Embracing Positive Experiences

Have you ever wondered why it’s easier to remember the bad stuff than the good? It’ss because the brain is wired that way, naturally gravitating towards negativity. But here’s the thing: dwelling on the negative can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety.

The good news is that you have the power to change that. Mindfulness is that secret weapon that can help you train your brain to focus on the positive, boost your mood and make you more resilient. By embracing positive experiences and pushing aside the negative, you can transform your life for the better.

Shifting your focus from negative to positive may feel unfamiliar, require effort, or seem time-consuming. Yet, even amidst life’s chaos, you can start small. Practice mindfulness, be aware of your thoughts, and try these simple tips to kickstart your journey toward positivity.

Turn Your Victories Into a Celebration

Acknowledge and applaud yourself for accomplishments, big or small. 

Keep a meticulous to-do list, and revel in the joy of checking off each task, no matter how mundane. Remember to include even the little things you might have once overlooked, like savoring a healthy snack or simply stepping outside. Every achievement counts.

 Remember, it’s these small wins that pave the path to a more positive and fulfilling life.

Accept Compliments Gracefully 

Accepting compliments with grace is an art that can brighten your day and strengthen relationships. Saying ‘thank you’ not only acknowledges their kindness but also fosters a sense of mutual connection. This connection benefits both you and the giver by creating positive energy in the interaction.  

Make it a point to rehearse your ‘thank you’ in your mind, and the next time you receive a compliment, seize the chance to say ‘thank you’ and keep the cycle of kindness going.

Embrace Nature’s Serenity 

Find solace in contemplative moments connected to nature and let yourself savor the beauty of the present. Because in nature’s embrace, you’ll discover the art of just being and finding peace in the simplicity of the moment.

Sometimes, all you need is a hug from nature that ensures you get that daily dose of tranquility and positivity.


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Small Acts – Big Impact

Have you ever done something nice for someone else “just because”? It wasn’t to repay them or because you had to, it was simply because you wanted to. 

Well, then, you’ve done a random act of kindness. They are those unexpected, selfless deeds that bring joy and positivity to others without expecting anything in return. 

Kindness is like a universal language, and it’s one of the most valued character strengths in our society. You are naturally drawn to kind-hearted people, and as it turns out, being kind not only brightens someone else’s day but also enhances your well-being. 

From selfless gestures to acts of generosity, get ready to be inspired to sprinkle more kindness into your life as you uncover the secrets to making the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time. 

Practice the Attitude of Gratitude 

In a fast-paced world, pausing to show gratitude reminds people of the beauty in their connections. It’s a way of saying, ‘You matter, and I appreciate you just as you are.’ 

It isn’t just a feeling; it’s a powerful force that deepens connections and spreads positivity. So, go ahead and send that heartfelt message, make that call, or write that note of thanks.

Be Respectful and Celebrate Goodness

Being respectful is all about treating every person you meet with kindness and respect, no matter who they are or where they come from. It’s a reminder that we’re all part of the same human family. 

And don’t stop there. Acknowledge and celebrate the positive actions of others – from a heartfelt “thank you” to a simple nod of appreciation, these gestures can brighten someone’s day and inspire more acts of kindness.  

Gift Your Time

You can make a positive change in someone’s life by simply offering your time.

Whether lending an empathetic ear to a friend in need or dedicating hours to volunteer at a local charity your time can be just what they need! 

So make the world a brighter, kinder place – one shared second at a time.

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How The Beach Can Support Your Mental Health

Sandcastles, crashing waves, and the smell of salty air—it’s an instant recipe for relaxation. But have you ever wondered what makes the beach such an excellent place for mental health? Well, let’s spill the seashell secrets! 

Water, sun, and air – all of these natural elements offer some form of mental health benefits that help the mind unwind and create the perfect backdrop for social gatherings. So, whether you’re a sunbather, a sandcastle architect, or simply someone who enjoys the serenity of the shore, there’s science behind that beachy bliss. 

