The enemy is closer than you think!

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Yes, the enemy is closer than you think!

When we use the term enemy, we are generally referring to anyone who is hostile, aggressive or violent to us.  They do not have our well-being at heart.

The enemy however,  is not always external but sometimes the enemy can be found within.  Yes, in our thinking and our words.  The things we tell ourselves in the quiet moments when we’re alone and when no one is listening.  Is no one listening?   Someone is listening.  Someone is always listening to your words and thoughts.  That someone is YOU.

When you sit or stand there steering into your thoughts no one hears more clearly than YOU.  Those positive self-talks do wonders to motivate and cheer you up.  However, it those dark thoughts, those negative thoughts about yourself that I’m here to talk about today.

What we tell ourselves and how we see ourselves is just as powerful if not more powerful than the external person speaking ill things of you.  How so?  Based on what you already believe about yourself, you would be able to write off that person’s negativity without a second thought.

If however, you have already planted seeds of doubt or unworthiness about yourself then what that person says would just be the icing on the cake before you box it up to eat at the self-pity party.

Don’t be your our own worse enemy!  Who knows more about you than YOU.  Who knows your weaknesses, your failures and your insecurities better than YOU.

NOBODY is perfect, nobody.  We all have made and will make mistakes that is just part of life.  It is part of the learning and growing process.  We’re different, I get that and I accept that.  You should too!  The colour of our skin, the colour of our eyes, our body shapes, our hair, our walk even the way we talk is different and that is what makes the world such a beautiful and interesting place.

Some of us are great listeners, some of us are easy on the eyes, some of us know how to command a room with our presence, some of us bring innovation and creativity to the world, some of us are great with people, some of us make great friends, and so on.  Whatever our talents are we all have a place in this world and a contribution to make.

The point is, we all have something to give, something offer, something that makes us special that no one else has.  Let us celebrate WHO we are  and not focus on WHO we’re not.

So going forward, be mindful of the conversations that you have with yourself.  It’s time to go from being your own worse enemy to your biggest cheerleader.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Health and Wellness Fridays – Oats

It’s Friday so you know what time it is – Health and Wellness Fridays, of course !!!!  Today, I’m bringing centre stage, oats.

Oats or  (Avena sativa) are a cereal that is commonly eaten in the form of oatmeal or rolled oats.   When I think of oats, it always takes me back to my childhood when my dad would make porridge.  It was delicious and we could not get enough.  Over the years however, I’ve learnt that oats has more to offer than just a bowl of delicious porridge.

We can use it in our baked goods like bread and cookies, some even add oats to smoothies and snacks. Oats are even added to non-food items like bathing soap and skin care products like facial mask and other skin treatments.  Not only are oats versatile but they are inexpensive and good for you.

Nutritional Benefits

Oats are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  They are an excellent source of manganese and molybdenum and are a very good source of phosphorus.  If you’re looking for a good source of magnesium, dietary fiber, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, chromium, zinc and protein with smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3 then you’re in the right place.

Let’s take a look at some of the possible health benefits of using oats below:

  1. May reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  2. Lower blood pressure
  3. May reduce the risk of colorectal cancer
  4. Relieve constipation
  5. May help prevent diabetes
  6. Boost energy levels
  7. Lower cholesterol
  8. Assist in hemoglobin formulation
  9. May reduce risk for breast cancer
  10. Help with weight loss
  11. Decrease the risk of asthma in children
  12. Promotes good vision
  13. Assist with estrogen balance
  14. Enhance immune response to infection
  15. Ward off muscle disorders
  16. Help prevent migraines
  17. Fights anemia
  18. Treatment of acne
  19. Treatment of PMS
  20. Soothes eczema
  21. Reduce risk of stroke
  22. Assist in brain function

Now, who would have thought something so simple could offer so many benefits to the human body. You are probably wondering what type of oats or oatmeal to buy and if there is any difference.  Well, yes there are some differences.

