June 2017

 Contents

1.    4 Joyous June Books

2.    Love and Belonging, Part Two

3.    Cool Places:  Cascades Park

4.     Cool Food:  Kool Beanz Café

 

4 JOYOUS JUNE BOOKS

JUNIE B. JONES BOXED SET:  Laugh yourself silly with the world’s funniest kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Books in this boxed set include: Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (#1), Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (#2), Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth (#3), and Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying (#4). Perfect for the first day of kindergarten, preschool and kindergarten graduation gifts, and birthday and holiday gifts for the young readers in your life!


THE BOOK OF JOY: LASTING HAPPINESS IN A CHANGING WORLD
 by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams.   Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.   In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?

READER FOR HIRE by Raymond Jean, Adriana Hunter (Translator).  A beautiful homage to the art of reading – light and funny. A celebration of the union of sensuality and language.  Marie-Constance loves reading and possesses an attractive voice. So, one day she decides to put an ad in the local paper offering her services as a paid reader. Her first client, a paralyzed teenager, is transformed by her reading of a Maupassant short story. Marie-Constance’s fame spreads and soon the rich, the creative and the famous clamor for her services.

SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult.  “A gripping courtroom drama…Given the current political climate it is quite prescient and worthwhile…This is a writer who understands her characters inside and out.” – Roxane Gayin America today. Its complex characters and moral problem give readers a convicting perspective on privilege, power, and race. The story begins with an African American labor and delivery nurse who is met by white supremacist parents of a newborn. A plot marked by social injustice and crime helps the characters and readers “come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others – and themselves – might be wrong.”

LOVE AND BELONGING – PART TWO

by Rosanne T. Morse, MS/MFT   

 PART TWO:  In Part One of this article I focused on the first two natural experiences of love and belonging that set the stage for our adult ability to belong, to love and be loved.    PART ONE – CLICK HERE 

As a human within a society, it is within our power to extend to others a sense of acceptance and inclusion.  By a kind word or friendly smile, such simple acts, we may be throwing a lifeline to others and create an opportunity for belongingness that could change the course of someone’s life.   It is no small thing.

OUR THIRD COMMUNITY – OUR WORKPLACE

The workplace is a hard nut to crack friendship-wise.  We didn’t come here to make friends, we came to make money – right?  For most of us having a job meets our first need of survival.  We earn a salary to put food on the table, a roof over our heads, and provide a suitable lifestyle to ourselves and our family.

After we have been continuously employed long enough, we begin to feel a sense of stability and security knowing that we have some financial independence.  We may have begun savings and investment plan to provide for college educations, our health care, and our old age.  We may even have enough to take risks on a new home or a big home-improvement.  All of this contributes to our mental and emotional well-being.  But in this day and age this really seems just part of Need #1 Survival.

There is more though, much more. The fact that we belong to an organization, a team, or business surrounds us with a people and a place where we belong.  In today’s job market job security is not to be taken for granted.  In the back of our minds there is the fear of losing our job and the where we belong.  This need is so strong that we will often place it far above the amount of money we earn.  We may desire a way to earn a living with all sorts of varied criteria, but survival makes us always ask: “what’s the pay?” and “is it a permanent position?”.  Once we have those answers, what do we need next?

The next level in the needs hierarchy is a sense of belonging, being trusted and accepted within the group.   We seek a sense of camaraderie and feeling that we are part of something bigger.  It is a natural, incredibly necessary, need to feel valued and that our contribution is important to the success of the group.  These needs and should not be minimized or denied.  The feeling of significance, especially within a large company, is vital, if you are going to feel a genuine liking for your job and loyalty to your employer.

If you feel integral to the company’s values and goals then kick back, relax, enjoy your job.   Invest yourself in genuine concern and interest in your organization’s wellbeing.  Make sure you are progressing in your own development that is compatible with your employer’s goals. Let your ambition to move forward in the organization be known not just in words, but in your behavior on the job.  Be a team player, be prepared, look for new ways to do business or improve performance or productivity. Explore the ways you have opportunities to grow and become an asset to the organization, inspiring others along the way.  Your personal hierarchy of needs will be fulfilled in the workplace and you will move up the ladder from ‘just surviving’ to highly engaged.

OUR FOURTH COMMUNITY – OUR LEISURE

We all tend to have an ‘inherent’ desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than ourselves. This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give, and receive attention to, and from, others.

In all cultures attachments form universally and social bonds are easily formed, without the need for a setting. The need to belong is a goal-directed so people try to satisfy it automatically with a certain minimum number of social contacts. The quality of interactions is more important than the quantity of interactions. If we form too many social attachments we get less satisfaction from them.  More is not better. It increases our stress and demands that we somehow end those extra relationships.

We also effectively replace lost relationship partners by substituting them with new relationships or social environments. For example, individuals with strong family ties could compensate for loneliness at work.

