Sunday, May 3, 2015

Holidays and Observances for May 3 2015

Garden Meditation Day

May 3 is celebrated annually as Garden Meditation Day. This obscure holiday comes as no surprise to avid gardeners, who will readily attest to the calming qualities of gardening.

The bestselling, Oprah-anointed author Eckhart Tolle pointed out in his book "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" that flowers have the ability to call people to the present moment. The author who also penned "The Power of Now," recommends keeping flowers for their ability to create a bit of a meditative state.  

"The mind is like a garden,” said Jesse Franklin, a Denver-based yoga teacher. “You plant thoughts as seeds in the rich soil of consciousness through the mindful practice of meditation.” 

Franklin's website Yoga for Health and Healing includes guided meditations. Yoga Health and Healing offers a free three day trial membership for sampling guided meditation and yoga videos.

In the garden, meditation can come naturally as gardeners direct their attention to the task at hand. Seemingly mundane activities like pulling weeds or deadheading flowers become transcendent when gardeners focus and relax into a repetitive action, all the while benefiting from the calming aspects of the natural world. 

Increasingly, gardens are designed as places for meditation. The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado included a therapeutic gardens among their short list of landscape trends for 2010.

“Maintaining your lawn and garden not only makes you popular with your neighbors, it is also beneficial for overall fitness, stress relief and mental tranquility," the ALCC reported. Some gardens, like the one ALCC recently provided for the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion in Aurora, Colorado, are specifically designed to provide a healing environment for patients.

Humankind, according to Tolle, naturally gravitates toward flowers. Below are the opening paragraphs of the wildly popular "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose."
"Earth, 114 million years ago, one morning just after sunrise: The first flower ever to appear on the planet opens up to receive the rays of the sun. Prior to this momentous event that heralds an evolutionary transformation in the life of plants, the planet had already been covered in vegetation for millions of years."
"The first flower probably did not survive for long, and flowers must have remained a rare and isolated phenomena, since conditions were most likely not yet favorable for a widespread flowering to occur."
"One day, however, a critical threshold was reached, and suddenly there would have been an explosion of color and scent all over the planet--if a perceiving consciousness had been there to witness it. Much later, those delicate and fragrant beings we call flowers would come to play an essential part in the evolution of consciousness of another species. Humans would increasingly be drawn to and fascinated by them."
International Bereaved Mothers Day

International Bereaved Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 3rd each year. Mother’s Day is a day of the year that we come together to celebrate all the mothers around the world. It’s a day that is supposed to bring joy, recognition, love and appreciation to these incredible women that do so much for humanity. If you have experienced the death of one or more of your children, struggle to conceive a child or are unable to fall pregnant at all, this day can often bring up feelings of isolation, unworthiness, pain and sadness. Much of society has forgotten the true meaning of Mother’s Day and fails to support and recognize all true mothers.

Do know the history behind the official Mother’s Day? Think it’s just another card company holiday? Think again. American, Anna Jarvis, founded the official day in 1908 to honour her own mother, Ann. Ann Jarvis gave birth to around a dozen children. Only 4 survived to grow into adults. Most of her children who died, passed away from diseases such as the measles and typhoid fever. The history of this Mother’s Day is fascinating. With such heartfelt and meaningful roots, it is devastating to see how through the years, the true meaning of mother’s day has been some what lost and is now what some would describe as a commercialized mess that large companies make millions of dollars from. The worst thing is that bereaved mothers are usually completely forgotten.

Mother’s Day was created in honour of a bereaved mother. It’s time to take our day back to its roots. For us to educate the rest of society on the true meaning of Mother’s Day, we must use our voices. We become mothers the very moment that we open our hearts to the idea of conceiving a child. Let us remind people of this truth.

In 2010, I felt drawn to create International Bereaved Mother’s Day to help heal women around the world with Mother Hearts that are hurting. This is also a day for us to educate society about the true meaning of Mother’s Day. International Bereaved Mother’s Day is a temporary movement. It is a heart centered attempt at healing the official Mother’s Day. I believe that we can do this and that sometime in the near future there will be no need for this day at all because all true mothers will be recognized, loved, supported and celebrated.

