Thursday, July 1, 2010

July - Warmth & Well-being for 31 Days

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today is Canada Day for me and just about Independence Day for Americans. As I've said in other first-of-the-month columns this year, I have mixed feelings about some holidays. However, I am grateful to live in this country. Canada is, of course, not perfect, but Canadians enjoy many freedoms and opportunities. I feel grateful to live here. It is the land of my heart, though not the land of my birth.

So, as I begin a new month with thoughts of gratitude and celebration, I offer these other July observances for your consideration:

Freedom From Fear Of Speaking Day - July 2
For many who have been abused, neglected or otherwise discounted, it can be very difficult to speak up. So much of what I believe in and write about has to do with undoing degrading messages. One part of this undoing is starting to speak up for yourself. As with many personal changes you choose to make, you might find this one easier to kick-start with small changes. Say "no" when asked to do a chore you really do not want to do. Don't just go along with the crowd that does something you disagree with. Tell someone you trust how you really feel about a difficult topic or decision. On July 2 give yourself the challenge and the chance to speak up and speak out.
Take Charge Of Change Week - July 9-15
Click on this link,, to find tips and resources for making change in various aspects of life.
Toss Away The "Could Haves" and "Should Haves" Day - July 15
Here is another great chance to change your thinking about yourself. For this one day, July 15, remind yourself not to say or even think the words "could have" and "should have." These words are so loaded with shame, guilt, blame and regret. What's more, the words and the thinking behind them drain away the energy you could be using to stay in the moment, to feel, act and think positively.
World Youth Day - July 15
See my comments below about National Make a Difference to a Child Month. Honour the young people you know and encounter. Be willing to drop your assumptions about them. Encourage their questions and support their efforts. Love them, respect them, enjoy them.
Parent's Day - 4th Sunday of every July

Visit the American National Parents' Day website at 
Mental Illness Awareness Month

Social Wellness Month

Purposeful Parenting Month

Family Reunion Month

National Make a Difference to Children Month

The other day I wrote about Dr. Gabor Maté, a physician working with addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Maté states that every female and many of the males he has worked with who have serious addictions were abused as children. I have seen the same correlation between childhood trauma and addiction. So please, please make a difference to one child this month (for starters). Speak out against childhood sexual abuse. Learn how to spot the symptoms of abuse. Love the children in your sphere by offering them consistent care, respect, smiles and safety. Be a trustworthy, safe adult so children have someone to go to with their struggles and questions. DO NOT SHAME CHILDREN. Don't laugh at them when they make mistakes or do something differently than you think it should be done. Allow for individuality and teach them solid practices. Don't guilt or coerce them into compliance. Do what you say you will do. Make a difference to the children around you.

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