December 2022 ~ Month of Mindfulness, Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

Thank you for signing up for the December Month of Mindfulness, the 2022 Living with AE Program. Everyone is welcome to participate and you can join the program at any time during the month.

Please invite your friends, family, co-workers, etc.

Remember there are two ways to sign up for the program and receive information and inspiration as we explore together Developing An Attitude of Gratitude!

  1. Email Info@aealliance.org and let us know you’d like to join the Month of Mindfulness. Program inspiration arrives via email throughout the month.
  2. Visit the AE Alliance Facebook page and request to join the ~ Develop an Attitude of Gratitude ~ December 2022 Group.

To view the original post about the program click here.


Program Overview & Inspiration for Week 1 (posted 30 Nov 2022)

The video below explains the program and your activities for Week 1 (December 1st – 3rd).


Daily & Weekly Activities at a Glance

Gratitude in Action (posted 12/2/2022)

It can be a challenge to get started. Maybe learning about someone else’s experiment in gratitude can inspire yours. The results are impressive.

This video is the best!  Seriously, if you haven’t invited a friend, family member, coworker, etc. to join you in Developing an Attitude of Gratitude, this video may change that.  It’s longer than I typically share (7:13 minutes) but it’s totally worth it.  I promise!  You can thank me later.    

Check out the video. Click here ~ An Experiment in Gratitude | The Happiness Project

Scientists have scientifically proven that one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness in your life is how much gratitude you show. 

The Happiness Project


 

Welcome to Week 2 (posted 12/3/2022)

Congratulations!  You completed Week 1 of Developing an Attitude of Gratitude.  Tomorrow is the beginning of Week 2.  This week (Dec 4 – 10), we are upping our game. 

DAILY ACTIVITY – Mindfully and intentionally complete TWO expressions of gratitude and TWO acts of kindness each day.

WEEKLY ACTIVITY – Complete the Three Good Things activity.

The video answers a fellow explorer’s question about our daily activity and explains the Three Good Things activity. 

Thank you for being part of the Attitude of Gratitude exploration and for doing good things together. 


 

 

Group Activity #1 (posted 12/6/2022)

Time for a group activity!

A fellow Attitude of Gratitude developer asked me, “What is mindfulness?”

Over the years, I’ve learned it varies from person-to-person. We’d love to hear what it means to you.

Send me an email (info@aealliance.org) and share what mindfulness means to you. Later in the month, I’ll let you know what mindfulness means to our group. You can count it as one of your Acts of Kindness. #ThankYou

What does mindfulness mean to you


 

 

Increasing AE Awareness – Kindness & Gratitude (posted 12/7/22)

Often times when describing mindfulness, we mention “presence,” “attention,” and “awareness”. Today’s Attitude of Gratitude inspiration increases awareness about gratitude, kindness, autoimmune encephalitis and the Alliance.

There’s not enough gratitude for the amazing act of kindness performed by these two families when they founded the AE Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance.

 


 

 

Interested in a Little Gratitude Research? (posted 12/8/2022)

It’s Never Too Early to Start Practicing Gratitude

Psychologist and researcher Jeffrey Froh created and implemented a gratitude curriculum for kids aged 8 to 11. The youngsters who received the lessons showed an increase in grateful thinking, appreciation and positive emotions as compared to their classmates who did not partake. The lessons had long-lasting effects, with differences between the two groups at their greatest five months after the program.

Start Today: Lead by example and introduce the concept of gratitude to young people around you. At your next meal where kids are present, go around the table and say something that each person is thankful for—we bet the answers will move you!

~ taken from a Happify Daily post

Reminder: It’s also never too late to join the Month of Mindfulness and begin Developing Attitude of Gratitude.  Share it with a friend.  Access to daily inspirations is always here.


 

 

This Is What “Mindfulness” Means To You (posted 12/9/2022)

On Tuesday, you were asked “What Does Mindfulness Mean To You?”  This is what your fellow Attitude of explorers said.  Thank you for sharing.  It’s the best to learn from each other.  

“My definition of mindfulness is being truly present in the moment physically, mentally, and emotionally without judging it, even if it isn’t the place I want to be at the moment.”

“It means paying more attention to my inner self – my thoughts and feelings. It means remembering that even in the darkest of days, there is always SOMETHING to be grateful for, and that the kindness of just a smile or a compliment can change someone’s day. By being mindful, I’m more aware of how my gratitude and kindness positively affects me and others. And the best part is that with so many things out of my control, gratitude and kindness are things that I CAN control to improve my life. Thank you for helping me to realize that.”

“To me, mindfulness is about clearing my head of clutter and distraction and effortlessly and enjoyably noticing the beauty around me. When I was first recovering from AE I joined a mindfulness class at a local nature preserve. We would have a short lesson and short guided meditation then we were encouraged to stroll in the forest mindfully. I couldn’t yet stroll, or walk independently so a friend would bring chairs and we would sit in the forest just listening, smelling and feeling. This was the start of my meditation and healing journey.”

“Silence in the moment when I can feel what I feel. Think what I think. All in the Peace of the moment. I allow my body to release whatever it needs to. That moment is pure Joy even if there are tears streaming down my face!”