May 3rd, get together with your closest friends and family and celebrate your beautiful Mother Heart. Celebrate your babies and children. Lets speak about the true meaning of Mother’s Day. Let us start some healing conversations.

International Permaculture Day

International Permaculture Day – The first Sunday in May is a day of celebration and action for permaculture around the world. Open homes, gardens and farms, films, educational workshops, permablitzes (garden makeovers) and more, provide an opportunity to experience permaculture on the ground and talk to and learn from practitioners.

Now in its 6th year, International Permaculture Day has grown rapidly from its roots as a local Australian initiative to a global day of permaculture celebrated in over 35 countries.

Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living that developed in Australia in the 1970s and is now practiced by millions worldwide. It’s about working with nature to create homes and communities that are environmentally friendly, productive and self reliant, and includes a wide range of ecological disciplines and practices such as organic agriculture, renewable energy, waste recycling, water harvesting, holistic animal management, natural building, sustainable economics, community building and earth repair.

Healthy soil makes for healthy people, animals and plants; it provides the foundation for all life on land. Soil gives us food, clean water, clean air, medicine, fiber and fuel, it’s also a climate regulator and buffer. But soil is under threat. Millennia of agriculture and other human activities have robbed our soils of life. Today almost one third of the planet’s surface is classed as desert and a quarter of all agricultural soils have been lost. The remaining topsoil is depleted and could vanish within 60 years. The good news is that we can restore our soils and, at the same time, solve other global challenges. Join us in the call to restore our soils, become a Soil Supporter!

Lemonade Day

Lemonade Day is a free, annual community-wide event dedicated to teaching children how to start, own and operate their own business through the simple and time-honored act of running a lemonade stand.  It provides an opportunity for families, businesses, faith-based community organizations and schools to come together for a common purpose – to train the next generation of entrepreneurs through a free, fun, engaging and experiential activity.

In 2007, Prepared 4 Life started a community-wide educational initiative called Lemonade Day that has now become the organization’s number one outreach and educational priority.

As a result of its phenomenal success across the nation, Prepared 4 Life plans to double the number of official Lemonade Day cities in 2012. The goal of Prepared 4 Life is to have one million lemonade stands in more than 100 U.S. cities by 2013.

Beginning in the spring of 2010, Prepared 4 Life will give Houston-area children something new, dynamic and fun to do after-school. Building on the success of Lemonade Day, Prepared 4 Life is “sweetening” the program by offering the “Lemonade Day Experience!” to students at an estimated 40 Houston-area middle-schools.  Students will have the opportunity to register for a 15 week after-school curriculum intended to teach the fundamentals of sound business and financial management.

This fun and experiential course, taught by trained college students, will teach basic business practices to approximately 25 students per class. Local community and business leaders will be invited to speak to a class on subject matter that will promote further excitement and enthusiasm among the participants.

Mayday for Mutts

To shine a light on the millions of dogs entering U.S. animal shelters every year, Karen Derrico, the author behind the book Unforgettable Mutts: Pure of Heart Not of Breed, has found this first Sunday in May as National Mayday for Mutts.

This event is being made possible by various animal shelters, humane organizations and pet-related businesses.  These groups are promoting the adoption of dogs that are a mixed-breed.  All of these events will happen during the whole month of May – so, while yesterday was the “official” day – the entire month is focused on bringing awareness to the need to adopt mix-breed dogs (lovingly called Mutts!)

All animal shelters participating in the awareness campaign will present certificates of “100% Pure Mutt” to future pet owners.

Mayday for Mutts is indeed an amazing effort to eradicate discrimination toward mixed breed dogs.  The hope is to wipe out the current misconceptions by the public regarding mixed-breeds.  The “Mayday” event is happening concurrently during the first day of Be Kind To Animals Week, a separate event founded by the American Humane Association.

