Time to Relax- A Simple Act of Gratitude & 43 Families Coffee

This article was first published in print in Transitions magazine…

I hope your summer is going well. Whether you’re at vacation or work, or your summer is going perfect or not, one thing we can agree on is that it’s gotten really hot really quick. As I write this I’m getting ready to depart for a trip to Portland OR for the World Domination Summit headed up by Chris Guillebeau, the author of The Art of Non-Conformity. It’s my chance to break away from the triple digit heat in Myrtle Beach. The last time I was up there, we had a ton of snow near Mt. Hood.

Here are a couple of great book ideas and another new coffee we’re trying at church…

A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik. This non-fiction book is about the author’s quest to write a thank you each day for an entire year. When he started the project his life was in a shambles. As he continues his quest, it doesn’t automatically turn into a rose garden, but he changes in a way that makes life more bearable and even fun at times. In the book you get to take the journey with him and experience the thankfulness and gratitude that flows through the project.

I ordered this book on a whim. Our church had just started up, and it was our plan to do Experiments for every Sunday service. The Experiments consist of homework to do during the week before the next service. One of our Experiments was to write a thank you note to someone out-of-the-blue. This book was the source of that idea. The book is well-written in a way that makes it easy to read in segments, as I believe it should be read. Just read a chapter and put it down for a while. The reason I suggest this is so that it keeps the notion of the book fresh in your mind on more than one occasion. It would be all too easy to read the book, write a few thank you notes, and then completely forget about the lessons.

When you go out and buy this book, go ahead and buy a box of thank you cards as well. You’ll need them.

The Impulse Factor by Nick Tasler. I read this book on an impulse. Just kidding. After taking the test in the book on my degree of impulsivity, I found out that I’m a risk manager rather than a risk taker. No surprise there. I actually engage in a lot of activities that are risky and inherently dangerous, but I always do so in a safe and controlled manner. Controlled chaos, so to speak. Even when I fight, it’s more like a chess match for me than a free-for-all brawl. I did find out through the book that I have an extremely healthy dose of what’s called ‘the novelty gene’.

The Impulse Factor is one of those very interesting books that bases itself in heavy scientific research but makes the research not only readable but entertaining. If you’ve ever been interested in the theories and facts concerning risk, risk management, impulsivity, or anything related to those fields, give it a try. Buy a new copy though, instead of one from Amazon. The book comes with a link to an online test that you can take at the end. The code in a used book would likely already be used.

DC Comics. Are there any comic fans out there among my readers? I hope so. I’m a huge comic fan and try to stay current on new developments. DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman just finished a revamp of their entire universe. In other words, it’s a great time to get back into the stories involving those characters you loved growing up.

Tales of the Bean…

43 Families, 43families.org. My mom brought me back a bag of 43 Families’ Nicaraguan Organic blend from the Charleston area. An example of single source coffee at its finest, it comes from a single mountaintop in northwest Nicaragua. The 43 Families name comes from the 43 farming families that make up the El Porvenir Coffee Cooperative. The coffee is not Fair Trade certified because the company has a reputation for going above and beyond fair trade standards. If you’ve ever read any of my rants about Fair Trade certification, you’ll know that many of the best and most socially responsible coffee companies do not carry the stamp but do so much more for the farmers and their communities.

Like many of my other coffees, I used this one at The Pilgrimage to get a sampling of what the church folks thought about it. All reviews were positive. I personally am a big fan of mountain grown coffee. I feel it offers a better balance with less acidity to the taste to create a more even coffee experience. With high altitude coffee you know what you’re getting, and what you’re getting is the best.


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