Some popular oat varieties include:

Rolled Oats: they are large, round and flat in appearance. They cook faster than steel-cut oats.  This is most commonly used in baked goods and porridge.

Instant oats: they cook faster than all the other varieties because they have been pre-steamed and cut into tiny pieces.   They often appear mushy in texture once cooked. 

Steel-cut oats: are small and almost resembles rice.  This type of oat has a longer cook time but they keep their shape.

So with that said, the type of oats you buy would depend on how you plan to use it because different oatmeal carry different shelf lives, different cooking times and different nutritional value. I can’t stress enough how important it is to read the labels of the products you buy.  For a healthier option, it is recommended that you avoid prepackaged, flavoured oatmeal and opt for the organic, bagged oatmeal.

Possible Side Effects

  1. Although oats don’t contain gluten, in rare cases they are grown in the same fields as wheat or barley and these crops can sometimes contaminate oats with gluten.   Thus, anyone with a gluten intolerance may as a result respond poorly to oats.
  2. Some have cited bloating and intestinal gas as a side effect of taking oatmeal.
  3. Flavoured, prepackaged oatmeal may contribute to an increased risk of diabetes (due to high volumes of sugar).

In closing, the potential benefits to be derived from oats are amazing.  My preference is definitely rolled oats because I like the consistency.  As always, I recommend using in moderation and not in isolation.  Remember, it is our overall diet and eating patterns that will help us prevent disease and achieve optimal health.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.  🙂

Sources:

What’s up Wednesdays #2

What’s Up Wednesdays?

Welcome back to What’s Up Wednesdays.  Hope you guys are having a great week thus far.  It has been very rainy here for the past few days but the sun has decided to grace us with his presence for the moment so I’m enjoying it.   Let’s get into it.

What I’m eating this week:

Image Credit: Pinterest and Livestrong.com
Macaroni Pie – Pinterest and Livestrong.com

Today for lunch I had macaroni pie, lentil peas, vegetable rice and baked chicken. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the meal before I ate it.  I’ll do better next time I promise.  Those of you not familiar with West Indian food this is what a macaroni pie looks like above.

Yes, there were two sets of carbs on my plate. The good news I did not take large portions and I even had bottled water as my side beverage.  🙂  Later for dinner, I’m not sure what I’m feeling for much less for the rest of the week.  We’ll probably have takeout – Chinese food. I’m taking a break from cooking today.

 

What I’m reminiscing about: 

Nothing! Too busy living in the moment.

 

What I’m loving:

 

I love how in tune I have become with myself.  My likes and dislikes.  This feeling of self-awareness over my life feels good.

 

What I’ve been up to:

“Spring” cleaning! That’s right.  I usually wait until later in the year to go through our stuff to see if there is anything (clothing and toys) we’re not using and more importantly in good condition that we could donate.  It feels good to give to others and makes more room in my life and closet for other things. This way later in the year, I won’t feel so overwhelmed.

 

What I’m dreading:

Ironing! I like to iron my son’s school uniform in advance for the week because getting up to iron every day is a definite no, no.  I liked the idea of buying extra school shirts so he would have one week of uniforms inside if I didn’t feel like ironing that week.  The problem is now I have to iron two weeks of uniforms to get that break should I need it.  The numbers game is killing me more than the actual ironing but I’ll get it done.

 

What I’m working on:

Currently, I’m working on my What’s Up Wednesday post.   Later today, I’ll start researching my topic for Health and Wellness Fridays.

 

What I’m excited about:

I’m excited about going on vacation in the next two months.  I’m looking forward to just relaxing. I have no idea where I’m going but at least I’ll be on vacation.

 

What I’m watching/reading:

These days I’ve actually reduced my TV time.  I was inspired by lifeofangela  to read more.  So I’m going to try to increase my reading of novels. She gave an extensive list of books so I’ll let you know how that goes.  I’ll probably start small with Harry Potter and build from there. 🙂

 

What I’m listening to:

The tapping sounds of my fingers on the keys as I write this post.  When I get into the car, I’ll probably be shaking my head and singing along with Beres Hammond.

