Harder Than I Thought

I am learning so much about this plant-based lifestyle and my own ability to resist temptation (it’s not easy but I am doing it).  The most important lesson that I have learned is that I need a new method or grocery store because I thought this new eating style would be cheaper and it hasn’t been.  I spent $240 on groceries and it will only last me and the kids for two weeks.  There has to be a better way and when I find it, I will share.  Another hurdle is trying to recreate recipes that I have found on Pinterest.  So far, I have made Garlic, Mushroom, Bok Choy Soup, Jamaican Corn Soup, Mango Avocado Salsa, Peanut Butter/Banana/Honey roll-ups, smoothies, and tostones.  The soups were super involved and required a boat-load of ingredients and time.  So, I have come up with some fairly simple recipes using the same ingredients that I have already purchased.

The positives are that the soups lasted me multiple days and the Jamaican Corn Soup was the best.  My favorite soup by far is lentil and I cannot wait to make that sometime this week.  The kids liked everything except the soups so I had to make alternate meals (more work).

Now for some transparency.  In my effort to eliminate meat, I have binged on junk food (candy) quite a few times.  So, my new goal besides eating plant-based is to cut the junk food.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Please send positive energy and/or prayers my way.  This is super hard and a two-fold goal (plant-based eating and discipline).IMG_4758IMG_4759IMG_4770IMG_4771

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Plant-Based?

 

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So, I have decided to try a plant-based diet for the month of February.  I have no idea what I am doing, so of course, I went on Pinterest and pinned all sorts of vegan recipes and then went back and drafted a grocery list of the ingredients.  Now, $236.00 later, I better see this through (because that was the price for just the next seven days).  I told you that I had no idea what I am doing.  I ordered for the first time via Instacart (so, in fact, I am trying two new things in the month of February).  What I have learned so far, is that I love a challenge.  Second, I am now broke although I just got paid.  Third, Instacart is about to be my new best friend. Four, I don’t have a fourth but I felt as if I was on a roll.

While grocery shopping online, I realized that sour cream and parmesan cheese are dairies and not part of the vegan diet so I may have to make some substitutions or not be hard on myself since that only comprises two recipes out of the entire 28 days. How do you think I will do on this diet?  Well, after watching “What the Health,” I better feel more energetic and sleep better through the night in about two and a half weeks.  If not, I’m going to my Primary Care Physician to complain since he originally planted this seed in my head.

Well, wish me luck!

Emotionless

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Desensitized
I’m left confused
Who is this shell with no insides
Where others can take shelter and actually feel
Who is this mother who can’t mother
This daughter who can’t daughter
Through the looking-glass, I’ve tumbled
And fell right at the mouth of the beast
And I fight it with only a stick because I’m ill-equipped to handle…
Life
Strife has become my neighbor beckoning me at all hours of the day
And I sing hymnals, read verses, chant, and pray,
Oh, I pray!
But the beasts that have stolen almost every part of my innocence
Have made pacts and entered into alliances
With other-worldly things that are privy to my purpose
And all I can do is rely on the fact that the battle is already won
And relinquish the beast
While I wait in my shell
Emotionless

Unbroken

#singlewritermamaWhat you meant to hurt me
Has only built me up
When you meant to cut me
The knife only got stuck
In the thickness of my faith and the man I call my rock
Jehovah! Narrated a story that you were only a second in
Your part was only meant to foil my character and move the plot along
I still stride with my head high, singing praises in song
Don’t get me wrong
It hurt for a minute as your thorns pierced my side
But Jesus hurt on the cross and His spirit did not die
You tried to kill my flesh but I’m operating on orders from the most high
My faith helps me to keep things in place
So the worldly and spirit realms do not cross blurred lines
So when you think of me
And try to figure out how I’m still standing tall
Just know I serve a mighty God and he deals out justice for All
And when I think of you and get down on my knees
I pray forgiveness for both of us and then thank Him for saving me.

My Ideal Day

 I realized that I do not appreciate outside restraints on my time. I am a creative and only want to do things that fuel that energy and allow me to release it.

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The 25 Questions are courtesy of mistysansom.com

So, I have started a new ‘Personal Growth’ 25 question exercise.  As I journey through a question a day, I will share some of my findings (not all) and let you know if I feel that I have grown as a person, mother, friend, teacher, etc.  I usually just pin these things and never review but, I feel that 2017 is getting stagnant and something needs to be done.  There is some action required on my part.

The first question was “What does your ideal day look like?”  Of course, the answer started off with waking up refreshed and energized.  As a person who is always tired and always busy, I have been focusing more on how to save my energy and live a more minimalistic lifestyle.  From the waking up part, most of my day consisted of just doing things on my “own time”.  There were some things that I am required to do as a responsible parent but for the most part, my day was made up of writing, creating, meditating, reading, and smoothies (and of course a coffee).  There was very little to no house cleaning, although I do want a very clean house but in my ideal world my kids are at school most of the day, I am working from the nearest coffeehouse, and on the weekends we are out exploring the world–so no messy house.

What did I realize?  I realized that I do not appreciate outside restraints on my time. I am a creative and only want to do things that fuel that energy and allow me to release it. I also realized that most of my ‘ideal’ tasks were solitary and that makes me very happy and the only time that I did not want to spend solitary time was when I was with my kids.  I guess this makes me an introvert in a way.

The cruel reality is that my daily life looks nothing like this which is why I may be so tired, stressed, and irritable.  This can sometimes seep into my interactions with my children for which I am not proud.  I am only human but, the wisdom that has come from this exercise, is that taking care of self and living your most authentic life is good for everyone involved.

