“Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dear  <<First Name>>,

Summer is in full swing and it is the perfect time to get to know your neighbors! Did you know that a majority of Americans report that they only know only some or none of their neighbors? Yet, knowing your neighbors is associated with a myriad of positive effects on wellness and community safety. In addition to having someone who can pick up your mail and look after your house while you are away, research shows that being connected to your neighbors leads to a greater sense of psychological well-being, particularly among older adults. With this in mind, I am encouraging you to get out there and meet your neighbors!

I am also challenging you to use these last lazy days of summer to be more curious. Explore new outdoor trails, pick up a new hobby, read something different. Whatever you do, be sure to cultivate curiosity daily. We are often so focused on our day-to-day lives, errands and obligations that we forget to pause and discover the world around us. That’s why I am setting my new daily intention to be curious. Various studies indicate that having the strong urge to discover, explore, and grow is linked to healthier relationships and enhanced creativity at home and work. So, go ahead, and be curious!

As part of my #Positivity perspective, I am always focused on fostering positive mental health. In this edition, I have compiled some truly inspirational stories from around the country. There are a lot of positive things happening in all our communities. I hope these stories of dedication, tenacity, and kindness motivate you to stay positive. In my column, I explore how to stay optimistic during challenging times. I continue to encourage you to focus on the positive aspects of life, being grateful daily, and spread positivity to others. As always, I hope that you are enjoying my newsletter. Please share it with family and friends and encourage them to sign up!

With hope and positivity,

Moshe Popack

If you like our #Positivity® Newsletter...You’ll 💕Our Podcast,
Common Denominator. Each week, I have inspiring conversations
with great thinkers.

The Gardener
Joe Lamp’l, aka “Joe Gardener”, is one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in gardening and green living. He’s got expert tips on how you can grow delicious fruits and veggies on your balcony, your porch, and inside your home!

Communications Expert
Communications expert and Emmy-winning TV host Chris Van Vliet has interviewed countless A-list celebs, including Tom Cruise and The Rock. Here’s what he’s learned from those moments, and how YOU can apply those techniques to thrive in every conversation.
Available on your favorite podcast app and YouTube

#Positivity® Stories

Mother-Daughter Pilot Duo Make History for Southwest Airlines: “Dream Come True”

Captain Holly Petitt and First Officer Keely Petitt made history in July, becoming the first mother-daughter duo to pilot a Southwest flight. They teamed up to fly from Denver to St. Louis on July 23. For Holly, the mother of First Officer, Keely Petitt, it’s a “dream come true” that her daughter loves flying planes. Right after college, Holly began her aviation career as a flight attendant but soon she realized she wanted to become a pilot. As she took flight lessons, Holly "welcomed three beautiful kids," supporting her family as a full-time mom — and with the support of her husband and mom, she was able to make her dream of being a pilot a reality. Keely, who fell in love with flying when she was just 14 years old, decided to follow in her mother's footsteps. She eventually earned her pilot's license and secured an internship with Southwest Airlines in 2017 to further her aviation career. While Holly and Keely are making Southwest history, they are also breaking barriers and empowering women of all ages to pursue a career in aviation. Currently, only 6 percent of pilots are female!

A senior cat and senior citizen care for each other. A Pennsylvania rescue group wants to set up more pairs

Feline Urban Rehab and Rescue (FURR), a Lehigh Valley group, runs Seniors 4 Seniors program to serve older community members who want to adopt cats but face financial obstacles. The program covers medical costs associated with owning an elderly cat, such as medications and trips to the vet. The group has noticed that the biggest obstacle to adoption has been medical bills. By covering those bills, they help seniors to get the love and benefits of feline companionship without having to worry about unexpected costs. Most seniors appreciate the having rescue cats as a companion and dependent but without the fear that they will have to return to a shelter if they become unable to care for their pet. The program pairs felines and foster owners through an application process with a very high acceptance rate. Currently 11 pairs of seniors and cats are part of the program.

Former inmate gets new start as a marathon runner: "He fell but he got back up"

In 2019, Markelle Taylor qualified for the Boston Marathon while running laps in the prison yard. The former inmate’s life is now part of an upcoming documentary "26.2 to Life: The San Quentin Prison Marathon,” which chronicles his journey from prisoner to marathoner. Today, the 49-year-old Taylor is gearing up for the Chicago Marathon. For nearly 18 years, he could only dream of this type of training while he was incarcerated. While at San Quentin State Prison, he joined the 1,000-mile Running Club track team and his speed earned him the nickname “Markelle the Gazelle.” Recognizing that he made a terrible mistake, Taylor took control of his life and chose to do something with it. With the support of his volunteer coaches, he did something never done before at San Quentin and qualified for one of the most renowned marathons. Now, he’s free and he continues to work toward a better life.

