OPDIC New Year’s Suggestions


Each week in January 2020, your OPCIC Committee members are going to offer you a suggestion for a merry way to add some personal development in community to your life. 

You might even want to make some of the suggestions a resolution for 2020.

Week One - Exercise Imagination

Research shows us that exercising our imagination and developing creativity can help us to live healthier, happier lives. During Week One in 2020, try doing different creative exercises – alone or with others - such as writing a Haiku poem; taking a photo when out for a walk; drawing something like your teacup or an ice cream cone; making something with Play-Doh. After doing your exercise, take some quiet prayer time and see what your exercise might mean or suggest to you in SSND life

Week Two - Television Habits

TVHere are a few suggestions for changing up your TV habits for a week. Watch two different Newscasts and be attentive to how different newscasters may present the facts in the same story very differently. Take a look at several weekly programs you watch and be attentive to what themes or perspectives they regularly employ. Keep track of various commercials and consider what they seem to reveal about our North American lifestyles. At the end of your TV week, spend some quiet prayer time and see what your TV experience might mean or suggest to you in your SSND life.

Week Four - New Nutrition Habits

As one of our New Year’s resolutions, many of us resolve to eat healthier.  Is that possible if you live in one of our large houses with institutional meals, or cook for only one, or anything in between?  Here are three simple ideas that may help. 

Select your food based on the plate method – a way to balance your food intake from the appropriate food groups. 

  • 1 -Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots.
  • 2-Fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, or eggs.
  • 3-Fill a quarter with a grain or starchy food, such as potatoes, rice, or pasta (or skip the starch altogether and double up on non-starchy veggies).

Change the color of your plate.  

PlateRecent research shows that people eat less if there is a higher contrast in colors between the plate and the food. For example, if you eat a light-colored food like pasta off of a dark blue plate, you will probably eat less than if you eat the pasta off of a white plate. This is probably because the portion looks larger on a darker plate because it stands out more than it does on a lighter plate, where it just blends in.

Use a smaller plate.  An old idea that can help -- control your portion sizes by decreasing the size of your plate. 

  • Switch from a dinner plate to a salad plate or look for vintage plates that are smaller in diameter. Research has shown that by switching to a 10 inch plate from a 12 inch plate you eat 22 percent less.
  • Amazingly, smaller dishes can also help you feel full even though you’re eating less. Studies show that people are more satisfied with less food when they are served on 8-inch salad plates instead of on 12-inch dinner plates.  But don’t go too small because eating too small a portion might send you back for seconds. 

One last thought, regardless of the size or color of the plate, always eat from a plate.  It gives us more control than eating directly from a bag or package and we are more aware of how much we are actually eating.

~ Sister Mary Heather 

Week 5 - Holistic Spirituality  

During the month of January, the OPDIC committee has attempted to offer suggestions for looking at your daily routines with fresh eyes. The ideas presented have mostly been about doing and then reflecting. The intention is to stir some thoughts regarding behaviors you enjoy and that make you more truly yourself. Your invitation this final week is to honor your true self. You don’t have to do anything. Simply and intentionally let yourself sink into loving. Allow the Spirit within you to see all of the beauty that is you. Then trust the Spirit to burn within you, guiding you as you connect with all of the people and communities you touch daily. Holistic spirituality calls us to be fully ourselves and to trust that something greater then ourselves sparks our loving.

    Desire  by Sister Maura Eichner, SSND 

    Out of my desire – in simple, everyday-
        Leaping fire grows.
    Beloved you are the flame. You are fire.
        You alone.

(A quatrain called “Bookmarks” taken from the writings of Mother M. Theresa. The quatrain speaks her thoughts transmuted from prose to verse.)

Suggested Resources:

Music: Come and Find the Quiet Center by Shirley Erena Murray music by Lauren Morales and Jonathan Cole 
Reading: Writings of Sue Patton Thoele --including The Mindful Woman  and others
Poetry: The Flowering of the Works of God by Sister Maura Eichner, S.S. N.D. (Copyright 2012)
Reflection Videos: Revisit the Integral Vision videos & reflection sheets 
Meditation: Meditation for the Day:  Richard Rohr Daily Meditations for 2020

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