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Will You Honor the Bonfire in Your Heart?

Tomorrow is May Day. It’s also Beltane, a holiday that you may not be familiar with unless you’re from County Limerick or County Wicklow in Ireland, where the Beltane tradition has been constant from the earliest writings in Irish literature. Beltane/May Day marks the midpoint between the spring and the summer solstice, a time where the earth starts producing food, flocks start producing babies, and the heavy summer work of providing for the community and putting up for the cold months of winter begins in earnest.

Humans have observed and celebrated the changing of the seasons throughout recorded history, and that continues today. The winter holidays are wrapped around the winter solstice. Easter, Passover, and Carnival occur near or on the spring solstice. Summer solstice in June is when school winds down and vacations ramp up, and the fall solstice is when vacation season winds down and school ramps back up. Toss in an election, a spooky holiday and a food-laden one,...

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The Sun, the Moon, the Seasons, and You

During the winter months, those of us who live in the northern hemisphere experienced shrinkage. No, not THAT kind of shrinkage. I’m talking about brain shrinkage. Your cerebellum got smaller through the winter months, and as the longer days take over, the part of your brain that controls fine motor movement is getting bigger again. Meanwhile, subcortical structures in your brain that control motivation, processing of emotions, and decision-making got larger during the winter and are now shrinking in size as the weather gets warmer.

What the heck is going on inside our skulls? Don’t be scared – it’s just your brain reacting to the seasons of the year. It’s been going on inside you since you were born – you just never noticed it because the change happens slowly over a long interval.

Some of the brain changes that are seasonal in nature are more obvious than others:

  1. Seasonal Affected Disorder is a mood change that happens in the winter. It seems...
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How Giving Gets You Far More

What do you have such a passion for that you give up your free time to support it? For some people, that’s a sport they play. For some, it’s a hobby like sewing or gardening. And for some, it’s being part of an organization in some sort of volunteer capacity. And whether you know it or not, the world runs on volunteers.

Scout leader. Children’s sports coach. Race official. Civic organization board member. Blood donor. Adopt-a-road clean-up crew. There are so many ways to give your time and talents to something you’re passionate about.

What is it for you? This week is your week – it’s National Volunteer Week. The word “volunteer” came into use in the 1600’s describing men in France who offered themselves up for military duty. It soon came to describe anyone who did work without expecting payment for it, and President Richard Nixon signed the executive order that recognized the value of volunteerism and volunteers in 1974 by...

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Want to Live a Better Life? Pets to the Rescue!

leader pets success Apr 09, 2024

If I told you that there’s one thing that provides you with all the following benefits, would you rush right out and get it?

  1. More active lifestyle
  2. Lower blood pressure
  3. Lower cholesterol
  4. Significant decrease in heart disease/heart attack
  5. Lower likelihood of depression
  6. Lower anxiety levels
  7. Lower BMI
  8. Increased social interaction
  9. Stronger immune system
  10. Fewer allergies
  11. Stronger bones

There are more benefits – I didn’t want to wear you out with the exhaustive list. As you look at that list of 11 benefits, how many of them would you like to achieve? You can get them all – get a pet. Oh, you already have one? Yay, you! Then you’re already reaping the mental and physical benefits of sharing your life with a living being who depends on you. If you’re not already a pet owner, this is an impressive list of benefits, and you should still be sure that your life can support a pet before you add one. They are completely dependent on you, which means...

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Dealing With the Deadline Demons

This is the month many Americans dread. We know it’s coming…it comes every year. In the back of our minds, we know we should be more proactive…we should be more organized…we should be more responsible. And yet, here we are again, in April, with that sense of dread looming over us. April 15th. It’s thirteen days until Tax Day 2024.

For tax accountants, the entire first quarter of each year is a zoo. That means not everyone procrastinates, though many do. The website Fast Company analyzed the most common days that workers call in sick, and it’s not shocking to learn that Monday wins handily and Tax Day is usually fairly high on the list.

Guess what day of the week Tax Day falls on this year? Yep. Monday. Oh, joy…a three-day weekend spent deciphering cryptic tax forms!

