or reach out to those we haven’t seen in a while. 

After all, there is power in togetherness. We can inspire more of it in our daily lives by participating in community activities, openly sharing with others, and checking in on loved ones.

Be Mindful

We can be more mindful in our every day with purposeful communication. This comes from actively listening, talking openly, and thinking about how we connect with the other person. 

When we spread mutual respect and caring, it inspires others to do the same. 

Value Time

Cherishing the time we spend with others means focusing on the here and now. We can shift our mindset to the present moment and savor the time we are able to share with peers, family, or friends. 

Living each moment intentionally allows us to value our time together.

Get Involved

Community building can come from doing activities together. Volunteering, participating in clubs, or spending time in a group setting can bring us closer together with the people around us.

Getting involved allows us to meet new people or spend more time with those we value in our lives. 

For more tips, check out the resources below.

Bringing People Together

7 Ways to Be More Inclusive in Your Everyday Life 

How to Bring People Together When Events Push Them Apart

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​​Veteran’s Day

By: Tanya Kramer

Veteran’s Day is November 11th every year and pays tribute to all Americans living or dead, who are veterans.  A veteran is “a person who served in active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.”

This list captures the origins of this important day:

  • At the end of World War I, the fighting ended with the signing of an armistice which occurred at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year – November 11th, 1918.  World War I was between the Allied Nations and Germany, which was known as “The Great War”.  The “Treaty of Versailles” was signed on June 28, 1919, which officially ended the war.
  • In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of “Armistice Day.” Armistice means a “temporary cessation of hostilities.”
  • On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution for a “recurring anniversary of November 11 should be commemorated by thanksgiving and prayer and exercises to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations”.
  • On May 13, 1938, the date of November 11th became a Federal Holiday known as “Armistice Day.”
  • In 1954, Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word “Armistice” in favor of “Veterans.” President Dwight D. Eisenheier signed this legislation on June 1, 1954. From then on, November 11th, Veterans Day became a day to honor all Americans of all wars.
  • In 1968, Congress passed the “Unifyer Monday Holiday Act’ ensuring 3 day weekends for all Federal Employees. This changed the date of Veteran’s Day to the 4th Monday in October.
  • In 1975, it became evident that the original day for Veteran’s Day carried significance due to the end of the fighting in WWI. For this reason, President Gerald Ford signed a new law returning Veteran’s Day to November 11th.

The number of Americans who have been in the service during times of peace and war is significant.

  • 4.8 million Americans served during WWI
  • 16 million Americans served during WWII
  • 5.7 million Americans were involved in the Korean War
  • Over 9 million Americans were involved in the Vietnam War

As President Ronald Reagan said in 1983, “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.” 

In this current political climate, no words could be more true.

If you or someone you know is a veteran and you want to learn more about resources or benefits, here are some websites:

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Value’s Compass

By: Tanya Kramer

Everyone wants to “live their best life” in alignment to their values.  But to do this, we have to take some time to figure out the value structure so we can make life decisions based on that information.

Here are some simple steps to create your own Value’s Compass.  I recommend doing this exercise at least once a year as a self-check-in.  Before sharing the steps, here are some definitions to help the process.

Values – “a person’s principles or standards of behavior, one’s judgments of what is important in life.”

Integrity – “quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”

Compass – “an instrument containing a magnetized pointer which shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it.”  People use a map and compass to navigate and move over land, sea, or wilderness. It can be used to reach a destination.

So, why do we call this exercise a Value’s Compass?  The answer is that we use our personal integrity to identify “our” core values (not necessarily the values of our parents, friends, school, community, etc.), and by doing this, we create a tool which we can use to make important decisions in our life.  If we make decisions in our life based on our personal Value’s Compass, then we increase our potential for life happiness and decrease the experiences of regret.

Creating a Value’s Compass:

  • Using this website, review the different values listed in the “card sort” list. Write down each one that is a value to you.
  • Add to the list characteristics that are important to you (ex. trust, respect, etc.), entities that are important to you (ex. family, friends, pets, etc.), experiences that are important to you (ex. education, adventure, travel, quiet, etc.), and anything else that you value.  ***This could be a BIG list.
  • Take this list you have created and circle the top 20 Values. This does not mean the other Values are unimportant but take time to discern which ones are most meaningful to you.
  • Now, put a star by your top 10 of the 20 Values circled.
  • Take these 10 top Values and see if any naturally group together (ex., physical and emotional health, adventure and travel, etc.)
  • Finally, identify 4 top Values or groupings of values and fill them in the visual below, but instead of writing “north, east, south, west,” write in your 4 top Values.
  • Create an arrow similar to an arrow that exists on a Compass used for navigating, and write the word “Integrity” at the end of the arrow.
  • Put this Value’s Compass somewhere you will see it often, and screenshot it for your phone.  Whenever you make a difficult decision, consider your top values.
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