December 19, 2012

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog and the White Dog Army have been raised to (at least since joining the WDA) be grateful every day for the bounty that showers us with essentials, luxuries, beauty and each other. It is our practice that even in the darkest times to remind ourselves that we do not have to walk miles for potable water; there is no need to hide in our house to protect ourselves from marauding terrorists; we have an abundance of choices and availability of food; and we have a loving support network to hold our hands and hearts when we need a little extra boost. We are blessed in many ways; to us the World is a Wonderful Place filled with hope, miracles and compassion. And that awareness is what we try to spread to others on our Wednesdays.

Turns out that gratitude is good for more than just the soul. It is a powerful tool that changes the very physical nature of the people who give thanks…and can move the world. Please read about the Berkley Project and consider adding to their Journal…
Digital Gratitude Journal for the World Launched by UC Berkeley Center
By Good News Network Friday, November 30, 2012
For too long, we’ve taken gratitude for granted.  Yes, “thank you” is an essential, everyday part of family dinners, trips to the store, business deals, and political negotiations. That might be why so many people have dismissed gratitude as simple, obvious, and unworthy of serious attention.
But that’s starting to change. Recently scientists have begun to chart a course of research aimed at understanding gratitude and the circumstances in which it flourishes or diminishes. They’re finding that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
·         Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure
·         Higher levels of positive emotions
·         More joy, optimism and happiness
·         Acting with more generosity and compassion
·         Feeling less lonely and isolated

Robert Emmons was shocked. The University of California psychologist found that after just ten weeks, people who kept a gratitude journal were 25 percent happier than people who didn't. People who were reminded to say "thank you" at least once a day were healthier and spent more time exercising. As he writes in an essay for the Greater Good Science Center, "This is a massive difference. The gratitude group participants also experienced fewer symptoms of physical illness than those in either of the other two groups.”

That’s why the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley—in collaboration with the University of California, Davis—is launching a $5.9 million, three-year project, Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude. The project is supported with funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

The general goals of this initiative are to:
·         Expand the scientific database of gratitude, particularly in the key areas of human health, personal and relational well-being, and developmental science;
·        Promote evidence-based practices of gratitude in medical, educational, and organizational settings and in schools, workplaces, homes and communities;
·        Engage the public in a larger cultural conversation about the role of gratitude in civil society.

This month the Center launched a web-based digital gratitude journal at Thnx4.org designed to track and promote the practice of gratitude worldwide while serving as an invaluable source of scientific data on gratitude. This digital gratitude journal will enable users to regularly record the things for which they are grateful. These entries can be visible to the public, who will be able to search and sort entries by keyword, geographic location, age, gender, and other categories. In effect, Thnx4.org will allow the public and researchers to track cross-national trends in the practice of gratitude, analyze entries by nation, and provide a truly global snapshot of our planet’s current state of gratefulness. Register on the webpage and start your own journal. You will be improving your life and adding to the database of what makes the world grateful.
Speaking of Gratitude…Please Join our Pay It Forward Party on Saturday to Celebrate White Dog’s 8th Birthday.
We ask everyone to pay forward their good fortune in some unique and personal way...make a donation of green papers or time...do a kind deed to someone unexpectedly...bring a bit a joy to someone lacking a smile...share your best bone with your siblings. It doesn't have to be big or spend money. But it DOES have to be a celebration of the spirit that makes Siku so special. It must share something of yourself!

And on Saturday we ask you to leave us a comment telling White Dog of how her ripple has spread into a party of paying it forward. Share with us what you have done. The WDA is paying it forward, too! We will tell on Saturday what we have planned. Please join us in making our sister's day truly special...she so deserves it! The White Dog Army.


KB said...

It's amazing that science is bearing out what we feel in our everyday lives. I see feeling gratitude and "seeing beautiful" as two very similar things. I think that they both have similar effects.

We shall pay it forward on your very special day!

Jo's World said...

We will join the party as well!

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

FiveSibesMom said...

Such a great post...sometimes folks forget the simplest thing - gratitude - so simple but so very important.

So nice to have a "pay it forward" for Birthday! What a special day it's going to be!

Jeanne Pursell said...

What a wonderful post!! I agree with KB...gratitude and seeing beautiful...both very similar! The Pay it Forward Birthday Plan sounds like fun!!

Brian said...

That was great info! Some of these programs should be mandatory!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

This was a great post. Thank you for sharing with us.