A New Beginning - 2017

Nobody can say that 2016 was dull. I think, no matter what side of the political spectrum you were on, we can agree to the viciousness that has become our norm in this country. I pray that we can do better as a community of people during 2017. I’d like to offer a way that may help, and I want to tell you about a new project I am going to be undertaking that I hope may help as well.

First, Shawn Achor presented a Ted Talk about happiness . It has now been viewed by over 1.6 million people. I highly recommend you check it out. The title is “The happy secret to better work.” For me it was a way to have a more happy life. He introduces something called a Gratitude Journal. It’s pretty simple, really, but powerful. Each day ask yourself the following questions, 1) What are three (3) things that I am grateful for today? Don’t look for big blowout things, just look around and see the beauty of the day. 2) Did I exercise today? Again, nothing about a marathon (unless you really did run one). 3) Did I spend time being quiet with God? I have been failing miserably on this one, but I am hopeful that I will get my act together and JUST DO IT. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes a day. 4) Was I kind to someone today? This is called a random act of kindness. Again, don’t blow it out of proportion. Call a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while. Visit a shut-in. And finally, 5) Journal about a positive happening from the day. This can be a few sentences or a couple of pages depending on what happened.

That’s it, five things that can make each day better. You can focus on the positive instead of all the negative. Make sure you write these down in a journal. It will be a joy to look back over in the months ahead.

Second, one of my goals for the year is to start a chapter of The Red Boot Coalition.The purpose of this organization is “to address the labels, polarization, ideologies, anger and fear that are so prevalent throughout our nation today, by getting underneath them. By engaging in honest sharing and compassionate listening, inspired by the Red Boot Eleven steps, we create places where people feel safe, connected and loved.”
If you want to know more about this go to www.theredbootcoalition.org. Carolina Villa and I will be attending the facilitation training the end of January in Charlotte.

I hope that you will consider ways to bring peace to your piece of the world.

Faithfully,

Andy

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