Besides promoting the necessary information about mutts, this day also aims to encourage the adoption of grown-up and disabled dogs.  The campaign basically aims to put an end to all types of canine discrimination.  The vision is that pet owners will be open to the fact that each dog in this planet, may it be purely bred or mutt, old or young, is worthy of the equal treatment and opportunity to belong in a caring shelter and environment.

National Infertility Survival Day

National Infertility Survival Day was conceived as special day for Non-Moms, and is celebrated May 3rd each year.

The only thing worse than a Grinch at Christmas time is a Grinch on Mother's Day. Yet that's just the way millions of infertile women feel every year on the second Sunday in May. 

Instead, they can celebrate the first annual National Infertility Survival Day on Sunday, May 2 -- the Sunday before Mother's Day -- to supplant their frustration with joy. 

"I love that it's a day when infertile women can come first, on the calendar and in the hearts and minds of those who care about them," says author Beverly Barna, who wrote "Infertility Sucks! (Keeping It All Together When Sperm And Egg Remain Stubbornly Apart)" and created the new holiday. 

Barna, who tried to conceive for five years before adopting her now 3- year-old daughter from China in 2001, wants the first Sunday in May to be a time when infertile women can be pampered, just like mothers will be the following Sunday. 

"A lot of men have a hard time knowing how to comfort their wives facing infertility problems," says Barna. "Take her to brunch; buy her some chocolates, perfume or jewelry. Let her know you're in this together and want to celebrate her for all she has to offer, in spite of your challenges." 

It's also a day when infertile women who have overcome their problems -- through adoption, pregnancy or the choice to remain childless -- are encouraged to reach out to those who are still battling infertility, Barna said. 

"I think we have a lot to learn from our sisters who are breast cancer survivors and actively support and embrace other women who are fighting the disease," she said. 

The idea started as a chapter in "Infertility Sucks!," called "Managing the Mother of Them All: Mother's Day," in which Barna envisions a Million Non- Mom March on Washington to demand equal rights for infertile women. The tongue-in-cheek musing soon became her muse and grew into the idea for an actual holiday. 

Barna, who now finds inspiration in the calendar that was once just another reminder of her ongoing battle with infertility and the Mother's Day blues, welcomes the chance to help those who need some sisterly support.
National Lumpy Rug Day

National Lumpy Rug Day is celebrated each year on May 3.  There are two variations to the meaning of this day.

Some people view National Lumpy Rug day as a day to appreciate a good, clean rug and incorporate that into spring cleaning.  Along with this is to appreciate the old lumpy rugs and the comfort they have brought to your home.

The other variation is to look at National Lumpy Rug Day as sweeping unwelcome facts and issues that you do not want to deal with “under the rug”.

With either variation, it is a day to take action.  It is the perfect time to start with your spring cleaning.  Throw out the old lumpy rugs and bring in some new fresh ones.  On the other hand, it is the perfect time to take care of some issues and problems that you have not dealt with.  Maybe you need to ask for some help and clean out what you have swept “under the rug”.

National Raspberry Popover Day

The popover is believed to be an American derivative of the English Yorkshire Pudding.  Popovers are light, puffy, breads that fill with air and rise as they bake.  Causing them to ‘popover’ the tops of the baking dish.  The primary ingredients are eggs, flour, and milk.  Flavors (such as raspberries) can be added.  Popovers are a light breakfast food, in my opinions a sort of cross between muffins and pancakes.  They’re light little bit sized muffins, that are eggy and light cooked with steam giving them the taste of a pancake… or even choux pastry.

Last time I tried to make popovers with fruit in them I over cooked them.  This time I baked them a little less, and they came out better, but still not perfect.  I think putting in whole berries ruins the delicate nature of the pastry, so wholes form in the walls of the popover allowing air in and hollowing out the pastry leaving you with a dry, over cooked, crust.   Perhaps a liquid puree or juice added to the batter would be a better flavoring alternative.