Deadlines and procrastination cause stress, and that stress is usually self-inflicted. Before you feel like I’m pointing fingers, know that if I am, they’re...

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Creating More Creativity in Your Life

Today let’s talk about creativity. What it is, why it’s important, and how to create a more creative life for yourself.

First, what the heck is creativity? Merriam-Webster’s definition is “the ability to be creative.” Cambridge Dictionary’s definition goes deeper, making it by far the more creative definition: “the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas.”

Creativity is curiosity unleashed. Creativity is vision in action. Creativity is imagination allowed to take the reins. Creativity is originality on display. Creativity is inventiveness, the first-born child of playfulness.

Creativity is about so much more than writing music, painting a picture, or producing a sculpture. Yes, those are creative pursuits and I’m in awe of those who make our lives better with their imaginative vision and masterful execution of their personal brand of creativity.

  • Creativity is also pulling together a fabulous outfit and wearing it...
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How Many Plates do You Have Spinning?

In Latin, the word for spring is “ver.” Add an “nal” to it and you get a word that translates to “of the spring.” Tonight at precisely 11:06 Eastern time, the northern hemisphere moves into spring with the official-sounding term “vernal equinox.” Day and night are each approximately 12 hours long on the vernal equinox, meaning that for a moment, at least, we can say we’re living in balance.

There are a lot of ways our lives can get out of balance. Sometimes we don’t realize we’ve over-committed ourselves until several important deadlines coincide, making it tough to make time for anything but those commitments. Sometimes a person in charge of an important project gets sick and you get deputized to pick up their workload, along with your already full one. Sometimes we think we want something – job, relationship, child, whatever – and then when we get it, realize that the responsibilities and time commitment...

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Are You Organized or Dis?

It’s a week before spring officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere, so maybe a little bit early for spring cleaning. It’s a month before tax returns in the US are due to be filed, and if you’re like me, perhaps you’ve found a lot of things to do instead of getting organized for that chore.

Today is designed for us – it’s Organize Your Home Office Day. Do you have a good file system that separates your work and personal finances? Is it up to date? Do you know where your W2s and 1099s are? Cancelled checks? Credit card statements? And has your mouth gone dry and have your palms gone moist, like mine? Today, can you block out some time to make your home office look and feel organized?

There are a lot of systems you can use to whip a home office into shape. The one that works best for me is to have the shredder in the middle of the room, a vertical file folder holder or a hanging file frame ready to put “birds of a feather” together,...

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Wanna Go to a Name Party?

Quick – what’s your name? I bet you know the answer to that question by heart, right? One of the first things parents teach their babies is how to recognize and use names – mama, dada, doggie, and the child’s own name. But what’s in a name and why are they so important that they get an entire week’s celebration?

The first full week in March is Celebrate Your Name Week. It’s one of those oddball holidays that got started because one person became randomly, then endlessly, fascinated by something. In this case, Jerry Hill read a news story about another Jerry Hill who died. That Jerry Hill happened to be from the first Jerry Hill’s hometown, making him wonder if they were related, then begin to start wondering about names. He became so fascinated by names that he created a website, which was so fascinating to others that eventually Public Broadcasting Service wrapped it into their website.

Names matter. Classrooms are organized by name....

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Is Time on Your Side or Are You Living on Borrowed Time?

leap day time Feb 27, 2024

What do you do with extra time? Just what IS extra time, anyway? This year is a leap year, meaning we have extra time – an entire extra day of time – to get things done. The reason we get that extra day is that the earth’s orbit interval is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds. The extra quarter-days are lumped together and inserted into February, the year’s shortest month, every four years.

Time passes, yet science can’t define exactly what time is. Isaac Newton thought that time was a constant, unvarying unit and proved it by comparing it to the speed of light, which he believed could vary. Albert Einstein put forth the idea that the speed of light is a constant, which he proved by also mathematically proving that time is a variable, based on gravity. Researchers at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna have proven that time can be slowed down, sped up, and even reversed in a quantum mechanics system.

We experience our...

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