I considered writing a column about the holiday blues because, let’s face it, we all have them. Gift buying or no gift buying, romance or no romance, tree or no tree, there are a lot of choices that can add to the overwhelm in our already busy lives.
Instead, let’s talk about possibilities! Let’s get inspired.
Dream. Dare to dream about the places you never thought you’d see. Whether it’s a quick getaway to an island, a trip around the world, or a month in a foreign land, dream BIG about the places you’d like to go.
Make a difference. Everyone knows that there is plenty of room in the world to make a contribution. Make yours unique. Let it have meaning to you. Let it not only touch the heart of others but awaken your own.
Need an idea? Host a meal for a group who may not have family. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Make handmade gifts for nonprofit organizations serving those in need. Sing at a benefit concert! Allow your unique gifts to be shared.
Bake cookies - but don’t eat them all. Baking can be a healing gesture in the home as long as it’s shared. Children love baking! The aroma wafting through the kitchen into all the rooms of the house brings a nurtured vibe. It is sometimes what makes a house a home. Decorate them using themes. Then pass them out to neighbors, friends, and colleagues. You can even make them healthy!
Host a holiday party. Offer an activity that supports a cause. You may have everyone bring in their favorite photos and show them how to transform them into holiday cards. Then send them to prisoners or hospitals. Offer inspirational sayings of health and bright futures.
Share the wealth. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you can help someone less fortunate than you by offering a financial gift. Remember the saying ‘As you give, so shall you receive.’ It’s true. It doesn’t matter the size of the gift. It could be dropping coins into the Salvation Army bucket, giving $2 - $5 at the checkout of your grocery shopping, or mailing in a contribution to a charity.
Meet a friend for a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa at a local cafe. Dine with friends and family at a family owned restaurant. Go window shopping at boutique stores. Get your nails done with friends. All these will bring you and your friends joy while supporting your local business owners.
Where to Start
All of these make you feel better. And they definitely make those whom you are serving feel better. Why wait? Here are some connections to set your ideas into action:
Google ‘Travel’ or ‘Cheap Travel’. You’ll receive options that will likely have something that both resonates with your soul and your pocketbook. Try one of these.
Help the Homeless
Contact one of these agencies and ask how you can assist.
Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network
Open Door Mission Samaritan House
House of Mercy
Volunteers of America
Share your voice at a benefit concert or chorale your own group and bring music to your neighborhood. Contact your local church to inquire about singing opportunities or try one of these:
Rochester Women’s Community Chorus
Taiwanese Choral Society of Rochester
Concentus Women’s Chorus
Maybe you’ve collected a book of recipes from your favorite aunt. If not, it’s never too late. Here are a few places to find fun & tasty recipes, as well.
Offer Inspiration to someone being hospitalized. Get a listing of those serving time at a local jail or prison. Then send them holiday greetings filled with inspiration!
Monroe County Jail
130 Plymouth Ave. South
Rochester, NY 14614
Monroe County Correctional Facility
750 East Henrietta Road
Rochester, New York 14623
Strong Memorial Hospital
- or -
Golisano Children’s Hospital
601 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14642
1000 South Ave
Rochester, NY 14620
Rochester General Hospital
1425 Portland Ave
Rochester, NY 14621
Entrances to grocery stores and shopping malls usually have someone dressed as Santa ringing a bell, carrying a bucket, hoping you will drop a few coins into. Here are a few charities that you can send bigger sums to.
Providing services and beds to women and their children surviving domestic abuse
Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester offering free programs and events to cancer patients, survivors, and their families
Helping people in recovery from drugs and alcohol to get fit using exercise, yoga & meditation
Providing clean water to places where there is lack of sanitation
Offering food and food shelters to the hungry
A place to connect parents with children in need of a family
Teaching children how to play music
Providing sexual healthcare services to all
Supporting those who have served us in national security
Creating a supportive community for homosexual orientation
Rochester Children’s Scholarship Fund providing financial support to qualified RCSD high school students
Eat, Drink & Window Shop!
Here are a few places you can explore in the city.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative and come up with your own inspirations. You may start a tradition of your very own!
Alana Cahoon is the founder & creative coach of Grow 2 B U, LLC; leading professionals to bring prosperity, joy & balance to their lives. www.AlanaCahoon.com
These fabulous gals have each made their mark as industry leaders. Some with bold branding, others with heartfelt motivation. You’ll have the chance to listen to them live at the upcoming 'Women Leaders Thrive in Monroe County’ workshop series on November 6th. Get a glimpse into their stories now, and be inspired.
Read article at RWO October 2019 Issue Page 338 - or glance below. & leave your comments!