“Mindfulness is the opposite of “mindlessness”.   You can see a lot of that walking down the aisles of Target or your grocery store.  You see or don’t see a short person who can’t reach an item and if you are mindful you reach for the item and hand it to the person.  If the person has an attitude of gratitude you are thanked! ….and it is a lovely time for all involved including anyone who saw what happened.”

“For me it’s a state of awareness and noticing at a deeper level that feels omnipresent and ever-flowing but that I have to consciously tap, often in a meditative or quiet moment but sometimes surprisingly not, that can facilitate clarity and reveal new pathways for being.”

“Mindfulness to me is being aware of what is going on right now.
What is real right now.
Not the fears, anxieties, fantasies, or anything else in our minds but living with our real environment as it’s happening, being aware of what we are experiencing, feeling, etc. as it happens.
Being authentically present in the moment and not distracted.”

“When I am being mindful, I am paying attention in a focused but also effortless way. It’s effortless because for some reason the distractions or clutter in my head is gone. I’ve been a mindfulness explorer for a long time. Sometimes I can make it happen but more often now days, I suddenly find myself there. It’s a great place to be.”


 

 

Preparing for Week 3 (posted 12/10/22)

Congratulations!  You are on the final day for Week 2 of Developing an Attitude of Gratitude.  Tomorrow is the beginning of Week 3.  This week (Dec 11 – 17), we are once again upping our game. 

DAILY ACTIVITY – Mindfully and intentionally complete THREE expressions of gratitude and THREE acts of kindness each day.

WEEKLY ACTIVITY – Complete the Random Acts of Kindness activity.

The video answers a fellow explorer’s question about our daily activity and explains the Random Acts of Kindness activity.

Thank you for being part of the Attitude of Gratitude exploration and for doing good things together. 

 

 


 

 

Monday, Music, Memory & Mood (posted 12/12/22)

Not only can music be a fun way to kick off a Monday but there is an abundance of research about music and memory, learning, mood and more. Today’s reminder includes a gratitude song and a link to an article about music, memory and mood!

Remember: This week it’s THREE times per day for expressions of gratitude and acts of kindness.

Link to song: Natalie Merchant – Kind and Generous

Link to article: Music can boost memory and mood, Harvard Health Publishing.

If you created a Gratitude Playlist, what’s a song you would include? Seriously, send me a song or two.  Maybe we can create a 2022 Attitude of Gratitude playlist!

 


 
How do you express gratitude.  AE Alliance Month of Mindfulness
 

Increasing AE Awareness – Always Space for Gratitude (posted 12/14/22)

 

Last Wednesday’s Attitude of Gratitude inspiration recognized the amazing act of kindness performed by the founders of the Alliance.  

This Wednesday, Joe Calcagno’s personal story reminds us there is always space for gratitude.  Thank you to Joe’s brother, Steve, for sharing the journey.  And thank you to Joe for all he gives to the Alliance and our community.  Joe leads the Northeast Support Group and inspires an Attitude of Gratitude for us all.  

Click here to learn Joe’s story and share gratitude with his family.  

Joe's AE Journey, AEA Month of Mindfulness


 

Curious about a Gratitude Guided Meditation? (posted 12/15/2022)

Have you ever practiced meditation?  During our Month of Mindfulness it felt wrong to not include a gratitude guided meditation.

For many people, developing a consistent meditation practice is a big challenge.  Give this 5-minute meditation a try.  If it’s not for you, thank yourself for exploring meditation and consider it one of your expressions of gratitude for the day. 

Click below for the 5-minute Gratitude Guided Meditation.

If you have comments about this meditation or the impact of meditation in your life, send me an email and I’ll share your feedback with fellow explorers. Your experience may make a difference for someone else.


 

Congratulations! (posted 12/16/22)

 

Today, you are at the exact middle of Developing an Attitude of Gratitude and our Month of Mindfulness. 

Don’t know if you remember but when announcing the the Month of Mindfulness we stated, Developing an Attitude is a rather simple challenge, but that does not mean it’s easy.  

Several of you shared with me that you continue to forget the daily activities and you stopped participating.

My response:  WHAT!?!?!?!  There’s no giving up on gratitude!  

Today, you are receiving the magical mindfulness REFRESH button!

It is start over day.  Woohoo!  Get up, dust yourself off and start over.  Maybe start with yourself.  What can you do kind for YOU today? How can you express gratitude to YOU today?  You got this!  


Preparing for Week 4 (posted 12/17/22)

Welcome to the final day for our third full week of Developing an Attitude of Gratitude.  

This weeks video discusses a variety of ways we are Developing an Attitude of Gratitude and explains the Week 4 activity which is located below.  

Thank you for being part of the Attitude of Gratitude exploration and for doing good things together. 

 


A Gratitude Movie? (posted 12/19/22)

During conversation with a fellow Attitude of Gratitude explorer, she asked if I’d ever watched, It’s a Wonderful Life.  She exclaimed, “It’s is all about an attitude of gratitude.”

It’s been a few years since I’ve watched it.  Tonight, it is on my To Do List.  

