Being Present in the Prep

menuDang, I almost cut my left thumb off in my first full-on kitchen shift today. I’m quickly discovering that chatting up a storm with my kitchen prep-mates while simultaneously cutting the greens is not a smart idea. I became a bit too involved in my skydiving conversation and wasn’t giving my immediate full attention to the task of vegetable chopping for the simple soup de jour.

This has turned out to be a very good lesson in being present, especially when working with sharp utensils! I know it’s hard to be on 100% of the time, but sometimes, I just have to prioritize what’s important and what is secondary.

Lesson #2: wash all vegetables before or after prep! You just never know what has graced the presence of your raw food (like blood and finger bits). Another title for this blog post could be: Finger Slicing Good Times. 🙂

Words to live by

The verse below expresses such beautiful words of wisdom. A truly wonderful reminder that life is to be lived fully, with joy and with gratitude, each and every moment, breath by breath, thought by thought, action by action.

Oh how blessed we are to be thriving and alive in this world!

Kick it, love it, live it.

There are four things that you cannot recover in life:

(1) The Stone ………. after it’s thrown,

(2) The Word ………. after it’s said,

(3) The Occasion ………. after it’s missed, and

(4) The Time ………. after it’s gone.

45 Valuable Life Lessons

Blooming life joy in the vision of a sunflowerWritten by Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.

1.       Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2.       When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3.       Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…
4.       Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends and parents will.  Stay in touch.
5.       Pay off your credit cards every month.
6.       You don’t have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.
7.       Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8.       It’s OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.
9.       Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque.
10.     When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11.     Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12.     It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13.     Don’t compare your life to others.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14.     If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15.     Everything can change in the blink of an eye.  But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16.     Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.
17.     Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18.     Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19.     It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.  But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20.     When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21.     Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.   Don’t save it for a special occasion, today is special..
22.     Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23.     Be eccentric now.  Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24.     The most important sex organ is the brain.
25.     No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26.     Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27.     Always choose life.
28.     Forgive everyone everything.
29.     What other people think of you is none of your business.
30.     Time heals almost everything.  Give time.
31.     However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
32.     Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.
33.     Believe in miracles.
34.     God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35.     Don’t audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.
36.     Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37.     Your children get only one childhood.
38.     All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39.     Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40.     If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41.     Envy is a waste of time.. You already have all you need.
42.     The best is yet to come.
43.     No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44.     Yield.
45.     Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

The enigma of Happiness: Eckhart Tolle on finding a Happier YOU!

happiness and the butterflyThe 10 powerful insights listed below from Eckhart Tolle really leave me feeling inspired at the perfection of my life, in this very moment. No such thing as the labels of ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. What is, is. The choices I make with each breath that I take breed the outcome from moment to moment of how I relate to myself and the world and circumstances around me. From what Eckhart proposes, happiness is always innately there, within me. Happiness is something you can synthesize
… it is a choice. And ironically, it is my choice on whether to accept that reality or not! Sometimes, a very difficult concept to grasp in the midst of turmoil and pain. But nevertheless a consciousness which could potentially lead me down the road to ending all suffering. Positive food for thought. Synthesis. Growth. Love = happiness = superfood!

And I love these concepts from the book Living Values Activities for Children 8-14: “When I have love and peace inside, happiness just comes ….. Lasting happiness is a state of contentment within ….. When my words express ‘give flowers instead of thorns’, I create a happier world”.

Oneness with All Life by Eckhart Tolle

1. Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it.

2. The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or the fact, and here are my thoughts about it. Instead of making up stories, stay with the facts. For example, “I am ruined” is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. “I have 50 cents left in my bank account” is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering.

3. See if you can catch the voice in your head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind.

4. Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared with your face in a photo taken 30 years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment.

5. Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.

6. People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn’t have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that lies beyond what is happening or not happening. Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is untouched by time.

7. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

8. Equating the physical body with “I,” the body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die, always leads to suffering. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn’t mean that you no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can appreciate those attributes—while they last. You can also improve the body’s condition through nutrition and exercise. If you don’t equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the light of consciousness can shine more easily.

9. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.

10. If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace.

Have you smiled today??!

Buddha’s enlightenment and wisdom

Buddha “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

— Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

Facebook frenzy

FacebookOn the Facebook blog this morning, I was totally amazed at hearing this truth: “More than 175 million people use Facebook. If it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world.” It’s truly amazing how FB has been such an international phenomenon. I’m not a myspace user, never have and probably never will be (never say never :)), but I wonder how myspace features in popularity to FB?? Quite impressive, I must say, when you look at the numbers. I probably spend at least 30 minutes and upwards each and every day, communicating with friends, posting photos to my albums, and just catching up on everybody’s business. Did I really just say that? Well, yes indeed, FB has become the ultimate spy! Scary when you think about it, especially when FB turns around and says that: they own your content, whether that be photos, emails, wall postings, etc. (earlier this month FB changed its policy to say user content belonged to Facebook). Ack! With as many users as there is, CNN states that it’s no surprise that so many “outraged members canceled their accounts or created online petitions”. In fact, it created such a stir that “on Wednesday, Facebook reviewed user “feedback,” and reverted to its old policy”. Nice to know that they’re listening, ‘for now’. Keep alert dear people.

I love sharing my life with my friends and acquaintances, but at what cost to my own privacy and security, am I doing this?? Safety and security online is a misnomer, a myth, and certainly an untruth. The ultimate spy indeed, the internet. Look at Google Earth, Google maps … Google anything! Your backyard is our backyard, your content is the world’s content. Be wary, be smart and be safe out there, you hear?

Gifting and Receiving

Love, love, love this excerpt! Kind of goes along with this weeks theme for my project366 ….

giving back

Giving and receiving …. it can be a vicious circle. What you give out comes right back to you.
But it can also be a wonderful circle.
What you give out comes right back to you. The choice is ultimately ours.
What we choose to hand out to others,
whether it be a loving eye or a revengeful one,
is what we will receive in return.

If we seek inner peace as well as outer peace,
we must first “give” what we desire to receive.
If we desire love, we must give love.
If we desire prosperity, we must share prosperity.
If we desire freedom, we must allow freedom.
If we want a life full of joy and laughter, we must share joy and laughter.
If we want a life of peace, we must start within our own self, and watch it come back a thousand-fold.

Thus perhaps “an eye for an eye” and “love thy neighbor as thyself” are the same teaching.
They are actually based in what we have discovered in modern physics:
What goes around comes around.
Nothing is ever destroyed.
There is a cause for every effect.
Which cause will we choose?
Which effect do we desire?
These are questions that we must answer in every moment of our lives —
in every thought, every word, every action (or inaction) we take.

~ Marie T. Russell ~