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Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to Use Your Journal to Create Self-compassion

Keeping a daily journal to process the difficult events of your day through a lens of self-compassion, helps reduce stress, develops self-awareness, and stimulates insights about how you treat, think, and feel about yourself.

What is self-compassion? “The art, skill, and practice of treating yourself with kind consideration, accepting your shortcomings and mistakes without self-criticism, and witnessing your human suffering with an open, caring heart.” Nancy Andres
When you make journal writing a daily self-care habit, just like brushing your teeth and wearing clean clothes, it can lift a gloomy mood,  bring personal growth, and refresh your spirit. You don't need to write a blow by blow description of every event of the day. Take five or ten minutes to jot down a brief description of what were the high points and troublesome moments of your day. 

Here's Journal Goals to Aim For and Tips to Help You Move Forward 

Journal writing can help you be more patient and honest with yourself. It sheds light on those emotions that come into play, when you have a knee jerk reaction, as well as times when you've felt less than. You know, those times on the job or with relatives or friends, when you compare your insides and your situation to other people’s outsides. 

I've discovered that each time I repeat this old, ineffective pattern, I'm setting myself up for self-esteem disaster. Ask yourself whether you agree or disagree and why. Read-4-Powerful-Reasons-Why-Journal-Writing-is-Good-for-the-Soul.

Your journal can become a dedicated place to improve your relationship with yourself. Revealing your true feelings about who you think or feel you are, what you want, and your concerns, requires trust in the self-exploration process. If you're nervous about this, my suggestion is to "act as if you do trust the process." 

"Spelling out your dreams and vision for the future, as well as goals, wishes, and wants reinforces whatever you write down. Make your words about yourself caring, kind, gentle, positive, peaceful, loving, and healing and you are affirming and accentuating your determination, motivation, and endurance to be there for yourself. This is true self-compassion." Nancy Andres

For any challenging event, emotionally wrought experience, or area of distress you experience during the week, try to recall and write down exactly how you felt. Getting this stuff out of your mind, body, and spirit can help you put some distance from the situation and look at it in a new light.

Use space in your journal to record any change or forward movement you've made since the last time you experienced something similar. If you don't notice any forward motion, assure yourself you're doing the best you can. That's a perfect example of self-compassion. 

It helps to identify and connect with your humanness and vulnerabilities. Get in touch with your motive or motives for acting the way you did, and you'll see it's your responsibility to care for yourself and get those needs meet in a healthy way. 

For me, most often I act impulsively when I have a desire to be liked, accepted, considered, valued, and praised. Those are all things I need to give myself. Journal writing is a simple way to figure this out. 

When you've tried everything I've suggested and still feel stuck, you have an opportunity to reach out to and get help from emotionally mature, available people in your life. Pick someone who's a good listener and will help you sort things through. 

Then, write down every kind thing you can remember about the incident. One example is to thank yourself for not shouting at the other person or calling them names. If you've overstepped a boundary and did react badly instead of responding appropriately, think about a way to make an amend to that person. Do it as soon as you can, to clean up your side of the street! Self-care-Activities-to-Encourage-Optimal-Health.

Next, try to notice if something about the situation triggered an event or experience from the past. One way to check whether this is happening is to identify whether you feel extremely vulnerable and immature, like a duck out of water. See 5-steps-for-managing-your-emotional-triggers for more help. 

Another way to identify feelings from the past, is to evaluate if emotions are intense. When your emotions get hot and heavy, it usually means what happened in the present reminds your subconscious that in the past something bad or hurtful happened to you. It  "sets off" or "triggers" old or frightening recollections, and you feel panic and out of kilter.

I know from past experience that when someone is unkind or rude and I'm hungry, lonely, tired, and off-center, it’s a challenge to brush it off or express my displeasure in a kind, direct way. I usually get tongue tied and regress to old behaviors of silently blaming, judging, and criticizing others instead of saying how I want and need to be treated. Straying from this path of self-care and self-expression makes me feel creepy. Can you relate? If you keep on repeating the same ineffective coping skills or patterns, give yourself permission to consider seeking professional help.

Journal writing gives me the ability to own uncomfortable residual feelings on paper, whenever I still feel bad about an interpersonal or personal issue. I reflect and determine if I am judging myself too harshly, or holding on to guilt, shame, anger, sadness, or hurt. I make it a point to care and comfort myself like I would do for a child. That means I shower myself with love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Read 6-ways-to-shower-yourself-with-kindness for more tips.

It's important to observe the stories you write about yourself and others and what issues you struggle with. When you love and have compassion for yourself, it can transform your life, one event, day, and experience at a time.

"Genuine self-concern is the foundation for extending kindness and compassion towards all other people. Be gentle with yourself today, affirm your goodness, and your relationship with yourself and others will improve. Journal about things you’re grateful for and even the smallest improvements you've made. It's sure to help you feel increased self-compassion each day of your life." Nancy Andres

For many additional tips and guided journal activities that help you create greater self-compassion order Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. It makes a colorful gift to give yourself. Colors of Joy is also a delightful way for you to show a loved one you are thinking of them. If you prefer, Purchase it at Amazon Books.