Relationships need regular contact to provide the sense of belonging.  If you cannot have regular contact, then the relationship will wane.  Just knowing that a bond exists may be emotionally comforting, but it does not provide a feeling of full belongingness if there is a lack of interaction between the persons.

Belongingness has two main features:

  1. constant, positive, personal interactions with other people; and
  2. knowing that the bond is stable, there is mutual concern for one another, and that there will be a continuation of that attachment into the future.

The need to belong is not just intimate attachments or, but also that the other person cares about us or our well-being and loves us.  Researchers have tested various groups forms and have determined that any group must contain loyalty to the group.  Without loyalty and the perception that the group was working toward a common goal, the group falls apart and competition and even hostility ensues. Researchers agree that banding together against a threat and sharing rewards are primary reasons groups form and bond so easily.

Mere proximity is another powerful factor in relationship formation. This suggests that proximity sometimes overcomes the tendencies to bond with others who are similar to us. Positive social bonds form just as easily under fearful circumstances, such as military veterans who have undergone heavy battle together.  The mere presence of another person reduces distress and creates a tendency to seek out the company of others in times of threat. The formation of social attachments with former rivals is a great indicator of the powerful need to belong.

Universally, people distress and protest ending social relationships across all cultures and age spans. Even temporary groups, such as training groups, struggle with the idea that the group may eventually dissolve. The group may have fulfilled their purpose, but the participants want to cling on to the relationships and social bonds that have been formed with one another. The group members make promises individually and collectively to stay in touch, plan for future reunions, and take other steps to ensure the continuity of the attachment. For example, two people may never speak for an entire year, but will continue sending holiday cards to that acquaintance or a stranger from whom they receive cards. People do not want to risk damaging a relationship or breaking an attachment because it is distressing.

People are so hesitant in breaking social bonds that in many cases, they are hesitant to dissolve even bad relationships that could be potentially destructive. For example, many women are unwilling to leave their abusive spouses or boyfriends with excuses ranging from liking for the abuse to economic self-interests that are more important than physical harm. This unwillingness to leave an abusive partner, whether mentally or physically, is just another indicator of the power of the need to belong and how reluctant individuals are to break these bonds.  Breaking off an attachment causes pain that is deeply rooted in the need to belong.

When people are accepted, welcomed, or included it leads them to feel positive emotions such as happiness, elation, calm, and satisfaction. However, when individuals are rejected or excluded, they feel strong negative emotions such as anxiety, jealousy, depression, and grief. In fact, the psychological pain caused by social rejection is so intense that it involves the same brain regions involved in the experience of physical pain.

Lack of constant, positive relationships has been linked to a large range of consequences. Such as criminality and suicide and suffer from increasing mental and physical illness.  Therefore, wanting to belong is a need, not just a want.  It is necessary for us to live a happy fulfilled life.

Unrequited love is love without belongingness and usually leads to disappointment whereas belongingness in love leads to joy. Positive experiences and shared emotions increases attraction with others. Close personal attachments, a rich network of friends and high levels of intimacy motivation are all correlated to happiness in life.

Divorce and death are two negative events that fracture our sense of belonging, not because of the loss of the specific person, but the loss of the attachment. Given the negative consequences of social rejection, people have developed traits that encourage acceptance and to prevent rejection. Thwarting the need to belong strikes at the core of human functioning, people respond very strongly to social exclusion.  Both interpersonal rejection and acceptance are psychologically powerful events. Feeling disliked, excluded, unappreciated, or devalued can stir up negative emotions in an individual.  Believing you are liked, included, appreciated, or valued elicits feelings of higher self-esteem and confidence boosts.

 

COOL PLACE. Cascades Park is a 24-acre park along the stream known as the St. Augustine Branch in Tallahassee, FL, south of the Florida State Capitol.  It is a Nationally Registered Historic Place because it influenced the territorial government’s choice of the capital city’s location. It also contains Florida’s Prime Meridian marker monument which is the point for most land mapping throughout Florida. The newly designed Cascades Park opened in 2014. Features include the Capital City Amphitheater, a fountain with light, music, splash pads, and ponds, and boulder climbing, beachscape and outdoor classroom area known as Discovery at Cascade Park.  http://discovercascades.com/home.html

COOL FOOD.   Kool Beanz Café – A top quality gourmet restaurant in Tallahassee Florida – It’s fun, it’s funky and it’s delicious! Offbeat, eclectic and a superb dining alternative.  In a vibrant setting of dark pastels and modern art the friendly and energetic staff serve such tantalizing entrees as: Cuban-Spiced Pork Chops with mango habanero salsa; Linguini, Tasso ham, mushrooms, crawfish, roasted garlic cream sauce; Tuscan style lamb; and Sake-teriyaki glazed salmon with sesame roasted asparagus, sambal chutney and wasabi mashed potatoes.  http://www.koolbeanz-cafe.com/

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