Monday, December 10, 2012

What Is Next For You?

By Sandy Watchie Stamato

It’s almost time to celebrate the New Year: A time of renewal and, for many hope for a better tomorrow. Yet, have you noticed how three weeks into January all those good intentions go awry?

Why is it so hard to change? Who wouldn’t love to lose those irritating 10 pounds, get that new “perfect” job or meet your soul mate? What’s the hang up? Why is it so hard to change?

Why is changing so hard?
Our brains are geared to resist change. It’s a survival thing – a chemical reaction. When we want to make a change in our life, it’s fraught with the unknown and all of this causes anxiety and fear. Our reptilian brain comes to the rescue and tries to save the day. “CHANGE bad. Cookies GOOD” and there goes our diet plans.

But there’s hope
One of the most effective means for circumventing our reptilian brain – so we can be open to changing and tapping into what really lights us up – is the practice of gratitude. 

What does gratitude have to do with change? It’s nearly impossible to feel anxious and fearful when in a state of gratitude. The feelings of gratitude create a very profound shift in our brains and create a sense of abundance, expansiveness and possibility. 

We are able to make different decisions and move forward with more ease. Possibility, curiosity and excitement abound in a grateful mindset. It truly is the antidote for anxiety and fear. This opens the door to making lasting changes in your life.

Let’s use the example of looking for a new job. Practice being grateful for your current job and you’ll be surprised at what pops up. You may end up loving the job you have or, be much more receptive and curious when job applying. 

Try this experiment
Take the time to write three SPECIFIC things you’re grateful for everyday. Go into great detail about each person, place or thing. Identify the highlight of your day.  (A complimentary two-week gratitude journal is available at Try it for two weeks. Then you can thank me!

Solar For Your Home?

By Bill Thorness

Are solar panels right for your roof? Answer that question, learn how solar energy works, and access a group discount at a Solarize Seattle: Northwest educational workshop coming to the PNA in January.

The workshop is Saturday, January 26, 10-11:30 am at the Phinney Center. Local clean energy nonprofit Northwest SEED will present the workshop as part of the Solarize Washington program.
Solarize is a community-led effort that simplifies and streamlines the process of going solar. The Northwest Seattle campaign is offering free workshops, free solar site assessments, discounted pricing, and help understanding the tax benefits, incentives and financing available. The limited-time campaign intends to install 150 solar systems Northwest Seattle by summer of 2013. 

Solarize is an innovative group purchase program that helps residents and businesses tap into more affordable solar energy. It is funded by Seattle City Light, managed by the nonprofit Northwest SEED, and supported by seven community organizations, including PNA.

Solarize Seattle: Northwest is the sixth campaign in Northwest SEED’s Solarize Washington program. Previous campaigns have been in Queen Anne, Magnolia, Northeast Seattle, Stanwood, Camano Island and Mukilteo. Together, they have added 139 solar systems to the regional electric grid, totaling more than 600 kilowatts of solar electricity capacity and investing $3.8 million in our local solar economy. 

To sign up for the workshop or to get more information about Solarize, visit and fill out the brief "Bring Solarize to me" form. If you can't make the January 26 workshop, others will be held throughout Northwest Seattle neighborhoods during winter and early spring. Let your neighbors know about this program to help us achieve our goal of 150 solar roofs in Northwest Seattle!

Learn more at