Friday, November 28, 2008

Gratitude Power

It's that time of year when gratitude is on everyone's mind. Sadly, it may just be the only time of year for some people to stop and take stock of their blessings. If they only knew the impact that gratitude has on their life! 

Throughout history the great philosophers have always celebrated gratitude and extolled its virtues. All of the world's religions practice gratitude as a morally beneficial emotional state.
 But did you know that researchers have been subjecting gratitude to scientific study? 

Among their findings is that gratitude plays a significant role in a person's sense of well-being. After conducting the Research Project on Gratitude and Thanksgiving, Dr. Michael McCollough, of Southern Methodist University and Dr. Robert Emmons, of the University of California at Davis, concluded that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. Also, the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress.

In light of his research, McCollough suggests that anyone can increase their sense of well-being and create positive social effects just from counting their blessings. The reason for this, in part, is that there is a close relationship between people who are grateful and the positive emotions of joy, love and happiness.
Scientific literature reveals that not only does happiness yield numerous rewards, but it is actually seen to promote positive outcomes. What this means is that happiness actually makes good things happen. Additional benefits include higher incomes, superior work outcomes, better physical health and even longer life.

Dr. Emmons goes on to say that happiness can add as much as nine years to one's life expectancy. In a longitudinal study of college students, it was found that happiness levels in college predicted income 16 years later. The most cheerful students earned $25,000 more per year than their most dour classmates.

So for the sake of your health, wealth and happiness, try a little experiment with yourself and begin to keep track of the things you have to be grateful for - - every day. And then watch and see what happens!!

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." - - Willie Nelson

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The heARTmatters Children's Project

Back in 2005, I came up with an idea that I decided to call The heARTmatters Children's Project. The purpose was to be able to donate my book, God is Color, to hospitalized children thru sponsorship/ donation.

As the result of the generosity of some very special people, I was able to donate several hundred books to the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, and to children all over the world through the IAM Foundation.

"Susan does a colorfully brilliant job at illustrating God as well as affirming the love and diversity of all children on earth in her beautiful book God is Color."
--Steve Vigione, children's author, founder and CEO of The IAM Foundation

Since my move to Georgia in 2006, I have established a relationship with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and so far have been able to donate in excess of 100 books. What's more, I have been allowed to visit the Family Library there, personally sign the books and put them directly into the hands of the children. 

What a thrill - - To bring a smile to those darling faces is a feeling that is hard to describe - - 

"WOW! Thank you so much for your generous donation to the Max Brown Family Library. They (God is Color) are absolutely the favorite book of many patients. They love all the color..."
--Patsy Rann, Family Library Coordinator, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

We all know that times are tough, but no matter what we may be facing, hospitalized children are facing much greater trials. So, since we’re in the month of gratitude and heading towards the month of giving and celebration, I invite you to look deep within your hearts and help me to help others by creating some smiles, raising some spirits, and giving to those who are facing such monumental challenges.

If you have your own favorite group or organization to donate to, I will ship the books directly, otherwise I can donate to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in your name.

For your convenience, you can go directly to where you can review the different Sponsorship categories. You can then select your level of participation and make your payment using my secure shopping cart. If you have any questions or would like to speak with me directly, I can be reached at 770-578-9393 or 954-812-9268 cell.

With warmth and gratitude,
Susan Schanerman