Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but as I think about giving thanks and celebrating the holidays, it truly is “the little things” for which I’m most thankful … a sincere compliment, a hand-written Thank You note, a “free hug” coupon from my kid. The material things mean less as the years fly by.
Budgeting our time and money goes back to ancient times. Even the Bible references, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21).” Where is your treasure? Is it with the people around you or is it with your possessions? Of course we all have those things that mean a lot to us (perhaps your worn Vikings blanket?!), but they are likely connected to a memory with someone special.
“Does anyone in your family struggle with chemical dependency?” he asked me. I shook my head no. “Really?” he said with surprise. “No one?” I had to think, because I felt I had given the wrong answer. “How about your friends? Colleagues? The people you interact with on a regular basis?”
Well now, he was casting the net a little wider and made me think. I recently learned of someone in a ministry role who struggled with alcoholism … someone you wouldn’t “think” would have issues with alcohol.
"I’m sorry you feel bad. How can I help?” “It isn’t your fault.” “It’s an illness that can happen to anyone.”
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Be kind to all, for everyone you meet carries a burden.” While many of us may feel occasionally overwhelmed or frustrated, for those living with a mental health condition, the struggle may be more difficult than you realize.
At one time, Mower Refreshed was merely an idea. A what if, a maybe. Could it be sustainable? Would the community support it? We couldn’t know without trying, so the seed for a grass roots initiative was planted. It has grown and flourished in our community over the years, cultivated and nurtured by the efforts of many, but most memorably by the face of one.
But what if you live in a one zip code town? Even though a community may share the same zip code there are likely “those areas” of town that are less desirable to live in. The reality is that many don’t have the option to decide what area of town they can afford to live in, where they will raise their families, where their children will play outside.
Some days words come with great ease. I’m able to express them without struggle. As we focus on gratitude in this issue I thought words would flow because gratitude is pretty intense for me these days. I think the “stuckness” has to do with the “hardness” of the topic: gratitude in the middle of a challenge. It sounds so easy and yet it is filled with complexities.
Last year at this time I had recently completed chemotherapy and several surgeries as part of my treatment plan to deal cancer. These type of experiences often evoke for folks refection and a new appreciation for small things that may have been by-passed previously. A grateful person in general, it certainly did give me greater insight and profound gratitude for simple things.
Communities looking to foster environments that reflect and impact the well-being of those who call it home are wise to rethink why farmers markets matter. That’s a question local folks have been asking over the past several months and specifically through a community-wide survey. Not only what a thriving common market in Austin might look and feel like, but why developing a common market rather than multiple markets even matters. Here’s a glimpse at what we are learning…
An outdoor yoga class, people biking, families walking together, folks carrying water bottles with them, fresh fruit or veggies at a work meeting, intentional kindness to people who pass us in the grocery store or a parking lot…these are examples of creating positive community norms. They give us a picture, examples of what is valued and how people behave in a community (town/workplace/ family) …what the norm is…how we do life and work…how we do relationships. It has the power to influence how healthy a community is.
re – a prefix, occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion: regenerate; refurbish; retype; retrace; revert.
At the beginning of every year, it’s common to hear people consider what they want to restart, redo, recover, reconsider in relation to their well-being. Organizations or teams within an organization that want to remain relevant are wise to pause long enough to reflect on what has been accomplished (hopefully celebrate with their team) and possibly reevaluate what next steps need to be based on the past year.
Collaboration is a term tossed around community tables and within organizations with ease, because at the root, we know it’s the right thing to do…and if we are dealing with limited resources it may desperation to survive that forces you to the table initially, but it’s the collective impact that keeps you there. Could we impact with greater strength if we explore what collaboration in the form of collective impact looks like, feels like, and offers communities who dare to go beyond collaboration?
ENGAGING in efforts making healthy choices easier in Mower County EQUIPPING communities to grow sustainable wellness solutions EMPOWERING people to create a culture of wellness where they live, work, play and learn