Celebrating Thanksgiving 2020

On Thursday, November 26th, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in the U.S. As is happening globally (due to the pandemic) this year’s celebration will have a flavor all of its own. We will start by looking at some of the guidelines that have been posted by federal agencies:

From Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the NIH (National Institute of Health): https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/14/dr-fauci-says-his-kids-arent-coming-home-for-thanksgiving-to-stay-safe-from-coronavirus.html. (This is a very well written article. You will need to scroll down to see a short video from Dr. Fauci.)

From the CDC (Center For Disease Control): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html.

Thanksgiving is literally a time for giving thanks. It is a time for family gatherings, serving traditional meals, and for perhaps watching a movie or a sports game or two. Due to the pandemic, our celebrations this year will be a bit different. Travel is not being encouraged, holiday gatherings are being limited, and if we do have a holiday gathering, we are being encouraged to have it outside.

How can we create our own celebration this year, one that will be a lasting positive memory for us? We can be thankful for what we have – for our health, for our family, for our jobs, for the country that we live in. We can be thankful that we have the ability to not only talk to family and friends that are at a distance, but we can interact with them visually through FaceTime and sites like Zoom. We can be thankful for our homes, and our communities.

However you decide to celebrate Thanksgiving, check NIH, CDC, and local guidelines to make sure that you are doing your best to stay safe. Wear masks, and wash your hands frequently. You can still serve a Thanksgiving dinner, with some adjustments. Only one person in the kitchen at a time, and only one person serving. Each person gets their chosen beverage and fills their plate one person at a time. Make sure there is good air flow in the house. You can still watch movies and sports shows – just remember correct social distancing.

Above all, choose to be happy! And yes, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is still happening! Without the crowds, of course, but it is still happening!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

(c) November Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Take Responsibility

We are responsible for our words, and our actions. We are also responsible for our reactions. The year 2020 has been the most difficult one in my memory. Not necessarily for me, but globally. The global world as we know it as been turned on its head. To experience a pandemic is one thing, to not have the resources to handle it is another. On one level there is a lack of hospital space, of protective gear for hospital personnel and first responders, deaths of a magnitude we have never seen before, not being able to gather for funerals (or weddings, or birthdays, or for extended family meals), not being able to visit family/friends in care facilities.

On another level there are closed businesses, inability to get personal services (such as haircuts, manicure/pedicures), and the gut-wrenching vision of what seemed like miles of empty shelves at the grocery stores.

To a great extent, we have coped. Masks fairly quickly became available, many companies devoted at least one of their production lines to making hand sanitizer, distancing rules were put in place, curb service was offered by many businesses (including restaurants), service personnell (such as plumbers, electricians, and yard maintenance people) were masked and gloved.

In the U.S., we have done well at the local, grassroots level, but not so well at the national level. (Listen to Dr. Fauci, for heaven’s sake!) There is a huge divisivness that is both political and personal. There are more weapons out there, and more violence, than we have ever seen before (and yes, I am of the Viet Nam era).

We have a national election coming up in two days (November 3rd, 2020). We have an incumbent that is at the root of many of our problems, encouraging violence. We have the fear that he will not leave office peaceably if he is not re-elected. How do we cope with this?

My first thought for myself is that I am not watching TV on election day. All that will happen is that my blood pressure will skyrocket, and I will drive myself crazy. This does not mean that I am putting my head in the sand. It means that I am taking protective measures.

I believe in prayer. I will be praying that this election brings us a president that will unite us so that we can take our proper place in the global world. That attention to COVID-19 is fast-tracked in the U.S., and that our government undergoes a fairly complete overhaul.

