Tuesday, February 20, 2018

8-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Bakes for Another Young Cancer Patient

As shoppers streamed in and out of Trader Joe’s and Food 4 Less in San Luis Obispo on Sunday, 8-year-old Tessa Roos and her mother, Sarah, set up a stand in front of Whiz Kids.

Sarah Roos iced cupcakes and placed cookies and Rice Krispies treats adorned with iced yellow ribbons—the symbol for childhood cancer awareness — on plastic trays under Tessa’s watchful eye. A sign in front of the stand read, “Go Team Max.” Soon, shoppers started lining up to buy baked goods or lemonade, or just to drop a few dollars in the donation jar.

All proceeds from the lemonade stand will go to Max Collins, a student at Laguna Middle School, who has been diagnosed with aplastic anemia. His body has thus far rejected attempted bone marrow transplants, and he and his family have been battling the disease for about three years, Sarah Roos said. Roos is a teacher at Laguna.

“We’re trying to help this family who has been going through a tough time for a really long time,” Sarah Roos said.

Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article200837079.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, February 19, 2018

Developing Mindfulness via Photography

If you were to think about teaching both mindfulness and gratitude to students, photography might not be the first method that comes to mind. But mindfulness is, at its core, a state of open awareness and attention—and to feel gratitude, we first have to truly notice the good things in life.

Looked at that way, it’s easier to see how photography could be used as a tool in classrooms to promote mindfulness and gratitude—and the benefits they both have been shown to bring to young people. As French photojournalist Marc Riboud said, “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”

The Center for Healthy Minds (CHM) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has long been studying the teaching of mindfulness in elementary school classrooms. Over the past few years—with a grant from The John Templeton Foundation in partnership with the Greater Good Science Center—they developed and tested a five-week mindful photography curriculum.

... “Mindfulness is all about knowing your emotions and staying calm, and photography can really keep you calm and keep you focused,” said one student. Another stated that mindful photography “helps you stay calm and happy and helps you notice what you are grateful for.” Or, as another put it, “We got to take pictures of people and stuff that we cared about.” (When CHM looked at the content of the fifth-graders’ photos, the two categories of subjects that appeared the most were peers and nature). One student’s response was simple but profound: “It shows me that the world is colorful.”

---The above is excerpted from How Photography Can Help Cultivate Mindfulness and Gratitude

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Good Baggage for Foster Children

When his foster siblings arrived with nothing but a few belongings in a trash bag, Hunter Beaton was struck by how unjust that seemed. It left such an impact on him that Hunter created Day 1 Bags — bags packed with a few essentials that would be given to children on their first day entering foster care. Thanks to Hunter’s dedication and hard work, what started as his Eagle Scout service project has now grown into a statewide initiative for foster children in Texas.

With the help of his community in Boerne, Texas, Hunter raised more $10,000 worth of donations to buy and fill 100 bags with essentials like toothbrushes, clothing and diapers. He donated the bags to Vault Fostering Community, a local foster family resource center.

Read the entire story at Points of Light.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Altruism May Make Your More Attractive

Data analysis by eharmony and JustGiving has revealed that when people are known to give to charity, they appear more attractive to others.

In fact, charitable giving boosts perceived levels of attractiveness for a third (32%) of singles with this feeling strongest among those aged 18-34. Altruistic people also receive more communication when online dating. In addition, the eharmony and JustGiving data shows that over a fifth (23%) would rather receive a charity donation on their behalf than a traditional Valentine’s gift.

Data mined from eharmony also shows that singles who reference some form of philanthropy on their profile – with keywords including charity, volunteering, giving or donating – receive over a third (34%) more communications than those who do not.

Similarly, those who appear to be innately more generous, based on psychological analysis from their answers to eharmony’s Relationship Questionnaire, receive around 80% more messages.

The analysis also considers location and reveals that residents of Liverpool, Manchester and Belfast possess the highest levels of philanthropy, making them the UK’s most charitably-minded cities. When considering gender, women are found to be somewhat more altruistic than their male counterparts.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

For the Love of Bald Eagle Hatchlings on Video Cam

After weeks of anticipation, two bald eagle eggs near Big Bear Lake hatched as viewers watched in real time via a streaming webcam, San Bernardino National Forest officials announced.

The first chick arrived at 9:57 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 from the first of two eggs laid days apart in early January, the U.S. Forest Service said. The parents have been taking turns watching over the eggs during their 35-day incubation period.

The second egg hatched about 12:20 p.m. Monday.

It took several minutes for the first chick to emerge, with the help of its parents. The video showed one of the adults as it carefully moved the bedding supporting the egg, and as it appeared to help lift and crack the remaining shell. Occasionally the parent settled on top of the chick for warmth and protection

--From the Los Angele Times

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

10 Ways to Love Yourself

A truism run through books on spirituality, physcology, and philosophy -- and that is you can't love others until you learn to love yourself.

The Daily Prism searched for ways to better love oneself, and picked our favorites:

  • Begin your day with the intention to love -- yourself and those with whom you meet.
  • Rid yourself of people who do not love you. 
  • Treat your body and mind to healthy habits.
  • Forgive your past. It's done. It's over.
  • Be grateful for the good that surrounds you -- even those tiny specks that are barely visible.
  • Have fun. At least once a week do something that pleases just you--taking time to read, a walk in the park, listening to your favorite musician, etc.
  • Speak positively about yourself -- both internally and out loud.
  • Seek the awesome.
  • Be patient with yourself. Perfection takes time.
  • As you begin your day with intention, let your day end with quiet time for reflection, meditation, or journaling.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Quiz: Do You Love Your Partner Compassionately?

Love is in the air. A day centered around a Roman man called Valentinus (Latin for worthy, strong and powerful) has a questionable history and an unfortunate end for St. Valentine. Not unusual to most Christian holidays, St. Valentine's Day is rooted in pagan traditions. From History.com:  "Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

"To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage."

Fortunately, through the centuries the sacrificial elements of Lupercalia, transitioned into a more gentle form of expressing love. And now the question is:

"You might love your partner truly, madly, deeply. But do you love compassionately?"

To find out—and get tips for becoming a more compassionate partner—take this quiz, which is adapted from a scale developed by researchers Susan Sprecher and Beverley Fehr.

Click this link to take the Compassionate Love Quiz.