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Sep 14th

Kindness. Sprinkle it everywhere.

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Kindness confetti

Let’s pick up where we left off last month with the screening of Finding Kind. The event was a huge success due to the generosity of Kind Campaign, IndieFlix, Upper Moreland Free Public Library, and, of course, Nourishing Storm.  We left that night wanting to throw kindness everywhere. It filled the room and made it bright, like glitter that didn’t stick but just floated around. I encourage you to fill anywhere you are with kindness, too. It feels awesome.  In addition, you can actually register to win your own screening by clicking the picture below:

kindcampaign

The night of the screening we had several people travel from all over the Tri-State area join us to watch this amazing film about kindness and what sometimes gets in the way of it. We left the screening having learned several lessons. Here are some of them:

 1. Kindness is simple.

This probably sounds too good to be true, but if you think about it, kindness really is the easy part. It’s free. It feels good. It works. Quite often social difficulties begin with things like jealousy, shame, disappointment; all things that get in the way of kindness. Once we can clear the clutter of the tough stuff, the kindness comes naturally.

2. Comparison is the thief of joy.

In today’s world, we are often encouraged to compare ourselves to others—in the media, at work, in social circles, in our families even. Protect and expand your own joy by sharing in the successes of others and basking in the simple pleasures of life that we can all share.

3. Forgive yourself and others without shame.

We all make mistakes, and it is easy to allow shame to linger and take hold. Shame only clouds our kindness and gets us stuck in a cycle of unpleasant emotions. We can forgive ourselves for any mistakes we feel we’ve made, and forgive others for their mistakes, big and small. An authentic apology is a very healing thing. Give them and accept them to move toward happiness.

4. Share what inspires you.

Kind Campaign started because two people were inspired to bring kindness to others.  Other people teach yoga, practice medicine, create art, harvest food, plant trees, make music. We all have different gifts that are meant to bring goodness into the world. It is never too late to find those gifts, and once you find them, please share them. The world will be a better place for it.

5. We don’t know others’ stories, so err on the side of kindness.

On the outside, it may look like someone has it all, but we never actually know what he or she might be going through. The person that cut you off in traffic might be rushing to an emergency and needs your kindness and understanding more than ever.  The person who is dressed a little differently probably feels his or her best in those threads. Who are we to make him or her feel uncomfortable? The person who started a rumor at school or work has likely been hurt before. Know that those actions are fueled by insecurity. Regardless of the scenario, it feels better to let go of any anger or judgement that might accompany an unkind situation, so do yourself and the world a favor, and err on the side of kindness. It helps me to remember these words:

“Be kindest to me when I least deserve it because that’s when I need it the most.”

 This will be my last blog post for a while, but I want to thank you for reading this and my previous posts. I hope you have found some goodness in them because that is what I felt writing them.  Please continue to find and keep your own goodness. It is always there. Feel free to treat yourself to it. Often.

Tera is a certified school counselor and teaches research courses at Immaculata University. When she is not teaching yoga at Nourishing Storm, you can find her dancing at DAC in Hatboro, creating new goods for her Etsy shop Gracious Sakes, or hanging out at home with her husband and their pets. If you’d like to find ways to get more involved in the community feel free to contact Tera at gracious.sakes2013@gmail.com.

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Aug 14th

Kind Campaign teaches us to Find Kind.

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We hear a lot about campaigns, especially political ones, but let’s take a step away from the need to “approve this message” and talk about another kind of campaign. One that we all desperately need today.

It’s Kind Campaign.

 kindcampaign

In 2009, Lauren (Parsekian) Paul and Molly (Stroud) Thompson wanted to find a way to start a conversation about the various forms of aggression present in schools. They decided to hop in a minivan with their moms, travel across the country, talk to people about their experiences with aggression, and film what they found.

Lauren and Molly

The result is their film Finding Kind. (Check out the trailer below!)

finding-kind-page-header

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woZTiMgWYDo

Since making their film, Lauren and Molly have started an international movement to help develop positive relationships between students, especially females, in schools all over the world. From their film to their assembly program to their Kind Club Curriculum, schools everywhere are getting involved.

Here is your chance to get involved!

On Thursday, August 28, 2014, at 7:00 PM there will be a free screening of Kind Campaign’s documentary film, Finding Kind Upper Moreland Free Public Library. The documentary has been made available through the generosity of Kind Campaign and the independent film website IndieFlix  and their “Free to be Kind” initiative.

Kind campaign 1 indieflix

The film is excellent for students (recommended for age 11 and up), educators, parents, guardians, friends, coaches, community leaders, and anyone else who wants to help promote kindness to replace aggression. If you join us, you’ll see the film and leave with some tangible ways to establish kindness in your community. It will be a wonderful evening. Please come share it with us!