On election day we need to exercise both mental and emotional self-care. Some things that we can do:

  • Limit access to news media. Follow the media sources that you feel are legitimate. Create a specific time period to do this, rather than jumping in randomly during the day/night.
  • Practice some form of deep breathing exercise – this keeps you grounded and centered, helps keep your blood pressure in an acceptable range, and allows you to handle conversations with friends/family that may disagree with your views.
  • Set limits on your social media time. I work from home, so I have access all the time. I have to remind myself to “leave social media” alone, especially if something has really upset me.
  • Remember to be thankful for what is good in your life. I do a list of a minimum of five things each morning that I am thankful for. This will be especially necessary on election day.
  • Be okay with your own reactions to things. Recognize your feelings, then release them.
  • Schedule some alone time in the days after the election to vent and process. We are moving into a new normal – the old one had come to a point where it was not functioning well.
  • Stay engaged in your work, your life, your activities. Live a balanced life.

May this election help us to see the light at the end of the tunnell. In fact, may we get a clearer perception of the tunnell itself!

(c) November 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Setting A Foundation For The Life We Want

It is very important that we realize that as individuals we need to take responsibility for the foundation of our life. We need to look for the tools that will help us grow as individuals, as partners within our local community, and as partners within our global community.

Some of the things to take into consideration in building a solid personal foundation for life are:

  • Starting out the day with a short meditation, and a list of what we are thankful for.
  • Creating daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
  • Keeping a daily journal.
  • Following a healthy diet that spports who you are. (For me, that is a vegetarian diet.)
  • Getting exercise in some form on a daily basis.
  • Grtting enough sleep.
  • Learning to prioritize.

In today’s blog I am going to be referencing a course that I am taking – “Say Yes To Success”, by Debra Poneman. (https://yestosuccess.com/) This is not a promotion for this course, even though it is working well for me. It is simply an example of what is out there, and why it works for me.

I took a series of free sessions that Debra Poneman was offering, which were so good that I jumped at the chance to take her ten-week course. The sessions are presented over Zoom, so I could do them from home. They are of a reasonable length – 90 minutes – and she has downloads that she sends out the day before each session. She covers a multitude of life areas over the course of the ten weeks, including:

  • What Is Success – Living In The Light Of Grace
  • Harnessing The Infinite Power Of Your Mind
  • The Role of Goals And The Power Of Gratitude
  • When To Hold On And When To let Go: Learning To Tap Into And Trust Your Intuition
  • Creating Flow With Your Time And In Your Environment
  • The Magic Of Healing Your Heart
  • Opening The Floodgates Of Abundance
  • Creating Vibrant Health And Reversing The Aging Process
  • YOU Have The Power To Change The World
  • Living True Spirituality For Your Ultimate Life (And GRADUATION CELEBRATION)

Poneman has a Facebook page dedicated to this course, where people are encouraged to share their thoughts and experiencesd as we work our way though the sessions. For me, it is a blessing to read about other peoples experiences, to know that I am not alone, and to be able to add my little bit of wisdom to other people’s posts. It takes a village, and this is our village!

This is what is working for me. There are a lot of tools of empowerment out there, within our communities, and on the Internet. Many of them are free. Find what works for you, and put some effort into it. As you move forward with whatever tool you choose to work with, you will feel lighter, more positive, and better able to manifest your visions!

July 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Maintaining Wellness In Difficult Times

The best of the times right now are difficult for all of us. Services that we are accustomed to setting appointments for as a matter of course (like hair and nails) are just opening up. Restaurants and other public facilities are just also opening up, and will have severe limitations as to occupancy and social distancing (space between people).

We cannot go anywhere without masks. We understand that we need to do this, but it is often not comfortable. Wearing a mask is not that easy for me – they are hard to breath through. But I wear them, and will continue to do so until they are no longer mandated.

Service people coming into our homes are wearing masks. Going into stores of all types I need to wear a mask, and those working in the store need to wear a mask. We need to wash our hands constantly, and deep clean our homes on a consistent basis. We need to keep hand sanitizer handy. A certain level of these precautions will be a permanent part of our future.

