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Attitude of Gratitude

Fit Tip, by Angela Goon

Working women today have strong demands on their time, often being pulled in many directions. It's easy to become frazzled and even depressed. If you are prone to depression when life's stressors become too much, you may want to try this excellent exercise for keeping some perspective and balance in your life. This simple mental exercise has the potential to change your life if you can incorporate it into your daily morning routine.

It involves taking about five minutes each morning in the early silence before the home begins to stir with activity. Having a special place to do this, preferably peaceful and beautiful, is especially beneficial. Each morning in this special place, begin by giving yourself the gift of just sitting in silence long enough to focus and center yourself. Take a few deep, slow breaths. Then it's simply a matter of letting your mind focus on all the things for which you are grateful. Remain there until you think of five things.

When one is feeling sad and blue, it may be difficult to think of even one thing to be thankful for. Yet it is at just such times as these that we most need to focus on how blessed we are and how much abundance we have. Living in Flagstaff, we can almost daily be thankful for the gorgeous weather and the beautiful landscapes on which to hike, bike, and picnic. Most people take for granted their good health, but that is a big thing to be grateful for, when you consider how many people suffer from chronic health problems. The more you practice this attitude of gratitude, the more you will realize how much there is to be grateful for. This exercise gives you the power to change your state of being. Try it daily for a week and see what changes occur in your life.

Girls of Summer

Girls of Summer

Want to read more about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League active from 1943-1954?

Read the article "Girls of Summer" by Carey L. Draeger featured in the September/October 1997 issue of Michigan History.


Want to Help?

How do you define beauty? Does skin color matter? Watch this video:

2009 Vagina Warrior Award Winners

Dave Pilgrim Dr. David Pilgrim
Chief Diversity Officer
Ferris State University
Nominated by Cindy Horn

Autumn McClellan Autumn McClellan
Nominated by Kelley Samuels: "I would like to nominate Autumn for all her work with the Vagina Monologues. I know it can't be easy, but Autumn has done a great job!"

Justin Jackson Justin Jackson
Nominated by Pam Kurylowicz: "Justin is one of the most aware and conscious people I know. He takes time to consider everything and everyone. If there is something wrong with the world, chances are Justin knows about it and is working to change it.!"

Andrea Beck-Jones Andrea Beck-Jones
Nominated by Teresa Fogel: "Andrea has participated in the Monologues for several years now and has shared the event with her daughter. This year, when staffing was low in the department that historically helped this group, Andrea stepped up without hesitation and took on extra responsibilities."

2007 Vagina Warrior Award Winners

Andrea Beck-Jones: "Andrea is a true testament of strength, wisdom and courage. She has used her wisdom and strength of character to motivate others. She is a pillar of strength and someone we can all lean on in times of distress. She inspires students to do better and is quick to offer encouragement and praise. She is also a single mother who has taken on the job of raising three beautiful, respectful and intelligent individuals. Her children are her life; she would do anything for them. Being a single parent brings many challenges, but she has been willing to not only overcome these adversities, but has excelled. Through her example, her children have learned to do the same. Through her example, we have all been touched."

Jason Horn: "Jason is involved in the production on a personal level because he cares deeply about the cause. Jason is not only my husband, but he is also the proud father of our 9-year-old daughter, Zoey. He wants his daughter to grow up in a world without fear of rape or abuse. He wants his daughter to be educated on issues of social justice because it is when we are educated about issues that we are empowered to make changes. He wants his daughter to grow up as a strong, self assured, well-educated woman. He is dedicated to the Vagina Monologues because it matters to so many that may not have the voice to speak up."

Nichole Wheelock: "Nichole has gone above and beyond the call of duty to open the eyes of our community, to teach, educate and lead them in the direction of speaking out for what is right and for those who cannot speak for themselves. Nichole has been a voice for victims and has helped other people find strength to do so also. She is an outstanding person who gives so much back to our community and school. She has the kind of strength it takes to have a voice that sometimes no one wants to hear and fights everyday for the causes she believes in, even when it feels like she could be standing alone."

How did our idea of beauty become so distorted? Dove redefines "model perfection." Watch their video "Evolution":

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Finally! A global campaign targets REAL women and REAL beauty! Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty's goal is to identify beauty and help others realize that true beauty comes in many different packages! Read through the posted messages, check out their photo album and take their online surveys. Please note: the books listed in this campaign will be added to the Virtual Women's Center Web site. In addition, Dove has released a global academic research study across 10 countries, interviewing 3,000 women. Here's what they found out:

  • Only 2 percent of these women describe themselves as "beautiful"
  • About ¾ of them rate their beauty as "average"
  • Almost ½ of them think their weight is "too high"

Please help encourage those around you that the true definition of beauty doesn't come from the number or sizes marked on your clothing, but that uniqueness in your body, mind, soul and spirit is where this REAL individual beauty can be found.

Fit Tips

Exercise is Good for Women -- A large-scale, six-year study involving 39,372 American women over age 44 confirms that exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in women. The study found that the more energy women spent exercising, the lower their risk of developing heart disease, including heart attacks, regardless of other factors. Among the approximately 23,000 women who did not engage in any vigorous activity, women who walked as little as one hour per week had about half the risk of more sedentary women of developing heart disease. Intensity was less of a factor than the total amount of time spent walking.

Supplements, high energy bars and drinks -- Unless you are working out for longer than two hours per day, you don't need to supplement with high-energy bars and drinks. High energy is often a code word for high calorie.

Smoother Skin From the Inside Out -- Women's magazines frequently run stories on how to improve your skin using items from your kitchen. But you might be better off eating that paste of crushed almonds, berries and yogurt than slathering it on your face, according to the results of a new study. Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, studied the diets of more than 400 residents of Australia, Greece and Sweden, including both dark- and fair-skinned people. All the subjects were septuagenarians or older. They found that those who followed a diet comprised mostly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and unsaturated fats had noticeably smoother skin than those who consumed a fat- and sugar-laden diet. Dr. Mark L. Wahlqvist, lead researcher, speculates that the antioxidants in these foods, including vitamins A, C and E, help to protect the skin from environmental stress and damage. More studies are needed, however, to determine how these foods aid the skin's natural defenses against sun damage. (Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2001; 20, 71-80).

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