Special thanks goes to Kind Campaign, IndieFlix, Upper Moreland Free Public Library, and Upper Moreland Township who all helped make the event possible!

Tera is a certified school counselor and teaches research courses at Immaculata University. When she is not teaching yoga at Nourishing Storm, you can find her dancing at DAC in Hatboro, creating new goods for her Etsy shop Gracious Sakes, or hanging out at home with her husband and their pets. If you’d like to find ways to get more involved in the community feel free to contact Tera at gracious.sakes2013@gmail.com.

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Jul 17th

An Amazing Local Charity: Quilts for Kids

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qklogo4color_web

Think of your coziest setting.  Mine involves a soft blanket, a cup of hot tea, and a good book. It makes me feel warm and safe during moments of uncertainty. It’s usually during times of discomfort when cozying up does the most good.

A local organization called Quilts for Kids works to bring that sense of coziness, warmth, and safety to children and families in need of it the most. Volunteers at Quilts for Kids, in nearby Fairless Hills, PA, create beautiful, handmade quilts and donate them to children who are experiencing illness, abuse, and other difficult circumstances.

Click the video below to watch a Downy documentary featuring Quilts for Kids:

For fourteen years now, Quilts for Kids’ Founding President, Linda Ayre, has been organizing fabric collection, rallying volunteer quilters, and growing this amazing non-profit into an internationally recognized organization. Since 2000, when Ayre was inspired to find a good use for discontinued fabric and reminded of her daughter’s fear and discomfort during a hospital stay years earlier, Quilts for Kids has maintained a goal of distributing 30,000 quilts annually. In other words, Quilts for Kids works to surround 30,000 children with love each year. There are now over 100 Quilts for Kids chapters throughout North America bringing goodness and comfort to children all over the world. Click here to read some of the children’s stories.

Click the video below to view a short Downy documentary about one happy Quilts of Kids child:

Nourishing Storm is proud to team up with Quilts for Kids for this month’s Kirtan of Hope. It will be held on Saturday, July 26th from 7:30-9:00 PM at the Hatboro studio. Proceeds from the event will go straight to Quilts for Kids to help support their efforts to bring comfort to children and families across the country.

As we prepare for the Kirtan of Hope, Quilts for Kids has generously sent some of their newest quilts to the Nourishing Storm Hatboro studio so that we can get a taste of their beautiful work. As July 26 quickly approaches, let’s use our yoga practice to fill these quilts with our love before they are distributed to children in need. In addition, click here to find  other ways you can help.

Thank you Quilts for Kids!

 

Tera is a certified school counselor and teaches research courses at Immaculata University. When she is not teaching yoga at Nourishing Storm, you can find her dancing at DAC in Hatboro, creating new goods for her Etsy shop Gracious Sakes, or hanging out at home with her husband and their pets. If you’d like to find ways to get more involved in the community feel free to contact Tera at gracious.sakes2013@gmail.com.

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Jun 18th

Kindness Yields Happiness

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Sometimes I easily feel so much happiness I could burst. Other times feeling happy is work. I call these times “happiness challenges,” when unpleasant feelings cloud the happiness that we have in our hearts.

During one specific happiness challenge this past year, a friend told me,

“be as kind as you can to yourself.”

This was some of the best advice I ever received. It helped me reestablish some balance and feel happier almost immediately, which then contributed to the happiness of those around me.

 

Here are some ways that I show myself kindness and foster my own happiness:

Writing

Even if just for a few minutes I take a conscious moment to write. Some short writing exercises that work for me include:

1.  Writing a list of things for which I’m grateful.
2.  Jotting down a happy memory.
3.  Finishing sentences like “I am…,” “I wonder…,” “I hear…,” “I feel…,” “I notice…,” “I love…,” “I enjoy…,” etc.
4.  Writing a letter or email to a friend. (You can opt to send or not.)
5.  Penning a list of favorite things or potential solutions to a challenge you face. (You might surprise yourself with what they are!)

Music

I love to listen to and play music. Creating a new station on Pandora or Spotify can begin to change my mood immediately. Also, taking a few minutes to play a tune or two on an instrument (whether that instrument is your singing voice, your drumming hands, or your strumming fingers) can help happiness start to bubble up again, too. Play without judgment and with lots of love to feel the full happiness effect.