How do we maintain a healthy level of physical/spiritual/mental/emotional wellness in these times? I have worked with the art of feng shui for many years now. One of the books that I have found to be a valuable tool is “Feng Shui For Healing”, by Rodika Tchi. Her work crossed my path on Twitter, for which I have always been grateful.

“Feng Shui For Healing” is a step-by-step guide for improving wellness within our own homes, our “sanctuaries”. In her introduction, Tchi focuses on creating a peaceful, supportive environment within our homes. IMHO, this is a much better idea than worrying about the changes that have already come, or the changes that are coming.

One of the tools that Tchi gifts us with is a form of meditative breathing called 4-square breathing: breath in to the count of four, hold for the count of four, and exhale to the count of four. She recommends doing this complete cycle six to ten times, while repeating the affirmation ” I can create a nourishing home wherever I go.”. You can actually use any affirmation that you want to with this breath – I change it to suit my needs at any given time.

Feng shui helps us to unlock the energy in our home, in our lives, and in our physical being. Put the principles of feng shui into your life – don’t just read about them. Almost a year ago I “got the clue” that I needed to move my desk, which faced the window, to the center of the room, facing the door. (Having a door at your back is very poor feng shui.) Immediately I moved away from the energy of my neighbors, whose front door faces mine. They are good people, but the energy was chaotic at times. My desk had been facing their front door.

Now my desk faces my living room, where I can see what my cats are up to, and I can see out into my patio. My gentler, pleasant energy. What a world of difference that one small move made!

Our home environment reflects our personal energy. Perhaps this would be a good time for you to use the principles of feng shui to create a background of peace and joy in your home.

Make the best of these times!

(c) June 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

A Brave New World

Today would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday. She crossed over on March 16th – something that my siblings and I thought we were ready for, but we weren’t. I really don’t t hink that you can be ready for something like this.

We were very fortunate in that my sister found a very nice group home for my mother to live in. She was able to be surrounded by things that she liked, including her books, and her koala and teddy bears. She liked where she was, and my sister lived very close, so we could do face times, and it took my sister no time to get there whenever the care-givers called with a issue (or an impending issue). She had excellent medical care, and was in minimal pain.

It is very hard to move forward without my mother, even though we did not always agree on things. She was very much a “people person”, and enjoyed gardening and being with people. For many years one of her favorite activities was working with Adopt-A-Pet, an organization that works with caring for and rehoming stray dogs, and dogs that were turned in by their owners. She worked very hard to help them attain their 501-C3 (non-profit) status.

Unfortunately my mother died during the pandemic (but not of COVID-19). While a physical issue that I have would have prevented me from being there anyway, her funeral was limited in many ways. There were only five family members at the funeral, and they had to walk to the gravesite from the cemetary gate (not a long distance). They had to practice social distancing, which made it hard for them to console each other.

It has been six weeks since her death – many days it seems much longer. I am blessed in that the human race has a tendency to remember the good, and forget the bad. At least I do. I remember that my mother instilled in all of us a love for reading, for being the best people that we could be, and for helping others.

Mom, know that we love you, and will always honor your teaching.

Words of Wisdom From Nala Cat

I follow several people of the feline variety on the Internet. They bring peace, joy, and humor into my day. Occasionally they offer a product, such as a cat toy, cat food, blankets, or tee shirts. One of my favorite fur people is Nala Cat, sister to White Coffee. She has recently come out with a beautifully presented book of commentary that helps us all to live our best life. I hope that you enjoy what she is sharing!

You can purchase Nala Cat’s wisdom here:https://www.amazon.com/Living-Your-Best-Live-According-ebook/dp/B07TZZLZDT/ref=sr_1_1?crid=23WRHO9MBKET6&dchild=1&keywords=living+your+best+life+according+to+nala+cat&qid=1586866366&sprefix=living+your+best+life+%2Caps%2C211&sr=8-1

Good Friday

On Good Friday we mark the day that Jesus was crucified. As Christians, we honor the suffering that Jesus went through for us, and that he died for our sins. This is a day of reflection, a day that we look at ourselves, and our faith.

