Saturday, January 14, 2017

day89: you are what you eat, so eat simply ...

'eat your veggies ...'
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine 
or the slowest form of poison.” 

This idea of eating well and making healthy food choices is nothing new in our household, however there are a few thoughts about food that I wanted to reenforce!

Stay away from anything artificial; 
artificial colors, flavors, preservatives & sweeteners.
Avoid processed foods;
bleached flour, trans fats & additives.
Steer clear of...
hormones and/or antibiotics

Sadly these rules are not so easy to follow in our society/culture.  Even if the packaging claims to be healthy, that might not be the case.  The best thing to do is to read the labels and check the ingredients, and/or stick with unprocessed food, real food, that doesn't need a label!!!

The food you eat is what fuels your body and what you eat or don't eat will influence all aspects of your life, from your day to day activities to the quality and duration of your lifetime!!
Your choice of diet will affect you in a myriad of ways; certain foods can make you calm or jumpy, focused or distracted, smarter or not, energized or tired, and the list can go on and on.
And as much as I could write for pages and pages about nutrition and healthy choices, I am going to list a few things here that I believe are very important and which I want to emphasize:

1. stay away from all foods labeled 'diet', 'fat-free' and 'sugar-free'!!
 these labels mean that something that natural has been taken out AND something manmade has been added to compensate for what was removed!!! And these additives are foreign to our bodies and can cause more problems and issues when the body attempts to digest it.
It is now known that the additives that are added to make foods fat-free are not digestible and can deadly effects on the body.  I want to stress the importance from staying away from sugar substitutes, especially for you two. When you were both little if you had anything 'sugar-free' you would get stomach aches!! and the really scary thing is sometimes it does even say 'sugar-free' but if you look at the ingredients, there is no sugar, but there would be one of these: aspartame, sucralose, neotame or saccharin.

2. eat and use REAL food
(this is along the same lines as rule #1) Eat REAL food and cook with REAL food!!!
Use real sugar (you don't need to eat loads of sugar but I believe real sugar is better than a sugar substitute) Eat real butter, real ice cream.  Or if you are going to choose a substitute make sure it is a natural substitute,
that it comes from a natural plant!! and NOT a chemical plant!!! 

3. try to eat whole foods, not processed foods
the more 'processed' a food is the more of its natural goodness is lost.  The best thing to do is eat 'whole foods':
 foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed
Remember that whatever process that your food has endured, such as bleaching flour so it is white, that food is going to bring that process into your body. 
 It is the same with coffee filters!! Buy unbleached coffee filters, there is no difference except that the bleached filters most likely will add bleach to your coffee!!! 

4. what you put in your body is what your body uses ...
so if you put junk your body, your body only has junk to help it do all the amazing things that your body does!!! and it is truly amazing when you think of it ... breathing, moving, thinking, feeling ...

5. don't always trust expiration dates
I know you aren't going to take my word on this so I am quote some experts:

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

day88: to apologize or not to apologize, that is the question ...

Accept everything about yourself - 
I mean everything, 
You are you and that is the beginning and the end - 
no apologies, no regrets. 
Henry A. Kissinger

There are times when it is good and appropriate to say you are sorry, 
but be mindful with your 'sorry's as women tend to apologize A LOT!! 
a lot more than is even justified.
 Studies show that woman/girls are programed to say 'sorry' when something goes wrong, 
even when they had nothing to do with the wrong-doing?!? This tendency to readily apologize is definitely a gender specific trait.  Just take note during the day, woman will apologize way more than men?!?! And many times for things that the woman has no control over?!?!?

This position of accepting blame will affect the energy of the situation, make people feel more comfortable,  but it is unfavorable for the apologizer.  So be especially mindful in a business or negotiating situation and do not say sorry unless it is really warranted!