Nation’s Longest-Serving Postal Worker Celebrates 70 Years With USPS

Johnnie Bell of Oklahoma City recently celebrated 70 years of service with the United States Postal Service (USPS). He was 23 years old when he started working for USPS and has worked in Oklahoma City his entire career. Johnnie is now the oldest serving mailman in the nation. The size of USPS has grown during his tenure. In 1952, 355,143 worked for the post office. In 2021, that number was over 516,000. When Johnnie Bell started seven decades ago, pay was $1.81 an hour. He knows his job very well and it is something that he enjoys doing. For the last 70 years, he has consistently shown up for his job. Besides his dedication, he is known for his good-natured interactions with customers.

7-year-old Entrepreneur opens her own flower shop with the goal to help others

Arabella Francis is a remarkable young girl who two years ago asked her family to convert their garage into a flower shop. Since her dad did not agree to the idea, she decided to start with a modest flower stand on her parent’s lawn instead and donated all the money she made to charity. The first year, she gave all the money to "Ending Hunger in Maine." The second year, it all went to the Maine Parkinson’s Society. Now, with her parent’s help, she opened her own store in Old Town, Maine. Her small brick-and-mortar flower shop, A Touch of Grace, has long been a dream of the young entrepreneur. Arabella says 25 percent of each stem sold will go toward the Northern Light NICU in Main. But for her, it's about more than donating money — it's about making people smile. 

What a Good Night’s Sleep Can Do for Your Heart

The key to a healthier heart might be your sleep. New guidelines by the American Heart Association (AHA) put a spotlight on the link between a good night’s sleep and a healthy heart. In July, the AHA added sleep to its list of factors critical to heart health, a list that includes seven others such as diet, physical activity and blood pressure. The recommendation reflects widening scientific consensus on the role sleep plays in helping prevent heart disease. Scientists now indicate that the more they learn, the more they are coming to recognize how instrumental sleep is to heart health. The heart association recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. It is important to keep this in mind as so many adults get much less sleep on a regular basis.

Book Recomendation

Think Right or Wrong, Not Left or Right: A 21st Century Citizen Guide (2nd Expanded Edition)

by Anders Ingemarson

Whether you’re left-, right-, or independent-leaning, "Think Right or Wrong, Not Left or Right: A 21st Century Citizen Guide " by Anders Ingemarson challenges your views of morality and politics—and provides a reset on what it means to be in control of your life. This book asserts that you have the moral Right to be in control of your life and advocates that neither today’s political left nor right has your best interests at hand. Ingemarson shows why the traditional political left-to-right spectrum presents you with two false alternatives, and that politics instead should be viewed through a morally Right-to-Wrong lens. It explains “the moral groundswell” required for change to take place, and specifies how we may get from here to there with examples from health insurance and healthcare, retirement planning, and education. Finally, the book offers a blueprint for affecting change that will move society towards giving you more control of your life. The second expanded edition contains updated examples with new sections covering inflation, taxes, and infrastructure, all current issues figuring prominently in our lives today.

Things to make you smile

Rescue dog known for his hilarious agility runs changed his owner’s life

Rescue dog, Kratu, is known for his hilarious agility runs. His owner, Tess Eagle Swan, credits her adopted pet for saving her from a painful past, which includes battling anxiety and autism. Kratu’s funny antics in the agility ring are chronicled in a book “Incredible Kratu: The happy-go-lucky rescue dog who changed his owner’s life.” His runs might not be full of technical merit, but they’re always entertaining.

Wonders of the Galaxy

In mid-July, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope spotted a 13.5-billion-year-old galaxy, breaking the record for the oldest galaxy ever observed. Since it launched in December, the James Webb Space Telescope has literally been capturing distant galaxies in a new light — and a recent video released by the European Space Agency, a NASA partner, demonstrates exactly how special it really is. The stunning 1-minute clip shows the telescope zooming in on the Southern Ring Nebula. It’s an example of the James Webb Telescope capturing infrared light, an improvement from past telescopes, like the Hubble Space Telescope, that could only show visible light. All these new discoveries are incredible. Did you know that you can set up alerts on your phone so you don’t miss any of the James Webb’s new discoveries?