Breathe In, Bliss Out

Turns out, fresh air isn’t just good for your lungs—it’s a secret elixir for your mind and soul too! It’s time to wave goodbye to stuffy indoor spaces and unlock the magic of the beach. 

Researchers have uncovered that outdoor activities have a more potent impact on mental health than indoor ones. That daily jog through the park or a leisurely stroll on the beach could be your shortcut to a happier mind. From birds chirping to the waves crashing on the shore, every moment spent outdoors is an opportunity to soak in positive vibes.

Now, swap your office desk for a picnic blanket, or bring your yoga mat to the garden for an invigorating session of downward dogs!

Embrace The Zen Life By The Shore 

The beach isn’t just for sunbathing and sandcastles—it’s a mindfulness playground!  

The sand, the sun, the waves – it’s all a reminder of Earth’s touch. Wiggle your toes into the sand, let the golden spotlight shine on your skin, and embark on a mindfulness adventure with the ocean’s lullaby.

Each scene, each sensation—it’s an invitation to be fully present.

Enjoy Sun, Sand, And Team Spirit 

Volleyball, football, soccer – you name it, the beach has it. And guess what? These games aren’t just about scoring points; they’re about building connections too. High-fives after a great play, shared laughs during a friendly match – these moments are more than just fun; they’re building blocks for new connections.

Bring your A-game, and don’t forget your sunscreen – you’re about to have the time of your life and create unforgettable memories!

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Conquer Your “Not Feeling It” Days

From fun tricks to simple mindset shifts, get ready to curb procrastination and embrace a can-do attitude. 

Bust a Move and Break Free

Stand up and let your body groove to the rhythm. Feel the energy surge as you do some squats, maybe even throw in a few push-ups. 

Sitting for too long leaves you rigid not just in posture but also in breath, thoughts, and emotions. But fear not; the antidote is simple: reconnect with your body! 

Now let the rhythm of movement awaken your senses and invigorate your motivation as you get up and get shaking! 

Tap Into Your Own Experiences and Preferences

You are unique, with individual needs and quirks that fuel your motivation. Some thrive under pressure, while others find their routines flexible, such as morning coffee or late-night hours.

The key is recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all formula for igniting your action mode. So take a moment to reflect on a time when you felt unstoppable, and ask yourself: What made that moment different? 

Now, channel that energy and recreate it to ignite your drive. Now unlock your limitless potential – your sweet spot awaits! 

Uncover Your Why! 

We all have those tasks that make you question your motivation. 

But deep down, there’s a driving force, a purpose that matters to you. Take a moment to dig beneath the surface and discover what truly lights you up. Is it your dreams, your health, your relationships, or simply your peace of mind? Connect with what you care about and let it fuel your actions. 

So, the next you find yourself asking why even bother?, know that every step you take brings you closer to a life that’s truly meaningful. 

Take Some Action

Action fuels motivation! Instead of waiting for that burst of inspiration, dive right in and get the ball rolling. 

Whether tackling a workout, diving into a project, or finishing things on your to-do list, remember that action is the key that unlocks the door to success. So, do something right now; the rest will fall into place!

Forever Free | Juneteenth | 2023

By: Christina Bein

June 19, 1865, commemorates the true enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery across the United States. President Abraham Lincoln declared the abolition of slavery on January 1, 1863. 

Texas was the last Confederate state to receive the news that those once enslaved are now free. Slavery in the Americas (North and South America) has a long history that recorded documentation shows it starting with with the indigenous people around 1492. 

Over 5 million Native Americans were enslaved before the slave trade for this racial group ended in 1750. It ended because of the decreasing numbers of indigenous people lost to illness and death, and there was increasing importation of African slaves to the Americas, about 12.5 million African people by 1880. 

All the while, between 1492-1750, Africans were being kidnapped from Africa and traded into slavery in Europe with a smaller amount that could sail to the Americas. 

Slavery with these racial groups (in North America) lasted for four centuries, ending with what we know in the U.S. to be Juneteenth.

Texas was formerly recognized as part of Mexico. 