 

What I’m wearing:

More than her that’s for sure lol!  I’m wearing full length dark brown pants and a teal solid blouse.

What I’m doing this weekend:

I’ll be helping my eldest son with some projects for school.  I have to bring out my Art and Craft supplies for this plus we have to do some research.  Regrettably, I’ll have no choice but to give the housework a break this weekend. 🙂


What I’m looking forward to the next month:

That’s a little difficult to say, June just started and who knows how this month is going to end.  I’m optimistic so I’m hoping and praying for the best.  I’m going to take it one day at a time.

 

What else is new?

Believe it or not Orphan Black!  It’s new to me. I’ve never heard of it until Angela mentioned it.  Yes, I’m bowing my head in shame.  I understand from her review that I’ve been missing out.  I plan on getting caught up as quickly as possible. 🙂

That’s all for now guys. Hope you have a great week!

Thanks for stopping by.

It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry.”

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry.”

There are times in life when our decisions and actions hurt others.  There are times when it is unintentional and other times well, let’s just say, we can surprise ourselves at just how mean we can really be.

Am I the only person out there guilty of this? Can you remember a time when your actions and words just came out all wrong?  Then someone’s feelings unintentionally got hurt.   Once it comes to your attention it can make you feel really bad about yourself.

How many of us actually do something about it?  Feeling bad about it is one thing, doing something to correct the misunderstanding is another.  It takes a big person to reach out and genuinely say “I’m sorry”.

It’s important to clear the air.  How many relationships or friendships have died because of something that was said or done?  We sometimes underestimate the power of the spoken word.  Once we’ve said it, there’s no going back but we can try to atone for them.

How many of us have ended friendships over ‘he said, she said‘ ?  We sometimes withdraw from people or may react negatively toward them without discussing how what we heard made us feel.  We become judge and juror all at the same time without allowing the person an opportunity to confirm or deny.  Is that really fair?

Let’s not forget, that we are all sensitive beings that can be affected by anyone who at the right moment, equipped with the right words, could strike the right nerve that triggers a volcanic eruption of emotions.  No one is perfect.  We are all guilty of being insensitive at one point or another.

I know some of you are probably saying, “So I can’t say anything anymore because I may offend someone?”   No, I’m not saying that, all I’m saying is that sometimes we need to be mindful of what we are saying and how we are saying it.  Be clear. Be concise.  Never hurtful, unless you are looking for and are prepared for the possible reaction.

Words have the power to make or break friendships and relationships.  Never underestimate the power of your words. 

So, how are you going to use your words today?

Thanks for stopping by.  🙂

 

 

 

 

What is true wealth?

“I wish my house was bigger.  It is just too small.” said Sam.

“Well, I wish I had a bigger swimming pool.” said Brian.

“I wish we had more money.” said Adam.

“You rich kids have life so easy.  You live in the best part of town.  You go to the best private school money can buy.  You’ll probably never have to work for your bread and butter as long as you live and yet you sit and complain.” said George.

George had only lived in the town a few months. He was a new member of the elite group he was criticizing.  He was disgusted by their greed and lack of humility.   George’s family was not always wealthy and they worked very hard to acquire the wealth they now enjoy.

George was humble, kind, thoughtful and more than anything he was grateful for the blessings his family now enjoyed.  He remembers when they did not have food to eat.  When his parents could not pay the bills and how difficult things were.  He is glad that he had those experiences because they remind him not to be wasteful and ungrateful.

Adam, Brian and Sam had never had anyone speak to them like that before.  George hit a nerve, so much so that Sam and Brian made efforts to correct their attitude and behaviour.  The three boys became very good friends.

Adam however, was set in his ways and distanced himself from the group. As years went by, the three boys grew into men and joined their family businesses into successful enterprises that not only benefited themselves but others.  They were all happy and had beautiful families to share their success with.