Then there are situations where you 
be apologetic!!! 
 I have listed some of them above, but the many idea is 
NEVER apologize for who you are!
(p.s. I did NOT make-up 'don't apologize for a messy home', other lists did say 'messy house' but I think you should not need to apologize if you home/your place of comfort is messy :)

Don't apologize for what you dream, desire and pursue!!
Don't say you're sorry because you do something well, 
example: apologizing for doing well on a paper or exam?!?
Also DON'T make excuses for doing something well!!
It is a proven fact that women tend to down play for their successes, to claim it was luck, or the help from co-workers!?!  
It is hard for a majority of women to take a compliment! 
And again this can be a hinderance to a woman in a business situation.  

accept praise and don't apologize for doing something well.
OWN who you are!!! 
with all your talents and imperfections.

and as I first said, there are times and places to say you are sorry, 
and here is a beautiful apology from one of my favorite poets, 
William Carlos Williams.
love, mom

This is Just to Say 

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold” 

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Monday, January 9, 2017

day 87: practice kindness, we need it now more than ever!!!

strata: strength ... mixed media on wood
“My wish for you is that you continue. 
Continue to be who and how you are, 
to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.”

Practicing kindness in this mean world makes your life more pleasant and you will be surprised on how people may react to your kindness.  It is a way of life that I strive to practice.  I especially focus on being kind in frustrating and annoying situations, and I swear it makes them easier!!

There is a power in choosing to react with kindness.  However I am not suggesting that you be a doormat!! there is no reason to be kind in the face of meanness, bullying or disrespect.
But I am suggesting that during the course of the day you focus on bringing more kindness, respect and patience into our mean world.  

Kindness can be found in small acts, like holding a door open or letting someone with less stuff go ahead of you in the checkout line.  Kindness can be demonstrated on the road!! In fact SHOULD be practiced on the road.  If more drivers practiced kindness and patience, I believe that traffic on a whole would move more smoothly.  How many times is a bottleneck back-up made worse by drivers vying to be next, causing a mini stand-off until one relinquishes?!?!  To me it is a joy to let people merge without them having to force their way in.

It is also SO SO  SO important to practice self kindness!!!
Quiet those inner critics who are constantly telling you that you are not enough!!
You are amazing and wonderful just as you are!!
Berating and criticizing yourself is wasted energy.
Think about it,  does berating and belittling helps anyone do better?!?!
I thorough believe that when you approach any issue or problem with kindness you are more successful and less spent.

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

So be kind!! be kind to yourself and to this 'mean' world. 
And let's face facts we need way more kindness in this world, 
now more than ever ,with the pending swearing-in
 of the biggest and worse bully that I know! 

love, mom

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

day 86: don't worry ...

Slow down. Calm down. 
Don't worry. Don't hurry. 
Trust the process. 
Alexandra Stoddard

simply this ~
love, mom

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Friday, January 6, 2017

day85 : knowledge is power!

"Scientia potentia est"
Sir Francis Bacon/Thomas Hobbes

This is a phrase that I remind myself often. 
My personal interpretation of this quote is a 'large picture' view.  
Of course one can interpret the quote from the perspective of eduction and 'book' smarts ... 
the more one learns the more opportunities one has.  

However I see this quote alluding to a much larger sense of 'knowledge', 
beyond the classroom and measured intelligence.  
I feel that this quote can be practiced in all areas of one's daily life.  
For me this quote refers to gathering more information, researching and learning about a subject, an issue, an decision, an opportunity and or problem!!  
For me this quote means: 
the more information one has the better decision making one can practice. 

And recently I have been saying it a lot, to myself and to your grandmother, so I figured it was a good one to share with you two. 

I find that I remind myself of this quote more often when I am tackling financial things, such as taxes, financial aid and especially during the divorce!!  I catch myself shying away from really figuring out my financial specifics, such as income, expenses, debts, etc.  I think there is a part of me that feels that if I don't really know the real figures then the reality of the figures won't be true?!?! 
That is one of those kind of crazy thoughts, because reality is reality and hiding one's head in the sand is NOT going to change ANYTHING.  
In fact it will have negative repercussions.
When I catch myself being sheepish about something,  I remind myself that  knowing the real situation and all the information that I can learn about that situation, will give me POWER!!
 & in this world baby, 
power is GOOD!!
And this practice applies to ALL areas of one's life, just not $$!! 

Also, it is important to remember that researching and learning about a situation is NOT making a decision.  This is what I am trying to help Gommie understand.  She is hesitating about interviewing and researching the possibility of more help for them because she thinks if she asks some questions that means someone will be living in their home next week, and that is not the case. 