It had become an independent country between 1836-1845, and by the end of 1845, Texas became the 28th state of the U.S. On March 2, 1861, Texas seceded and joined the Confederacy which included: Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South, Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

The Confederacy was never recognized as a sovereign nation, and it lasted from 1861-1865 on the basis of fighting to keep slavery legal. 

There is no conclusive answer as to why it took so long for Texas to receive this proclamation. 

Some historians believe it to be due to Texas being a Confederate state until General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant in April of 1865. It still took two months to free the enslaved. 

Major General Gordon Granger and the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas to publicly announce the Emancipation Proclamation, thus, enforcing the freedom for over 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas.

Juneteenth is a combination of June and nineteen. It celebrates freedom from slavery for Black people/African-Americans. This day is also known as “Freedom Day” and promotes recognition of African-American heritage and culture.

The U.S. American history includes numerous contributions from the Black community.

Mary Van Brittan Brown invented the home security system in 1966 and patented it three years later. To this day, her designs influence how current home security systems are structured. Alexander Miles invented automatic elevator doors in 1887, which eliminated the risk of falling down elevator shafts from the previous manual elevator doors. 

In 1923 Garret Morgan created the three-light traffic signal that we use today. Thomas L. Jennings was the first African-American patent recipient in the U.S. for developing dry-cleaning of delicate clothing. Dr. Patricia Bath, the first female African American medical doctor, invented the laser cataract treatment machine in 1986. 

There are countless ways the Black community has contributed to and influenced American culture through time that spans from everyday product uses to music and art, sciences and education, and more. 

Read about Juneteenth

10 Black Inventors Who Changed Your Life.

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A Child’s Right to be Free From Harm

By: Betsy Pownall

Children have five constitutional rights: the right to education, health, family life, play and recreation, and to be protected from abuse and harm.

Over the years, there have been laws enacted to protect our children. Here are a few of the most recent:

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was enacted in 1974 and reauthorized over the years –  most recently in 2019. 

CAPTA is the largest and broadest legislation in U.S. history to protect children. 

By focusing on the fair, ethical and legal treatment of children, CAPTA is intended to keep them safe from all forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional and psychological.

The Child Protection Act of 1984 removed child pornography from the First Amendment rights, thereby making it criminal for people to create and distribute child pornography whether or not they are making a profit.

THE Pro-Children Act of 2001 imposes restrictions on smoking in facilities where federally funded children’s services are provided.

In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed firearm homicides as the leading cause of death among US children and adolescents.

Death by firearm has surpassed motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries. 

In a study done by Kaiser Family Foundation, it was found that firearms account for 20% of all child and teen deaths in the U.S., compared to an average of less than 2% in similarly large and wealthy nations. 

Our children are at great risk every time there is a shooting in a public place or school. 

There is a distancing that occurs in Washington, DC. Much is discussed about the perpetrator and the (usually mental health) problems the perpetrator was facing.

Focus is placed on the location of the shooting, the victims, and socioeconomic and psychological factors of both the perpetrator and victims.

No mass shooting is the same. However, in every case, there is one common denominator, and that is the gun. 

And it is the one ingredient in these shootings that our legislators seem to refuse to acknowledge. 

Why is the owner of something as lethal as a gun not required to go through licensing, registration and purchase gun owner insurance, as one would to an automobile?

While we have a Congress too nervous to pass comprehensive gun control legislation, our children are dying. 

We hear that we need more mental health services, that schools need more protection, that people need to know how to secure themselves in the face of violence. 

What we do not hear are our legislators, en masse, calling for stricter controls of guns. 

Gun violence is a public health issue, and our children’s constitutional rights are being violated. 

Here are steps you can take now to help. 