What movie do you relate to an attitude of gratitude?

REMEMBER: We are in Week 4. 

  • 4 – Expressions of Gratitude each day
  • 4 – Acts of Kindness (or kindfulness) each day
  • This weeks activity is Creating Positive Events


Exhausted or Inspired? (posted 12/20/22)

When the Month of Mindfulness was first announced, several people questioned, “Is this the best time to do this? It’s such a busy time of year.”  Those same people followed up with, “Maybe it’s the perfect time of year!”

So think about it …

Was this a good time of year for a month of mindfulness?

If you’ve stayed on track, at the end of today, you’ve expressed gratitude 50 times and performed acts of kindness 50 times.  

Love to hear from you but most importantly, simply give it some thought.  


Increasing Awareness & Inspiring Gratitude (posted 12/21/22)

Ed & Nancy Garber’s story increases awareness about AE and inspires an Attitude of Gratitude.  

Thank you for sharing your AE Journey and for your commitment to helping others.  Ed is a lead for the South Support Group and inspires an Attitude of Gratitude for us all!  

Click here to read Ed & Nancy’s story


Reflecting on Acts of Kindness (posted 12/22/22)

Take a moment and reflect on the Acts of Kindness you’ve performed this month.  Has the Month of Mindfulness inspired you to perform acts of kindness you might not have?  Have you become more aware of acts of kindness you perform regularly?  What acts of kindness have you preformed for yourself?  What have you noticed about how others respond to your kindness?  

Feel free to share responses to any of these reflections in an email.  Sharing and reading the responses from fellow explorers is a powerful tool as we develop our Attitude of Gratitude.  


How do your senses acknowledge your Attitude of Gratitude? (posted 12/23/22)

There are many aspects to being mindful.  Several of you commented that it’s to be present, in the moment, mind focused, not distracted.  Next time you are mindfully and intentionally expressing gratitude or performing an act of kindness, check in with your senses.  

How is your body registering your Attitude of Gratitude?  Do you feel it on your skin, smell it, taste it, hear it, see it, sense in your body (heart, head, gut)?

This is what gratitude looks like in my house today!  Two kittens (7 months old) and one cat (13 years old) calmly enjoying a meal together.  My heart, head, eyes, and nervous system all acknowledge this moment of gratitude.  


Welcome to Week 5 (posted 12/26/22)

Congratulations!  You are on your second day of Week 5, the final week for Developing an Attitude of Gratitude and the AEA Month of Mindfulness.  Below is what you need to know for the Week 5 activities. 

DAILY ACTIVITY – Mindfully and intentionally complete FIVE expressions of gratitude and FIVE acts of kindness each day.

WEEKLY ACTIVITY – Complete the Gratitude Letters activity.

Thank you for being part of the Attitude of Gratitude exploration and for doing good things together


Talking About Gratitude (posted 12/27/22)

Have you discussed your month of mindfulness with anyone?  If you want to deepen your gratitude experience, have a conversation with someone about developing an attitude of gratitude.  I am willing to bet you both learn something from the conversation.

 


Shares from Gratitude Explorers (posted 12/28/22)

Thank you all for your comments and shares this month.  These were posted on Facebook and Instagram from two of our friends Developing and Attitude of Gratitude this December.  Thank you for inspiring me!  

     


Increasing AE Awareness – Always Space for Gratitude #2 (posted 12/29/22) 

Thank you to Lisa Lauter for sharing her story.  Not only does she teach us about AE, she reminds there is always space for gratitude.  Also, thank you to Lisa for all she gives to the Alliance and our community.  Lisa leads the South Support Group and inspires an Attitude of Gratitude for all.  

Click here to learn Lisa’s story and share in all the gratitude she expresses.  


A Wonderful Share for the New Year from an Attitude of Gratitude Explorer (posted 12/31/22)

Why do we start the new year, with promises to improve?
Who began this tradition of never-ending pressure?
I say, the end of a year should be filled with congratulation, for all we survived. 
And I say a new year should start with promises to be kinder to ourselves, to understand better just how much we bear, as humans on this exhausting treadmill of life.  

And if we are to promise more, let’s pledge to rest, before our bodies force us.  
Let’s pledge to stop, and drink in life as it happens.  
Let’s pledge to strip away a layer of perfection to reveal the flawed and wondrous humanity we truly are inside.  

Why start another year, gifted to us on this earth, with demands of our already over-strained humanity. 
When we could be learning to accept, that we were always supposed to be imperfect. 
And that is where the beauty lives, actually. 
And if we can only find that beauty, we would also find peace. 

I wish you peace in 2023. 
Everything else is all just part of it. 
Let it be so. 

Taken from the book: Life: Poems to help navigate life’s many twists & turns by Donna Ashworth 

Art by Demelsa Haughton Illustration


We Did It ~ Welcome to 2023!

Thank you for participating in the December 2022 Month of Mindfulness.  May you enjoy many moments of kindness and gratitude in 2023!  A final short video filled with many expressions of gratitude and a bonus activity.  

 


Happy New Year! 
Always sending you inspiration for an
Attitude of Gratitude.