Adam also grew up to be successful as well. However, unlike the others he did not have a family to share his success with.   He had acquired all the wealth he had dreamed of.  Unfortunately, he could not find love because he was convinced that everyone was after his money so he did not get close to anyone.

He eventually died of a heart attack.  All the riches he had acquired could not be taken with him in death.  His only legacy would be the enormous mansion he built for himself.

George, Sam and Brian to this day would always tell their kids,

“Money is just a medium you use to buy things.  Never let it define you.  Always let your words and actions define who you are.  When the money is gone all we have is each other. ”

 

Image credits: Pixabay.com

 

Are you dependent on the approval of others?

This weekend the word approval came to mind.  I found myself wondering why such a simple word complicated the lives of so many of us.

I can honestly sit here today and say that I struggled with needing the approval of others for a long time. From my childhood to adulthood this word I could not escape until now.

How did I do it?  I sort to understand why I needed it and started approaching life and my interactions with others and myself differently.  I understand it better and no longer let it control me or my actions.

History of approval

The need to get the approval of others starts early in our lives.  We grow up seeking the approval of our parents, teachers and even our friends. Why? Once we’ve seen and experienced what disappointing them feels like we try not to repeat that once it can be helped.

We like knowing that they are happy and satisfied with us. Other times their approval can make us feel like we belong.    As adults, we carry that same desire into the rest of our lives.  It affects us in our relationships, in the workplace even how we see and value ourselves.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of approval versus dependency on approval.

The upside of approval

  1. It provides confirmation.
  2. Help validate who you are.
  3. Builds you up – making you feel good or better.
  4. Provide a sense of belonging.

The downside of dependency on approval

  1. When you don’t get it you don’t feel good about yourself.
  2. It could make you feel insecure or uncertain about what you’ve done.
  3. Some people may use it against you.  They know you want their approval so they purposely don’t give it hoping this would negatively affect you.
  4. You’re constantly second guessing yourself.
  5. Keeps you stuck. You delay action or won’t act because you don’t believe in yourself hence you need this approval to push you into action.
  6. It breathes a quiet fear that hinders you from truly growing as an individual.

Reflecting on all of this confirmed for me that although the approval from others is good and has its benefits it is not always necessary except in the workplace when it directly relates to your job.

More importantly, becoming heavily dependent on getting the approval of others is more damaging than good.    I can tell you from first-hand experience that sometimes in life, if you sit back waiting for others to recognize, substantiate, acknowledge or reward your efforts you may be disappointed.  They may not give it and sometimes if they do it may not even be genuine and can be just as hurtful.

Don’t let this get you down.  Don’t let it discourage you.  Don’t let such people take away how good you feel about your contribution or yourself.

Their acknowledgement or lack thereof does not make you any less of a person.  It does not mean what you’ve done is not good because it is probably amazing!  Once you’ve done your best and feel good about it let that satisfaction fill you up.  Their thumbs up would be great but you taking joy in yourself is more important.

The trick is to value yourself first that way what others think of you would be more of an enhancer and not a deciding factor.   Many times it is simply their own insecurities or jealousy that makes it difficult for them to compliment or acknowledge the good others do.  That is something they have to work on.

You just have to focus on being YOUR BEST not THEIR BEST.

I would leave you with this, if you have people in your life that support and encourage you be thankful for them. Genuine people are rare hold on to them.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Only a dream

I can’t remember how we got here

But this place feels magical so I do not care

As the others huddle up closely in fear

I focus on the feel of the seductive wind in my hair

………………………………………………………………….

Although uncertain where to go from here

The bright light from the golden bridge

Is quietly calling me near

I’ve seen this place only in my dreams

……………………………………………………………..

Everything I must admit is not what it seems

In the distance, we all hear loud screams

As things around us get blurry

I close my eyes as tight as I can

As I try to dream my friends

Out of this imaginary land

I repeat to myself, “it’s only a dream”

“It’s only a dream.”

 

By: Cherylene Nicholas

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend. 🙂