Write your Oregon U.S. senators and representatives. Oregon US Senators such as: Jeff Merkley, R 

Eugene: 405 East 8th Avenue, Ste. 2010; 97401 (541) 465-6750

Portland: 121 SW Salmon Street, Ste. 1400; 97204 (503) 326-3386

Ron Wyden, D

Eugene:  405 East 8th Avenue, Ste. 2020; 97401 (541) 431-0229

Portland: 911 NE 11th Ave., Suite 630; 97232 (503) 326-7525

Join and/or donate to local and national gun control groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety, Mom’s Demand Action or Ceasefire Oregon

If you have investments, meet with your financial counselor and examine your portfolio.

You can be creative with your investments by moving money from gun manufacturers to other areas that reflect your values.

And finally, educate yourself. Read and listen. Talk. It takes a village to raise and protect a child.

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Shifting our Habits

Bad days happen, but when they start to outnumber the good, it may be time to shift your habits. 

The habits and routines you create can motivate you to get out of bed in the morning and start the day.

Getting excited about a part of your routine can be the fuel you need to keep going. 

Do What You Love

You can take a moment to write down all the items, activities, and people that make you happy. 

Now, it’s time to reflect on that list and be honest about how often you see those people or do those activities. 

Incorporating time into your schedule to do at least one thing you love can make a difference in your mood.

Make Opportunities Happen

Finding opportunities to pursue can be a great mood boost. This can come from taking a class, volunteering or meeting someone new. 

It allows you to have new and exciting experiences that can help you to grow. 

The chance to try something new can open the doors for you in so many ways. You could end up finding something you love that you never thought possible.  

Have Fun With It

A daily dose of fun can be just what you need, especially on challenging days. 

Fun can mean different things to everyone. It could mean watching an episode of your favorite show or spending time with loved ones. 

Tou can take it further by brainstorming ideas for future activities that inspire fun. It can show you that there are so many things you can look forward to doing.

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The International Day for Persons With Disabilities

By: Tanya Kramer

This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992. This year the Theme is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”.

For individuals with a disability, there continues to be barriers to living a normal life. That is why the purpose of this day is to promote the importance of understanding disability issues and “mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well being of persons with disabilities.” It is also meant to educate how every aspect of society (political / social / economic / cultural) will benefit when there is a complete integration with persons with disabilities.

More than 1 billion people worldwide have a disability.

What do Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Mean?

Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are disorders that are usually present at birth and affect the individual’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development.

IDD includes persons with:

  • Intellectual Disability (IQ of 75 or below)
  • Developmental Disability
  • Global Developmental Delays
  • Medical Needs that cause I/DD or adaptive function issues
  • Down Syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal Alcohol / Drug Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Spina Bifida

Where to Find Support and What Type of Support is Available?

Support for individuals with a disability can be found on the county level. You can locate this by searching the internet for your county along with the words “Developmental Disability Services”.

Here is a brief list of the types of services that may be available:

  • Case Management – someone to help you identify what you might benefit from
  • Skills training
  • Assistive devices or technology
  • Behavior consultation
  • Overnight support
  • Specialized medical equipment / supplies
  • In home support for intensive medical or behavioral needs
  • Family Training
  • Environmental Modifications
  • Vehicle Modifications
  • Foster Care / Group Homes
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Human Rights Day

By: Tanya Kramer

Human Rights Day was adopted by 56 members of the United Nations on December 10th, 1948.

This year’s theme is “The 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.  

To read the entire Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), go to this link: 

To enjoy an engaging illustrated version by Yacine Ait Kaci (YAK), go to this link:

This document proclaims “the inalianble rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.”

Eleanor Roosevelt led the commission to implement the UDHR.  Eleanor was quoted saying “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?  In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.  Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Some of the rights protected in the document include (but not limited to):

  • Freedom from discrimination
  • Right to equality between men and women
  • Right to life
  • Freedom from torture
  • Freedom from slavery
  • Right to liberty and security of person
  • Right to be treated with humanity in detention
  • Freedom of movement

For additional information regarding Human Rights Day, go to this link provided by the United Nations:

For resources about Human Rights Day, go to this link provided by the United Nations:

May each one of us be deeply reminded on this day that not everyone’s Human Rights are respected, to acknowledge our own individual privilege, and to speak up for everyone’s Human Rights!!!

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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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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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​​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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