Upbeat Times HOLIDAY GUIDE #1

Q: There seems to be so much turmoil in the air these days, not only locally, but around the world. I’d like to be able to feel more gratitude, espe- cially around the holidays. Can you speak to that?

A: I’ll begin by saying “Gracias!” Thanks for that question, and it is definitely the season to try to appre- ciate the bounties of life. And it’s so important to optimize wellbeing by noticing what IS working. To actually FEEL grateful, to FEEL appreciative each day. Fortunately, November offers a national holiday to help us give thanks for what we have, as opposed to what we don’t! Recently, a Latina friend of mine

educated me about the root of the word “gracias.” She referred to it as “La Gracia ” --grace. “Gra- cias” is taken from this Spanish root word and pluralized. This suggests

that giving thanks and experiencing grace can be synonymous. Lovely! This even connects me right back to “saying grace” at meal times, something I often forget to do. Every day is an op- portunity to practice moments of appreciat- ing! Acknowledging what’s good and noble, what’s delightful


pleasurable, or the char- acter-building learning that the hard stuff of life can bring. I might give la gracia for the people,

animals and plants that sustain me; for the soil, water, the air, the sun and stars… You catch my drift. There’s so much for which to

say, “Gracias!” I can take a breath and simply be aware of something that I feel glad, pleased, relieved to experience as mine in the moment - whether of a quiet or a robust na- ture. Maybe just feeling thankful

A potato and a sweet potato were playing on the playground. The sweet potato told the potato,"Hey, I just found out I'm related to you." The potato said," No you're are not!" The sweet potato said back,"Yes, I yam."

for feeling thankful, lol. A few days ago, I was experi- encing a shortage of leisure, of downtime. This idea of what I didn’t have, was stressful.

But I

noticed my thinking, paused, took a few deep breaths, and felt a “thank you” arise, quite naturally. It was appreciation just for that free breath, that moment alive.

of Being

On November 28th, Thanksgiving, let’s

keep each other in our hearts and prayers. We’re all in this life to- gether. Everyone wants and needs wellbeing, happiness, safety or pro- tection, opportunities to make and fulfill dreams, and to be nourished and sustained along our individual and collective paths.

How many ways can you say, “Gracias? What can you find to be


Living the Upbeat Life

NOVEMBER 2019 Giving Thanks at

GRACIAS [grah-see-ahss] by Marcia Singer of Santa Rosa, CA. ~ ~

thankful for? Write them down? Say them on your breath, when you wake up and before you sleep. Count those blessings –even when they seem at first, hard to find; watch them multiply. Keep an eye out for beauty in unexpected places.

Gracie –Italian Danke – German Mahalo -Hawaiian Toda –Hebrew

galog Spacibo –Russian Arigato –Japanese ShehSheh –Chinese Fa’afa- tai -Samoan

Obrigada –Portugese Merci –French

Tell somebody ‘thanks’ today. Shine DeLight,

Here are more ways to say, “Gracias”

Salamat -Ta-

Homestead Gardens ...continued on page 23

home together. It’s all free, and loads of fun. Artful Arrangements is a

501(c)(3) nonprofit support- ing families with the Second 5 (ages 5-10) message, “Play, Interact and Guide – Good Manners will be Multiplied!” and with services that artfully arrange no-cost or low-cost ways for parents and grand- parents to play with their chil- dren in public because that is where kids practice what is being taught at home about good manners, social skills and respect for elders and other’s property – before they get cell phones. For additional information, you can call coordinator Di- ane at 707-664-8656, or visit

"I think I can help others just by my example." ~ Pat Summitt


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