Saturday, July 8, 2017

50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love


Yes, the hippie in me still believes in peace, love, equality, inclusion, justice, and kindness.  Universal values, to be sure.  And I still believe in the goodness of humankind and the healing power of music.  And friendship and compassion.  And flowers.

This summer marks the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, when more than 100,000 hippie peaceniks descended on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco.  It was a revolutionary social movement at a time of great unrest in the U.S.

A movement whose impact is still being felt today.  Whose values are as appropriate to solving the great issues troubling the world today as they were back then.

As the late great Jimi Hendrix said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace."

Yes, I believe in that.

Always. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hygge & Happiness

In the darkest of times, with cold winds and raging storms all around, the Danish have devised a weapon of first resort.  A weapon that can eliminate, or at least diminish, the feelings of stress, sadness, and hopelessness that often arise in their long, dark, cold winters. That weapon is “hygge.”

Pronounced “hue-guh,” the concept is not easily translated into English but is most often equated with “cosiness.”  Hygge is further associated with a comfortable conviviality and contentment.

Hygge encompasses not only the ambiance of the room (think cushy chairs and wood-burning fireplaces) but also includes dress (flannels and woolen socks), food (porridge and hot cocoa), and company (close friends and meaningful conversations).  Their propensity for creating hygge is one reason why the Danish, in spite of their long winters, have been called “the happiest people on earth.” 

The United Nations has recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and declared March 20th as the International Day of Happiness.  To do our small part in boosting the art and science of happiness, Harmony Moon will be posting suggestions and happy thoughts on our facebook and twitter pages throughout the month of March.  Please join us in helping to increase happiness, health, and hyyge for all the world’s people. 

To get you started, on the right is the GREAT DREAM poster from the Action for Happiness.  It is a science-based “10 Keys to Happier Living."  

To read more about the Danish concept of "hygge," try these resources:









And, if that's not inspiration enough, here's Pharrell Williams and "Happy":

 



Sunday, February 5, 2017

The science of kindness:
 
Did you know that engaging in acts of altruism and kindness can increase the production of the chemicals oxytocin and serotonin in your body? This increase can lead to greater self-esteem and feelings of optimism and happiness. It can also reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.  In other words, the kinder you are to others, the happier you feel!

Harmony Moon is holding our annual Kindness Festival on Saturday, Feb. 18. Please join us for refreshments and prize drawings.  You can also make Kindness Prayer Flags and cuddle with kittens in our Kitty Petting Zoo, hosted by Staunton-based cat rescue group, Humanitarians of Pet Education (HOPE).  10% of all purchases made at Harmony Moon during our Kindness Celebration will be donated to HOPE.

In the meantime, do something nice!  Here are some suggestions:

  • smile at everyone you see
  • say "thank you" to someone who did something nice for you
  • compliment a stranger
  • pick up trash in your neighborhood
  • volunteer to read to a patient at a local nursing home
And for more information on the science of kindness, check out these resources:

The Science of Kindness (Life Vest Inside)

The Science of Kindness (Random Acts of Kindness Foundation)