Pacific Northwest District - UUA
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Jr/Sr Level
August 22- 24, 2014
Des Moines, WA
Registration and waitlist have closed.
Youth Advisor Training
September 20, 2014 - Portland, OR
Click the link above to register by Sept. 10.
Workshops & Peer Learning 
September 27, 2014 - Bellevue, WA
Register by September 10! Click the link above.
Don't miss Virtual Learning Opportunities: 
June 24-28 in Portland, OR
PNWD Annual Meeting held concurrently.
Details posted as received.
 GA 20115

Learn about PNWD's Chalice Lighter Program  and how your congregation can qualify for a grant to help you grow.
Sign up to become a PNWD Chalice Lighter and help strengthen Unitarian Universalism in the Pacific Northwest - it's easy!

Chalice Lighter Call Schedule 2013/14
Fall: Olympia UU Congregation, WA        
$14,259.60 grant awarded.

Winter: Northlake UU Church, Kirkland, WA
$12,697.20 grant awarded.
Spring: UU Fellowship of Central Oregon, Bend, OR
$20,210.76 grant awarded.
Grant requests for 2014/15 are now being accepted.  Click here for more information on how to apply.


Officiants for Weddings/Other Services
 in PNWD Congregations, District and Region
           Find a UU congregation near you.                
Looking for the UUA? Click here. 
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210

What Are Your Intentions?relax

by Diane Brinson
District Administrator

When I returned from sabbatical July 7, District Executive Janine Larsen asked if I would be willing to write an article about relaxation. I had just finished fourteen weeks of it – surely I could do that! Problem was, I was too relaxed. Now after a full re-entry into my work, I can better reflect on how I actually achieved that elusive state.
I had no idea that the first step to full relaxation would be such a chore. But I am blessed with the best co-workers and boss in the world. I detailed my tasks for the duration and they jumped in and did them, as well as their own jobs. The amount of time it took me to prepare was daunting, but it netted me fourteen totally fret-free weeks. I am indebted to them all.

As a military brat I was familiar early on with the term R & R. I didn’t know what the letters stood for when I was a youngster, but I understood what R & R represented. Is that what my sabbatical would be? Why not. I was ready for a little Rest and Recuperation, thrown in with a little Recreation and Relaxation. (That second R always threw me.)

Rest. Instead of answering a 6:00 alarm, at home I could wake when I wanted and listen to entire Morning Edition pieces! I could loll in the shade by the pool in the sunny south, chill on a balcony overlooking the Potomac, and enjoy the scenery via a nearly-empty ferry in San Francisco.

Recuperation. What did I have to recuperate from? I couldn’t think of a thing. That was before I quit using a computer keyboard all day long for over three months. Who knew the twinge in the wrist would go away?

Recreation. At home I could accomplish my errands by taking deliberate walks instead of stopping off en route from work. My travels with family and friends were filled with activities, but all were intentional. Even if someone would suddenly spring a change of plans, a simple change of attitude on my part turned it into serendipity instead of resentment.

Relaxation. It dawned on me that this is not a distinct state. Relaxation is actually a combination of the previous three R’s – listening to Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne all morning; avoiding the computer; walking; biking; cooking; reading; kayaking; sewing. The key for me was keeping my activities intentional and accepting that intentional did not preclude spontaneous.

I recall a seminar from several years ago where the leader asked the group to list the demands that encroached on our time. Among the many responses were Facebook, other social media, aging parents, young children, cell phones, computers, Internet, work email,Power_On_Off_Switch_red personal email – and one person even said 24-hour news channels! We then discussed suggestions for managing these demands. I waited and waited for the obvious, but it never came. So I offered, “Just about everything on the list has an off button.” Silence. Befuddled stares. It was added to the list. No discussion, except from those who said it was impossible. I thought at least one person might approach me after the session to say they were glad I mentioned that. Nope.

There are always forces trying to keep us from relaxing. The key is intentionality. Overwhelmed with new emails each time you glance at your computer or phone? Change the settings. Retrieve the messages only when you intentionally go get them; don’t have your new mail automatically retrieved. TV chattering away in the background? Turn it off until that show you really, really want to watch is on. I hear people complain of being inundated by Facebook posts. Can’t refrain from constantly checking? Cancel your account. As hard as it is to believe, life still goes on. (Trust me on this.) Be intentional.

John Lennon may have had a little chemical assistance in mind when he adapted existing lines for Tomorrow Never Knows, but the message is still pretty basic: “Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream...”  No chemicals required.  


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Pacific Northwest District of the UUA - 12700 SE 32nd Street, Suite E-101 - Bellevue, WA 98005-4317 - (425) 957-9116