National Specially-abled Pets Day

National Specially-abled Pets Day {formerly Disabled Pets Day} celebrates these amazing and heroic animals, helps to educate the public about caring for disabled pets and find homes for orphaned, specially-abled pets. Founded in 2006 and internationally embraced, the decision was made to change the name when founder Colleen Paige felt that it just didn't fit. "The name held too negative a connotation... because these pets are very able! Pets that become challenged due to disease, birth flaws or injuries, tend to develop greater senses than your average pet. Most of the time it's as if they never had to readjust to life...and we need to keep up with them!"

National Specially-abled Pets Day ought to be called Open Hearts Day because that’s what these furry little people do for us—especially the ones that face disabilities. And when the heart is engaged, life takes on new meaning—while priorities fall into place.

There is something about looking into the eyes of a cat or dog with an injury or frail from old age. We see a reflection of ourselves, the most vulnerable part. Our bodysuits are different, but our need for a little tenderness is the same. The Bard said it best, “The quality of mercy is not strained it droppeth as a gentle rain from heaven" which soothes both the receiver and the giver. For all the harsh judgments people wield against each other, our disabled or elderly animal friends remind us to “get over it already and get on with your life!”

  • A Lightness of Being
Nor do the animals perceive themselves as disabled. They're just glad to be alive and they never miss an opportunity to tell us as they jump into our arms and shower us with licks or serenade us with purring. We can learn from their perspective--a sense of values and a lightness of being.

  • Never Giving Up
However down you may feel, the animals "advise" by example not to give up—they certainly did not when they were abandoned on the street; or dropped off at a shelter; and/or when their time was just about up but were rescued from euthanasia. Talk about patience--the cats and dogs waiting for someone to take them home are role models for all of us. They seem to have a sixth sense about victory coming on the heels of the darkest hour.

  • Have Mercy Baby!
The next time you think about adopting a pet—look for the one that’s older and or has a disability. You’ll learn the most from this furry, wise one because they have the most to teach: A little mercy--it goes a long way toward healing the heart and the entire planet and it's as invigorating as a "fountain of youth."

Celebrated nationally and internationally on May 3rd annually, National Specially-abled Pets Day encourages adoption always and for people who would like to bring a new furry family member home, to consider a specially-abled pet.

National Two Different Colored Shoes Day

It’s National Two Different Colored Shoes Day! For 364 days a year, most people wear matching footwear, but today is your excuse to step outside the box.

Dr. Arlene Kaiser created National Two Different Colored Shoes Day to recognize and celebrate human diversity. According to Dr. Kaiser, the simple act of wearing two different colored shoes proclaims your individuality. By taking this “positive risk,” you can demonstrate your willingness to be different, and show your appreciation for the unique people in your life.

Wearing two different colored shoes can be as simple as wearing a black shoe and a brown shoe, or as outrageous as wearing a flip-flop and a boot. However you decide to express yourself today, do so with pride! Happy National Two Different Colored Shoes Day!

Paranormal Day

There are lots of strange holidays and observances and every single day of our year seems to have at least one, maybe more. Paranormal enthusiasts everywhere will have to mark their calendars so they don't forget Paranormal Day this weekend.

Paranormal Day falls on May 3, the 123rd day of the year, which this year happens to be on a Saturday. Celebrate Paranormal Day this weekend by sharing stories with other paranormal enthusiasts. Watch a scary movie or read about your area's haunted history. Go for a drive and explore a location that is rumored to have paranormal activity.

What does paranormal really mean though? The word paranormal is a general term that was first used in 1915. It is used to describe an experience that is outside the range of a normal experience. It is generally used to describe phenomena that science cannot easily explain or measure.

Do you believe in paranormal activity? Have you ever had an experience? Feel free to share a story in the comment section below.

Please remember that many locations require permission to visit or investigate. Most of these places are patrolled by the authorities and trespassers could face fines or possibly even be arrested. Be respectful and always get proper permission when exploring.

Public Radio Day

Thirty-six years ago today, radio listeners nationwide heard the debut of “All Things Considered,” the daily news show that still airs on National Public Radio stations, and is now the third most listened-to radio program in the United States.

NPR itself was less than a month old at the time, having kicked off in April, 1971, with coverage of the Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. 

