I apologize for nothing

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It has taken me a long time to get where I am.

It has taken strength and tears.

It has taken determination and a few breakdowns along the way.

But I am here.

There may have been a few detours along the way

but I apologize for nothing.

My path has led me to where I am now.

I have gained courage along that path.

I have learned to trust myself and my values

and not to second guess my beliefs.

I have learned that my thoughts matter

and that my advice is appreciated.

I have found strength in my wisdom

and I have found comfort in my gut instinct.

I have made many mistakes in my past,

but valued the lessons learned from those mistakes.

I have followed the roads,

but have been blessed by those detours.

I have accepted my life and where I am

because I am truly happy,

and that is what matters.

My life may not be what others think it should be,

but it is my life.

I am happy.

And I know the best is yet to come,

so I apologize for nothing.

 

 

Old souls

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Whether I have been spending more time on the internet than I realized or the whispers in my ear have been making me more aware, I have recently been seeing a lot of posts and memes about old souls.  The above meme struck a chord much deeper in me than some of the others I have seen.  It rang true to me as soon as I read it and I knew it would soon be the subject of a blog post.

I have always believed myself to be an old soul but I never really took the time to figure out why I felt that way.  Doing a little more research into old souls gave me much more insight into explaining the feeling that I have lived a life beyond the one in which I find myself now.

Old souls are empathetic and that character trait is probably one of the ones I am most proud of.  I never related the ability to feel other’s pain so deeply as a sign of being an old soul, but it makes sense.  I have the wonderful gift of being able to put myself in that person’s shoes, to truly understand what it is that they are going through.  Intuitive may be a word you can use for the feeling but it seems to go far beyond that.

I can give advice that seems to come from a knowledge far beyond that of which I have studied in this lifetime but I am confident that my advice is sage and I trust it completely.

At the very beginning of my journey on this blog in 2012, I wrote a post titled, Soul Mates and the Red String of Fate. (you can click on the link to read the post).  I wrote it because the idea of souls being deeply connected really resonated with me.  The friends I hold close to me, the ones I am very drawn to in a way I find hard to explain, I consider my soul mates.  That bond doesn’t have to be about a marriage but it does have to be about an understanding and a connection on a deep emotional level.

Old souls are drawn to each other.  They understand each other without question and they just want the other soul to be happy.  There is wisdom in age but that age does not have to be defined by a calendar.  It just has to be understood.

 

 

 

Tofu or not tofu……that is the question

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I always had a preconceived notion of what it would be like.  I avoided it like the plague and since I have been enjoying my plant-based/Vegan eating, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would cave and try it for the sake of trying it.  And although my foray into Tofu may have done it a great injustice, it was just as horrible as I thought it would be.

On my day off this past Monday, I stopped into our local health food store to pick up some things to bring home for dinner.  The Polenta Bake was delicious and the Falafel, while tasty, was a bit dry.  I stepped outside of my comfort zone and bought a few pieces of marinated Tofu.  The woman behind the counter assured me that, when it was heated up, it would taste like a chicken nugget.  That should have been my first hint that it would be something that was meant to taste like food, but wasn’t real food.

(my home-cooked dinner…..without tofu)

In my quest to eat better and feel better, I have drastically changed the way I eat.  I have not, in over seven weeks, craved any of the processed food or meats that I used to eat before I embarked on this journey.  I have been truly surprised that I have not had any moments where I deviated from eating food that is essentially good for me and is in its purest form.

I get my protein from beans, nuts and oats, among several other foods, and I feel better than I have in a long time.  My quality of sleep is better, my energy is better and I have no physical symptoms of the stomach upsets that I had before I cut out all of the processed crap that I once forced my body to ingest.

I am not going to preach about plant-based eating but I will say it is a dietary change that made a world of difference for me.  And in that brave new world that includes foods that I could not have imagined enjoying the way I do, Tofu will never be one of those foods.

 

 

They had me at bacon

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I have two words for you – carrot bacon.  Coming from a professed meat lover, I know these two words will shock and amaze you but I have just made my first batch today and will continue to do so.  It was delicious!

My foray into more of a vegetable and plant-based world has been encouraged by a friend who has recently decided to eat a Vegan diet.  I am supportive of his decision and I am hoping that his food choices will help him alleviate some of his medical anomalies.