Day one of the (25) Question A Day Personal Growth Challenge done!!

Speak it!

Words are very powerful and of course you know this since you are reading this blog and probably many others.  What we say and think can and will have a profound effect on what we receive into our lives and how we react in challenging circumstances.  As we know life isn’t easy and we can surround ourselves with “the row” (a group of positive, transparent and honest friends), but it is how we interact with ourselves that will directly correlate to our existence on this earth.

Since everything starts with a thought, an idea, we have to first train our brains to think positively. We need to train the brain to think about what is going good instead of everything that is going bad. I have friend that used to remind me when I would fall into the abyss of self doubt, pity, etc to write out a gratitude list. The process, although it may seem simple, can be a struggle when you in the thick of things.  But the task itself works, even if temporary, it works.  It takes away hours of negative thinking and emotions, sometimes days and/or weeks. But let’s go a little further and speak it.

Say your gratitude list aloud.  Really read the words that you placed on paper. Go further and create affirmations to go around your room, bathroom, closet, mirrors, car dashboard, etc. Read them aloud in the morning, midday, and evening. Train your brain to think positive and watch things shift in your environment. See, it’s contagious–positivity. People love it, they can’t get enough. Soon you will notice people drifting towards you but remember to not drain the well. Replenish yourself.

Today someone told me that there was something different about me and I told them that I was trying to be more positive.  Because positivity for me is life. Without it, I’m consumed with problems of my world and THE WORLD. I get sick, lethargic, irritable. Although my colleague couldn’t quite place the difference in her own words initially, she later emailed me “It’s your aura”. Wow! Mind blown. This energy again, may be a lifeline that you need or those around you may need like your spouse, children, siblings, parents, and colleagues.

So,speak your dreams into existence, speak your love into existence, speak your triumphs into existence, speak your peace into existence. Through positive self talk you can impact more than just yourself, you can be the difference  for someone else.

How to Deal with Negative People

cropped-fifty-shades-black-stock-2.jpgSometimes you have to accept that those closest to you will not value you or see your worth. They will only see what it is that they have envisioned for you and how you are not living up to it. They will only see the negative and any positive will not be recognized. This may be a result of many different factors but none of them matter. It is not necessary to find out why they treat you the way that they do, if their treatment is not impeding your progress but just upsetting you emotionally then let go. These people may be your colleagues, supervisors, friends, or even family. In most situations it is someone that you cannot easily rid yourself of but that’s okay. It’s okay because you have a few options to remedy the situation.

Option #1: You can return their rude remarks with kindness and pray for them.

Option #2: You can let them know in a direct way that their words are mean, rude, and unwelcome.

Option #3: You live one life, cut them off.

Now, the last option is hard to do for most of us, which is why we are presently in these situations.   If the person is your boss and you need your job, then you are operating about of a place of fear. If the person is part of your family, especially immediate family, you are operating out of loyalty and attachments. This is the same with friends. You may feel that you need these connections so you stay tied to them and miserable. When that misery starts affecting your mood, making you doubt yourself, and hindering you because you are feeding into their perception of you then it is time to stop operating out fear, loyalty, and attachments and cut cords. This doesn’t have to happen in a malicious way but once you have done this, you may be able to access your true feelings more clearly. You may either see that you now feel relieved and more self-assured or maybe they weren’t the problem to begin with and you have to work on yourself.

Either way, make a plan and get to living your best life since you only have one opportunity to do so.

7 Steps for Dating Online

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With sites like POF, Tinder, and OkCupid, and living at such a fast pace, a lot of people have turned to online dating to find a friend, partner, or spouse.  But, as I have seen recently with some of my own friends, this can be murky territory.  People can present themselves one way online and be totally different once you meet them.  It is important as single parents (which this site caters to) to be even more careful since there are children involved.  Here are seven steps to help you navigate this terrain:

  1. Post a clear pic of yourself that is current (within a year) and without location markers in the background.  This is important if you meet a future stalker, you don’t want this person to be able to look at your pic and figure out where you and your family lives.
  2. Cross-reference.  Once you have found someone who interests you online, do a little digging on the Internet.  Check them out using a Google search, LinkedIn, etc.  See if they are being as transparent as they can online and truthful.
  3. Keep it online initially.  The reason I say this is so that you can learn more about the person while you are still in the safe zone.  Some feel the opposite and want to meet in person as soon as possible but, if the said individual is not safe, you have averted a possible dangerous situation.
  4. Believe what they say.  While corresponding with them, they immediately mention that they are not looking for anything serious believe them.  If after chatting with them numerous times and they are always making sexual innuendo but you want something deeper, let go and move on.  Do not waste time living in la la land.  Do not look at the pic or see them in person and let the physical override your common sense.  Remember there are children involved.
  5. Initially meet them in public place. Do not have them pick you up at your home or even relatives house.  Great first dates can happen during brunch time and early evening hours.
  6. Try hard to take it slow in the beginning.  Sometimes people can put on a show for 3-6 months but usually it quickly unravels after that.  If you move too fast, you risk the chance of becoming attached to a person and feel conflicted because you want to leave but comfort and emotions and overpower reason.
  7. Do not immediately have them around your child(ren).  This one is self-explanatory.

Of course, there are other precautionary measures to take but, I thought these were the biggies.  I would love to tell you, just have fun and throw caution to the wind but as single parents that may not be the smartest thing to do.  I, myself, have been toying with the idea of getting on one of these sites in the future when my life settles down but in the interim I have seen through my friends and even colleagues, that serious consequences can occur. So, I’m sorry but not sorry for the heaviness of this post.  Everything should be alright if we use our heads.