Reading

For a time, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to read, so I set an attainable goal of reading at least one page of something per day. Soon that one page turned into at least 5-10 at a time, and I was back in a reading routine.  Investing a few minutes at a time for an enjoyable read is healthy and good for the soul. My latest reading picks lift me up and make me think. They are:

1.  Mo’ Meta Blues, by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – This is a memoir of Questlove, leader of The Roots and music director of the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. It strays (in the best way) from the typical structure of any other memoir you may have read.

mo meta blues

2.  Thrive, by Arianna Huffington – This is a successful woman’s take on finding peace in a chaotic world. She gives practical strategies for a more peaceful life and uses various philosophical, professional, and personal references to support her stance.

Thrive

3.  Rework, by Jason Fried – This is a brief guide to starting a business in your own way. It is concise, direct, and understanding of individuals with a dream.

Rework

4.  Darling magazine – There need to be more magazines like this in the world! Darling’s publication is smart and supportive of females especially. It is not laden with adds and photos that often chisel away at a person’s self-esteem. Instead it is full of uplifting articles, intelligent poetry, and beautiful illustrations. I encourage you to check out their latest edition of the magazine and peruse their website for other great reading. The women behind this publication are kind, brave, and driven to infuse the world with good.
Darling-Mag-Banner-Issue-8

For us to continue putting good into the world, kindness is key. Someone once said, “Be kind to me when I least deserve it because that’s when I need it the most.” So remember when unpleasant feeling arise, the best way to curb them and channel your happiness is with kindness. The kindness you show toward yourself only results in happiness for everyone!

 

What do you do to be kind to yourself?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Tera is a certified school counselor and teaches research courses at Immaculata University. When she is not teaching yoga at Nourishing Storm, you can find her dancing at DAC in Hatboro, creating new goods for her Etsy shop Gracious Sakes, or hanging out at home with her husband and their pets. If you’d like to find ways to get more involved in the community feel free to contact Tera at gracious.sakes2013@gmail.com.

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May 15th

Naturally Creative Inspiration

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Nourishing Storm’s theme this month is creativity. Lately I’ve been drawing creative inspiration from nature, animals, and children, so I wanted to introduce you to some places in the area that offer some truly inspiring experiences.

Nature

PERT-LOGO

Nature is always adapting to new situations in creative ways. You can see this play out locally upon a visit to Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust. It is a beautiful place full of trails and organized by an exceptional group of people. Become a member and you’ll get to enjoy informative, fun activities for the whole family. This also happens to be where our very own Kristin takes Nourishing Storm’s yoga hikers! Join her for one. It’s an amazing experience doing yoga while surrounded by nature and so many forms of life!

Animals

My Gentle Barn bookMaybe it’s because I just finished My Gentle Barn, by Ellie Laks, a book about an animal rescue and youth program in California, but animals have been a huge source of creative inspiration for me lately. Read this book, and you’ll get a small lesson in  innocence and resilience, a reminder that I need often.  Locally, though, two places have been incredibly inspiring and helpful to my own and other local pets:

County Line Veterinary Hospital took great care of one of my pets in a recent emergency. They are compassionate and fun, so if you’re looking for a veterinarian, this is a great place.

Bucks County V.E.T.S. recently helped us in a time of need after hours. They are open from 6 PM – 8 AM, and 24 hours on weekends and holidays. Their service is impeccable, and they are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. In addition, they rescue animals, find the rescue animals new homes, and treat strays and wildlife for free. What a beautiful, generous place!

Children

Children are some of the most beautiful, generous beings on Earth, and they inspire me every day. Recently I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Helping Hands Rescue Mission  after school program in Philadelphia. The students and staff there were welcoming, and when it came time to buckle down and do homework, the students did just that. One 6th grade student I worked with even stayed late to be sure all of her work was done. I am impressed with the great things happening at this place. Click here to see a video.

College Settlement We ate Food that we picked

Few places have shown me more wonderful things lately than College Settlement in Horsham. This beautiful place combines in perfect harmony everything that inspires me—nature, children, and animals. It is a summer camp and educational center for youth, and when I visited, the positive energy was palpable. Here students learn about the environment; they help care for the resident donkeys, turkeys, chickens, and goat; and they work together to keep the place running (with some help from the grown-ups, of course!).

I was there for about two hours and left with enough happiness to keep me going for weeks. I can only imagine the goodness an entire summer camp experience would generate! Click here to see pictures of this amazing place.

Please support these local inspiration goldmines! Do you have any inspiring places you’d like us to know about? Tell us in the comments!

Tera is a certified school counselor and teaches research courses at Immaculata University. When she is not teaching yoga at Nourishing Storm, you can find her dancing at DAC in Hatboro, creating new goods for her Etsy shop Gracious Sakes, or hanging out at home with her husband and their pets. If you’d like to find ways to get more involved in the community feel free to contact Tera at gracious.sakes2013@gmail.com.

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