Spreading #Positivity®

Thank you, readers, for sending us your photos with your comments. We are so excited that you are helping spread a positive message everywhere you go!  Let’s keep spreading #Positivity® together! Send us your photos and we will feature them in the next newsletter and on Facebook.

We recently had a beautiful day in our community garden with the children at Palo Verde Apartments. They were very excited to explore the garden, pick vegetables, and eat tomatoes right off the vines. The kids even tried herbs that they thought smelled nice. A video of the fun day is now on Neighborhood Farms USA Instagram. We are also delighted that our Palo Verde Apartments Property Manager, Wanda Diaz, spearheaded the gathering and got the children involved in learning more the #NeighborhoodFarmsUSA garden. Kudos to Wanda and all the kids that came out to have fun and learn about our community garden!


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"It’s a wonderful thing to be optimistic. It keeps you healthy and it keeps you resilient."

— Daniel Kahneman

How to Stay Optimistic During Hard Times

We could all use an extra dose of positivity these days. It seems as though we are constantly inundated 24-7 with bad news. During challenging times, we are often focused on battling negative thoughts and negativity. It’s during times like these that we should be emphasizing positivity to help overcome some of life’s obstacles. 
A positive mindset can be a powerful game changer. It’s not about toxic positivity or trying to suppress difficult moments. Instead, it is about the change in mindset that comes from within. Sometimes, all we need is a reminder of all that is good in our lives. Whether you are in the midst of a major challenge, life change, or dealing with difficulty, keeping a positive frame of mind can work wonders. And, sharing the positive energy with those you love also helps. Being happy is good for you and your brain. A few of the many benefits include better relationships with people, more focus and concentration, more confidence, ability to combat stress more effectively, stronger immune system, overall healthier lifestyle, which can help reduce pain, and increased life longevity.
Hard times are inevitable in life but we can do things to make them a little more bearable. Of course, remaining positive can be tough some times. Here are some tips to help manage the roller coaster of life and to keep hope alive.

Say “for” instead of “to”

Instead of focusing on why things are happening to you, think about why it is happening for you. This one simple word can change your outlook toward challenges and help convert tough times into moments of self-improvement. Take time to learn more about yourself which will help you incorporate coping mechanisms for when difficult times strike.

Keep a strengths perspective and practice gratitude

Being able to identify strengths in your life is important for your mental health and overall outlook on life. Practicing gratitude is important as it reminds you of all the positive things in your life. Better yet, keep a gratitude journal, as it can help reorient your negative thoughts as you will concentrate on what makes you happy.

 Treat yourself and get enough sleep

Make sure to prioritize self-care and to be kind to yourself during challenges. Read a new book or pick up a hobby, get plenty of sleep and exercise, or take a walk-in nature. These are all great examples of self-care. Also, don’t forget to get enough sleep as it is a time to process emotions and recharge physically and mentally for the next day.

Keep an open mind and perspective

Life has its peaks and valleys. Often our lowest moments can act as a valuable opportunity to launch us toward self-improvement. It helps to think how you can transform challenge into opportunity. It may take a while but with the right mindset you will be amazed how easily you can move forward.

Allow yourself to have bad days

Don’t force yourself to be positive. Instead, allow yourself to work through your emotions so that you can move toward a better frame of mind. Giving yourself a minute to regroup and look at the bigger picture can be beneficial.

 Make a list of the things you can manage

Stop and take a breath to focus on things that you can control. Accept what you can’t control and make a list of what you can. Even if all you can control is your attitude and your effort, it’s important to acknowledge what you’re capable of doing.

 Spend time in nature

Take a break from your computer, smart phone, and TV! Take a break outdoors. After all, spending time in nature can improve your mood and mental health. It is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness which can have overall positive effects on your life.

 Add positivity to other people’s lives

Service to others is a powerful motivator. The amount of happiness you give out to people tends to be returned back to you. Being kind to others and helping out in the midst of your own challenges can be the perfect antidote.

I do hope this list helps to focus your mindset and instills some hope. Remember it is during hard times that we should be open to more opportunities for change and improvement. No matter what, remember that all things pass and that there is always a new day to start anew.


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Moshe Popack

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