In his quest to research his new eating style, he has sent me several videos on the topic and they have been very interesting, to say the least.  For a woman somewhat shy of fifty, I have noticed my body does not react well to the foods that were once digested without a second thought.  Bloating is a common complaint so I decided to investigate a plant-based diet and give it a try.  I am not confessing to becoming a Vegan but I am going to give this new lifestyle a fair shot and see how I feel after a couple of weeks.

Food plays a huge role in our lives.  In our twenties, we could eat whatever we wanted.  In our thirties, we became a little more conscientious and made better choices.  In our forties and fifties, we become sadly aware that we are no longer in our twenties and thirties and our lifestyles have to evolve.  I am excited to venture into this new chapter of healthy eating and thankful that the internet is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to recipe ideas.

The carrot bacon is done.  The pistachios, walnuts and almonds are toasted.  The breakfasts and lunches are prepared for the next few days and I am eager to find out how this journey evolves and how my body adapts to the changes.  My first two plant-based dinners were a huge success and I felt full without feeling sluggish.  That to me is a huge step in the right direction.

I am not committing 100% to the Vegan diet.   I may have the odd meal that may not be entirely plant-based but  I am willing to commit to taking this new journey one day at a time.  If it improves my health and well-being, I’m willing to give it a try.

 

 

Stuart Smalley said it best

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Most of us are hyper-critical of ourselves.  I am certainly guilty of that crime.  We are truly our own worst enemy.  We over-analyse the most minute details about ourselves and never give a second thought to the perception that others may have of us – a perception that may be the polar opposite of how we see ourselves but much closer to the truth.

We have become a society of comparison.  We gauge our success, or perceived failure, by how we think we measure up to those around us.  We judge ourselves by their opinion and not by the standards we set for ourselves.  What we fail to take into consideration is the amount of effort we put into each day by just being ourselves and how difficult that journey can be.  It takes a person with a strong moral compass and courage of conviction to follow the direction in which they feel will allow them to be the most comfortable and to genuinely be themselves.

Too often we allow our actions and our decisions to be swayed by outside forces.  We ignore that little voice inside our head and we succumb to the white noise around us that berates us for those actions.  But that initial behavior represents our true self.  Those nuances of our personality are what set us apart from every other person on this planet. Those are the things worth cherishing.  Those subtleties are the little details that friends and family will hold onto long after you have left this Earth for your next journey.

It would be easy to conform into a stereotype that you feel would be welcomed by society, to make decisions that would be accepted by the masses, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if those choices were not right for you.  Hold true to the things that make you who you are and know that the important people in your life appreciate the choices that you make.  We all need a little daily affirmation – because you are good enough, you are smart enough, and, doggone it, people like you!

stuart_smalley

(image credit)

Drawing a line in the sand

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I never used to take sides.  I despised confrontation….I still do.  But I was so afraid to voice an opinion for fear of a negative reaction that I would exhaust myself creating an argument for both perspectives.  Oh, how I have grown.

Perhaps my uneasiness came from wanting to keep the peace.  But, thankfully, I have come to value my opinion and I have developed enough of a level of comfort in my beliefs to be able to assiduously express those opinions.

always-take-sides

I will now take a side.  I will vehemently argue for a position that I feel has merit.  I truly believe that my point of view has a validity that is worth arguing, and I now have the courage to present the grounds for my debate.

I don’t know when this inner strength became apparent.  And although I still deplore any form of negative encounter, I am more than willing to stand my ground and speak up for the things I believe to be important.  My integrity defines me.  My convictions embody the person I choose to personify and my willingness to defend my argument solidifies the confidence I have in myself.

I have chosen my side.  I have drawn my line.  And I will defend it with confidence and pride.

 

 

 

 

 

An open world begins with an open mind

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I saw this video on Facebook.  Every so often, after spending countless minutes of looking at absolute crap, you stumble on something that is absolutely worth watching.  And after watching this video, which is more of a summation of a few people, I continued down the line and watched all of the individual videos that were posted.  I was in tears after watching this video.  I was sobbing at the end of last one I watched.

But the tears I shed weren’t specifically about the videos.  The tears I shed were about the message that I got from watching the reaction of each person as they found out they weren’t exactly who they thought they were.  Each of the participants were so adamant about their background that they had all but dismissed any other reality….until they got their results.

The message in this experiment is one I wish we could spread across the planet.  And this test is one that I wish WAS made mandatory for everybody.  Finding out you share DNA with someone you have been historically trained to hate, not as a person but as a race, religion or belief, would be a hard pill to swallow.  But that pill could possibly begin to cure the current pandemic  called Hate.