The quote for today follows:

“Be kind to yourself. Remember that when you abuse yourself, you will experience the anger, regret, and apathy of the bully as well as the depression, anxiety, and insecurity of the victim. Whatever you do, be kind to yourself.” ― Vironika Tugaleva

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Remember to practice self-compassion for as long as it takes this attitude and behavior to become a habit. And then keep on practicing. Thanks for visiting and please come back again.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Tips to Reduce Clutter and Organize Living Space

It's relatively simple and rewarding to take steps to create order and space in your home. I’ll offer tips to help you organize mail, magazines, newspapers and overflowing closets or shelves. The worthwhile ideas below provide motivation and methods to help you arrange and streamline possessions. You’ll be better able to spot what you’re looking for quickly, get more done in less time, and reserve precious hours for what you really want to do.

1. Start with one task at a time. According to Cynthia Townley Ewer, the editor of Organized Home dot com, "Start slow, small and steady. Just as clutter arises gradually, over time, so it must be fought gradually over time." Schedule fifteen minute cleaning sessions and reward yourself when done. Files overflowing? Tackle them by using the same technique Townley Ewer suggests above. Weed out those folders you no longer need, combine those you can, and leave those that work as is.

Make your bed early in the day every day. You'd be surprised how quickly this helps dress up your bedroom. Doing this one small thing gives you a sense of accomplishment, and encourages you to tackle the next "easy" decluttering project revealed below.

3. Put important items in a designated place. Install a key rack near your front door or in the kitchen. As soon as you come in, hook keys there mindfully. Place an eye glass case and glasses in the same drawer every day, and arrange medications on a tray in your kitchen or bath. Consciousness and control walk hand in hand. 

4.Purchase closet, shelf, and drawer organizers. Devise a clothing storage system that works for you. If you haven't used items of clothing or furnishings in one year, it's a safe bet that you can sell, donate, or recycle them. Feng Shui principals teach not to hold on to anything unless you love it. Save only those things you thoroughly enjoy.

5. Make a grocery shopping list and stick to it. You'll soon see that you save money, can easily find items in your pantry, save time, and reduce overall stress.

6. Prevent overwhelm before it begins. Are you financially overextended, because you collect or hoard stuff? It's up to you to choose to simplify spending, live within your means, and reduce the amount of financial responsibilities you take on so you'll sleep better at night. If you don’t know how to or can’t do this alone, ask for help from a financial planner, organizational expert, or therapist.

7. Reflect on your attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions. The National Association of Professional Organizers recommends you sort mail and bills as they come in. Clutter makers like newspapers, magazines, and books need to be recycled or donated on a regular basis too. A good rule of thumb to prevent reading matter pile up is to donate, share, or recycle what you’ve finished reading every week.

Which Would You Rather Create? Stress or No Stress?

8. Devote a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day to tidy-up. Wash dishes, discard garbage, and put away out of place clothing, towels, and odds and ends. Don’t put off tasks. Motivate yourself by affirming it's easy to get off to a fresh start each morning, when there's less mess from the night before. Use early morning to meditate and reflect. Envision yourself accomplishing goals, having fun during the day, and relaxing or living it up in the evening. 

9. Acknowledge you are deserving of thriving in pleasant surroundings. What small steps can you take to accomplish this in the next fifteen minutes? Then go for it! 

For more see 3-Secrets-to-Help-Clutter-Proof-Your-Home and Reduce-Clutter-to-Create-Tranquility-at-Home.

The quote for today is : “A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar. (148)” ― Victoria MoranLit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty
For more see Goodreads Page on Clutter Quotes. 

Before you go please comment. Let us know which tips you can or do use and which ones you resist doing. Do you have ideas I didn't mention that you'd like to share with us? Scroll down, enter your comment, and then click publish.

Thanks for visiting. Wishing you a clutter-free day!

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Marvelous Marinated Veggies and Tofu Fajitas

Multigrain Tortilla Stuffed with Marinated Fajitas Mixture. Guacamole, Salsa, and Corn Chips too.

Whether you’re hunting for a flavorful recipe for Meatless Monday or Tex-Mex inspired theme for Cinco de Mayo or Mother's Day, consider serving this recipe. Perhaps you're hankering for a vegetarian brunch or dinner entrĂ©e that’s fun and healthy to eat any day of the week. Look no further. Serve versatile marinated veggies and tofu fajitas. Bold on taste, easy to prepare, and health benefits galore! Serve this dish once and your family will clamor for more.

Recipe for Marvelous Marinated Veggies and Tofu Fajitas

Ingredients for Fajita Marinade

Prep 10 minutes. This marinade works well for Fajitas, Tacos, Enchiladas, or Burritos.

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

For a Shortcut: Substitute 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Mexican Taco Seasoning Mix or 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Ready-mixed Mexican Seasoning Blend for the six ingredients listed above

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

Ingredients for Fajitas

Prep 10 minutes. Make each strip bite sized.