So I wish to share with you this idea that learning, inquiring, researching things is a very good thing.  It will help you make better decisions and also help you not to second guess your decisions.
So , my dear-ones, go LEARN
go learn all you can!!

love, mom

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Monday, January 2, 2017

day84 : be wise ...

'take no prisoners ...' gouache (2016)
A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; 
a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim. 
Maya Angelou

Not much more that I can add to these wise words, except maybe to warn of the trappings of feeling like the victim.  When you feel like the victim you are surrendering control and responsibility,  which can create a much longer negative affect on yourself and your well being.  

There will be times when you are the victim but try not to dwell in that place. Nurse your wounds but then take back the controls of your life, being and purpose.  This is a deliberate act and it is so empowering.

love, mom

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

day83:make an intention to make your 2017 highlight reel, starting NOW!!!

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
So it is the new year, 2017!!! huh??!?

The end of 2016 truly cleaned my clock and I am still working on righting myself.  And what this new year will bring is a big, gaping unknown ... but instead of focusing on big picture, I want to get back to what these 100 days started as, some thoughts and suggestions from one mom, me, to two amazing and stellar daughters, you.

What I wish to share with you today is to be kind to yourself during this time of 'new beginnings' and 'resolutions'! As positive and optimistic these days are built-up to be, I believe the new year really can bring A LOT of self judgement and self criticism, disguised as self improvement.

Many years back I stopped making new year's resolutions and started making new year's intentions.  It might sound like semantics but it has made a huge difference for me.  'Resolution' sounds judgmental, something is wrong which needs to be fixed!!! Intentions has a kinder feel, it is more supportive,  an approach which can be even more successful in facilitating change because you are not trying to work through the negative ideas highlighted by the resolutions.
That is why I LOVE this quote!!

And in fact I want to encourage you to take it further than 'balancing the list' with looking for potential!! The new year is a great time to take stock, review the last year for things that you might wish to change, but ALSO it is a time to note the things that you have changed, your triumphs, your successes.  Too much energy is spent on the areas that are lacking, familiar topics are diet, fitness, money, etc... What if we looked at the new year as a time to celebrate our growth during the past year, remember the life lessons and small wonders?!?!

So this new year take stock is all the ways that you have grown and learned during 2016.  Think of your 'first's, one of you got to vote in a presidential election, started college, went to NYC and loved it!! Also if you are going to use today as a day to begin new habits or practices, be kind and call them intentions.

Lastly, something that I have seen on social media these past days, and think it is a wonderful idea, is to start now, collecting the good moments, memories and personal triumphs of 2017.  You can write them in a journal or collect them in a box or jar.  You could do it daily, kind of like a gratitude journal, or you can do it when something good happens, but just start collecting them so on next new year's eve, you can review your highlight reel from 2017. I love this idea because in our society/world we tend to remember our failings, the mistakes and when we fell short so having a jar full of the good times is a very good thing!!

happy new years girls!!!
love, mom

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

happy solstice ... love the light

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, 
yet I will endure the darkness 
for it shows me the stars.” 

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Monday, December 19, 2016

day82: pay attention!!

'do they know it is christmas??' (2008)
“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way
 (s)he handles these three things: 
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

This may sound simple but it is quite profound, you learn so much about someone's character by how they react to the small things in life, especially the little annoyances.  Lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights ask for patience which is a very important quality in a person.  I would guess dealing with a rainy day may ask for patience or might require flexibility or the ability to amuse one's self?!?!? I'm not exactly sure what exact characteristic is needed to handle a rainy day, because I LOVE rainy days!!!

Along with noting how a person deals with the smaller hassles of life it is also very important to notice how a person treats others, all types of others. And to note how a friend or partner treats another person when they think no one is watching, or if the other person is in a lesser job or not in a position to do any things beneficial for your friend/partner.  The way people act when they think no one is watching is very telling about the true character of a person. There are a plethora of quotes addressing this idea, but I think I'll end with one from Goethe:

“You can easily judge the character of a man 
by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

peace & love, mom

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

day81: real beauty

“If you dear little girls would only learn what real beauty is, and not pinch and starve and bleach yourselves out so, you'd save an immense deal of time and money and pain. A happy soul in a healthy body makes the best sort of beauty for man or woman.” 

couldn't have said it better myself :)
simply this .... love, mom

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