Worldwide we are experiencing the cornavirus pandemic, which includes the need for isolation. We will not be celebrating Good Friday, or Easter, in the company of other people. This year we will be experiencing an isolated holiday.

We can reach out through digital media, including phones, Face Time, Skype, e-mail, text, and You Tube. We are actually rich in resources, if we look for them.

Something that crossed my path was the concert that opera singer Andrea Bocelli is giving a free, online concert at 1 pm EDT on Easter morning over his YouTube channel (https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/a32106751/how-to-watch-andrea-bocelli-easter-concert/). Accompanied by organist Emanuele Vianel, he will be singing alone at Milan’s famed Duomo di Milano. (He will literally be in the cathedral with only his accompanist, due to the continued need for isolation in Italy.)

May you all have a wonderful Good Friday, and a joyousd Easter!

Surviving Change

We are in a time of major change. Because of the coronavirus many people are out of work, many people are working from home that normally would not be, we are experiencing a level of death that we had not expected, and we feel out of control. How can we keep ourselves grounded and centered during this time, and what can we expect our future to be?

Here are some of the things we can do to make it through this time:

  • We can acknowledge our feelings, and our fears.
  • We can be willing to talk about what is going on.
  • We can actively listen to what those around us are saying.
  • We can expand our perception of what life is.
  • We can re-prioritize our needs and our goals.
  • We can offer help to others.
  • We can ask for help when we need it.
  • We can limit our time with toxic people/situations.
  • We can give thanks for that which we have on a daily basis.
  • Consciously live in the present.

What tools can we use to cope:

  • Write our thoughts out in a journal.
  • Take a walk (keeping a good social distance from others).
  • Do a breathing meditation.
  • Listen to music.
  • Get up and dance.

What challanges can we expect in our near future?

  • Our entire health care system will have to be re-evaluated.
  • One-time stimulus payments will offer some financial help.
  • People will re-evaluate which expenditures are important, and which after not. Things like new cars and new clothes will be much further down on the list.
  • People will be making more of an effort to set aside 3-6 months’ worth of money to cover bills.
  • There will be an effort to stock essential foods for at least 60 days.
  • Many people who lost their jobs will be looking for jobs.
  • We will be looking at the November elections in terms of how the current crisis was handled, and what we found out about our government.

This is not a time to be afraid. It is a time to move forward with confidence into a future that is unlike one that we have ever known.

The Alchemist

“The Alchemist – A Graphic Novel” is food for the mind and the soul. I just finished reading it, and it was a marvelous journey. Written by Paulo Coelho, with artwork by Daniel Sampere, it is an incredible collaboration that defies description. (It is an illistrated interpretation of Coelho’s story “The Alchemist.) It is what I needed, right now, at this point in my life.

I absolutely could not put this book down. The beautiful imagery, the intense colors, and the magical storyline grabbed me and would not let me go.

The story follows the life of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd. He is happy with his life, but he ends up on a search for treasure. Along the way, he meets many different people, and is placed in many different situations. Each has something to teach him on his journey to find his own story, his “personal legend”. He becomes, essentially, an “alchemist” inhis own right.

To me, our personal wellness journey covers all levels of our being – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. We find all of that in this book. We see how all parts of ourselves are bound to our personal story/personal legend.

The original book (in text) is a classic – as is the graphic novel version!

Daily Focus

To accomplish anything, we need focus. There are many tools out there that we can use to help us focus, including prayer, affirmations, and visual images. I recently had the very good luck to have the “everyday Enlighenment” cards, by Becky Lundin, cross my path.

This is a 48 card deck whose purpose is to help us focus on our day, as well as to help us find our inner strengths. I have started drawing one card each morning to give me some insight into my day. I am very pleased with my results!

You can find more information on the cards, as well as a purchse link, here: https://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2020/01/19/review-everyday-enlighenment-cards/.