Gratitude Journals and Resolutions.

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It is almost the end of the year and it would be nice to pay all our bills to balance zero and be good to the environment and our selves. Be kind to the children and the animals. I am going to make all the kids (even my grumpy teen) a gratitude journal and have us all try to write at least three things a day in it that we are grateful for. I watched a Brain program called – Happy for no reason on PBS – over the weekend that talked about Neuroplasicity and the re-wiring of the brain. My little ones were the focus of my interest in this research. “The Secret” (a book and DVD) is still the rage with everyone jumping on this band wagon – but like most things it is simply repackaged ancient wisdom (or common sense) I found it a bit empty. I like the more scientific approach.

 James Allen in 1902 wrote a very popular book called “As A Man thinketh”. Pretty much the Secret without the splashy video and nature scenes. Mr. Allen was inspired by a passage from Proverbs in the King James version of the Bible. There is also the same theory in the Dhammapada and many many others throughout the texts of time. What you think and how you think it and what you are focused on becomes your life. (uh duh). But it is good to be reminded and to have a treasure map for your mind to help you in this most obvious of practices. So back to Neuroplasicity, my game addled children’s minds are not creating the pathways that will eventually lead to greater creativity and out of the DS box thinking unless I jump start them into varied and new experiences. I am not talking jumping out of a plane or having them battle to the death with homemade swords but I am going to try and think of simple – easy things that they can do each day that will light the fires of  thinking, learning, and acting.  If only just building a tent in the living room this long vacation on one of our no tech days.

For most of us moms I can say it is a busy hard world that we live in and our children are surrounded by so much stimulus that makes it convient for us to leave it to the children to entertain themselves. But it is not like it was only a few short years ago. Their entertainment is increasingly fed to them – prepackaged. They may make some small descisions but the creativity and imagination is filtered and watered down. This goes for us adults too – we all need to push away from the tech table from time to time and take long walks, go to museums and try new things. I am very guilty of just working all the time and not getting out in the world. I hope this inspires you to get out and about too. Some of my favorite bloggers have sites where the person is really exploring their environments and cities and themselves. If you get a chance to watch the PBS show Happy for No reason or you can rent The Dali Lama – Richard Davidson interview on changing your thinking changing your mind – please do. You will be inspired. So for resolutions I think I want to have my family try one new thing a week – experience not just food or books or movies but to do one thing we have never done before. It will be interesting to try. Here’s to the year 2009 Year of the Brain!

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