50 years ago, Zen roots were established right here, in Rochester, NY. The Rochester Zen Center was established. It attracted practitioners from all areas of the country and in some cases the world.
I’ve had a few experiences at the Rochester Zen Center. The first time I arrived, it was closed. The only time of year that the center actually locked its doors to the outside world. I believe in signs but was not deterred for long. A year, at most.
On my second occasion I participated in an introductory weekend where I sat in silent meditation for countless hours while literally counting from 1 - 10 over and over again. Somehow that meditative exercise moved me to tears as an onslaught of former memories arose in my mind. Always going back to 1, 2, 3 and so on, sniffling throughout.
My third attempt took me to a traditional sitting. (Sitting is a term used for sitting in silent meditation or Zazen.) Read More HERE on page 222 - OR below
a hidden gem
You've got a startup, an idea, a business ready to go to the next level, and you're wondering how to go about it. A sounding board might help. Business resources could help. An infusion of finances might even help. But where to go?
The Entrepreneurs Network. That's where.
Meet Jean Kase ...
READ MORE HERE at page 532 ~ May 2019 issue
The Misdiagnosis Scare
I was diagnosed with cancer last month. It came out of left field. While it's true I wasn't feeling well, a terminal illness was not what I had in mind.
The good news is - it was a misdiagnosis. The bad news is - it took a month to find out.
Some of you may know what that feels like. To carry around the weight of the unknown. Suddenly you're confronting your mortality. Thinking about who will take care of your loved ones. How you will cover all the medical expenses. How long you may have to live. Will you be able to fight this and if so, will you succeed.
Let's backtrack a little.
READ MORE HERE at page 260
Happy New Year! It’s time to celebrate! Noise makers are clanking and honking. Champagne is being poured. Lips are kissing. And toasts are being made. … And then, you wake up.
THE MORNING after New Year’s Eve is the day when reality sets in. You may or may not examine the prior year determining what went right and what went wrong. You may or may not create a list of New Year’s Resolutions.
I thought I’d make it easy for you and get you started. Here are your lists! Feel free to print them and post them on your fridge or mirror or desk. Wherever you will see them on a regular basis! And by all means, feel free to change them and make them your own.
MY(YOUR) LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1.) I survived 2018
Hey! There’s nothing wrong with admitting that there may have been some challenges along the way. In fact, how are you supposed to learn from their lessons if you don’t examine them? Most importantly, you don’t want to repeat them.
As a subset of #1 on your list, you may want to add something like this:
I may have missed a few deadlines but I got the job done!
The stock market may have plunged, but I’m still standing.
OK, so I gained a few pounds but I know how to take them off.
I didn’t like that guy anyway.
On a more Positive note …
READ MORE HERE at page 266
How To Stay Slim During the Holidays
It’s never too soon to start thinking about your health. As you embark on your holiday season, consider the following.
Raise your glass to recognize your self and others.
Here’s to us!
Here’s to our health!
Here’s to being our best!
Join a gym prior to new year’s day!
Start a new routine.
Sign up for a winter sport.
Enroll in a mindfulness and/or yoga class.
Choose healthy meals.
Skip dessert or only select one serving.
Make lunch your biggest meal of the day.
Don’t eat past dinner.
In addition to cheering to your health …
Drink a glass of water before and after each alcoholic beverage.
Remember that liquids have calories. Count them.
Be sober enough to drive.
Don’t dance on the table wearing a lampshade - unless you’re with very close friends!
READ MORE HERE at page 206
The power of the mind is an amazing thing. What we think creates our reality. Think about it. Wouldn't you prefer to create a happy, harmonious existence? Of course you would! Here's how.
Begin with a sense of trust. Believing that you may actually have that innate power to shape your life. Why not? Trust me and go with it!
When we are empowered, we make things happen. For example, if it is expected of you on the job to make sure that project A is completed on a certain deadline, you make darned sure that it happens.
What if this same expectation is placed on you for your health? What if I said to you, “It is your responsibility to maintain a healthy heart.” How would you respond?
I suppose if you're just reading this you may ignore it, but if it's your job, to take care of your health, let’s say you get paid to do this, and the better job you do at it the more money you make, you might say yes! Sign me up for this. I can do this! It's easy.
And there's the thing. It is easy! But your mind doesn't seem to see the importance of the matter until it's too late. And you end up in the doctor’s office or worse.
It's not your fault. Western medicine in all of it's incredibly amazing discoveries to prolong life, save life, and support life, has a major flaw. It has forgotten the value of preventive medicine.
READ MORE Here at page 288
Alana writes her monthly column 'Mind, Body, Spirt' for RochesterWomanOnline focusing on the balance of all 3 in a creative manner, filled with inspiration.