Since then, the independent, non-profit organization has had its ups and downs, but it’s been up enough to garner its very own day of recognition, National Public Radio Day – which is, of course, today.

NPR was actually created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, and went into operation in 1970 with 90 member stations. NPR is owned by member stations, and about a third of the funding for those stations comes from on-air pledge drives. Another third is provided by corporate underwriters, and the rest from government and university grants.

NPR almost went bankrupt in 1983, but a loan from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting helped pay off its $7 million debt, and a reorganization that was part of the loan agreement allowed programming that wasn’t actually produced by NPR to use the network for national distribution, increasing the variety in member stations’ programming.

Member stations must be noncommercial or educational, have at least five full-time employees, and operate at least 18 hours a day.

According to the Washington Monthly, about 20 million people (with an average age of 50) now listen to NPR stations every week. 

Ironically, NPR listenership increased from 1999 through 2004 by two-thirds – at the same time commercial radio was losing its audience.

One of those NPR listeners, Matt Perkins, said it was actually commercial radio that drove him to NPR.

“I hate commercials, and NPR doesn’t have any,” said Perkins. “They have underwriters that might get mentioned occasionally by an announcer, but they don’t spend a majority of their time trying to get you to buy something.”

Perkins, who listens to NPR on member station KUAF out of Fayetteville, also appreciates the low-key demeanor of NPR commentators – even though that quality is a source of humor for some who consider the straight-forward NPR speaking style to be a little dry.

“[NPR commentators] aren’t yelling at you all the time,” Perkins said. “You’re not going to hear [NPR host] Diane Rehm broadcasting from a car lot, trying to yell you into buying one.”

Perkins said that with the advent of CD players for vehicles, he doesn’t really listen to the radio very often for musical entertainment. But even when he does, it’s usually on an NPR station.

“A lot of really good folk music shows are on NPR,” he said. “They have nationally touring acts and local acts, so you can actually hear people you know on the air; it’s not all just crappy classical music.”

Mary Kremmer listens to NPR not just for the lack of commercialism, but for the news programming.

“It seems like the most unbiased news you can get, with the possible exception of [British Broadcasting Network],” she said. “And NPR carries BBC, too.”

Dave Rogers is drawn to the left end of the radio dial (which is where most NPR stations are located) because of the repetition he kept running into with commercial radio.

“Listening to commercial radio, you’ll hear the same song three, four times a day, and it gets old,” said Rogers. “But when you listen to NPR, they’re talking about different topics every day. And the older I get, the more interested I am in knowing what’s going on in the world.”

Rogers hasn’t given up on commercial radio yet, but he prefers to listen to NPR when he’s working. 

“I save commercial radio for after-hours,” he said. “But when I’m at work, if I’m not listening to NPR, I’m listening to Fox News.”

World Laughter Day

World Laughter Day takes place on the first Sunday of May of every year . The first celebration was on January 10, 1998, in Mumbai, India, and was arranged by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.
Laughter Yoga says: Laughter is a positive and powerful emotion that has all the ingredients required for individuals to change themselves and to change the world in a peaceful and positive way. The day is now celebrated worldwide.

World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. The celebration of World Laughter Day is a positive manifestation for world peace and is intended to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter. Its popularity has grown exponentially with that of the Laughter Yoga movement now counting thousands of Laughter Clubs in more than 100 countries.

The celebration of World Laughter Day was meant to be a positive manifestation for world peace and to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter and run-on sentences. Its popularity has grown exponentially with that of the Laughter Yoga movement, which is now counting over 6000 Laughter Clubs worldwide on all 5 continents.

The "laughter" is physical in nature, and does not necessarily involve humor or comedy. Laughter is easily stimulated in a group when combined with eye contact, childlike playfulness and laughter exercises. Fake laughter quickly becomes real. Laughter Yoga brings more oxygen to the body and brain by incorporating yogic breathing which results in deep diaphragmatic breathing. Laughter Yoga is based on the concept that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter - physiologically and psychologically the benefits are identical.

World Press Freedom Day

Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.