1 large sweet peeled yellow onion chopped

2 carrots scraped and sliced into strips

1 large zucchini scraped and sliced into strips

5 or 6 cleaned and sliced baby bella mushrooms

1 large red pepper sliced into strips

1 brick tofu, drained and sliced into strips (10 to 14 oz brick)

Optional Toppings: salsa, guacamole, vegan cheese, cashew sour cream

Note About Ingredients: 

I use organic ingredients when available, because organic means nutrient content is higher and produce is not genetically modified, not sprayed with chemicals, and is not grown in soil that contains chemical fertilizers.

What to do:

1. Whisk the first 6 ingredients for the marinade- chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, paprika, and onion powder in a small bowl. I took an easy way out and used a ready mixed Mexican Seasoning instead. Add other marinade ingredients and whisk again. Then set it aside.

2. Prep and prepare onion, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and tofu as described above. Place in a large storage container, pour on marinade, cover and refrigerate. See Simple Way to Drain Packaged Tofu and Tofu Recipe Ideas.

3. Marinate for at least 20 minutes or even up to 12 hours. The longer you let the flavors meld, the bolder the taste.

4. About 10 min. before you’re ready to serve it, heat 1 extra tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a cast-iron grill pan or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add marinated tofu and veggies, and cook until veggies are as soft as you like them and tofu turns light brown.

5. At the same time, warm tortillas in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or in a cast iron pan on top of the stove at medium heat.

6. Serve stuffed, wrapped fajitas with brown rice and beans. If you’d prefer, serve fajitas with a side salad, corn chips, soup, or other appetizer.

Any way you serve it, the recipe ingredients are economical. The components are loaded with plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, yet are cholesterol free. 

Season dish to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve this colorful array of plant-based goodness to family or friends often. It's a meal they will love. Happy May.

Corn Tortillas Topped with Marinated Fajitas

The quote for today follows: "There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  George Bernard Shaw

Before you go, take a moment to comment. Do you enjoy eating Fajitas and other south of the border fare? What are the reasons you cook most meals at home, get take-out, or eat  a lot of your meals in restaurants? Please offer feedback in the space provided below. That way I'll know this post is being seen and enjoyed by you.

For additional tasty recipes see Colorful-Tasty-Tucson-Tacos

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Gentle Spring Detox with Veggies and Fruits

Some think you have to go to extremes to detox your body, but I believe in a natural, gentle process of caring for it every day of the year. Continue reading to learn how to select foods that refresh, heal, and enhance wellness and make you glad to be alive this spring.

For most effective results, eat in-season fresh local vegetables and fruits. They're the ones that are brightly colored, organic (not sprayed with toxic chemicals or come from seeds that are genetically modified), and haven't spend days or weeks coming to you from distant lands. 

Prepare and serve produce as soon after purchase as possible to reap peak health benefits. Also, get in the habit of snacking on foods like cucumbers, apples, and berries instead of junk foods. 

 Gentle Spring Detox with Veggies and Fruits

Select any of the following veggies and fruits for health-promoting effects:

·      Dark green leafy lettuce including romaine, red leaf, arugula

·      Avocados

·      Apples

·      Tomatoes

·      Cucumbers

·      Celery

·      Carrots and Citrus Fruits

·      Red beet roots and greens

·      Daikon (white), Red Radish, and other radish varieties

·      Cabbage

·      Broccoli

·      Kale

·      Spinach

·      Chard

·      Bok Choy

·      Collards

·      Parsley 

·      Watercress

·      Onion

·      Asparagus

·      Artichoke

·      Berries including Strawberries, Blueberries, and Mulberries

Vegetables and fruits are potent, because they’re loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Most are available at farmer's markets, health food stores, or in many neighborhood markets in Tucson and southern Arizona year round. They're readily available in your neck of the woods too. 

Try your hand at growing some of them in a home or community garden. Experience the joy of tilling the soil, harvesting the crop, and cleansing your body the natural way. 

Get your whole family into the act. When you set a good example by eating healthy rather than eating highly processed foods/fast foods, your kids learn from "showing" rather than "telling."

Each veggie or fruit on the list helps filter toxins out of the body, aids in digestion and elimination, provides hydration and energy, builds up the body's defenses against illness and infection, and increases overall well-being. 

Food is powerful. Eat veggies and fruits to fuel your body and elevate your mood in a healthful way. That means you need to eat at least 5-7 portions of colorful produce a day. 

If you have slacked off healthy eating during the winter months, don’t worry. Be good to yourself and take steps to improve your health care habits, starting from where you are today. Springtime is a great time to convert to a more plant-based eating plan, one smart self-care decision at a time.

Before you go, please take a moment to comment. How much and how often do you eat foods from this list? Which ones are tops with you? Are you stuck for recipes? Click on a label from the list to the right of this post for recipe ideas and food handling tips or check out these:





The quote for today made me smile: "Let my words, like vegetables, be tender and sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them."
-  Author Unknown

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Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return again. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Warm regards, Nan