Can meditation boost your career?

Friends, what are you up to this weekend? I am excited to be teaching a Reiki III class at Brighthaven over the next three days. As I prepare for my class, here are five things I’m feeling grateful for today …

1. Have you tried meditation? I meditate every single day and feel I would be lost without it. I’ve found that meditation helps me feel centered, connected and energized, not just in business but also with my family. And I’m not the only one: Apparently Jerry Seinfeld swears by twice-daily meditation, and even executives and tech entrepreneurs are starting to turn to meditation to boost their careers, packing increasingly popular meditation classes and conducting “mindful networking.” For some extra inspiration in your meditation practice, here are some helpful apps for meditation and mindfulness.

2. Art that honors animals: If you are lucky enough to live in London, the Here Today … exhibition at The Sorting Office is a must-see. The exhibition, which runs until December 17, explores eight different “chapters” related to environmental challenges, including “Human Footprint,” “Climate Change and Loss of Habitat” and “The Hunted.” Chapter 1 features a stunning series by Andy Warhol called Endangered Species, which he created in 1983 to highlight the plight of endangered animals.

Pop art illustration with colorful butterflies

Pop art butterflies

3. The backyard birds that tough it out through even the coldest of winters. But if you have a feeder, do you know the most nutritious seed to feed them? (Hint: It’s not the cheap bag of “filler seeds” you commonly find at the store.)

4. Innovators who rethink mundane objects in life-changing ways. I never even thought about this before, but imagine an eco-friendly alternative to the tea kettle that saves energy and doesn’t waste water! As designer and sustainability strategist Leyla Acaroglu pointed out in her 2013 TED talk, most people (65 percent of Brits surveyed) boil more water than needed in their teakettles. That wasted energy could literally light the streetlights of England for a night, Acaroglu says. The Miito rectifies that problem and just might replace the kettle someday.

5. The stack of books at my bedside that I can’t wait to read. I just finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants (loved it!). Next on my list: Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart by Lisa Rogak. Here’s a cool list of 11 other cozy winter reads.

5 ways to give back this Thanksgiving

First, dear friends, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Are you staying close to home this year or traveling? I will be spending a cozy afternoon with my family at my parents’ house. My mom always cooks up an amazing feast.

With Thanksgiving just a day away, I got to thinking about the different ways we can give back and show our thanks this year …

1. Save a turkey. It costs just $30 to sponsor a turkey this Thanksgiving, thanks to Farm Sanctuary’s special Adopt-a-Turkey Project. The photos and bios of the turkeys available for adoption are guaranteed to warm your heart.

2. Visit an animal shelter with your kids, nieces and nephews, or grandchildren. The animals always appreciate visitors, and it’s a great way to encourage giving back at a young age.

3. Write a handwritten letter or card to a parent, friend or other loved one thanking them for something thoughtful and kind they’ve done for you.

4. Offer a free Reiki treatment to your vet or local shelter or sanctuary.

5. Donate to your favorite animal charity, shelter or sanctuary. It doesn’t have to be money (though they love cash!). Other helpful items include gift cards to a pet store, rope toys and chews, laundry detergent and bleach, paper towels, newspaper and hand sanitizer. If you’re not sure, most shelters offer wish lists of needed items.

What about you? I’d love to hear how you’re showing thanks or being thankful this holiday.

Gratitude: Five for Friday

As this week winds down, here are a few things I’m feeling gratitude for today. …

1. Jane Goodall and all the work she does for the animals. She’s the real deal, and she’s my hero. She recently spoke at the USF Sun Dome in Florida. That would have been amazing to see.

2. Jimmy Fallon’s thank-you notes. They make me smile every time.

3. The Vosges-Haut Chocolat boutique inside O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. I always go shopping here every time I’m passing through. If you haven’t tried Vosges, you must. It’s delicious! Also, the company uses organic ingredients when possible and is committed to green manufacturing practices, packaging and more.

4. Pilates. Never fond of gyms or “exercising” in general, Pilates has been a game-changer for me. It helps not just in overall health but also in my cancer recovery. My sis Charlotte swears by it, too. I practice twice a week now at Full Circle Pilates in San Anselmo (it’s practically my new home away from home).

5. Innovative thinkers: I just love this idea of biophilic cities, where urban landscapes are designed to merge effortlessly with nature. The article states, “In biophilic cities, there is more focus on well-being and health.” Sounds good to me!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend. What are you grateful for today?

{Photo credit: orca_bc via photopin cc}

 

 

Gratitude: Five for Friday

Happy Halloween! Thank you for sharing my blog’s first week with me. As this week winds down, here are a few things I’m feeling gratitude for today. …

1. Businesses helping animals: Friends, did you see this? TOMS Shoes recently launched an adorable line of shoes to help endangered gorillas in Africa. I really like the white ones! (Too bad I didn’t discover these until summer had already ended.)

2. The bird bath my daughter Indigo and I add water to each day in our back yard. We love to watch the robins and blue jays fluffing out their feathers so sweet in the water.