I hope it is a truly special time of year for each of you. Summer has just begun here in Australia and I am so happy - I love the heat and the beach.
To celebrate Christmas I thought you may like to watch this beautiful TED TALK on gratitude (surprise!) by master image maker Louie Schwartzberg. It is 10 minutes long and reminds me of how wonderful the world truly is.
The words & voice of the older man are those of Brother David Steindl-Rast - a Benedictine monk who has incredible insight on the subject of gratitude. In 2000 Br David founded A Network for Grateful Living, a place where you will find some interesting writing on the subject of gratitude like this little Christmas message.
DE-STRESS WITH GRATITUDE
Although we want Christmas time to be a happy time of family connection, for many people it is anything but.
It isn’t only the practicalities of the shopping, the parking or trying to fit in as many things as you can in such a short period of time (for some reason everyone seems to want everything done by Christmas) it is also the social side. There are families to deal with, work parties, invites from every corner or no family to be with and no invites at all – top that off with overindulgence and too much spending then Christmas can be a recipe for significant stress.
Professor Bruce McEwan (Rockerfeller Uni) has done research that shows stress can be linked to almost every disease there is and causes no end of chaos in the physical body. It even effects the way our brains work.
There is a lot of research around – especially in the new world of neuroplasticity - that shows stress can be significantly reduced by the daily practice of gratitude. According to the book Thanks by Prof Robert Emmons the stress hormone cortisol was reduced by 23% in only 30 days by a group of people simply thinking appreciative thoughts for 15 min a day.
Reducing stress is yet another of the extraordinary effects of gratitude and one great reason why we feel it is so important that the world knows more about this simple, easy and free practice of gratitude.
30 DAY GRATITUDE CHALLENGE
The main project I (Toni) have been working on lately is called the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge. Over the last year I have been doing lots of research into gratitude and also into how the brain/mind works. It has been eye opening to say the least. What I found - scientific reasons why gratitude has such a profound impact on how life is experienced - excited me so much that I wrote a workshop (with a follow up of 30 email activities) about my discoveries.
In September the very first 30 Day Gratitude Challenge was run in a corporate setting and my very first customer was BMC / BHP Billiton (yeah I know! amazing! talk about grateful.). The response to that workshop was better than I had hoped and all the workshops I have presented since have met with great feedback. It is profoundly moving to be involved with these groups of people and see them make very simple changes that can positively impact the remainder of their lives. Many people have commented that they are leaving the workshop with hope - I love that - imagine a world full of hope.
Attendees have been keen to have an avenue for their friends and family to experience the workshop so I have also developed a 30 Day Gratitude Life Class that I am presenting publicly. To find out more about the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge and upcoming Life Classes (Brisbane and Sunshine Coast) ….. feel free to visit the rather newish website here.
If you like this idea maybe you would LIKE my new Facebook page.
FROM THE BLOG
This month Amy Gill sent in a great blog about the Christmas Season called Tis the Season to be Thankful. Enjoy.
So, where are we up to on the film? There is not much to report except to say that the film is on the shelf temporarily while other projects demand our attention. Hailey has been to India a few times recently working on some exciting projects - check out the photos and more photos and she is also developing what will be a wonderful book. That girl is amazing!
We anticipate some changes to our original plans for the film will need to be made and will let you know in the New Year when we know what is happening with all of it.
In the meantime, you have a wonderful New Year filled with special moments! Toni.