In the first half of our live Thanksgiving night show, clinical psychologist with deep interests in psychokinesis and luck, Joseph Gallenberger, discussed the power and benefits of gratitude. It's a feeling or expression of appreciation, he said of gratitude, and such feelings of thankfulness can open one's heart energy and increase awareness of the good we already have. This gets us ready for "our blessings to flow," he noted, adding that "the attitude of gratitude creates the space for grace." True gratitude is really joyful and different from a sense of duty, he explained, and as author Melody Beattie says, "gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
A sense of gratitude can be cultivated, Gallenberger pointed out. One way is to take a moment each day to express appreciation to someone who's been helpful to you, or thank someone for good service as you leave a tip, or express to yourself or another gratitude for the little things in life like the sunrise, or discovering a new recipe. You could also, he continued, write a note once a week to some person or organization that you feel is doing good work and/or has personally benefited you. "A regular practice of gratitude can change the way our brain neurons fire into more positive automatic patterns," he reported, "and psychology studies have associated it with increased levels of energy, optimism, empathy, and happiness."
In the latter half, C2C's investigative reporter Cheryll Jones presented her interview with wildlife photographer and author David McChesney. He shared his unique vantage point on the struggle of American bumblebees, which are now being reviewed for the Endangered Species list, as well as his encounters with various types of wildlife. There are some 250 varieties of bumblebees, but their population has been waning for some time, he told Cheryll. Though climate change has been used as a kind of catchall explanation for the decline of many different species, McChesney zeroed in on several other factors that may be to blame.
Around 20 years ago, it was discovered that a parasite was affecting many bees, resulting in males that couldn't fertilize the queen's eggs. This coincided with the widespread usage of neonicotinoids-- a new type of insecticide related to nicotine that seeps into the soil, McChesney reported, adding that since bumblebees are ground dwellers, they are especially harmed by this. Living in the desert area of Joshua Tree, he has photographed a variety of wildlife up close on his property, including a baby wildcat that lived on his roof and climbed into adjacent trees. He also described a boat trip off Baja, CA, in which a baby whale and its mother came up so close to the ship, he was able to touch and photograph them. During the last hour, Cheryll and George took Open Lines calls, and throughout the show, a variety of past Coast guests shared Thanksgiving greetings.